When I moved back to St. Petersburg in 2014 I was inspired and excited by the growing arts and culture scene. The visual arts scene was exploding and the performing arts community was beginning to blossom. The city looked nothing like it had when I was a child in the 80’s-90’s. One of the first things I did was try to find a ways for my creative voice to participate in this exciting new growth.
In November of 2015 I connected with Lauren Slone while we were both adjudicating for a University of South Florida student dance concert. We knew we had to make something together. Within a few days, the seeds for a deep friendship, a huge vision, and a performance series and support platform were planted. BEACON: a performance series for St. Petersburg was born. In 2018 Sharon McCaman joined the BEACON team as our digital media strategist.
Helen French in “Immure” part of BEACON 2021. Photo by Tom Kramer
Since it’s inception BEACON’s producing partner has been the Palladium Theater. We have been honored to work with the Palladium’s staff and crew to develop annual opportunities for professional dancers and multidisciplinary artists to create and share the highest-quality work with the local community. BEACON follows our impulse to begin with our community – focusing on local artists who think of St. Petersburg as home in a variety of ways. We share the stage, the studio, and the “Sunshine City” with other inspiring, professional artists.
Last year due to COVID and the Spring lockdown we had to cancel BEACON. Like many performing artists and arts organizations we began looking for a way to safely make and share our work. What options were available to BEACON? We are thrilled that the Palladium has pivoted to a live stream platform that allows dance to be experienced during this uncertain time of COVID.
This year BEACON will take place on April 16 at 8pm via Palladium Live. Tickets are $25 and the live stream link is available for 48hours, www.mypalladium.org/events/beacon/
I hope you will join us and engage with the powerful art form of dance! If you want to learn more about BEACON please visit, www.beaconstpete.com