Call to artists: Two winter opportunities in the Tampa Bay AreaGasparilla Festival of the Arts, Creative Pinellas

Have you ever thought about being a part of the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts that’s held every year in March, but didn’t quite find the right moment to apply? With their Tampa Bay Local Artist Spotlight Contest sponsored by The Gobioff Foundation, local artists have the chance to submit their work and have a booth supplied for the weekend at no cost. Submissions are free, and work is juried by public vote from Jan. 1-21, in which three winners will be selected.
 
“The Local Artist Spotlight was conceived to be something we would do ongoing. The first year was a test, and it was successful. With it being the inaugural year in 2019, lots of things naturally come up that you want to improve upon,” says John Scheffel, President of the Board of Directors of the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts.
 
With a lot of unknowns still ahead regarding COVID-19, the Gasparilla Festival organizers are planning for every possible outcome.
 
“For months, we’ve had several contingency plans. We still want to have a live, in-person festival with appropriate COVID measures in place like increased spacing between booths, fencing the park, and a free ticketed entry system to control crowd sizing, and some sort of health check. We’re exploring all of that,” Scheffel explains. “We’re adding a virtual component to the festival this year too. We see this as the way to the future, and we’ll continue each year with this virtual component as an extension of the festival.”
 
Open to Hillsborough and Pinellas County residents, three work samples can be submitted through Dec. 31 at the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts website.
 
On the west side of the Bay, applications are now open for Creative Pinellas’ 2021 Professional Artist Grants. They are looking for Pinellas County artists who have a history of showing their work on a local, national, or international level; are an inspiration to both other artists and non-artists; and embody the spirit of community and want to help elevate Pinellas County as an arts and culture hub. Grant amounts are $5,000 each, open to artists who work in dance (choreography or performance), interdisciplinary arts, visual arts, music (composition or performance), literature, media arts, and theatre. 
 
An even larger $10,000 sum will be awarded to one stand-out Artist Laureate based on the highest overall panel score. This Artist Laureate will collaborate with Creative Pinellas over the course of the grant period, offering their skills, advice, and knowledge to help support the Pinellas art community.
 
Applications are free and open now through Feb. 1, 2021, by visiting the Creative Pinellas website.

Still not sure you can pull together a grant application on your own? Creative Pinellas is hosting Professional Artist Grant Workshops on Dec. 16 and Jan. 4 to assist artists needing help with their applications. 
 

Read more articles by Caitlin Albritton.

Caitlin Albritton is a freelance writer based in Tampa with a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design and a MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art. When she's not looking at art throughout town, she can be found making it. You can keep up with her visual art on Instagram @caitlinalbritton or on her website. Visit her recent line of inlay “wearable paintings.”
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