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Local Tourism Development Council To Boost Arts Promotion

Amanda Thompson

The Leon County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday afternoon to approve new seats for the county’s tourism board. This decision will strengthen the relationship between the city’s tourist arm and the Tallahassee-Leon County Council for Culture and the Arts, or COCA.

The County Commission reviewed recommendations Tuesday afternoon for two new ad-hoc seats on the Tourist Development Council, or TDC. One of those seats would belong to the executive director of COCA.

COCA avoided overhaul in February when the commission decided the agency would remain separate from the tourism board. The commission opted instead for a close working relationship between the two, resulting in cost savings and an improved events calendar for VisitTallahassee.com.

COCA interim Executive Director Amanda Karioth Thompson sees the TDC seat as a strengthening of that bond.

“We are thrilled by this recommendation and hope to work closely with those who currently serve on the TDC to put arts, culture, history and heritage in the forefront of that conversation, making our area an even better place to visit and to live,” Thompson says.

Next on the agenda is finding a new permanent executive director for COCA. Peggy Brady, the previous director, left the agency last August to pursue local arts projects. Thompson has been serving as interim executive director ever since.