Center Place art teacher Alejandro Algarin is hoping the community will come together to help Center Place offer an animation program that he will teach.

Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association is known in the community as ‘The Heart and Art’ of the Brandon community. It has been bringing classical forms of art to our community for 48 years.

The center was almost shuttered due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

“When the Odiorne family stepped up to save Center Place, they created a new board,” said Center Place’s executive director, Libby Hopkins. “The new board wanted to have a mix of the classical art classes that Center Place is known for and then added some more modern art forms as well.”

The latest art form hoping to be offered is animation.

“Center Place has an extremely talented artist, Alejandro Algarin,” Hopkins said. “He teaches our street art classes and our intro to cartooning classes that have been a huge hit with children and adults of all ages.”

Those who follow Algarin’s Instagram page (@maff_bug) know he is very talented in animation in addition to his other artistic skills.

“I love using animation to make my art come to life,” Algarin said. “I want to teach kids and adults that there are other ways of creating art other than drawing in your sketchbook. I want them to know and understand how the animation in the movies they watch is created.”

Center Place is looking to the Brandon community and beyond to help Algarin’s animation class come to life.

“We are looking to our community to see if anyone or local businesses would be willing to donate their used laptop to Center Place so we can use them to offer the animation class in the fall,” Hopkins said. “We are also looking for sponsorship for this animation program because we still want to offer this program to our community at a reasonable price. We want this animation program to be attainable for everyone.”

If you have a laptop that you would like to donate to Center Place or if you are a local business that is interested in supporting or sponsoring the animation program, please contact Hopkins at 813-685-8888.

If you would like to learn more about the programs that are offered at Center Place or if you’d like to make a donation, you can visit its website at

Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B inside the Brandon Regional Library.

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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.