City and private support includes $200,000 grant from J. Crayton Pruitt Foundation.
December 11, 2014 – St. Petersburg, FL: Mark Aeling, board president of the St. Petersburg Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA), announced today that the organization has reached its Phase 1 goal of raising $350,000. The funds will be used to purchase and begin redevelopment of six buildings to be used as working studios of all sizes for artists of varying disciplines. More than 105 artists have already registered on the WADA website to rent space at the Warehouse Arts Enclave, which is located on 2.7 acres at 5th Avenue and 22nd Street South.
Aeling indicated that the second phase fundraising goal is to raise an additional $850,000 in order to complete renovations at the Enclave over the next few years. The vision is to create a community in which painters, writers, photographers, performers, sculptors and musicians can collaborate, inspire and engage with each other in the daily business of creating and showing their work. Education is another important component of the Enclave; area residents will be afforded opportunities to observe, participate in, and learn about the many art forms represented.
Future concepts for the Enclave include: a large gallery/exhibit space; classrooms; a foundry; recording studios; offices; and a café. The complex is positioned along the Pinellas Trail between two well-established art facilities – the Morean Center for Clay and Duncan McClellan Glass.
Aeling said, “This major accomplishment is made possible due to the financial support of the Mayor and City Council of St. Petersburg, a donation from the J. Crayton Pruitt Foundation of St. Petersburg, and by a hundred other individual donations.” Pruitt Foundation spokesperson and family member Natalie Pruitt Judge said, “Our gift is given in honor of our mother, Frances McSwain Pruitt, whose creative spirit still thrives in her daily living. She expressed her love for the arts and education in our community through her early work as a docent at the Museum of Fine Arts, her support of the children’s theater program at American Stage Theater, and as a member of the St. Petersburg Arts Commission.” The Pruitt grant was for $200,000; the City awarded $75,000; and the remainder of the $350,000 was raised through individual and corporate donations.
The Warehouse Arts District Association is a nonprofit founded in 2012 with the single-minded mission to create an environment that encourages artists to work, reside, educate and interact with the public. Toward that objective, the association has been working with its members to complete a sustainable project to provide artists permanently affordable working space. The facilities to be converted into the Warehouse Arts Enclave were formerly home to Ace Recycling and Soft Water Laundry.