For Immediate Release

305-295-4369, 305-304-5635

Florida Keys Council of the Arts

Annual Meeting


The Florida Keys Council of the Arts held its Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner Friday, February 25 at the Key Colony Inn.

FKCA Board member Theresa Axford, principal of Sugarloaf School, served as the evening's mistress of ceremonies. FKCA Board chair Rocky Hubert of Wells Fargo Mortgage, Key Largo, welcomed the guests and thanked board members for their individual contributions of time & talent.

Rocky especially acknowledged event chair David Cohn of Islamorada and his committee. David Cohn was assisted by Chair Emeritus June Girard of Sugarloaf and Tom Butler, treasurer of the Key Players, both of whom secured the entertainment for the evening: Mike Gillis, Sandy & Dean Walters, Elizabeth & Earle Halbe, Lina Robles, Ralph Garcia, George Bedel and David Schneider.

Habitat for Humanity of the Lower Keys Executive Director Bert Loudenslager prepared the program notes about the performers. Key Largo graphic artist Chris Sandifer designed the Annual Report and treasurer and CPA Jack Hildreth created the Financial Report. Marathon artists Lois Giffen and MaryAnn Motches created table decorations. Commissioner Murray Nelson was given thanks for his role as liaison to the Monroe County Board of Commissioners
The annual report was distributed. Executive Director Monica Haskell noted how the financial statement translates into real artists and performers making world-class art & music in the Florida Keys. The evening's performers, Mike Gillis, David Schneider and Island Opera Company aptly illustrated this, as all are participants in arts Council projects, programs and grants.

Jazz guitarist extraordinaire Mike Gillis plays in the Performance in the Hospital series, as well as the Senior Citizen Lunchtime Concert Series. Singer-songwriter David Schneider acts with Key Players (winner of Cultural Umbrella funding) and won an ArtReach grant to record a demo CD of his original song, "The Florida Keys - We're Someplace Else." Island Opera Company received both an ArtReach grant and significant funding through the Cultural Umbrella grant program.

Other grantees in attendance included members of the Key Players, South Florida Center for the Arts, Keys Chorale and Keys Community Concert Band. Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce president Rob Holtry, producer of the Underwater Music Festival attended, as did Key Largo Chamber of Commerce ambassador John Mullon. Awardees who were not able to attend included writer Cricket Desmarais, winner of the Annual Key West Writers' Guild Writers' Award and Darlene Pruess, winner of the $15,000 South Florida Cultural Consortium Visual and Media Artist Fellowship.

These grantees represent some of the $300,351 awarded by FKCA since its inception, not including Cultural Umbrella awards and Art in Public Places commissions.

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