The Tampa Museum of Art: A Cultural Icon & Catalyst for Community Building

TMA logorvse

Most long-time Tampa Bay residents will agree on one fact: Tampa Bay has been an under-recognized and under-served market for a long time and we’re just now exiting this slump. With about 3 million residents, a diverse population, and a staggering growth rate, Tampa Bay harbors plenty of demand for culture, community, and other benefits offered in most mid to large sized cities. Finally, the supply is rising to meet the demand. Plenty of initiatives are underway to make this happen and The Tampa Museum of Art is definitely doing its part to contribute.

David Hurst

David Hurst

“Any museum can be a building full of art, but we’re giving back to
the community and engaging individuals and local organizations to strengthen that sense of community. This benefits the Tampa Bay region at large, but also compliments our marketing strategy.” says David Hurst, the Museum’s Development Officer of Corporate and Foundation Relations. The Museum offers a wide variety of programs and there seems to be something for everyone. Hurst explained, “The best thing about it is that you don’t have to be an art enthusiast to enjoy our programs. The activities and opportunities we offer involve so much more than just looking at art.” The descriptions below will prove this.


For Organizations & Professionals

The Museum offers corporate and business memberships. At some levels, these memberships offer the Museum as a space for organizations to host events, offer free museum passes, and other benefits to corporate event guests. “The hope here is to create long-lasting relationships with businesses in the Bay Area. We’re passionate about providing a one-of-a-kind experience for corporate management, employees and events. The Museum is a community and business asset that is here to be utilized. By offering meeting and corporate gallery access benefits, we’re hoping their employees and guests will independently visit the Museum with a curiosity to see the next exhibition or program.”

Art on the House, offers museum tickets on a pay what you will basis on Fridays from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Professionals are encouraged to enjoy the Museum’s exhibits after work and eat gourmet food while enjoying a view of the water at the Museum’s Sono Café. The after-work crowd can also enjoy Monday evening meditation classes for only $10. The Museum also hosts a wide variety of programs focused on using art and art education to giving back to the community.


New Partnership with AMA Tampa Bay

Hurst described the programs above with such enthusiasm that his passion for his work was evident. When I asked Hurst what excites him most about the Museum’s new involvement with AMA Tampa Bay, he eagerly answered, “I’m glad that the Museum is gaining real visibility among people who know marketing. We’ll make sure we deliver them a fabulous experience at the Museum and, as marketers, they will hopefully spread the word effectively.”



The programs described above are impressive and growing in number. That doesn’t mean that running the Museum is a challenge-free endeavor. Hurst admits, “While we use a variety of marketing and media sources, it takes time and manpower to reach out into the community and make direct contact with organizations that can spread the word of Museum programs to their constituencies.” Although Hurst’s job title says that his focus is on corporate and foundation relations, but he sees his role as much broader than this. Hurst explained, “I see my job as more than working with our corporate partners; it’s about connecting with Tampa Bay and making the Museum a place that excites both visitors and locals. Part of that is securing funding for the programs mentioned above. So far, I’ve been delighted at the showing of support from our current partners and those with whom we’re only now having the opportunity to engage.”

As professionals living in the Bay Area, what can we do to help promote the Museum? Hurst answered, “We are just scratching the surface of corporate sponsors who have large and small operations in the area. We hope that Bay Area professionals tell their companies to consider the Museum as a place to host corporate events. We also hope they will show their community support through an exhibition, program, or event sponsorship.” Hurst emphasized, “Businesses that do decide to support the Museum will contribute to the funding the Museum needs to enable it to grow as a vital part of Downtown Tampa and the greater Tampa Bay community.”


Support Tampa Bay by Supporting the Museum

We all want to improve our community. We want to make it a more interesting place to live (for personal benefit) and to make it a more attractive place to move (to grow the local economy and job market). What better way to do this than to support local businesses that provide Tampa Bay with a sense of culture and community? The Tampa Museum of Art, other museums, and the Straz Center provide the groundwork for Bay Area to build a thriving visual and performing arts community. AMA Tampa Bay is proud to help keep that alive by partnering with and supporting the Tampa Museum. We’re also excited to have such an interesting venue to host events. Why learn and network while surrounded by blank walls when you can do so while surrounded by priceless art, a gorgeous view, and gourmet food?

About the Author

Chiara Tedone


Chiara is Digital Content Creator and Blog Manager for AMA Tampa Bay. She is Co-founder and Director of Winning the Fight, a non-profit organization specializing in neurodegenerative disease research. Chiara is also a freelance digital marketer for small businesses and is finishing up her MBA with a specialty in marketing from the University of South Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Chiara lived in Washington, DC. She earned her BA in International Studies from American University’s School of International Services in 2007 and worked for Booz Allen Hamilton and the Department of Defense thereafter. Her hobbies include obstacle racing, running, swimming, kayaking, SCUBA diving, and opera/classical singing. She also loves country music and chocolate!

Contact Chiara

Email: Chiara at [email protected]

Social Media: LinkedIn