2015 Heart of Art Award Winner: Jared O’Roark


Congratulations to Jared O’Roark


We are excited to announce the winner of our Third Annual Heart of Art Award as Mr. Jared O’Roark! Jared embodies the characteristics of supporting talent, and the arts, and we are happy to announce that he is the recipient of this year’s award! Jared has touched many lives with his dedication to the arts, as was evident by the number of votes that were received and the sentiments that were expressed. We commend you Jared, as you continue to make a difference in the lives of others!

What’s Next?

Jared will be presented with the 2015 Heart of Art Award trophy AND we will feature a complete interview with Jared in the very near future, so that you can learn more, firsthand, about Jared’s dedication and why so many people believe that he is truly the “Heart of Art.” Thank you to all of you who submitted your votes.


2015 Heart of Art Award Recipient, Jared O’Roark

Jared O’Roark has been working in theater in the Tampa Bay area for 15 years as a producer, director, writer, artistic director, actor, and an arts education creator and leader. After 15 years at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Jared left his position as the Artistic Producing Manager, to develop a performance space that audiences, artists and leaders of all diversified backgrounds can call home. He received his B.A. degree in both Journalism and Marketing as well as an A.A. degree in American Sign Language interpreting from the University of Arkansas.

Mr. O’Roark moved from Little Rock, Arkansas to be an actor with the Eckerd Theater Company where he traveled all over the country and into Canada performing theater for youth. He has also performed in such plays as The Laramie Project, A New World, Much Ado About Nothing, Nightfall With Edgar Allan Poe, among others.

After coming off the road with Eckerd Theater Company for two years he became an artist in residence, and later the manager of an arts infusion program called PASSport to the Arts, which utilized the arts to infuse into school curriculum. He developed many workshops and exercises that helped utilize teachers and their administrators to develop curriculum using the arts. His focus was on poetry, playwriting, and acting.

Along with his work in the education system, Mr. O’Roark has toured his own one-man shows (Hearing in Color, Thinking Sideways, and Bittersweet Words). These performances started at Ruth Eckerd Hall and were given several encore performances.

Recently, Mr. O’Roark has put his focus on the backstage part of theater – including the producing, writing, marketing, and directing. One of the programs that he created, Project: Shattered Silence, which gave a stage for teenagers to talk about their lives, was developed into a documentary by WEDU, the local PBS affiliate. This documentary was broadcast nationally and has been accepted into both national and international film festivals. It has won over 30 film awards including the Louisville Film Festival Best Documentary, the Dr. Philips Focus on Art Award, the Silver Medal at the Golden Independent Film Festival, and has been nominated for a 2014 Emmy® Award. Project: Shattered Silence also had a features segment on the program Arts Plus, which won the 2013 Emmy® Award.

Mr. O’Roark is also the recipient of the Images of Voices and Hope Award, the Global Independent Film Festival Humanitarian Award, and has just been named a finalist in the Art of Heart Award.

The Space at 2106 is an exciting adventure for Mr. O’Roark, and he is overjoyed to be doing it with two friends he both respects and appreciates – Erica Sutherlin and Robert Morris. He also is thrilled that his dream and vision of an immersive arts space that focuses on diversity in artists, performances, and plays is something that can finally come to life.



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