Art on the Block is an initiative by Mayor Jane Castor that is envisioned to bring art and artists into the neighborhoods.
The intent of this program is to make art accessible to all, encourage engagement and participation in improvements that come to one’s own neighborhood
The Art on the Block is a public private partnership. Projects are usually grassroots in nature, not typically high-budget, but frequently bring high impact results. In addition to working with the private sector, the program works across multiple city departments including the Arts & Cultural Affairs Division, Neighborhood Empowerment, Mobility, the Departments of Parks & Recreation and all Community Redevelopment Areas.
Artwork produced through Art on the Block is wide ranging and includes multiple art forms ranging from poetry and murals to mosaics, sculpture, and other placemaking improvements. Some artwork may be temporary, environmental in nature, or carry a message of social impact, while other artwork may be permanent
Art builds communities and for all Art on the Block projects, community engagement is essential. This program looks to strengthen citizenry by opening communication, creating better neighbors, building future art patrons and fostering visual literacy.
- This October, artist Ya La' Ford will be working with the youth who attend the RICH House at Robles Park to design a mural on the building.
- Mayor Castor recently appointed local writer, Gianna Russo as the City's Wordsmith. Ms. Russo will be working with communities through workshops and projects in various neighborhoods throughout the City, as well as leading city-
wide participation like to recent “Haiku from Home” project. This fall, Ms. Russo, will be working with the public on writing poetry to be embedded into sidewalks. Russo has also recently published a poem on voting.
Current Project: Mayor Castor's Crosswalks 2 Classrooms
- Artist Jay Giroux, of the Read Movement is currently painting a series of crosswalk murals at various schools that feature designs from popular children's books. Book titles are selected by each school. This project was funded in part by Jacobs. Schools include: Shaw, Edison, Forest Hills, Roosevelt, Broward and Mabry Elementary
image courtesy artist
Art on the Block Mural Day - Saturday, June 27, 2020
The City of Tampa commissioned local artists to paint five intersections throughout the City, with the intent of unity and inclusiveness. To date, more than a dozen street murals have been painted in the City of Tampa.
The City of Tampa is partnered with several local organizations to support this endeavor:
1. Downtown Black Lives Matter, East Cass Street & North Jefferson Street – Lead Artist: Illsol x The New Roots Collective managed by Reece Fernando Moore and Melvin Halsey, Jr. / Co-sponsored by the Tampa Downtown Partnership and Greenman-Pedersen, supported by volunteers from the Children’s Board and the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization
Participating artists include:
Melvin Halsey Jr.
Ron S. Dot
Reece Fernando Moore
2. Tampa Heights, North Franklin Street & West Henderson Avenue – Artist: Cam Parker / Co-sponsored by the Tampa Downtown Partnership and Tampa LGBT Chamber
3. West Tampa, Habana Avenue & West Tampa Bay Boulevard – Artist: Cecilia Lueza / Sponsored by the City of Tampa, Volunteers provided by the Our Aim Foundation
4. Westshore, West Laurel Street & North Grady Avenue – Artist: Anthony Freese / Sponsored by the Westshore Alliance
5. East Tampa, East 21st Avenue & North 15th Street – Artist: James Vann / Sponsored by the East Tampa CRA
The inaugural project for Art on the Block was a mural at Al Barnes Park, commissioned October 2019. This mural, painted by Tampa artists Tony and Junior Moore, is a tribute to Mr. Barnes, who was a beloved educator, mentor, coach and family man. VIDEO
The Art on the Block program works in partnership with the private sector and across multiple city departments including the Art Programs Division, Neighborhood Empowerment, the Departments of Parks & Recreation and Transportation and all Community Redevelopment Areas. Artwork produced through Art on the Block will include multiple art forms such as murals, mosaics, sculpture, placemaking improvements and other mixed media. Some artwork may be temporary, environmental in nature, or carry a message of social impact.
In bringing art to the neighborhoods, “by & with” the community and not in “service to”, this program looks to strengthen citizenry by opening communication, creating better neighbors, building future art patrons and fostering visual literacy, reducing prejudices through dialogue and opening minds and telling the stories of the neighborhood to keep their histories alive. The Initial goal is to complete two to three projects the first year; these will most likely city properties. A process is in development to work with private properties / businesses.