"Art gives a lot to the community, often more than you are given back," said Mayor Bill Foster, speaking to the artists of St. Petersburg. On behalf of the City Council and himself, Foster said, "We are all about making sure that we don't have any starving artists here. We see art as a business driver. Whenever you are in St. Petersburg, we want people to know you are here and help people find a way to help you continue your business. We want to be your partner in helping you, because when you succeed, we succeed."
Mayor Foster's opening remarks captured the spirit of "Igniting the Business of Art in St. Pete", the Season Two "Grand Finale Event" of SPARC, the St. Petersburg Artists Resource Collaborative. This gathering of experts from our community was set up to be a resource shopping spree for local artists and art businesses. The experts on the panel had each presented topics of interest at monthly meetings during the previous year. They all came together to represent the myriad opportunities available for area professionals in the arts.
Elizabeth Brincklow, is Office of Arts & International Relations, Manager for the City of St. Pete. She spoke in detail about a project that is now two years in the making, "Art in Transit: Central Avenue Connects." She said, "Think of the concept on a broader level as 'a zipper'. As opposed to dividing North and South St. Petersburg, the Central Avenue corridor, the zipper, would bring together the community, 'From the Bay to the Beach.' The goal is to engage the public's imagination through art. The initial phase of the project will engage an artist-led team to develop a thematic series of artistic transit stops running the length of Central Avenue. The first ten stops would be created between 4th Street and 34th Street along Central Avenue. It incorporates the ideas of what the characteristics of the area is as a whole, and the history of the area. A team has been selected to bring this project to culmination." Elizabeth.Brincklow@stpete.org, 727-551-3250 or 727-893-746.
She also brought a Cultural Plan for the City of St. Petersburg, listing seven goals to support developing strong and stable arts organizations, and encouraging artists to live and work in St. Petersburg.
The meeting was held on October 21st, 2013, at the Carter G. Woodson Museum, an African American Museum at 2240 Ninth Avenue South in St. Petersburg, 727-323-1104. Terri Scott, Chair of the museum's Board, introduced the museum as "one of the best kept secrets in our community." Tracey Smith, who coordinates the SPARC activities, thanked Scott for always opening the museum's doors for meetings such as this one, and for the museum's support of artists. In the museum's bright, spacious room, the experts nearly outnumbered the artists attending the gathering, which means the SPARC meetings are still a pretty well kept secret too. Tell a friend to tell a friend about all these great resources.
Artists are still struggling to make a living, and although they might prefer to be painting, singing, dancing, acting, or writing, they all need to understand the business aspects of art to find their way to professional success. Business concepts can seem overwhelming to a creative soul, so the city is reaching out a hand to assist. Gatherings such as this one, sponsored by SCORE and The Greenhouse, give artists the opportunity to meet one-on-one with experts who can guide them. The Greenhouse, located at 440 Second Avenue North in St. Petersburg, provides free or low cost workshops on important business topics. The Greenhouse is a one-stop facility for starting or growing a local business. Their experts provide business counseling, training, networking, growth or specialized assistance and access to capital and credit for startups. Artists can utilize their calendar of events for business training. Their resource center has computers, books, Interactive videos, planning and research materials and free Wifi access. They are open week days 8 am to 5 pm. Artists may call 727-893-7146 and visit their web site and Facebook page. Friendly people on staff ready to help include:
- David Goodwin, Director, Planning & Economic Development, 727-893-7100, Dave.Goodwin@stpete.org
- Tracey Smith, Economic Development Coordinator for the City of St. Petersburg, 727-893-7095, Tracey.Smith@stpete.org
- Sophia Sorolis, Manager, Economic Development/ Greenhouse, 727-893-7787, Sophia.Sorolis@stpete.org
- Ondrea McDonald, Administrative Secretary, 727-893-7146, Ondria.McDonald@stpete.org
- Claude Williams, Economic Development Coordinator, SBE 727-551-3408, Claude.Williams@stpete.org
- Eric Lavina, Economic Development Specialist, City of St Petersburg
The panelists at the meeting, a diverse group of arts organizations, arts professionals and business specialists, provide an array of business retention and development services on an ongoing basis. You may contact them for advice on topics listed.
The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance provides leadership for the financial success of the arts, and strives to be the community voice for the arts, empowering artists, arts organizations and creative businesses. This organization, originally funded by the City of St. Petersburg, is striving to be self sufficient by March of 2014. Public funding for the arts has decreased in recent years as city revenues decreased and the budget tightened. John Collins, "The Arts Consultant to the City," oversees the alliance. His job is to help raise funds that supplements the money the city awards every year to arts and cultural organizations.
"This is the umbrella arts organization for St. Petersburg, under which the other profit and non-profit arts businesses can cooperate," said John Collins. "For example, both profits and non-profits may list their events on the web site's calendar. We have more arts and cultural events posted on our web site than anywhere else. We want to be the main source for finding out what's going on with the arts in St. Pete. We want to be the source for things artists consider essential, such as jobs, grants, events, internships, and calls to artists."
"We are filling a need, which s the most important thing we can do," Collins said. "We want people to get involved with the web site. Local artists, actors, performances, creative businesses, gallery owners, please use the site. The Arts Alliance will be a place-maker for the arts in St. Petersburg, similar to a local arts agency. We willl continue to build credibility for the web site as THE resource for the arts in Pinellas county. Sign up for the newsletter when you visit the web site." John Collins, Web site, Facebook page, email@example.com,
SCORE - Pinellas County (Counselors to America's Small Business) offers business counseling, training, assessment and mentoring at no cost to the client.
Bruce Elliott, SCORE, Social Media adviser, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Kalanja, Marketing Plans, SCORE/Gulf Coast Marketing-Facebook, email@example.com
Cliff Sullivan, SCORE, Business Plans, firstname.lastname@example.org
Toby Martini, Web Marketing, SCORE/Digital Martini, Ripping good web sites for small business with big dreams, email@example.com. Toby Martini has a free workshop coming up this month on building your own dynamic, fabulous web site. He says he'd love to help with technology and video too.Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation (TBBBIC ) -- offers technical assistance to small businesses and assist with accessing capital.
The Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of South Florida (USFSBDC) -- provides business counseling and training to start and grow your business.
Arts Association of St. Petersburg (formerly Downtown Arts Association) organizes the art trolley, with other groups, for the Second Saturday Gallery Walks. Members of this group include Arts Businesses or Artists within the city limits of St. Petersburg, 727-323-1104.
Linda Friedman Ramirez, Arts Association St. Petersburg, firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Friedman Ramirez owns and manages the Feathered Serpent Gallery ,1018 Central Ave, St Petersburg, in St Petersburg, 727-824-8877, emphasizing Latin American fine art, artisanry and exotic jewelry. The Gallery is also the site for various cultural and social events. Ms. Ramirez is the current President of the Arts Association of St Petersburg, known for the Second Saturday Art Walk.
Jeff Schorr is past President, and owns Craftsman House Gallery, 2955 Central Ave, St. Petersburg. This is a pottery gallery in a historic renovated building, and also has a cafe using the hand crafted pottery dishes made there by artists.
Public Art and Working with Art Galleries
Mark Aeling, Public Art advisor, Sculptor, Owner MGA Sculpture Studios, President-Warehouse Arts District, email@example.com
Mark Aeling is the founder of Soft Water Studios. 727-480-8754
The old Soft Water Laundry Warehouse Complex, located at 515 22nd Street South in the Warehouse Arts District, is a 4,000 sq. foot warehouse, now renovated and developed into working studios for local, professional artists. It is a rotating gallery of paintings, photography, and sculpture by Aeling, Sir Paul Glass, Emily Miller, Joe Coleman and Carrie Jadus. A new printmaking studio is being established there, where Sarah Dees, firstname.lastname@example.org, and others will teach printmaking techniques, including etching, monoprints, woodblock and linoleum block prints, and collographs. Carrie Jadus, a Fine Artist, email@example.com, makes beautiful, large paintings, and organizes life drawing classes there for other artists to participate in. This is a popular stop on the Second Saturday Gallery Walk.
Mark Flickinger, Envronmental Design Collaborations, Public art advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org Environmental Design Collaborations offers a wide range of services in the field of environmental planning and public art, including public art planning and project management, park planning and design, landscape architecture, and environmental planning.
Candace Knapp, Public art advisor, Knapp’s Playground, email@example.com. Knapp works with the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, and said she was excited to become involved with the artists on the Pinellas side of the bay, to see what is going on and share ideas between the two counties. Her wooden sculpture is imaginative, whimsical, elegant and sophisticated. She has a unique point of view.
Nathan Beard, Nathan Beard Fine Art, advisor on working with galleries, firstname.lastname@example.org,
With a background in independent art consultation, Beard recounts his experiences in selling artwork to private and public companies. He is also able to provide alternative sales avenues to galleries. He specializes in abstract acrylic paintings. Selections from his “Wanderings” series are currently on view at the Nicole Shannon Gallery . Beginning November 16, 2013 through January 16, 2014, Beard's “Exit Music” paintings will be on display at the American Stage Theater.
Scott Durfee, Spathose, email@example.com. Scott Durfee and George Medeiros are the creative team behind the innovative brand called Spathose. They are fine artists and fashion designers who have created unique accessory designs. The have forged fine art with fashion with their wearable sculpture.
Donna Gordon advised on business plans on the panel. She has Donna Gordon Gallery and Studio, located at 625 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, firstname.lastname@example.org. Donna Gordon is a sculptor, sculpting with plasticine clay, casting in the lost-wax method to bronze or cold casting with Forton, using unique and contemporary patinas. Edition sizes are extremely small; maximum of 10 for each piece created.
Leslie Curran, City Council member and long time advocate for the arts in St. Petersburg, owner, recently moved her gallery, ARTicles Art Gallery & Custom Framing to 1455 Central Avenue, email@example.com
Lyndsey Shaw, Marketing Plans, Pin Stripe Marketing, firstname.lastname@example.org. A full-service PR and marketing firm, Pinstripe’s team of talented professionals will work hand-in-hand with you to design a comprehensive strategy to meet your marketing needs. Our group of experts has first-class talent.
Legal Considerations of Artists
Brittany Maxey, Legal considerations, /Maxey Law Offices, email@example.com
Jim Grinaker, Legal considrations advisor, The Law Offices of Arne James Grinaker, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
1135 Pasadena Ave. S.,Suite 310, South Pasadena, 727-214-8972
City Services and Incentives
Angie Phillips, City Services, Planning, City of St. Petersburg, Permitting, firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Kinsey, Media Relations, City of St. Petersburg/Marketing, email@example.com
Jennifer Vickery, Media Relations, National Strategies Public Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane Shelly, Media Relations, Florida Craftsman Gallery, email@example.com, Art Lofts at Florida Craftsman
10 Fifth Street North, Suite 200, St. Petersburg. For the past two years, Shelly worked with Wayne Atherholt to create the Central Arts District.
Amanda Cooper, Curator of Exhibitions, The Morean Arts Center, 727-822-7872 extension 2112, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Wayne Atherholt, Executive Director, The Morean Arts Center, email@example.com
Olga Bof, Keep St. Pete Local, web site, Facebook page.
Keep Saint Petersburg Local is a non-profit organization, affiliated with the American Independent Business Alliance, working to build a thriving local economy and a unique community. This is done by nurturing connections for and acting as the voice of locally-owned, independent businesses and by raising awareness of the importance of buying local.
T Hampton Dohrman, Director of Creative Pinellas, firstname.lastname@example.org. Dohrman is in charge of Articulate, the Blog of Creative Pinellas, a source of information and opportunities for artists, and Creative Pinellas, the arts organization he manages. Dohrman spoke about the next FEAST event coming up on November 14, which is an opportunity for artists to compete at a dinner party in a restaurant for a small grant to fund a project to benefit the city of St. Petersburg. Artists can apply for the FEAST event at this link. Proposals to participate must be submitted by the end of this month.
Kimberly White, Youth Art Corps, kwhite@Family-Resources.org, The Youth Arts Corps is a youth development, arts education and job training program. The Corps offers two after-school and summer arts education programs, provides arts activities at a number of residential, recreational and juvenile justice facilities in Pinellas and Manatee counties, and offers training and technical assistance in youth arts program development and implementation. All arts workshops are taught by professional artists. Come to our locations M – F, 3 – 8 p.m., Call our Program Director 727-323-6646
Youth Arts Corps at Wildwood, 1000 28th St South, St. Petersburg
Youth Arts Corps at Skyview, 9010 - 54th Way, Pinellas Park
For youth ages 9 - 15 we offer: classes in clay, dance, percussion, drawing, fiber arts, graphics, painting, poetry, theater, video production job training and paid apprenticeships field trips, art exhibitions, community art and more.
Facebook is your arts community bulletin board, so check in with these folks on a regular basis to keep up with what's going on:
Artists Trying to Make a Living Creating Art
Artists of Tampa Bay
Keep Saint Petersburg Local
Grand Central District Association
Historic Kenwood Neighborhood Association
Warehouse Arts District
The Edge District of St. Pete
Central Arts District
Arts Tampa Bay
On Friday, October 25th, a Regional Arts Summit will be held in downtown St. Petersburg, Presented by the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, Creative Pinellas and St. Petersburg Arts Alliance. It is a day for colleagues from around the region to hear exciting news, engage in discussion and learn of opportunities to collaborate. Artist and writer Sarah Dees will be attending this event, and will write an article in this feature to report on what she learns. Click "subscribe" on this feature and you will receive a note from Examiner.com and be sent the link as soon as the article is published. Please share these articles and resources with your creative friends!