The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s annual State of the Arts luncheon was held on Thursday, October 13, 2016. The event occurred in downtown Jacksonville at the Jessie Ball duPont Center. Paula Wallace, President and Founder of Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), was the keynote speaker. The PNC Foundation also named the 2016 recipients of the PNC Arts Alive grant, with awards totaling $75,000.
James Smith and students from Young Men’s Leadership Academy (YMLA) volunteered as ushers at the luncheon. YMLA’s mission is to teach, model, and inspire young men to be focused and committed to the pillars of honor, scholarships, and service. During the summer of 2016, two students from YMLA, Kaleb and Eavan, received two paid internships from CCGJ as a pilot program for the Cultural Service Internships program.
CCGJ would like to thank all those individuals who attended the luncheon.
Barbara Colaciello, Founder and Artistic Director of Imrpov to the Rescue, introduced A. Hugh Greene, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Baptist Health. Mr. Greene spoke about the Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center and how art can have a positive impact on patients’ health.
Tony Allegretti, Executive Director of the Cultural Council, introduced Paula Wallace at the luncheon. Mrs. Wallace spoke to a sold out audience about how she and her family grew SCAD in to the internationally recognized institute that it is today.
Cressman Bronson, PNC Regional President for Florida East attended the luncheon and awarded checks to the 2016 recipients of the Arts Alive grants. Recipients included: Jacksonville Dance Theatre, Stage Aurora, Players by the Sea, Jacksonville Kid’s Mural Project, and Jacksonville Cultural Development Corporation.
From left to right in the picture: Joe Schwartz, Players by the Sea; Rebecca Levy, Jacksonville Dance Theatre; Annelies Dykgraaf, Jacksonville Cultural Development Corporation; Kimberly Reckley, PNC Bank; Cressman D. Bronson, PNC Bank; Darryl Reuben Hall, Stage Aurora, Nicole Holderbaum, Jacksonville Kids Mural Project.
Cressman Bronson said the following about bringing Arts Alive to Jacksonville.
“PNC has a long history of partnering with organizations that strengthen the lives of our local Main Street communities, and our support of Arts Alive is a strategic investment in this region. We asked our region’s arts and culture groups to help people experience art in new ways and they delivered on that goal by engaging audiences through a diverse array of innovative programs that showcase Jacksonville at its best. The arts impact more than our emotions. The bottom line is a strong arts community is a significant driver of economic success. By bring Arts Alive to Jacksonville, PNC is helping to bring creative and exciting new programs for people of all agees to this community.”
Paula Wallace was available after the luncheon to sign copies of her book, “The Bee and the Acorn: A Memoir by Paula Susan Wallace.” Mrs. Wallace said the following about Jacksonville, Florida.
“The arts are alive and thriving on the First Coast! My recent afternoon with the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville buoyed my spirit as I learned about the city’s stellar creative stewardship. Jacksonville should feel great pride in its performing arts programs! I was especially impressed by the city’s beautification of public spaces through commissioned paintings and sculptures, including works by SCAD’s own alumni. Jacksonville shines brightly, indeed. I can’t wait to come back.”
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