Annie Pais: Spirit of Gainesville nominee

Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 4:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 4:12 p.m.

Annie Pais is a multi-talented individual and a true visionary. She is an accomplished painter and Art teacher that cares deeply about our environment and has remained committed to her goal of recognizing our area of the state as Florida’s Eden. In 2002 Annie formed the nonprofit Florida's Eden and began a decade of work to brand North Florida as an environmentally unique place with all of the talent potential for a robust, asset based, creative economy.


Category: Arts

About Annie Pais

Occupation: Founding Director of Florida's Eden

Years in Gainesville: 35

Children: 35

In the past decade, Florida's Eden has pioneered establishing Gainesville as a cultural destination by creating the Heart of Florida Scenic Guides, introducing "paintout" arts events, establishing Alachua Co. as the southeastern epicenter for contemporary landscape painting and establishing the "Florida's Eden Source" a database resource filled with the products and services of hundreds of creative economic businesses.

Statewide, Annie introduced new creative economy articulation. She also began to speak about a new paradigm shift- merging the health of the environment with the well being of Florida's economy. In 2008 she formed The Blue Path, bringing together experts from environment, education and economic sectors to focus on water awareness and springs protection.

In 2010 Annie partnered with renowned springs scientist, Dr. Robert Knight to form the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute in order to fill the gaping holes left when the state dismantled the Florida Springs Initiative, the agency charged with monitoring and collecting springs data. The Florida Springs Institute is currently umbrellaed under Florida's Eden.

In 2011 Annie partnered with the arts community to form Primavera, a countywide, month long celebration of our spring cultural season. In its debut year, Primavera championed over 200 existing events in more than 70 eclectic venues in urban neighborhoods and small rural towns. Annie's vision to put Gainesville on the map as a cultural destination was launched.

For Annie Pais, the creative economy, education and valuing our springs environment all come together through the arts.

Submitted by Ilene Silverman

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