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Can small ideas add up to big change for cities? 13 projects that prove they can (VIDEO)

Urban revitalization is not built on stadiums and skyscrapers alone. Vibrant cities begin with passionate people working on the ground, doing the creative heavy lifting to make their communities better. Leading up to Urban Innovation Exchange Sept. 24-26 in Detroit, we take a look at 13 small projects with big potential.

(R-L) Artists Liz Simth, Sylvia Shanahan, June Harben with Colin Bissett. - Julie Branaman

'Pianos In Pinellas' Prepare For Crescendo In Clearwater

Whatever the limits of your piano playing expertise —- perhaps somewhere between “Chopsticks’’ and Brahm’s “Concerto No. 1’’ — you won’t want to miss the rollout of a cool new art project getting ready to take to the streets of Clearwater.

L-R Mandy Eyrich, Kelsey Farnell, Randi Sether, Seth Chavara. -Photo courtesey of Mandy Eyric

Young Ad Professionals Pour Heart And Soul Into Anti-Human Trafficking Campaign

The National Human Trafficking Hotline reports an increase of 40 percent in calls for help from Tampa Bay since the launch of Ad2TampaBay's anti-trafficking campaign.

St. Petersburg Opera's OPERAZZI Social Group after party at the Hollander Hotel. - Julie Branaman

St. Pete Opera Reaches Younger Crowd With Operazzi

How do you interest a younger audience in a traditional, old-world art form like opera? You have to try something new like the St. Petersburg Opera Company is doing with Operazzi, a social group that hosts fun, creative events to engage the next generation of arts enthusiasts.

Margaret Murray is Executive Director of TIGLLF

Tampa's Gay And Lesbian Film Festival Celebrates 25 Years With Film Debut, Special Guests

Film lovers accustomed to visiting Tampa each Fall to revel in the community’s cultural diversity during the annual Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival are in for special treats during this year’s Silver Anniversary celebration. For nine days in October, Tampa Theatre and freeFall Theatre in St. Petersburg will create buzz around a lineup of more than 60 films from around the world.

Andrea Assaf is the founding Artistic Director of Art2Action Inc. - Julie Branaman

USF Engages Arts, Humor To Bridge Differences Among People

Negin Farsad, a nationally acclaimed comedian and co-producer of “The Muslims are Coming!,’’ visits Tampa to kick off a two-year collaborative program at USF that aims to promote dialogue and understanding of the Arab and Muslim cultures and identities through the arts.

Photo by Justine Benstead

New Ybor City Concept Shop Combines Caffeine, Clothing And Coworking

The Blind Tiger, a new coffee, tea and textiles cafe, will serve beverages from Buddy Brew Coffee and TeBella Tea Company, and provide a boutique selection of Black & Denim apparel and accessories along with community co-working space.

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A Game For Life: Amputees Learn Movement Through Virtual Reality

A multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of South Florida in Tampa uses innovative technology to treat survivors of accidents, disease and war with a new, more effective form of physical therapy assessment and rehabilitation.

Pong in the Park is happening at Lykes Gaslight Square Park thanks to Urban Conga. - Julie Branaman

Awesome Tampa Bay: Ping Pong In The Park

Visitors to Lykes Gaslight Park in downtown Tampa can now play Ping Pong in the Park any day of the week on a table provided by The Urban Conga. Bring your own paddles and balls or rent them nearby. 

Scotty Schrier is Founder of DiaperDad. - Julie Branaman

Agent Of (Diaper) Change: Riverview Dad Speaks Up For Men Everywhere

Scotty Schrier of Riverview is gaining national media attention for demanding equal access for dads to diaper-changing tables in public places. It all started with a dirty diaper in a suburban restaurant near Tampa. 

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What's Next For Ray & Clovis? Creative Adventures Start In Tampa

Using cloud software and Skype to communicate with its digital media team members living around the world, Tampa-based Theory Animation carves out its own niche in Florida's growing and highly competitive film industry.

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August Workshop Features Top Talent, Innovation In Tampa Bay's Nonprofits

Want to learn how to be a more effective nonprofit board member? Need tips on cultivating donors? Looking for inspiration to better tell your nonprofit's story? Show up for the next Not For Profit Workshop at the Straz in Downtown Tampa.

UIX

Small-Scale, Big Deal: UIX Invites Urban Innovators To Exchange Ideas In Detroit

Cities are reinventing themselves in creative new ways. Can small-scale projects have big impact? Join the Urban Innovation Exchange this Sept. 24-26 in Detroit to explore creative projects driving neighborhood transformation and trade ideas for the future.

Robotics at CAMLS. - Julie Branaman

Cultivating Innovation At The Intersection of Arts & Technology

You're invited! On August 28th at Tampa Bay WaVE, 83 Degrees Media's "Not Your Average Speakers'' talk about what they are doing at the intersection of Arts & Technology and opportunities to do even more.

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Local Breweries Set Stage For Florida's Craft Beer Revolution

Cigar City Brewery in Tampa and Dunedin Brewery in Pinellas County -- pioneers in the local beer scene -- paved the way for what is becoming a vibrant craft beer culture in Florida, including at least nine new breweries in St. Petersburg, Bradenton and Sarasota.
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