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New nonprofit Tampa Arts Alliance has been formed

The arts organization announced its mission and board of directors.
The new organization Tampa Arts Alliance will support the arts in Tampa.
The new organization Tampa Arts Alliance will support the arts in Tampa. [ MONICA HERNDON | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Jun. 16
Updated Jun. 16

The Tampa Arts Alliance announced its formation this week. The nonprofit group is a nongovernmental arts organization for the Tampa scene.

It formed as the result of a collaboration between the Gobioff Foundation, a private family foundation that supports human rights organizations and the arts, and Bill Carlson, president of public relations firm Tucker/Hall Inc. They held a series of roundtables and forums to discuss the state of Tampa arts at both organizational and grassroots levels.

“With the support of the City and local leadership, we have grown momentum in support of the arts as key to Tampa’s economic well-being and quality of life,“ said Neil Gobioff, president of the Gobioff Foundation and chair of the Tampa Arts Alliance, in a news release. “Without the arts we cannot tell our story. Tampa is not just a city trying to be like somewhere else. We want to raise up the profile of our arts and culture to show off what makes Tampa unique. There is a lot to love here.”

The Tampa Arts Alliance describes itself as “a catalyst and convenor of arts advocates dedicated to making Tampa a city known for excellence in the arts.”

Among the Tampa Arts Alliance’s plans are to create a clearer vision for the arts, attract funding, foster awareness, connect artists and art organizations, develop resources for artists and arts venues, advocate for the arts and explore the creation of an arts district.

Initial funding is being provided by Tucker/Hall and the Gobioff Foundation, and legal services are being provided by Sandy Rief of Allen Dell.

A board of directors has been established and Michele Smith of the Resiliency School has been named interim executive director. Additionally, the release stated that committees are being created to “address the needs of key aspects within our arts ecosystem including support for grassroots artists, connecting non-profit leadership, fundraising, and advocacy.”

The board of directors includes: Neil Gobioff, president of the Gobioff Foundation and CFO of Crab Devil, as chair; Dana Warner, development director of Friends of Carrollwood Cultural Center, as vice chair; and Kathy Durdin, director of operations at the Florida Watercolor Society, as treasurer-secretary.