Every fall, the Tampa Bay Times marketing department produces a celebration of the literary arts known as the Times Festival of Reading. This one day event draws thousands of book lovers, as well as famous authors from across the country who come to discuss their work, meet fans and sell books.
“Like an orchestra or museum or concert hall, a fine newspaper is a creative enterprise and a community asset. Through fat times and lean, we have tried to nourish the creative arts because they help make our community more vibrant. Our investments have paid dividends for the Tampa Bay region, and therefore for our enterprise,” says Paul Tash, Chairman and CEO of the Tampa Bay Times.
The Tampa Bay Times believes the arts help fuel the economy and creativity, and that fostering and supporting the arts is crucial to the health of the community. By increasing awareness, creating discussion, providing economic support and driving audience, the Tampa Bay Times continues to help the area’s vibrant arts community.
Since 2005, the Times has given more than $865,000 in cash and approximately $1 million of in-kind support through print and web advertising to dozens of arts organization throughout Tampa Bay. In 2011, the Times gave more than $62,000 to the arts in Tampa Bay and provided more than $100,000 in discounts on advertising and in-kind space.
Acting as an arts leader in the community, the Times makes its senior leaders available to serve on the boards of nonprofit arts groups. Times staffers have served on the boards of Ruth Eckerd Hall, the Dali Museum, and the Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & the Arts (TBBCA).
Through its support of the TBBCA, the Times has helped fund scholarships for local high school students to pursue a secondary education in the arts. Over the past four years, more than $60,000 in scholarships has been awarded.
For more than 20 years, the Tampa Bay Times has supported dozens of diverse arts and cultural organizations throughout Florida. Currently, the Times has been the media sponsor of some of the largest, most renowned venues and arts festivals in Florida, including the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa Bay Blues Festival, and the Gasparilla Arts Festival. The Times also proudly supports many smaller, local arts groups and events such as Studio@620, Tampa Theatre, and the Morean Arts Center.
Photo: A child reading a book at the 21st annual Times Festival of Reading in St. Petersburg, Florida. This image is sourced from the October 2013 edition of HarborNotes Weekly.