MUSE will celebrate artistic inspiration on Friday, February 9, 2018 at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg at 7:00 p.m. The fifth annual benefit for the arts will recognize the breadth and beauty of art and culture in our City of the Arts, and pay tribute to those that continue to inspire and guide St. Petersburg to its standing as an international arts destination. Proceeds will benefit artists, arts education, and arts & cultural organizations through our Arts Alliance programs and services.
2018 MUSE Award Winners
MUSE VISUAL ARTS AWARD HONORS CHARLIE PARKER, CHARLIE PARKER POTTERY
This award recognizes an artist or organization that has achieved excellence in the visual arts which include ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, glass-blowing, printmaking, design, crafts, photography, video, lm making and media arts.
Charlie Parker has established himself in the clay community as both an artist and educator. In November 2010 fulfilled his life- long dream of owning his own studio, Charlie Parker Pottery. He has won numerous awards in several juried shows such as CarftArt and the Morean Art Center. He has been featured in Ceramic’s Monthly and PBS/WEDU Arts Plus. His work can be seen in the Raymond James art collection as well many galleries though out the US and private collections.
MUSE PERFORMANCE ARTS AWARD HONORS MARK SFORZINI, ST. PETERSBURG OPERA COMPANY
This award recognizes an artist or organization that has achieved excellence in the performance field to include music, dance, theater and/or interdisciplinary arts.
Executive Director of the St. Petersburg Opera and Music Director of the Tampa Bay Symphony, Mark Sforzini began conducting opera in 2005 and founded St. Petersburg Opera in 2007. Sforzini conducts a full range of repertoire: classic orchestral, pops, opera and Broadway. He was recently chosen by Musical America as one of thirty international industry professionals as a “Profile in Courage.” These top industry leaders have “taken a risk, spoken out where others were silent – all to the measurable benefit of their arts organizations and the field.”
MUSE LITERARY ARTS AWARD HONORS SHEILA COWLEY, PLAYWRIGHT
This award recognizes an artist or organization that has achieved excellence in the written word in fiction or non-fiction, playwriting, screen writing, journalism, poetry or prose, print or digital formats.
Sheila Cowley is a playwright and audio producer, who collaborates with actors, dancers and visual artists. Her play, “Flying,” about women who flew military planes in WWII in the aftermath of war, was featured in new play festivals this year in Chicago, Austin and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and opened American Stage’s 21st Century Voices Festival. Flying was produced in upstate New York this summer, followed by a co-production with Tampa Rep and The Studio@620. Other works, “Trio,” will premiere in Austin, after a workshop with actors and dancers sponsored by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance this summer at the Studio@620. Her intimate drama “Stay” will be onstage in Charleston, SC this coming spring. This past year she created theatrical works inspired by visual art for Keep St Pete Lit, the GASP! Festival and the Florida Holocaust Museum, two of those involving dance with choreographer, Paula Kramer.
MUSE PATRON OF THE ARTS AWARD HONORS SYLVIA RUSCHE, SYLVIA RUSCHE INSURANCE AGENCY, INC.
This award recognizes an individual or couple who, with their time and treasure, generously support the arts.
Sylvia Rusche has used her community service commitments to further the footprint of the performing and visual arts, as well as social justice causes and education. Trustee and board commitments have included First Night St Pete, St Petersburg Museum of History and the Studio@620. She was the original sponsor of the successful Movies in the Park project in downtown Straub Park. Sylvia was a member of the Suncoasters of Tampa Bay, chairing the Jr. Sun Goddess program for several years. She is an avid sponsor at freeFall Theater and the Palladium Theater, as well as Keep St Pete Lit. Quarterly art shows are hosted in the lobby of her downtown office featuring local artists and their work.
MUSE ARTS AMBASSADOR AWARD HONORS PAUL WILBORN, ST. PETERSBURG PALLADIUM THEATER & EUGENIE BONDURANT, ACTRESS/TEACHER
This award recognizes beloved St. Petersburg artists who are stellar representatives of our City of the Arts.
Paul Wilborn is the Executive Director of the Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College. Under his leadership the Palladium has won numerous “Best of the Bay” awards and is recognized as the top venue for jazz, blues, choral music, chamber music and dance in the bay area. Paul is a pianist, musician and bandleader. His American Songbook Series presents intimate cabaret shows at American Stage Theater and other venues around Florida. As founder and leader of Paul Wilborn and the Pop Tarts, he played most major venues in the Tampa Bay area for 15 years.
Eugenie Bondurant, SAG/AFTRA actress and teacher, was the first teacher hired at the Patel Conservatory in 2004 leading an on-camera acting program at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, and taught acting for 12 years at Beverly Hills Studios. A New Orleans native and former runway model, Bondurant worked for decades as an actress in Los Angeles, appearing in movies (Fight Club, Space Truckers) and TV shows, and appears as Tigris in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2. She brought her dynamic on-camera acting program to Tampa from Los Angeles. She also teaches scene study at Andi Matheny Studios in St Petersburg. Eugenie voiced the vivid descriptions for the ongoing Accessible Mural Tour, which is produced by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance and sponsored by AARP.
Paul and Eugenie are founding members of the WMNF and the Studio@620 Radio Theater Project. Paul contributes radio plays to the project and Eugenie performs monthly with her sultry alto voice.
MUSE TICKETS AND SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES ARE NOW ON SALE at https://stpeteartsalliance.org/save-date-next-muse-gala-february-9/