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WADA Member Blog

Want to know what the Warehouse Arts District Association is up to?  Learn about the latest in this blog with features intended to keep members up to date. Also, members should join our closed Facebook group: the WADA Member Network

  • 13 Apr 2020 11:47 PM | Anonymous

    The membership committee meets the 2nd Friday of the month at 4pm. All are welcome and we need help to do great things for our artistic community. Bring your ideas and roll up your sleeves. Our next meeting is May 8. Email joinwada@gmail.com for more information. We need community now more than ever. 

    Membership Committee Members: Caryn Nesmith, Nancy Cohen, Susan Antoinette, Mirella Cimato, Teresa Sullivan, Anna Broshears

    Help Needed: 

    • Plan/execute member shows. 
    • Plan /execute WADA Social for May 13 (probably later).
    • Plan / execute Outdoor Marketplace. 
    • Volunteers to serve as Ambassadors at Art Walk.
    • Draft artist and business member profiles for website, emails, and social media.
    • Join the committee; monthly meetings are 2nd Friday of the month at 4pm – all welcome.


      • Met with two Business Members from Modern Tampa Bay Homes and Sapphire A/V Experts
      • Met with Foundation For a Healthy St. Pete
      • Organized and led General Membership Meeting in February – over 50 participants
      •  Launched WADA Member Blog, maintaining WADA Member Network Group, 
      • Wrote Member Business Profile on Modern Tampa Bay Homes’ Richard McGinniss and artist member profile on Suzanne Benton.
      •  MBTH–WADA Call to Artists. 22 artists submitted-six were new members - application is still open two more days and submissions are still coming in.
      •  Held two committee meetings on March 13, April 8
    Membership Numbers
      • As of Apr 13, 2020: Active Members: 264 (170 artists, 42 artist supporters, 19 business, 32 Lifetime) 

    Membership Goals: Attract members by: 

          Strengthening sense of community 

          Maximizing artist exposure  (social media, website, regular member exhibits)

          Improving communication with members (membership meetings, newsletters, social media groups)

          Tightening administrative processes (updated benefits, updated website, defined member levels, automated renewal processes)

    2020 Focus

    1.     Conduct Focus Groups to evaluate member benefits. (Conducted Jan 9, 11, 16 and 28) - Complete

    2.     Update Member Benefits - Complete

    3.     Update the automated renewal procss - Complete

    4.     Quarterly General Membership Meetings or Socials (Feb 12, May 13, Sep 9, Dec 9)

    5.     Conduct Quarterly business member meetings. 

    6.     Create Blog and News Digest

    7.     Conduct 6 member shows per year

    8.     Create outdoor member marketplace

    9.     WADA Membership Table @ Art Walk

  • 31 Mar 2020 1:32 PM | Anonymous

    Mike Harting, CEO of 3 Daughters Brewing, writes an open letter to elected officials, on behalf of small businesses in St Petersburg (and everywhere). He writes that small businesses need: 

    Small Business thoughts:

    • Speed is of the essence -- we do not have lines of credit or reserves; we need cash to prime the pump.
    • Tax credits do not help -- we will not make it that far.
    • Loans will not help -- that simply prolongs and defers our struggle.
    • Use the SBA and its lending partners to disperse cash -- NOW.  Create an easy formula for banks to follow; last year verified P&L, average total expense per month x2. 
    • Suspend all taxes and licensing for 6 months. We pay sales tax on rent in my state -- get rid of it. We pay an excise tax on manufacturing in my industry -- get rid of it. We pay tax on the payroll -- get rid of it. Give us six solid months to build up cash.

    His whole letter is viewable here

  • 30 Mar 2020 1:36 PM | Anonymous

    The Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund provides rapid response awards to meet the urgent needs, and provide immediate financial relief to Pinellas County artists, arts organizations and creative businesses who have been impacted by an emergency situation/disaster we are facing, and, should the need arise and the resources be available, for future emergency situations as well. 

    View details and apply here.

  • 29 Mar 2020 1:41 PM | Anonymous

    New member Seven C Music (located where Dazzio used to be within the ArtsXchange compound facing 22nd St S, just north of 5th Ave N, is offering to let out of work musicians come in and play one song for $50. They are live streaming the songs on their facebook page. 

    See more about the project here:  https://www.facebook.com/sevencmusic/videos/2372732819494200 

    See videos here: https://www.facebook.com/sevencmusic

    They are taking donations to pay musicians here: http://shop.sevencmusic.com/shop/LOCAL-MUSICIAN-DONATIONS/p/MUSICIAN-DONATIONS-x48131506.htm

    David Gallino is the contact for musicians who would like to perform if you play full or part time and are out of work. Call. 727-265-0842 

  • 09 Mar 2020 12:10 AM | Anonymous

    The man behind the sleek geometric and classic transitional homes popping up in many of St. Petersburg’s and Tampa  neighborhoods is Richard McGinniss, the owner of Modern Tampa Bay Homes. McGinniss’ bio includes being the executive in charge of some of the largest communities and mixed use projects in the Southwest, including a $600 million research facility in North Carolina, a 13,000-acre master planned community in central Florica as well as a variety of large scaled  condominium, hotel and resort facilities. In 2013, McGinniss left the corporate grind to do what he loved: build high-quality, unique modern homes. 

    Four years ago, McGinniss moved his company to the Grand Central District in order to get away from the high downtown rents. Once he spent time in the area, he realized that Grand Central was home to his favorite restaurants, bars, breweries, coffee shops and activities.  Realizing the mind-boggling activity going on in the Warehouse Arts District, just a few steps away, McGinniss concluded that living on Central Ave was the best place to live in St. Pete. 

     “I think the area will become even cooler over time with what is being planned – more culture, more fun places to go, all in a tight neighborhood setting,” he said. “It is exploding.” Thus, his latest project, the AD Lofts was conceived to create modern residences in the heart of the Grand Central District.

    McGinniss is interested in supporting the artistic community in St. Petersburg because the creative vibrancy is what makes the city such a great place to live.  “Since we will be living and working in Grand Central, and admire the beautiful, exciting, and progressive types of artwork done by our local artists, we want to support our neighbors.” McGinniss said. “We thought it would be only right to include some of our local artists work to our buyers.” McGinniss has partnered with the Warehouse Arts District Association to give each AD Lofts buyer a commissioned artwork of their choice.  The Call to Artists is available here

    He added, “We are, in our small humble way, paying homage to our wonderful art community by giving exposure to this important asset of St Pete - our Artists.”   

  • 06 Mar 2020 12:48 AM | Anonymous
    • Feminist, activist, and artist Suzanne Benton is a sculptor, mask performance artist, printmaker, painter, and workshop leader who has worked in 31 countries over the past 40 years.  The native New Yorker has been coming to St. Petersburg since 2004, and has been a visiting artist in printmaking at Eckerd College since 2006 where she recently had an exhibit of her prints at Eckerd’s Cobb Gallery.

      At 84-years-old, Benton might be tempted to slow down, but instead she is evermore the activist.  In 2017, she was honored by the American Civil Liberties Union’s Pinellas Chapter as activist of the year due to her leadership role in catalyzing the Women’s March in downtown St. Petersburg, which brought together 30,000 peaceful marchers together on January 21, 2017.  

      Benton says that her activism fuels her art, and her art fuels her activism.  She is now head of the Women’s Caucus for the Arts, St. Petersburg Branch (WCAFL-SPB), whose mission is to create community through art, education, and social activism. WCA members are currently working on a series of portraits of Women Who Work.

      Benton's artwork has been represented in 175+ solo shows and two retrospectives, and she has traveled and worked all over the world, including in villages in Africa, India, and Nepal.  Her work is represented in museums, and private collections worldwide. Author of the Art of Welded Sculpture and numerous articles, she is listed also in Who's Who in America and Who's Who of American Artists, is a founding member of Veteran Feminists of America, and was featured in a book titled, “Feminists Who Change America.” 

      Benton is also in the process of writing a memoir entitled Spirit of Hope.  When asked about her WADA membership, Suzanne said she hoped for community, exposure and promotion, like most artists. And buyers! 

      In 2018, she gave an amazing and inspiring talk at a Creative Morning St. Pete event, where she talked about her life, her sources of courage and how her art feeds her activism and her activism feeds her art.

    • For more on Suzanne check out:

    Screen Grab from the North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century, By Heller and Heller (2013)

  • 01 Mar 2020 5:07 PM | Anonymous

    We are having a Membership Committee Meeting tomorrow. This is for people who want to help with programming for membership. I invite anyone who wants to contribute to our artist community to join us. So sorry for the short notice, but we will be holding these monthly and I will give more notice in the future. 

    Membership Meeting

    When: March 2 @ 5:30 pm

    Where: ArtsXchange Burka Lounge, 515 22nd St NW


    1. Getting the ArtsXchange Marketplace started
    2. Getting a sub-committee started for a calendar of member shows.
    3. Update on 2020 Goal (focus groups done, database letters cleaned up done, WADA member group cleaned up, membership newsletter sent, general membership meeting help, and Member blog created)
    4. Modern Tampa Bay Homes artist commission project.
    5. Artist and Business member profiles to post on the blog
    6. Project to get artist pictures and profiles for the Membership Directory

  • 22 Feb 2020 11:32 PM | Anonymous

    A long time resident of the ArtsXchange compound, Dazzio Art Experience Gallery & School of Art closed its doors in late 2019.  While the departure has been felt by the WADA and larger art community, we are thrilled to announce a new tenant in Dazzio’s former location.  We welcome David and Joel Hosler who will be moving Seven C Music from its Haines Road location to the ArtsXchange compound in the former Dazzio school and gallery. David Hosler has more than 40 years of experience designing, building and repairing stringed instruments. Learn more at: https://www.sevencmusic.com

  • 12 Feb 2020 11:33 PM | Anonymous

    WADA’s  education committee has been providing regular artist professional development workshops, free for members, for three years (small fee for non-members).  The Chairs are Board Member Julie Angerosa, ArtsXchange artist Susan Antoinette and artist member Anna Broshears, along with a team of dedicated volunteers, who unveiled a three pronged plan for 2020, which includes: 

    1. Artist professional development, continuing education classes,

    2. Youth art outreach programming for school-aged midtown population, and

    3. Community arts enrichment – bringing art accessibility and awareness to the broader community.

    The latest class was the Artist Statement Workshop on February 19 in the ArtsXchange Classroom and April’s Class and classes will be held every other following month, including a panel discussion, planned for November in the ArtsXchange Gallery. Regular monthly meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday at 4 PM at the Craftsman House on Central Ave. 

  • 12 Feb 2020 11:31 PM | Anonymous

    In September, WADA inaugurated the Burka Member Lounge. Thanks to donor Karen Burka, WADA renovated a walk-through unairconditioned space into an airconditioned member lounge and member artists' gallery that has a kitchenette, gallery lighting and an administrative office.  Burka offered the gift in loving memory of her husband Eddie Burka who passed away in 2017. Member art shows will rotate every three months and members can use the space as a place to gather during Art Walk. Members may also reserve the lounge for use by appointment. Reserve by sending an email to warehouseartsdistrict@gmail.com.

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