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Local artists eligible for professional development grants, grant panels

If you’re an artist looking for ways to fund your next big idea, now is your chance to apply for the Arts Council of Hillsborough County Professional Development for Artists (PDA) Grants, providing up to $2,000 toward a specific project. Open to visual, performing, or literary artists living in Hillsborough County (last year’s grantees ranged from dancers to storytellers to musicians), the ACHC will be accepting applications until Dec. 15 at 4 p.m.

As a project-based grant, the focus is placed upon funding attendance to a professional development experience (like conferences, artist residencies, or workshops), or the purchase/rental of equipment that will help push an artist’s career forward.

This grant program differs from the Individual Arts Grant Program they have been running in the past, but you can check out the specifics at Tampa Arts.

Looking at the list of awardees through the years, you can see how the program has grown and including more and more artists from the eight grantees in 2013 to 14 in 2017. As always, it’s best to review the guidelines and eligibility before getting started.

Tips from a previous ACHC grant recipient

Michael Parker seems to be gifted with the grant-writing touch: he received an ACHC grant plus the Carolyn Heller Visual Arts Award -- a bonus of $1,000 given to the highest scoring visual artist -- in 2017, but he also won both of these grants back in 2013. For Parker’s most recent proposal, he wanted to use grant funs to by specialty automotive interference pigments to take his work in a new direction.

“The grant was the perfect opportunity for me to pull the trigger on this project, or else I’d sit around and say that it’s out of my range. This made it a whole lot easier to say it’s time to get these materials and actually start using it. I’m so cheap; I reuse and recycle everything. I take old paintings and give them a new life, so it’s hard for me to drop three grand on a few bags of pigment, but I wanted to up my game a little bit,” Parker says.

Since Parker has been on both sides of the grant process as a panelist and applicator, he was willing to give up a few tips on how to put your best foot forward.

“The ones that did not appeal to me were too wordy. Don’t try to use words that a regular person won’t understand. Also, make sure that your own voice is in there and you’re honest about what you’re doing. You don’t realize when you’re writing it, but you have to take everything in you and turn it into two paragraphs. Keep it short, concise, and honest. I feel people reading them will appreciate that,” Parker explains.

Interested in being a panelist?

Even if you aren’t an artist or eligible for the grant, you can help out the ACHC by becoming a panelist -- all while knowing your important decisions will help shape the local art scene. Panelists are needed not only for the PDA Grants, but for other programs throughout the year as well.

An outstanding candidate for a panelist will have knowledge and experience in the arts, culture, and nonprofit management as well as connections to the Tampa Bay community.

You can find more information and the fact sheet on their website.

Art Snax: Voices of Cuba Open Mic, and other art events on local menu

Storytelling can bring up embarrassing moments and times we wish we could forget. It can bring tears to our eyes, or make us laugh until we cry. Yet, one thing is for certain: spoken work has the power to evoke empathy and connect us to our human roots.
 
In coordination with their upcoming Under the Cuban Sun exhibition, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts will be hosting Voices of Cuba: Open Mic Night on Nov. 3 from 5-7 p.m. to experience Cuba through the authentic spoken word of those who have lived there, from poetry to music and everything in between.
 
Under the Cuban Sun is a group show of black-and-white photography exemplifying what makes Cuba Cuba from the 1930s to the present from both artists of Cuban heritage and those of an outsider perspective.
 
“There are several ways we came up with this event to become a productive support of the exhibition. We wanted the community to be heard and create a platform to exchange opinions. Also, we feel that Cuba is such a close neighbor to us and there are many similarities, so there is a natural connection. Photography is already a storytelling medium, so we wanted to create this concert of telling stories through images and community exchange,” says FMoPA Executive Director Zora Carrier.
 
Moderated by spoken-word artist Andresia “Real” Moseley, this event is free for members and $10 for non-members. “Under the Cuban Sun” will be open through Dec. 31.
 
“This event brings the focus back to the audience. Cuba is such a broad term and it can be so many things, so it’s about what Cuba means to people in our region,” Carrier says.
 
Check out other upcoming art-related events here
 
  • USF Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) raises “A Horror” by Jayson Musson this month as part of their year-long Pledges of Allegiance public art project in which they will hoist a different artist-made flag each month. In sync with Creative Time’s national public art initiative as a response to current political issues, this is the fifth flag raised in the series. Be on the look out for the next ones. 
  • With things lingering in the night around Halloween, Cass capitalizes on this holiday for their “Masked Intentions” exhibition on Oct. 27. A handful of the around two dozen artists include Anthony Lister, Missvan, Patricia Ariel and Tes One, with the show theme revolving around opaque interpretations and masked meanings.
  • Black light isn’t just for kids’ laser tag games anymore. “Illuminated” is Illsol’s Halloween-inspired party on Oct. 28, celebrating the holiday with black light art, musicians and competitions for best glowing costume.
  • Whittling down the artists in the recent “Skyway: A Contemporary Collaboration” exhibition across three institutions, the Tampa Museum of Art (TMA) will be presenting “Skyway Selections: Curators’ Choice” opening on Nov. 2, featuring the thick, textural paintings of Claudia Ryan and Rob Tarbell’s smoke drawings.
  • See the abstracted quilts of Coulter Fussell in her solo exhibition “Four Quilts” at Cunsthaus, through Nov. 11. If you can’t schedule an appointment to visit, you can get in on Nov. 3 during First Friday in the Heights.
  • Looking for a good locally made gift for the holidays? Temple Terrace Arts & Crafts Festival might be a good place to start, featuring 100 makers throughout Nov. 11-12. 
  • Ben Folds brings his “Paper Airplane Request” Tour to the Straz Center in Tampa on Nov. 11. As a king of piano tappin’ and musical improv (if you’re familiar with his Chatroulette work), feel free to toss your song requests at him in the form of a paper projectile.
  • If you’re a fan of horror and Monty Python, “The Curse of Frankenstein’s Castle” is the perfect play for you. Enacted by the Carrollwood Players, they bring a sketch comedic sensibility to this classic horror movie. You can find dates on the weekends from Oct. 27-Nov. 4.

What do you want for local transportation of the future? Workshops invite your participation

What do local residents want when it comes to transportation and transit? Are they happy with spending tax money to build more roads or do they want options for crossing land and sea?

Getting answers to those questions and helping shape a plan for traversing the Tampa Bay region in the future are at the heart of public meetings and workshops being planned with agencies such as the Florida Department of Transportation and the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART).

Read the complete story.
 

Which Florida city is highest among our nation's rising stars? Tampa!

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn takes a national editor on a tour of the city to showcase its growing reputation as a "magnet for millennials,'' the place where the young and the restless -- and smart people of all ages and abilities -- want to live, work, play and stay.

Tampa's evolving urban lifestyle comes with investment opportunities for the immediate and long-term future.

Read the complete story.


 

Free webinar offers tips on designing cities to enhance bicycle, pedestrian safety

A free lunchtime webinar on April 19th will address tips and advice for Enhancing Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety in Florida.

Sponsored by 1000 Friends of Florida and building on the issues highlighted in the recent report "Dangerous by Design," people can participate by following this link.

Zillow predicts 5 Tampa Bay Area neighborhoods to lead 2017 climb in home values

Home values in five Tampa Bay Area neighborhoods are expected to soar in value, according to the latest projects by real estate website Zillow.

Zillow says two of the hottest neighborhoods are in Tampa: Fair Oaks in South Tampa and Temple Crest in Central Tampa. The other three are in St. Petersburg: Westminster Heights, Oakwood Gardens and Lake Euclid.

Read the complete story.
 

It's a start! Hillsborough carves out $600M for transportation needs

After years of debate and indecision, the Hillsborough County Commission comes up with a way to designate $600 million in future revenue for transportation solutions, including fixing roads, bridges, intersections and sidewalks.

Still nothing for transit, as far as is being reported. It's a start in Florida's fastest-growing county but falls way short of what will be needed for the future.

Read the complete story.
 

Transportation fix for Hillsborough still up in the air

After voting down a proposal supported by Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill that would have increased the sales tax to support transportation improvements for the next 30 years, County Commissioners are going to reopen the discussion.

Among the new opportunities may be to collect a sales tax for less time, or to hone in on more specific transportation fixes.

Read the complete story.
 

CSX rail for sale, could speed up implementation of commuter rail in Tampa Bay Area

An offer by CSX to sell a couple of key tracks may create an opportunity for the Florida Department of Transportation and local Tampa Bay Area counties and cities to move forward on creating a commuter rail system.

The existing tracks could connect St. Petersburg, Clearwater, downtown Tampa and the University of South Florida, as well as smaller suburban communities in between. 

Read the complete story.


 

Fortune 500 companies considering moves to Tampa, Hillsborough County

Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. CEO Rick Homans says at least 5 Fortune 500 companies are seriously considering moving their headquarters to the Tampa Bay region.

The area is widely seen as ripe for investment following the synergy created by multibillion-dollar investments in expanding the airport, redesigning 45 acres around Port Tampa Bay and Tampa Bay Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik's plans to redo 40 acres around the Amalie Arena.

Read the complete story.

 

Hillsborough County revives idea of whole percent sales tax increase for transportation

Hillsborough County residents attending a series of meetings about the potential for transformational change in local transportation will get a chance to compare the effects of raising the local sales tax by half a cent on the dollar vs. a whole cent on the dollar.

Community leaders want to convey how much more can be done to alleviate travel, especially commuting, with twice as much money to spend on transportation infrastructure.

Read the complete story.
 

$500M helps turn Indianapolis into a more walkable city

As Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City consider whether to increase local sales taxes in support of transportation improvements, other cities are making decisions that move them faster and farther ahead in the race to become more walkable and more attractive as cool cities.

Next City takes a look at how an investment of $500 million made a huge difference, particularly in sidewalks, trails and bike paths. 

Read the complete story
 

Embracing light rail: What can Tampa-Hillsborough learn from Phoenix?

Not every city needs or wants light rail as part of the solution for transportation woes. But skeptical residents of Phoenix not only came around to supporting light rail, they agreed to pay for it and now are using it in droves. What a difference time and urban mindsets can make.

What can Tampa and Hillsborough County learn from the Phoenix experience?

Read the complete story.
 

Creation of Innovation District in north Tampa moves forward

Plans for the creation of an Innovation District that ties together the collective economic impact of key community partners in north Tampa surrounding the University of South Florida is moving toward reality with a cash infusion of $2 million from Hillsborough County.

Partners would include the cities of Tampa and Temple Terrace as well as local hospitals and top employers such as Busch Gardens.

Read the complete story.
 

Tampa, Hillsborough business leaders get behind sales tax increase for transportation

Business leaders in Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City are getting behind a proposed sales tax referendum that would support transportation needs with a half a cent sales tax increase added to every dollar spent.

The idea is to generate enough money to expand bus and rubber trolley services, fix local roads, and add bike lanes and sidewalks to meet demand of a growing population.

Read the complete story.
 
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