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Deborah Briggs

Deborah Briggs

FAA Distinguished Legacy Award | VP, Betsy Hotel of South Beach | Class of 1981

Among Deborah Briggs’ discoveries during her short stay in C-U is one that has nothing to do with music or the arts.

“I went away from home for the first time, and discovered there was a rich and beautiful world outside of New York state,” says Briggs (MS ’81, music education/voice).

As far as favorite educators go, two come to mind immediately for the 2018 recipient of the College of Fine and Applied Arts’ Distinguished Legacy Award.

There’s Nic DiVirgilio — “my voice teacher and a wonderful guy.” And Charles Leonhard — “my music education professor and mentor, a genius.”

Briggs wears many hats these days: vice president for arts, culture and community at The Betsy Hotel of Miami’s South Beach; sustainability project director for the O, Miami Poetry Festival; and executive director of the PG Family Foundation.

In honoring her in 2018, the College of FAA noted: “A two-time winner of the coveted Knight Arts Challenge Program, Deborah has garnered the attention of both the profit communities and the nonprofit communities for her work’s ability to bring people from disparate walks of life together around powerful ideas — by exploring the power of the arts to inspire and connect."