About Us

The mission of the Division of Cultural Affairs is to promote cultural activity in Alachua County and develop mechanisms that support and encourage community-based cultural resources. We define "cultural" to include ethnic, ecological, and historic resources, as well as the fine and popular arts.

The City of Gainesville established an Office of Cultural Affairs in 1979. Present staff consists of 7 full time and several part time positions. Ten to twelve interns and several part time volunteers provide us with approximately 5,000 hours per year of unpaid assistance, in addition to the 250-300 hours of time donated by program volunteers. Funds are generated by facility rentals for social and community events, festivals, programs, grants, or are derived from the City. Unlike most of Florida's Local Arts Agencies, the Division of Cultural Affairs is not a membership organization.

The Division of Cultural Affairs provides grant information and technical assistance to cultural agencies, maintains a mailing list of over 10,000 individuals and organizations, and acts as an information source for the area. The Division operates the Thomas Center, the Tench Building Artist Studios, Evergreen Cemetery and programs held at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza. It also coordinates and promotes the Thomas Center Galleries, the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, the Downtown Festival & Art Show, eco-heritage tourism, performing arts programs, and serves as the Local Arts Agency for Alachua County. The Division supports community events by coordinating city support services and permits regulating and promoting events within the City of Gainesville.

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Dept.
Division of Cultural Affairs
302 NE 6th Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32601
Mailing Address:
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Dept.
Station 30/ P.O. Box 490
Gainesville, FL 32627

352.334.5067          Fax:    352.334.2146           Arts Event Hotline: 352.334.ARTS

Steve Phillips, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Director, 352-393-8755

Michelle Park, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs,  Asst. Director, 352-393-8364

Russell Etling, Cultural Affairs Manager, 352-393-8532

Charles Zidar, Assistant Cultural Affairs Manager, 352-393-8340

Sunshine Andrei, Events Coordinator (Downtown Festival and Hoggetowne Medieval Faire), 352-393-8536

Bill Hutchinson, Entertainment Coordinator (Downtown Festival and Hoggetowne Medieval Faire), 352-393-8537

David Ballard, Events Coordinator ("Free Fridays" Concert Series, New Year's Eve, JestFest!), 352- 393-8746

Erica Chatman, CMP, Facilities Coordinator (Thomas Center Rentals, Tench Building Artist Studios), 352-393-8539
Building Attendants:
Raymond Gordon
Joseph Pollard
Joseph Bedry
Collin J. Ducote
Cordaro L. Smith

Gary Smith, Cemetery Coordinator, Evergreen Cemetery, 352-393-8530
Dennis Mauragis, Maintenance Worker IV

Maxine Rushing, Grants Program Specialist, 352-393-8528

Beverly Perry, Overhead Banners, 352-393-8844

Map to the Thomas Center


Map to Hoggetowne Medieval Faire at the Alachua County Fairgrounds


Art. Ask for More.

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