First Unity Concludes ARTS46/4's Five Month Arts Initiative In August By Featuring Music

First Unity Concludes ARTS46/4's Five Month Arts Initiative In August By Featuring MusicFirst Unity concludes the five month arts initiative that served as the launch of ARTS46/4 with the month of August dedicated to Music. The final of the initiative's five special events, Sound Bites: A Culinary Experience with the Ibis Quartet in Concert will take place on Friday, August 24th at 7pm. In addition, O Som Do Jazz will present a free concert on Saturday, August 11th at 8pm, sponsored by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, Creative Pinellas, and EMIT, marking the first use of ARTS46/4 by an arts entity from the community to present on First Unity's campus. Finally, each Sunday in August will feature a guest instrumentalist during the services. The diverse lineup is Eirinn Abu, saxophonist, on August 5th; Wendy Luck, flutist, on August 12th; Rebecca Zapen, violinist, on August 19th; and Tommy Johnson, pianist, on August 26th.

Sound Bites: A Culinary Experience with the Ibis Quartet in Concert on Friday, August 24th at 7pm, is an evening elevating three Art forms: music, cuisine, and conversation. Not just a chamber music concert of a world-class string quartet, the Ibis Quartet, and not just an exploration of culinary art, provided by Spice Routes Global Soul Food Café, but both, interspersed with the opportunity to socialize with your fellow attendees. The music is not background dinner music, however; when the quartet is playing, all food service stops and concert etiquette is expected. The Ibis Quartet is a string quartet based in Tampa Bay comprised of Rebecca Zapen (violin), Julie Tollen (violin), Lauren Collier (viola), and Ruth Kern (cello). Spice Routes, under founder and head chef Judy Staunko, has been a long-time staple on the St. Petersburg restaurant scene and at the Saturday Morning Market, and is currently in residence at First Unity.

O Som Do is a 6-piece Brazilian jazz group comprised of the members of La Lucha (Alejandro Arenas (bass), John O'Leary (keys), Mark Feinman (drums)), along with Rio de Janeiro singer Andrea, David Manson (trombone/percussion) and Pete Carney (woodwinds). Supported by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, Creative Pinellas & EMIT, this free concert features new works written by David Manson, which range in style from samba-funk to Bossa Nova to Northeastern Brazilian music styles. They will present Nova Música on Saturday, August 11th at 8pm.

An independent-yet-integrated venue / producing partner named for First Unity's location on 46th Avenue and 4th Street North in St. Petersburg, ARTS46/4 was created to bridge the Arts community with First Unity Spiritual Campus. Between April and August, ARTS46/4 produced five special events and contributed a dedicated arts component to 17 Sunday services, engaging 75 artists and community leaders from around Tampa Bay.

"Art is born of inspiration, which is spiritual in nature, and through a spiritual practice, we work to master the art of being alive," says Becca McCoy, who devised ARTS46/4 on behalf of First Unity. "Art and spirituality are both integral to deepening our human experience, and ARTS46/4 is designed to allow one to augment the other. This inaugural initiative is to explore what is possible and establish ARTS46/4 as a partner for future creative collaborations in the community."

ARTS46/4's five month arts initiative was made possible by the support of patrons Michelle Royal and Carol D'Alessandro.

First Unity is well-equipped to serve as an Arts venue, with a 5,400 square-foot Sanctuary space outfitted with chairs to allow for flexible seating configurations of up to 400, recently upgraded theatrical sound and lighting, projection capabilities, hardwood platform and separate music stage, visual art gallery, reception areas, on-site catering options, and ample free parking.

For more about ARTS46/4, visit

First Unity Spiritual Campus is a spiritual community who welcomes all, committed to teaching a positive, practical, and progressive approach to spirituality. The St. Petersburg Campus features a sanctuary which also serves as an event venue, spiritual education classrooms, chapel, meditation garden, gallery and visual art center, bookstore, coffee shop, and is home to Spice Routes restaurant. In addition to weekly Sunday and Wednesday services, First Unity Spiritual Campus continually offers support groups and a variety of events, activities, and classes. This thriving community is under the leadership of internationally-recognized minister / author / speaker Reverend Temple Hayes. For more information, visit

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