First Unity Launches ARTS46/4 With a Five-Month Arts Initiative

March 22, 2018 – ST. PETERSBURG, FL – First Unity announces the launch of ARTS46/4. Named for First Unity’s location on 46th Avenue and 4th Street North in St. Petersburg, ARTS46/4 is an independent-yet-integrated venue / producing partner to bridge the Arts community with First Unity Spiritual Campus. In April, ARTS46/4 will kick-off with a five month arts initiative, which includes both a dedicated Arts component in all the Sunday services, and producing a series of public special events featuring well-known members of Tampa Bay’s thriving Arts community.

“Art is born of inspiration, which is spiritual in nature, and through a spiritual practice, we work to master the art of being alive,” says Becca McCoy, who devised ARTS46/4 on behalf of First Unity. “Art and spirituality are both integral to deepening our human experience, and ARTS46/4 is designed to allow one to augment the other. This inaugural initiative is to explore what is possible and establish ARTS46/4 as a partner for future creative collaborations in the community.”

From April through August, each month will highlight a different arts discipline. In April, the concentration is Literature, utilizing spoken word to enhance the Sunday services and featuring a special event on April 12th produced in conjunction with the 4th Annual SunLit Festival. May is centered around Dance, and on Mother’s Day, Helen Hansen French will perform live as well as screen her dance film Within the Bounding Line. In June, a curated gallery exhibit featuring local Visual Art luminaries such as Carrie Jadus, D. YaeL Kelley, Nathan Beard, Jennifer Kosharek, and Zulu Painter will feature in the service visuals all month long and be the stars of a guided ekphrastic open to the public on June 16th. July is the month for Theatre, and each Sunday, a different local performer will appear as a special guest in the service and on July 20th, the Campus becomes the stage for an original work of immersive theatre. Finally, August celebrates Music, with an unconventional chamber music concert that incorporates elements of dining and conversation on August 24th featuring the Ibis Quartet. See below for complete event descriptions and participants.

“Spirituality is art in any language,” says First Unity’s Spiritual Leader Reverend Temple Hayes. “The gift of connecting with the heart is the opening for art to be created. For us at First Unity, we see ARTS46/4 as the bridge connecting the heart, and mind, with all who say yes.”

First Unity is well-equipped to serve as an Arts venue, with a 5400 square-foot Sanctuary space whose pews are being replaced with chairs to allow for flexible seating configurations, recently upgraded theatrical sound and lighting, projection capabilities, hardwood platform and separate music stage, visual art gallery, reception areas, and ample free parking.
For more about ARTS46/4, visit


Thursday, April 12th, 7-9pm – “InSights: A Convergence of Adolescence”
A mixture of writers, artists, and community leaders will read excerpts of their high school writings – from poetry to homework assignments to “Dear Diary” entries – intermingled with current area high school students sharing their present-day thoughts. Foresight meets hindsight in a convergence of adolescence: what is Universal about those formative years across generations, and how have things changed in the Digital Age?
Tickets: Free. Donations will be collected for the Broward Education Foundation’s Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Participants to include David Warner and Cathy Salustri of Creative Loafing, Mayor of Gulfport Sam Henderson, Executive Director of Creative Pinellas Barbara St. Clair, poet Pedro el Poeta, Community Liaison of USFSP Harris Ambush, actor Becca McCoy, Pinellas County School Board Chairperson Rene Flowers, New Renaissance Artist Elizabeth Baker, author Lisa Kirchner, First Unity Spiritual Leader Temple Hayes, Executive Director of The Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum Terri Lipsey Scott, and Gallerie 909 owner Carla Bristol.
This event is a part of the 4th Annual SunLit Festival. For more info:

Sunday, May 13th, 1:30-3:30pm – “Movements of Motherhood”
Celebrate Mother’s Day with an afternoon of dessert and world-class dance as Helen Hansen French presents a screening of her dance film, WITHIN THE BOUNDING LINE (The Motherhood Project), and then performs live in “Songs without Words,” an improvisational multi-disciplinary experience, with Frank Wells on piano.
Tickets: $20 general, $10 for children, students, seniors, and Moms
Helen Hansen French is a native of St. Petersburg who received her BFA from The Juilliard School. Upon graduation she was invited to join Buglisi Dance Theatre. In addition to BDT’s annual New York City seasons she has toured nationally and internationally performing in such venues as the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Chautauqua Dance Festival, Vail International Dance Festival, Rishon LeZion International Festival in Israel, and the Oriente Occidente Festival in Rovereto, Italy.   Mrs. French has also been a member of Karen Reedy Dance and had the pleasure of performing with Nilas Martins’ Dance Company, participating in a residency at White Oak Dance working with choreographer Adam Hougland, and performing in the Guggenheim’s Works/Process program with Brian Reeder and Pam Tanowitz. She has been awarded a 2015, 2016 and 2017 Individual Artist Grant from the City of St. Petersburg and she is also a 2016 Creative Pinellas Artist Fellow. Her work has been shown at The Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Clark Studio Theater, Kaatsbaan, Studio@620, and The Palladium, which has hosted her performance series for St. Pete, BEACON, for the past three years. She is a founding member of the St. Petersburg Dance Alliance,
Frank Wells’ musical career has included serving as Associate Conductor with Tampa Bay Opera, training choruses and conducting outreach programming for the Florida Orchestra and Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (Straz Center), and as Music Director of the Tampa Bay Concert Choir, in addition to being a composer and arranger whose works are performed nationally and internationally. These days, Frank is most often seen musically behind a piano instead of a baton, exploring cross-disciplinary collaborations with artists in the visual and performing arts, especially in long-form improvisational pieces that weave performers, images, text and audiences into intricate, responsive, spiritually-present musical tapestries.

Saturday, June 16th, 6-8pm – “POV: The Seven Deadly Sins”
A curated exhibit of pieces from local artists will be on display. Writers on hand will each be linked to one of the pieces of art and then given a writing prompt: one of the Seven Deadly Sins. They create an “Instant Ekphrastic,” (ekphrastic means “to use words to describe art”) which is then read aloud. Artists’ intentions meet viewers’ perspectives and get manipulated by a specific point-of-view: how does the interpretation of art shift when processed through a filter?
Tickets: $15
Featured artists scheduled to include D. YaeL Kelley, Zulu Painter, Jennifer Kosharek, Nathan Beard, Charlie Parker, Carrie Jadus, junk yard, Janos Enyedi, and Spathose.
Writers scheduled to include Arin Greenwood, Lisa Powers Tricomi, Heather Tinnaro, Elizabeth Brincklow, and Shelly Wilson.

Friday, July 20th, 7-9pm – “Trust Me: An ARTS46/4 Original Immersive Theatre Experience”
No need for seats… First Unity’s whole campus becomes the stage for a one-of-a-kind adventure. With Trust Me, an ARTS46/4 original immersive theatre experience, set traditional theatrical conventions aside and get right into the action. Multi-location, multi-sensory, and anti-passivity, this is an evening of environmental, participatory storytelling. There’s no substitute for experiencing it live: trust me.
Tickets: $25
Trust Me is an ARTS46/4 original production, conceived and created by Vickie Daignault, Jan Neuberger, Roxanne Fay, and Becca McCoy, four of Tampa Bay’s most accomplished resident Equity actresses.

Friday, August 24th, 7-9pm – “Sound Bites: A Culinary Experience with the Ibis Quartet in Concert”
Join us for an evening elevating three Arts: food, music, and conversation. Not just a chamber music concert of a world-class string quartet, the Ibis Quartet, and not just an exploration of fine cuisine, but both, interspersed with the opportunity to engage with your fellow attendees.
Tickets: $30 all-inclusive (food and concert)
Ibis Quartet is a string quartet based in Tampa Bay comprised of Rebecca Zapen (violin), Julie Tollen (violin), Lauren Collier (viola), and Ruth Kern (cello).

Becca McCoy is best known in the Tampa Bay arts community as an actor and singer, and she was a frequent guest performer at First Unity before coming on staff to serve as the Creative Director. Becca brings a deep appreciation for and familiarity with the local arts community, as well as experience in stage and company management, arts administration, creative direction, and public relations. As Creative Director, Becca integrates the arts into Sunday services, oversees additional arts programming, and handles public relations and outreach for special events.

First Unity Spiritual Campus is a spiritual community who welcomes all, committed to teaching a positive, practical, and progressive approach to spirituality. The St. Petersburg Campus features a sanctuary which also serves as a performance venue, spiritual education classrooms, chapel, meditation garden, gallery and visual art center, bookstore, coffee shop, and is home to Spice Routes restaurant. In addition to weekly Sunday and Wednesday services, First Unity Spiritual Campus continually offers support groups and a variety of events, activities, and classes. This thriving community is under the leadership of internationally-recognized minister / author / speaker Reverend Temple Hayes. For more information, visit

InSights: The Convergence of Adolescence
Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 7pm
First Unity Spiritual Campus
460 46th Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33703
Tickets are free (donations collected for Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund)
More information online at

Movements of Motherhood: featuring Helen Hansen French
Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 1:30pm
First Unity Spiritual Campus
460 46th Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33703
Tickets are $20 General; $10 Children, Students, Seniors and Moms – available online at
More information online at

POV: The Seven Deadly Sins: A Literary Exploration of Visual Art
Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 6pm
First Unity Spiritual Campus
460 46th Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33703
Tickets are $15 – available online at
More information online at

Trust Me: An ARTS46/4 Original Immersive Theatre Experience
Friday, July 20, 2018 at 7pm
First Unity Spiritual Campus
460 46th Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33703
Tickets are $25 – available online at
More information online at

Sound Bites: A Culinary Experience with the Ibis Quartet in Concert
Friday, August 24, 2018 at 7pm
First Unity Spiritual Campus
460 46th Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33703
Tickets are $30 – available online at
More information online at


For more information:
Becca McCoy
Creative Director, First Unity Spiritual Campus

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