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Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association has been dedicated to promoting fine arts and civic participation in the Brandon community since 1976. As indicated in its name, Center Place is located in the heart of Brandon. The center has a 300-seat auditorium, gallery, art workshop, meeting room and a gift shop. It offers a variety of programs for all ages in such areas as art exhibits and education as well as the performing arts. So what is Center Place’s secret to being such a vital part of the community for 33 years? Dawn Galia, art director of Center Place, believes the secret to longevity is community support and reasonable prices. “We keep our prices down and also include the community in many free events,” she said.

Center Place and the Brandon League of Fine Arts have a partnership, and it is from this joint venture that the center is able to promote many local artists. Through Friday, July 31, the center will exhibit the works of W.G. Manley. The center’s Phillip G. Mook Gallery has many exhibits booked through 2010.

The center is in constant planning mode. In August, there are two different theatre presentations scheduled, Broadway Goes Pop! with Lew and Ellen and Sweeney Todd presented by the StageDoor Performing Arts, Inc. On Friday, August 21, the center will host the Monti Awards which are given to various theatre production companies in and outside of the Brandon area. It is Brandon’s version of the Tony Awards. During the summer, Center Place offers various workshops for children. Additionally, there are monthly painting classes offered for adults.  The center hosts several seasonal events that have become community favorites such as the Halloween Horrible Parade in October and the lighting of the Christmas tree in December. “We are always trying to think of fun community events,” Galia said.

Center Place is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. For more information on upcoming events, you can visit or call 685-8888.

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.