Tampa Downtown Partnership launches neighborhood enhancement grant program

The Tampa Downtown Partnership has a new neighborhood enhancement grant program to fund community-driven projects in the seven downtown neighborhoods.

The program offers reimbursement grants of up to $5,000 per neighborhood for placemaking projects that build neighborhood identity and are free, accessible and community-oriented. Public art installations, outdoor recreation spaces, educational workshops, community gardens and cultural events are some examples.

The new neighborhood-focused funding program replaces the Activate Downtown micro-grant, which offered up to $2,500 in funding for programs and events that enhanced downtown through the arts or working for social good.

“We reformatted that grant and made it more neighborhood-specific because one of the big initiatives for the partnership at this time is taking the focus from promoting and enhancing downtown as a whole to putting the seven neighborhoods that make up downtown front and center,” says Rachel Radawec, the partnership’s director of public space operations and programming. 

The shift to treating downtown as a series of neighborhoods that each have their own unique personality included a series of “What’s Pop-In?” events that traveled downtown in June to gather feedback on what people love about their neighborhoods and the events and amenities they want to see in them. The Tampa Downtown Partnership has also launched neighborhood events - a backyard market in the downtown core, a date night in the Channel District, the quarterly “Rhythm and Hues” pop-up alleyway art show in Tampa Heights- that highlight the unique character of each neighborhood.  

The neighborhood enhancement grant program is accepting applications through January 15th. Anyone with an idea may apply. There is no requirement to be a community organization or registered nonprofit or to work or live in the neighborhood where a project is proposed. One key requirement, Radawec says, is to show community involvement in the planning and implementation of any project.

“If you have an idea that you think is going to enhance a downtown neighborhood, please reach out to us,” Radawec says “You don’t have to live or work there, you might just visit there and think of something people will enjoy that will add to the fabric of that neighborhood. “There’s no idea too big or too small. If you have questions, I’m happy to talk through projects with anyone who is interested. We want to make this about the community. We want to start shaping projects that are for the community by the community.”

The grant program is for Tampa Heights, Channel District, Water Street Tampa, West River, Rivers Arts District, Central Park and the downtown core.

For more information, go to Downtown Tampa Neighborhood Enhancement Grant.
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Chris Curry has been a writer for the 83 Degrees Media team since 2017. Chris also served as the development editor for a time before assuming the role of managing editor in May 2022. Chris lives in Clearwater. His professional career includes more than 15 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily in Ocala and Gainesville, before moving back home to the Tampa Bay Area. He enjoys the local music scene, the warm winters and Tampa Bay's abundance of outdoor festivals and events. When he's not working or spending time with family, he can frequently be found hoofing the trails at one of Pinellas County's nature parks.