Arts & Economic Impact 6 Study (AEP 6) – city of Tampa

10 Reasons to Support the Arts in Florida in 2023

Hillsborough County AEP 5

The numbers are in- the arts make a significant impact on Tampa’s economy! 

2022 Arts Study Highlights Millions of Dollars of Local Arts-Related Spending: Economic impact to the city of Tampa tops $380 million. See the report






September 5, 2023

Our community has a thriving arts scene that is gaining momentum and recognition as a valued industry. Community members are increasingly demanding the social benefits and economic stimulation that only creative communities offer. With this increase in visibility and growth comes the responsibility for us to share our stories and advocate for ourselves. Our elected officials are faced with the need to address and solve many complex issues and we appreciate their steady support of the arts as a vital part of infrastructure. 

In the past, many may have viewed the arts as a perk; something nice to have after the business of life is handled. Several leaders have challenged this assumption by investing in cultural programs, artists, and grassroots arts organizations. Organizations and individuals who have received this support have spun gold from that investment, offering consistently high ROI as measured by granting processes and economic data reports

The public sector’s commitment to the arts has successfully raised Tampa’s profile as a great place to live and a cultural destination. 

Local and regional arts leaders are coordinating long-term advocacy efforts. All who value the arts are encouraged to take moment to clarify your message of support.

Here are three advocacy communication tips:

1) Express Appreciation: when communicating with Elected Officials, be sure to express appreciation for their support of arts and culture in the past and present and encourage them to continue supporting arts and culture in the future. 

2) Share Personal Experience: craft a short, personalized communication on why the arts are a vital aspect of our community’s infrastructure.

3) Highlight the arts as an economic engine: demonstrate the positive ripple effect of arts funding in the community.

If you would like to express your support for continued arts funding from Hillsborough County, email all the Commissioners by clicking here.


August 22, 2023 – Call for Advocacy to maintain County Arts & Culture Funding

Artists and Arts Supporters of Tampa, 

In the Aug 16th Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners meeting an item was proposed to evaluate the spending of the Arts Council & Cultural Assets Program and what impediments there would be to reallocating spending.  Removing these grants would impact cultural institution program funding and disrupt seed funding artists and small organizations have come to depend on. Grant money awarded is carefully vetted to ensure benefit to the community.

A group of arts Executive Directors convened immediately to work on a plan of person-to-person advocacy at a high level . Additionally, regional arts executives are voicing support for continued funding that ultimately impacts vitality of the region.  

If you would like to voice your support now, we suggest you email all the Commissioners by clicking here. Send a short, personalized email that speaks to the arts as an economic engine for our community and why you think the arts are important.

The arts are a significant economic driver for the county and we hope the Board of County Commissioners will continue funding support. 


February 17, 2023- Tampa City Council Candidate Forum
Tampa Tiger Bay Club is hosted a second political forum focusing on the 2023 Tampa City Council Races, this time Tiger Bay shines the spotlight on candidates from Districts 4, 5, and 6. Featured candidates include Bill Carlson and Blake Casper from District 4, Orlando Gudes and Gwendolyn Henderson from District 5, and Tyler Barret, Rick Fifer, Charlie Miranda, Nicole Payne, and Hoyt Prindle.

Alliance Executive Director Michele Smith asked this question:

What specifically will you do to enhance the city support of arts and why?  

Watch the Candidates Responses: Candidates answer at minute 23:31 – 31:45 


August 19, 2022- Hillsborough County Commission Candidate Forum

Tampa Tiger Bay Club is hosted August 19: County Commission Candidate Forum Featuring:
District 1 – Harry Cohen, Scott Levinson
District 2 – Angela Birdsong
District 4 – Noelle Licor
District 5 – Donna Lynn Cameron-Cepeda, Mariella Smith
District 7 – Chase Harrison, Kimberly Overman, Joshua Wostal
All candidates from Districts 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7 were invited to participate.

Alliance Chair Neil Gobioff posed this question: In regards to County support of the arts, what good things has the county done and where are there opportunities to improve. 

Watch the Candidates Responses: Candidates answer at minute 47:57


August 3, 2022- Arts Education Discussion at Tampa Museum of Art

Arts & Music education in our schools matters. We appreciate all who came out to participate in this informative and meaningful discussion.
Let’s keep the conversation going. More info here

Wednesday, August 3rd at the Tampa Museum of Art we held a discussion about arts education in our schools. We were be joined by Superintendent of Schools for Hillsborough County Public Schools, Addison Davis. The Superintendent answered questions about the state of our schools in general, how to insure equity in opportunities across the county, how the half penny tax is being spent, how will “Strong Schools, Stronger Hillsborough” millage referendum money be used if it passes, what happens to arts education if the referendum doesn’t pass, advocacy at a state level and more. 

Additionally, we heard from local program leaders focused on supporting art and music education in our schools. Tad Denham Gasparilla Music Festival’s Recycled Tunes program, and Celeste Davis of  Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & Arts on our  collaboration to bring more awareness to Arts for a Complete Education (ACE).

Thank you to Tampa Museum of Art for hosting and providing the perfect environment for the evening. 


July 15, 2022- Florida Legislative Candidate Forum

On July 15th Tampa Tiger Bay Club invited all  Legislative Candidates to a special panel to discuss their platforms, the issues important to them, and answer the burning questions of Tiger Bay Club Members. Attending candidates were Jay Collins of District 14, Wendy “Newt” Newton, Jesse Phillipe, and Michele Rayner of District 62, Jake Hoffman and Michael Minardi of District 65, and Andrew Learned of District 69.

Alliance Executive Director Michele Smith asked this question:

Americans for the Arts-Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 report showed that Florida’s non-profit arts organizations create over a billion dollars in economic impact on the state. If you include their audiences, there is over 3 billion dollars in impact. *

The Florida Division of Arts and Culture this year granted more than double what was given last year (Which is great!) However each year the total number can fluctuate wildly. Since 2018, the amount of money granted statewide has been as low as $2,650,000 (out of $54m requested) in 2018 or as high as $59,087,825 (out of $69m requested) this year. How do you propose to offer some stability to art organizations who rely on this state’s support each year?

Watch the Candidates Responses: 
Candidates answer at minute 18:43 and minute 43:17