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Annual Membership Meeting

I hope to see you on September 12, 5-6 PM for the annual meeting. The agenda will start promptly at 5 PM. 

The annual meeting agenda includes a presentation of the year that is about to finish including information about some changes coming to The Arts Council and the Arts Foundation of Martin County as you know them.
An important responsibility for our members, per our by laws, is to vote on proposed changes to the Articles of Incorporation. You can review those changes via this link. 

Hurricane Dorian

The Arts Council and the Arts Foundation Offices will be closed on Friday, 9/30/2019, for Hurricane Dorian preparations, and for the duration of the Labor Day Holiday weekend. Stay tuned on Facebook for updates, post-storm. Stay safe everyone!

Don't Miss... Courtroom Sessions closes August 31

The Court Room Sessions exhibition is a contemporary art showcase. Many of the artists have strong voices about current issues facing our country. Art has for centuries been a way for civic dialogue to take place around social and political issues. A recent Americans for the Arts study noted that 67% of Americans believe "the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race and ethnicity." University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated that a high concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social cohesion, higher child welfare, and lower poverty rates.

We're here to tell you all about the benefits reading can bring, besides knowledge and entertainment.

The 2019 mARTies Named Awards Go To...

Congratulations to our 2019 mARTies Named Award Recipients!!
Lawrence A Sanders Foundation Lifetime Achievement in the Arts: Guy Coheleach
Excellence in Arts Education: Cindy Kessler
Philanthropy in the Arts: Jerome & Phyllis Rappaport
Arts Leadership: Karen Barnes
Corporate Leadership: PNC-Arts Alive!
Special Recognition: MCHS Visual Arts Team - Amanda Jones & Bryan Johnson and student artists and Kim Jones, Prescription Shop
Arts Service: Mary Ann Loomis

Our student and adult nominees will be named in the September monthly email newsletter. Watch for it!

According to our co-chairs, Lisa Renee Ludlum and Marney McKee, the excitement is building for a phenomenal production at the Lyric Theatre that you simply won't want to miss. Stay tuned for details about the show and a special VIP announcement!


DEADLINE: September 12, 2019
NOTIFICATION: December 16, 2019

Celebrating the Independence Day Holiday

The Arts Council offices and the Court House Cultural Center Galleries will be closed on Thursday and Friday, July 4 & 5, for the Independence Day holiday. The Galleries will be open on Saturday, July 6, 11 am - 2 pm.

You know volunteering has a positive influence (make friends, build connections, gain experiences, etc.), but did you know that it can actually assist your health?

Summer Salon

Come out to see this exciting multi-media exhibition featuring 30+ local artists in an array of media. Meet and mingle at the opening night reception, June 7, or visit the gallery after it opens to peacefully enjoy the art and appreciate the artists who made it.

Summer Salon
Presented by the Arts Council of Martin County and the Martin Artisans Guild
Opening Reception
Friday, June 7, 2019, 5:30-7 pm

Exhibition Dates
June 7 - July 25, 2019

For the past 33 years, The Arts Council has presented the prestigious Marvin S. Cone Annual High School Juried Art Show. This exhibit and awards presented recognize the artistic talents of local high school students. See who won awards!

No matter how old you are, what your musical taste is or whether or not you can read a note, there's never a wrong time to learn how to play an instrument.

Avant-Garden Party - Postponed

The vision of the Avant-Garden Party was built on a desire to design and construct a special event and outdoor venue space for all attendees in celebration of our newly designated Arts + Entertainment district. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have chosen to postpone.

We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused and have automatically refunded all advanced ticket sales as well as vendor display fees, which will appear on your credit card within 7-10 business days.

On behalf of the 901 Hub and the Arts Council, we thank you for your warm support and we look forward to seeing you all in September.

Congratulations to Aleesia Wise for being selected for the 2nd year in a row for the Congressional Art Award, District FL 18.


The GREAT GIVE sure was GREAT!

Thank you to the 72 donors who gave $24,804 who supported the Arts Council and Women Supporting the Arts yesterday during the 24-hour Great Give.

Our heartfelt appreciation to each and every donor and support... we can do this without you! Thanks for being there for us.

With thanks to USA Today Gannett’s editor, Eve Samples, the Florida arts community has the best tool we have going into this week. What’s this week you ask? It’s time for the legislative budget conference in Tallahassee. This editorial (click link to read it) states the problem, gives context, examples, the solution and calls out to DeSantis for action.

Now that I have settled into my role as chair of the Arts Council, I find that with this role requires my attention to many facets regarding the challenges our board faces. We have many a task ahead of us.

As we embark on our next decade, we are moving forward in creating a vibrant art and cultural community, our goal is to build an endowment that will not only provide for our future financial needs but also fund an art center on the historic 1923 Stuart High School campus.

This is where you come in, April 24th is the annual “Great Give”. The “Great Give” is Palm Beach & Martin Counties 24-hour online giving event led by United Way of Palm Beach and Martin County designed to raise as much money as possible for local non-profits like us in one day.

Please consider going online between midnight to midnight on April 24th and giving as much as you can. With your help we can foster the arts in Martin County for future generations.

Thank you,

Neil Capozzi, Chairman

Between now and May 1, you have the opportunity to leave your permanent imprint on the Martin County arts scene by submitting your own idea for the name that will become the official designation for the ever-evolving Stuart arts and entertainment district.

The district is bordered by Colorado to the west, extents north the SE 6th, down Delaware, east along MLK Blvd, around Bruner Pond to connect with Kindred and Johnson.

Vote today on the names proposed to date. Be a part of history and our ever growing arts community. Thanks.

Volunteers Wanted!

Celebrating National Volunteer Week, April 7-13

The Arts Council needs YOU! Help is needed. Job descriptions vary.
• Docents
• Opening Reception Team
• Committee members – Gallery, mARTies, ArtsFest, Education, Volunteer Recruitment
• And other help throughout the year, including ArtsFest weekend

Let us know if you want to be a part of our team. Call or email us today.

Join us for an Overview & Orientation Meeting
Thursday, April 11, 4 pm.
Light Refreshments will be served.

The new issue of MartinArts Magazine is now available! Check it out.

Story Time in the Gallery

Story Time in the Gallery is a program made possible by PNC Bank's Arts Alive program, which offers art themed story time geared toward families of preschool children. On the last Thursday of every month, families are invited into the galleries of the Court House Cultural Center to listen to stories that celebrate the arts!

Free and open to the public! No reservation is necessary.

Even if you care about a cause, how can you ensure you're a good fit for the position? Here are some ideas to help you find the right fit for volunteering.

ArtsFest is proud to announce the Judges Awards. And the Best of Show awardee for Off the Wall.

Thanks to our judges : Robin Makowski, Suzanne Connors, Geoffrey Smith and Suzanne Northcutt. And our judges for ArtsFest Off the Wall: Liz Bonan, Neil Capozzi, and Ben Sharfi.

Image: Brent Mcahren's mural.

ArtsFest Will Call Tickets

For our friends and members who either purchased tickets in advance, or received them as a benefit of membership/sponsorship, and haven't stopped in at the Court House Cultural Center (80 SE Ocean Boulevard, Stuart), they will be held for you throughout the weekend at the Cultural Center front desk between 10 am and 5 pm daily. Please stop to get your tickets before going to either of the ArtsFest admission gates.

If you arrive after 5 pm on Saturday for ArtsFest After Dark, will call is located at the WEST gate (in front of the Courthouse, corner of E Ocean and Detroit).

Start here to get ready for your ArtsFest weekend, A downloadable map with artist list is available on the ArtsFest home page along with daytime entertainment. Then look at each ArtsFest detailed page for everything you want to know about ArtsFest. Remember starting at 5 PM is ArtsFest After Dark, and only the WEST gate will be open for guests. You may come and go all day long, just get your hand stamped but we do not allow pets (our apologies).

Our executive director's OP ED in today's Stuart News. Join us this weekend at ArtsFest to embrace the vibrant arts community and support the Arts Council's efforts to keep the arts as a vital part of our community. Your $10 admission keeps our efforts alive 365 days a year as we strive to expand and nurture the cultural sector. Thank you for your support of our efforts.

Unofficial ArtsFest Kick Off Party

PSSST! Stephen Ngo and RIVER HOUSE Stuart Invite You to the “UNOFFICIAL” ARTS FEST KICK-OFF PARTY on Wednesday, February 6th from 5:30-7:30 @ The RIVER HOUSE Stuart Design and Sales Center – 22 SE Seminole Street, Downtown Stuart. Enjoy cocktails and light bites, while enjoying the soundtrack laid down by DJ Werkinmen, all to celebrate Martin County’s Premier celebration of the arts, this Feb. 9/10 at Memorial Park, ARTS FEST. Also, stay tuned for a POP UP! art exposition by local visual artist during the event.

RIVER HOUSE Stuart is Downtown Stuart’s newest luxury residences located directly on the wide St. Lucie River. Contact Stephen P. Ngo, Realtor, Premier Realty Group at 772-485-0266 for more information on the UNOFFICIAL ARTS FEST KICK OFF PARTY and RIVER HOUSE Stuart.


ArtsFest BOGO Bonanza! Succumb to your senses at ArtsFest 2019!

Running through February 1st, visit Seacoast Bank - Martin County branches to get TWO ArtsFest tickets ($20 value) for the price of ONE and enter to WIN 2 free VIP tickets ($100 value). 

Hurry! Only a limited number of ArtsFest's very best tickets are available. VIP Winners will be announced February 7th. 

For the fourth time in a row, ArtsFest has been named one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society (STS). The best events across the southeastern United States compete to receive a Top 20 designation. The Martin County Office of Tourism and Marketing and the Arts Council of Martin County collaborated on the application for this prestigious designation.

Celebrating its 32nd year, ArtsFest will return to Stuart's Memorial Park February 9-10. Each year this award-winning event provides the opportunity for people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds to discover and embrace the arts!

Sign Up Today! Limited seating available.

Featuring members of the team from the Ripple Project: Lucy Keshavarz, lead artist; Leo Giangrande, Principal at Giangrande Engineering and Planning; Dianne Hughes, Martin County Senior Ecosystem Specialist for the Ecosystem and Restoration Management Division; Vincent Encomio, PhD., FL Sea Grant Extension Agent II, Martin and St. Lucie Counties, UF/IFAS Extension, and Kerry Sees, citizen workshop participant.

The panel will expand on the benefits of EcoArt/Creative Community Placemaking in our community and each of their unique role in bringing the project from concept to design and at some point, implementation.

Many of you have been asking about the status of our efforts to have Stuart High School become a Cultural Center. This fall we invited a few members of the community to participate in stakeholder meetings. Through their sage input and advice, we created priorities for the project and (if it's possible) become even more excited about what this could mean to our community! 

Women Supporting the Arts, a women's giving circle, is pleased to announce the recipients of their 2019 grants. Members of Women Supporting the Arts each contribute $1000 and then collaborate to review grant applications and allocate funds. Since 2004, more than $325,000 in grants have been awarded to artists and arts-related programs. 

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.

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.

In the landscape of offerings hosted by The Arts Council of Martin County, perhaps none is quite as unique or striking as The Court Room Sessions Exhibitions. The first exhibit ran from August 19 through September 1st, 2017. The latest edition opened August 4th of this year and will run through August 31st. To read more and see the photo gallery, click on the headline.

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...

Missed the Wildlife in Art Cultural Conversation sponsored by Wilmington Trust? Cultural Conversations is a series presented by the Arts Council of Martin County to initiate and encourage conversations about the arts, in many forms. Listen and watch as artists, Guy Coheleach and Geoffrey Smith talk about their passion, their art, their travels, and their friendship. The conversation held March 22, 2018, was moderated by Nerissa Okiye, Martin County Office of Tourism. Thanks to MCTV for the video!

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.