The City of Tampa recognizes the power and value of self-expression and acknowledges that the written word expressed through poetry, creative writing and verse can be a platform to engage and empower Tampa’s citizens and neighborhoods. For this reason, under Mayor Jane Castor, the City of Tampa’s Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs seeks to commission a Wordsmith to lead citizens and visitors in the joy, challenges and rewards of creative expression through the written word.
This project is part of Mayor Castor’s Art on the Block Program and is informed by the notion that a creative and diverse discourse is fundamental to our city’s strength. A Wordsmith will be commissioned and contracted by the city for approximately two years. The objective of this project is to bring creative expression through words into the daily lives of Tampa residents and visitors and to offer a platform for interdisciplinary arts and cross-sector pollination and partnerships. Engagement with Tampa neighborhoods and communities is required. This may be realized through a variety of activities. Examples may include, but are not limited to suggesting writing prompts via social media, initiating a neighborhood to neighborhood postcard writing program, or working with city and local businesses to integrate text into marquees or other temporary signage opportunities, etc. Some texts from the selected Wordsmith and results from community engagement may be curated and incorporated into city infrastructure projects such as sidewalks or park improvements.