Creative Pinellas’s Arts Annual – ‘A Destination Event’

October 18, 2019 |Written by Tiffany Razzano an Interview by Marcea Cazel

Creative Pinellas hosts its 2019 Arts Annual, a fundraising gala and exhibition that showcases many of the organization’s past professional and emerging artist grantees on November 14.

Since moving into the space formerly occupied by the Gulf Coast Museum of Art in 2017, Creative Pinellas, the county’s local arts agency, has strived to turn the Pinewood Cultural Park into a destination for the arts.

There was already much there to draw visitors to the campus. Heritage Village, a living history museum, and the Florida Botanical Gardens, which showcases the state’s flora, fauna and other natural resources, are also located at Pinewood.

So the addition of Creative Pinellas was fortuitous. By programming the former gallery, auditorium and adjacent office space near the Walsingham Road entrance, the organization was able to add something back to the mix—the arts.

Creative Pinellas opened its doors to area arts nonprofits, which joined its specialized business incubator. Over the past two years, Creative Pinellas and these arts leaders have filled the space with art and culture, hosting engaging events and vibrant exhibitions that draw area artists and arts lovers to the campus.

The biggest of these events is Creative Pinellas’ Arts Annual, a groundbreaking group exhibition and performance featuring many of the best visual, literary and performing artists in Pinellas County. The artists featured in this annual showcase are also past Creative Pinellas professional and emerging artist grantees.

“People can experience visual arts of all sorts as well as literary, theatre and music performances while enjoying food and drink,” says Danny Olda, manager of curatorial programs, content and engagement. “(It) also showcases a great variety of work from painting, sculpture and installation to theatrical readings and jazz.”

This arts extravaganza has evolved into “a destination event,” he adds. “Last year we had visitors from Hillsborough, Orange, Sarasota and Manatee Counties.” He credits the talent of the grantees with the Arts Annual’s success. “These grantees are many of the very best artists working in Pinellas County today and the work they present at the Arts Annual is just amazing,” Olda says. “Many of the artists who are in Arts Annual don’t participate in group shows. So this is a rare opportunity for residents and visitors near and far.”

The Arts Annual is also the sole fundraiser for Creative Pinellas, which became a 501c3 nonprofit organization last year. Funds raised at the event benefits its arts programming that supports Pinellas County artists and arts-related projects.

The 2019 Arts Annual takes place Thursday, Nov. 14, 7 to 10 p.m., at The Gallery at Creative Pinellas, 12211 Walsingham Rd., Largo. General admission tickets are $25. VIP tickets, which include a 6 p.m. preview of the exhibit and artist meet-and-greet, are $50.

Purchase tickets to this year’s Arts Annual online here.

Creative Pinellas has created Arts Annual: Beyond the Walls as a way to connect our visitors to the arts in Pinellas County. This pop-up art exhibition features selections from the visual artists participating in the 2019 Arts Annual in  hotels across the County starting in early November. The goal is to create new arts and culture engagements and opportunities with visitors, build awareness for the artists and the Arts Annual among our guests and set the groundwork for deeper partnerships between Creative Pinellas, area artists and the hospitality/tourism industry. Look for updates on Arts Annual: Beyond the Walls on the Creative Pinellas website later in October.  


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