Firehouse Cultural Center
RUSKIN, Florida – It’s sometimes in the most unexpected places that we find the most amazing things. The Firehouse Cultural Center is the perfect example. Who knew a vacated firehouse could become a totally cool entertainment, cultural, education and community gathering center?
Have you been? Then you know it’s smokin’ hot! (I couldn’t resist)
If you haven’t yet checked out the Firehouse Cultural Center (FCC) you’re in for a surprise. It’s a night club, pub, theater, concert venue, art school, event space, comedy club, radio station and kids’ camp all in one. The diversity and amount of programming is pretty mind-blowing.
Check out just a few upcoming events (lots more – check out their full event calendar):
Firehouse Pub and Theater (Last show this season. Show resume in September):
Concert. THIS Saturday, June 11– Victoria Ginty and Ladyhawke. Victoria, a Nashville recording artist, and drummer Bob Nesbitt, aka Ladyhawke, will perform their Country/American styled music. Details here.
tech+art: FREE Hands-on series of workshops for women and girls. Next up:
Stop Motion Animation classes (Girls 11-14), June 18 – July 9, Saturdays, 1:00-4:00
Text/Image Workshop (Women), June 18, 9:30-12:30
Summer Camp 2016 – 7 one-week Arts Camps (ages 8-10, 11-14), June 20-August 5, 2016
Painting and Printmaking
Arts & Crafts
Cartooning and Animation
Robotics & Coding
Figure Drawing Group – every Thursday, 6-9PM. Monitored by Ruskin artist Bruce Marsh. Details here.
The Firehouse Cultural Center also has many special programs throughout the year including an Artist in Residence program, a Blues and BBQ fundraising event (October), The Big Draw family event (October) in partnership with the South Shore Arts Council and shows in partnership with the Straz Center and Patel Conservatory.
Did you see the recent Habana Compás Dance group from Cuba? Incredible! They were performing at the Straz and put on a special performance at the FCC.
The Firehouse Cultural Center is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. It was first developed and sponsored as a project of the Ruskin Community Development Foundation (RCDF), a nonprofit group whose mission is to support Ruskin community projects.
Originally, the Firehouse Cultural Center was once, well, a fire station when Ruskin had an all volunteer fire station. Eventually, Hillsborough County took over management of the volunteer firehouse and opted to build a new fire station, outside of the flood zone. In turn, the county returned the original fire station back to Ruskin – and the Firehouse Cultural Center became possible. It opened as the Firehouse Cultural Center in 2013.
The Firehouse Cultural Center Team
Today the FCC is supported through grants and donations and it’s managed by a group of dedicated volunteer board members. Additionally, in May of 2013, the FCC hired an Executive Director, Georgia Vahue, to develop the FCC’s array of programming. Countless sponsors and partners also support the Firehouse Cultural Center.
The Firehouse Cultural Center, it seems, is just getting started. They continually add new programs like:
- Hydroponic Gardening: Healthy Garden classes for children. The FCC partners with Ruskin-based Hydro-Harvest Farm to offer hydroponic gardening classes on weekends (seasonal).
- Radio Station: Yes. The FCC has its own radio station, 101.9 WPHX Radio Station, where you can listen to music from past live performances, community and artist interviews and more.
- Yoga: Hillsborough Community College partners with the FCC to offer yoga classes.
So, as you can see, the Firehouse Cultural Center is quite the place. What’s been your favorite program? Comment below.