By Kathy Collins

The Arts Council of Hillsborough County recently launched This is a new crowd-fundraising site for Tampa Bay’s non-profit arts groups. Local arts non-profits can seek up to $10,000 per project in 90 days.

Since the site went live, arts supporters have helped to raise funds for a variety of arts organizations all over the Tampa Bay Area. Donations have helped to fund festivals, furniture, murals, stage sets and scholarships to bring the arts to underserved populations. The groups can be big or small.

The first project funded was for the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts project. This was a site installation for Gasparilla Festival of the Arts.

Locally, several organizations are involved. This includes the Firehouse Cultural Center in Ruskin which is seeking funding for a mosaic mural project. The project will involve a public workshop led by artists, Celso Gonzalez and Roberto Biaggi, known for their extraordinary public arts projects. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, April 1 through Thursday, April 3 at the Firehouse Cultural Center located at 101 1st Ave. NE in Ruskin. Please call 645-7651 for reservations and information.

Georgia Vahue, Executive Director of the Firehouse Cultural Center, said, “This opportunity epitomizes the Firehouse Cultural Center mission to provide quality programming in arts and education for all ages; to encourage participation, engagement, discovery and learning while offering connections to the unique history, culture and natural environment of the south region of Hillsborough County.”

When someone contributes at, the money goes to the non-profits whether they meet their goal or not.

Vahue added, “The way that the site is set up, it provides opportunities for bringing new donors and supporters to the Firehouse Cultural Center. The site is easy to navigate. We are notified immediately when a gift is received and we can then in turn thank the donor immediately.”

The Arts Council of Hillsborough County launched with the help of the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte, North Carolina and financial support from the Bank of America.

To view projects in need of support, please visit


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