10th Anniversary Foo Foo Fest Announces 2023 Grant Recipients

Date Posted: May 17, 2023

Foo Foo Fest Celebrates 10 Years of Arts & Culture with 16 Grant-Funded Events in 2023

PENSACOLA, FLA. (MAY 17, 2023) –Today, the Pensacola Foo Foo Festival Committee announced the public grant scoring for the 10-year anniversary of the Foo Foo Festival, naming 16 grant recipients and allocating nearly $500,000 in grant funding for this November’s events – the most grant funding ever awarded by the Foo Foo Festival Committee and the highest number of fully-funded grant recipients awarded since Foo Foo Fest’s inception.

Following an impressive number of submissions, this year’s grant winners include 309 Punk Project, Dixon School of Arts & Sciences, Fiesta Pensacola, First City Arts, Friends of Downtown, Legal Services of North Florida, Night Moves, PenArts, Pensacola Children’s Chorus, Pensacola Civic Band, Pensacola Little Theatre, Pensacola Opera, Pensacola State College, Pensacola Symphony, Veterans Memorial Park, and The University of West Florida Historic Trust.

The 2023 Foo Foo Festival will take place in Pensacola, Fla. from Nov. 2-13, 2023.

The 2023 grant recipients will produce a series of events from the categories of live theater, music, art, and more at this year’s cultural celebration. Those non-profit organizations who were not selected, and for-profit partners who are interested in participating, are encouraged to do so as a “Friend of Foo,” receiving local, regional, and national visibility during the 12-day event via the festival’s regional marketing campaign. To apply as a Friend of Foo, please visit FooFooFest.com .

“2023 is a momentous year as we gear up to celebrate 10 incredible years of the Pensacola Foo Foo Festival,” said Therese Felth McKenzie, Chair of Pensacola Foo Foo Festival and Vice President of ACE Pensacola. “We are proud to offer funding that will help to place a spotlight on these 16 deserving arts & culture organizations, and we can’t wait to share in the experiences they have in store for our community and visitors to Pensacola.”

The 2023 grant recipients include:

309 Punk Project
​309 Punk Project is the only artist-run nonprofit organization in the South committed solely to archiving the creative efforts of the punk culture of our region. It is 309 Punk Project’s primary goal to serve the local and regional community as an archive, residency, and venue for divergent practices in DIY culture and contemporary art that critically examines the sociopolitical cultural moment that is shaping all our lives. 309 Punk Project will present Night on the Tracks, featuring a New Orleans-inspired second-line street parade and four celebratory, community-oriented, immersive experiences.

Dixon School of Arts & Sciences

Dixon School of Arts and Sciences exists to provide values-based excellence in academic achievement focused on the arts and sciences and to provide creative experiences for its scholars, their families, and the community. Dixon School of Arts & Sciences will present an original, Broadway-style production: Philly and the Dreamer at the University of West Florida Theatre – a lively musical written and directed by local artists.

Fiesta Pensacola

The Fiesta organization was formed to celebrate the founding of Pensacola: America’s First Settlement. Fiesta plans and produces over 20 events throughout the year with the help of a plethora of volunteers. Fiesta Pensacola will present Living Museum: A Trip Through Pensacola’s History, an interactive, “go at your own pace” walk-through experience that will feature diverse characters from Pensacola’s storied history.

First City Art Center
First City Art Center (FCAC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit art center in Pensacola, FL engaging the community through a broad range of workshops, classes, studio spaces, gallery exhibits, fundraising events, summer camp, youth art program, outreach programs, and field trips. First City Art Center will present Poseidon’s Garden, highlighting how the vast waterways surrounding the greater Pensacola area provide bountiful gifts to the destination. Located in the protected area of the tidal basin at Maritime Park, the installation will include various-sized blown glass orbs and spikes rising from the water as an offering from Poseidon to recognize our area’s stewardship of our beautiful surroundings. The glass installations will be dispersed throughout the basin, featuring over 300 mouth-blown objects that will be combined to create a spectacular visual presence.

Friends of Downtown

The mission of Friends of Downtown is to enhance the district’s quality of life and economic success by creating a cleaner, safer, and more enjoyable environment. Friends of Downtown will present “The Magic Carpet” – a 10,000 square-foot “living’ mosaic that will take flight over Museum Plaza in the heart of Historic Downtown Pensacola in collaboration with internationally-renowned ImpactPlan Art Productions that will feature 48,000 translucent rectangles of vivid color painstakingly stitched together with wire filament.

Legal Services of North Florida & Jazz for Justice

Jazz for Justice is a premier annual jazz event benefiting the Legal Services of North Florida, a nonprofit organization that serves low-income individuals and families across the Florida panhandle by providing free civil legal help to eligible clients. In its sixth year with Foo Foo Festival, Jazz for Justice (JFJ) plans to expand its cultural and music offerings by bringing well-known musicians and local artists together for a unique jazz and blues festival in downtown Pensacola. Jazz for Justice will once again present a lineup of nationally-recognized jazz talents.

Night Moves Inc

Night Moves is a nonprofit organization with the purpose of establishing a safe place for musicians, artists, and their associated communities to express themselves in creative and positive ways. Night Moves will present a multi-day alternative music festival outside of The Handlebar, a downtown Pensacola underground music staple.


PenArts is a non-profit (501c3) that brings theatrical arts to all members of the Pensacola community as well as professional theatrical productions to an already vibrant Pensacola theatre scene. PenArts will present Desperate Measures – an energetic, Wild West, musical romp! Serving as PenArts’ thirteenth Pensacola premiere, PenArts will bring professionalism, humor, and catchy music, all under the guise of an updated and entertaining version of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure at The Gordon Community Art Center.

Pensacola Children’s Chorus
Since its formal beginnings in 1990, the Pensacola Children’s Chorus (PCC) has sought to inspire and transform the lives of young people through music and the performing arts. PCC has grown to amass nine resident ensembles, five neighborhood programs, two regional choirs and a regular schedule of summer programming, mounting nearly 40 performances each season. Pensacola Children’s Chorus will present Singing in the Street, a one-of-a-kind musical experience. Fusing the magic of Disney, the electricity of Broadway, the excitement of a flash mob, and the spirit of a street party, Singing in the Street brings music out of the theater and into the streets.

Pensacola Civic Band
The Pensacola Civic Band is a full symphonic wind ensemble performing wind literature of the highest caliber. The Pensacola Civic Band is an organization of adult instrumental musicians who want to continue performing in a band after high school and/or college. The Pensacola Civic Band will present On Broadway: A Broadway Musical Review with special guest Megan Hilty, featuring songs from some of Broadway’s greatest hits like WICKED, GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, NOISES OFF!, and 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL.

Pensacola Little Theatre
Pensacola Little Theatre is a non-profit community theatre that has been providing diverse theatrical experiences in Northwest Florida since 1936. Pensacola Little Theatre presents programs such as musicals, comedies, dramas, and children’s shows; adult and youth classes in acting and other theatre skills; a variety of volunteer opportunities; and thrilling, mission-based fundraisers. This year, Pensacola Little Theatre will welcome the return of Singeasy – featuring Pensacola’s most vibrant singers, polished pianists, and lavish libations – doubled in scale and debauchery.

Pensacola Opera
The mission of Pensacola Opera is to enrich the culture of Northwest Florida by producing professional opera performances, educational programs, and other opera-related community events for people of all ages, interests and backgrounds. This year, Pensacola Opera will present Songs Down South – From Opera to Opry, featuring a diverse musical lineup of musical theater favorites, coin try, bluegrass, gospel, spirituals and opera in a way most people have never heard.

Pensacola State College

Pensacola State College is a public, comprehensive community college that was founded as Pensacola Junior College in 1948. As the oldest and largest college in the Florida Panhandle, Pensacola State College serves traditional and non-traditional students in Northwest Florida and Southern Alabama. This Year, Pensacola State College will present Rhythm & Canvas – A Celebration of the Arts! Rhythm & Canvas will feature a free-to-the-public art exhibition, a Visiting Artist Lecture, and an Artist Welcoming Reception Event.

Pensacola Symphony Orchestra
The mission of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra is to promote the well-being of the greater Pensacola community through excellence in live symphonic music and lifelong learning through engaging musical activities. This year, the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra will offer a free community concert at the National Naval Aviation Museum over Veteran’s Day Weekend. This concert will feature the Four Seasons Brass, comprised of 15 brass and percussion players performing a wide-ranging repertoire that includes patriotic music.

Veterans Memorial Park 

For over 30 years, the Veterans Memorial Park of Pensacola has been a place of healing, remembrance, learning, and celebration of the lives of America’s fallen warfighters. In that time, this site has been hallowed ground for visiting veterans and their families not just in Pensacola but from across the country. Veterans Memorial Park will partner with Foo Foo Fest to present “Week in the Park” – a week of gratitude, art, music, education, healing and laughter for the community, which will also feature a special keynote speaker and celebrity musician that will be announced at a later date. 

The University of West Florida Historic Trust
The University of West Florida Historic Trust creates opportunities for visitors, community, students, faculty and staff to experience the authentic and diversely rich history of Northwest Florida. This year, the University of West Florida Historic Trust will present POP: Murals – On Tour!, featuring guided trolley tours of the seven UWF Historic Trust POP: Murals located throughout Historic Downtown Pensacola. The interactive ticketed trolley tours will include transportation, historic narration by costumed characters, curated food & beverage offerings and more.

Individual event details and additional partners will be added and announced on the Foo Foo Festival website in the coming months leading up to this fall’s festival. For a detailed festival FAQ, general information, continuing news, and general updates visit FooFooFest.com or follow Foo Foo Festival on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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