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Whether you are an artist or someone who simply appreciates the arts you make a difference when you support the Arts Council. This year your support is valued more than ever. The drastic state budget cut to the arts has depleted our budget with a shortfall of nearly $15,000 from prior years.

This lack of funding has unfortunate consequences.

Plein Air Arts Day will be a sad casualty of these budget cuts. Offered yearly since 2012 this arts education program will not be presented by the Arts Council in 2019. Each year Plein Air Arts Day provided 80 high school students with a day of artistic instruction with professional artists—free of charge. The omission of this grant-funded program not only affects the students but also the professional artists who were hired and paid for their services.

It is now more important than ever for individuals like you in our community to step up and support the arts. With your help the arts education programs we provide can continue. Please consider a tax deductible gift this #GIVINGTUESDAY and make a difference in celebration of the arts!

Thanksgiving Holiday

Give thanks with a grateful heart.

From all of us at the Arts Council, we are grateful for your support today, and every day.

So the staff and volunteers can enjoy their Thanksgiving Holiday weekend with family and friends, we will be closed November 22-25.

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.

Check out their new bi-monthly series which spotlights each of the members - this month featuring our own Nancy Turrell!

If you have a student in your life who you want to serve the community, here are some tips for how to encourage teenagers to volunteer with a cause they care about.

The Barn is Martin County's oldest non-profit (501c3) community theatre. The Barn is a 169-seat community theatre. They present 6 main-stage productions per year, with 11 performances each. In addition they present several special events each year, many of which also benefit other local non-profits. Actors, directors, producers, sound and lighting technicians, set builders and designers, costumers, ushers, parkers, and all board members are all volunteers!

Get TICKETS for their upcoming event to help pay for roof repairs!
December 1 & 2
See Dave La Fame performing his Tom Jones and Bobby Darin Tribute.
Tickets and Information: 772-287-4884


Pleased to announce the award recipients that were honored at the mARTies for their outstanding contributions both artistic and civic:

Mallo Bisset - Visual Artist
Rowdy Carlton - Performing Artist
Ambika Devi -Literary Artist
Bianca Grosso - Student Literary Artist
Daniel Bentz - Student Performing Artist - Music
Sophie McClung - Student Performing Artist - Theatre
Jacqueline Rouse - Student Visual Artist

Thursday October 25 is a very special evening where we honor outstanding achievement in the arts found within our professional and student artist communities. The mARTies have grown from a small awards luncheon into one of the most festive evenings celebrating the arts. Each year we are impressed by the impact professional artists who are nominated this evening have in our community and we are re-inspired by their dedication. From painters and photographers to writers, musicians and performers, our community is rich with talent of the highest caliber. It is our hope that our student nominees get to see the vibrancy of the arts culture in our community and look to the professional artists here tonight who have been able to not only make a career at what they love to do, but to transform our hearts?

There may be a few seats left... but there will be no unreserved tickets at the door. Call if you are interested.

Join us at either 8, 9 or 10 AM at the Court House Cultural Center on October 24, 2018 for On the Table - a civic engagement initiative organized by the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, bringing people together to collaborate and create solutions to address our community’s most pressing issues and shape our region into a strong, vibrant, safe and dynamic place to live and work!

Stuart was selected as the host community for the quarterly meeting of the Florida Council on Arts & Culture!

Our Arts Council family is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Deborah L. Owens (9/15/2018). Debi served as a member of our board of directors since 2012 and served a variety of key leadership roles, including most recently as the Chairperson.

Congratulations to Martin County's South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship Award recipient: L.S. Finch! What an honor to be selected as a fellowship award winner.

Calling All Arts Council Members

Engage and be a part of the Arts! Join us for the Annual Meeting and share some time networking with others who share your passion for the arts. September 26, 6 pm at the Court House Cultural Center.

When a decision is made to create new public art in a community, it doesn’t happen overnight. The process from the beginning of the idea to the final mounting of the work often takes years, involving fundraising, community interaction, and working with various contractors and government agencies and officials. It requires serious time commitments for everyone involved: the artists, the government, private organizations, and community members.

Take the example of the Old Palm City neighborhood of Palm City, Florida, located on the banks of the St. Lucie River in Martin County. In the county’s Community Redevelopment Area Plan for Old Palm City, inadequate stormwater management was a key issue, impacting the quality of the water supply. The community’s location near the Florida Everglades provided an opportunity to not only address the stormwater
management problem, but also to tie the project to the community’s relationship with the St. Lucie River and surrounding environs. Four neighborhood sites were cited as primary spots to treat the stormwater drainage. This was the beginning of the project known as Ripple.

Download the full NEA Arts No 2 2018 publication for the whole story...

The mARTies is our annual celebration of artists and things that are important to making the arts a part of our life, like philanthropy and leadership. We accept nominations from the community for STUDENTS (rising seniors only) in Literary Arts, Visual Arts, Instrumental Performance, and Theatrical Performance and for PROFESSIONAL artists in the Literary, Visual and Performing Arts.

Great Give Palm Beach & Martin Counties is a 24-hour online giving event led by United Way of Palm Beach County, Achieve, Nonprofits First, and United Way of Martin County designed to raise as much money as possible for local nonprofits in a single day. This exciting community-wide event celebrates the spirit of giving and the collective effort it takes to strengthen our local nonprofits and better serve those in need - from children and seniors to the environment and animals!

Every online gift made during the 24-hour period will be amplified by additional dollars from a bonus pool raised by United Way of Palm Beach County. To make April 24 even more exciting, participating organizations can compete for hourly cash or otherwise valuable prizes. Plus, donors have the option to cover processing fees so that every dollar goes right to the nonprofits you love! All donations must be made by 11:59 p.m. on April 24, 2018.

The Arts Council of Martin County is excited to announce the EcoArt project “Ripple…as a drop of water becomes a River.”

EcoArtist Lucy Keshavarz is leading the community engagement gatherings and design in collaboration with the engineer and landscape architect as well as others on the design team. One of the criteria for this project is a design that will produce maximum water quality outcomes. The artistic and aesthetic design for the project will be integrated into the overall design and will be inspired by the community engagement process.

Community engagement will be vital to a successful and authentic outcome. Updates on the “Ripple” project will be available at The project is a partnership between Martin County Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and the Arts Council of Martin County with funding provided by two (2) prestigious Our Town grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Welcome to MartinArts Currents, a monthly column presented by the Arts Council of Martin County that is meant to inspire you to learn more about, and participate in, the local arts scene. MartinArts Currents features an in-depth look at local artists, venues, events and happenings.

Check out our Blog Post about artists Guy Coheleach and Geoffrey Smith who talk about their careers in wildlife art. See images from the night as well as a video of the entire Cultural Conversation. Cultural Conversations are sponsored by Wilmington Trust and this edition was moderated by Nerissa Okiye from Martin County's office of tourism.

Free Lecture series with Music Director David Amado

Join the Maestro Friday morning (4/6) and hear the story behind the music in a relaxed, comfortable setting. This lecture offers a greater understanding and appreciation of classical music and promises to be filled with music history, insight into highlighted composers, and lively discussion on musicians, instruments and orchestrating the performance.

In partnership with the Atlantic Classical Orchestra.

New Mural Graces AT&T Building in Downtown Stuart

The newest mural in downtown Stuart is located on the east wall of the AT&T building on Akron Avenue. The 250-foot work of art has a river to intercoastal to ocean theme and depicts the fish that were thriving in our river more than 60 years ago. The title of the mural is Catch the Wave of Hope. Lynne Barletta is the designer and lead artist.

The 30-minute film is about the life and career of a woman whose work guides millions: Jane Davis Doggett

The Blake Library | 2 pm, Sunday, March 25, 2018

If you’ve found your way from airport entrance to your gate with ease at a major airport in the past sixty years, you can thank Jane Davis Doggett, 88.

Surviving As A Working Artist. A Checklist of What You Must Understand
Singer/Songwriter Workshop with Walter Parks
Presented by The Arts Council of Martin County and The Lyric Theatre
Saturday, Apr 14, 2018 at 1:00 pm
Tickets are $20 Student or $40 Adult and include a ticket to the Walter Park’s performance.

Arts education for learners of all ages is a core element of the Arts Council’s mission. This year we are piloting a few new outreach efforts in the music, dramatic and literary arts. These programs are related to efforts we have underway that support and nourish visual artists.

Volunteer Appreciation

Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in. ~ Author Unknown

Looking forward to saying thank you in person tonight to the many people who helped during ArtsFest and throughout the rest of our year. Join us from 5-7 PM at Stuart Art Supply.

2018 WSA grant recipients include: Atlantic Classical Orchestra; Bach's Children Music School; Lynne Barletta, Artist & Art Curriculum Author; Duck in the Truck Puppets; Library Foundation of Martin County; Martin Artisans Guild; Jackie Robbins, Cellist & Music Therapist; The Lyric Theatre / Friends of the Lyric, Inc.; Treasure Coast Classical Guitar Society; Treasure Coast Community Singers; Treasure Coast Music Teachers’ Association; Treasure Coast Youth Symphony; Tykes & Teens and Visionary School of Arts.

Today, over 600 dedicated arts supporters from across the United States have come together in Washington, D.C. for the 31st annual Arts Advocacy Day: The National Arts Action Summit — the only national event that brings together a broad cross section of America's cultural and civic organizations. These arts advocates represent a united effort to tell Capitol Hill how important the arts are to our communities, how much arts education means to our children, and how the arts improve our daily lives. Over 85 National Partner organizations have helped us shape this united arts message to Congress. You don't need to be in Washington, D.C. today to take action! Click here to reach your legislators, local newspapers and engage via social media.

Meet artists Guy Coheleach and Geoffrey Smith as they are encouraged to talk about their life, art, travels and more with moderator, Nerissa Okiye, Martin County's Director of Tourism.

Come out to hear Rick Gonzalez, AIA, President, REG Architects talk about historic buildings as placemaker anchors, at the Historic Jensen Beach Community Center. For information and to RSVP, call 772-221-4060.

A Year-End Wish List for the ARTS

The creative sector – artists, musicians, authors, actors and the organizations that support them - enrich our lives immensely with the passion they pour into our community. My wish is for you to support them during this holiday season through a gift of the arts!
Buy music, art, books and hand-made items by local craftspeople at locally-owned stores.
Purchase tickets and make a date to spend time with someone you care about at a concert, festival, play or other event that supports an arts organization.
Be philanthropic. Make an end of year charitable donation to the Arts Council or another favorite nonprofit in our community that fosters the arts. Give a gift in honor of someone you love who also cares about the arts.
Spark imagination. Be supportive of young people and their creativity! Nurturing creativity and imagination in our children is so important to their development and future as strong, creative and engaged adults.

Invitation to Be a DOCENT

If you love the arts and want to immerse yourself in a setting that is all about the arts, you might want to consider volunteering as a docent. Why volunteer? Well, here are a few reasons:
• Help others.
• Make a difference.
• Find purpose.
• Enjoy a meaningful conversation.
• Connect with your community.
• Feel involved.
• Contribute to a cause that you care about.
Specifically, docents at the Court House Cultural Center Gallery meet and greet visitors to the gallery, welcoming them to explore the exhibition and offering additional information as it is needed. Docents are the Gallery’s welcoming face to visitors and they get the opportunity to learn about the artists, the arts, and our creative sector along the way. No prior experience in the arts or as an artist is needed, all that’s required is an inquisitive mind and a willing hand. Docents also help with special projects that spring up throughout the day. They volunteer in three-hour shifts, Tuesday through Friday between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Help us help the community engage in the arts! Call to learn more or to sign up for your first shift. You can reach us at 772-287-6676.

Turrell appointed to Florida Council on Arts & Culture

Senate President Joe Negron appointed executive director, Nancy K. Turrell, to serve on the State's Council for Arts and Culture.

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.

Martin County’s Nonprofit Arts and Culture Industry Generates $27,152,370 in Economic Activity and Supports 752 Jobs Annually According to Americans for the Arts. Arts Industry Returns $3,009,000 in Revenue to Local and State Coffers. (CLICK HEADLINE TO GET ONE PAGE SUMMARY)

The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $27,152,370 in annual economic activity in Martin County Florida—supporting 752 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $3,009,000 in local and state government revenues, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 national economic impact study. The most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.

The South Florida Cultural Consortium (SFCC) announced twelve (12) awards to preeminent South Florida artists through its 2015/2016 Visual and Media Artists Program. The Consortium, an alliance of the arts councils of Broward, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach Counties, has recognized six individuals from Miami-Dade County, three from Broward County, two from Palm Beach County, and one from Monroe County. The awards are conferred at either the $15,000 or $7,500 level. These awards are among the largest such honors accorded by local arts agencies to visual and media artists in the United States.

The deadline for applications to the 2016/2017 SFCC Program for Visual and Media Artists is Monday, October 31, 2016. Artists interested in applying should visit

After five years of hard work by its board of directors which led to accomplishment of the goals in its strategic plan, The Arts Council of Martin County now has an endowed fund with the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Through a competitive selection process by the Foundation, the Arts Council of Martin County participated in a program that resulted in its being awarded a “Forever Arts” matching gift of $25,000 for an opening balance in a new endowment fund of $50,000. “The decision to participate in the Forever Arts campaign was an easy one,” commented Nancy Turrell, executive director. “Partnering with the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties through this campaign was ideal not only because of the matching funds but because of the resources we now have to help our donors meet their lifetime philanthropic dreams.”

"Lord of War" by Casey Witte, Martin County High School
The 2015 Best of Show award was also purchased by the Elliott Museum.

Learn about EcoArt on the day after Earth Day. Lucy will be offering pre and post "Conversations" Native Impressions(tm) for our guests. Come early, or plan to stay late. The hands on activities are scheduled for 1:30 and 3:00.

Artist Statement: Everything I do, everything around me, and all that I come in contact with, adds to my artistic reservoir that I draw from. The smallest things bring me wonder and I am always thirsty for more. Whether working in the studio, in the public realm or consulting on a project, I find I see things that are often overlooked. I am compelled to capture these ideas and concepts to accentuate their meaning and bring connections that have seemingly become lost. My master is our natural world and the creative spirit that resides within!

At the historic Court House Cultural Center, home of the Arts Council of Martin County.
Reservations Required. Seats are limited.

Support the Arts Council of Martin County with a gift during the community-wide 24-hour fundraiser. Midnight to Midnight on Tuesday, May 3rd you can make a gift to the Arts Council of Martin County via the Great Give Florida website and it will be amplified with bonus funds. Watch for more details as we highlight programs that will benefit from the funds raised during the Great Give for the Arts Council! Please be generous.

March 30, 2016