Bob Devin Jones is one the most influential shapers of St. Pete's creative arts community. A creator in every sense, Jones' careful entrepreneurship has played a large part in crafting the cultural renaissance alive in St. Pete today. Known for his wit, humor, and visionary playwrighting, Jones is also a director and actor. In 2005, he founded the Studio @ 620, underscoring St. Pete as a place of opportunity, openness, and love of visual and performing arts.
Years in St. Pete
Organizations involved in
Warehouse Arts District. Palms of Pasadena. Studio at 620. Public Arts Commission
What gets you out of bed every day?
The possibility that I will encounter 3 or 4 things, or sometimes 6 that are truly delicious. Either some conversation with a person. An idea that they happen to share. Or some aspect of the city that’s growing or being reborn or rehabilitated or repurposed.
Why St. Pete?
I came here 21 years ago to do a job for American Stage where I was adapting a play by August Strindberg, Miss Julie. I adapted it and set it in the late Harlem renaissance. I met my partner my second day here at Chattaways through Lisa Powers. I came back in July of 97 and I never left.
What is one habit that you keep?
I’m in my office everyday, sometimes including Sunday. I used to eat a croissant every day. But one can’t do that every day. I started drinking coffee since I moved here 10 years ago, starting with Kahwa coffee. From Black Crow to Kahwa 1, 2, 3, Bandit and Banyan.
Who are some people that influence you?
James Howell, Karen Munroe, Derek Keys, Nate Najar, Mark Aeling, Barbara Gross – she’s our new executive director. My parents. James Baldwin.
What is one piece of insight - a book, methodology, practice - that you would share with our readers?
It’s become the mission and the motto of the studio. I think it’s important at this particular point in history to always say yes. Not only to can you, would you, but yes to I’m going to explore today. I’m going to share a smile with somebody today. I’m going to help out today. The answer is always yes. I don’t like to qualify it.
What is one thing you wish you knew about your work 3 years ago?
The best thing you can do – if you have people with whom you are trying to get a project done and they seem to know the way, let them lead.
To start writing again. That’s what I’d like to do.