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Contact: Brittany Lesser

Citizens for Florida Arts to Host Statewide Cultural Conference

Tallahassee, Florida –

Secretary of State Ken Detzner is pleased to announce "Convening Culture 2014: Connecting the Arts with Environmental Conservation," a statewide cultural conference organized by Citizens for Florida Arts and the Florida Division for Cultural Affairs. The event will take place January 28-29 at the Vero Beach Museum of Art in Vero Beach.

"As Florida’s Chief Cultural Officer, I recognize the important role that arts and culture plays in our lives. Art brings us together and provides enrichment to communities throughout Florida," said Secretary Detzner. "Florida’s rich environmental resources have inspired the work of many artists. This conference will be a great way to continue the conversation about the relationship between arts and ecology."

This statewide cultural conference will provide opportunities for meaningful professional development for Florida artists and individuals involved in Florida’s cultural organizations and will also offer specific opportunities for participants to learn about the potential long-term collaborations and crossover between arts programming and environmental conservation. The event will feature a keynote presentation from Dr. Edith "Edie" Widder, a specialist in bioluminescence – the light chemically produced by many ocean organisms – whose underwater photography of this phenomenon is celebrated in artistic, academic and scientific circles around the world.

Additionally, the conference will include a talk on fundraising in the arts from Jock Reynolds, director of Yale University’s Arts Galleries, and a series of panels and roundtable discussions. Topics will cover legislative factors impacting cultural grants, navigating the arts insurance industry, and the many ways that the arts and environmental conservation are influencing one another today. Division of Cultural Affairs staff will also present pre-conference workshops on grant writing.

Sponsors include The Guardians of Martin County, The Waldman Group, UBS Chicago, Bullen Insurance Group, John Whitney Payson, Edward H. Hamm, the Everglades Foundation, William Kontes Private Garage L.C. and Virtual Global Art. More information about the conference including registration can be found at