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St. Petersburg immersive arts project is looking for artists

Fairgrounds, an art experience planned for the Warehouse Arts District, has moved up its call for artists. Those chosen will get paid to create work.

With galleries, studios and museums shuttered around Tampa Bay, one project is continuing on. And it wants to hire Florida artists.

Fairgrounds, scheduled to open in early 2021, will reside in a 12,000-square-foot warehouse space that’s part of the larger Factory St. Pete compound set to open in the Warehouse Arts District. It’s conceived as an immersive, playful, experiential arts attraction that celebrates all things Florida, especially its wacky side.

Related: Immersive art meets craft beer at future St. Pete and Tampa compounds
A concept image of the vibe of Fairgrounds, scheduled to open in early 2021.
A concept image of the vibe of Fairgrounds, scheduled to open in early 2021. [ MAGGIE DUFFY | Courtesy of Liz Dimmitt ]

The attraction will provide a range of opportunities for artists, performers, writers, musicians and storytellers, from contributing a single artwork to creating room-sized installations. It will also feature a Florida souvenir gift shop, which will open up opportunities for jewelers and other makers.

“It’s exciting to launch our first call to artists, especially during this extraordinary time," said Liz Dimmitt, CEO and founder of Fairgrounds. “We’ve moved up our call date in an effort to support artists and our local creative community during the coronavirus pandemic."

They encourage artists of all disciplines and experience to apply. The first step for artists is to submit a Request for Qualifications and send in samples of their work. Applications are found at fairgrounds.art and will be accepted through May 3.

Finalists will be notified in May, then will be invited to submit a Request for Proposal of their concept for the Fairgrounds space. Artists will be compensated with stipends after submitting this detailed proposal.

Concept art that sets the tone for the immersive arts attraction Fairgrounds, scheduled to open in early 2021.
Concept art that sets the tone for the immersive arts attraction Fairgrounds, scheduled to open in early 2021. [ Courtesy of Liz Dimmitt ]

The artists who are chosen will be given budgets that range from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. When the attraction opens, artists will continue to be paid through a profit-sharing model from ticket sales.

Fairgrounds will continually evolve, with installations and exhibits cycling in and out over time. It will also feature events, workshops and creative education programs.

A mermaid attraction at the Shine mural festival finale is an example of what to expect at Fairgrounds, an immersive art attraction coming to the Factory St. Pete.
A mermaid attraction at the Shine mural festival finale is an example of what to expect at Fairgrounds, an immersive art attraction coming to the Factory St. Pete. [ Courtesy of Liz Dimmitt ]

Dimmitt said that Fairgrounds aims to become a leader for arts innovation, and an economic engine for local artists and craftspeople.

”Our vision is to collaborate with many artists to create an immersive, playful arts space," she said. “Our goal is to create a place of innovation and collaboration celebrating the people, history and culture in this state.”

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