Tampa actor Ami Sallee Corley asks: Why do we stay?

  • I stay because this community made a home for me.  I feel it my responsibility as a resident artist to contribute to the potential for us to be a thriving, sustainable arts community .

I recently had the pleasure of taking on a fantastic character in Six Degrees of Separation in addition to working side-by-side with two of my college mentors and one of my students, creating what we had taught each other to create.  Understanding why I stay was never so clear.

I'm sure you've got some great reasons, too.  Why do you stay?

[Editor's Note: Ami Sallee Corley is an actor, a teacher and now a blogger for CL. (That's Ami in the photo at left with Drew DeCaro, Bechir Sylvain and Petrus

Antonius, fellow members of the cast of Gorilla Theatre's recent Six Degrees of Separation.) I'm pleased to have her join the conversation, which she begins with a particularly cogent question for area artists.]

In a city where an artist's choice is to   survive on crumbs or leave, why would anyone want to stay and starve as an artist in Tampa?

I believe there are some pretty fantastic reasons out there.

If we are to build a thriving, sustainable arts and culture scene here in Tampa, we should at first focus on what makes it tempting to stay.  Here goes.

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