Group Behind Red Chair Affair Absorbed Into United Arts

As many local arts groups face financial uncertainty one that was struggling has found a new life as part of one of region’s major cultural support groups.  On October 11 the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Central Florida surprised everyone with an announcement that they were being absorbed into the arts and cultural advocacy organization United Arts of Central Florida.  Over the past 25 years United Arts has become the dominant organization in the local and culture industry, with ties to over 50 local arts, sciences and history organizations.

The Arts and Cultural Alliance, probably best known for their Red Chair Project, approached United Arts a year ago.  Since then the two have worked to find which Alliance programs best aligned with United Arts’ mission and goals.  Both parties voted in late September to approve the merger.  Along with Red Chair Project United Arts has also kept the Alliance’s Central Florida Community Database, a shared big data program that allows member organizations to gain insight into the behaviors of Central Florida arts patrons. Two full-time Alliance staff members will oversee the programs.

Two Alliance board members, Rebecca Rhodes (chairwoman of the Alliance board) and Howard Britt, will be joining United Arts’ board.

“I am delighted to welcome both Howard and Rebecca to the board,” said Linda Landman Gonzalez, chairwoman of United Arts’ board. “They bring unique expertise and corporate representation to an already stellar group working on behalf of Central Florida’s cultural community.”

Rhodes says the Alliance team is ready for this next step in strengthening the cultural community.  Rhodes serves as the senior manager of social media and internet marketing for Tupperware Brands’ U.S. and Canada markets.  “Our board is proud of what the Alliance achieved in the organization’s 10 years,” Rhodes said. “Consolidation makes sense for this community, and we look forward to seeing key Alliance programs grow under the leadership of United Arts.”

Speaking on the merger Flora Maria Garcia, United Arts’ president and CEO, stated that “The timing for this consolidation is good,” she continued, “It will facilitate a stronger marketing effort on behalf of the cultural community, as well as a conservation of financial resources.”