Calling All Poets, Wordsmiths: Tampa Puts Call Out to Local Artists for Lights on Tampa UpLit

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Today, the City of Tampa released a call to local artists, specifically wordsmiths, songwriters, poets, and writers, to have their words featured in UpLit, a 2015 Lights on Tampa piece.

“Lights on Tampa always attracts world-class artistic talent. UpLit is meant to be a fun and creative way to showcase our city’s talents,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “There’s a lot we can say about Tampa, and I’m excited to see what the community suggests.”

UpLit is meant to capture the value of the written word. A simple phrase can capture the essence of something or some place; it can elude, evoke, suggest and inspire, particularly if encountered out of context. Professional and amateur artists alike are invited to submit an original phrase that captures how we live now and what that means. Each entry should be no more than 75 characters including punctuation.

A panel of local jurors led by Tampa author Tim Dorsey will select which phrase to feature, and that phrase will be temporarily displayed on a vintage rooftop-style sign during the 2015 Lights on Tampa festival in downtown on February 20-21, 2015. To view a rendering of UpLit, please visit

There is no cash prize or fee paid to the author whose work is selected.

To submit your words today, please visit The deadline to submit is Friday, October 24, 2015, and the author selected will be notified in late November 2014.

About Lights on Tampa

The Lights On Tampa program was developed by the City of Tampa’s Art Programs Division, in conjunction with regional businesses, volunteers, and art supporters. It was an ambitious project that sought to reaffirm Tampa’s commitment to arts and technology by presenting highly visible, innovative light installations created by juried artists. It began in January 2006, and has had successful light-based installations and festivals in 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, and now, 2015. The Program has been nationally recognized as one of the fifty most influential public art programs in the last fifty years by Americans for the Arts. To find out more about the program, please visit


Lights on Tampa 2015 is a public-private partnership, developed by the City of Tampa Art Programs Division and supported by regional businesses and grant funding, including the National Endowment for the Arts, PNC Bank, Sykes, Shumaker Loop & Kendrick, Casper’s Company, Tampa Bay Times, Brighthouse Networks, Clear Channel Outdoor, David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts and other private sponsors. Lights on Tampa 2015 is currently in the development phase, and seeks additional support.

To find out more about available sponsorship opportunities, please contact Robin Nigh at or 813-274-8531.