Where the Art Is

aka DFAC   |   Dunedin, FL   |  www.dfac.org


Our mission at the Dunedin Fine Art Center is to enrich lives through educational experiences in the visual arts. Our ultimate goal is to stimulate both awareness and appreciation of the arts through changing exhibitions, lectures, studio classes and workshops that can strengthen interpretive ability and interactive creativity for both children and adults. Our vision is to make the Dunedin Fine Art Center a leading visual art center providing unparalleled educational, cultural & creative experiences.

Ruling year info



George Ann Bissett, BA, MA, CFRE

Main address

1143 Michigan Blvd

Dunedin, FL 34698 USA

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NTEE code info

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Visual Arts Organizations (A40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Greatest challenge is Sustainability. In 10 years, DFAC tripled in size, requiring hiring more staff, instructors, and maintenance. The annual operating budget grew from $650,000 to $2,600,000. The Creative Visions Capital Campaign raised $7.2 million to expand the facility’s teaching studios and galleries. The new spaces offered opportunities to contract with new instructors, encourage and build a larger student body, more curated gallery shows thus giving many artists both local and national opportunities to exhibit their work. A Three Year Strategic Plan identifying strategy to guide us forward to 2021. New programs and increased fundraising. Circles of Giving, scholarships and sponsors have been expanded. Food Arts a new program will bring non-traditional students and revenue will increase.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Adult Education

The Adult Education program at the Dunedin Fine Art Center (DFAC) is designed to provide exciting and creative educational experiences to the community. DFAC has assembled an award winning, degreed group of instructors who encourage students to reach their full potential with individual attention and an inclusive attitude. In addition to painting, drawing, and clay classes that can be found at many art centers, DFAC also has dedicated studios for jewelry, printmaking, fiber arts, welding, woodturning, stone carving and food arts. Overall, DFAC has 21 studios located at 3 different campuses in Dunedin. Classes are offered year-round with 7 six-week class terms as well as individual workshops. Dunedin Fine Art Center has the unique ability to bring in nationally renowned artists to lead workshops throughout the year, often aligning with the exhibitions in the galleries or partnering with local artist groups. During the 2019-20 fiscal year, there were 3,357 adult course registrations which is a 23% decrease in enrollment from the prior year. This decrease was due to the COVID-19 pandemic which began in March 2020.
In order to attract new students, DFAC opens its doors once a year in December for visitors to meet our instructors and see demonstrations of their work in our studios during the Adult Education Open House. Visitors can experience what it is like to take a class here and explore the creative opportunities at DFAC. Also offered is a monthly Coffee and Conversation program featuring instructors and area artists discussing their work, careers and offering demonstrations of their techniques. These programs regularly attract standing room only attendance.
The Dunedin Fine Art Center is dedicated to fostering the vital relationship between creative expression and healthy aging. Many of our senior students express their appreciation for the mental and creative stimulation provided by art activities and depend on the sense of community created in the classes. Scholarships are available for students in financial need, and DFAC also offers funding for military veterans who would like to take classes. DFAC also provides the Just Imagine program for mentally and physically challenged adults, which is a weekly program for adults ages 18-51 who are profoundly mentally and physically challenged. DFAC is able to offer this program at no charge. Funding is provided by private donation and covers payment for a qualified art instructor and three assistants, as well as materials for the participants.
DFAC’s new Arts & Wellness program, launched in Fall 2020, offers classes that tap into the mental health benefits that art can offer. Research is continuing to prove that art can improve wellbeing and quality of life for a wide range of individuals. Participation in art activities lowers the risk of depression, reduces loneliness, and lowers the risk of dementia.

Population(s) Served

Besides educational outreach programs for local charter/private schools and organizations like the YMCA, the children and teen program follows the same schedule as the adult program, except for May to August, when a 10-week intensive summer enrichment art academy program for children ages: 4.5 to 14 is held. During the summer program, 7 different weekly camps focus on photography, clay (hand building and wheel), 2D (drawing and painting), iPad Explorations, murals and musical theater are offered to age appropriate groupings in week long sessions. DFAC has up to 200 children per week and employs certified art teachers along with professional, degreed working artists from the Tampa Bay area. At the close of summer, a Summer Art Academy Exhibit is held in our Kokolakis Family Youth Gallery curated by the children, for the children. 49 different schools are represented in our summer camp exhibit. Note: Summer of 2020 operated all camps at half capacity (900 students attending as opposed to 1,800) due to COVID-19. CDC recommended protocols were successfully put in place without incident.
Dedicated Youth Gallery: Kokolakis Family Youth Gallery is used exclusively for children's art work from 4.5 yrs. to 17 yrs. DFAC partners with the Pinellas County School District’s Visual Arts Supervisor to provide 4 exhibits yearly featuring 75 Elementary, 19 Middle and 13 High Schools. DFAC also Partners with the City of Dunedin and the Dunedin Principals’ Consortium to provide the Dunedin Schools’ Showcase exhibit featuring the youth’s artwork created in Dunedin. These are wonderful events to attend for the excitement and pride radiating from the children and their families.
Dedicated Youth Clay Lab: DFAC has 12 wheels/and a hand building studio which can be used exclusively by children, while 12 additional wheels are used by the adults in the adjoining clay labs.
David L. Mason Children's Hands-on Art Museum (DLM Museum): A big part of our Youth Education Program is the Children's Hands-on Art Museum. It gives children the opportunity to explore the different media used in art from clay to electronic graphics and Green Screen. The DLM Museum is designed by DFAC's Director of Youth Education and presents a new theme annually. The 22nd annual children’s hands-on exhibit, Mad Science, features a new interactive hands-on experience where preschoolers up to 12 years old explore how integral science is to the world of art. Dancing Frankystein, cool contraptions, monster makers, and more make up this mixed up world of Science and Art. Interactive floor computers, green screen theater, giant touch screen drawing programs, plus 7 iPad air stations with artsy food apps. Due to COVID-19, Free Family Fun Nights and Make It Take It weekends have been suspended for now. These free programs invite the public in for some artsy fun in our hands-on museum the second Friday of the month, with community partners such as Clearwater Marine Aquarium, The Florida Orchestra, Keep Pinellas Beautiful and Publix Supermarkets. We hope to resume when it is safe for larger groups to gather.
School Tours: DFAC’s two-hour tour consists of three components: 1) Students start with a 30-45-minute engaging gallery discussion involving science, history, social influence and impact, principles and elements of design, creative problem solving and humor. 2) Students proceed to the hands-on interactive area where they explore, create and build on concepts and images from the original artworks seen in the galleries. Time in the hands-on area is 30-45 minutes. 3) Tour concludes with students gathering in the art studio for a teacher directed, exhibit related activity involving imagination and motor skills.
Unique Outreach program only at DFAC: Dunedin Fine Art Center’s Wheels on Wheels: A Mobile Pottery Experience, is an exciting, creative, one of a kind, innovative two-hour hands on experience with hand-building clay and more importantly, using clay on a potter’s wheel, "Throwing on the Wheel” as it is known. A converted school bus travels to the schools so that students get the opportunity to experience the fun and magic that is clay! Twelve students will be able to practice their "throwing” skills for 45 minutes with 1lb of Mexo-White self-hardening clay on real, electric potter’s wheels housed in DFAC’s converted school bus. Outside the bus there will be four tables for an additional twelve students using Mexo-Red self-hardening clay to practice their hand-building skills using coil, pinch and slab methods. 1) Youth participating in the program benefit by being a part of a creative process that is not normally available to them in the schools. DFAC’s mobile clay wheel lab makes the wonderful process of throwing on the wheel accessible to everyone. 2) Clay is for all ages but working on the wheel is more suited for 8-year olds on up to 108. Currently the Wheels on Wheels program has served over 3,800 participants. 3) This unique, creative and innovative opportunity started as a fun idea from Todd Still, Director of Youth Education and came to fruition through the support of DFAC, Pougialis-Anastasakis Foundation for the Arts, Pinellas Community Foundation and Parliament Motor Coach.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Dunedin Fine Art Center (DFAC) has museum quality exhibitions which are organized by our Curatorial Director. Exhibits change every 8 weeks, on average. In a given year, the public can enjoy 20 different exhibits in 6 distinct galleries plus 7 exhibits in our dedicated Children’s Gallery. Our Curatorial Director establishes the exhibition calendar two years in advance selecting from a range of individual artist proposals, traveling exhibits, guest curator concepts plus other organizational and regional proposals. With educational values at the core of the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s mission, it has been our goal, at any given time, that a visitor may view works by our faculty and students alongside exhibits of artists of national and international standing. In addition to numerous themed juried exhibitions for community participation, we have a Student / Member / Faculty exhibit that ensures every work of art submitted is shown and celebrated! It is ideal that we have been able to simultaneously stage shows of broader significance in the contemporary art world while maintaining a commitment to our students, members and their families.
That commitment along with the talent of our curatorial staff led DFAC to be named best museum in Pinellas County in 2014 in a Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater poll—though we are not a museum nor maintain a permanent collection! In addition to various Critic’s Awards, DFAC has received Creative Loafing Tampa Bay’s Best of the Bay People’s Choice Award for Best Non-Museum Gallery for five consecutive years: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 + 2020 plus Best Visual Arts Curator for 2019 and 2020.
Exhibits are a primary component of DFAC’s educational and cultural outreach to our community, greater Tampa Bay and visitors to our state who attend lectures and demonstrations by visiting / exhibiting artists in collaboration with our year-round classes and workshops.
DFAC’s Member/Students are enhanced by daily exposure to a diverse range of contemporary art techniques and media. In addition, throughout the school year, School Tours for children of all ages enjoy: Gallery Talks led by our Youth Education Director, interactive play in our Hands-On Museum and a classroom take-home project conducted by our Youth Education Staff.
In the pandemic year, 2020—DFAC was locked-down but re-opened after 2.5 months with all new exhibits, limited attendance for socially-distanced adult classes and summer art camps with rigorous safety protocols in place. We eliminated receptions and have otherwise presented virtual artists talks. We recreated our signature special events this year and continue to move forward by finding new ways of safely fulfilling our mission.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To ensure financial viability for sustaining the Mission: Enriching lives through educational experiences in the visual arts. A solid structure is needed to earn income. There is a 25% financial gap in revenue. DFAC fundraises for exhibits, special events; Circles of Giving Membership at $1500 up to $15,000; Scholarship Funds and the Sterling Society, the friends group help raise funds for Scholarships.

The Youth Education department’s diverse program: Wheels on Wheels, a mobile clay lab, visits schools weekly. The Children’s Hands on Art Museum, ages 2.5 to 16 has stations to explore different media. A Gallery exhibits children’s art. The program hires 25 teachers for the Art Academy with 1700 students in 2018.

Adult Education employs 98 instructors to teach a range of visual arts throughout the year. Workshops offer condensed instruction each term.

DFAC is sustained by planning, transparency, succinct information on expenses and a yearly audit.

Our 2019-2021 Strategic Plan is a road map for moving forward to ensure financial sustainability.

1. Create more valuable and fulfilling experiences for our Members and our Community
2. Serve our Community and expand our student base by attracting National and International programming
3. Attract and cultivate the very best instructors
4. Develop more ways of attracting first time students to help them discover their internal artist
5. Expand our collaborative & cooperative relationships to serve the shared goal of expanding artistic opportunities
6. Expand the traditional boundaries of visual art by redefining what is included in creative self-expression
7. Seek Additional ways to engage young minds in the artistic experience
8. Better sustain and grow the impact of DFAC by broadening our donor base and expanding revenue streams

DFAC has a well-educated staff, an expert Board of Directors, Sterling Society, a friend’s group and an Advisory Board. Our partnership with the City of Dunedin helps our budget by repairing all outside equipment, air conditioners, lights, grass cutting, building and parking lot maintenance. Additionally, we receive a cash grant which is unrestricted. We purchase employee health care and life insurance from them. These cost savings benefit our financial sustainability. DFAC’s endowment and an educational Trust for children’s programs from K. to Grade 5. The above funds add to DFAC’s overall budget of 75% earned income and the remaining 25% is raised through fundraising activities with the Development Director and President/CEO. Due to continuing oversight and transparency in DFAC’s accounting daily we are aware of how the organization functions. Excellence has a price and we strive not to jeopardize programming through overspending.

DFAC has a robust educational program in visual arts for adults, teens and children. We have 21 purpose-built studios well equipped for teaching visual art; 7 galleries showing curated art and two galleries for local and regional artists from the Tampa Bay area. The quality of exhibition is acknowledged in the many awards received. During the 2017/2018 financial year, 1285 artists were exhibited, along with 6000 students and thousands of visitors. The Gallery Shop is 85 % artist consignment, and the Founders Hall is welcoming with the Perkins Library and access to all the other galleries and Palm Café.
DFAC is renovating a 900 sq. ft. studio on the second floor of the West Wing to teach Food Arts. This renovation will incorporate a Chef’s demonstration area, separate teaching modules for hands on learning. This program joins our flagship Clay and Jewelry Studios.
Next, expansion of the Clay Lab and Children’s Hands on Museum.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Feedback from students and the community leads to the development of new programs. One of the newest we've launched is an Art and Wellness program that explores the numerous benefits of creating art. Research has shown that art making can reduce stress and anxiety, improve vision and motor function, combat isolation and improve cognitive functioning. These classes will teach students how to tap into the therapeutic qualities of art. During the COVID-19, students and the community have requested virtual classes and on-line virtual tours of the exhibits instead of in-person classes and tours of the exhibits. We've purchased the technology and worked with art instructors, artists and staff to provide this invaluable service.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 2/5/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Julie Scales

London Bates

London Bates Law, P.A.

Steve Beaty

Dex Imaging

Gail Gamble

Artist/Community Advocate

Richard Kennedy


Ryan Hayden

Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC

Deborah Kynes

Commissioner, City of Dunedin, FL

Alison Freeborn

Freeborn & Freeborn

Mark Weinkrantz

Pilot Delta Airlines

Mark Fox

Fox Foundation

Kathy Milam

Community Advocate

Christopher Beach

Beach Dentistry

Patrick Donoghue

Heartfire Wealth

Barbara Hubbard

Dean, St. Petersburg College

Mitchell Lowenstein

Retired, Medical Doctor

Holly Bird

Artist/Faculty Member

Michael Bowman

Dunedin Refrigeration

Fred Miller

Center State Bank

Rachael Wood

Attorney-Johnson Pope

Candice Ryan


Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/05/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/05/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.