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The Betsy Hotel Embraces Artististic Diversity and Celebrates Culture During Black History Month

The Betsy-South Beach ( is a unique and multiple award-winning luxury boutique hotel located on Ocean Drive in South Beach, Florida that embraces ‘things that matter’ under the auspices of an interdisciplinary community engagement program that involves deep collaboration with artists and organizations both public and private. The Betsy Hotel is is owned and operated by The Plutzik Goldwasser Family. In the past decade, the hotel has become a catalyst for energized discourse, innovative thinking and charity working with hundreds of local, national and international nonprofit partners. Led by Deborah Plutzik Briggs, VP for Arts, the Hotel offers a robust range of programming rooted in the belief that creative collaboration builds community. With a comittment to diversity The Betsy's programs have included:

  1. Sam Sax - non binary poet - (with Academy of American Poets)

  2. Joy Ladin - trans poet - (with Keshet)

  3. Geoffrey Philp - AfAm Jewish poet (with Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator)

  4. Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell - Black Cantor/Yiddish Singer (with Jewish Community Center)

  5. John McNeil presenting on Mid-Century poet Sam Menasche (Gay PriestWW2 Veteran - with Jewish Am and Holocaust Lit Conference)

  6. Pablo Cartaya - Young People's Writer (Cuban Converso Family Story presenting on cultural appropriation and translation)

  7. Ike Ude - Nigerian American Photographer (with Liela Heller Gallery)

  8. Seth 'Brimstone' Scher - Orthodox DJ (with Path to Hip Hop)

  9. Moishele (Mario) Alfonso - (Gay multi-lingual Converted Jew) (with Yiddishkayt Initiative

  10. Andy Sweet (LGBT photographer) - (with Jewish Museum of Florida)

The Betsy-South Beach has emerged as one of the go to places in South Florida for engaging experiences in the arts. With everything curated - floor to ceiling - guests experience the very best of every art form and also the intersection of art forms - in planned and spontaneous events. Ongoing initiatives - curated by members of the ownership family - include a 7-day, 9-event a week, live jazz featuring world class talent; and an expansive visual arts program featuring photography in partnership with global galleries. Since COVID appeared, The Betsy has brought programming online with engaging 'made for zoom/vimeo/facebookLive' events that have touched 10,000 global households - in 40 events to date, with 20 additional programs commencing Feb 1 in a 'Spring Semester' series. Partners for these events include (but are not limited to): · Music - Miami Classical Music Festival, Florida Grand Opera · Poetry- Jewish Museum of Florida, Reading Queer, BooksandBooks · Film: O Cinema (Independent Theater), Miami Jewish Film Festival · Jewish Culture: Jewish American and Holocaust Literature Conference, Yiddishkayt Initiative, Jewish Community Center Miami Beach · Black History/Culture: Florida International University (various departments), BooksandBooks · LGBTQ-Native Son, Reading Queer · Business- Planet Word, Caribu · Municipalities - City of Miami, City of Miami Beach The Betsy's virtual programs are also free and open to the public. The Betsy's innovative initiatives have attracted global attention for exemplary service to artists and the arts, and The Betsy received a leadership award from the Academy of American Poets and a commendation from Americans for the Arts in 2017 - and many tourism industry accolades.


Through music, literature, film and ideas

South Beach, Florida -- The Betsy Hotel is an embracing place for artists from all walks of life with intentional initiatives that champion the experiences of marginalized voices. During Black History Month, The Hotel presents a series of virtual programs - in the realms of music, literature, film, and ideas - as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African Diaspora - and to celebrate the emergence of new voices that are linked to this important historical legacy.

LIVE MUSIC - FEBRUARY 2, 9, 16, 23

ALLEN PAUL LIVE @ THE BETSY. He studied jazz and contemporary styles at the University of Miami and has performed widely with major figures such as Gladys Knight, Betty Wright and countless others. He is musical director for Unclazzified, a jazz fusion trio, and during COVID has developed an underground virtual following for an ongoing series of private VIP Jazz events, accessible by invitation only for the best and brightest SOFLA based musicians.RSVP:


ZEN AND THE ART OF RE-VISIONING HISTORY - Featuring a talk with Dr. Kali Nicole Gross, author of A Black Women’s History of the United States and Dr. Heather Russell, Senior Associate Dean @FIU in conversation that showcases Black women’s lives by prioritizing many voices: enslaved women, freedwomen, religious leaders, artists, queer women, activists, and women who lived outside the law. A Black Women’s History of the United States showcases Black women’s lives and is a testament to the beauty, richness, rhythm, tragedy, heartbreak, rage, and enduring love that abounds in the spirit of Black women in communities throughout the nation. RSVP:


ZEN AND THE ART OF TRAVEL - Featuring a conversation with Teraj & Barry Hoy, hosted by George Neary. Teraj Allen and Barry Hoy share their experience traveling as a gay interracial couple. Withe the goal of pushing for progress in places without LGBTQ+ rights as well as to advocate for protective legislation in places where discrimination is present yet not overt. Teraj Allen draws upon his experience and struggle as a child growing up in Liberty City, Miami, as the inspiration for a life of travel, adventure, and intergroup advocacy, and most of all, embracing the gift of being black and queer in our 21st Century universe. RSVP:

LIVE MUSIC - FEBRUARY 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26 - 6 TO 11 PM

WILKIE FERGUSON LIVE @ THE BETSY. Ferguson is a native of Miami and a graduate of New World School of the Arts. He studied mathematics at Morehouse College, and classical piano performance at Eastman School of Music. Ferguson is also a professional singer, dancer and actor and was a part of the original Broadway casts of the Tony Award winning The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, Motown the Musical, and Wonderland. and has toured with In the Heights; Hairspray; and Dreamgirls. Off Broadway and regional shows include Cotton Club Parade and the world premieres of Sister Act and Ray Charles Live at Pasadena Playhouse. He just completed a successful run with Miami New Drama, as the featured pianist for Seven Deadly Sins. Wilkie makes his home in LA and Miami.


About The Betsy-South Beach

The Betsy-South Beach (The Betsy) is a multi award winning socially conscious luxury boutique hotel with a 21st Century commitment to helping neighbors locally, nationally and internationally through a lens of arts and culture. Less than 9 months after opening, Miami Modern Luxury magazine highlighted philanthropy, arts, and culture programs at The Betsy-South Beach in an article called "Rooms for Change," documenting a unique commitment to good works. Through its artist residency program, 1000 creatives have been welcomed, participating in nightly live music, moderated conversations and adventurous exhibition programs. The Betsy Hotel is located at 1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, and is owned and operated by The Plutzik Goldwasser Family. For more information on Betsy Hotel Programs:


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