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Gainesville Arts & Parks Foundation Receives Endowment Gift Honoring Doris Bardon

The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) is pleased to announce the Gainesville Arts & Parks Foundation (GAP), a 501(c)3, which was founded in 2015 to support the department, has received a $50,000 endowment gift from the Arts Association of Alachua County (AAAC) honoring the late arts leader Doris Bardon. In recognition of this generous donation, the current Historic Thomas Center’s Mezzanine Gallery will be re-named “The Doris Bardon Gallery” at a ceremony held Friday, Jan.26 at 6:30 p.m.

“This gift is the first received towards the Gainesville Arts & Parks Foundation’s efforts to establish an endowment for the perpetual support of PRCA,” comments Agapitus “Augi” Lye, president of the Gainesville Arts & Parks Foundation. “The significant level of this ‘lead gift’ will leverage additional sizable gifts in the future and truly leave a legacy.”

A woman of passion, intellect and talent, Doris Bardon was an author, musician, hotel and gallery owner, advocate for many causes and member of many civic boards, a number of which she helped found. Proceeds from The Doris Bardon Endowment will support programming and events of the Thomas Center Galleries.

“We feel the Thomas Center’s mezzanine gallery’s history of exemplary programming, hosting both featured exhibitions and the annual Alachua County Public Schools student exhibitions, exemplifies Doris Bardon’s love of the arts and arts education,” says Dr. Ellen West, Arts Association of Alachua County chairperson. “With it now to bearing the name The Doris Bardon Gallery, it will stand as a reminder of her vision for the potential of the cultural life of this community.”

Founded in 1980, the mission of the AAAC is to promote, encourage and support the arts in Alachua County, to marshal and adapt the community's resources to the needs of artists in the community, to enhance Alachua County as a cultural destination and a center of arts activity in Florida. Funds for this gift to the GAP were generated in part from the estate of Doris Bardon, who helped found the AAAC and who died in October 2006 at the age of 86.

Steve Phillips, Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs for the City of Gainesville states, “This type of endowment gift is an excellent example of why the GAP Foundation is so important to the future success of the department and its ongoing efforts to create a world class arts and parks community! Thank you to the Arts Association of Alachua County and to the leadership of the GAP Foundation for making this endowment possible.”

For additional information regarding the GAP Foundation, please contact Michelle Park, assistant director, at or 352-393-8364 or Russell Etling, cultural affairs manager at 352-393-8532.