County Administrator Leonard Sossamon swears in the three most recent members of the Counci, Paul Shashkan, Deborah Dollar and Kim Bryant, September 2012
The Hernando County Arts Council (HCAC) was established by the State of Florida and its 15-member board is appointed by the Hernando County Board of Commissioners. HCAC encourages, promotes, supports and showcases all the creative arts in Hernando County. HCAC funds grants to local groups which focus on specific needs in the community, such as the Hernando Youth Orchestra, Hernando Jazz Society, Spring Hill Art League and the West Hernando Middle School Sculpture Garden.
Since the beginning of the grant program in 2003, HCAC has issued $31,000 in grants. It holds a juried student art exhibit as part of the annual Art in the Park Festival at Tom Varn Park . HCAC supports other creative endeavors financially as well as spotlighting them at the quarterly Art Reception at Brooksville City Hall, on its website, in its newsletter, and on “Hernando Culture Live,” a monthly TV show produced in conjunction with Hernando County Broadcasting.
HCAC has a yearly drive to encourage members of the community to become members. Also, fund raising projects include ART IN THE PARK, the annual Art, Craft and Music Festival, and the annual A Taste of Jazz! at Weeki Wachee Springs. HCAC is conducting its yearly Friends of the Arts campaign now. Categories include student, $10; individual, $20; family, $30; art-related organizations, $25; and advocate $50, Supporting $100, Sustaining $200, Patron $500, and life membeship $1000.00. Corporate and business memberships start at $120.00.
In 2011 the Art Council formed an Advisory Council to be made up of leaders in the arts and professions to provide guidance and assistance from their various areas of expertise. They are appointed by the Chairman for an indefincate term.
Beginning in June 2012, the monthly meetings of the Arts Council will be held on the second Thursday of the month, starting at 4pm, at the Arts Council Offices in the Nicholson Building on Horse Lake Road, just south of Cortez just past Beef O'Bradys restaurant.