Adjudicators will select talented students in six fine and performing arts disciplines to receive scholarships
TAMPA, Fla. (March 27, 2018) – Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts (TBBCA) is pleased to announce the Charlie Hounchell Art Stars Scholarships Program 2018 distinguished judges: Eugenie Bondurant, Theatre; Dawne Eubanks, Vocal Music; Helen Hansen French, Dance; Joanna Robotham, Visual Arts; Lisa Unger, Literary Arts; and Paul Wilborn, Instrumental Music.
“The judges play a key role in our scholarships program,” remarked TBBCA Board Director and scholarships program chair, Stephen Gay, Gay & Associates Realtors. “They are renowned in their fields, and bring a high level of professionalism and expertise to their volunteer service.”
“We appreciate the serious thought and countless hours the judges dedicate to the process of selecting the winners from a highly competitive applicant pool of some of the most talented high school juniors and seniors in the Tampa Bay area,” said Susana Weymouth, TBBCA’s executive director. “The 2018 scholarship winners will be announced in April,” she added. “The awards ceremony and talent showcase, generously hosted by TBBCA Chair’s Circle pARTner The Wilson Co., will be held the evening of Thursday, May 17h under the patronage of Mrs. Carolyn Wilson at The Vault on North Franklin Street in downtown Tampa.”
About the Judges
Visual Arts Judge Joanna Robotham joined the staff of the Tampa Museum of Art as the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art in 2016. Robotham recently organized Mernet Larsen: Getting Measured, 1957-2017, a retrospective of Mernet Larsen’s paintings. She has curated, among others, the Tampa Museum of Art’s presentation of Susanne Bartsch: Art-a-Porter, Alex Katz: Black and White, and was part of the curatorial team for Skyway: A Contemporary Collaboration. Robotham previously held the Neubauer Family Foundation Assistant Curator position at the Jewish Museum in New York City where she worked for over 10 years. At the Jewish Museum, she was the curator of Becoming Jewish: Warhol’s Liz and Marilyn (2015) and organized the exhibition Masterpieces & Curiosities: Nicole Eisenman’s Seder (2015). She received her M.A. in Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and earned a B.A. in Art History and Political Science from the University of Washington.
Literary Arts Judge Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling, award-winning author of sixteen novels, including the upcoming psychological thriller UNDER MY SKIN (Oct 2, 2018) and IN THE BLOOD — now being developed as a TV series for ITV by director Gary Fleder (Kiss the Girls, Runaway Jury.) Her books are published in twenty-six languages worldwide, have sold millions of copies and have been named “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, Indie Booksellers, Goodreads and Sun Sentinel to name a few. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR and Travel+Leisure Magazine. Unique, inventive, and often experimental, Unger’s writing is impossible to categorize. She combines her extensive knowledge of the human psyche with an understanding of trauma and fear to create novels that have earned her a reputation as one of the most skilled practitioners of the psychological thriller around today. Throughout her career, Unger has deftly walked the fine line between literary novels and commercial thrillers all the while hitting The New York Times bestseller lists and earning both critical acclaim and millions of fans worldwide. Lisa Unger lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with her husband, daughter and labradoodle.
Theatre Judge Eugenie Bondurant’s long and interesting career has taken her from the runways of Paris to seeing herself on the upside of landing interesting character roles. Coming in at 6’1” the willowy with case-study cheekbones Bondurant started her career as a runway model, promoted by her agents as androgynous, which then followed into her acting career. Most notably, when The Hunger Games’ director, Francis Lawrence, went looking for an actor to play Tigris, a pivotal character enhanced to be both female and feline, a nationwide search led them to Bondurant. Along with her other credits, Bondurant’s short film Tiny Bacteria was shown at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival; this year, she will be appearing alongside Pollyanna McIntosh in Darlin’ among other recent film and TV credits viewed on her IMDB page.
Eugenie Bondurant, a 20 year SAG/AFTRA actress and acting coach, was the first teacher hired at the Patel Conservatory in 2004. She brought her dynamic on-camera acting program to Tampa from Los Angeles. Bondurant has her Meisner Acting certification, studying with mentor, Larry Silverberg She also teaches scene study at Andi Matheny Studios in St. Petersburg. Bondurant can also be heard singing the American Songbook with Paul Wilborn and Blue Roses. “Elegant Chanteuse” with the sultry alto voice, Bondurant finds cabaret the best medium to tell the story in the song. As an original founding member, you will find her performing almost monthly with the Radio Theatre Project at Studio@620. She’s also an active voice-over artist, recently being heard as the voice of the Dali Museum and the St Petersburg Mural tour.
Vocal Music Judge Dawne Wisner Eubanks holds a BA Degree in Music/Voice from Florida State University. This year, she celebrated her 10th anniversary as voice professor at Eckerd College, and her 30th year on the voice faculty at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School. Her solo career has led her to the stages of Carnegie Hall, Dallas’ Meyerson Symphony Center, and locally, the Mahaffey Theatre, Ruth Eckerd Hall, and the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. She has sung roles with the Florida Opera Company, Florida Opera West, Inc., Royalty Theatre Company, St. Petersburg [Little] City Theatre, and has been a featured guest soloist with The Florida Orchestra, The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Florida Orchestra Master Chorale, and the Turtle Creek Chorale. Favorite local performances include the soprano solos in Haydn’s “Lord Nelson Mass” and “Creation”, Mozart’s “Exsultate Jubilate”, Handel’s “Messiah”, Bach’s “Magnificat”, Mozart’s “Coronation Mass”, and this year’s “Festival of Praise”, all with members of The Florida Orchestra, and concerts with “ReflectionsChamber Ensemble”. Recently, she returned to St. Petersburg City Theatre to musical direct “Jesus Christ Superstar”, while musical directing the spring play at Eckerd College. Dawne maintains a private vocal studio in St. Petersburg, is an active performer, and is assistant Music and Worship Leader at the First Baptist Church of St. Pete, in addition to being a sought after vocal coach and adjudicator for competitions and festivals in voice, choral music, musical theatre, and piano.
Instrumental Music Judge 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. He is a founding member of the WMNF and Studio at 620 Radio Theater Project and contributes radio plays to the project. Paul serves as an adjudicator to a number of music competitions.
Prior to joining the Palladium, Wilborn worked for Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio as Manager of Creative Industries. Major accomplishments included increasing community support for artists and arts organizations, connecting the arts and the economic development communities, and directing Arte 2007, Tampa Bay’s Festival of Latin American Arts. Before joining the city, Wilborn was an award-winning reporter and columnist for the Tampa Tribune, the St. Petersburg Times and the Associated Press in Los Angeles. He was a member of the St. Petersburg Times’ Editorial Board for two years. He is a graduate of the University of South Florida and a Tampa native. Paul’s collection of short fiction, Cigar City Confidential, will be published this fall.
Dance Judge Helen Hansen French is a native of St. Petersburg, Florida. She received her BFA from The Juilliard School in 2001. In addition to BDT’s annual New York City seasons she has toured nationally and internationally performing in such venues as, the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Chautauqua Dance Festival, Vail International Dance Festival, Rishon LeZion International Festival in Israel, and the Oriente Occidente Festival in Rovereto, Italy. Mrs. French has been instrumental in staging BDT’s works at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pieve International School in Italy, North Carolina Dance Theater, and numerous colleges and universities throughout the United States. In addition to working with BDT Mrs. French has also been a member of Karen Reedy Dance, had the pleasure of performing with Nilas Martins’ Dance Company, participated in a residency at White Oak Dance working with choreographer Adam Hougland, and performed in the Guggenheim’s Works/Process program with Brian Reeder and Pam Tanowitz.
As a choreographer/movement maker Mrs. French focuses on collaborations and exploring the relationship between dance and other art forms. In support of these endeavours she has been awarded a 2015, 2016 and 2017 Individual Artist Grant from the City of St. Petersburg and she is also a 2016 Creative Pinellas Artist Fellow. Her work has been shown in theaters, museums and galleries as well as non-traditional performance spaces. Most notably The Peter Jay Sharp Theater, The Palladium, The Museum of Fine Arts, The Tampa Museum of Art, Kaatsbaan, Studio@620, The Florida Botanical Gardens, and along the Pinellas Trail.
Helen is deeply committed to arts education and developing the next generation of artists as well as contributing to the community in which she lives. She is a founding member of the St. Petersburg Dance Alliance, www.spdancealliance.com, co-producer of Beacon: a performance series for St. Pete, and a board member of The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance. Mrs. French teaches dance and the Alexander Technique to all ages and has served on the dance faculties at George Mason University, The Juilliard School, Flint Hill School (VA), the Neighborhood Playhouse (NYC), John Hopkins Middle School and St. Petersburg College.
About Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & the Arts
TBBCA was founded in 1989 as the first in Florida “Business Committee for the Arts,” and is today one of 11 national BCA’s and part of the pARTnership Movement and Private Sector Network of Americans for the Arts. TBBCA’s mission is to unite area businesses to champion arts and culture for a prosperous community.
TBBCA pARTners who generously make possible valuable programs and scholarships include: Premier Eye Care; Stephen Gay & Associates, Realtors; The Wilson Company; Linda and Michael Connelly; Mark Mahaffey; Beaux Arts Group; Greenberg Traurig; Strategic Property Partners; Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP; ChappellRoberts; Tampa Bay Magazine; The Tampa Bay Times/tbt*; Playbook Public Relations; Armature Works; Bruck Family Foundation; Cox Media Group; Alex McKnight ArchivaImages; and also Phelps Dunbar; Vantage Point Advisors of Raymond James; Thrive Law; BNY Mellon Wealth Management; Anthony & Partners; Wells Fargo and Wells Fargo Private Bank; Katharine Weymouth; Yann and Susana Weymouth; The University of Tampa; Williams Consulting; B2 Communications, and others.