The following post is republished here with permission from the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. The Council is currently accepting applications for the 2014 Spark Grant Program. The application is available at the Council’s website, and the deadline to submit is March 12.
Guest blog post by Brandon Choy
Having the honor to participate in all three phases of the Spark Grant approval process, I was ecstatic to see the lit storefront of Joy Leverette’s project, Looking Lab: Art in Empty Storefronts, create a spark on Bay Street. The grant process was very competitive, and Joy’s proposal was a page turner. Empty storefronts – a liability to the urban core – transformed to be an asset.
For her first project, the stage is set at 107 E. Bay Street (next to Underbelly). The windows of video projected onto shapely screens – depicting a butterfly on one side and a cocoon on the other. It’s the symbolic of the emergence of something beautiful. I’m not the best at interpreting, but the work was truly inspiring. David C. Montgomery and Crystal Floyd’s work drew you into the space, where a mix of performance art, video art and sculpture kept the fire going. Additional artists Jeffery Burdian, LLC and Matthew Abercrombie were integral in making the first storefront a success.
During the program, Diane Brunet-Garcia, Cultural Council board chair, thanked all who made this a success. Elias Helodies of Petra Management, the owner of the storefront, generously donated the space, and hopefully, it will turn into a future rental (loved the raw brick wall). Kudos goes out to the private donors who funded these Spark projects, with a particular shout out to Cultural Council board member Lisa Goodrich, who did much of the fundraising through the last Arts Awards event.
It’s an exciting time in the Spark District. Don’t miss these upcoming Spark Grant initiatives:
March 5: Jacksonville Songwriter Residency presents Woody Pines at the Omni Hotel during Art Walk.
April 6: Swamp Radio Spring Episode. Location TBD.
The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville is currently accepting applications for the 2014 Spark Grant Program. The application is available at the Council’s website, and the deadline to submit is March 12.
Brandon Choy is the Director of Program Management at Tyco Integrated Security. He served on the inaugural Spark Grant Panel. Brandon also serves on the Art in Public Places Committee and the Board of Directors for the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. His other artistic commitments include service on the UNF Foundation Board, MOCA Jacksonville Board of Trustees and The Cummer Museum’s Artistic Affairs Committee.