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If you attended the St. Augustine Art Association’s Spring Art & Craft Festival a couple of weeks ago, you were treated to two days of wonderful local entertainment. I was responsible for all the things that were wrong: the stage was too small and its placement too far away the overhead tent did not fit; and we didn’t have a good plan for loading and unloading equipment. Our amateurish attempt would have become even more apparent had it not been for the professionalism of Jim Stafford, owner of Eclipse Recording Studio. He not only donated his valuable time and expensive equipment for two whole days, he also put a call out to musicians to fill the entertainment schedule.
Where do you begin when you want to make the St. Augustine Art Association Art & Craft Festival more “community oriented and more festive,” yet there is no budget to pay performers, no stage, no sound system and you have never done anything like this before? Well, you get introduced to Hugh Ward, owner of Classic Blends Promotions. Hugh is possible the most enthusiastic person I have ever met and when I asked him if it was possible, he said, “We have to call Jim Stafford.”
When I told people about what Jim was doing, everyone who knows him responded the same way, “Jim is doing it because he cares. He cares about all the artists he works with. He cares about the community. And, he cares about giving back.” I didn’t know Jim before this, but he made it happen because “he cares.”
As a non-profit community cultural organization, the St. Augustine Art Association can never repay Jim’s kindness and generosity. We are also most appreciative of all the performers who donated their time and talent:
Chase & Skye
Limelight Theatre Kid’s Factory
The Dance Co.
Tale Tellers of St. Augustine
Alex Austin and Friends
St. Augustine School of Performing Arts
The Mickey Cash Band
Melody Stewart (Jim’s Daughter)
The Ancient City Slickers
Amy Henderickson Band