Beaches — A Celebration of the Arts set for May 7


This year’s First Coast Cultural Center Beaches — A Celebration of the Arts annual fundraising event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. May 7 at Casa Marina Hotel, 691 1st St. N. in Jacksonville Beach. The gala event will feature keynote speaker and honorary chair Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd at the oceanfront venue with a locally inspired, beach-themed dinner menu and additional food and beverage specialties, entertainment, art, award presentations and cultural performances.

The cost per person is $257.50 and tables are available for seating eight guests at $2,575 per table. For more information about purchasing tickets, tables, sponsorships, program inclusion and more, go to

Highlights of the evening will include the Irene Lazzara — Beaches, A Celebration of the Arts Award. Additional awards include the Emerging Artist Award, The Ron and Hilah Autrey Arts Education and Advocacy Award, Community Impact Award (Member’s Choice) and The Art of Giving Award.

According to Donna Guzzo, president and CEO of First Coast Cultural Center, the evening features award recipients who have dedicated their expertise, philanthropy and services to the nonprofit throughout the year.

“We are honored to have as our keynote speaker and honorary chair Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd,” said Guzzo. “He was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis as Florida’s 37th Secretary of State and is a local resident. Secretary Byrd will address guests about the importance of the arts and culture to Floridians.”

Event funds will support the nonprofit through ticket sales, sponsorships, program and signage opportunities, and honoring leaders in arts and culture.

“We are pleased to recognize statewide and local leaders, professionals, artists and volunteers who generously share their time and knowledge to help the center, residents, visitors and students throughout our community,” said Guzzo.

Sponsorships for awards and naming rights are currently available. For more information about the event, contact Callie Johnson, community connections manager at or call 904-280-0614, extension 1202.