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Why Your Business Should Support Non-Profit Causes.

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts sponsorship recognition
One of the many sponsor recognition areas at GFA 52.

Some call it the “halo effect” – that angelic reputation companies can garner from aligning their brands with like-minded charities.  But it also makes good business sense.  The phrase “generosity is the new marketing” began gaining traction when research revealed that millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) represent $2.45 trillion in spending power and are quickly emerging as a buying force larger and more technologically sophisticated than the Baby Boomers.  Seventy percent report that they gravitate toward and spend more on businesses that support causes in general, not just in those they support. 

As Inc. Magazine wrote, “giving back is good for the soul…and in many cases, good for the bottom line.” Let’s take a deeper dive into why this is so. 

 Boosting employee morale.

 Companies that take active interests in their own communities can realize a giant boost to employee morale.  Workplace culture can improve with increased employee involvement and a positive general attitude. This can either be through gift-matching programs or volunteer opportunities, the latter of which provides excellent public visibility for a company’s brand.  In a 2016 Deloitte study on volunteering, millennials were twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive if their company participated in workplace volunteer activities. 

Increased marketing opportunities.

Charitable sponsorship is a great way to do good in your community, while also gaining marketing exposure.  Donations put your company’s name out there, especially if you sponsor an event like GFA.  For two days in early March, being a GFA sponsor puts your brand squarely in front of nearly 30,000 Festival attendees, approximately 400 volunteers, and other sponsors who share your interest in promoting and celebrating the arts. 

Tax deductions.

While the “halo effect” might not be immediately visible, you will quickly notice the tax advantages of corporate sponsorships.  While we understand that few companies donate solely for the financial benefits, donations to GFA and other charities are typically tax deductible. 

It fosters goodwill and helps charities make a difference.

At the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, corporate sponsorship makes up nearly half of our revenue.  For last year’s Festival, 24 percent of our annual budget came from paid sponsorships and another 25 percent accounted for in-kind donations.  Those two forms of support amounted to $296,721 of our yearly revenue that has made the Festival possible each of its 52 years.  Plus, sponsorship has allowed us to grow our award money from the original $3,900 in 1970 to $92,000 for GFA 53.   

Tom James, Chairman Emeritus of Raymond James, GFA’s title corporate sponsor for over 25 years, said it best. 

“The fabric of a thriving community comes from many threads.  Good economic opportunities, quality education, and safe neighborhoods are centrally important, of course, but often overlooked is the role of a community’s arts.  Art inspires our greatest adventures and connects us to one another and our history.  It makes our cities places we want to be, to celebrate and to make better. It differentiates the good places to live from the truly great ones.”

Raymond James is not only a financial supporter of GFA, but they also provides a large number of volunteers each year to help us keep our Festival experience one of the top in the nation. 

GFA 53 Emerging Artist tent
The presenting sponsor for Emerging Artists is still available.

GFA sponsorship opportunities still available.

Join our impressive and respected list of sponsors, including Raymond James, The Lightning Foundation, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa Bay Times, TECO Energy, Shutts Attorneys at Law, Scan Design, Bank of Tampa, Gobioff Foundation, Vinik Family Foundation, Oxford Exchange, Shumaker, and JJ Taylor Distributing, to name a few.  Several presenting, benefactor, and patron sponsorships are still available, including sponsorships for our ever-popular Emerging Artist program, artist hospitality, community outreach area, and more.

To view our Sponsorship Prospectus for the 2023 Festival, click here.  To speak with a member of our development committee, please reach out to and we’ll get in touch right away.  To learn more about GFA, visit




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

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


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.

Shevonne and the Force

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.

Kristopher James

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”

Deaf Company

Three piece Rock n Roll band hailing from St. Petersburg, FL.

Skyler Golden

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.