It's often said that South Florida's arts scene is dispersed with cultural pockets nestled miles apart. In a car, art lovers can drive to West Palm Beach's Norton Museum, and then head south 50 miles or so to Miami Wynwood.
But there is yet to be an institution that serves as the region's art world anchor, a venue to meld South Florida's cultural gap into a cohesive whole to attract residents from north and south, east and west.
In a White House ceremony Wednesday, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in North Miami joined an elite group of just 69 museums to be awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service - one the nation's top seals of approval for museums and libraries.
"Well, I guess you could compare it to the Emmy's or Oscars," said Susan Hildreth, Director of the Institute for Museum and Library Service.