GBAC History

This is a short record of how the GBAC came into existence.

April , 2006
There was a Town Meeting held by Craig Dreeszen, a consultant for the Arts Council of Hillsborough County. Mr.Dreeszen was writing a cultural plan for our county that would be presented to the county commissioners. He met with local communities to understand the needs and cultural assets of each community. At this meeting in Riverview at the Winthrop Black Box theater several things became evident:

  • We in the Brandon area (which includes Valrico, Seffner, Mango, Riverview and Lithia) have quite a few dance schools, music schools and theatre companies that need a place to perform.
  • We also have visual artists who need venues.
  • We have many extremely talented people of all ages who need to find a way to reach the general public in our community.
  • We have a large community that likes to eat out in restaurants attend various activities and would prefer not to drive all the way to Tampa for culture and entertainment.
  • It was suggested we have an advocate for the arts. The advocate we envisioned was an Arts Council and we decided to form a steering committee that would form this Arts Council. Candace Knapp and Anne Drewry were chosen as chairmen for this Steering Committee.

May – July, 2006
We met with Art Keeble, chairman of the Hillsborough County Arts Council, who spoke to us about what an arts council does and encouraged us to form one of our own . He promised to help us as much as possible. Candace Knapp, Anne Drewry and Björn Andren met Ron Pierce at Senator Tom Lee’s office for further discussions. Anne Drewry and Kay Sullivan were on a cable TV show talking about our plans for an Arts Council in the Brandon area. We reviewed the requirements to form a non-profit organization. Suggestions were made of other activities we might do such as an Arts Directory, mentoring for young artists and trying to get more quality art books and cds in our local library.

Aug – Oct, 2006
Helen Soloman who helped to form the South Shore Arts Council was our guest speaker. At this meeting we voted on our name “Greater Brandon Arts Council”. In September the mission statement was finalized and approved, as well as the titles and duties of all of our officers. In October, we elected the first board members.

December 11, 2006
We became incorporated in the state of Florida under the name Greater Brandon Arts Council Inc. We adopted our by-laws and voted to approve our new Logo designed by Björn Andrén.