Words matter: City of Tampa issues call for creative wordsmiths

While many may think of public art only in terms of murals, sculptures, and performances, the City of Tampa’s Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs wants to highlight the art of words.

The City's latest call for artists seeks wordsmiths or anyone who can finely craft words into unique syntax.

One of the main goals of this commission is for artists to expose locals to other forms of art and culture by engaging the community in various word-centric activities, from writing seminars to creating unique signs around the Tampa Bay area. Depending on the scope of the wordsmith’s project proposal, the textual artist will be contracted for a period of 18-24 months with an honorarium ranging between $5,000-$10,000.
“The intent behind this project is that all art forms are of value, including the written word. This project is a great way to reach all age groups and can even target those who aren’t necessarily native English speakers,” says Robin Nigh, Manager of the City of Tampa’s Arts and Cultural Affairs. “Ideal candidates will be open and inspiring. Their projects should be fun, challenging, and joyful for the community.”
Other responsibilities of the selected wordsmith include finding creative ways to honor Tampa’s cultural heritage, engaging a variety of platforms (including social media) for their project, and coming up with fresh ways to create participatory events revolving around words.

Designed to encourage all kinds of words, the call is open to poets, songwriters, scriptwriters, creative writers, novelists, journalists, or any other kind of writer.
This call for wordsmiths is part of Mayor Jane Castor’s Art on the Block Program, which is a commitment to bring art and artists into every neighborhood while encouraging community building. Anticipated artwork for this umbrella project will include anything from murals to mosaics, sculpture, and even creative placemaking projects.
The deadline to enter is December 20th. Further information, eligibility, other submission requirements, and the submission form can be found on the City of Tampa’s website. To read more, visit Mayor Castor’s Art on the Block Program.

Read more articles by Caitlin Albritton.

Caitlin Albritton is a freelance writer based in Tampa with a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design and a MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art. When she's not looking at art throughout town, she can be found making it. You can keep up with her visual art on Instagram @caitlinalbritton or on her website. Visit her recent line of inlay “wearable paintings.”
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