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Morean Arts Center

Pinellas County

Howayda Affan, Executive Director

For more than 100 years, the Morean Arts Center has been a resource for artists and art lovers in the Tampa Bay area. Our story began in the early 20th century when a group of local artists in need of a place to create, teach and display their work organized the Art Club of St. Petersburg. Innovative and committed to accessibility from the start, the Morean Arts Center brought school children into museums in the early 1920s, launched figure drawing classes for the community by the 1950s and in the 1970s was first to embrace the street art movement with St. Petersburg’s first street mural. Today the Morean Arts Center offers instruction for all ages and abilities through workshops and studio art classes and through showcases by local, emerging, youth and established artists in all media.

Because of DCA...

the Morean Arts Center continues to promote the value of the arts both locally and throughout Florida.
Photo of Sheree Greer performing a reading of her workPhoto of veterans in the Operation: Art of Valor program collaborate on making a glass sculpture. Photo courtesy of Beth Reynolds.

We have greatly benefited from division funding for capital and programmatic support. Following the purchase of our headquarters in the late 1990s, a Cultural Facilities grant funded renovations, and we now engage with more than 120,000 people each year Later, another Cultural Facilities grant helped us repair and replace roofing, HVAC and flooring. We also received support from the division to improve our accessibility initiatives and better serve our community.

With the help of division grant funds, we expanded our Glass Studio glassblowing facility to include the largest reheating furnace on the East Coast, a tool used by glassblowers to reheat glass for continued work on an object. Our facility enables artists to create large-scale glass work not possible anywhere else in Florida, which enhances St. Petersburg's reputation as the "Glass Coast." Most recently, division support helped us create the Operation: Art of Valor program, which uses glassblowing instruction to assist veterans with PTSD and TBI. Division program funding also fostered the beginning of our Word & Image partnership with Pinellas County Schools, a program now recognized as a model for linking visual and language arts education for students in grades 3-12.