The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates more than $9.1 million in annual economic activity in Lake County. It supports more than 200 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $380,000 in local revenue, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 national economic impact study. Conducted by Americans for the Arts, Lake County participated in what’s described as the most comprehensive study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever in the United States.
In late 2015, The Lake County Arts & Cultural Alliance (ACA), signed onto the study and began handing out surveys asking attendees how much money they spent on items such as meals, transportation, and retail shopping as a result of attending an event. Several local organizations, including the Lake Concert Band, Brenda Heim Studios, Mount Dora Center for the Arts, Leesburg Center for the Arts and Lake Eustis Museum of Art, also joined in.
Mount Dora Art Festival
Results show local arts organizations that spent $1 million during fiscal year 2015 had event-related spending by attendees totaling $8 million. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within their community. Those dollars, in turn, generated nearly $3.7 million in household income for local residents.
Local artist Bev Neal in her Mount Dora gallery
“Lake County was proud to take part in this national study of 341 regions including major cultural epicenters like Miami and Chicago,” said Commissioner Wendy Breeden, liaison to the ACA. “And just like in those large cities, results show that our vibrant arts community here in Lake County not only encourages residents to use their discretionary funds closer to home, it also attracts visitors who help local businesses thrive.”
When attending a cultural event, attendees often eat dinner in area restaurants, pay for parking, buy souvenirs and hire a babysitter, the study confirms. What’s more, attendees from out of town often stay overnight at a local hotel, supporting the county’s Tourist Development Tax. These funds are then earmarked to further promote Lake County as a tourist destination and build infrastructure to attract future travelers. For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, click here. Find out what's happening locally with just a tap on your phone by downloading the area's free mobile app. Monthly issues of Mount Dora Buzz are available here.
The City of Eustis will kick off the area’s red, white and blue celebrations when it hosts an Independence Hometown Celebration on Saturday, July 1. The free, family-friendly event will take place in downtown’s waterfront Ferran Park. The party starts at 5 p.m. and continues until 9:30 p.m.
Entertainment in the historic Alice McClelland Memorial Bandshell will feature live music from the band Shakedown! and a performance by the Mystic Jewels Dance Troupe.
The free kids’ zone will feature bounce houses, water slides, a face painter, balloon animals and arts and crafts. The Eustis Aquatic Center will be open for free, open-swim and splash pad use from 11:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Additional entertainment includes a Lakeland Water Ski Show on Lake Eustis at 6:30 p.m. and a fireworks finale over the lake at 9:30 p.m.
The will be plenty of All-American fare available including barbecue, hamburgers, hot dogs, hush puppies, pretzels, kettle corn, cotton candy, ice-cream, smoothies, shaved ice, cake pops, mini donuts and more.
Mount Dora will join other communities across the country by hosting a Juneteenth Festival this Saturday, June 24.
The family-friendly festival will be held on historic Grandview Street between Grant and Florida Avenues from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
There will be vendors, food, beer and wine, a kids zone and music from David Oliver Willis, David Julia Band, TNT and ETurn. American Idol winner Candice Glover will also be present.
Juneteenth, the oldest celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S., has been a tradition since the late 19th century and is now recognized in 43 states. This is Mount Dora’s first event.
June 19, known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Emancipation Day, is the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Texas in 1865. Although Abraham Lincoln freed all slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, Texas was geographically remote and its slave owners ignored the new law. Only Texas slaves that escaped could enjoy freedom in the North.
June 19 marks the date Union General Gordon Granger arrived on Galveston Island with 2,000 troops to establish a federal presence in Texas and officially free its slaves.
Today, community Juneteenth festivals celebrate African American freedom and achievement, encourage respect for all cultures, and strive to create new bonds of friendship and understanding. Celebrations often include public BBQs, live music, readings of the Emancipation Proclamation and singing of traditional spirituals.
The cit will celebrate the country’s independence on July 3, with its annual “Freedom on the Waterfront” celebration.
The festivities start at 5 p.m. at Elizabeth Evans Park on Mount Dora's downtown lakefront. The evening will end with a fireworks show over Lake Dora and dusk. Live music will feature Country singer Buddy Jewell, winner of “Nashville Star.” There will also be a KidsZone with family-friendly activities, food trucks and beverages. The event is free. Free public parking will be available on the street and at First Methodist Church on 5th Avenue, as well as First Baptist Church on First Avenue which will also have shuttle service.
The city’s Independence Day Parade will be on July 4th. For more Independence Day events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, visit the calendar.