THE WAREHOUSE ARTS DISTRICT ASSOCIATION MISSION AND VALUES
The Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) started with a dream of a creative corridor. Abandoned warehouses in St Petersburgs Midtown neighborhood help promise. Artists needed reasonably priced workspace were already moving into the area, reclaiming building that once housed tomato and seafood packing plants, a large commercial laundry, a sewer equipment manufacturer and a deserted railway station.
As time passed, a major concern was that there is a history nationwide of artists moving into an undesirable area, they make the place “cool” and then rental prices go through the roof until artists can no longer afford space.
In early 2012, a group of interested people was held at the Morean Center for Clay. The idea was to form an organization that could represent artists, studios and galleries in the city of St Petersburg and work to preserve affordable studio space. That is how the organization came to be. Later that year, it organized as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to creating a vibrant arts community in and around St. Petersburg, FL and to develop and grow as an energetic group that creates jobs, attracts artists participates in the local community and provides arts education opportunities.
In late 2014, with the help of public and private donors, WADA purchased 2.7 acres of land on the Deuces Corridor – 22nd Street and the Pinellas Trail. The property is know know as the ArtsXchange and has multiple warehouse buildings that house art studios, galleries and local business. It has become a thriving part of Midtown and is the “go to” place on Second Saturday Artwalk.
Our mission is to build and sustain a vibrant arts community in St. Petersburg, Florida that supports the success of all artists and the community at large through a broad spectrum of tools, including community revitalization, marketing, advocacy and educational programming.
We are a cultural arts destination in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg dedicated to flourishing our community through artistic endeavors, support, and highly curated art.
Read Press Coverage of the Warehouse Arts District Association.
Event Rental Space
“You bring the party – we’ll bring the art”
We offer several rental spaces that can accommodate events of all sizes.
Non-Profit Arts Association
The Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) is an arts organization dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant arts community within and around the Warehouse Arts District. Spanning from 1st Avenue North to 10th Avenue South and 16th Street to 31st Street, the Warehouse Arts District includes the Deuces Live Main Street and is comprised of a thriving community of over 300 businesses that support both the artistic outreach of the organization and the community revitalization.
WADA employs a broad spectrum of tools to include marketing, advocacy, community stimulation and educational programming to support the success of artists and local community. We thrive on donor support, community partners and WADA members; please join us!
WADA members and donors receive access to free arts education classes, workshops, exhibit previews and more! Plus, you are making a difference in creating a community where arts, businesses, and local residents benefit from the synergy of artistic energy, a catalyst for positive growth.
Over 300 Members
There are more than 300 members of the association which includes artists, studios, galleries, art supporters, business supporters and sponsors.
Warehouse Arts District Association Timeline
|2011||Multiple Discussions with Mayor Rick Baker, Duncan McClellan, Mark Aeling, etc. about creating a warehouse arts district in midtown St. Petersburg.|
|April 2012||First meeting at the Morean Center for Clay to discuss forming an arts association.|
|May 31, 2012||St. Petersburg Warehouse Arts District, Inc. is incorporated. The organization is called the Warehouse Arts District Association. Officers: |
Catherine Woods: President – Duncan McClellan: Vice President
Tracy Kennard: Secretary – Teresa Sullivan” Treasurer
|March 2013||WADA Sponsors Trolleys for Second Saturday Artwalk.|
|June 26, 2014||WADA Received non-profit status from IRS.|
|July 2014||Board of Directors informed of availability of property for sale. An intense capital campaign is undertaken to raise $350,000 which covered the down payment for the property, closing costs and some architectural concepts. The funds raised included $75,000 from the City of St Petersburg.|
|December 30, 2014||WADA formally purchases 50,000 square feet of warehouse space on 2.7 acres at the corner of 22nd Street South and 5th Avenue South. The space was formerly the Ace Recycling Compound and earlier the Softwater Laundry.|
|February 17, 2015||Board votes unanimously for the name “ArtsXchange” for the newly purchased property.|
|April 28, 2017||WADA purchases the Shoppes – the strip mall at the entrance to the ArtsXchange Campus.|
|October 26, 2017||Grand Opening of the ArtsXchange.|
|April 2018||WADA Launches Phase II for the ArtsXchange – Education Center.|
|August 2018||First WADA Member-Only Art Exhibition.|
|March 2019||WADA wins WEDU’s “Be More” award.|
|July 2019||The Eddie Burka Member Lounge and Office Open.|
|October 2019||The City of St. Petersburg asks WADA and the Deuces Live to collaborate on a project to have artists paint the signs in the area known as the Dome Industrial Park.|
|November 2019||The City of St. Petersburg hosts a celebration to raise awareness of additional lighting being added to the Pinellas Trail, extending the hours of operation until 11 p.m. The new lights extend East and West of 22nd St. South.|
|December 2019||ArtsXchange Plaza paving is completed with a donation from Trevor Burgess and Gary Hess.|
|April 2020||WADA hosts Feeding Tampa Bay Mobile Food Pantry during Pandemic.|
|May 2020||WADA raises money during Giving Tuesday to finance the WADA Artist Relief Fund. 20 Artist Members each receive a grant of $500. WADA host Inaugural Virtual Tour of the James Museum.|
|June 2020||WADA issues statement in support of Black Lives Matter WADA hosted a “Meal and Heal” with Ameenah’s Catering serving 100 meals to community residents at the ArtsXchange.|
|July 2020||The “WADA Member Network” closed FaceBook page is created.|
|April 2021||Groundbreaking for the Pruitt Arts Education Center.|
|December 5, 2021||Rise Monument is dedicated. WADA participates in the first Winter Market on the Trail.|
|January 2022||Grand Opening of the Pruitt Arts Education Center.|
|May 2022||WADA creates Scholarship Program for Summer Camp for Kids.|
|April 2023||ArtsXchange Outdoor Theater opens.|