LIMELIGHT speakers series at Tampa Theatre

Tampa Theatre is postponing Dr. Mae Jemison’s event on March 24 and is cancelling or postponing all other Tampa Theatre events through March 30 due to rising concerns about public gatherings and the spread of COVID-19. Check the Theatre's Facebook page for more information.

As a new decade starts with fresh possibilities for everyone, prepare to be inspired and rejuvenated with LIMELIGHT, a community-sponsored speaker series to be held at Tampa Theatre that aims to reach a wide audience of diverse and influential thought leaders in 2020.

This year, speakers include:
  • Shaun White, Olympic Gold Medalist and Entrepreneur  (Thursday, March 5);
  • Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color in Space among many other achievements (Tuesday, March 24);
  • Geena Davis,  Academy Award-winning actor and Founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (Thursday, April 23); and 
  • Jonathan Haidt, Professor of Ethical Leadership, New York University’s Stern School of Business and author of the New York Times Bestseller “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion” (Tuesday, May 5).
“We’ve been toying with this idea for several years as we’ve seen how many well-established communities have speaker series. We felt like it was an opportunity to fill a community need by bringing many voices to our historic stage. We launched LIMELIGHT last year and are going again strong this year,” says John Bell, President and CEO of Tampa Theatre.
Tickets for the LIMELIGHT series are currently sold as a four-event bundle subscription between $165 - $225. As a perk for those who purchase before Feb. 10, early subscribers will also get a complimentary ticket to WEDU's An Evening with Rick Steves at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10. If there are still tickets available after Feb. 10, individual tickets will be sold for each event. 

“The message from each speaker will be different, but one of the common factors is that we want the message to be inspirational and positive,’’ Bell says. “Part of the process of selecting speakers was ensuring that can deliver an encouraging event, where people can walk away with a spring in their step.’’

Davis will likely be speaking about women in film and improving the plight of women in film. White will be talking about his snowboarding experiences, and since skateboarding will debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Toyko, he may talk about how he’s looking to be a part of that team. Even if Jemison hadn’t gone into space, she’s considered remarkably smart and brilliant, and always has words of encouragement for everyone. Haidt is respected as one of the best minds for what’s going on in the minds of young people.

“It’s their stage, it’s their moment, and we’re bringing them here because of what they have to say,” Bell says.

The LIMELIGHT series is presented by the Vinik Family Foundation. Support for the series is provided by the Triad Foundation; Sabal Trust; Film Tampa Bay; Visit Tampa Bay; the DeBartolo Family Foundation; Harris, Hunt & Derr, P.A.; and Oxford Exchange. Media consideration is provided by 83 Degrees Media; the Tampa Bay Business Journal; Tampa Bay METRO magazine; and WEDU-PBS.

For more information, follow this link: Tampa Theatre LIMELIGHT series.

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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