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About Suncoast Arts Fest

Suncoast Arts Fest

Parent Corporation – Fine Arts of the Suncoast, Inc.

Fine Arts of the Suncoast, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for–profit corporation incorporated in the state of Florida 2006.  Its mission is to develop a community culture that embraces the arts. The corporation is organized exclusively for charitable and promotional purposes, including -

  • Provide a quality fine arts show within Pasco County.
  • Promote all arts for all children in Pasco County.
  • Increase the awareness of the arts in Pasco County

Beneficiary – “Arts for Kids”

Raising funds for “Arts for Kids” is a primary goal of the Suncoast Arts Fest. Each year, funds raised go towards supplementing funding for visual, musical and performing arts for all students throughout Pasco County schools (public, charter and private).

Contact Information

Suncoast Arts Fest
PO Box 609
New Port Richey  FL  34656

727-534-3445


Past grants and awards

  • Christopher Still Murals with CD and lesson plans
  • “Art Tubs” for classroom lessons – print, theater and modern art
  • Support and transportation to National Portfolio Day held at Ringling School of Art and Design for 30 high school art students and their teachers
  • Art Teacher grants – 14 @ $500
  • Scholarships for art teachers to attend Florida Art Education Association annual conference
  • Scholarships for art teachers to attend Florida Alliance of Arts Education annual conference
  • Transportation and encouragement for a high school art student to attend summer program at Massachusetts College of Art and Design
  • Stipends for student music and drama groups
  • Art supplies for classrooms with special needs students
  • Drum circle in-service demonstration for teachers
  • Annual cash awards for high school artists (winners of SAF’s Emerging Artists exhibition)
  • Support of Suncoast Arts Advocacy to ensure arts education for all students
  • Purchase of visual arts exhibition equipment
  • Grants to not-for-profit organizations that provide arts experiences for school-aged youth – Wesley Chapel Wind Ensemble, Pasco Arts Council, Art of Recycling, Eco-Fest and others
  • Annual $1000 college scholarship to a graduating high school senior
  • Sponsorship of Pasco County Arts programs exhibition at the Pasco County Fair

The History of the Suncoast Arts Fest

2009 Pasco Tourist Development Council Event of the Year

Our History…People grow up and so do art shows. The Suncoast Arts Fest has shown remarkable promise ever since its “birth” in 2005. Many changes have been made over the last 8 shows and we would love to share some of its highlights with you:

2005

  • December 10, 2005, the show was born as the 1st Annual Longleaf Fine Arts on the Village Green.
  • Twenty-three fine artists from all over the US were juried into the show along with 30 community artists from Pasco County
  • The event committee was made up of all volunteers who gave generously of their time and expertise
  • Our trademark “Emerging Artists Gallery” with work of 10th-12th grade students was a crowd-pleaser.

2007

  • Sixty juried artists made the show a success.
  • The event was once again held at the Longleaf Town Center
  • Musical entertainment added energy and excitement to the show.
  • For those of you who wondered why we skipped 2006 – we had a lot of revamping to do and decided we needed more than a year to do that.

2008

  • Some big changes happened this year!
  • The name was changed to the Suncoast Arts Fest
  • The show moved to the 17-acre location at the corner of SR 54 and Starkey Blvd.
  • WMNF 88.5FM Community Public Radio joined us to provide the music
  • The Taste of Pasco added delicious delights to the show
  • A whole tribe of fire ants joined the show. As a result of their participation, we decided we needed to change the venue one more time

2009

  • The Shops at Wiregrass, here we come!
  • The show found a new home in Wesley Chapel, FL two miles east of I-75 – convenient to all of Tampa Bay and beyond.
  • There were 70,000 visitors and 85 incredible fine artists and craftsmen
  • WMNF 88.5FM broadcast live throughout the weekend along with live performances from regional professional entertainers and community youth entertainers

2010

  • We kept all of the successful parts of the show and added even more
  • Chalk artists were a crowd favorite
  • Our most important accomplishment was the establishment of the  “Art for Kids” funding program to supplement funding of arts education in our community

2011

  • Six art partners joined the Suncoast Arts Fest to highlight arts destinations around Pasco County
  • Leepa Rattner Museum of Fine Art, Pasco Arts Council, Progress Energy Art Gallery, West Pasco Art Guild, Pasco Hernando Community College and the Pioneer Museum
  • Technology reigned this year – QR codes, mobile website and social media
  • Production of videos by a professional videographer

2012

  • Warm temperatures and sunny skies greeted people from all over the Tampa Bay+ area to enjoy the venue and buy art
  • Over 96,000 visitors came to see the 110 fine artists and craftsmen at The Shops at Wiregrass
  • Tim Decker, performance artist extraordinary, was featured under the entertainment tent
  • The kids’ chalk art section was added and the children had a ball. And, some of the adults did too!
  • The 1-mile “Fun Run for the Arts” was added on Sunday morning followed by a yummy pancake breakfast

2013

  • More artists than ever participated – over 130!
  • For the first time, the artist application system called Zapplications was used with great success
  • Everyone was invited to enjoy an evening “Celebration of the Arts” concert by the always popular Late Night Brass
  • The largest number of grant checks ever were handed out to teachers to help fund their arts programs

 

Yet some things remain the same…

  • Great, high-quality fine art and fine crafts are featured
  • 100% volunteer run
  • Free entrance for all
  • Continued support of youth arts programs – music, visual, drama, and more – and art teachers in Pasco County schools.
  • Appreciation of the artists who make our show the best!

 Mike Fasano

Mike Fasano

State Senator District 11; Pasco County Tax Collector

"Proceeds from the show will be used to enhance arts education in our schools.  This will be a wonderful way for many different community members to come together for a common cause that will benefit us all.  I am certain this show will attract tourists to our community, eventually becoming an anticipated annual event."

Frank Starkey

Frank Starkey

Co-Developer of Longleaf and Architect

"A firm commitment to visual and performing arts is the hallmark of a great community. One of the best ways to build that commitment is through fine art shows. These events make the arts accessible to a broad audience, while also fostering a sense of place and community identity. The Longleaf Fine Arts on the Village Green complements the Gasparilla, Mainsail, and Dunedin Art Harvest shows, and promises to match those shows in both quality of the art and the benefit to the surrounding area."

Melinda Chavez

Melinda Chavez

Former Executive Director, Tampa Bay Business Committee for the Arts

"An arts festival such as this one benefits the local community financially by attracting a wide variety of visitors who not only spend money on arts purchases and associated things like food, but also get acquainted with the neighborhood and might want to shop and move there"

Lynn Whitelaw

Lynn Whitelaw

Former Director, Leepa – Rattner Museum of Art

"Great venue for a fine art show – it has a hometown feel. In my various roles in the arts community, I’ve had more people offer positive comment about that show – artists and visitors alike"