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Contact: Meredith Beatrice

ICYMI - Secretary Detzner in Gainesville Sun: "Arts and Culture Stimulate State Economy”

Upcoming Convening Culture Conference in Gainesville (Feb. 22-23) will explore how arts and culture benefit entrepreneurship in the Sunshine State

Arts and Culture Stimulate State Economy

Gainesville Sun

Guest Column: Ken Detzner is Florida’s Secretary of State and Chief Cultural Officer

February 17, 2017

“Arts and cultural organizations bring many benefits to the Sunshine State and enrich the lives of Floridians every day. In recent years, the arts and cultural industries in Florida have become increasingly dynamic and innovative, which translates to positive economic impact in Florida's communities.

“As Florida's chief cultural officer, I want to continue to build on this positive impact. To facilitate this initiative, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs is holding its fourth annual Convening Culture Conference Feb. 22-23 in Gainesville. Presented by Citizens for Florida Arts (an organization whose mission is to support the Division of Cultural Affairs), and hosted by the University of Florida College of the Arts Center for Arts in Medicine, the conference offers networking opportunities to students and professionals alike, including receptions featuring renowned Florida artists and two full days of professional development and workshops.

“The theme of this year's conference is ‘Exploring Innovation and Entrepreneurship through Arts and Culture,’ and for good reason. Florida is home to more than 29,000 creative industries establishments, which include not-for-profit and for-profit entities, ranging from art galleries to landscaping businesses. These establishments are estimated to generate more than $49 billion in annual revenue.

“During the 2015-2016 fiscal year alone, recipients of arts and cultural grants from the Division of Cultural Affairs generated more than $1.2 billion in direct economic activity in communities across the state.”

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About the 2017 Convening Culture Conference

The 2017 Convening Culture Conference will be held February 22 & 23 in Gainesville and is hosted by the University of Florida College of Arts Center for Arts in Medicine. This statewide cultural conference brings together individuals working in arts and culture in Florida for two days of informative sessions, facilitated discussions and networking opportunities. Several honors will be presented at the conference, including the induction of Billy Dean, Don Felder, Lee Bennett Hopkins and Jim Stafford into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, joining such luminaries as Ernest Hemingway, Zora Neale Hurston, and Robert Rauschenberg. For more information or to register for Convening Culture 2017, please visit The annual convening culture conference is presented by the Citizens for Florida Arts, Inc., a statewide non-profit organization that works to support the efforts of the Division of Cultural Affairs.

About the Division of Cultural Affairs
The Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs is Florida’s legislatively designated state arts agency. The Division promotes the arts and culture as essential to quality of life for all Floridians. To achieve its mission, the Division funds and supports cultural programs that provide artistic excellence, diversity, education, access and economic vitality for Florida’s communities. For more information, visit