LiFT is an award intended for an emerging young artist in St Petersburg, FL to continue training and growing toward a creative career. St. Pete Arts Alliance (SPAA) will provide support to the recipient by funding educational opportunities that align with their goals, providing a chance for them to learn from and connect with professionals and mentors throughout the community. The award funds go toward the educational expenses, such as training sessions with local artists, and classes at arts or educational institutions.

“LiFT was created to respond to the needs of those talented students who wanted to pursue higher learning within the arts.  We believe that art education should not suddenly stop at High School due to financial challenges. Our community is ready to help…” - Terry Marks, CEO

Vyolette Hastings2022 Recipient

Announcing the 2022 LiFT Recipient, Vyolette Hastings, recent graduate of Gibbs High School! Read more here!

LiFT 2023

Applications will be available in the Spring of 2023. 

Who is eligible:

  • Graduating high school seniors in St Petersburg, FL
  • Emerging artists who wish to pursue a creative career and further their arts education/experience
  • Young persons with a demonstrated level of financial need who are not continuing their education at the
  • college/university level at this time
  • LIFT prioritizes equity for students historically marginalized based on race, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, neurodiversity, language, and/or immigration status.

Funds for the Arts

Funds may be used in the categories of dance, music, jazz, voice, theater, digital arts, photography, cinematic arts, visual or literary arts for live or virtual programs in St. Petersburg.

Including but not limited to:

  • Tuition for arts and/or business related classes
  • A portion toward supplies, like musical instruments, design software, art materials, etc.
  • Individual instruction/lessons or master class tuition

How it works:

Round 1: Your completed application will be reviewed by SPAA, and evaluated based on the following criteria.

  • Artistic Strengths
  • Career Goals/Objectives
  • Financial Need
  • References

Round 2: An interview will be arranged with SPAA leadership


If awarded, the recipient will define the desired programs and opportunities they wish to use LIFT funds to participate in. The award funds will be distributed to the individual or organization providing the educational experience.

Awards will be distributed in the $500-$1500 range.

Follow up report

Within 30 days of completion of program, recipient will submit a letter of accomplishment – outcomes of the experience, an action plan for their next steps, and any photos/documentation; plus a follow-up.


Thanks to generous support from Pilot Bank, SPAA is able to offer these educational opportunities and mentorship to help launch the career of a young artist.


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