The Gasparilla Festival of the Arts has always been the jewel of our Gasparilla season with an outsized positive impact on our community. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to serve the organization and excited about being a part of its continued growth and evolution.
Embracing the spirit of Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, I am not just a participant; I am a vital thread in the rich tapestry of community and friendship. In every brushstroke, in every shared moment, we contribute to the vibrant masterpiece that celebrates the unifying power of art and the bonds that connect us all.
I’m very honored to be joining the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts Board during this exciting 50th Anniversary year. I look forward to working with this amazing group of volunteers in supporting and contributing to those art endeavors which so richly impact our lives
My creative side was nurtured by my mother whose forays into crafts and yarn inspired me to explore and develop an appreciation and love for all forms of art. Serving on the Board allows me an opportunity to help inspire future generations and build upon the legacy of artists within our community.
Searching for a way to give back….and GFA found me. The Gasparilla Festival of the Arts provides me a meaningful way to support artists and the arts of all types, in the community I love.
I am happy to be part of this amazing event as some of my favorite memories of growing up in Tampa have been attending this festival with my parents.
Arts and culture are a catalyst to a community’s strength and growth. For over 50 years, GFA has played a vital role in fostering a vibrant arts community here in Tampa Bay. I’m honored to be a part of the Board and contribute to the impact GFA has on Tampa.
One of the longest serving friends of the Festival, I began my involvement many years ago upon moving to Tampa and becoming an Education Curator at the Tampa Museum of Art.As an art educator for many years, the Festival fulfills my passion for sharing knowledge and the love of art with all involved who come to enjoy this wonderful experience.
I have been involved in the creative arts, both as an advertising agency creative director and as a musician my entire adult life. It's exciting to be a part of an organization dedicated to beautifying the world around us through art, and to be able to be a part of helping ignite artists' passions through exhibition and recognition on a such a time-honored stage.
“The true beauty of Art lies in its ability to manifest a language that we can all comprehend.” - Nneka Jones
GFA is an amazing organization that ensures the Arts are accessible to all. I am proud to have been apart of the GFA organization for 8 years now. I am continuously inspired by the professionals we work with to showcase the best in thier field and to offer exposure to Emerging & Local Artists. GFA also highlights the best that Tampa has to offer in the way of public spaces and public art!
I am honored to have been involved with this amazing festival for more than 20 years. The volunteers, the artists, and the art are the very best. I am excited to serve on the Board and to celebrate this premier fine art event for the Tampa Bay community.
I grew up in a family that supported the arts as a valuable part of life, and I’ve carried that with me to this day. That is why I’ve attended the Festival for almost two decades since moving to the Tampa Bay area, and that is why I was honored when asked to join the Board. I believe that Tampa is a better community to live in and visit because of the Festival, and I intend to do all I can to promote it and our great City.
My involvement with GFA has impacted me on many levels. The more I experience this amazing organization, the deeper my bond becomes. I am honored to be a part of a wonderful, all volunteer organization and cherish the relationships I am building with volunteers, artists, and our partners.
“Creative thinking inspires ideas. Ideas inspire change.” –Barbara Januszkiewicz
Art of all varieties enriches the community by bringing people together and
I am happy to be joining GFA as we continue to enrich the Tampa Bay area.
Mayor Jane Castor
Jack A. Cohen
Ann Leavengood Giles
Jane Pope Arnett
Ajeva is a funk/rock band from St. Petersburg, FL. The band started in 2013 and features Reed Skahill (vocals), Taylor Gilchrist (bass), Mike Nivens (guitar), and Lyndon Thacker (keys). They’ve carved out a sound of their own with epic melodies and distinctive vocals that pair perfectly with their deep grooves. Each Ajeva show is a one of a kind experience with the band taking their songs to different places and new heights every night.
Light the Wire makes heartfelt, indie-folk rock that with powerful vocal harmonies, thoughtful lyrics, and powered by driving bass and drums. The quintet is based out of Tampa, FL, and released its self-produced, debut EP – “Someday Is Coming” on all streaming platforms on November 1, 2023.
Rock musician that refuses to find a niche
GA & FL
FFO: Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World
Biggest influences are church, his mother, Coheed & Cambria, Acceptance, James Morrison, Bombay Bicycle Club, Disturbed, Arctic Monkeys, Young The Giant, Chevelle, Rusko, Chief and Matt Corby. Most of the music he listens to has a darker sound to it so he in turn makes darker, melodic music.
Datagram has been the moniker of shapeshifting Tampa musician Scott Olson for the better part of the last decade.
In that time, the sound and styles of this project have shifted and morphed, painting with shades of glitch, downtempo, techno, and all that lurks in between.
A multi-hyphenate, genre-bending artist, Shevonne Philidor is a singer-songwriter, producer, and actress who epitomizes her dynamic background in music and performing arts. A military brat born in Philadelphia, PA, she experienced living in multiple cities – including a stint in Italy – before landing in Tampa, Fl, where she nurtured her musical ability throughout her childhood. She’s a scion of a musical family stemming from her half-Haitian descent and taught herself to play the guitar at an early age, inspired by the likes of Prince, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley, and M83. In 2003, she made her first TV debut on America’s Most Talented Kids, and in 2010, she made an appearance on America’s Got Talent Wild Card. A recipient of the prestigious NFAA scholarship, she also made American Idol’s top 40 twice in 2016 and 2019, the same year she performed at Austin City Limits with five-time Grammy award-winning artist Gary Clark jr. In 2021, she performed alongside CeeLo Green at a Superbowl party for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was tapped to sing for ABC’s Juneteenth celebration with T.I. and Domani. Working with Grand Hustle Records, she’s a Luna Guitar-endorsed artist who was also selected to perform in Just Blaze’s SXSW showcase in 2022. A theatre kid at heart, she’s flexed her acting skills on a national tour for Todrick Hall’s musical, Oz The Musical, and she was also recently casted in Life’s Rewards, an upcoming Amazon Prime TV show.
Though he’s lived in the Sunshine State, for most of his life, Kristopher’s talent for melody and song (now) extend far past the state’s line. Like his influencers Otis Redding, Amos Lee, and Roberta Flack, Kristopher’s voice is clear, controlled, and full of all-the-feels. As with all artists, Kristopher’s sound has ebbed and flowed, evolving yet remaining instantly recognizable. With the growth he’s experienced as an artist, Kristopher felt it was time to capture his songs, in their fully-imagined sound!
With his debut album “Kindness Never Quits”, featuring members of Scary Pockets, Kristopher caught the attention of Relix & Glide Magazine, Spotify Playlist curators and continued praise, such as “vocals are so powerful and as the song progresses, he showcases why he is one of the best singers out there. All that soul in one artist is just unbelievable” from Reignland Magazine.
Continuing through the COVID years, Kristopher partnered with musicians to keep the music and community alive. Along with composer and keys player Mike Hicks of Rascal Flatts, The War & Treaty’s Max Brown on guitar, as well as talented artists Kyshona Armstrong, Jonathan Huber, DeMarco Johnson, Kristopher released 3 acclaimed singles: “Never Had to Find Our Way”, “Feelings” and “I Can Only Love You in a Song”
Three piece Rock n Roll band hailing from St. Petersburg, FL.
Musician from St. Pete Florida and Studio Producer for Zen Recording. Brings an eclectic sound of string instruments for the Yoga Classes at GFA 2024
From Tampa Florida, SydLive was born to write and sing songs that touch the world. As her mother recalls, her climb to stardom began with getting on top of restaurant tables to sing at the age of two.
By the time she was eleven, she acquired her first guitar and began to teach herself to play by learning Beatles songs. Within four years she found her way to the stage singing in a Carpenters tribute band. Since this time, Syd has amassed over a decade of experience as a professional singer/songwriter and recording/performance artist. Within the industry, she names Aretha Franklin as her idol.
The first sound you hear on Durry’s rambunctious and poignant debut album, Suburban Legend, is an old-school Internet dial-up tone. To songwriter Austin Durry, the sound is instantly familiar but his bandmate and sister, Taryn, hadn’t heard it before. The Burnsville, Minnesota-based duo might identify with different age groups — with seven years between them, Austin is a millennial and Taryn is Gen Z — but by joining forces in Durry, they show just how much the neighboring generations have in common.
Between their serendipitous origin story and a crop of dynamic, hook-heavy alt-pop tracks, Durry are doing something few bands can achieve — and they’re doing it entirely on their own terms. As a band, Taryn and Austin’s journey happened both unexpectedly and fortuitously. At the start of the COVID pandemic, Austin and his wife moved back into his parents’ house, where Taryn was also living at the time. In addition to moving back in with his family, COVID forced Austin to cancel an extensive tour with his previous band, Coyote Kid. Faced with nothing but time, he got back to songwriting, regularly asking Taryn for input — or as the two playfully put it, “Gen Z quality control.”
“I’d say, here’s an early concept, what do you think? Then she’ll steer the ship, and then I’ll evolve it from there,” Austin explains. “Taryn is the sounding board and Gen Z vision of the band, where I’m kinda cranking stuff out.”
As they got going, forming what would turn into Durry, the siblings also outlined DIY ideas for branding and promotion, creating all of their own content and imbuing their visuals with nostalgic golden yellow, large fonts, and tactile images that would later make their way into eye-catching merch.
The immediate result of their musical partnership was the pop-punk/alternative anthem “Who’s Laughing Now,” which leads with wry, tongue-in-cheek lyrics about the futility of young adulthood in 2023: “My mama always said I would regret it if I ever got a tattoo,” Austin chants, adding: “She said I’d never get a job like I ever wanted one with that attitude/ My dad said I had to learn to drive a stick shift, but every van I ever had was an automatic/ My friends said that someday I would make it big, but I’m still living in the basement.”
After posting an unfinished version of “Who’s Laughing Now” on TikTok, it swiftly took off, galvanizing thousands of viewers who shared their coming-of-age frustrations. Clearly, the song’s sentiments — which land somewhere between a shrug and a clenched fist — resonated with millions of listeners, and today the song has garnered more than four million Spotify streams. Meanwhile, Durry have recorded a fully fleshed-out version of “Who’s Laughing Now,” which is set to appear on their riveting, perfectly sardonic debut LP, Suburban Legend.