News From Britt Hill, July 2014

The combined projects of the City of Jacksonville’s First Street sidewalk project, the Booster Club’s lighting project and the Britt Festival’s Performance Garden project resulted in over $2 million dollars of improvements to the community. These dollars were invested in Jacksonville because collectively, we believe in the future of our town and understand that we are all interconnected and interdependent—all for one and one for all.
Over three years in the making, the new Britt Performance Garden is everything that we had hoped it would be and more. With the assistance of early funding partners, and ongoing support, we have completed the most extensive upgrades to the Britt Hill in over thirty years. It is important to note, that none of the money came from our operating fund. These improvements were made possible through a successful capital campaign that included grants, paver sales, anonymous donations and in-kind contributions.
The Performance Garden and ancillary improvements including a new concessions building, new ADA pathways, safety improvements, and restroom upgrades has transformed the hill into an inviting and user-friendly venue and has added to the viability and vitality of our already beautiful setting.
We recently announced an impressive program schedule of 12 different events, including 7 that are free to the public. Just to mention a few, on Sunday, August 10 and Wednesday, August 13, members of the Britt Festival Orchestra will offer free chamber music concerts to members of the community as a “thank you” for hosting them during the Classical Festival. Switching genres just a bit, on Sunday, August 24, we will feature Salsa Brava! Holding a 30-minute dance lesson, followed by hot and spicy Latin grooves where you can put your learning into practice.
As promised, the Performance Garden space offers the versatility required for a variety of concerts and events. The Performance Garden was designed to be flexible and can accommodate a mixture of configurations to accomplish different seating arrangements, including café style, theater and/or blankets. These seating arrangements can be customized based on the needs of the event and user.
The venue will be available for wedding and event rentals. Of particular interest to locals, Jacksonville based non-profit organizations will not be charged a rental fee. Britt will only ask for reimbursement of actual expenses at a rate of $25/hr.
As we celebrate all of this good work and begin the Britt season, I’d like to express my gratitude to the many stakeholders who have helped to plan, fund and implement these projects. Giving back to our community is a wonderful adventure and the improvements that we have made in our little town honor those who went before us and represent a special gift to ourselves and to future generations of this vital community. Thank you.

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