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Art for October: Gulfport and St. Pete walks return; Council approves city grants

Bill DeYoung



Gulfport's prodigious arts community hs re-formatted its monthly First Friday ArtWalk along Beach Boulevard; the event returns Friday, Oct. 2. Photo:

It’s not spring – not by a long shot – but things are beginning to bloom again on the St. Petersburg art scene.

After half a year away, mandated by Covid-19, the monthly art walks in Gulfport and downtown St. Pete are returning this month, socially distanced of course, and with numerous other changes, including health safeguards, in place.

First up is Gulfport’s First Friday Art Walk, Friday (Oct. 2) along Beach Boulevard. This event has been completely re-tooled – it has been juried (in other words, each of the 20-some participating artists was specifically chosen) and it has a theme (Metamorphosis: Art For Hope and Healing). The artists, working in various media, were selected based on their interpretation of this theme.

Tonight on The Catalyst Sessions, ceramics artist Brenda McMahon, who chairs the Gulfport Merchants Chamber arts committee, explains the changes to Art Walk and other downtown art events, and speaks to the future of the arts in the art-centric South Pinellas enclave.

The Catalyst Sessions streams at 7 p.m. on the Catalyst Facebook page, and afterwards will appear on our YouTube channel.

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance has announced that its Second Saturday Art Walk will re-appear Saturday, Oct. 10, with “renewed energy and life,” but no trolley service.

Several, but not all, participating studios and galleries in the Central Arts District, EDGE District, Grand Central District, Warehouse Arts District and downtown Waterfront Arts District will be open for socially-distance perusal, inspection and/or sales.

It may be a baby step, but it’s a first step nonetheless. More details are to be announced soon on the Arts Alliance website.


Arts and culture grants

For the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the City of St. Petersburg will award just over $350,000 in grants to a cross-section of arts and culture organizations. Wayne Atherholt, director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs,  brought the grants before council at Thursday morning’s meeting.

“These organizations have a payroll of $36 million and total cash income of over $60 million,” Atherholt said, “and represent 1.9 million visits.”

The grants, divided into tiers based on each organization’s annual budget, were passed unanimously.


Level 3 Organizations:

ARTS 4 Life, Inc.: $15,926.72

Bill Edwards Foundation For the Arts, Inc.: $15,847.63

Imagine Museum Corporation: $14,550.72

In Touch With Communities Around the World, Inc.: $16,005.80

The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art: $16,353.75

The Poynter Institute For Media Studies (Write Field): $15,879.27

St. Petersburg College Foundation (Palladium) Inc.: $16, 322.12

St. Petersburg Opera, Inc.: $16,543.54


Level 2 Organizations:

Academy of Ballet Arts, Inc.: $11,436.55

DMG School Project, Inc.: $10,429.07

Friends of the Festival, Inc.: $11,082.27

St. Petersburg Historical Society, Inc.: $10, 761.21

St. Petersburg Historical, $11,004.77


Level 1 Organizations:

Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association, Inc.: $4,573.99

EMIT: $3,961.52

Gulf Coast Artists’ Alliance, Inc.: $3,091.81

Keep St. Pete Lit, Inc.: $4,659.39

Tampa Bay Symphony, Inc.: $4,728.67

Your Real Stories, Inc.: $4,483.84


Second Year Option Organizations*:

*This indicates an organization that was, based on an arts advisory committee score of 90 or above last year, was allowed to submit an updated version of its previous grant application

American Stage: $16,527.72

Arts Center Association: $16,593,83

Choral Masterworks: $11,021.38

Creative Clay: $16,296.34

Florida CraftArt: $16,160.63

Florida Holocaust Museum: $16,527,73

freeFall Theater: $15,696.12

Great Explorations Children’s Museum: $16,470.31

Museum of Fine Arts: $16,973.10

Salvador Dali Museum: $16,856.54

St. Pete/Clearwater Film Society: $10,973.89

Warehouse Arts District: $15,676.98

thestudio@620: $11,582.80



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