Art Programs - Programs And Services

Photographer Laureate Program

The Program began in 2003 with the intent that each year, an artist be commissioned to photograph an aspect of life and the crucial issues and events within the City of Tampa for one year. The objectives of this project are:

  • To build a photographic archive that documents a period of time for the citizens of Tampa
  • That these images be of high quality and assets for the City of Tampa
  • To bring imagery of the city and its citizens that reflect the life and character of the city into its facilities

View the galleries of artists/photographers.

Lights On Tampa

Lights On Tampa is a public/private partnership between the City of Tampa 's Art Programs Division and Friends of Tampa Public Art, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. The Program began in 2006 with the desire to bring something bold, of high quality and "on the moment" to Tampa. The objectives were to and remain:

  • Put the spotlight on Tampa and its regional assets
  • Bring free access to artistic excellence

The Program returned in 2009 to be seen by millions when Tampa hosted the NFL 's Super Bowl XLIII and in 2010, the Program was recognized as one of the 50 most significant art programs in the U.S. in the last 50 years (Americans for the Arts). In 2011, for one night only, Lights On Tampa returned with a site-specific family event featuring theater, dance, music, and visual art. The activities, performances, installations, and all new media art considered issues around intergenerational fun and

Riverwalk Cultural Plan

The Riverwalk Cultural Plan recognizes that for the Riverwalk to be a destination--physically or virtually--the Riverwalk must provide a consistently pleasant, subjective, and a culturally specific experience. Hence, the plan approaches the Riverwalk as a whole and neutral palette--a basic kit of parts with a unified aesthetic. The Riverwalk Cultural Plan is built on the premise that inclusion of arts, culture, and creativity is meaningful when it reflects the values and interests of a wide range of community stakeholders. The Riverwalk Cultural Plan seeks to create opportunities for engagement that:

  • Are free
  • Accessible to the public
  • Maintain artistic excellence
  • Have wide appeal
  • Provide educational content

Tampa Riverwalk Portal

The Tampa Riverwalk Portal is a key educational and cultural component for the Tampa Riverwalk. The Portal consists of pedestrian friendly, digital monitors that are programmed with new media art and digital educational exhibitions. Content on the environment, well-being, history and culture is presented through the lens of the arts.

A prototype for the Portal premiered in Lights On Tampa 2009, with the first permanent structure unveiled in Curtis Hixon Park for Lights On Tampa 2011.

A companion to the Tampa Riverwalk Portal is its website; an internet access point--or portal--to educational content specific to the Riverwalk, City of Tampa, Tampa Bay, and beyond. It is here that more in-depth information, including links, lesson plans, general facts of interest, and activities will be found. Content for both the Tampa Riverwalk Portal, and the Tampa Portal website will be coordinated and updated regularly.  Learn more about the Riverwalk Portal.

Public Art Program

The City of Tampa 's Public Art Program is the oldest program in the bay area and was founded by city ordinance in 1985 with the mission to:

  • Promote the involvement of artists in projects throughout the city
  • To enhance the physical environment
  • Celebrate Tampa's unique character and identity

There are a little over 500 objects in the collection. A Public Art Committee serves an advisory role and consists of a citizen group appointed by the Mayor. The program follows national best practices, is well respected and has consistently been nationally recognized for leadership it the field of Public Art. View highlights of Tampa's Public Art Collection.

Public Art / Private Development

The Art Programs Division offers technical assistance and resources for developments who fall within the Central Business District and the Channel District (Sec. 27-440). The intent of incorporating Public Art in Private Development is to:

  • Increase the presence of art in public open spaces in the central business district
  • Ensure that art can be enjoyed by the general public
  • Support the promotion of downtown as the cultural center of the region

The intent of the development regulations and review framework is to provide the mechanism for implementing the above referenced goals by directing the Public Art requirements in each area or character district of the central business district. For more information, please contact the Art Programs office at (813) 274-8531.  Visit the gallery of existing installations within the CBD and Channelside Districts.

Zack Street: Art Promenade

Zack Street, Promenade of the Arts is part of a broader plan to make connections through livable streets. Over the past year, Zack Street has been transforming from an access or service road into a vibrant corridor that includes narrower streets, wider sidewalks, shade, seating, indigenous landscaping and art. All work together to create a space full of color and history.

Educational Resources

The Art Programs division offers many free educational tools including lesson plans, downloadable information on artists and the projects they completed for the City of Tampa,mp3s of Poet Laureate James Tokley reading his poemsPoet Laureate, and a variety of educational videos on recent projects.

Calls to Artists

All calls to artists will be available through the City's website, when released. However, if you are interested in applying and would like to receive the call to artists directly via email, please contact us and kindly provide your email address.