Posted September 19, 2019 | 2:26 PM

Cultural Events Gain County Support

Financial contributions aim to strengthen, promote County's uniqueness, personality, character

A sense of community is integral to attracting and retaining businesses and talented workers. To that end, a new Hillsborough County program supports nonprofit events that entertain, enlighten, and bolster the local economy with celebrations of music, film, visual art, food, writing, local history, and nature.

Hillsborough County's Board of County Commissioners will award matching grants twice each year, based on recommendations from the Cultural Assets Commission. The advisory panel has members from the County and the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Plant City, along with representatives from community and cultural-based groups.

In this first round of grants, awarded Sept. 18, 22 events are designated to receive a total of $673,419.

There are two types of Special Events Partnership Grants (SEPG). Next Level events usually are larger and established, and can receive up to $100,000 from the County. Pilot Effort recipients are newer or smaller, and get up to $50,000 in grant funds.

Here are the first winners of County SEPG matching funds, the events' locations, and the maximum amounts they will receive:

Next Level:

  • 32nd Annual India Festival, Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay, Inc., $85,777
  • 50th Annual Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, Inc., $54,339
  • 9th Annual Tampa Pig Jig on the River, Old Florida Federation, $80,000
  • Fantasma Fest 2019, Ybor City Merchants Association, Inc., $11,666
  • Gasparilla International Film Festival, Tampa Film Institute, Inc. $92,000
  • Gasparilla Music Festival 2020, Gasparilla Music Foundation, $ 98,666
  • Onbikes 9th Annual Winter Wonder Ride, Onbikes, Inc., $41,813
  • Picnic in the Park, University of Tampa Henry Plant Museum, $2,644
  • Snow on 7th Parade, Ybor City Merchants Association, Inc., $11,377
  • Strawberry Classic Cruise-In & Winter Wonderland, Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, $4,181
  • Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival, Tampa JCC/Federation, Inc., $21,472
  • Viva Tampa Bay Hispanic Heritage Festival, Course of Action Foundation, $29,296

Pilot Effort:

  • East-West Music and Dance Festival, Shruti Foundation, Inc., $5,866
  • Flavors of West Tampa: Sangria & Cigars, West Tampa Chamber of Commerce, $11,165
  • Heights Unites Music & Arts Festival, South Seminole Heights Civic Association, $12,133
  • Jazz on the Lawn at Edison, Project LINK, $5,988
  • SouthShore Seafood & Arts Festival, SouthShore Chamber of Commerce, $26,099
  • Tampa Riverwalk Holiday Spectacular, Friends of the Riverwalk, $35,874
  • The River Tower Festival, Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association, $9,513
  • The Table in the Park, MacDonald Training Center, Inc., $9,039
  • UNDead in the Water, SS American Victory Museum, $9,714
  • Uptown Music Festival, University Area Community Development Corporation, $14,787
Photo: Gasparilla Music Festival will receive up to $98,666 in matching grant funds.


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