St. Petersburg, FL (February 11, 2019) – The Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) is excited to announce that our general counsel and executive director, Diane Bailey Morton, is the Community Champion honoree in the annual Top Corporate Counsel Awards by the Tampa Bay Business Journal which recognize an accomplished group of seasoned professionals and rising stars in the legal field. The Community Champion Award honors an outstanding attorney who dedicates time and talents to serving the less fortunate, preserving the environment, saving the arts, and other causes that make our world a better place.
A long-time fixture in the Tampa Bay arts community, Morton has always valued the importance of donating her time and money to the arts. She has served as a Board Member for the St. Petersburg Opera Company, American Stage Theatre Company, the the City of St. Petersburg’s International Relations Commission, USF Alumni Association, Palladium Theater, and Great Explorations Children’s Museum.
As Executive Director for WADA, Morton has been instrumental in securing financial donations and increasing membership to spearhead important growth initiatives for the Warehouse Arts District and their art projects. The nonprofit purchased 3 acres of property and is revitalizing abandoned warehouses into Art studios, education classrooms, dance studio and a gallery.
In her current role with the Warehouse Arts District, she is using her expertise to help revitalize the south St. Petersburg areas of Midtown and The Deuces to create an arts destination dedicated not only to supporting local artists but to revitalizing a neglected part of St. Petersburg with a history steeped in African American culture.
She began her career as an assistant state attorney, prosecuting some of the toughest legal cases in the area – those that involved crimes against young children- before opening labor and employment trial practice in St. Petersburg. In private practice for 17 years, she specialized in labor and employment and served as general counsel to the Tampa Police Union, Tampa Firefighters Union, and Southwest Police Benevolent Association. She worked to ensure that first responders were treated fairly and had a voice in their local communities.
“I hope my legacy is one of selfless service that helps to create positive change in the community. Just like my mother taught me, I pass on to my daughters that no matter how big or small, everyone can make a difference by being involved in their communities,” says Morton.
Morton chose to lead the Warehouse Arts District because it spoke to what she is passionate about – creating opportunity for people who need it, giving back to a community she loves, and “paying it forward” through volunteerism and philanthropy. Both her professional career and civic accomplishments have made her an invaluable member of the community, putting others that she comes into contact with at the forefront of her life.
Full list of 2019 Top Corporate Counsel, https://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2019/02/04/here-are-the-2019top-corporate-counsel-honorees.html
About the Warehouse Arts District Association
The Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant arts community within and around the Warehouse Arts District in downtown St. Petersburg. Spanning from 1st Avenue North to 10th Avenue South and 16th Street to 31st Street, the Warehouse Arts District includes the Deuces Live Main Street and is comprised of a thriving community of over 300 businesses that support both the artistic outreach of the organization and the community revitalization. WADA employs a broad spectrum of tools, including marketing, advocacy, community stimulation, and educational programming to support the success of artists and community. The Education Center will serve all citizens, particularly those in the Midtown area, with accessible health, wellness, and art classes. For more information, please visit, warehouseartsdistrictstpete.com.
About the ArtsXchange
The ArtsXchange, a project of the Warehouse Arts District Association, is an artistic enclave with over 50,000 square feet of warehouse space that is being renovated into affordable working studios, galleries, classrooms, and performance space. ArtsXchange tenants are from all mediums with most spaces doubling as galleries open to the public on the Second Saturday of every month and a focus on providing arts education to underserved populations. For more info please visit, warehouseartsdistrictstpete.org/ArtsXchange.
WADA Instagram Page: @warehouseartssp
WADA Facebook Page: @WarehouseArtsDistrictStPete