Mayor Pam Iorio’s talk plan to make Tampa a center for the arts added a new facet today, as she announced a program to bring massive light-art exhibitions to downtown Tampa.

MUSIC When mayor Iorio spoke at the Tampa chamber of comm

erce’s annual luncheon, she asked for assistance making the city a 24 hour, internationally known center for the arts. She spoke after awarding the 2004 cultural contributor award to Dr Kiran and Palavi Patel, who were honored for their service the local and international arts community. The Patels, started the India cultural center of Tampa, began the Indian cultural festival at USF, have put together street theatre productions in India to educate the public about AIDS, and will soon be opening the Dr. Patel performing arts conservatory at the Tampa bay performing arts center. The conservatory, which will feature performances and classes, will be the first new building constructed in Tampa’s new downtown arts district. The mayor also presented a new award, the Mayors artist award, to area photographer Bud Lee, before she moved on to why the arts are important.

ACT "One of our goals is to make Tampa a city of the arts, sometimes I’m questioned about that. why cant it just be.....when you go to other places without art, there’s something missing..."

The mayor has been instrumental in the creation of the artist’s enclave, a planned development of several loft homes, which will be priced affordably for artists to live in. She has also appointed a 12 member council to focus on adding jobs and opportunities in the film and video arts, commercial arts, and fine arts and entertainment.

ACT 'I like sports, I discuss it with son, but what about the young person who sports is not their bag...what about?....I want these young people to say I’m going to call Tampa home"

And the mayor announced the creation of a new program called lights on Tampa, which will bring giant light art installation to the walls of buildings in downtown Tampa.

ACT 'Lights on Tampa will light up our downtown..."

Invitations will be sent out to artists all over the world to submit ideas for light art, the first piece has been commissioned already for 100,000 according to Wendy Ceccherelli the citys director of arts and cultural affairs.

ACT "There will be a light based art work at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center...the rest will be the fall of 2005...ARE THESE GONNA BE FLASHING?...all of these, this one is in Seattle...interactive, movement motion activated. artists that work with light...VERIZON(Tampa is an empty canvass..

???is spokesman for Verizon the major corporate sponsor of the lights on Tampa program.

ACT ..were after cutting edge. Tampa has to come up with something different, we need people with pink hair in coffee houses.

Artists who were at the chamber meeting said they were hopeful the mayor’s initiatives around bringing art to Tampa will work, and they think its necessary for Tampa to redefine itself as it grows. But David Audet, director of the festival of the moving image, and owner of several galleries, said the government can’t be counted on for spurring creativity.

ACT well I’ve been here since 1969, if I ever worried, I never would have been an was never interested, I never made money, and if I ever worried about that I. if the business community wants to buy they see it as good for the arts that’s fine, but I don’t think they do..I think artists.

Michael Murphy is the owner of Michael Murphy gallery ACT

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