Equality Florida, the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, raised over $23,000 at its recent Tampa Gala’s live auction to fund the art piece designed and completed by Mize.
A St. Petersburg resident, Mize bases his art in playful doodles and colorful patterns. His artwork can be found all around Tampa Bay, including Fairgrounds St. Pete, Gangchu Chicken & Beer, private residences and more. He has a mural just two miles north of Shuffle at Independent Bar & Cafe.
“Recent pushback at the state level continues to underscore why visibility is so important for our community,” Equality Florida Regional Development Officer Nick Machuca said. “We are proud to partner on this mural to celebrate the progress we’ve made in Tampa Bay and highlight the important work ahead.”
The mural came to fruition as Florida’s LGBTQ community suffered unprecedented attacks, like the Transgender Youth Sports ban, the removal of funding for LGBTQ programs from the state budget and the censorship of LGBTQ anti-bullying resources.
Tampa’s municipality, alongside Orlando, St. Petersburg, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Oakland Park, Tallahassee, Wellington, West Palm Beach and Wilton Manors, have led the way of applying inclusive policies and has received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, which examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies and services are for LGBTQ people.
The reveal ceremony is set for Friday, Jan. 28 at 10:30 a.m. at Shuffle, located at 2612 N Tampa St. Mayor Jane Castor, Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith and local LGBTQ leaders will headline the ceremony.
The ceremony will be followed by an after party at 7 p.m., with live entertainment, art, shuffleboard and more. Half of the night's proceeds will be donated to Equality Florida.