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

Monday August 3, 2020 
Media Release
Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach to Pursue Sale of Its Building
Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach To Pursue Sale Of Its Building,
The Cultural Center has canceled Fall exhibits and reduced class sizes for the rest of 2020 until further notice, due to COVID-19. The Center has an opportunity to sell the building since the current overhead will not be needed. We have taken programs to the community. Sound Connections® Music Therapy is now taught at six elementary schools including two Title 1 schools in the south of the county thanks to a grant provided by The Delores Barr Weaver Fund, Community Foundation of Northeast Florida. We have also been approved to teach art classes after school in the north portion of the county," said Donna Guzzo President and Executive Director.
The timing, CCPVB Chairman of the Board Matt Nelson explained, is related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to the likelihood that the sale would not be completed until 2021. Like many nonprofit organizations locally and nationwide, the prolonged pandemic-induced lockdown has challenged all of us.
          "After several months of being closed due to COVID-19, the building's sale will offset lost revenue and provide the cash flow needed to sustain regular operations until a new building is available," Nelson said.
Guzzo said that while the Center opened to the public on July 6, participation in camps, classes and exhibits have seen a decline for in person classes. One week after we reopened, COVID numbers spiked up. We have been able to shift most of the activities offsite during the nearly four months it was closed.
"Staff have learned to work efficiently from home," she said. "Some classes were conducted online. The artistic creations traditionally sold in the Center's Market are being sold online."
It is unlikely the sale would be completed before 2021. In the months it will take to negotiate and close a sale, Guzzo said, Cultural Center events will proceed as planned, COVID-19 precautions permitting:

-The Loving Beethoven exhibit continues through Sept. 25 by appointment only

-Summer camps continue with limited amount of campers

-The Home Tour offsite on Saturday, Sept. 12 with a morning session and afternoon session

-The popular Holiday Shoppes at the Center will have most vendors outdoors, and admission times will be required.

Once the building at 50 Executive Drive is sold, the Center's many classes will be conducted at new, temporary facilities in St. Johns County until a new building is available.
The Center's board of directors voted in December to continue collaborative efforts with the County to evaluate and design an arts campus. One of potential sites explored is the parcel located next to the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. These exploratory dialogues are centered round the key objectives of preserving, and or potentially expanding the existing athletic fields, as well as right-sizing the future facility with ample parking that would offer expanded programs and host larger exhibits in partnership with the County.
A feasibility study showed that 91 percent of survey respondents said the Cultural Center was a vital community asset, and encouraged expansion of services.

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


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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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