One year After Receiving its Florida Main Street Community Status, the Eau Gallie Arts District Continues to Grow.
Exciting things continue to happen in Brevard’s art district. This summer, Florida Institute of Technology formally merged with the art museum, and shortly after that announced a $1-million gift from the Foosaner Foundation to the newly re-named Foosaner Art Museum. Florida Tech president Anthony Catanese said the gift “will help perpetuate the important efforts of education and cultural enrichment started by the museum in 1978 and now contoured by Florida Tech.”
A Main Street Resource Team spent three days this summer touring the Eau Gallie Arts District (EGAD), interviewing more than 40 individuals about the area and what its has to offer. City of Melbourne officials, community stakeholders, members of the EGAD Main Street Board of Directors and members of the four Main Street committees offered their opinions and suggestions to help further establish the art community. The arts have been the focus of the area since redevelopment began over a decade ago and the area’s efforts to establish itself as Brevard’s cultural epicenter received a boost with its designation as an Arts District and Florida Main Street.
Main Street consultant Jeannettee Peters was encouraged by the fact that “everyone seems to be engaged and excited about the area.” However, she cautioned a group of about 50 people gathered for the Resource Team’s community presentation, “the program needs to be sustainable and part of the community.” All four team members encouraged EGAD Main Street officials to continue to work with the city of Melbourne to make it easier for business owners to open up shop, and to focus on the core area of the district, redeveloping and improving that area before thinking about expansion.
Resource Team member Thomas Guzman encouraged local officials to “showcase the gem that is this district. Over the next 5-8 years EGAD’s Main Street success will come one business at a time.”