Project GenYes! Brings Arts To Life For Generation Y

The Tampa Bay area is booming with technology accelerators, which provide mentoring and other resources to take a new company from idea to implementation. Inspired by the success of this model, Studio@620 in St. Petersburg offers a new accelerator for emerging artists in the millennial generation.  

Project GenYes! is led by Tampa Bay entrepreneurs Hunter Payne and Reuben Pressman, along with John Collins of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, artist-in-residence Sharon Scott, grant master Sandy Tabor and Bob Devin Jones of Studio@620. Funding is provided by a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

"We’re inspired by accelerators for tech company startups because of their focused collaborative energy and are excited to see artists function within this platform," says Pressman.

The accelerator, which focuses on jazz, dance and theater, uses both virtual and physical space to turn concepts into performances while bringing multigenerational audiences together. Twelve artists will be selected initially from those who apply online to participate in a private two-month online workshop with vocalist, writer and mentor Sharon Scott. Six artists from that group will then go on to the second stage, where they will receive one-on-one mentoring, a website to gather additional support from the community, a $1,000 stipend to use toward their performance, and access to volunteers and creative space at Studio@620 to work and perform.

"This is crucial for the Tampa Bay community to keep our emerging artists engaged," says Pressman. "It says to them: We want you to share your journey here with us in Tampa Bay. Let’s all stick around and make something beautiful together!"

The team hopes the creativity collaborative energy of the project will serve as a sustainable model for other arts organizations around the world.

The deadline to apply is mid-October.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Reuben Pressman, Project GenYes!

Read more articles by Megan Hendricks.

Megan Hendricks is a feature writer at 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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