Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach to Pursue Alliance with St. Johns County for Arts Campus

December 17, 2019

The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach will seek a new location in a proposed arts campus on St. Johns County land near the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, the Cultural Center board of directors has decided.

Having outgrown its current facility on Executive Way, and armed with a feasibility study showing that 91 percent of survey respondents regard the Center’s service to be of high importance to the community, the Center had been in negotiation for a larger, higher-profile location on A1A in the Oak Bridge area. Conversations with donors, community leaders and other friends of the Center encouraged the board to focus on the advantages of the county land. The preliminary design by Mark Macco Architects for an arts campus would provide the Center with space for a larger building, on more land, with more parking, at what is now estimated to be a sharply lower cost.

“We want to do what is right for the community, our donors and all involved,” said Donna Guzzo, President & Executive Director of the Cultural Center, noting that the Center plans to meet community demand for expanded classes, exhibits and events to more areas of the arts and to reach a larger audience in growing St. Johns County.

A building limited to 15,000 square feet on the Oak Bridge site would have made some major exhibits off limits. The land available in Oak Bridge also would have restricted parking. Just as the Center was wrestling with these considerations, the cost of building on that land was growing beyond expectations.

In fortuitous timing, St. Johns County announced that it was seeking expanded arts facilities and County Commissioner Jeremiah Blocker led discussions that envisioned a role for the Cultural Center in the county’s ambition to improve the quality of life for St. Johns County residents.

“St. Johns County is a wonderful place to live, work, and play, and by partnering with organizations like the Cultural Center we can further enhance the quality of life for our residents in a taxpayer-friendly manner,” said Commissioner Blocker.

Cultural Center Board Chairman Matt Nelson noted that the current board is unanimous that it should encourage the county’s initiative by committing its support and involvement to help turn vision into reality.

“The Cultural Center is committed to bringing arts into the life of our community, so we are very excited about the vision for a public-private partnership to create a flagship art campus in St. Johns County and look forward to working with the County Commission and others to turn this vision into a reality,” Nelson said.

While many approvals are needed before the arts campus can blossom, the Center would help express the community’s eagerness.

“We are thankful to have Commissioner Blocker be an advocate for the arts,” Guzzo said. “He is committed to exceed expectations for our community. While his vision of an arts campus is very preliminary, it sure is exciting!”

Since its inception in 1994, the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach transitioned from a small, loosely knit group of art teachers and students using a series of rented buildings, to a thriving 8,000 square foot bustling arts education hub with art studios, exhibit space and a pottery studio. The center’s programs and events continue to connect, engage and educate the community through exhibitions, arts classes and camps, visiting master artist workshops, quarterly professional development workshops for artists, arts events and a music therapy program for children with special needs.


Donna Guzzo, President & Executive Director
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Phone: (904) 280-0614 Ex. 1205

Matt Nelson, Chairman of the Board
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Phone: (904) 728-4636

The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach

Robert and Monica Jacoby, Honorary Chairs

Capital Campaign/Fundraising Committee
Donna Guzzo,
 Fundraising Chair
Joe Bryant
Jenny Carney
Judy Hixenbaugh
Rebecca Jewett
Walter Jewett
John McLaughlin
Jane Novak
Janet Westling


Finance Committee
Delinda Fogel, Finance Chair
Jim Pope
Fred Goldsmith
Enrique Puente 


PR Committee
Laura Chenore
Linda Thornwel


Building Committee
Matt Nelson, Building Chair
Jeff Stephenson
Dick Williams
Steve Wyman


Design Committee
Phyllis Bachand
Laura Chenore
Catherine Fitzpatrick
Caroline Forbis
Judy Gerhart
Marilyn McAfee
Victoria Stockton
Janet Westling
Janet Wilson
Dawn Wolf


Programs Committee
Ellen Diamond, Programs Chair
Gayle Banks
Doug Gerhart
Linda Thornwell

Legal Committee
Glenn Guzzo, Legal Chair
Jane Haverty
Chris Wynne





50 Executive Way
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32082

Phone: (904) 280-0614


Gallery Hours

Monday - Friday
10:00am - 4:00pm

(After Hour Appointments Available)


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Cultural Center At Ponte Vedra Beach
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Phone: (904) 280-0614

Gallery Hours
Monday - Friday: 10:00am - 4:00pm
(After Hour Appointments Available)

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The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with tax ID #59-3238148

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