Bestow – meaning a gift that is put to use.
Recently, the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance was awarded a grant from NEA/Creative Pinellas for the 2022 Pinellas Recovers Arts Organization Grants. How does this impact our city of the arts? Let me count the ways…For the first time in a few years (and due to Covid), we will be able to get a Trolley in our city back in motion. This means that our community and also visitors to St. Pete can freely access all that is offered on 2nd Saturday ArtWalk (and it’s a lot). We can safely transport people around to art districts that they may otherwise not visit. It means that our artists will be exposed to a greater audience, and they will gain greater support. It also means that through this one magical evening a month, we share what is so inspiring about our city: its creativity, innovation and vision.
This grant also allows us to continue to grow Funding Futures, our scholarship program that support our student artists by allowing them to continue their focus on their artistic abilities through after school and summer programs. These are the talented students that would not have the means to access these enriching offerings. This is important to all of us, since these young talents are our future. They are the ones that will sustain our creativity, innovation and vision. We want to support them and keep them here in our city, always a part of our community.
In addition to these two programs, this grant will allow SPAA to strengthen the marketing of our 10 museums, as a whole – a “Mecca of Museums”, attracting locals and visitors with the abundance and variety that these cultural institutions offer. In conjunctions with our Comprehensive Arts Strategy, funding from the City of St. Pete, the Community Foundation Tampa Bay and St. Pete Downtown Partnership, we will launch videos of all of these institutions and once again, solidify arts as an economic driver that enriches our cultural environment and builds our economic growth. The statistics and studies evidence this, but all you need to do is ask anyone why they have moved to St. Pete, and I bet one of the main reasons is art and culture.
This grant also supports SHINE, our International Mural Festival which is in our 8th year and growing. The light that SHINE spreads is not just on our region, but truly international, as we continue to bring artists from around the globe to our home. It provides all of us with the opportunity to see art 24/7, as we walk or drive through St. Pete. Our murals not only beautify, but they also help with traffic safety (yes, statistics prove that), health and wellbeing and add vibrancy to parts of our city that deserve some extra love.
Lastly, Arts for a Complete Education (ACE) in our schools, is the moving force to ensure that art is part of every student’s curriculum in a powerful, purposeful and sequential way. This funding partially supports a dedicated staff member to oversee and invigorate this program. Having this focus allows SPAA to create the strategy to grow ACE, its presence within the schools and community, as well as communicating the importance of visual and performing art.
All in all, we are dedicated to making sure that artists of all ages, walks of life, abilities and backgrounds, are recognized for their contributions to our city, our community and our society.
Our team at the St. Pete Arts Alliance, which includes our board, staff, donors and volunteers, understand the importance of our work. We are grateful to be awarded these funds, that accomplish so much, and we will continue to seek support and evidence impact to you, St. Pete, our beautiful and diverse city of the arts.
Thank you National Endowment for the Arts and Creative Pinellas for your support!