Home Art The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU Honors Dennis Scholl

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU Honors Dennis Scholl


Film director, producer and writer Dennis Scholl (10 Emmys) is known for the cultural documentaries Deep City – the Birth of the Miami Sound and Queen of Thursdays,
plus films about Wynton Marsalis, Frank Gehry and Theaster Gates

“We believe that art transforms lives, and this is why Dennis Scholl has been selected by the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU as our honoree for the Art Transforms award,” said the museum’s Director, Dr. Jordana Pomeroy, at the recent Benefactor Impact event.

Dennis Scholl and Jordana Pomeroy

“His passion for the arts and philanthropy serve as an inspiration for our museum benefactors, and for the community.” As an alumnus of Florida International University (class of ’77),Scholl’s first experience ever inside a museum was at the original location on campus 40 years ago when he was a young student at FIU – the year the museum was founded.

Phillip & Patricia Frost, Dennis & Debra Scholl, Dr. Jordana Pomeroy, and Daniel Perron, the Museum’s Board Chair


“Since then, the Frost Art Museum FIU has served as a cultural beacon for four decades, bringing new cultural experiences to generations of art lovers, students, patrons and visitors from all over the world,” adds Pomeroy.  The art museum’s patrons, Patricia & Phillip Frost, joined Dr. Pomeroy in honoring Dennis Scholl alongside Dr. Kenneth Furton (FIU’s Provost), and Daniel Perron (the museum’s Board Chair).

The Scholls invited guests on a personal tour of the exhibition Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia drawn from their own collection, which will continue its national tour after headlining at the Frost Art Museum FIU.

The Grand Galleries of the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU hosted the exhibition from the collection of Debra and Dennis Scholl —  Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia

MORE ABOUT DENNIS SCHOLLAward-Winning Filmmaker and Champion of the Arts


Honoree Dennis Scholl spoke passionately at the event about how as a young student at Florida International University in 1977 (the same year the museum was founded), his life was transformed after feeling compelled to walk into the campus museum that day. Since then, Scholl and his wife Debra have become nationally renowned champions of the arts.

They are recognized for their support of art and artists, and are holders of the largest private collection of Aboriginal art in the United States.


Dennis Scholl recently stepped down from his leadership position at the $2.5 billion Knight Foundation, where he oversaw funding of close to $200 million to arts organizations across America. He created Random Acts of Culture, and with his team at the foundation developed and led the Knight Arts Challenge.

Watch the Emmy-winning video about the documentary Random Acts of Culture here


Scholl is a ten-time regional Emmy winner for his cultural documentaries, including films about Tracey Emin, Theaster Gates, Wynton Marsalis and Frank Gehry. He is a producer, writer, and director whose second feature documentary, Queen of Thursdays, co-written and produced with noted Cuban filmmaker Orlando Rojas, was named Best Documentary at the 2016 Miami International Film Festival. Scholl is also known for Deep City — The Birth of the Miami Sound (2014) and the animated short, The Sun as a Big Dark Animal, an official selection of the 2015 Sundance International Film Festival. Scholl’s newest film is calledSymphony in D and is currently on the film festival circuit, showing at various cities.

Watch the trailer for Symphony in D here:

Watch the trailer for Deep City — The Birth of the Miami Sound here:

Scholl has served on the boards and executive committees of Aspen Art Museum, MOCA Miami, the Pérez Art Museum Miami and the Linda Pace Foundation. He was named three times to the annual WESTAF list of the Most Powerful and Influential Leaders in the Nonprofit Arts, and along with his wife, Debra, recently received the National Service in the Arts Award from the Anderson Ranch Art Center.

The Scholls are highly regarded for their efforts to build the permanent collections of contemporary art museums and are founding chairs of the Guggenheim Photography Committee, the Tate American Acquisition Committee, and an acquisition committee for the new Pérez Art Museum Miami where they have donated 300 works from their personal collection.

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University

Scholl is also co-founder of the award-winning wine projects Betts and Scholl and Mother Tongue Shiraz, and was a visiting scholar at MIT Media Lab and a Harvard University Advanced Leadership Fellow.

This year’s Art Transforms Benefactor Impact event at the Frost Art Museum FIU drew Miami’s leading arts patrons and cultural leaders, including: Joan Johnson, Jonathan and Karen Fryd, celebrity chef Michael Schwartz and his wife Tamara Repsold Schwartz, Lisa and Gary Payton, Amy and Richard Kohan, Fred Snitzer, Ed Christin, Lourdes Tudela, Karen Escalera, Ellen Salpeter, Lorie Mertes and Alex Gartenfeld.

Guests joined Debra and Dennis Scholl on exclusive tours of the museum’s collection vault.  The event was sponsored by EWM Realty International, Bacardi and Rumbas Party Rental & Events. More photos from the event may be seen at this photo gallery link, and more images from the award ceremony continue below  . . .

Dennis Scholl with FIU Provost, Dr. Kenneth Furton

Dennis Scholl, Lourdes Tudela and Frantz Williams

Celebrity Chef Michael Schwartz and Tamara Repsold Schwartz

Frank Siberio, Flor Mayoral, Jordana Pomeroy, Joan Johnson, and Daniel Perron

Joan Johnson on an exclusive tour of the Frost Art Museum’s collection vault

Dennis Scholl and Ed Christin

About the Museum

One of the largest free-standing art museums in Florida, the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University was founded in 1977 and is the Smithsonian Affiliate in Miami.

The museum’s new lakeside building debuted in 2008, designed by Yann Weymouth (the chief of design on the I.M. Pei Grand Louvre Project).

With 46,000 square feet of energy efficient exhibition, storage, and programming space, the museum was honored with LEED silver certification. The museum’s mission is three-fold: to be a campus resource for the entire FIU community; to offer interdisciplinary training in the arts for the next generation of artists and art historians; and to serve as a premier cultural destination for the residents of Miami, and the 15 million visitors to one of the world’s most vibrant cultural destinations – home to global cultural events including Art Basel.

The Frost offers programming that complements its exhibitions with a wide range of educational initiatives. The Steven and Dorothea Green Critics’ Lecture Series has featured internationally renowned speakers including: Laurie Anderson, Christo, Susan Sontag, Frank Stella, Helen Frankenthaler, John Cage and Marina Abramović. The Kenan-Flagler Family Discovery Gallery serves as an innovative programming space that encourages children’s involvement in art through hands-on exploration.

Admission to the museum is always free. The Frost Art Museum FIU is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and is located on the campus of Florida International University at 10975 SW 17 Street. OpenTuesdaySaturday 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., and Sunday noon5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and most legal holidays. The Sculpture Park is open every day. For more information, visit or call 305-348-2890.