Dear PBTS family,

As you may have heard, organizations in Florida were dealt a devastating blow with the announcement that Governor DeSantis vetoed more than $32 million in arts and culture funding from next year’s budget. We are, very unfortunately, one of the organizations that are impacted by this decision.

The process of applying for and defending these grants is extremely rigorous—planning, strategizing, budgeting, forecasting, crafting the narrative, reviewing the grant, attending the hearings, providing detailed quarterly updates and reports. (This is what we do internally; it does not account for the hours that volunteers spend reading and scoring the applications to make funding recommendations.)

This veto affects so many arts and culture organizations throughout Florida: theatre companies, museums, zoos, choirs, operas, dance companies, youth arts centers, and more. Some organizations throughout the state are now exploring canceling programming, reducing staff, or discontinuing operations altogether.

This is unprecedented. This is the first time in the grantmaking history of the Department of Arts & Culture where the grants have been vetoed entirely. Furthermore, it comes at a time where we are still reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But you know what? We will persist.

I have a fierce commitment to the arts and culture community in Jacksonville, and particularly to Players by the Sea. I will do everything in my ability to keep this organization on its path of strength, stability, and growth…

…with that said, I need your help.

Financial contributions have, once again, reached an “urgent” status for organizations.

How You Can Help:

  • Make a Donation — any amount, from $10 – $10,000, helps us tremendously.
  • Buy a Ticket — experiencing our work firsthand undoubtedly proves the power and impact of live theatre on this economy.
  • Encourage Your Community — if there are members in your circle that would be interested in supporting PBTS, please share this message with them!
  • Support Arts and Culture in FL — as I mentioned, we are not the only ones that are reeling from this decision. Arts and culture organizations across the state will be strongly impacted; donating or taking part in their offerings will go a long way for rebuilding and recovery

My friends, I hope that you agree with me that arts and culture are an integral part of Florida’s economy. We will continue to drive that point forward by ensuring that the community of artists, patrons, and supporters always have a safe space to experience the transformative power of live theatre.

Thank you for your love and continued support of Players by the Sea. I mean it with my entire heart when I say that we couldn’t do this without you and that it will always be for you.

Bradley Akers