Michael Francis, Peter Zinober, Ruby C. Williams, and Neil and Gianna Gobioff – Gobioff Foundation – to be honored for their commitment and contributions to arts and culture
TAMPA, Fla. (August 15, 2017) – Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & the Arts (“TBBCA”) announces its annual Impact Awards will be held on new date, Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel. Michael Francis, Music Director of The Florida Orchestra, is the International Artistic Achievement Impact Award honoree; Peter Zinober, Esq., is the Individual Impact Award honoree; Ruby C. Williams, folk artist, is the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Impact Award honoree; Gobioff Foundation – Neil and Gianna Gobioff, are the Patrons of Culture & the Arts Impact Award honorees. Held yearly since TBBCA’s founding in 1989, Impact Awards celebrate and recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to and in support of arts and culture.
Michael Francis is the Music Director of The Florida Orchestra, our state’s premier and largest professional orchestra and one of the most vibrant and innovative orchestras in America. An internationally recognized conductor known for maintaining a diverse repertoire, Francis enjoys a great reception throughout North America, Europe and Asia. His guest appearances and engagements span the globe. This fall, Francis will lead The Florida Orchestra’s 50th anniversary season. “The Florida Orchestra is a jewel in the crown of Tampa Bay,” said Maestro Francis, “Our 50th anniversary is a chance for us to celebrate …. At the heart of our past and future is the extraordinary talent of The Florida Orchestra musicians, whom we will showcase in a variety of ways all season long.” The Florida Orchestra performs more than 130 concerts annually in the tri-city area of Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg, vigorously carrying out the vision “to make the arts central to a higher quality of life and to truly inspire, entertain, and educate a wide and diverse audience.” Under Francis’ direction, The Florida Orchestra has increased engagement with the Tampa Bay community and throughout the State of Florida, including bringing The Florida Orchestra to malls and hospitals, engaging with youth, schools and universities, offering free programming, and performing in communities without access to a resident orchestra. “Outside the concert halls, we will continue to grow our community programs, which have been so warmly received by everyone. We want to touch even more people this season through the power of music,” says Francis.
Peter Zinober is employment and labor lawyer, and shareholder of the Tampa office of Greenberg Traurig. TBBCA is honoring Zinober for his exemplary leadership in support of arts & cultural organizations in Tampa for over four decades. “I believe Tampa Bay is made more vibrant from the economic activity and quality of life generated through arts and culture,” said Zinober. Zinober is a University of Florida undergraduate, graduate school, and law school alumnus. He returned to Tampa with the National Labor Relations Board in early 1972. He has served on the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Cultural Affairs Council, and as the Hillsborough County Member of the Florida Arts Council. He was on the Board of Directors of the Florida Gulf Coast Symphony, which later became the Florida Orchestra, where he was asked to be Labor Counsel and General Counsel of the Orchestra between 1973 and 1986. He also served on the Board of Governors of the Orchestra, and as Chairman from 1981 to 1983. Other service includes City of Tampa Mayor’s Public Art Committee, joint City/County Task Force on the Future of the Arts in Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Arts Council, the Arts Council designated board member for the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, first Tampa Bay Regional Arts Summit, Board of Directors of the Tampa Players Theater, honorary board member of Stageworks Theater, and board member/Treasurer of the Florida Cultural Action and Education Alliance. Zinober has been a longtime TBBCA member, Board Director from 1991-2003, and Past President. He was recently re-elected to TBBCA Board of Directors, where he is currently leading several committees and initiatives.
Ruby C. Williams is a nationally recognized self-taught folk artist. She was born and raised during the Depression in the African American town of Bealsville, Florida, founded in 1865 by freed slaves, including Williams’ great-grandmother. After moving to New Jersey in the 1950s, Williams returned to Bealsville in the early 1980s to farm. She opened a self-built produce stand on State Road 60, and painted brightly colored signs to attract visitors. Ruby Williams’ work is found in collections throughout the U.S., and internationally. Her artwork has been featured in books and exhibitions, including the Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, and the American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore. In 2005, the Smithsonian (Anacostia) Museum in Washington D.C., “On Their Own – Selected Self-taught Artists” exhibited ten of Williams’ paintings, and selected her artwork for the cover of the catalog, banners and promotional materials. In 2013, HCC’s Gallery 221 celebrated the work of Ruby C. Williams as a Florida folk art legend with a solo exhibition. Williams’ awards include the 2005 Department of State Division of Historical ResourcesPreservation Florida Folk Heritage Award and the 2009 Folk Art Society of America Award of Distinction. Ms. Williams has also illustrated a children’s book, I Am Ruby.
Neil and Gianna Gobioff lead The Gobioff Foundation, a private family foundation founded by Howard Gobioff, in 2007, only months before his sudden death from lymphoma in March, 2008. The Gobioff Foundation carries out the intention of its founder, “to make the world a better place,” through grants, programs and initiatives. The Foundation’s arts grants in the Tampa Bay area include to the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, USF Institute for Research in Art/CAM/GraphicStudio, Jobsite Theater, Tempus Projects, and others. Between 2011- 2014, the Gobioff Foundation micro-grants program funded nearly 50 projects in music, performing, film, digital and visual arts. Most recently, the Gobioff Foundation’s new Treasure Tampa program awarded an initial $30,000 grant to the University Area Community Development Corporation for a public art and creative place-making project. The Gobioff Foundation’s grants made in support of human rights organizations have had a national and global impact.
TBBCA Impact Awards honors will be bestowed to Zinober, Francis, Williams, and the Gobioff Foundation on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel. The last two years’ Impact Awards sold out. Sponsorships and table/ticket purchases for 2017 Impact Awards may be made online at www.tbbca.org/ImpactAwards2017 or call 813-221-2787 or email email@example.com
TBBCA is a 501 (c ) (3) non-profit organization, one of 11 national Business Committees for the Arts, and part of the private sector network and pARTnership Movement of Americans for the Arts. Our mission is “to unite businesses to champion arts and culture for a prosperous community”. TBBCA Impact Awards, held annually since 1989, benefit TBBCA and our programs, including The Charlie Hounchell Art Stars Scholarships. Since 2008, TBBCA has awarded scholarships providing tuition assistance to over 60 students helping them to fund higher education in the arts. www.tbbca.org
TBBCA programs are generously supported by our pARTners, including Chair’s Circle: Premier Eye Care; Stephen Gay & Associates, Realtors; Linda and Michael Connelly; The Beaux-Arts Group; Greenberg Traurig; Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick; Professional Surveys, Inc.; Strategic Property Partners; The Tampa Bay Lightning; Tampa Bay Magazine; The Tampa Bay Times/tbt*; Savoir Faire Creative; The Wilson Company; Alex McKnight; Playbook Public Relations; Chappell Roberts; B2 Communications, Mise En Place/SONO; and others.