Art Ties Us – 2019

Footprints Charities Champions Arts Education for Youth with Book Give-Away at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater Partnering with Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts

Donor Recognition Breakfast Set for January 21, 2020 Celebrates Class Acts’ Donor & Nine Years of Giving Back to the Community

ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA (January 15, 2020) – January 21, 2020 is a special day at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater. The regularly scheduled Class Acts Youth Educational Performance will kick-off with a Donor Recognition Breakfast followed by a check presentation on stage and a book give-away to hundreds of school children in the plaza between the Mahaffey Theater and The Dali Museum. Funds garnered from an art contest and fundraiser held at the Birchwood Hotel on September 13 enabled the purchase of children’s books for 1,700 students and teachers, thanks to the donor, Footprints Charities. 

Class Acts is part of the performing arts programming supported by Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts, and the additional funds allow for program enhancements. “Of our 13 performances this season, four are tied to a book,” said Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts president, Amy Miller. “It is very rewarding to see each of the student and teacher participants go home with a book, and we are extremely grateful for this contribution from Footprints Charities.”

The Donor Recognition Breakfast honors the organizers, artists, and sponsors of the Art Ties Us event that took place at The Birchwood this past September. All 62 artists who donated artwork for the event have been personally invited to share in the excitement of the day’s festivities. “We want the artists to see where the funds from their donated art have gone and specifically how it will help with art education for youth,” said Laurie Stogniew, Chair of the Art Ties Us contest, and fundraising gala.  

Bayshore Marketing Group created and facilitated the Art Tie Us event that began with an art contest where three winners’ artwork was printed on neckties and scarves worn by The Birchwood staff for one year.  All artwork donated to Footprints Charities for the Art Ties Us contest was auctioned. For the second year, The Birchwood was the Presenting Sponsor.  “Art Ties Us is the perfect opportunity for us to show our support of the local artists and the economic contributions they have made in our city,” said The Birchwood owner, Chuck Prather.  

Art Ties Us Artist Breakfast Celebration, Check Presentation, and Book Give-Away
 Duke Energy Center or the Arts – Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. South
January 21, 2020, at 9:30 a.m.  – Breakfast in the VIP Lounge
10:45am – Check presentation in the theater
11am – Class Acts Educational Performance Series presents The One and Only Ivan
Noon – Book give-away in the plaza


Inspired by “Footprints in the Sand”, a cherished prayer of the founder’s brother, Footprints Charities, Inc, was formed. Footprints Charities is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works directly with individuals, local business owners, and organizations to raise funds through events and event sponsorships in order to donate all proceeds to various and select non-profit organizations in need. We are 100% devoted to our mission: To carry those in need and leave behind as many footprints as we can. 


Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to exposing people of all ages and all socioeconomic backgrounds to the performing arts. We present and fund a diverse array of performing arts genres at The Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater. Additionally, we fund arts education programs for school children and provide member patrons with unrivaled cultural experiences and hospitality. Since 2011, our Class Acts educational performance series has served more than 145,000 students who have economic challenges.  

See media and press coverage of the 2019 Art Ties Us Gala here.