St. Petersburg Art Alliance Appoints New CEO in New Era For Organization

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published to News Break – follow me there.

The St. Petersburg Art Alliance (SPAA) has appointed a new CEO, Terry Marks, to run the non-profit whose tenure began on March 18th.

“While we will miss our Founder and Executive Director, John Collins, we are excited to continue the great work of SPAA under Terry’s leadership. Her background in the arts, business and nonprofit sector is a perfect fit to enhance and increase our impact for the community,” stated Mary Anna Murphy, Board Chair. Collins served for nearly a decade as the CEO.

Collins told St. Pete Catalyst, “I think it’s time for new energy, younger energy,” said Collins, who will stay on in an advisory position through the fall. “Somebody to bring in new ideas.”

“Visual and performing art is such an intimate form of expression and one of the most powerful means to communicate. I am honored to accept the newly created position of Chief Executive Officer. John’s influence as Founder and Executive Director will always be a shining light for me.”

“I am looking forward to serving the compelling and innovative arts culture within St. Petersburg. My primary goal is to create a unifying alliance and grow our vibrant arts economy. Within the business sector, art has a significant role to play and a seat at the table to accelerate the overall growth of our city. In addition, I want to expand and support artists and art education, as St. Petersburg continues to rise as a diverse destination for arts and culture.”, says Marks.

Marks grew up in New York City, with a deep and abiding love for visual and performing arts. Her first career was as an educator, and she then worked on Wall Street with Fortune 500 companies, including the largest minority and woman-owned brokerage. She also was a publisher of a magazine for children, as well as owning her own 17-year consulting practice in Los Angeles, serving organizations with budgets from $2 million to over $250 million.

Marks previously worked with the Santa Monica Museum of Art, known now as the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Pacific Symphony, Celebration Theater, Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, and she traveled with one of her clients, a ballet company, in a cultural exchange to China.

Most recently she consulted for the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative which consists of “a small group of individuals with a strong interest in increasing the visibility of works produced by artists of color with a specific interest in artists of African descent”.

St. Petersburg Art Alliance Community Impact

One of the big events organized by the SPAA is their Second Saturday Art Walk which will be upcoming on April 10th, May 8th, and June 12th from 5PM to 8PM. The free event unites the Central Arts District, EDGE District, Grand Central District, Warehouse Arts District and downtown Waterfront Arts District in celebration of the arts.

They also host an annual SHINE Mural Festival in October that “illuminates the power of art in public spaces by revitalizing areas, inspiring dialogue and uniting our community, while cultivating new standards of artistic excellence reflecting St. Petersburg’s creative and vibrant spirit”.

SPAA is the “only 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to raising money and advocating for our entire creative community – artists, arts and cultural organizations, and creative businesses.” The organization raises money through individual and corporate gifts, event sponsorships, and grants that support community-wide arts efforts. SPAA is always seeking out donations, memberships, and volunteers to help their cause. Membership starts at $150.

The organization has created and shared resources for artists impacted by COVID-19 and is currently accepting applications for a 2021 Individual Artist Grant Program through April 30th with support from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs in St. Petersburg.

The grant makes it possible for 15 local artists to receive up to $1,000 towards equipment, supplies, select services, and materials for presenting and documenting their work. The program is designed to support public engagement (if COVID guidelines allow) of individual work/projects in the Visual Arts, Craft Arts, Dance, Music, Theater, or Literature.

Find more information at

Sources: St. Pete Catalyst

Photo Credit: St. Petersburg Art Alliance, Craig Adderly, Pixabay


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