About Downtown Arts District

Mission

The mission of the Downtown Arts District is to lead, stimulate, and guide the development of a vibrant, innovative arts and cultural district that enhances economic development in Downtown Orlando.

Vision

To be a premier arts destination.

Tone

Inclusive. Diverse. Accessible.

SECONDARY ESSENCE:

Vibrant. Fresh. Creative.

Position

Experience the arts.™

Core Values

Be Engaged.
Be Professional.
Be Passionate.
Have Integrity.
Promote Diversity.
Exude Excellence.

Board of Directors

Ben Laube

Ben Laube

Chairman of the Board
eXp Realty, LLC
Flynn Dobbs 2

Flynn Dobbs

Vice Chair
Jacques Blais

Jacques D. Blais

Treasurer
Vestal Wiler
Thomas Bolick

C. Thomas Bolick, IV

Secretary
Orlando Health
Jim Lussier

Jim R. Lussier

Immediate Past Chair
Mateer & Harbert, P.A.
Carol Burkett

Carol Burkett

Orange County Government
Brian Carwile

Brian Carwile

Orchid Medical
Mahesh Chaddah

Mahesh Chaddah

Reservations.com
Donna-Headshot-Crop

Donna Dowless

Past Chair
XOXO Media
Marie Gursky

Marie Gursky

OUC The Reliable One
Kerry Harripersad

Kerry Harripersad

Harripersad Law
Marcia Hope Goodwin

Marcia Hope Goodwin

City of Orlando
Male-Profile-846183008-scaled

Eric Krogman

Austin Commercial
Eva Krzewinski

Eva Krzewinski

Pearls for Women
Tiffany Sanders

Tiffany Sanders

Knight Agency
Paul Skomsky

Paul Skomsky

Retired Dentist and Artist
Sharon Smoley

Sharon Smoley

Orlando Economic Partnership
Kyle Sturley

Kyle Sturley

Greater Orlando Sports Commission
mel taylor

Mel Taylor

WJRR

Staff

Barbara Hartley

Executive Director

barbara@dadorlando.com

Kat Quast

Operations and Events Manager

kquast@dadorlando.com

Ha'Ani Hogan

Development and Marketing Manager

hhogan@dadorlando.com

Joshua Martin

Gallery Assistant & Tech Support

info@dadorlando.com

Whitney Morris

Digital Marketing Specialist

info@dadorlando.com

Linda Jannsen

Gallery Assistant

info@dadorlando.com

History of Downtown Arts District

FOUNDATION OF AN ARTS COMMUNITY IN DOWNTOWN ORLANDO

In December, 1997 interested citizens gathered at the Orlando Sentinel in response to an article that appeared charging the community to “fulfill the need for a theatre district”. A task force was charged with the assignment to develop a business plan outlining what would make a successful theatre district. The result was the formation of the Central Florida Theatre Alliance, Inc. (January, 1998). This alliance represented 80 active theaters and over 800 individuals. The theatre alliance developed criteria for the critical elements of a theatre district.

The City agreed to donate $200,000 if the Alliance could raise an equal amount. The District held its official ribbon-cutting and kick-off at the “Arts on Orange Open House and Arts Crawl” (November, 2000). Over 900 people attended this historical event. The funds were raised and matched by the City of Orlando. The initial goal was to create three new theaters and three art galleries within a specified cultural corridor, thus the Downtown Arts District boundaries were established. Several new theatres were subsidized including OVAL and Mad Cow. DAD continued to grow its board to develop their mission. The “LizArt” fundraiser was held and it was a tremendous success, raising over $250,000.00 for DAD.

In 2002, it became apparent that DAD’s continued growth and success would require them to separate from the Theatre Alliance and become their own 501[c] 3 nonprofit organization. DAD’s mission is to help cultural organizations by advancing the arts and economic development in the City of Orlando and to create cultural awareness by sponsoring events such as the very successful Third Thursday Gallery Hop and La Maschera.

On April 1st, 2009, the District expanded their outreach and community involvement through the creation of OrlandoSLICE. com. Since the launch of the “Slice” website, many “Slicers” have embraced this new online arts community as it continues to grow in membership and accolades.

History of The Buildings

The CityArts Factory Generation
29 S Orange Avenue Orlando, FL 32801

1916

Phillips Theatre designed by Murry King, replaces the building that housed Orlando's first bank in 1885.

1917

Phillips Theatre opens under the ownership of Braxton Beacham.

1923

United Cigar Stores leases building from Dr. Phillips.

1929

Phillips Theatre closes for the summer and reopens as The Ritz Theatre.

1934

The Ritz Theatre closes and becomes W.T. Grant Stores.

1970

W.T. Grant Stores close as W.T. Grant goes into bankruptcy.

1980

Multiple tenants occupy the facility.

2000

Bar Orlando opens on level 2.

2005

OVAL occupies level 1 storefront galleries, level 3 and level 4 loft galleries.

2006

CityArts Factory opens, managed by the Downtown Arts District.

2009

SAK Comedy Lab relocates to second floor of CityArts Factory.

2009

CityArts Factory completes façade renovations and introduces iconic Mona Lisa to marquee.

The CityArts Orlando at the Rogers Kiene Building Generation
39 S Magnolia Avenue Orlando, FL 32801

 

The Downtown Arts District operated the historic Rogers building from 2013-2018, the home to the Gallery at Avalon Island. It served as a venue for exhibits, artist talks, music events, literary events, and film screenings.

In June 2018, Ford Kiene donated the historic Rogers building to the City of Orlando, requiring the city to use it for arts and culture for at least the next two decades. In July 2018, the City of Orlando City Council voted to have the Downtown Arts District operate the newly titled Rogers Kiene building. It is now home to CityArts Orlando, the main hub for arts and culture in downtown.