“There’s never been a civilization (to) thrive that didn’t have a strong footing in the arts.” Don’t let the boldness of these words detract from their truth — art shapes society. Art expresses the ideals and values of a civilization and seals them in metal, acrylic, strings, treble clefs, and pirouettes. Tallahassee’s art community reflects the city from the roots up, drawing nutrients from local musicians, sculptors, dancers, actors, and dreamers. Tallahassee Creates unearths these roots, drawing them to the surface, letting their stories be known in their own words. Tallahassee’s heart beats to the cadence of its arts community, with all of their wonder, insight, and fearless direction. The arts live here.
This campaign of short films showcases Tallahassee as an up-and-coming destination for artists and creatives. The Tallahassee Creates series was designed to promote Tallahassee’s diverse arts community and tell the stories of individual artists. Each film unearths the heart and passion of each artist as they reflect on their careers in their own words. This series only scratches the surface of talent that lives in our area, we encourage you to explore more artists and organizations who thrive in Tallahassee by visiting COCA's Artist Directory.
In 2008, Terry Shackleton performed live as a contestant on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. He has served as a choreographer and backup dancer for various artists in Miami such as Trick Daddy, Uncle Luke, Big Boi, and Kevin Little.
The FAMU Strikers began at Florida A&M University in 1989. Since then, the Strikers have grown into a nationally-renowned dance group. The Strikers seek to unite and uplift African-American males and promote self-confidence and positivity in the local community.
“Dancing is just not enough, if you don’t have… feeling behind it. It’s like a body with no soul… and if you don’t have that, you’re really not going to be effective.”- Terry Shackleton, FAMU Strikers
The New 76ers perform regularly at festivals throughout Florida. In 2014, the New 76ers released their second full-length album In The Light on their label Ping Records.
Ping Records has released multiple recordings of local Tallahassee artists such as Belmont and Jones, Belle and the Band, Adventures of Annabelle Lynn, Scott Campbell, and Dan Newman.
“For me music is accessible to everybody, it’s something that… is built into us.”- Kelly Goddard, The New 76ers
In 2006, the State of Florida inducted Sandy Proctor into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. In 2004, he received an American Artists Professional League Award at the 71st National Sculpture Society Awards Exhibition in New York.
In addition, Sandy has been the featured master sculptor at the Southeastern Wildlife Art Exposition in South Carolina, the Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival in Georgia, and the Easton Waterfowl Festival in Maryland. His work continues to be featured across the country. Tallahassee boasts numerous examples of his sculpture as public art, commemorating such diverse topics as veterans, civil rights, athletics, and the fleeting days of childhood.
“I can look at any piece I’ve done... and know who I was at that time. I may not know who I am right now, but I know who I was when I did that piece.” - Sandy Proctor, Tallahassee Artist
Zlatina Staykova has been awarded scholarships for playing in the Liberace and Eppes Piano Trios. She is also a co-founding member of the Torreya and Purple Martin String Quartets.
She currently performs with the Tallahassee, Pensacola, and Mobile Symphony Orchestras. She shares her love of music with students through private music instruction at the Bach Parley String Academy and teaching strings at Leon County Schools.
“Art is finding the tools to express yourself the way you are. That’s why I think art is something that is very personal. The way you are going to use the vibrato, the way you are going to use the sound — it’s the way you hear the sound and that is uniquely you.” - Zlatina Staykova, Cellist
The Council on Culture & Arts (COCA) emerged in 1985 out of the community’s desire to see creativity flourish in Tallahassee and Leon County. COCA is a non-profit organization that supports, produces, and promotes arts and culture in the capital city area. Local artists are given the resources and exposure they need to transform the landscape of this city into an atmosphere where art is not only born, but also lives, breathes, and ripples out into the community.