St. Johns County Cultural Events Division Transforms to Nonprofit

The St. Johns County Board of Commissioners has unanimously approved the transformation of its Cultural Events Division into a non-profit organization. The St. Johns County Cultural Events Division operates the St. Augustine Amphitheater and Ponte Vedra Concert Hall.

Noted in a press release issued this morning, the approval will allow the Cultural Events Division to operate as a private enterprise “with the goal of easing the strains of the government process and further improving its economic impact on the county of St. Johns”.

At a meeting of St. Johns County Commissioners yesterday, the St. Augustine Amphitheater and Concert Hall Advisory Committee presented an in-depth presentation of factual dialogue based on more than 500 hours of work collected since June 21, 2022, to determine that running cultural events as a fast-paced entertainment business required greater government flexibility and compliance than the government could afford.

Since its creation in 2007, the Department of Cultural Events has become a major player in the performing arts industry. The St. Augustine Amphitheater ranked first in the United States and second in the world according to Pollstar Magazine’s 2022 Mid-Year Ticket Sales Report.

The county commissioners also approved funding for the expansion of the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall ‘Balcony Project’, which will increase the hall’s capacity by more than 25%.

“What a historic day for cultural events in St. Johns County,” said Dylan Rumrell, Vice Chair of the Amphitheater and Concert Hall Advisory Committee. “The current staff is the key to the success of this operation and I can assure you that this recommendation has been carefully considered by the five members of the committee. We are convinced that cultural events will only get better.

The committee described “public-private partnership” as a means for local non-profits to “maintain the fundamental guiding principle of cultural events of being community-owned, community-operated, and community-directed” .

Aubrey L. Morgan