Our Town

City of Tampa, Florida (Arts & Cultural Affairs Department)

Tampa, Florida



The NEA grant will support public art installations at ENCORE!, a new mixed-use, mixed-income development along Tampa's Central Avenue. A community engagement process and national call for public art will attract renowned artists to create and install wall sculptures, murals, paving inlays, and a gateway entrance that celebrates the area's African American musical legacy. In the racially segregated 1930s and '40s, Central Avenue was a dynamic and vibrant African American neighborhood with a patronage of musical giants such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, and Cab Calloway, until urban renewal made way for a public housing complex which was subsequently torn down in 2008.

City of Tampa Art Programs Division, Public Art Alliance, and Tampa Housing Authority will seize the opportunity of redevelopment to embed public art that reflects the African American musical heritage. The project will serve neighborhood residents, many of whom are in poverty or have extremely low incomes, and 95 percent are African American.