On September 9, the Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) held its twice-yearly General Membership Meeting virtually, with 47 people attending. It was great to see the faces of our WADA family, some of whom have been part of the community for a long time, and some new faces as well.
Below are the updates from the meeting, summarized below for the benefit of members who could not attend.
Board Member Changes:
ArtsXchange Compound Updates
The ArtsXchange is the name for the entire compound owned, developed and managed by the Warehouse Arts District Association. Soft Water Studios, the Studios, The Shops, and Seven C are all part of the ArtsXchange.
- ArtsXchange lot. We secured $50K in donations to pave the plaza area and put in lighting, a power grid, landscaping, irrigation and water supply. This will allow us to host open air markets. We’re in the final stages of grading the surface and adding banners, planters and planting beds. We hope to complete this by late September.
Education Center. Next to the ArtsXchange Studios, we’re planning to renovate a space for an Education Center that will be a huge asset for community programming. There will be a dance floor and three classrooms. The project cost is $225K to develop. WADA received HUD funding (federal funds allocated by the city) of $150K and we have been trying to raise the additional $75k. We currently have raised $50K but still need $25K more. We will lose HUD funding if we don’t find this additional $25K in the next month. We’re so close! It’s a tough time to fundraise as there is a lot of need right now. All help welcome. If you know a potential donor for the Eduction center please reach out to Executive Director, Renee Dabbs firstname.lastname@example.org
- Welcome Seven C Music. In the warehouse where Dazzio Art Gallery was formerly, Seven C Music is coming to the ArtsXchange compound. Owners Dave and Tamara Hosler are renovating the space and planning to open in October. We’re excited about this as it will also have a musical venue and bring a musical component to our artist’s compound. They are a well-known guitar repair shop and champion of the local music scene. They will offer a musical venue.
- Eric Higgs and Chris Booth Sculpture. On the corner of the ArtsXchange compound, where 5th Ave S and 22nd St. S meeting, Eric Higgs and Chris Booth are developing what was formerly the Air Hydraulic Small Engine Repair (the place with all the lawnmowers in front) into a sculpture studio, which should be open in the next couple of months.
- Catering Kitchen. WADA will allocate a small studio in the ArtsXchange Studios for a catering kitchen to facilitate holding events. Many thanks to Jim Aresty, who donated the kitchen equipment!
- 22nd Street S Corridor development. A developer plans to redevelop seven acres along the 22nd St South. They are working with the city to open up the current zoning from just industrial usage to commercial and residential usage. You can find out more about their plans at www.22imix.com
- We currently have approximately 250 members.
- The WADA Membership Committee organizes quarterly events (alternating between membership meetings and social mixers) for members to mingle, network and learn about the latest events happening in the District and with the Association. With COVID, we haven’t hosted social mixers this year.
- Member Shows: Since the beginning of the year, we’ve held to two member shows, one for ArtsXchange studio residents in the Tully-Levine gallery and one for general membership in the Burka Lounge. They are both currently on view. Take a 3D Virtual Tour see the Condensed, SuperCut Video or view the Full Video Walkthrough Tour. Our goal is to host member shows six times per year, once the COVID situation normalizes.
- Sponsorship of Member Shows. We are deeply thankful to Business Member Damien Bertucelli for being the first member show sponsor which allows us to offer artist prizes for best of show for our I Need a Drink: Cocktail Hour member show.
- Five new artists in the ArtsXchange Studios. We’re so excited to welcome Babette Herschberger, Saumitra Chandratreya, Zulu Painter, IBOMs, and Nick Davis to the studios at the ArtsXchange.
- Three new members in the ArtsXchange Shoppes. We're super excited to welcome artists Zhanna Thomas, Shelby Dillon, and Beth Miranda in the shops across from the studios, which is also part of the ArtsXchange property. Be sure to visit.
- Outdoor Marketplace. Membership Committee is organizing an outdoor marketplace on Second Saturday Art Walk and hope to start it in November. See more info here.
- Improved Communications. In focus groups with members at the beginning of the year, we heard from members the desire for more communications and updates. We now have a weekly email newsletter, the WADA Facebook Member Network group (for members only), and a blog on our website.
- Promoting Members. Our focus groups also wanted ways to promote member work. We have been profiling a member every week in our blog, digest, and on social media. We will also put your events on our website calendar. Fill out this form to have your events listed in our digest and website.
- Modern Tampa Bay Homes Artist Call. MTBH selected eight contemporary artists to showcase and ultimately commission works for buyers of a new seven-unit development in the Grand Central District, called AD Lofts. These eclectic residences will celebrate local artists in the area, with close proximity to all the Warehouse Arts District has to offer. The artists selected include: Carrie Kilgore, Dana Killion, Geoffrey Baris, Lesley Jeffery, Mark Mitchell, Nathan Beard, Pamela Van Sant, and Tom Amidon-Rivero. Check out this MBTH catalogue featuring these member artists.
- Ask Miss Lonely Arts! We have our own guru to answer to answer your questions about art, love, relationships, and WADA. Send your questions and comments to: MissLonelyArts@gmail.com
- WADA has had an active, amazing education committee for three years, that provides professional development classes/workshops for artists and free for members. They are also working to create arts enrichment programming for the school-aged midtown population and the broader community.
- In July, the committee organized a free three-day painting workshop with professional artist, Robert Simone, available here. They are currently in the process of planning our 2021 class roster so if you have any suggestions or have skills you would like to donate for a future class, please drop me a note: susanantoinetteArt@gmail.com.
- WADA Art Tubs for select Pinellas County Schools. WADA Art Tubs are a student directed, independent activity allowing students to explore architecture through a set of artisan-made building blocks where students have the opportunity to create their own buildings, inspired by art-focused buildings in St. Petersburg, Florida. Tubs are set up for elementary art classrooms for grades K-5. A Call to Artists sought artistically detailed color renderings of these six local buildings: Dali Museum, Museum of Fine Art, Carter G. Woodson Museum, Royal Theater, Palladium, and the Museum of American Arts and Crafts Movement.
- The committee is collaborating with local museums to bring you private tours of collections and an opportunity for follow up questions and answers, all live on Zoom! See the James Museum tour. Next up this fall is the Tampa Art Museum on September 26 and the Imagine Museum. Stay tuned for more information!
- Artist Relief Fund. WADA was fortunate to have the generous support of donors; we were able to give 20 grants of $500 each earlier this summer. See more info here.
- Grants. The HUD grant will allow us to build the Education Center, which we hope will allow us to seek out more grants for community programming.
- Online Sales Platform for Artists. We’re developing the capability to allow artists to exhibit and sell work on our website. We think this will be a huge member benefit. Stay tuned as we work on this platform.
We get most of this work done thanks to volunteers! We have a membership, education, fundraising and marketing committee that would love your involvement. If you’d like to get involved please contact me @ email@example.com and I’ll match you with activities that align with your interests.