Seminal Arts Organization Studio620 Reveals Leadership Transition

Studio@620's founder, Bob Devin Jones, will step down in June 2024 after leading the seminal arts organization for 20 years.

By: Nov. 27, 2023
Seminal Arts Organization Studio620 Reveals Leadership Transition

Studio@620 has announced the appointment of Erica Sutherlin as Incoming Artistic Executive Director.  The appointment is part of the planned transition and retirement of Studio@620's founder, Bob Devin Jones, who will step down in June 2024 after leading the seminal arts organization for 20 years.


Having lived and worked in St. Petersburg for over fifteen years, Erica has become an artistic luminary in our community, involved with programming such as Voodoo Macbeth at Studio@620 and the direction of American Stage's Ragtime, in the park. Erica also spent nine years teaching at the award-winning Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School. Most recently, Erica has enjoyed a successful run as Director of Community Engagement with American Stage. 


Studio@620 co-founder Bob Devin Jones celebrated the news, “I am absolutely delighted that Erica Sutherlin will be helming Studio@620. She has a tenacity and an unparalleled artistic vision.  After nearly twenty years of the Studio being a yes in the community, I am certain the renaissance will continue under Erica's stewardship.”


"I am so honored and humbled to have the opportunity to helm an arts organization in St. Pete. It's been a dream of mine. I want to thank the community and its stakeholders for supporting and celebrating me through this transition and beyond. I look forward to supporting local arts and artists, saying YES to creative endeavors, and celebrating a vibrant diverse community. Yes, I'm excited about celebrating you, the community,” remarked Sutherlin.


Terry Marks, CEO St. Petersburg Arts Alliance remarked on the recent appointment saying: "Erica Sutherlin is an outstanding example of an arts leader with skill, talent, vision, and humanity. We cannot wait to see the results of her influence on Studio@620 and all of St. Pete!"  


Helen R. Murray,  American Stage's Producing Artistic Director, added “Erica's contributions have been amazing. I have deep gratitude for her willingness to collaborate with me on so many exciting changes at AS.  With her efforts we have been able to bring about our ASL interpreted performances, our new Audience Agreement, and the IDEA council, to name a few. It is a bittersweet moment as we bid her farewell, but I am excited that we will continue to partner with her and Studio@620. I wish her every success in her new role and look forward to seeing her at the helm!”

American Stage says the duties of the Community Engagement Director will be absorbed by the Artistic Department until the role can be filled next year.


Erica Sutherlin holds a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television Production from University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts and a Bachelors of Art in Theatre and Dance Performance from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Ms. Sutherlin has directed numerous theatrical productions; the Lifetime Network's Kirk Franklin's A Gospel Christmas movie; co-wrote Voodoo Macbeth (film) and is in development with Village Roadshow. Currently, she's in pre-production for In the Blood by Susan Lori-Parks at the University of South Florida.


Bob Devin Jones will remain in his current day to day role until June 2024. During this key leadership transition at Studio620 there will be several important programs to mark and celebrate the contributions of co-founder Bob Devin Jones and late co-founder Dave Ellis. 


About Studio@620: Founded in 2004, Studio@620 is a non-profit visual and performing arts hub in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida with thousands of artists, audience members and volunteers coming together to enjoy creative and social programming. It has been a home for several long-running signature events and series, including Radio Theatre Project, Through Our Eyes: Midtown and Beyond, The Holizaar: Handmade Holiday Arts Bazaar; Poetry Open Mic; and Wordier Than Thou.


Studio@620 has served as a launch pad and incubator for numerous other successful artists and creative ventures, including Arts Conservatory for Teens and Alex Harris, Ya La'Ford, Tim Mettler, Nate Najar, FreeFall Theatre Company, Alesha Harris, Sunscreen Film Festival, Keep St. Pete Lit, Tombolo Books, Black Horse Theatre and Green Book of Tampa Bay.


About American Stage: American Stage Theatre has operated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) in the heart of St. Petersburg, Florida, providing live theatrical productions as a professional regional equity theatre since 1977. As Tampa Bay's longest-running, most critically acclaimed professional theatre company, its vision is to be a vital arts leader, connecting its community to world-class productions that celebrate the most powerful stories of the moment and the most defining stories from our past.