Amy Harriet Miller has been named President of the Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts, the 501(c)3 nonprofit which provides funding and developmental support for the Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater and its community programs. The Edwards Foundation supports a majority of foundation-related programming at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater, providing arts education programs for youth, community outreach programs, and performances as well as concerts for the entire community.
“Every major city has to have a performing arts center,” said Bill Edwards. “We are already planning significant changes for the Foundation and the Theater, and Amy is the perfect fit for this opportunity.”
Miller, a growth consultant with expertise in nonprofit management, business development, fundraising, marketing, and public relations, has been working successfully in the nonprofit arena for more than 25 years. As co-founder and Executive Director of The History Council, Miller established a board of scholars, historians, authors and experts as well as published a research report about Establishing St. Petersburg as an International Cultural Heritage Destination. More recently, she conducted the first-ever meeting of the chairs and officers of all the St. Petersburg community arts organizations to discuss arts funding from the State and the need for national and international attention on our city.
“Community support is paramount for the Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts to build upon and reach beyond the last seven successful years,” said Miller. With increased community support, the Foundation can source bigger, better artists and performances at the waterfront venue. “Big changes are in our future – we are restructuring our Foundation team, rebranding the Foundation, adding a corporate participation program, improving the membership program, starting a speakers bureau for community outreach, creating a new website, and enhancing our education department offerings.”
Miller spent nearly a decade as a key member of the Dali Museum’s development team, and was an integral part of the $40 million campaign to build the new museum, one of the most prestigious art museums in the southeastern United States. “That was a hugely satisfying project with which to play a part, and now I look forward to broadening the mission of the Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts and working collaboratively with the City and all of our cultural neighbors to draw more visitors to St. Petersburg.” said Miller. The Edwards Foundation plans to convene a meeting in September in a continued effort to coalesce the local arts community.
“The Mahaffey Theater is one of the best cultural assets in the region, and when I took the role, I realized most people don’t know that it is supported by a foundation. One of the more challenging things regarding our fundraising efforts is that we are often mistaken for a foundation that awards grants. We are not a funding entity. We support a majority of the programs (concerts), performances, and education programs for youth at the theater, hence our greatest need is public support for general programming,” said Miller.
BILL EDWARDS FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS: Founded as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2009, the Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts supports a majority of foundation-related programming at the world-class Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater. Memberships, sponsorships, corporate partnerships, and general donations enable the Foundation to provide art education programs for youth, community arts programs, performances, lectures, and concerts for the entire community. Foundation supporters at certain levels will be afforded a VIP Experience that may include early ticket purchases, free valet parking, priority seat placement, and VIP Lounge access with complimentary refreshments, as well as artist meet and greets where members may mingle and take photos with some of their favorite performers.
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