About The St. John's Cultural Council

Our Mission

The mission of the council is to promote St. Johns County as a premiere arts destination where the lives of both residents and visitors are enriched through arts and culture.

History of the Council

Established in July of 2000, The St. Johns Cultural Council is a 501-C3 nonprofit organization. The SJCC has recently moved to a new office along with a new Executive Director, Andrew Witt. The office is located at 15 Old Mission Avenue, St. Augustine, 32084.

The Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs has established a structure under which the growth of strong arts and culture takes place through a single umbrella organization for each county in Florida. Commonly known as a “Local Arts Agency”, individual “cultural councils” operate within each county to provide a wide range of services and programs for arts organizations, individual artists and tourism sectors within their county borders.

On October 2, 2007, the St. Johns County Board of Commissioners officially designated the St. Johns Cultural Council as the official Local Arts Agency for St. Johns County, under county resolution 2007-2008.  

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In order to meet our short and long term objectives, the Cultural Council’s Board of Directors is currently implementing several strategies: 1) Build a strong base of support for art and culture throughout all areas of St. Johns County; 2) Serve as a comprehensive clearinghouse for arts and cultural information; 3) Build a broad coalition of arts and cultural interests throughout all areas of the county to stimulate public and private financial support for local arts and cultural organizations, and; 4) Create a robust, on-line presence that will advance the mission of the council.

The Cultural Council currently provides a weekly Arts and Entertainment Newsletter that is electronically distributed to over 3000 people. Our other website, www.historiccoastculture.com,  provides information and resources to the community about the arts and cultural events in St. Johns County. The Dance Company, The Art Studio and other community based organizations make daily use of the Cultural Center at St. Augustine Beach by offering weekly artistic and movement classes to hundreds of residents and visitors.

Additionally, through the generous support of the community, we are able to offer our ArtReaches program, designed to assist local artists and arts organizations in obtaining grants and provide professional and technical support to help them develop, market, and promote local programs and events. The St. Johns Cultural Council is proud to support the development of arts institutions, community arts partners, cultural programs and activities, and audiences within St. Johns County. We hold our monthly board meetings every 4th Wednesday at the office at 5 pm (unless there is a conflict and rescheduling is needed) and the public is always welcome to attend. 

Read Our Local Arts Agency Resolution

A RESOLUTION BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF ST. JOHNS COUNTY, FLORIDA DESIGNATING THE ST. JOHNS CULTURAL COUNCIL AS THE LOCAL ARTS AGENCY FOR ST. JOHNS COUNTY, FLORIDA.

WHEREAS, the St. Johns Cultural Council was formed as a nonprofit entity in 2000 in order to promote St. Johns County County) as one of the nation’s premier arts destinations; and

WHEREAS, the St. Johns Cultural Council assists local artists and arts organizations in the County by helping to obtain financial assistance through local, state and federal grants and providing professional and technical support to help the develop, market and promote their activities; and

WHEREAS, the St. Johns Cultural Council works to expand and promote art education in schools within the County and to encourage arts, art organizations, and businesses to assist the County’s schools to help enrich the children of the County; and

WHEREAS, arts and cultural programs made available to students in County schools, including after-school programs for disadvantaged youth, have dramatically improved academic achievement, as well as, achievement in students’ personal lives; and

WHEREAS, arts and cultural activities enhance and enrich the quality of the lives of County residents; and

WHEREAS, a new report by Americans for the Arts shows that nationwide the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates S 166.2 billion in economic activity annually, up 24% in the past 5 years; and WHEREAS, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $30 billion in revenues to government against governmental spending of $4 billion — a 7:1 return on investment; and

WHEREAS, arts and culture businesses, of which about 700 are located within St. Johns County, leverage additional event-related spending in other local businesses, and tourists stay longer when attracted and entertained by arts and culture events, and

WHEREAS, in the recent study Exploring America Through its Culture” the following observations were made concerning cultural tourists: 1) distinguished as having higher income levels; 2) more likely to stay in hotels; 3) possess a higher level of education; 4) display more interest in shopping; 5) generate trips of longer duration; 6) appear upscale; 7) able to spend more travel dollars per day; and 8) express a desire for new travel experiences; and

WHEREAS, cities and counties that have vibrant arts and culture opportunities are more successful in attracting new businesses and investment; and

WHEREAS, a Local Arts Agency is defined as an umbrella entity, induding nonprofit corporations, designated by the County Commission to serve the County arts and culture constituencies; and

WHEREAS, the St. Johns County School Board , the St. Johns County Tourism Development Council, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, as well as, the County’s Recreation Advisory Board have all recommended to the Board of County Commissioners of St. Johns County to designate the St. Johns Culture Council as the Local Arts Agency of the County; and

WHEREAS, designation of the St. Johns Cultural Council as the Local Arts Agency for St. Johns County would enhance the voice and business of the arts and culture community in County matters; and

WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of St. Johns County, Florida has determined that it would be in the overall interests of the County to designate the St. Johns cultural council as the Local Arts Agency for St. Johns County.

NOW THERFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF ST. JOHNS COUNTY, as follows:

Section 1. The above recitals are incorporated by reference into the body of this Resolution, and such recitals are adopted as findings of fact. Section 2. It is the intent of this Resolution to accomplish the following:
(a) Stimulate greater governmental and public awareness and appreciation of the importance of the arts to the residents of St. Johns County
(b) Encourage and facilitate greater and more efficient use of governmental and private resources, in order to more fully develop and support the arts.
(c) Encourage and facilitate opportunities for St Johns County residents and visitors to participate in arts and cultural programs and activities.
(d) Expand and support cultural tourism development in St. Johns County, in order to enhance St. Johns County as a national destination for arts and cultural activities.
(e) Promote the development of artists, arts institutions, community organizations sponsoring arts and cultural programs and activities, and audiences located and/or residing within St. Johns County.
(f) Assess the needs of the arts, artists, arts institutions, community organizations sponsoring arts programs and activities, and residents of St. Johns County relating to the arts.
(g) Support and facilitate the preservation and growth of the Countys artistic resources.
(h) Otherwise serve the citizens of the County in the realm of the arts.

Section 3. The Board of County Commissioners of St. Johns County, Florida, hereby designates the St. Johns Cultural Council as the Local Arts Agency for St. Johns County. PASSED AND ADOPTED (5-0) by the Board of County Commissioners of St. Johns County, Florida, this 2nd day of October, 2007.

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ST. JOHNS COUNTY, FLORIDA

February 29, 2016