This spring the Community First Cares Foundation in collaboration with the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, announced the second-year partnership to continue local artist grants and support business education symposiums. Community First pledged $10,000 to fund 10 direct artist grants, a doubling of last year’s funding. Community First also pledged to continue its support of the Cultural Council’s “Entrepreneur Symposium for Creatives: Every Artist is a Small Business”, an educational workshop for local artists.
“The Community First Cares Foundation is thrilled to see the good these grants can do in the hands of local artists,” said Community First Cares Foundation Executive Director Missy Peters. “The grant recipients are engaged in creative and innovative projects in our community which are worthy of support.”
The second round of grants was initially opened for applications from August 18, 2018 through October 18, 2018 (the deadline was extended by a week making the cut-off October 25, 2018).
On November 20, 2018, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and the Community First Cares Foundation officially announced the ten winners of the second-year artist grant program.
When speaking on the subject of Arts Advocacy, oftentimes the advocacy efforts stop shy of the Artists themselves. That's why Artist Advocates and co-conspirators like Kate MacKinnon are so valuable and essential to an arts advocacy ecosystem.
A biologist and chemist with a deep love and appreciation for the arts that stretches back to her early childhood, Kate operates KF Mac Consulting - a business consultation firm geared directly at serving Artists and the Arts Community. She observed a need among a deeply underserved artist community in Jacksonville in particular - a need for structured business strategy, branding, marketing, and implementation. This was her inspiration for forming her consultation firm and offering those very services at insanely reasonable costs.
Advocates and co-conspirators like her see a need and fill it with the beneficiary in mind first. If you've ever had the pleasure of encountering Kate, you know what a giving and passionate spirit she has. If not, read on and get to know the Force of Giving that is Kate MacKinnon.
Advocacy manifests in many forms. In the case of Theatre on a Mission, it manifested as the brainchild of a Junior at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts about five years ago. Chelsey Cain, now 24, started the non-profit organization after having spent several years exchanging letters with a pen-pal in Kenya to whom she was introduced through an orphanage by the name of Foundation Stone Children's Center, established by friends of her family serving as missionaries in Africa. At the time she felt compelled to reach out further to her Kenyan friend in an effort to do more for her and her fellow classmates across the globe. The idea to use her passion for theatre as a means to connect and raise money and awareness was the beginning of what would become a growing and thriving non-profit dedicated to bringing the love and joy of performance art to children living in impoverished locations.
Since it's inception in 2014, Theatre on a Mission has executed many successful mission trips to Kenya, Haiti, Costa Rica, and already has plans to expand further. This week we sat down with Chelsey to learn more about Theatre on a Mission and get to know about a small non-profit making a big difference in the lives of the students and families it touches.
"Hip Hop is Art. It’s not easy to do and it deserves to be a respected part of Jacksonville’s Culture." - 10 Questions with Mas Appeal - DJ, Emcee, and Host
Image courtesy of Obscura Lux
The job of a DJ is not an easy one. It's rare to find a DJ that's not only skilled in keeping an event lively, but can also read a crowd, give them what they want (along with some of what they didn't realize they wanted), and keep the party going while not missing a beat. It truly is an art form.
Miguel "Mas Appeal" Almeida is one of those rare DJs - though he's certainly much more than that. He's been creating art in this city for over fifteen years and throws some of the best parties in Jacksonville that you probably don't know about (yet). He's also one of those individuals that's extremely approachable, friendly, and surprisingly unassuming considering all that he's done and continues to do. Hip Hop and its principles are infused within every facet of the work he does from creating and producing music, to DJing, Emceeing and hosting events, and volunteering with at risk youth. For him Hip Hop is more than his Artistry, it's a way to reach people and give back.
"I don’t have to define myself as one thing. I am a lot of things. I am a Creator." - 10 Questions with Social Networker Kristina 'Ktown Kris' Hatcher
To call Kristina Hatcher a Jill of All Trades would be a massive understatement and a blatant falsehood, particularly the bit about being a Master of None. She absolutely has a lot of irons in her fire at any given moment, and she manages them all with a miraculous ability to keep the same positive, forward thinking energy from one project to the next. She would be better classified as a veritable Force of Nature.
Kristina is not a native of Jacksonville, however, to speak to her, you would never know it. She's one of the biggest advocates for this city that you will ever meet, and she is especially passionate about promoting and nurturing the Arts and Culture scene in Jacksonville. From the moment she moved here twelve years ago, she hit the ground running within the Arts and Entertainment sector, using her photographic skills to leverage her way into a position to begin creating and developing her artistic identity. She's a creative force to be reckoned with and can often be heard saying, "just put me in the room with [insert name of influential behemoth] and I'll get it done."
She's indeed done it all: from coordinating and hosting events, to creating content for print and broadcast media, producing and modeling in fashion shows, and artist development, management, and promotion. She's connected to nearly every scene in Jacksonville in one way or another, and if she's not involved yet, it's probably on her to do list.
Motivated, forward thinking, creative, and sincere - she's one of Jacksonville's best kept secrets and it's about time the word got out.
Providing Artistic Opportunities For Our Youth - 10 Questions with Rosemary Thornton, Cultural Service Internship Liaison
"When youth are afforded the opportunity to gain skills and experiences to prepare them to pursue their dreams, we all win." - Rosemary Thornton
In 2018 the City of Jacksonville announced that the Mayor’s Summer Jobs program had been expanded into the Mayor's Youth at Work Partnership. The city partnered with business, education, nonprofit and philanthropic entities to develop an integrated youth employment career pathway system.
The program goals centered around "building the talent pipeline for our local economy by connecting young adults with education and employment career pathways that prepare them to meet the skill demands of employers while leading them to workforce success."
The MYAWP program this summer occurred from June 18, 2018 - July 27, 2018 and included career assessment, employment readiness training, a preceding Youth College and Career Fair and 20-hour work weeks. With the program's expansion, a wide variety of employment opportunities was anticipated.
In an effort to get to know more about the program, we reached out to Rosemary Thornton, Cultural Service Internship Liaison
“During my 30 years at Americans for the Arts, I have had the great privilege to visit and learn about a different community nearly every week. While they differ vastly from one another, there is one common strength I have observed: the arts have made a profound impact on the health of each community.”
Robert L. Lynch, President, Americans for the Arts
What started in the Fall of 2013 as a monthly happy hour that took place "Every Single Second Thursday", Every Single Artist Lounge (ESAL) began as the brainchild of Mason Martin, current Project Manager for the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville (CCGJ). With the mission of building community amongst the artists in the Jacksonville area, the Cultural Council extended an invitation to "every single artist in our area, so that we may alert you to opportunities". Interested parties would meet at The Volstead in Downtown Jacksonville to exchange ideas, network, and learn about opportunities available to them.
While the event garnered a fair amount of success, visibility, and engagement, by 2016 participation and involvement had waned. A need to reimagine a plan of attack for rebuilding momentum became evident. It was then that Mason enlisted the help of Patrick Fisher - former Community and Collaboration Manager for the CCGJ - to breathe life back into the initiative. At that point it was determined that ESAL needed to be open to all age groups (not restricted to the 21+ requirements of the venue), it was decided that a different venue would be chosen as a host location from month to month, and finally, local artists would serve as regular co-hosts of the event.
Photo Credit: Toni Smailagic
A Closer Look at the Cultural Service Grant Program (CSGP) Committee - '5 Questions' with Mauricio Gonzalez, Anne Boccuzzi, and Sandra Hull-Richardson
Since 1979, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville has served as the official regranting and administrative agency for City of Jacksonville funding to arts and cultural organizations. In 1990, the Cultural Service Grant Program was developed. This program was designed to provide public support to arts and cultural organizations that contribute to the quality of life of Jacksonville’s residents. Every year, non-profit organizations in the arts and cultural sector apply to receive City funded grants to help support their missions and create broader access to the arts in Jacksonville. City of Jacksonville funds are administered by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville (CCGJ) through the Cultural Service Grant Program (CSGP), a competitive grant process governed by City ordinance (Chapter 118, Part 6).
Last week on Wednesday, September 26th and Thursday, September 27th, the CSGP hearings took place at the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts. The applicants were in attendance to present their programs for recommended approval and funding from the CSGP Committee.
Dear Cultural Council Stakeholders,
As many of you are already aware, Tony Allegretti is leaving the Cultural Council at the end of September after leading the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville as its Executive Director for the past four years. The agency thanks Mr. Allegretti for his leadership.
We are excited to bring new leadership to the Cultural Council to serve as the spearhead of Northeast Florida's cultural and creative community. The agency Board of Directors formed a Transition Team that developed a comprehensive Executive Director succession plan, the search plan, and the Executive Director job description. Until the position is filled, we will utilize an Interim Director and are currently searching for qualified candidates. In the meantime, the Board has prepared to provide organizational oversight to maintain continuity in the day-to-day operations until an Interim Director or Executive Director is named.
Questions? Comments? Submit something for consideration?
Please email Jihan@CulturalCouncil.org