Arts organizations, schools, and artists receive grants for projects at the holiday open house on December 7th

St. Johns Cultural Council, the organization that promotes arts, culture, and heritage has announced the recipients of the Fall 2023 State of the Arts (“SOTA”) Grants. The grants, presented annually, are available through funds raised by the sale of “State of the Arts” specialty license plates and have provided more than $150,000 of support to arts organizations and individual artists in St. Johns County, Fla. The most recent grantees are:

Third Space Improv Adventure Project – The SOTA grant will provide funds for an accessible stage to support ongoing improv classes, student showcases, and performances.

Lenny Foster – SOTA funds will fund supplies, printing, and marketing for a photography exhibition featuring images of unhoused people in St. Augustine captured by renowned local artist Lenny Foster. Foster plans to raise awareness about the individual humanity of his subjects and to raise funds for those in need.

Morgan Kelly – Morgan Kelly presents an original puppet show for young audiences that explores and observes the ecosystem of local creeks and streams, through the eyes of a young child, with costs supported by this SOTA grant. The show will be presented at local library branches in collaboration with the St. Johns County Public Library System and tag! Children’s Museum of St. Augustine.

Sebastian Middle School – SOTA grant funds will be used to purchase materials for “The Sew Must Go On,” where art students learn about sewing while creating 3D sculptures of food.

Picolata Crossing Elementary School – Material costs and instructor fees for third through fifth graders will be funded with the SOTA grant for participate in a fully staged theater production as part of an afterschool program.

The Dance Company – SOTA grant funds will provide registered therapist fees for dance and movement therapy classes at locations for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

The 2023 SOTA recipients will be honored at the annual Holiday Open House at The Waterworks, 184 San Marco Avenue in St. Augustine on Thursday, December 7 from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public. For more information on SOTA Grants, visit

Visit the Florida Division of Culture website to purchase a “State of the Arts” license plate to support the arts in St. Johns County.