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Businesses and the arts align for Tampa streetcar

Twenty to thirty 4-foot streetcar sculptures will be painted by local artists paired with Tampa Bay business sponsors in a collaborative public works initiative slated for installation this Fall.  

Spearheading the project is Commercial Real Estate Women Tampa Bay (CREW), a business networking organization comprised of 130 local members, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in Tampa in 2016. Under a program it calls artLOUD!, the streetcar initiative will be CREW’s fourth public works project, which have included public sculpture and facade mural initiatives in downtown Tampa. 

CREW Tampa Bay is committed to bringing art to Tampa to create a sense of place, encourage tourism, beautify and make our city streets more vibrant for the community,” says Kristin Mora, a real estate attorney with the Pettit Worrell law firm. Mora is a member of CREW and co-chairs its artLOUD! Program. 

Artists from the Greater Tampa Bay region who submit their credentials will be considered for selection by the area businesses sponsoring the streetcar sculptures and will work together in creating individual concepts. 

Public works of this nature have been a trend around the country, but Mora says that she hopes that using streetcars as the subject matter will have a compounded impact for Tampa. Not only is the streetcar part of Tampa’s history and heritage, but she envisions the possibility of people using the downtown streetcars as a mode to tour and view the artworks themselves. 

“This is a step further for promoting the streetcar,” says Mora, adding that she hopes the project will “gain attention and ridership for the streetcar.” 

To date, more than 20 sponsors have been confirmed including The Dohring Group; Construction Services of Tampa; Cushman & Wakefield; Tampa Downtown Partnership; Coppertail Brewing/Pepin Distributing; Channelside District Community Redevelopment Area; Tampa Housing Authority, and CREW Tampa Bay. 

Yacht Starship, the dining cruise line that docks in Channelside and in Clearwater, proposed the concept to CREW and will host the preview party in October 2015 when the sculptures will be revealed. The sculptures will be installed in downtown Tampa, the Channel District and Ybor City. They will be subject to city approval and, according to Mora, the exact locations may also be influenced by the design of the streetcars themselves.

Study finds Tampa Bay seagrass growth, bottom health improving

In any body of water, the benthic zone, or bottom layer, can be considered a good indicator of the water body’s overall health.

A 20-year study of Tampa Bay’s benthic ecological region shows that as a whole, Tampa Bay's waters are in fair-to-good condition. 

Middle and Lower Tampa Bay, which comprise over 50 percent of Tampa Bay’s surface area, were rated “Good.”

Hillsborough Bay and some of the smaller or more heavily urbanized bodies of water within Tampa Bay (including Boca Ciega Bay, Terra Ceia Bay and Manatee River) were ranked “Poor.” Old Tampa Bay was rated “Fair.”

The 20-Year Tampa Bay Benthic Community Trends Study, released by the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, was conducted from 1993-2012. Ratings were determined using criteria from the EPA’s National Coastal Assessment program and the Tampa Bay Benthic Index.

For two decades, random samples were collected at more than 1,500 sites across Tampa Bay’s main segments, which total just shy of 400 square miles. The samples were taken in late summer and then processed in the EPC’s labs.

Sampling data monitored animal communities in the Bay (over 1,500 invertebrate animal species were identified); sediment composition and contaminants (heavy metals, pesticides, etc.); salinity; temperature; pH levels, and more.

The study found that the majority of Tampa Bay sediments at the bottom layer do not contain high levels of contaminants; exceptional sites with higher contaminant levels were primarily found in Hillsborough Bay. 

The collection and processing of data for the study was initiated two decades ago by the Tampa Bay National Estuary Program (TBEP), and continues today as a cooperative effort between Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas counties.

Study results reveal continued improvement in Tampa Bay’s “fair to good” regions, Dr. David Karlen, the EPC Chief Environmental Scientist who authored the report, explained in a news release.

“Baywide, we’ve seen improvement in the benthic index, which is an overall summary of all species,” Karlen says.

Along with Karlen, report authors include Kevin W. Campbell; Dr. Thomas L. Dix; Barbara K. Goetting; Joette M. Jernigan; and Sara E. Markham.

The report includes recommendations for the future monitoring of benthic communities in Tampa Bay, although additional funding is required to support continued analysis and monitoring programs.

Recommendations include:
  • Special study of some sites within Tampa Bay, including Port Tampa Bay (which contains Ybor and Sparkman Channels and Garrison Channel), East Bay, Clam Bayou and Bayboro Harbor.
  • Increased monitoring of river and tidal tributary systems, low salinity areas that serve as nursery areas for many species. These include the Hillsborough, Palm, Alafia and Little Manatee Rivers. Known high sediment contaminants in several rivers could have potential impacts.
  • Expanding lab analysis to include newer sediment contaminants, such as microplastics.
"The benthic report gives us insight into the legacy (longterm) contaminants that can be found in the sediment," TBEP senior scientist Ed Sherwood says in a news release.

Problem areas indicated by the benthic report will help to guide the estuary program, determine the next step in special studies, track long-term trends in the benthic community and form management policy, Sherwood says.

Another indicator that Tampa Bay is in good shape: seagrass is flourishing. Like a benthic ecological region, seagrasses can be a good measure of a body of water’s overall health. In the case of Tampa Bay, it's on the rise.

Celebrate Tampa Bay area arts, culture at Hyde Park encounter

The Tampa Bay Business for Culture and the Arts (TBBCA) and its “pArtner,” Hyde Park Village, are hosting an “Art is Good” cultural encounter to celebrate art and artists at Piquant Epicure & Cuisine on Thursday, June 25th, at 5:30 p.m. The event is open and free to the public. 

“Those who attend the event will get a wonderful flavor and introduction to our artists – not just Tampa Bay-area based, but artists who have followings beyond our area,” says Susana Weymouth, TBBCA’s executive director since January of this year. “We have a very deep talent pool here of all types. We [TBBCA] are really trying to publicize and support art in general.”
 
The interactive event will highlight Hyde Park’s Public Art Initiative, which consists of iconic cheery banners of the “C’mon, Get Happy” and “Forget Your Troubles” variety created by New York-based Artist Deborah Kass and Tampa Bay area artists who submitted pieces inspired by Kass’s work.
  
Of the eight local finalists, the winner, Artist Jon Lee from Clearwater, will be formally announced at the event along with TBBCA’s Impact Award winner for “Patron of Culture & the Arts.” Hint on the latter: what restaurateur and arts champion, whose deep roots in Tampa go back generations, proudly shares his collection with diners at Ulele any day of the week?
 
TBBCA was founded over 25 years ago by local businesses to support and encourage business-arts alliances. The organization hosts cultural encounters and supports local arts events throughout the year, provides scholarships to high school students pursuing higher education in the arts and recognizes local business leaders who have been exemplary in their leadership and support of arts and culture.

“Arts and culture are economic drivers that are essential to the prosperity and wellbeing of our community and contribute to the quality of life,” says Weymouth, noting that arts are good for business. “You need to be able to attract a strong creative class as an employee base, and retain them. We firmly believe that businesses will thrive if their employees can partake in [cultural activities]. And that is what we enjoy in this area, an enormous amount of culture.”

Tampa grandmother designs ergonomic holder for easily gripping smart devices

When Rosanne Clementi of Tampa won a Kindle e-reader in a raffle, she planned to regift it. Instead, she “got hooked” on using the device for casual reading.

There was only one problem.

Clementi has arthritis in her hands, which made holding up her new device difficult. It was painful, and, she adds, “My thumbs kept hitting the screen and changing the page before I wanted to.”

An Internet search for a product that could ease her pain – some kind of handle for the e-reader – turned up empty. A folio cover served as a temporary solution, but it didn’t solve the problem.

“It became my mission to develop a product that would make it easier to get a good, comfortable grip on an electronic tablet,” says Clementi.

The Pad Go Round, an ergonomic tablet holder with handles, is Clementi’s solution.

Clementi designed and developed the Pad Go Round for people who have difficulty with gripping tablets. The device, which can be used for various sizes of tablets and e-readers, has a sturdy base on which four handles or clamps slide. Handles can be adjusted for various brands of tablets and can be used for activities from casual reading to video or photography. Four legs on the bottom of the base elevate the tablet slightly, reducing the risk of damage from spills.

“We have such a versatile design for the Pad Go Round that it has multiple applications for various markets,” Clementi says.

Clementi, who is a successful business owner in the field of environmental consulting, attended the University of South Florida for undergraduate studies before earning an MS from Clemson University. The grandmother of two has also formed a corporation to develop products that help make daily life activities, such as yoga, more accessible to people with arthritis.

The Pad Go Round is patented, but Clementi is still seeking the necessary funding to make the device a reality.

With over 50 backers and $5,000 pledged to the Kickstarter campaign for the device, the project has a long way to go to reach the funding goal of $22,000 by June 22. Regardless of whether the Kickstarter campaign is successful, Clementi says, “My plans are to continue to move forward and hit the street to market the product.”

”Every day I meet someone who has not seen the Pad Go Round and falls in love with it,” Clementi says. “The testimonial in my Kickstarter video from Rob [see above], the gentleman who is a quadriplegic, is my inspiration to keep going. Failure is not an option.” 

To contribute to the Pad Go Round Kickstarter campaign, click here.

Aerial adventure park to open in Dade City, Pasco County

A new aerial adventure park, complete with zip lines and rope bridges, is set to open in Dade City in Pasco County this summer.

TreeHoppers will boast a wide variety of zip lines that cater to various skill levels, multiple rope bridges and dozens of aerial climbing elements on a 60-acre wooded park about 40 miles northwest of Tampa.

Indiana-based White River Zip Lines purchased the land in spring 2015 and will develop the TreeHoppers adventure park on the property, which also features a five-acre lake and a canopy of live oak trees.

Jon Pianki, TreeHoppers director of marketing, says that Tampa Bay’s good weather and tourist-friendly attitude are the primary reasons the area was selected for the new Treehoppers location.

“We are hoping this combination will help us build an attraction that is both an asset to the surrounding community as well as a draw to outside guests and customers,” Pianki explains. “Tampa Bay is a vibrant, growing community that wants more options to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty nature has to offer.”

With eight different courses that cater to various skill levels and over 100 total features, there’s something for everyone, Pianki says. “Small children, experienced athletes, and everyone in-between will find a right course for their comfort level.”

Visitors will receive safety instruction from trained climbing monitors and be provided with safety climbing technology before embarking on any of the courses.

TreeHoppers will begin hiring for fulltime and part-time positions by mid-June, with jobs ranging from shop staff and customer service to guides and monitors. Visit TreeHoppers website to learn more or apply.

The park is expected to open in August, but Pianki is already looking ahead to the Fall, when the park is planning a Halloween attraction “like no other in the area.”

Located at 27839 Saint Joe Road in Dade City, TreeHoppers will be open year-round, seven days a week.

“We are thrilled to offer this new experience to the Tampa Bay area,” TreeHoppers CEO Benjamin Nagengast says in a press release. “Our team carefully and thoughtfully selected Tampa Bay for our newest attraction and we can’t wait to introduce TreeHoppers to the community. There is nothing like it anywhere in Florida.”

The aerial zip line and adventure park joins several high-rise outdoor adventure courses in the Tampa Bay area:

TreeUmph, 21805 S.R. 70 E., Bradenton

TreeUmph, located in Bradenton near Lakewood Ranch, opened in December 2012 and features a zip line that starts at 60 feet in elevation and rockets over a 600-foot-long course across the park.

TreeUmph is expanding to a second location in Hernando County in fall 2016. The new park will offer around 80 obstacles on a 50-acre area.

Sky Trail Zip Line, MOSI, 4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa

In the university area’s Innovation District, Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI Tampa) boasts its own spin on the aerial adventure: the Sky Trail Zip Line at MOSI, a 65-foot high course that is more than 700 feet long (longer than two football fields put together!).

Along with the zip line, MOSI offers a multilevel ropes course that is safe for kids and adults of all ages to explore.

Natures Boot Camp, 11914 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa

Natures Boot Camp invites extreme athletes and adventure course enthusiasts to train at their outdoor obstacle course, centrally located in Tampa’s Carrollwood neighborhood.

Try out a sprint style obstacle course with over 14 obstacles,  a Mud Run that culminates in a 15-foot jump, and more extreme activities.

New Tampa Nature Park, 17599 Dona Michelle Drive, Tampa

New Tampa Nature Park, which connects with Hillsborough County’s Flatwoods Park, is a low-key place to enjoy nature from above. Find zip-lining courses for kids, a climbing area, shaded trails, and more.

The 122-acre park also offers an elevated boardwalk and marsh walk that allows visitors to experience a wetland habitat from above.

Mobile app for multicultural visitor's guide wins HIllsborough County hack-a-thon

The 2015 Code for Hillsborough hack-a-thon brought more than 100 presenters, programmers and community leaders in economic development together to create potential solutions to existing real-world problems in local communities.

The team that created a “Multi-Cultural Visitor's Guide” won top honors at the Sunday, June 7, awards ceremony.

The mobile app multicultural guide to the Tampa Bay area was created following county guidelines, such as: including links to Visit Tampa Bay and the state tourism office, Visit Florida; a Google-interfaced map with prominent venues highlighted, a background history or photo of the venues; a walking trail or driving route; and more desired criteria.

Code for Tampa Bay Brigade and Hillsborough County worked together to present the 3rd Annual National Day (in this case, weekend) of Civic Hacking. County commissioner Sandy Murman praised Code for Tampa Bay's efforts to "provide a creative environment where innovation thrives."

Civic collaboration in the community, networking among local government and technologists, programmers and developers, and encouraging “civic hacking” are all part of the goals of the Hillsborough County EDI2-funded event.

During the two-day hack-a-thon, event participants were challenged to create useful resources that addressed community needs identified by data supplied from the county government. Challenges included:
  • Dig through thousands of lines of raw data to make Florida Vendor Payment information accessible, useful and understandable for your application
  • Use multiple sources of information to develop a way to help the county understand inmate populations and how jail systems are being used
  • Map out a shuttle transportation system for downtown Tampa
  • Create a web application that provides international matchmaking between foreign companies and Hillsborough County 
  • Develop a multicultural visitor guide using basic tools like a jpeg image and a brochure
Presenters discussed best practices in tech hot topics like mobile app development or transparency for vendors, as well as community-centered issues like the challenges that government agencies and citizens alike can face when it comes to providing or accessing services or resources.

Runners up included a team that created an Emergency Preparedness Interactive Map and the Tampa Bay Trade and Protocol Council app.

2015 Code for Hillsborough partners in civic engagement include: MicrosoftForex FactoryTekBankEureka! Factory,  The Iron YardAbsolute Mobile SolutionsCastleRoc Information ServicesRedHatLaicosThe Grind Coffee BarKahwa Coffee Roasters,  Tampa Innovation Alliance and Busch Gardens.

Designing Tampa as a smarter city

Tampa is about to become a smarter city, thanks to Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

At a free seminar on June 12, local community leaders will have the opportunity to join national experts, such as noted futurist Daniel Burrus, in a discussion about technology-based solutions for cities.

The “Internet of Things: Smart Cities” seminar series will bring smart city experts to eight communities across the United States, including Tampa, where they will meet with local leaders to showcase the ways that the “Internet of Things” (machine-to-machine communication) can help cities increase economic growth, enhance safety, create more security and become more efficient.

The goal of the IoT Smart Cities seminars is to create cities that exemplify three distinct qualities: livability, workability and sustainability.

Discussion will likely include topics such as transportation and parking solutions, energy conservation, increasing citizen engagement, and how community leaders can redistribute available resources.

“With limited resources, municipal leaders are being tasked with finding ways to make their communities more efficient,” Dan Feldman, director of IoT Smart Cities at Verizon, says in a news release.

“Towns and cities can start with projects like energy-efficient smart streetlights, car sharing and smart parking,” Feldman explains. Then, by creating more energy-efficient or technologically advanced projects, cities can begin to save revenue that can be applied toward bigger investments, such as “tackling pollution and upgrading transit infrastructure."
 
Burrus, the New York Times bestselling author and technology futurist, entrepreneur and innovation expert, will be the keynote speaker at the Tampa IoT Smart Cities seminar. Burrus developed the “Hard Trend Methodology,” which has been adopted by city planners, government agencies and leading corporations as a method of connecting cities through technology.

A name familiar to many in the Tampa Bay area, Jim Shimberg, will be the event's guest speaker. Shimberg is the EVP and general counsel of Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment (which owns the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are currently competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs), as well as the company representative to the Tampa Bay Partnership and the Tampa Hillsborough County Economic Development Corporation. Shimberg, who has over 30 years of experience practicing law in the Tampa Bay area, is also the COO of Strategic Property Partners LLC, Lightning owner Jeff Vinik’s real estate company (in late 2014, Vinik and his investment partners announced a plan to invest more $1 billion into 25 acres of land in downtown Tampa’s Channelside region).

The IoT Smart Cities tour is sponsored by Verizon Enterprise Solutions, a division of communications giant Verizon, in partnership with the Smart Cities Council. Along with Tampa, stops include Boston, New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, Phoenix and San Jose.

Tampa’s IoT Smart Cities seminar will take place from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, June 12, at the Tampa Marriott Westshore, 1001 N. Westshore Blvd. To register or learn more about the event, click here.

June women's networking events include baseball game, bathroom businesswoman

Those familiar with the Tampa Bay tech scene already know that June is a busy month for startup and networking events. For one, Startup Weekend Tampa Bay: Design Edition and Hillsborough County’s hackathon both take place during the first weekend of the month.

Also in June, three networking events will bring members of the entrepreneurial business and tech crowds together, but with a specific spin: they’re all geared toward women.

Mingle with local tech titans

What: Professional Women’s Network Luncheon
When: 11 a.m., June 9
Where: Hilton Carillon, 950 Lake Carillon Dr, St. Petersburg

Join the Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF) at its annual Professional Women’s Network (PWN) luncheon on Tuesday, June 9. The luncheon was created for a dual purpose: to encourage more women to pursue a career in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) field, and to provide mentorship for women and girls wishing to enter those fields.
 
During the luncheon, a panel of top female tech professionals will discuss their career paths as well as the mentors who helped shape their own experiences.

“Both community and careers are built with mentorship -- both are solidified by showcasing successes,” TBTF executive director Daniel James Scott says in a news release.
 
PWN luncheon panelists include: Staci Cross, Enterprise Project Management Office VP at WellCare; Lauren Deren, Raymond James manager of Information Security Operations; Rini Fredette, SVP and Enterprise Risk Officer at PSCU; and Lieutenant Colonel Clorinda Trujillo, Chief of Enterprise Operations at USCENTCOM. The discussion will be moderated by Angela Beltz, VP of Cisco Solutions Group at event presenter Tech Data.
 
The luncheon allows TBTF "to actively connect hand-selected female college students with Tampa Bay’s top leadership, while also sharing the outstanding success of our distinguished panel,” Scott says.

Cost is $75 per person. To register for the event, click here.
 
Meet the mastermind behind Poo-pouri

What:
 InnovatHer Sip, Tip, and Talk
When: 6 p.m., June 16
Where: Westin Tampa Bay’s BluVu Rooftop Event Venue, 7627 Courtney Campbell Causeway

The Business Centre at the Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women is bringing the businesswoman who made millions by becoming “the Queen of the Can” to Tampa Bay.

On Tuesday, June 16, join special guest Suzy Batiz at the InnovatHer Sip, Tip, and Talk event to learn “how your stinkin’ idea could make millions.” That’s the idea behind Poo-pouri, a fresh scent product for the bathroom.

Curious about how Batiz earned the nickname “Queen of the Can”? Take a peek at one of the commercials promoting her product

Join local professional women and members of the Centre at the Westin Tampa Bay’s BluVu Rooftop Event Venue for light drinks and a cash bar during the event.

Cost is $30 paid in advance; $40 at the door. Register online by clicking here.

Can’t make it to this event, but are interested in learning more about The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women? Visit the nonprofit’s website to learn more about membership.
 
Mix business and baseball at the ball game

What: 
Rays Professional Women’s Night
When: 4:30 p.m., June 15
Where: Ricky P's Orleans Bistro, 1113 Central Ave in St. Pete

Combine business and baseball during the Working Women of Tampa Bay Rays Professional Women’s Night!
Bring colleagues or friends along for the women’s night at Ricky P’s Bistro and the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field, as the home team takes on the Nationals. WWoTB seats are located in the lower reserved section.

Tailgate on the Ricky P's patio from 4:30-5:30 p.m., where light food and drink specials will be offered. Then head over to the game seating, where a pre-game Q&A session with Rays VP of Business Development Melanie Lenz and other female leaders will take place. 

Cost is $30 for members, $40 for non-members. The last day to register for the event is Sunday, June 7. Register online by clicking here.

Can’t make it to this event, but interested in learning more about the networking group? Visit the Working Women of Tampa Bay website for complete listings of local events and to learn more about membership.

Local chef develops St. Pete tiki bar food menu

Nestled close to the Gandy Bridge in north St. Petersburg, popular waterfront bar The Getaway has added a new variety of fresh seafood and Tampa staples to the menu.

Fare includes favorites from local BBQ joint Holy Hog -- whose food truck could often be seen parked outside the bar on busy nights during the past year -- along with Florida-inspired seafood creations from Chef Ted Dorsey. The new menu will go live on Saturday, June 6.

Managing partner Dave Burton called the new menu “a perfect mix of food and fun” in a news release.

“We are very proud to have a renowned chef [Dorsey] work with us to create a menu that captures Florida with a foodie flair,” Burton says, “and to also have Holy Hog, a Tampa barbecue staple.”

The tiki bar's menu will include signature Holy Hog dishes: pulled pork, smoked chicken, brisket, fried okra, jalapeno mac and cheese, and more. Other Holy Hog favorites, like the popular burnt ends, are incorporated into new dishes, such as the Burnt End Jalapeno Poppers and Beach Tacos.

Dorsey, a local chef who has spent time in some of Tampa Bay's most well-known restaurant kitchens (Boca, Ciro's Speakeasy, Copperfish, Castile) is opening a new restaurant, The Mill, at the former Jojo's In Citta Progress Plaza location in St Pete during summer 2015.

For The Getaway's food menu, Dorsey developed a Florida-focused theme. Everything’s grown, caught or inspired by South Florida and the Caribbean, from the Tortuga Nachos – with ingredients including yellow fin tuna, salsa, a wasabi soy glaze, pineapple, orange and guacamole – to the Lobster BLT salad, created with fresh Maine lobster but given a Southeast spin with avocado, pork belly croutons and a buttermilk vinaigrette.

At the new waterfront restaurant's raw bar, enjoy a variety of oyster preparations; dress them up at a nearby seafood sauce bar. Often, you'll dine to the sounds of live music.

Along with seafood, the St. Pete beachfront bar will serve burgers (with a ketchup bar for your enjoyment), sandwiches and house-made fries or Florida orange kettle chips.

The Getaway's Managing Partner Scott Tashkin says that a consistently high volume of guests and a desire for more variety in seafood led the beach bar to develop the new menu, which was "inspired by our favorite island destinations."  

"With our own food, we are able to have the creativity to take the menu any direction we desire," Tashkin says.

In addition to The Getaway’s new food menu, the bar added a selection of “mocktails,” cocktails that don’t contain alcohol, to its drink menu of craft cocktails, beer and wine. Menu items range in price from $5-$23.

The Getaway, located at 13090 Gandy Blvd N., is open Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – midnight.

The waterfront bar "has become that close to home reminder of favorite destinations," Tashkin says. "It takes a little piece of so many popular places among the Florida Keys and the Carribbean."

Black Lives Matter symposium spotlights social activism through art

Art can be an agent of social change.

That’s the theme of the 2015 Dunham Technique Certification Workshop, which will be held at the University of South Florida in June. The symposium will explore the Black Lives Matter movement through the lens of social activist Katherine Dunham’s legacy in the sphere of performance art.

Dunham (1909-2006), a dancer, anthropologist and author, showcased “relentless dedication to social activism” during her career, explains event organizer Saroya Corbett. 

After studying at the University of Chicago, Dunham spent decades as a social activist: she choreographed "Southland,'' a dance about lynching; refused to perform in segregated theaters in Kentucky; influenced the creation of anti-discrimination laws in Brazil; was one of Hollywood’s first African-American choreographers; went on a hunger strike at 82 years old to shed light on the mistreatment of Haitian refugees; and was at the forefront of social activism in east Saint Louis.

"Placing Dunham at the center of the conversation surrounding social change allows the symposium to explore and identify how the arts and artists create and aid in social change," Corbett says. “Through her example, we plan to identify ways in which we can participate as individuals."

The workshop kicks off a series of activities in the Tampa area. Event organizers hope to attract “scholars, community organizers, participants in the Black Lives Matter movement, artists and the general community of Tampa,” Corbett says. “The arts and artists have a unique capacity to affect change in belief systems and mores."

Brittany Williams, Dancing for Justice creator and coordinator of Million Hoodies Arts Network, as well as scholars Dr. Halifu Osumare and Dr. Joanna Dee Das, will present at the June 28 symposium. 

"Dancing for Justice, the arts and particularly dance can be an integral part of fighting for the full rights and humane treatment for black and brown lives," Corbett says. 

Corbett, who sits on the academic committee for IDTC and the advisory board for the Coalition of Diasporan Scholars Moving, plans to organize a #BlackLivesMatter march near the end of the workshop.

The Institute For Dunham Technique Certification (IDTC) began in 1994, when Dunham and Dr. Albirda Rose first certified dancers in the Dunham Technique. Today, professional performers, choreographers or dance educators can apply for Dunham Technique Certification; once accepted, they must attend 200 hours working with instructors and/or attending workshops for development, training, and testing prior to certification.

Members of the general public are also welcome to attend the courses and learn more about the technique.

Black Lives Matter: The Relevance of Katherine Dunham's Legacy for Today's Social Artists-Activist symposium will take place from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. on June 28 at USF in room TAR 249. The event is free and open to the public.

Who’s hiring in Tampa Bay? Marketing firms, furniture store, tech companies and more

Did you know? 83 Degrees Media searches for growing companies to bring you exciting job opportunities in the Tampa Bay region. Here's who's hiring in the Tampa, St. Pete, and Clearwater area in June 2015:

Ashley Furniture HomeStores is hiring for several full-time positions at the company’s Brandon, Florida headquarters, including an Interior Designer, a Graphic Designer, a Process Improvement/Change Manager and a Director, eCommerce User Experience (UX).

The successful candidate for graphic designer will have 3-5 years of experience; extensive knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite 6; design experience in HTML and CS5; and a strong design sensibility. Duties will include working with the marketing team on projects from concept through to execution, designing print materials and signage, and assisting in production tasks. 

The UX/eComm director will lead the Ashley Furniture team in data-driven change and help improve site experience for customers. Duties include overseeing user experience activities; modeling Ashley Furniture core values; and establishing and driving strategies for the eCommerce platform.

The process improvement/change manager role will assist in overall business strategy through release, training, and feedback; work with stakeholders; and coordinate teams across departments. Project management experience; excellent communication skills; experience with Lean, Six Sigma, and/or CQI methodologies; and a Bachelor’s Degree are required.

The interior designer will create furniture, paint and signage plans for Ashley Furniture; contribute to development of prototype designs and elements; and support new store set-ups. Experience in the design industry and extensive knowledge of AutoCAD required.   

To learn more or apply, email the Talent Acquisitions Manager.  
 
Inspirata, a cancer diagnostics company, is newly headquartered in Tampa as of May 2015. The business is set to create up to 70 new jobs in the Tampa Bay area, and is currently hiring for several positions, including: Business Unit Manager, Software Technical Lead, Histology Imaging Technician, LIS Integration Specialist, Software Architect, Big Data Senior Manager and Team Level Scientists

Visit the Inspirata website for further inquiries or to submit your resume.
 
Growing St. Petersburg-based construction company PJ Callaghan is hiring for a Construction Superintendent.

The successful candidate will have a minimum of three years construction experience, including experience with interior build-outs, construction, and permitting. Responsibilities will include supervising commercial construction projects in an outdoor work environment, ensuring quality control, project management, and providing customer service. Travel within Florida is required.

To learn more or apply, visit the company website.
  
Tampa advertising agency Schifino Lee Advertising & Branding is hiring a Junior Art Director. The company has been a mainstay of commercial advertising in Tampa Bay for more than 20 years under the direction of cofounders Paola Schifino and Ben Lee.

To apply for the junior art director position with Schifino Lee, email resumes here.
 
Rank K.O., a Tampa internet marketing company housed at Tampa Bay WaVe, is seeking qualified applicants for the positions of Sales Associate, Account Manager and Reputation Management Specialist.

The sales associate will work as outside sales representative, selling corporate services through visits to customer sites, cold-calling and networking. Requirements include three years of work in external sales; a proven ability to close deals; experience in account development and territory management; and experience with customer relationship management software.

The account manager role will include occasional travel, but primarily will work directly with clients to assist with internet marketing services. Responsibilities include assisting with bringing new clients onboard, giving presentations, and educating clients on industry best practices and changes. Experience with customer relationship management software and three years of experience as an account manager or in a related position required.

The reputation management specialist assists with planning and executing online reputation management campaigns for clients. The ideal candidate is an analytical marketer who is comfortable working with databases, Excel, and high volumes of data; conducting research; collecting, tracking, analyzing, and monitoring data; and who has strong analytical thinking and problem identification skills. Two-three years of experience in an analytical internet marketing position, or experience working with a wide variety of internet marketing tools and software, required.

To learn more or apply, visit the company website.
 
YourMembership

The website YourMembership is seeking to fill the following roles in St. Petersburg: Director of Design, Product Manager/Project Manager and Inside Sales Representative. To learn more about job requirements or to apply, visit the company website.
 
Employers, if you have a career opportunity you would like to promote, please email the 83 Degrees Innovation & Job News editor with "Hiring" in the subject line. Reach out over on Twitter @83degreesmedia if our job listings put you on the path to success.

Hillsborough County hackathon takes on community concerns

Can coding offer a cure for community problems? Hillsborough County is betting that it can.

Code for Hillsborough, a three-day hackathon in June, could yield real-world solutions to community problems from safety to sanitation. The event, a part of the National Day of Civic Hacking on June 6, aims to bring UX experts, developers and “civic hackers” together with residents, designers and community organizers. The goal: Develop a solution to local civic issues via coding.

“This is a unique opportunity to bring together some of the best and brightest minds in the technology community to push forward civic innovation and open idea-sharing,” says Lindsey Kimball, Hillsborough County Economic Development Director.

National Day of Civic Hacking events bring together participants in cities across the United States each year to build technological solutions that improve local communities.

The county has been a host of the annual hackathon event since 2013 “in order to highlight the growing technology community,” Kimball says.

Hillsborough County has placed an emphasis on bolstering the local tech scene in recent years, from the expansion of its Small Business Information Center into the Mark Sharpe Entrepreneur Collaborative Center to the $2 million it set aside for economic development in the tech and startup community.

In the days before the competition, participating local governments will release data to the public that programmers or “hackers” can then use to develop apps or websites that address community concerns.

Hillsborough County’s team is working on identifying the final datasets, Kimball says. One possible project that Kimball says has been identified as a focus for the hackathon is “the development of an application for children to learn about 9-1-1, and what to do in emergency situations to stay safe.”

Interested in participating in Code for Hillsborough, but not technologically savvy? That’s OK, Kimball says. “Anyone with the passion to make the community better” is welcome to attend and participate.

Tampa Bay event partners for Code for Hillsborough include: Code for Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County's EDI2 programMicrosoft, Laicos, Forex Factory, TekBank, The Iron YardCastleRoc Information Services, Collaborative Technologies of Tampa Bay, The Grind Coffee Bar and Kahwa Coffee.

“Working with volunteer community event partners has been a wonderful partnership,” Kimball says, noting Code for Hillsborough’s “dedicated co-chairs” Terri Willingham, Eureka Factory president, and John Punzak, Sr., National Sales Director for Red Hat.

Code for Hillsborough will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 5; the hackathon culminates on Sunday, June 7, with final presentations beginning at 3 p.m.

Code for Hillsborough will take place at Microsoft’s Tampa offices, 5426 Bay Center Drive, Suite 700. The event is free and open to the public.

Tampa startup aims to soundproof your sleep with noise-, light-blocking curtains

The sound of silence.

That’s what Tampa-based startup company Residential Acoustics promises with their patented soundproof curtains and doors.

The AcoustiDoor and AcoustiCurtains aim to block unpleasant sounds from invading your home: trucks roaring down the road; noise from nearby establishments; train whistles; loud neighbors; construction; even the sound of a roommate watching late-night TV.

Initially, Walker Peek developed and designed the AcoustiDoor to give his now-wife a quieter place to sleep or study, while Peek, a night owl, watched movies or sports in the next room.

After searching for a solution in stores, Peek turned up empty-handed. He decided to create his own version of a noise-blocking apparatus: the AcoustiDoor, which keeps sound from traveling from room to room within a home. A sample of his sound-proofing scientific research and resources can be found on the company website.

The original AcoustiDoor ($139-$199 for standard sizes) is still being used in the Peeks’ home today.

The AcoustiDoor was soon followed by soundproof, light-blocking thermal curtains.

“Many people struggle with unwanted noise in their home or business and are looking for a well-made solution,” Peek explains, especially apartment residents in urban markets like New York, Chicago and Atlanta, who consistently purchase AcoustiCurtains.

Most sound-blocking curtains on the market work by absorbing noise, but Peek says that AcoustiCurtains work by deflecting sound waves. “Sound deflection makes the AcoustiCurtain the most effective sound-blocking curtain on the market.”

AcoustiCurtains also aim to block out almost all traces of external light, making them “perfect for new mothers, night nurses or anyone on an irregular sleeping schedule," Peek says, by "transforming a daytime bedroom into a sleep sanctuary.”

In addition to keeping noise and light out, AcoustiCurtains are designed to keep heat (or cool air) in. The thermal curtain’s insulating properties have helped homeowners see a reduction in heating and cooling costs, Peek says.

AcoustiCurtains range in price from $99 to $189; custom design and sizing is also available.

Along with private homes, AcoustiCurtains can be found in property management firms, construction companies and hotels throughout the United States. And as for future endeavors, Peek says the sky’s the limit.

“Our team is constantly learning, innovating and improving,” Peek says. “Our mindset has always been, ‘What problem can we solve next?’ ”

With 13 employees and plans to hire several more over the summer, Peek says that Residential Acoustics is “looking to expand our manufacturing footprint.”

The company takes pride in manufacturing in the U.S. using locally sourced materials. Peek calls the choice “one of the best decisions for our business. The quality, detail and workmanship of our products is something I’m extremely proud to stand behind.”

Residential Acoustics plans to remain in Tampa, but move into a larger warehouse space.

“It’s a very exciting time,” Peek says. “The jobs added to the economy and the team we’ve created is empowering. I’m grateful for it everyday.”

Buy a pair (or a mat), plant a tree: Tampa company seeks crowdfunding

Two new must-have meditation accessories for yogis are being developed in Tampa, Florida.

Gurus sandals, inspired by “an ancient wooden sandal” that Prem Thomas bought in India around 2011, have resonated among yogis online, Thomas says.

“Mainly on Instagram."

Thomas and his Gurus cofounder, Joe Choorapuzha, loved the sleek, simple design of the wooden sandals, their place in Indian history and the story that Mahatma Gandhi wore them.

The duo set out to build upon the minimal sandal and “make a product that is superior to flip-flops, but still retains the design of the original Indian version,” Thomas explains.

The result is a natural rubber sandal, sustainably sourced and hand-processed from rubber trees -- a practice that can continue for up to 25 years without harming the tree. 

The $30 sandal comes in a variety of colors, accompanied by a natural-fiber jute bag that features a Gandhi quote. Currently, Gurus sandals can be found online or at retailers such as surf shops, theme parks, salons, yoga studios and boutiques.

The cofounders place emphasis on producing and packaging products sustainably. The Guru sandal is biodegradable, making it a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional plastic or foam flip-flops and sandals. To help promote the pair’s commitment to sustainability, a tree is planted in the developing world each time a product is sold.

“At the end of the day, a lot of companies can make new products and sell thousands or millions of sandals,” Thomas says. “We think if we can plant thousands or millions of trees, that’s a little more special.”

A successfully funded Kickstarter campaign ($16,236 pledged) helped bring Gurus to life. After the success of the sandal, brand ambassadors for the company wondered whether the cofounders could develop a yoga mat using the same type of natural rubber.

Thomas and Choorapuzha developed a solution: natural rubber topped with a layer of cork. A Kickstarter campaign for the cork yoga mat ends on Friday, May 22, at 1 p.m.

Click here to back this project.

At prices that range from $80 to $115 (up to half off for pledge backers), the campaign slogan reads, “Experience a no-slip, natural yoga mat that costs less than your yoga pants!”

“The mat is pretty amazing,” Thomas says, “and will even work when it is drenched with water or sweat, allowing yoga practitioners to do hot bikram yoga without a towel.”

If the Kickstarter goal is met, backers can expect to receive their mats in August 2015.

Thomas and Choorapuzha are “pretty confident” that the Kickstarter goal of $20,000 for the Gurus cork yoga mat will be met. But even if the crowdfunding target is not met, “we will most likely end up producing it in some form,” Thomas says.

“We think it’s an amazing product, and there is a market need from consumers and studios.”

Thomas, who grew up in Tampa, has worked in finance in the Philippines and with a civic venture capital fund in New York City. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before working as an investment banker for Bank of America, where he met Choorapuzha.

Choorapuzha, an MBA student at the University of Pennsylvania, grew up in Pittsburgh, PA before attending Columbia University. Prior to cofounding Gurus, Choorapuzha worked with an investment fund in NYC.

Along with CEO Thomas and president Choorapuzha, Gurus employs six independent sales representatives and a distributor in Australia and Canada. The company plans to hire another employee in the field of marketing or design, and is seeking interns in Tampa beginning in summer 2015.

“As our company grows, it will be great to build a larger team locally to support that growth,” Thomas says.

Ad agencies hiring in Tampa? ChappellRoberts, Dunn&Co., SPARK and more

Award-winning Tampa advertising agency ChappellRoberts is growing.

The agency, located in the heart of historic Ybor City since 2010, expanded their team in May 2015 to include a senior copywriter, a graphic designer and two assistant account executives.

ChappellRoberts approaches branding from a full service perspective; advertising, marketing and public relations are all part of the package for clients, including high-status accounts like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

“Our elevated team brings rich industry experience and new perspectives to our agency and clients,” Colleen Chappell, agency president and CEO, says in a news release.

Assistant research account executives Maritza Ochoa, who graduated from the University of West Florida, and Kelley Volenec, who graduated from Florida State University, will implement client marketing strategies and support the agency’s market research and public relations divisions.

Graphic designer and New Zealand native Marie Holdaway joins ChappellRoberts with nearly five years of professional design experience to help execute creative concepts for client campaigns.

Rick Kourchenko brings over 20 years of advertising experience to the agency as a senior copywriter who will lead copy development for client projects.

“As we continue to grow our roster, infusing our team with incredible talent further serves the growing needs of our clients,” Chappell said.

ChappellRoberts also seeks to fill several other roles; the agency is hiring for a junior media buyer and a junior art director.

The Junior Media Buyer role requires a high school degree, along with three years of media department experience. The successful candidate will assist media buyers and account executives; will track artwork and ensure deliverables are met; will place orders and reconcile invoices; will record activities for planning and billing purposes; and will maintain all digital and hard copy resources.

The Junior Art Director position will assist with design and execution for multiple mediums. The successful applicant will enjoy problem-solving and will have three years of professional experience, including agency experience; knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite; excellent production skills; and understanding of UX/UI design principles.

Interested candidates should submit a resume and five work samples via email with Jr. Art Director as the subject line.

Dunn&Co.

Dunn&Co. (the agency behind giant billboards that read GoodbyeDon that have cropped up around Tampa in spring 2015 [a tip-of-the-hat to AMC TV show Mad Men]) seeks a senior art director and a copywriter.

The Senior Art Director position will work alongside creative directors to develop work in both the digital and print realm. The position requires 7-10 years of advertising agency experience, along with a strong portfolio; proficiency with Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign; ability to lead by example, strategize, conceptualize and implement; and an appreciation for all media.

Dunn&Co. is also looking for a motivated Copywriter who to work closely with the agency’s creative directors. The successful applicant will have three years of agency experience and a strong portfolio with multiple media formats, including digital and social; is comfortable and proficient with long copy; has the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines; has strong interpersonal, verbal and presentation skills; and is detail-oriented.

SPARK

Spark Brands is hiring for several positions: brand writer, community manager, editor, developer, and media buyer.
  • Brand Writer: Bring a brand’s personality to life with words, create stories and build brands in your own language.
  • Community Manager: Bring brands to life online by connecting to the audience and employing social media best practices aimed at improving the social presence of brands. The ideal candidate is a social-savvy individual who has experience with and enjoys working in social media, fostering the growth of online communities.
  • Editor: Control the post-production editing process, turning footage into brand stories. An intimate knowledge of Adobe Suite (specifically Premier and After Effects), RedCine-X and DaVinci Resolve, is required.
  • Developer: Knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, mySQL, WordPress and experience with third-party APIs, specifically for Google, Facebook and Twitter, are necessary. Mobile design is a must, as well as UX/UI best practices.
  • Media Buyer: Negotiate and implement media placements across multiple media platforms, monitor digital media performance and making recommendations and improvements as necessary. Successful candidates will have the ability to analyze website data.
Apply or learn more by sending an email here

22Squared

The advertising agency, which has offices in Atlanta, GA along with downtown Tampa, is hiring for multiple roles in Tampa Bay, including:

Account Director; Analytics & CRM Director, Ecommerce; Analytics Group Director; Developer; Business Development Director; Content Art Director; Help Desk Coordinator; Sr. Human Resources Manager; Talent Acquisition Manager; Integrated (Digital) Producer; Integrated Producer; Marketing Analyst; Marketing Analyst, Interactive Marketing & CRM; and two Copywriters.

To learn job requirements and submit an application, visit the agency’s website.
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