TBBCA is proud to support arts education through The Charlie Hounchell Art Stars Scholarships Program, developed and championed by our late Board President, Charlie Hounchell, for whom it was renamed. Since 2007, TBBCA has annually awarded scholarships to some of the most talented and deserving Tampa Bay area high school students, providing financial assistance for their pursuit of higher education and future careers in the arts.

The scholarship program is open to high school juniors and seniors in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties who excel at vocal or instrumental music, theatre, dance, visual or literary arts. Awardees are competitively selected based on talent and merit by a panel of professionals in each discipline. The scholarship funds are applied to tuition at the university, college or professional arts training program of the student’s choice.

Scholarship recipients are some of the most talented and promising young artists and performers in the nation. Past winners have attended prestigious institutions, including The Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Carnegie Mellon University, Savannah College of Art & Design, Oberlin College & Conservatory, Tufts University, Elon, Indiana University, University of Tampa, USF, FSU and UF.

TBBCA’s Charlie Hounchell Art Stars Scholarships Program will begin accepting the next round of applications in December 2016 for the 2017 CHASS program. Deadline to submit is February 20, 2017. We encourage Educators to promote this scholarship funding opportunity for your students. Please contact TBBCA for program information or to be added to our Educators contact list at

View/Download Scholarship Application

Meet the Charlie Hounchell 2016 Art Stars

Courteney McClutchy – Recipient

McClutchyCourteney McClutchy graduates from East Lake High School in 2016. Courteney has been heavily involved in ELHS Performing Arts Academy since freshman year. On the East Lake stage, she has starred in lead roles as Peter Pan in Peter Pan, Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Paulette Bonafonte in Legally Blonde. Courteney’s recent summer stock theatre roles included Belle in Beauty and the Beast and Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz at Ruth Eckerd Hall, and Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins at the New Tampa Players theatre. Courteney has studied voice and acting at Ruth Eckerd Hall with Jarrett Koski for four years, and has received dance training for seven years at both The Studio Dance Company and Just Dance Academy. Courteney aspires to further her training and passion for Musical Theatre and will be attending Point Park University in Pittsburgh for a BFA in Musical Theatre.

Eugenie Bondurant – Judge

eugenieEugenie Bondurant’s long and slightly strange career has taken her from the runways of New York and Paris to a featured role as “Tigris” in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. At 6’-1”, with knife-blade cheekbones, Bondurant, was “discovered” after a bout with cancer left her looking especially exotic and androgynous.  She was soon a working model in the U.S. and Europe. A modeling trip to Los Angeles led to an acting career. She created a string of bizarre characters in TV and film – including Fight Club (with Ed Norton), Saturday Night Live (with Madonna and Mike Myers). She tossed around comedian Gene Wilder while playing Alice Cooper’s favorite Dominatrix on the TV series Something Wilder. And on HBO’s Arliss, she played a transvestite who lured a strait-laced athlete into a night of sin. In the indie feature, Donald and Dot Clock, her character bonded with a house-full of rodents. It’s a career that prompted her New Orleans’ grandmother to ask: “Can’t you play a normal person?” Not likely. When The Hunger Games’ director, Francis Lawrence, went looking for an actor to play Tigris, a pivotal character enhanced to be both female and feline, a nationwide search led them to Bondurant. She is also a cabaret singer, appearing in the American Songbook Series with Paul Wilborn and Blue Roses and a founder of The Radio Theater Project. A well-known on-camera acting coach, Bondurant, is a staff member at the prestigious Patel Conservatory in Tampa.

Lyrik Courtney – Recipient

CourtneyLyrik Courtney is a junior at Howard W. Blake School for the performing arts, where she studies as a Creative Writing major while enrolled in HCC dual enrollment courses. Lyrik has attained high academic achievement overall, including in courses with a focus on poetic performances and speech-writing, and advanced course in genre fiction. She has also received numerous Scholastic Art and Writing gold and silver key awards for her poetry. Lyrik has been featured in – and is currently Junior Editor of her department’s literary magazine, Synapse. When Lyrik isn’t writing, she’s thinking very hard about it, and she hopes to one day be an editor for a boutique publishing press.

Lisa Unger – Judge


Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of fourteen novels, including her latest thriller INK AND BONE. Her books are published in twenty-six languages worldwide, have sold millions of copies and have been named “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Walmart Book Club, Target, Harper’s Bazaar, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Publishers Weekly, Washington Life, New York Daily News, Entertainment Weekly, Sun Sentinel, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Suspense Magazine, Amazon and Independent Booksellers. She has been a finalist in or winner of numerous literary awards including the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Book, International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel, Silver Falchion Award for Best Book, Florida Book Award, France’s Prix Polar International Best Book and Bookspan’s International Book of the Month. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR and Travel+Leisure Magazine. Lisa Unger currently lives in the Tampa Bay area.


Lillian Kraack – Recipient

KraackLillian Kraack graduates from Joe E. Newsome High School in June 2016. Based on academic and talent auditions, Lillian was accepted and will pursue higher education at Oklahoma City University (OCU), majoring in musical theatre and vocal performance. She has trained since the age of six with Theatre Arts and Dance Alliance where she appeared as the Dragon in “Shrek, The Musical,” Alice in “Alice in Wonderland” and Marian in “The Music Man.” Lillian has appeared in numerous shows, most recently in Newsome High School’s “Bye, Bye Birdie” as Rosie Alvarez and as Belle in “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.” Lillian regularly performs with the Chamber Choir and Elite Show Choir at Newsome HS. She received a superior with honors rating at the Florida Vocal Association State Solo and Ensemble Festival in 2015 and 2016. She was selected for All-State Chorus in middle school and high school; and was designated a Master Musician by Hillsborough County School’s music educators in 2013. In 2015, she won first place in the St. Petersburg Opera Guild’s High School Vocal Competition. Lillian trained last summer at the University of Central Florida Opera Institute under the direction of Professor Thomas Potter and Ms. Robin Jensen. She also was selected to work with Oklahoma City Hot Spot Musical Theatre workshop in St. Petersburg, Florida and the Vocal Institute at OCU under the direction of Dr. David Herendeen and Dr. Courtney Crouse. Lillian has studied voice with Ms. Katy Decker for the last four years and has worked with Ms. Linda Switzer, Mr. William Wade and Mr. Stefanos Koroneos from the Florida Arts School in Tampa. Lillian is an honor student, an International Thespian and Vice President/Webmaster of the Newsome High School Thespian Club and a member of Tri-M Music Honor Society.

Dawne Eubanks – Judge

dawneDawne Wisner Eubanks holds a BA Degree in Vocal Music from Florida State University, and currently teaches voice at Eckerd College and the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School. Her solo career has led her to the stages of Carnegie Hall, Dallas’ Meyerson Symphony Center, and locally, the Mahaffey Theatre, Ruth Eckerd Hall, and the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. She has sung roles with the Florida Opera Company, Florida Opera West, Inc., Royalty Theatre Company, St. Pete City Theatre, and has been a featured guest soloist with The Florida Orchestra, The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Florida Orchestra Master Chorale, and the Turtle Creek Chorale. Recent performances include the soprano solos in Haydn’s “Lord Nelson Mass”, and “Creation”, Mozart’s “Exsultate Jubilate”, Handel’s “Messiah”, Bach’s “Magnificat”, and Mozart’s “Coronation Mass”, all with members of The Florida Orchestra. Dawne maintains a private vocal studio in St. Petersburg, is an active recitalist, and is Music and Worship Leader at the First Baptist Church of St. Pete, in addition to being a sought after vocal coach and adjudicator for competitions and festivals in voice, choral music, musical theatre, and piano.

Sabrina Downing – Recipient

DowningSabrina Downing graduates from Howard W. Blake High School with honors in June 2016. She has danced for 15 years and currently trains at America’s Ballet School as well as Blake High School’s dance department. Sabrina has performed as Arabian in The Nutcracker with Tampa City Ballet II, the principal role in a La Bayadere Pas de Deux (La Scala) with Blake High School, and as a guest dancer in The Moscow Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker. She competed in Youth America Grand Prix 2015 and won 3rd place in the senior division at Semifinals with a self-choreographed solo. Sabrina has also competed at Youth America Grand Prix finals in ensembles with Blake High School for three consecutive years. Over the summers, she has trained at Joffrey Ballet in New York and Sarasota Ballet. Sabrina is currently training daily in ballet, modern and contemporary and has received training in clogging, jazz, character, musical theater and tap. She plans to study at University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor’s of Science in Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences. Sabrina intends to pursue a career in dance and then transition into a medical profession.

Helen Hansen French – Judge

FrenchHelen Hansen French received her BFA from The Juilliard School in 2001. Upon graduating she was invited to join Buglisi Dance Theatre. In addition to BDT’s annual New York City seasons she has toured nationally and internationally performing in such venues as, the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Chautauqua Dance Festival, Vail International Dance Festival, Rishon LeZion International Festival in Israel, and the Oriente Occidente Festival in Rovereto, Italy. Mrs. French has been instrumental in staging BDT’s works at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, North Carolina Dance Theater, The Alvin/Ailey Fordham B.F.A. program, George Mason University, University of California at Long Beach, and Richmond University. Ms. French is also a member of Karen Reedy Dance, starring in a dance film, Les falaises, released in 2015. She has participated in a residency at White Oak Dance, performed with Nilas Martins’ Dance Company, and in the Guggenheim’s Works/Process program, and presented a solo show at Studio@620 featuring the re-created works of Ruth St. Denis, Doris Humphrey and Jacqulyn Buglisi. Her own choreography has been shown at The Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Clark Studio Theater, Kaatsbaan, Studio@620, and St. Petersburg College. She was awarded a 2015 Individual Artist Grant from the city of St. Petersburg to help fund the creation of When in the Within. Helen is a founding member of the St. Pete Dance Alliance and co-producer of Beacon:a performance series for St. Pete. She has taught at the dance faculties at George Mason University, The Juilliard School, Flint Hill School (VA) and the Neighborhood Playhouse (NYC), and currently is on faculty at John Hopkins Middle School and St. Petersburg College teaching the Alexander Technique as well as dance.

Jason Charos – Recipient

CharosJason Charos will graduate from Pinellas County Center for the Arts and Gibbs High School in 2017.He started playing jazz trumpet at five years old with Sonny LaRosa America’s Youngest Jazz Band. For the next five years, Sonny taught Jason to love jazz and to have a great time playing it. With this group, he performed at the Los Angeles Institute of Jazz “Big Band Festival”, Sweet and Hot JazzFestival, and the Suncoast Jazz Classic. For the last six years, Jason has played with the Ruth Eckerd Hall Jazz Band under the direction of Frank Williams and Chris De Leon. With this ensemble,he has performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, the Lakeside Jazz Festival, and the Savannah Music Festival. Jason studies privately with trumpeter and educator Andrew Garrison. Jason has played in the Pinellas All­County Jazz Band for four years, this year as lead trumpet and in the Florida All­State Jazz Band for two years, most recently as soloist. He has been a recipient of the Ruth Eckerd Hall/Clearwater Jazz Holiday Scholarship for the last two years. He was awarded the Teagarden Jazz Camp Scholarship by the Suncoast Dixieland Jazz Society. He won “Outstanding High School Trumpet” at the 2016 Bay Area Jazz Festival. Jason placed in the 2016 Dare to Dream Awards in the composition category.

Paul Wilborn – Judge

WilbornPaul Wilborn is the Executive Director of the Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College. Under his leadership the Palladium has won numerous “Best of the Bay” awards and is recognized as the top venue for jazz, blues, choral music, chamber music and dance in the bay area. Paul is a pianist, musician and bandleader. His American Songbook Series presents intimate cabaret shows at American Stage Theater and other venues around Florida. As founder and leader of Paul Wilborn and the Pop Tarts, he played most major venues in the Tampa Bay area for 15 years. He is a founding member of the WMNF and Studio at 620 Radio Theater Project and contributes radio plays to the project. Paul serves as an adjudicator to a number of music competitions. Prior to joining the Palladium, Wilborn worked for Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio as Manager of Creative Industries. Major accomplishments included increasing community support for artists and arts organizations, connecting the arts and the economic development communities, and directing Arte 2007, Tampa Bay’s Festival of Latin American Arts. Before joining the city, Wilborn was an award-winning reporter and columnist for the Tampa Tribune, the St. Petersburg Times and the Associated Press in Los Angeles. He was a member of the St. Petersburg Times’ Editorial Board for two years. Wilborn is a graduate of the University of South Florida and a Tampa native.

Aidan Schaffert – Recipient

SchaffertAidan Schaffert is a junior at Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School. He serves as Vice-President of the Art History Club, and is a member of the Academic Team, National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta. Aidan has had particular interest in the visual arts since early childhood, but developed a more mature enthusiasm during 7th grade. He has exhibited work in 16 exhibitions and received 21 awards, including the Congressional Choice Award at the Tampa Museum of Art to represent Florida’s 14th Congressional District. Aidan also received a National Silver Medal from the 2016 Scholastics Art and Writing Awards. Aidan credits Steven Beverage and Yoko Nogami as having been highly influential in his artistic growth and informed his work, particularly in the mediums of drawing and painting. Aidan aspires to continue to evolve his artistic practice through post-secondary study in fine arts.

Michael Murphy – Judge

MurphyMichael Murphy is a South Tampa native and founder/owner of one of Tampa’s most highly regarded art galleries and master framers. Michael’s art career began with an after-school art gallery job when he was just 14 years old. His early art experiences exposed him to the professional art world and gave him the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and meet and work for art legends, including Robert Rauschenberg. Michael Murphy Gallery/Gallery M is praised for its support of local and national, emerging and established artists, and for its high quality, masterful framing. Michael has represented prestigious, well-known international artists as well.  With the “Modern Masters” exhibit, Michael’s eponymous gallery proudly displayed the works of Pierre Matisse and Alexandre Renoir, notable and successful artists on their own and namesake kin to the legendary French artists, Henri Matisse and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Also exhibited were the works of the historical masters, Chagall, Miro, Picasso, and Henri Matisse.  Michael’s gallery has shown the amazing art of Alexandra Nechita, a young influential artist, dubbed a prodigy before having her first exhibit at the age of 8, and likened to Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall.  Michael Murphy gallery currently represents and exhibits Patrick “Shane” Pendley, and Bassimi Ibrahim, among other acclaimed artists.  Michael has served on several charitable boards, including America’s Second Harvest Food Bank, as a board member for the Chamber and Culture Affairs Committee, and on the board of the Florida chapter of PPFA.


TBBCA Art Stars Scholarships are made possible through the generosity of individuals, businesses and corporate partners. Please consider making a tax deductible donation online. For individual scholarship naming and sponsorship opportunities, please contact TBBCA Executive Director Susana Weymouth at or (813) 221-2787.

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