TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Bob Devin Jones as the eighth Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight’s game versus the Edmonton Oilers. Jones, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to The Studio@620 and Artz4Life.
Jones, a performing arts professional, educator and role model for over twenty-five years, founded The Studio@620 with Dave Ellis in 2002 as a place for emerging artists to develop and share their work. The Studio has launched hundreds of visual and performing artists since its founding and has become a beloved cultural institution in St. Petersburg. Many local organizations got their start at The Studio, and it continues to be the home of Wordier Than Thou, Radio Theatre Project, Poetry Open Mic and the Improvholics. At the age of 50, Bob was diagnosed with cancer which made him want to extend his efforts to make a lasting impact. This is when he began living by “The answer is always YES,” and created Studio@620 in hopes to facilitate any artist needing a place to show and develop work.
Bob has represented the arts community, the African American community and the LGBTQ community while serving on numerous boards and committees. Some of the committees he’s served on include: Academy Prep, City of St. Petersburg Arts Advisory Committee, Pinellas County Cultural Affairs Task Force and the Florida Humanities Council. Jones has also served on various boards including the Warehouse Arts District, Florida Craft Art, the Morean Arts Center, American Stage Theater, Creative Clay, First Night and Creative Tampa Bay.
Bob Devin Jones becomes the 331st Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening’s game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $16.65 million to more than 400 different nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2016, the Vinik’s announced that the community hero program will give away another $10-million over the next five seasons.