Meet the Florida Council on Arts and Culture: Katharine Dickenson

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 Council Chairman Katharine Dickenson. Katharine was re-appointed to the Council by Governor Scott in 2018. 


katharine photoDivision of Cultural Affairs (DCA): Tell us a little about yourself.

Katharine: As a lifelong Floridian, I have been fortunate to see the state of Florida develop into a world class arts destination. Growing up in Jacksonville I was lucky to have had an early start in theater. As a Girl Scout, I played Juliette Gordon Low, Girl Scout founder, to a packed audience in a church hall wearing bloomers. Moving to Miami as a young teenager, I acted in several plays at my high school. “Glee Plays the Game” and “The Mouse That Roared” were two of my early Thespian efforts. In “Glee” I had to flounce around the stage and in “Mouse” I was a dedicated secretary to the Prime Minister. I found I was a much better “flouncer” than a secretary.

At home, my family had an interest in the arts. My father would show slides of famous paintings after dinner and we would occasionally listen to opera and jazz. I loved the slides but opera was harder for me to understand. Now of course I love it.

I attended the University of Miami graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Education and a Master’s Degree in College Student Personnel Work. I wanted to be a Dean of Women in a college or university. My Graduate Assistantship work consisted of programming speakers and events for the large student union. Some of the events included Dionne Warwick, Andy Warhol, The Aboriginal Missionaries Band (spoiler alert: my brother’s band), and Gene Shepard, American Storyteller and radio and TV personality, amongst others. I even spent a day with Andy Warhol, Paul Morrissey and Viva as chair of the Program Council at the University of Miami. Buy me a coke and I will tell you about that.

Retiring from the stage early, I began a career of community leadership and advocacy in Boca Raton with an emphasis on Historic Preservation and the Arts. Serving as President of the Junior League, Chair of the Historical Society Board and the Palm Beach County Historic Preservation Board was a privilege. I was appointed to the Florida Historic Preservation Advisory Council in 1983 by the Secretary of State to review grants, set policy and advocate with the Legislature.

Nationally, I served on the board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Edith Wharton Home in Lenox, MA, the Robert Todd Lincoln home in Vermont and the Manchester Music Festival as well as the Dorset Theater Festival also in Vermont. Recently, I served on the board of the Lynn University Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton.  In 2010, the Department of The Interior appointed me to a Federal Commission to celebrate the 450th anniversary of St. Augustine, which was held in 2015. St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied city in America, and our year-long celebration culminated in hosting the King and Queen of Spain as our guests.

DCA: What do you think when you hear “Culture Builds Florida?

Katharine: The Arts are for everyone, with enjoyment coming from creating, producing or being an audience member. They create soul-changing experiences that unite us as a people, a culture and as a social organism– giving us laughter, tears and pure enjoyment for a full life. In Florida, The Division of Cultural Affairs and The Council on Arts and Culture strive to do this every day, every way for everyone.

DCA: For you, what is the most Inspiring part about working in the arts?

Katharine: For me, working as a member of this Council since 2001 and chairing it several times, I find it most inspiring to be able to affect change. In a field that is home to 29,735 creative industries with a $14 billion annual payroll creating $49.7 million in annual revenue, the Arts are clearly a player in state industries. This success creates economic prosperity and makes our state livable and attractive.

DCA: What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the Florida Council on Arts and Culture?

Katharine: As a longtime member of the Council, I have seen the “glory days” when legislative support for Florida’s arts and cultural programs was over $40 million dollars and also the years where only $2 million was awarded to run the same number of programs. It is my job as a member of the Florida Council on Arts and Culture to work towards greater legislative support for the role of the arts in creating a diverse and successful state. Florida has the potential to have one of the finest statewide arts and cultural programs in the country. We who love the arts must encourage advocacy, diligent grant reading, and speaking aloud in support of the arts in our individual cities in order for things to change.

Currently, I live in Vero Beach happily representing Indian River County after 48 years in Boca Raton and representing my beloved Palm Beach County.


 

Meet the Florida Council on Arts and Culture: Heather Mayo

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 the council’s newest member, Heather Mayo. Heather was appointed to the council in April 2018 by House Speaker Corcoran. 


Heather Mayo - HeadshotDCA: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Heather: I am a Tallahassee, Florida born-and-raised resident who has a great love for the arts. The arts have always played an integral role in my life, and my involvement in the arts began at a very young age when my mother, a ballet instructor enrolled me in dance lessons at the age of three. At seven years old, I picked up the guitar for the first time and discovered my passion for music. Throughout the years, I have played various genres on the guitar but mainly focused on studying the styles of classical and jazz guitar during my studies as an undergraduate student at the Florida State University College of Music. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Commercial Music in 2006, I worked at a prominent recording studio on music row in Nashville, TN and learned various aspects of the music business. Four years later, I decided to return to FSU to pursue a Masters in Arts Administration and to dedicate my career to working as an arts administrator in the non-profit arts sector.

Currently, I have the privilege of working for Florida State University as the Assistant Director of Production and Community Engagement within our College of Music. In my position, I help oversee our performance hall production coordination and assist in various outreach, engagement and entrepreneurial activities of the College. As a volunteer, I am currently serving as the Immediate Past-President of the Friends of Dance Council within the College of Fine Arts at Florida State University, and I am also serving as a 2018 Catalyst with the Knight Creative Communities Institute in Tallahassee.

DCA: What do you think of when you hear “Culture Builds Florida”? Why are the arts and culture important to our state?

Heather: When I hear “Culture Builds Florida”, I think of economic growth and social impact. In the most recent Arts and Economic Prosperity study conducted by Americans for the Arts, it was found that the arts and culture sector is a $4.68 billion industry in Florida. The arts and culture industry in our state supports 132,366 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $492.3 million in local and state government revenue [1] In my hometown of Leon County, FL the nonprofits arts and culture sector is a $201.9 million industry which supports 7,161 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $26.6 million in local and state government revenue.[2]  To me, these numbers prove that the “Arts Mean Business!” The arts support job growth, generate government revenue and attract cultural tourism in our state.

In addition to impacting our state’s economy, arts and culture contribute in countless ways to the well-being of our state by making a social impact in our everyday lives. The arts enable us to uphold our cultural identity as Floridians but also keep us moving forward in innovative ways that are relevant. Arts and culture celebrate diversity and inclusion by bringing people together under one purpose. They enable us to express ourselves, our feelings, and our beliefs creatively. They help us heal; they contribute to our health and wellness. They are vital to the education of our children. They allow us to reflect on our society, on world issues and on our own lives in meaningful ways.

 DCA: For you, what is the most inspiring part about working in the arts?

Heather: For me, the most inspiring part about working in the arts is the opportunity I have to work in an industry that makes a difference in people’s lives through a creative process. The best example of this in my own world is witnessing a performance come to fruition after our team has spent months preparing for its premiere. There is so much behind-the-scenes work that goes into each production, but the most rewarding part is to see it all come together successfully. Some of my most favorite moments are when I stand in the back of the concert hall and witness the joyful impact the performance is having on an audience member’s life. I often think to myself, “Wow, we helped create this moment for them!” Those are the times I feel most inspired.

Another aspect I love about working in the arts are the relationships that are made along the way. On a daily basis, I get to work with a fantastic team of colleagues who inspire me to be more excellent in everything I do. I also have the wonderful opportunity to work with multiple artists at the local, national and international level. Through these relationships, I have seen the power in collaboration and how we can spur on each other to new creative heights.

DCA: What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the Florida Council on Arts and Culture?

Heather: First and foremost I hope to support the mission of the Department of State and the Division of Cultural Affairs through my service on this council. I genuinely believe that state arts agencies are one of the most significant vehicles our country has to fulfill our public duty to the arts. By representing all interests of the state, the Division helps ensure that the economic, educational, and civic benefits of the arts are made available to all Floridians. For that, I am thankful for the work the Division is doing for us on a daily basis and look forward to supporting their efforts.

Alongside my fellow council members, I also hope to strengthen strategic partnerships and boost arts advocacy conversations with art constituents throughout the state. It’s no secret that we are living in a time in which advocating for the arts needs to be at the forefront of our daily lives. With this in mind, I hope we as art constituents can become familiar with the economic impact of the arts within our own immediate communities and that we can also be prepared to express how the arts enhance our quality of life. In turn, I hope that through these increased conversations, we can come together as an arts community and jointly make an impact in preserving the cultural heritage of our great State of Florida.

[1] http://dos.myflorida.com/media/698818/artseconomicprosperityfl.pdf

[2] https://coca.tallahasseearts.org/uploads/documents/COCA_Arts__Economic_Prosperity_Bklt_v2.pdf

Grantee Spotlight: Young Singers of the Palm Beaches ‘Choir in the Glades’

Provided by Young Singers of the Palm Beaches

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Young Singers of the Palm Beaches (YSPB) is Palm Beach County’s award-winning, community-based children’s choir. The non-profit just completed their 15th season. YSPB is an all-inclusive, multi-cultural arts education organization based centrally in West Palm Beach. It is their mission to teach life skills through music. Young Singers of the Palm Beaches believes that music education of children is an important resource in the development of productive participants in our society. Through it we can transform and enrich the lives of children and our community by: breaking down social barriers, developing life skills, providing an outlet for creativity, and fostering good citizenship.

Choir in the Glades 6Young Singers of the Palm Beaches’ CHOIR IN THE GLADES program for elementary school children in the Belle Glade area just completed its fifth season. Choir in the Glades “BellaVoce” middle school program at Lake Shore Middle School just completed season two. The elementary and middle school choirs each meet weekly and offer the children in Belle Glade tuition-free choral and music experiences, taught by music professionals. Transportation is offered, also free of charge, to all elementary school children from school to the rehearsal site.

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The importance of this program to the children and families involved is proven in the retention rate of the program, with many of the children who started with the choir on day one still being a part of it today. Choir in the Glades reinforces a love of singing and the satisfaction of being a successful part of a group.

 

For additional information, contact Pauline Zaros at pauline@yspb.org or visit http://www.yspb.org.


Interested in seeing your organization featured on Culture Builds Florida? Please fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/3sMwuJWA3bM1orPl2.

Grantee Spotlight: Pensacola Symphony Orchestra ‘Beyond the Stage’

Provided by Pensacola Symphony Orchestra

Pensacola Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Stage program builds lifelong relationships through responsive musical experiences. From introducing musical instruments to providing comfort with music in a health-care setting, this program nourishes the musical culture of our community as connections are made in key moments between people, music, and musicians.

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Beyond the Stage brings teaching and mentorship to the Community Music School, Tate High School, Ransom Middle School and Brown Barge Middle School with recurrent monthly or bi-weekly visits. Children in hospitalization or treatment at The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart and Nemours Children’s Specialty Care hear performances and participate in hands-on musical activities to reduce their anxiety and improve how they feel about their care.

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Adult learners at Azalea Trace Retirement Community and Artel Gallery hear chamber ensembles perform and engage in thoughtful programs that feature historic and insightful commentary in addition to art. Patients and families at Covenant Care’s hospice facilities experience performances intended to soothe and uplift. Through these partnerships, small groups of PSO musicians are able to foster musical excellence, benefit health and wellness, inspire music participation, and promote lifelong learning.

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For more information about Pensacola Symphony Orchestra and Beyond the Stage, visit PensacolaSymphony.com.

Grantee Spotlight: Miami City Ballet’s Ballet Bus

provided by Miami City Ballet

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Ballet Bus students

Now in its third year, Ballet Bus is a Miami City Ballet outreach initiative designed to reach deep into the Miami-Dade County community to provide underserved children with a comprehensive, full-scholarship dance-training program as a gateway into the arts. The nine-month, thirty-four week program provides local children, ages 7-10, with everything they need to succeed and excel in one of the nation’s premier dance training academies: fully subsidized tuition, dance attire, family support and counseling, bus transportation to MCB Studios, and an invaluable opportunity to engage with critically acclaimed teachers and artists. Scholarship students are integrated into the MCB School student body, and each year each student will be evaluated and have the opportunity to move on to the next level of study. This long-term investment in each child will have a transformative impact on his/her future. Continue reading

GRANTEE SPOTLIGHT: OSCEOLA HISTORICAL SOCIETY’S GENERAL STORE FOR PIONEER VILLAGE AT SHINGLE CREEK

The Osceola Counoctober-2017-newsletter-finalty Historical Society (OCHS) used their Cultural Facilities grant to expand the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek. OCHS has recently built three replica buildings: a schoolhouse, a train depot, and a church. The most recently completed building is the General Store.

The general store was one of the focal points of a pioneer village. What made the store “general” was that it sold a variety of items. Many pioneers grew or raised their own food, but having a local store gave them an opportunity to purchase things they could not procure elsewhere. These items would have included clothing material, tools, dried goods and even horse saddles. The general store also provided a place for the locals to see each other and swap news and stories.

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The General Store replica takes shape

OCHS’s new General Store is a replica of the H. E. Page General Store, which served those who lived in and around Narcoossee. Included inside is the town Post Office, which boasts the original post office boxes for the town of Narcoossee from the 1880s to the 1940s. The General Store’s grand opening was during the 26th Annual Pioneer Day, November 11, 2017.

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The original H.E. Page General Store

 

Grantee Spotlight: Lighthouse ArtCenter

The Lighthouse ArtCenter Gallery in Tequesta, Florida introduced a glorious celebration of children’s book authors and illustrators this summer.

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Funny Farm, Mark Teague

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My Busy Green Garden, Carol Schwartz

Drawn to the Arts, a unique exhibition that will run from June 8 through August 11, 2017, engages visitors of all ages as they explore the magical process of creating and enjoying children’s books.

Some of the nation’s bestselling illustrators and writers have generously lent their acclaimed work to exhibit including: Tomie DePaola, Mark Teague, Linda Shute, E.B. Lewis, Bill Farnsworth, Raul Colón, Layne Johnson, Henry Cole, Fred Koehler, Priscilla Burris and Kelly Light.

Janeen Mason, the Curator of the Lighthouse ArtCenter, describes the exhibition, “Here

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Big Bug, Henry Cole

in the Village of Tequesta we are honored to have these popular, well-loved illustrators send us their best work for all of our young and young at heart visitors to enjoy.”

For more information, visit www.lighthousearts.org/.