Needless to say, wed love to give everyone in this category an award, but when it comes to using the arts to make a difference in the lives of folks who need a little extra lovin, St. Petes Creative Clay takes the cake. Executive Director Grace-Anne Alfiero runs a visionary program for adults with developmental disabilities and mental-health challenges, including ARTLINK, an intensive one-on-one mentorship program between professional artists and Creative Clay students. This year, Alfiero traveled to Japan to meet people from arts agencies on the other side of the world that have adopted her ARTLINK model for programs of their own; in a lively follow-up exhibit at Florida Craftsmen Gallery, work from Japanese agencies commingled with pieces produced by local mentor-student teams. And now the bad news: Recent tax cuts have left Creative Clay scrambling to find new sources of income. It deserves better.
1124 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-825-0515, creativeclay.org.