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Gobioff Foundation leads effort to raise money in wake of arts funding cuts
Foundation establishes Tampa Bay Arts Bridge Fund to encourage donations to replace state funding

Tampa, Fla. (July 31, 2018) – Tampa-based Gobioff Foundation has stepped forward to help area arts organizations that are facing dramatic budget cuts. It’s a necessary step to help arts organizations continue to function despite inadequate funding from the state of Florida.

The state of Florida dropped its funding to just $2.65 million for all arts organizations statewide. It is a dramatic decrease from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs’ recommendation of more than $41.6 million.

Over the past four years, the statewide funding had ranged from $11 million to $24 million. Many local organizations were expecting a similar amount to be awarded for general program support, which often covers essential operating costs.

To sustain local arts organizations, the Gobioff Foundation established the Tampa Bay Arts Bridge Fund at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. The Tampa Bay Arts Bridge Fund is similar to a disaster relief fund, which the public can donate to, as the arts organizations are facing catastrophic effects from the cuts in funding.

“This was a devastating blow for many of our arts organizations, who now must look at cutting vital programming,” said Neil Gobioff, president of the Gobioff Foundation. “The Tampa Bay Arts Bridge Fund is a short-term solution to get the organizations through this season as they look at other ways to generate this portion of the operating funding they had depended on from the state.”

The Gobioff Foundation’s initial $100,000 donation to the Tampa Bay Arts Bridge Fund was matched by The Vinik Family Foundation. Now, the goal is to mobilize the Tampa Bay community and raise the $2.49 million shortfall between the amount 32 Hillsborough and Pinellas County organizations qualified to receive from the state and the amount actually received.

All the funds will be distributed this fall to 32 area arts organizations that provide direct arts programming such as art museums, performing arts centers, visual arts exhibits, and arts education.

The Tampa Bay Arts Bridge Fund will benefit 32 arts organizations that had applied for general operating funding from the state and were recommended for funding by the state Division of

Cultural Affairs. The funding will be proportionate with the amount they were approved to receive from the state.

Tax-deductible donations to help fill the gap can be made at For more information, visit

About the Gobioff Foundation
The Gobioff Foundation is a private family foundation that works to support human rights organizations and the Tampa, FL arts community. The Gobioff Foundation was founded by Howard Gobioff in 2007 only months before his sudden death from lymphoma in March, 2008. The only directive Howard left was to “make the world a better place”. His family members feel the best way to honor Howard and fulfill this directive is to continue along the funding path he personally followed. The foundation has two primary funding areas: Arts and Human Rights/Civil Liberties. These are the types of organizations Howard gave to personally while he was alive.

About the Vinik Family Foundation
Vinik Family Foundation is a private foundation created and managed by Jeff and Penny Vinik. Founded in 1997, VFF has donated over $60 million to non-profits working in the areas of education, human services, healthcare and the arts. VFF is especially dedicated to broadening the public’s understanding of art through inclusive, interactive exhibits and installations.

About the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay
Founded in 1990, the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay connects donors, nonprofits, community and business leaders, professional advisors, volunteers and residents to make the maximum positive impact in the Tampa Bay region. For more than 25 years, the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay has been dedicated to making giving easy and meaningful for donors as a way to strengthen nonprofit organizations and build a better, more vibrant community. Since its inception, its donors have enabled the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay to award more than $200 million in grants to nonprofit organizations.