There are lots of new and exciting programs and classes coming to Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association this fall.

Fall is becoming quite a busy time at Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association. Our fall classes are in full swing, and we are excited to announce a new partnership with Hillsborough County.

Thanks to a generous grant from the county, Center Place will be offering a free art therapy program called Free Form Art for elementary, middle and high school students on Tuesdays starting on October 5. The elementary students’ art therapy classes will be held at Center Place from 4:30-5:30 p.m. The middle school and high school students’ classes will be held from 6-7 p.m.

“This program will benefit children who have had some form of trauma in their lives and will help them to express their feelings through art,” said Center Place’s executive board president, Ryan Odiorne. “This class will help them to move past their personal struggles and improve their ability to communicate and address the emotions they are feeling.”

This grant from the county also includes another free art program with Center Place’s community partner, the Down Syndrome Association of Tampa Bay (DSATB). Its program is called 3-2-1-Art and it will take place twice a month on the first Monday of each month from 6-7 p.m. and the third Sunday of each month from 3-4 p.m. beginning on Monday, October 4. DSATB’s program will help families with children who have Down syndrome.

“This program will benefit families who have children and teens with Down syndrome,” DSATB’s president, Craig Woodard, said. “The students will use art as a way of expression and communication. The class will also help its students develop social skills and how to interact with other students and teachers in a classroom setting.”

If you would like to preregister your child for either one of these programs, please contact Center Place at 685-8888. Children and families must be prescreened for either program before they may register.

Center Place will be offering a Growing Herbs in Florida Workshop on Saturday, October 2 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The cost for this workshop is $40, which includes wine and food, and guests will get to take home three herb plants of their choice.

Also in October, Center Place will host its first-ever Drag Queen Bingo. The bingo will be held on Thursday, October 14 from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $40 and include bingo cards, wine and food. Proceeds from this event will go to help fund the children’s art programs that are offered at Center Place.

Center Place is looking for local makers to be vendors at Center Place’s Holiday Makers’ Market on Saturday, November 13 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Booth rental for local vendors will be $30.

If you would like to attend Drag Queen Bingo or be a vendor at Center Place’s holiday market, please contact Center Place at 685-8888. Center Place is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B in Brandon.

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Libby is a writer for The Osprey Observer/The Christian Voice. She started as an intern in 2009 and upon finishing her internship, she was asked to stay on as a permanent writer for both papers. Libby lives in Brandon with her two rescue dogs, Olive and Bogey.