Kurt S. Browning
Secretary of State
For Immediate Release
May 6, 2008
Contact: Morgan Lewis
Division of Cultural Affairs
Secretary of State Recognizes Outstanding Achievements in Arts Accessibility
Tallahassee, FLORIDA –
Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning announced today the recipients of the first annual Recognizing Best Practices in Access awards sponsored by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and VSA Arts of Florida. The awards are part of a new, statewide initiative to recognize accessible cultural programs and the outstanding work taking place in Florida to improve access to the arts and culture for people with disabilities. Nominations from colleagues in the arts community, in the categories of New, Emerging, Model, or Small Investment programs, were reviewed by a panel of arts professionals from around the state. See a complete list of the 2008 award recipients below.
The Recognizing Best Practices in Access awards recipients receive a professional development stipend from VSA Arts of Florida to be used to continue the accessible programs and initiatives for which they were nominated. Organizations may use the stipends to attend the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) conference in Fort Lauderdale in August, to attend training at some other location, or to purchase technology or new equipment to enhance the scope of their work towards greater accessibility. Recognizing Best Practices in Access is made possible through generous funding from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Challenge America Program.
The Division of Cultural Affairs and VSA Arts of Florida are also creating a publication to highlight the recognized programs to not only celebrate all the good work occurring in Florida right now, but also to show other cultural organizations the benefits gleaned from making programming and offerings accessible and welcoming to all audiences. The publication will be available in June 2008 as both a book and as a digital file for visitors to download from the Division of Cultural Affairs’ Web site, www.florida-arts.org.
Through its partnership with VSA Arts of Florida, the Division of Cultural Affairs strives to make the wealth of cultural opportunities in Florida welcoming and accessible to all audiences. This partnership ensures that everyone in Florida can experience the transformative power of the arts. The Division of Cultural Affairs is Florida’s legislatively designated state arts agency. The mission of the Division is to foster development and growth of arts activities, provide arts resources and services, award excellence, and promote arts-related public/private partnerships. The Division believes that the arts can help change the world for the better and that it starts with one person in one community at a time. Through its programs and services, the Division of Cultural Affairs impacts all of Florida’s 67 counties by supporting over 25,000 cultural events. Last year alone more than 33 million people participated in Division grant supported programs, including nearly 7 million school-aged children.
$1,000 Recognizing Best Practices in Access Awards Recipients 2008
Russell Daws, on behalf of the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science, Leon County, in the Model Program category.
Alicia Loomis, on behalf of the Creative Clay Cultural Arts Center, Pinellas County, in the Small Investment Program category.
Hope McMath, on behalf of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Duval County, in the Model Program category.
Garry Novick, on behalf of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Broward County, in the New Program category.
David Penn, on behalf of Great Explorations, Inc., Pinellas County, in the Emerging Program category.
$500 Recognizing Best Practices in Access Awards Recipients 2008
Grace-Anne Alfiero, on behalf of the Creative Clay Cultural Arts Center, Pinellas County, in the Model Program category.
Deanna Costa, on behalf of The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami-Dade County, in the New Program category.
Evelyn Craft, on behalf of the Arts Center Association, Pinellas County, in the Small Investment category.
Maria Emilia, on behalf of Florida Craftsmen, Pinellas County, in the New Program category.
Lisa Fultz, on behalf of Special Kids Dance & Performing Arts, Pinellas County, in the New Program category.
Jeannie Hendrick-Perales, on behalf of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Manatee County, in the Emerging Program category.
Jennifer Hoesing, on behalf of LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts, Leon County, in the Small Investment Program category.
Leroy Hommerding, on behalf of the Fort Myers Beach Public Library, Lee County, in the Model Program category.
Office of College Advancement, on behalf of the North Florida Community College Children’sTheater, Madison County, in the Small Investment category.
Faith Rockenstein, on behalf of the Museum of Fine Arts, Pinellas County, in the Model Program category.