Terry Marks, St. Petersburg Arts Alliance • St Pete Catalyst

We ask thought leaders, business people and creatives to talk about 2022 and give us catalyzing ideas to make St. Pete a better place to live. What should our city look like? What are their hopes, their plans, their problem-solving ideas? This is Catalyze 2022.

When Terry Marks became the new CEO of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance last March, the organization’s overall artistic strategy, researched and drafted in collaboration with the Downtown Partnership and the City of St. Petersburg, had barely emerged. presses.

Marks read the strategy and absorbed its proposals for developing the city’s arts community, and approved the 24-page document because she agreed with everything it said.

“The great thing about the document is that it is fluid,” Marks said this week. “It means it will change and evolve as the city evolves. This will change and evolve as artists and the artistic community evolve. There is a vision in this document that St. Petersburg continues to become the quintessential city of the arts in the Southeastern United States. And there are many organizations working towards this end, not just the Arts Alliance.

Shifting the dial on cultural prosperity, she said, means constant communication and cooperation between supporting organizations such as the nonprofit Arts Alliance, the business community and municipal government. “I see the arts have received increased awareness, and it’s just great,” Marks explained. “I think it’s a really exciting time for the city, and I think we’re all headed in the same direction. All pursuing the same objectives.

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What would she like to see for the New Year? “More collaboration. We will be hosting a CEO Roundtable in January – bringing together CEOs from Visual and Performing Arts. The more collaboration, the more discussions, the better. And the Alliance wants to be at the center of that. This is part of our mandate for the Global Arts Strategy.

“The second part is targeted communication – that we actually come together to create action and advance the arts and culture scene in St. Petersburg. “

As always, financial support – out of necessity – is never far from her thoughts. “The most important thing for 2022 is adequate and consistent funding,” Marks said. “It means the arts community has the kind of funding they need.

“We are looking forward to working with our new mayor and city council, and we are looking forward to working with the Tourism Development Council and all parties involved so that we can present St. Petersburg as an international destination for the artistic. “

Marks is not among those who think the explosive pace of downtown development will negatively affect its artistic balance – and charm.

“Because there are so many leaders, in the arts community and in the business community, and among our government friends, who all understand, who all know,” she said.

“Everyone is on the same page about how art makes St. Petersburg so special. When you look at an organization like ARK, which just came to St. Petersburg, it was because of all the diversity here, and all the innovation here. And you could see it and smell it on the street. I don’t think he will ever lose that character.

As she prepares to launch her first full calendar year in the operational hot seat of the Arts Alliance, Marks has nothing but Gold Stars for her first nine months.

“It’s very humbling to be able to interact with so many different types of people, in so many different ways,” she said. “Each artist I come into contact with – or gallery owner, or museum manager, government leader or business owner – brings a different understanding of the city.

“Putting all of this information together has been a wonderful learning experience. And for the future, I just want to keep listening to the arts community, and the community in general, to keep understanding what they need. And what impact they want to see.

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