The 10/100/1000 Challenge from Creative Loafing and Creative Tampa Bay asked readers to submit their proposals to make Tampa Bay a better place to live. We received more than 80 entries, and the judges selected the following finalists (including one, The Roosevelt 2.0, that won an automatic spot in the Top 10 as the winner of the readers' vote). To find out which of these finalists won the $1,000 Grand Prize from Creative Tampa Bay, go here.
"...an innovative way to both employ people with disabilities and build a collector's base for their gorgeous designs, ARTWORKS is the retail initiative at Creative Clay's gallery where designs drawn/painted by member artists are then licensed and printed on greeting cards, T-shirts and stainless steel water bottles..."
Creative Clay, already acclaimed for its programs in support of people with disabilities, established a storefront presence in St. Pete with ARTWORKS, providing jobs and a wider audience for its member artists. At a time when services for the disabled are threatened by state budget cuts, ARTWORKS is more important than ever. "Our Governor has really walloped us in the stomach," says Creative Clay Executive Director Grace-Anne Alfiero. "This is our way of keeping our dream alive."
The Cuban Sandwich Show
"...planned for the entire month of June in Tampa as an annual arts celebration with 'Tampa and/or Cuban sandwiches' the subject of ALL the art, in ALL mediums... [in] destinations across the city..."
David Audet's Cuban Sandwich Show has a long pedigree, beginning 20 years ago as an exhibition in a Seminole Heights gallery. But this year the ever-ambitious Audet and his Artists and Writers Group are expanding the show bigtime — inviting participation by a wide-ranging, eclectic group of venues, from King Corona to the MacDonald Training Center to WMNF Studios (where there's an art show proposed for the men's room — really). "It's all about Tampa," says Audet. "I want this project to help everybody become a community in some way."
The Giving Patch: Organic Community Gardens for Families in Need
"The food provided by these gardens would provide healthy, organic produce for participating families and assistance to other food pantries in our community that are already overburdened with need..."
Taking their cue from the community garden movement, Tammy Harman-Siebel and Amy Huebschman came up with the idea for The Giving Patch, gardens whose plots and produce would be reserved for families in need. Their proposal suggested they would make particularly apt (and witty) use of the award: "The $1,000 prize money will be the 'seed' money that will allow us to secure our non-profit status (making us eligible to seek grant money to sustain the project), buy organic seeds and other start up supplies."
Hoola for Happiness
"Please help us spread joy locally and to the world by starting a SOCIAL MOVEMENT!"
Having leveraged hoop dancing into a thriving business with classes, performances and specialty products, Hoola Monsters is giving back through its charitable arm, Hoola for Happiness. H4H's ebullient Carissa Caricato (whose full-time gig is marketing & communications director at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay) has already taken hoops to Haiti and plans a trip to Uganda this summer. But for its 10/100/1000 proposal, H4H emphasized local initiatives, including community hoop jams, workshops in at-risk neighborhoods and hoop donations to recreation centers. "It's really cool to do more work in underserved areas," says Caricato, "mostly in getting them to play and move and laugh, that space where they can be kids again."
A NICER Tampa Bay
"'Pay It Forward' gave us the idea. What if young people had specially printed bracelets that said 'I help create a NICER Tampa Bay' and they gave the bracelet to someone who just naturally did something nice for them?"
The teenagers in the Community Advisor Program at Town 'n' Country's Florida Institute for Community Studies are engaged, helpful young citizens, but they don't get much credit for it, says FICS founder Alayne Unterberger. "When people do something positive they often don't get recognition," she observes. "Yet if they do anything not positive, immediately they're labeled or in the paper." To counter that trend, A NICER Tampa Bay would spread the word via bracelets and Facebook photos showing that young people are capable of constructive action, and willing and able to pay it forward.
Readers' Choice Winner: The Roosevelt 2.0
"... a collaborative space designed to facilitate the very goals of this competition — celebrate the creative arts, foster ongoing education, and incubate innovative solutions to social challenges through entrepreneurship."
Ybor's ongoing experiment in urban sustainability won the most reader votes in the 10/100/1000 competition, automatically scoring the project a spot among the finalists. But this always-interesting endeavor is commendable in its own right, serving as a multi-purpose space for arts collaborations, green architecture projects and multiple marketing and communications platforms on its website, creativityincommerce.com. Teddy would be proud.
Scrapping for the Arts
"...an alternate fund raising structure for emerging exhibition spaces and cultural institutions [through] the recycling of metal commodities..."
Experimental Skeleton's Joe Griffith knows from experience how difficult it is to raise money for grassroots arts groups. So his Scrapping for the Arts project endeavors to tap into a common practice — selling discarded metal to scrap buyers — through an innovative program in which arts organizations identify businesses willing to discard the metal, and SFA handles pick-up, sorting and payments to the beneficiaries. Seminole Heights gallery Tempus Projects is one of the initial participants in the program; according to Griffith, Tempus Creative Director Tracy Midulla Reller paid off three months' rent in a row with her SFA proceeds. Griffith hopes that spreading the word through both the business and arts communities will help SFA grow even more.
Sweetwater/Children's Home Farm
"This farm will allow Sweetwater to continue to grow its services to the community... while providing fresh organic food to the Children's Home dining hall [and] educational opportunities for the resident children."
Sweetwater Organic Community Farm already enlightens thousands of Bay area schoolchildren each year, teaching them through visits to the farm "that their food is grown by people and grows in the ground," says Sweetwater Executive Director Rick Martinez. The partnership with The Children's Home (which has long received food donations from Sweetwater) offers the Home's residents a chance to get that education right in their own backyard. Martinez says the project has already received $40,000 in monetary and in-kind donations, and expects the farm to be in full operation by the fall. "The kids are excited," he says, "and the farmers are excited."
“Install simple swings in moderate traffic areas with trees and parks…”
At first, Reuben Pressman’s proposal seemed too simple — but as we found out more about it, we saw its simplicity as a virtue, and its sense of play as a potentially powerful social tool. He’s already tried it, for one thing, with a couple of guerrilla swing installations in St. Pete parks. And the reactions he saw — people flocking to the swings, strangers talking to one another — convinced him it could satisfy a goal of 10/100/1000 as he saw it, to bring the community together. Though $1,000 could buy a lot of $10 two-by-four-and-rope combinations, he envisions the program spreading wider, perhaps with city sanctions, and hopes the attention from 10/100/1000 will help him achieve that goal.
"I re-photograph historical photos that show a building that still exists... and then superimpose the two on top of each other, [allowing] people to see how much the original scene has stayed the same and how much has changed."
Bryan Weinstein, a civil engineer with a passion for history and a talent for photography, has translated his interests into a fascinating Web project, TampaChanging.com, that vividly shows how our urban landscape has evolved over the years. But he doesn't want this just to be about his own photographs; he's hoping to inspire a citywide collaboration, and invites anyone interested to contact him about researching and rephotographing local properties on their own. "It's important because you need to have people be more aware of the history," he says. "If they're not aware of it, we're gong to lose it."