The Florida Council on Arts and Culture is the 15-member advisory council appointed to advise the Secretary of State regarding cultural grant funding and on matters pertaining to culture in Florida.
Appointments to the Council are determined by the Governor, President of the Senate and Speaker of the House, in consultation with the Secretary of State. The Governor manages seven seats that serve four-year terms. The President and Speaker manage four seats each, with terms of two years. The appointments are based on geographic representation, as well as demonstrated history of community service in the arts and culture.
In this bi-monthly series, we will introduce you to each member of the council and share their thoughts on the role of arts and culture in the state of Florida. This month, we chatted with Jason Tapia. Jason was appointed to the council in 2018 by Governor Scott.
Division of Cultural Affairs (DCA): Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Jason: I am a registered architect in Florida, New York and Texas. I live and practice in Miami. I own and manage a small business, the design firm: Building Center No.3. Our office is an interdisciplinary practice–we do Architecture, Interior Design and Landscape Design. I started my business in 2010 but I have been practicing architecture for 22 years. I am originally from New York and moved to Florida in 2004; at the time I was into motorcycles and wanted to live someplace I could ride all year round.
DCA: What do you think of when you hear “Culture Builds Florida”? Why are the arts and culture important to our state?
Jason: That statement acknowledges that Culture and the Arts are an important part of the State’s economy. Everyone knows that Florida is an international tourist destination and the more we invest, as a State, in Arts and Culture the more outlets we can provide to both in State residents and visitors.
DCA: For you, what is the most inspiring part about working in the arts?
Jason: As a creative professional I look to the arts as a source of inspiration. Not just the visual arts but also the institutions that make the work accessible. As part of my own ongoing development as a professional I make time each month to attend openings and exhibits at least 2-3 times. As a parent of two small children I also look to the arts to provide new experiences for them in order to foster that appreciation for creativity and artistic expression.
DCA: What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the Florida Council on Arts and Culture?
Jason: I hope the Council can benefit from my expertise in the design and construction industry. So much of art and culture happens in and around architecture and the landscape and within interiors. These are all areas that I practice in daily. If my experience can help the Council make more informed decisions or help shape how they implement their rules and guidelines in the future then I think I will have accomplished what I set out to do as a citizen architect.