For several years, a grassroots effort to expand cultural and arts venues, and in turn offerings, in the community and region has been diligently at work.

For several years, a grassroots effort to expand cultural and arts venues, and in turn offerings, in the community and region has been diligently at work.

The Port Theatre Arts and Cultural Center, Inc., a non-profit organization which has purchased and set about restoring the Port Theatre, has been a centerpiece of one branch of those grassroots.

Another branch has been the Forgotten Coast Cultural Coalition and the non-profit’s goal to create an arts center providing year-round activities.

That brass ring comes within reach at 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday when the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce holds a ribbon cutting at the newly-christened St. Joe Arts at 201 Reid Ave.

In the short-term, the building will serve as the Wetroom for this year’s Forgotten Coast Plein Air event.

The Wetroom is the center of activities during their nearly fortnight Plein Air event, hosting receptions and serving as the home of paintings created that day and throughout the event.

The public can peruse and purchase the paintings as Plein Air unfolds.

The FCCC has secured a lease on the building with an option to buy.

“We want to thank Rick and Libia Taylor for entering into this lease with us, and their continued support of arts in the community,” said Susan Bassett, current president of the FCCC board of directors.

“We are looking forward to nurturing and supporting the group who steps up to make a visual arts center a reality for the Port St. Joe community.”

According to a press release from the non-profit FCCC, the plan “is to seed the formation of a community-based non-profit organization (which) will own and manage St. Joe Arts.”

In addition to year-round activities, St. Joe Arts would also host Forgotten Coast Plein Air exhibits each year.

Tuesday’s ribbon cutting, to which the public is encouraged to attend, provides something of a kick-off to the whole endeavor.

The ribbon-cutting and ensuing reception, which is being sponsored by Duke Energy, will be followed by a volunteer meeting at 6:30 p.m. ET for this year’s Plein Air event volunteers, who hail from Mexico Beach to Alligator Point.

“We are proud to support community-based arts programs like the Forgotten Coast Plein Air event, and are excited to be involved in the opening of the St. Joe Arts venue in Port St. Joe,” said Danny Collins of Duke Energy and a FCCC board member.

“This new venue will allow the Forgotten Coast Plein Air event to continue to grow and flourish as it becomes the premier qarts event in the region.”