Pinellas County agency offers opportunity to young artists

Madi Rolfe loves creating.

"It just allows me to express myself.  Sometimes when I get stressed out, I turn to art,” the 13-year-old said.

Now, she's getting some guidance as she sketches a comic superhero.

"Like, say, Iron Man. Somebody created that, but then you can put your own twist on it and see how you can change it for better or for worse," Madi explained.

She is really excited because she gets to attend an arts youth summer camp for free, thanks to the ArtsCatalyst grant from Creative Pinellas. 

"So if you are eligible for school lunch, either full lunch or partial, if you're a Title I school, if you're in foster care, if you live in certain neighborhoods, you are probably eligible for this program for a full summer camp session. And we will pay for that session," said Barbara St. Clair, the executive director of Creative Pinellas.

"It's exciting because you don't have a lot of opportunities out there to get help for some of the kids in the program and this helps us tremendously," said Madi’s great-grandmother, Delores Gage. 

"They can use that grant to go to a summer camp in their own neighborhood, they can go to a summer camp that a municipality might offer," said St. Clair.

They are lessons that will help them create their own future. 

"The skills that artists develop, the skills that kids develop by working through the arts, are skills that are very transferable to business. So if you're working theater and you're acting, then you develop the skills to give a business presentation," added St. Clair.

LINK: For more information about the grant and the summer camps with Creative Pinellas, go to or email