The Florida Cultural Alliance (FCA) is a not-for-profit organization created in 1985 to develop an informed and engaged statewide non-partisan advocacy network among arts and culture organizations, individuals, artists, businesses and local, state, and federal policymakers and staff. This network would strategically collaborate to increase state’s investment in Florida artists and arts and cultural organizations and elevate the industry, as a whole, to its rightful place as an integral element to the vibrancy of what is now the world’s 17th largest economy.
Supported by Members
Newly and Regularly Updated Web Presence: You can readily find information vital to making the case for public funding and policy favorable to the arts and cultural industry.
Weekly Social Media Posts: We are enthusiastic about sharing your good news, increasing traffic and visibility within our network and raising awareness of the importance of the arts and culture to Florida’s local, state and federal leadership.
Bi-Weekly ELetters: Our mass emails go our to over 3,000 arts professionals and supporters, elected decision makers and media.
Monthly Statewide Calls: Here, we review and discuss the latest state and federal funding and other policy issues that impact Florida’s arts, arts education, and culture industry. Some statewide calls feature guest speakers who provide critical information and insight into various topics that impact arts, arts education and culture. These calls are the place we are able to meet virtually face to face maintain collaboration for our best effectiveness .
Special Convenings and Educational Opportunities: In addition to the regularly scheduled statewide calls, it’s important for us to convene to address timely issues and insights helpful to navigate anomalous events.
Annual Campaign & Convention: Finally, the culminating event of our calendar occurs during Florida’s legislative session in Tallahassee. Advocates from across the state gather tonetwork in person with each other, attend the advocacy rally with FCA’s Team, Florida’s Secretary of State, Division of Cultural Affairs staff and lobbying firm before meeting with elected delegates.
We Advocate alongside our local, state, and federal partners for state and federal APPROPRIATION INVESTMENTS that provide the necessary funding for Florida Division of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) well-vetted and competitive matching-grants’ programs.
We Monitor legislative activity for PROPOSED POLICIES that may negatively or positively impact Florida’s arts, arts education and culture industries as well as the non-profit sector and raises awareness and calls to action in opposition or support of such policy.
We Cultivate an informed, diverse, and engaged NETWORK of arts and culture advocates throughout the state who build collaborative relationships with each other and policymakers to advance Florida’s arts, culture, and arts education resources. FCA works to keep these networks informed, empowered, and engaged to speak up for arts, arts education, and culture throughout their communities and state.
President & CEO, Jennifer Jones
She also was instrumental in the formation of the Ukulele Orchestra of St Andrew and the Orchestra of St Andrew Bay, now the Panama City POPS and has served on the boards of Gulf Jazz Society, Global Arts Society, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s Bay Regional Juvenile Detention Center and the Florida Alliance for Arts Educators.
Jennifer participated in the creation, production, and continuation of several arts, culture, and entertainment events. These events include the first annual Strummin’ Man Ukulele Festival 2017; Backstage Pass Concert Series (ongoing since 2007); Bay Arts Alliance Presenting Arts Series (ongoing since 1982); and The Directors Film Series featuring and hosting Latino film professionals, SEC Fest, Hangout Fest, and Angel Ride (South Alabama).
In 2015, she served as a co-author and committee member for Panama City’s Tourism Bed Tax and advocated for successful passage of the referendum that same year.
She leads music, STEAM, advocacy and professional development sessions in her community with arts, youth, and senior-adult service organizations. As a lifelong singer, she has taken opportunities to perform in her home churches, several FSU ensembles, The Houston Symphony Chorus, Birdland in New York and produced her own cabaret concerts and recording. Currently, Jennifer performs with the Ukulele Orchestra of St Andrew and a smaller ukulele show band and is honored to perform the National Anthem at the North Florida Magistrate’s Naturalization Ceremonies since 2017.
She is a graduate of Florida State University’s School of Music and alumni of the Disney Institute and Universität Lüneburg, Goethe Institute Arts Management and Leadership Programs, and the very proud mother of Maggie Jones, theatre tech major and former Disney-cast member.
She has a deep conviction that the arts and culture are a path to vitality and well-being for every individual and the state of Florida.
FCA Chairman Earl Bosworth
Earl serves as Assistant City Manager for the City of Pompano Beach, Florida. Before taking his current job, he served as director of the Broward Cultural Division where was responsible for administering and directing this local arts agency with an annual $4 million operating budget and capital appropriations for public art. The Division’s primary functions are to develop and strengthen arts and cultural organizations and individual artists through its grants or incentive programs; community development and marketing initiatives; arts education and advocacy efforts; public art administration; and cultural planning for a County that consists of more than 1.8 million residents, 31 cities, 575 not-for-profit cultural organizations, 10,000 artists and 7,773 arts-related businesses.
Earl has more than 23 years management experience in the public and private sectors with the last 10 years devoted to arts administration. Prior to being appointed as director of Broward Cultural Division, he served as the Division’s assistant director for almost seven years. While at the Division, he was responsible for policy and budget development, strategic planning and division-business operations.
He also served as President of ArtServe, Inc., one of the six original arts incubators in the United States. During his tenure at ArtServe, he developed several new strategic partnerships with other nonprofits and the corporate world to assist ArtServe in carrying out its important mission for local emerging artists.
Earl held other posts with Broward County including regulatory operations manager for Consumer Affairs and interim director for Animal Care and Regulation Division. Before joining the County in 2000, he served as assistant administrator for the Wynmoor Community Council, Inc., where he was responsible for assisting in the management of a $23-million operating budget and a staff of 180 employees. He also spent four years with the State of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Earl has a bachelor’s degree in business from Florida State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Nova Southeastern University. He currently serves as a board member of the Florida Cultural Alliance and has held several board positions on the local and federal levels including the U.S. Selective Service System, the State of Florida’s Community Association Advisory Board, the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Community Services Board and volunteer positions with Youth Leadership Broward and the United Way. He is also a professional musician and a published songwriter with material in catalogs at various publishing houses in the U.S. and Europe.
FCA Vice Chair John Copeland
John Copeland joined the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau in 2018 as the Director, Cultural Tourism. John leads these efforts through strategic development and implementation of cultural tourism programs that will expand global awareness of Miami’s art & culture assets. The primary focus is to help drive incremental attendance at local arts and culture institutions, events and attractions. John leverages his extensive marketing, partnership development and education background to further the goals of the GMCVB.
Most recently, John led the Corporate Giving efforts at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County building partnerships with a diverse group of corporate partners from throughout South Florida. John joined the Center in November 2011 as Director of Marketing, responsible for overseeing the marketing campaigns of the jazz and classical music series.
From 2006-2011, John served as a member of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs staff where he worked to facilitate significant grants and technical assistance to organizations with a history of distinguished artistic programming. John also worked for the Arts & Business Council of Americans for the Arts on the National Arts Marketing Project and the facilitation of the NAMP Nonprofit Marketing Training program. John served as the Executive Director of the Youth Orchestra of Palm Beach County, programming a variety of concerts, outreach programs and summer camps. Prior to that, he was a member of the education staff at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.
John has also worked in public education as Director of Bands at Fort Valley Middle School in Ft. Valley, GA. He is a graduate of Georgia College & State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education where his primary instrument was the trombone.
With a strong personal interest in serving the arts education and the community, John volunteers as a Board Member for the Miami Music Project and the Arts & Business Council of Miami.
FCA Treasurer Jennifer Coolidge
Jennifer McInnes Coolidge has a track record of dedication, service and passion for the arts. Coolidge serves as the Director of Philanthropy for the Orlando Philharmonic as well as an independent consultant. She was Interim Senior Director of Advancement for the University of Florida College of the Arts for many years and led the college’s advancement initiatives, including cultivating support for the School of Art + Art History, School of Music, School of Theatre + Dance, Center for Arts in Medicine, Center for World Arts, Center for Arts in Public Policy, and UF Digital Worlds Institute. She began her tenure in 2012.
During her over 30 years of experience as an arts administrator, Coolidge has served as the Executive Director for the Museum of Florida Art in DeLand (2001-2011) and for the Florida Alliance for Art Education, FAAE (1995-2001); Education Coordinator for the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art and The Arts Council in Winston Salem, NC, and others. She has served as a strategic planning consultant for a number of organizations including the Center for Human Rights and Civil Liberties at the University of Southern Mississippi; Matthew 25:40 in Charlotte, NC; Rochester Center for Contemporary Art, Rochester, NY; Asheville Arts Council, Asheville, NC and others in Florida. She holds a BA with a concentration in painting from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC and a Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship from H. Heinz II School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon.
She has served on the Board of Directors for the Florida House in Washington, DC; The Florida Alliance for Arts Education; a member of the Florida Chamber Foundation Strategic Visioning Caucus and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Cultural Alliance. Coolidge has received numerous awards for her leadership in the arts, and completed a fellowship with the Denali Initiative on Social Enterprise in 2000 through the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. In 2002, Coolidge was recognized with a Distinguished Service Award from the Florida Music Educators Association and as a Florida Ambassador of the Arts by then-First Lady of Florida, Columba Bush in 2005.
Coolidge graduated with a BA with a concentration in painting from Guildford College in Greensboro, NC.
FCA Director Emeritus Michael Spring
Michael Spring served as director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, for 33 years until his retirement in September of 2023. He was responsible for supervision of a public arts agency with an annual budget of more than $40 million and a staff of 100. He represented the Department on numerous cultural and civic organizations including service as chairman of the board of the Florida Cultural Alliance, secretary of the board of directors of Americans for the Arts, a founding board member and officer of Americans for the Arts Action Fund, member and past President of the United States Urban Arts Federation, , chairman of the 5-county regional arts alliance, the South Florida Cultural Consortium, and director of the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council. In 2014, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez expanded his responsibilities by appointing him to serve as a Senior Advisor for the County’s Cultural Affairs and Recreation portfolio, including oversight of the arts, parks and library departments.
In 2004, he helped lead the work to pass a referendum for the Building Better Communities bond program, dedicating more than $450 million for building the next generation of Miami-Dade’s cultural facilities, ranging from major new art and science museums to theaters and neighborhood arts centers. In 2007, he assumed the additional responsibility of leading Miami-Dade County’s outstanding Art in Public Places program, commissioning new work and caring for a collection of more than seven-hundred art works. In 2011, the Department of Cultural Affairs opened the new Arquitectonica-designed, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay, a campus that includes a 966-seat theater, an activities and classroom building, and outdoor concert lawn.
In conjunction with a major reorganization of Miami-Dade County government, the Department also assumed responsibility in 2011 for operating three cultural facilities, formerly managed by the Parks Department: Miami-Dade County Auditorium; Caleb Auditorium; and African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. Operating and programming cultural facilities constitutes a major expansion of the Department’s role in the community.
Over the forty years he served the Department of Cultural Affairs, Michael Spring helped build Miami-Dade County’s cultural community into a more than a $1.4 billion annual industry comprised of more than 1,000 non-profit cultural groups and thousands of artists. He has a B.A. degree from the University of Miami and earned an M.A. in painting from New York University, involving studies in Venice, Italy. After building this unparalleled legacy, he continues to support arts and culture, paint, travel and develop his interests as a visual artist with his wife.
FCA Board Member Ashlee Thomas
Ashlee Thomas joined the FCA board in January of 2021. She is the Co-Founder and President of the Miami Urban Contemporary Experience (MUCE), an arts and festivals production company, and she teaches theater in the Charles R. Drew K-8 Drama Magnet program. Prior to co-founding MUCE, Ms. Thomas worked with the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County as Manager of Education and Community Outreach. Previously, she served as Marketing Manager of the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in Miami, a renowned arts training facility with notable alumni in the visual and performing arts, including Playwright and Oscar-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight) and Robert Battle, Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Prior to that, Ms. Thomas performed with Contra-Tiempo Urban Latin Dance Theater in Los Angeles, and, internationally, she was the Festival Director of Melbourne, Australia’s first web series festival. She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Miami Emerging Arts Leaders Steering Committee. She has been a panelist and speaker at arts conventions, including the 2019 National Arts Marketing Project Conference.
Ms. Thomas studied Musical Theater at the Ne w World School of the Arts in Miami and holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Florida State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Florida International University. Her work was recently featured in the Miami Herald: How one woman’s artistic vision has transformed a Miami neighborhood .
FCA Board Member Marialaura Leslie
Interim Director Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs Marialaura Leslie is an arts administrator with thirty years of experience in nonprofit arts management, cultural policy and local arts agency operations. She serves as Deputy Director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, a public arts agency with an annual budget of more than $65 million, dedicated to strengthening the work of arts organizations and artists in Miami-Dade County through grants and technical assistance; promoting arts education; making cultural activities more equitable and accessible for all residents and visitors; building new and improving existing cultural facilities; operating arts centers; managing public art projects and improving the visual quality of the County’s built environment. She joined the Department in 2001, as Cultural Projects Administrator and was promoted to Chief of Information and Outreach in 2004. In 2009, Marialaura moved to New York City, where she worked for two major cultural institutions, returning to the Department in 2014 as Chief of Strategic Initiatives. In 2018, Marialaura was promoted to Deputy Director for the Department. During her tenure at the Department of Cultural Affairs, she has managed millions in grants programs, led technical assistance workshops, developed equity initiatives, created professional development opportunities for arts administrators of color, and oversaw the Department’s communications strategies promoting cultural opportunities for artists and arts groups as well as their audiences. With a focus on equitable grantmaking, she has administered the International Cultural Exchange Program, New Forms Grant for individual artists, Dance Miami Choreographers Fellowship Program, and the Community Grants Program, a quarterly competitive program funding two hundred cultural organizations each year. Marialaura has led several grants writing workshops for individual artists and cultural groups, created the Miami Emerging Arts Leaders and worked with the Creative Capital Foundation to produce the Creative Capital Miami Professional Development Program. In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, she worked closely with Cultural Affairs Director Michael Spring to successfully develop and implement the Miami-Dade Arts Support (MAS) program, allocating 100% of the federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds approved for Miami-Dade County’s arts community, representing more than $10 million to cultural organizations, artists and artist-entrepreneurs. In 2021, Marialaura secured a $500,000 American Rescue Plan grant through the National Endowment for the Arts and created the Miami Individual Artists (MIA) Program. Marialaura has worked with cultural institutions in Miami, New York and Puerto Rico, including Miami City Ballet, Coconut Grove Playhouse, City Theater, Jerry Herman Ring Theater at the University of Miami, Miami Hispanic Ballet, International Ballet Festival of Miami, Queens Jazz Orchestra, Teatro del Sesenta, Balleteatro de Nana Hudo and Taller de Otra Cosa. She has worked with many renown artists including Jimmy Buffett, Jerry Herman, Kathleen Turner, Carol Channing, Tony Randall, Jack Klugman, Eli Wallach, Theodore Bikel, and NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath. In NYC, she served as Director of Development for El Museo del Barrio, a major Latino and Latin American museum on Fifth Avenue with a 572-seat theater; and, as Deputy Director of Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts at the historic Flushing Town Hall, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Queens and a partner venue for Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concert Series with an art gallery and a 300-seat theater. Marialaura served as the Queens Borough Leader for the NYC Cultural Institutions Group Government Affairs Committee and as co-captain for the State of New York during National Arts Advocacy Day 2012 in Washington, D.C. Marialaura was a founding member and Past Chair of the Americans for the Arts National Emerging Leaders Council from 2002-2007. She was named among the Top 25 Powerful People in the Arts in America (Barry’s Blog) and received the 2005 Emerging Arts Leader Award from the Arts & Business Council. In 2004, she served as a Member of the South Florida Cultural Board of the Puerto Rican Federal Affairs Administration. In 2020, she was honored by the South Florida Theatre League with the Remy Award for Civic Arts Leadership and she was recently recognized by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as a 2022 Knight Arts Champion for playing a key role in cultivating Miami-Dade County’s arts community. (she designated Florida Cultural Alliance as the recipient of the $10,000 accompanying award)
FCA Board Member Aurora Torres-Hansen
Mrs. Aurora Torres-Hansen has been with the Asian Coalition of Tallahassee for 20 years, from its inception in 2002. She graduated from the Philippine Women’s University, came to the United States as a Youth for Understanding Scholar. She earned her Science Journalism/Mass Communications and Dance Degree from Iowa State University. Aurora is a certified instructor of Ballet and Movement Education from Dance Masters of America, Dance Educators of American and is certified by the International Dance Teachers, London.
She obtained her Certification as a Public Manager from Florida State University’s Public Administration Department.
Mrs. Torres-Hansen retired from her full-time position in the City of Tallahassee’s Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs and continues to work with the city’s Special Events Division. She shares her time with the Asian Coalition of Tallahassee, Inc., serving as Chairperson for two years and not as the Secretary and Advocacy and Cultural Events Director. She has served as the event chair for Experience Asia for the past 20 years. Aurora is affiliated with Friends of Dance at Florida State University now serving as its Vice-President. She is a lifetime member of the Big Bend Filipino-American Association, Inc, She has worked with Dr. Antoni Cuylerat Florida State University’s Arts Administration Program, working with the Arts Administration Service Learners.
Aurora serves as a consultant and community liaison for the FSU Asian Student Union, a member of the North Florida Hispanic Association, Cooper-Morgan Dance Theater Summer Intensive Tallahassee Director for the past 16 years. Aurora is also th Artistic Director and choreographer for the Tallahassee Community College Dance Company. For the past 33 years to present, she has taught ballet and Movement Education at Trousdell Gymnastics Center. For the past 13 years, she has choreographed the Links Beautillion, the Folkloric Liaison for the Filipino Student Association and the Asian American Student Association at FSU. For over 14 years, she served as the Entertainment Chair for the John G. Riley Museum annual fundraiser.
Her awards include: Martin Luther King Volunteer of the Year Award where February 26 was the Aurora Torres-Hansen Day in Tallahassee, a recipient of the Women Among Us ( Portraits of Strength) at LeMoyne Art Gallery along with 13 other women in Tallahassee. She received the first City of Tallahassee Service Award presented by Mayor John Dailey, the Patricia Robinson Coach Award for 33 years of continued service presented by the Trousdell Gymnastics Center. The Asian Coalition of Tallahassee has also recognized her for 17 years of service and the Outstanding Service Award from the Big Bend Filipino American Association, Inc.
Aurora is active in the community as an arts advocate and always remembers her parents’ advice: Give back to the community you serve.
We are honored to have Aurora M. Torres-Hansen join the board of Florida Cultural Alliance.
FCA Board Member Diana Donovan
Diana Donovan serves as the Executive Director to the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, a leading local arts and culture agency, stewarding approximately 3 million dollars in City of Jacksonville funding, facilitating and elevating project management within the Art in Public Places Program for the City of Jacksonville, as well as igniting the creative economy through partnership, granting, and developing cross-sector opportunities.
Diana has served as a mayoral appointee for the Cultural Council Board of Directors, a City Council appointed member of the Cultural Service Grant Committee, and was unanimously voted in to serve as interim in September 2021 prior to completely a successful 2.5 million dollars in arts advocacy with 94 cents of every dollar going back to arts and culture non-profit organizations.
Diana’s recent accolades include 2020 Jacksonville Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award and Class of ’21 for Leadership Jacksonville. She currently serves on the JAXUSA Steering Committee for Elevate Women- Elevating Women into C-Suite and Business Board Level Positions, the James Weldon Johnson Park Strategic Planning Committee, as well as the Jessie Ball duPont Center’s Committee for Riverfront Activation & Light Installment.
She’s selected as a part of the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation’s JAX MVP Program, served on the Florida Times Union Citizen Editorial Board, Women’s Center of Jacksonville Board of Directors, as well as a Hightower Fellowship Board Member with the JAX Chamber. She was a Delores Barr Weaver Fellow and Class Chair within the Women’s Giving Alliance and served on the Girl Scouts of America Women of Distinction Committee. She began her community service as an appointed member to the NCAA Division 1 Men’s 2015 Basketball Tournament Host Committee during her tenure on the senior leadership team as Executive Director, Office of the President for Jacksonville University.
Diana is a proven change agent with multiple years of executive level leadership and executive board experience, demonstrated expertise in relational and organizational development, shaping successful fundraising and effective fund development-based strategies within the arts and culture sector and non-profit community.
FCA Board Member Stephen Shooster
Stephen Shooster aka Shoosty, luxury designer, fine artist, and author, retired from a family-owned mid-cap call center headquartered in South Florida where he was Co-CEO, and in charge of technology for 43 years. He and his team enabled his company to scale and serve many of the finest brands: Toyota; Lane Bryant; Zara; Hermes; Wolford; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; MoMA; and The Chicago Art Institute.
Fine artist and author of numerous books including, The Horse Adjutant a book about the survival of Leon Schagrin, a victim of the Nazi Holocaust. Shoosty and Shagrin speak on the subject of bullying, hate, and antisemitism.
Shooster brings a unique perspective that embraces technology and the arts.
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Anthony P. Carvalho FCA Lead Legislative Advisor Along With Capital City Consulting
A veteran of more than 30 years in Florida government, Anthony P. Carvalho is known today as one of the few true experts on Florida’s government budgeting process. As Florida’s healthcare and budgeting “guru,” Mr. Carvalho is one of the state’s most sought after consultants by individuals and organizations in need of expert guidance on healthcare systems, tax issues and budgeting strategies. Mr. Carvalho most recently served as President of The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida (SNHAF), an organization of Florida’s six statutory teaching hospitals, five public hospitals, one regional perinatal intensive care center, and two specialty licensed children’s hospitals. Under Carvalho’s direction, Alliance advocacy efforts focused primarily on government-sponsored programs for the uninsured and state health policy impacting access to private health insurance.
Mr. Carvalho’s professional endeavors reflect his expertise, influence and diversity. In 1998, following the election of Jeb Bush as Governor of the State of Florida, Carvalho took a temporary leave of absence from the Florida Hospital Association to serve as Governor Bush’s first State Budget and Planning Director. Additionally, Mr. Carvalho co-founded Capitol Hill Group (CHG), a Tallahassee-based governmental relations management firm specializing in the management of substantive law and state budget issues in the legislative and executive branches.
Mr. Carvalho’s professional experience includes his service as Senior Vice-President of the Florida Hospital Association for twenty-eight years, where he developed and directed the state governmental affairs program for 230 hospitals in the State of Florida. In 2007, Mr. Carvalho served as chair of the Florida Disproportionate Share Task Force at the request of the Secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. Mr. Carvalho’s tenure as a public servant includes twelve years with the Florida Legislative Appropriations Committees in both the House and Senate, where he served as Staff Director of the House Appropriations Committee for three different administrations.
Mr. Carvalho is a 1974 cum laude graduate of The University of South Florida with a B.A. degree in finance and economics. Mr. Carvalho graduated The Florida State University with a Masters of business administration in 1976. He is a native of Fall River, Massachusetts, married to Sherry Strickland with whom he has two lovely children Dean Antone and Anna Elizabeth.