Support for the arts is at the heart of a stronger Tampa Bay

The power of the arts helps economies thrive, connects individuals with each other across cultures and educates and enriches societies. On a global scale, the arts speak to us in a universal language, providing pathways to greater cultural understanding.

Right here in Tampa Bay, arts and cultural programs support local initiatives and organizations that provide inspirational and educational sustenance, anchor communities, complement social curricula and illuminate the diverse cultural traditions in our community. Cultural centers in our neighborhoods helped to fuel an economic resurgence and improved the quality of life for Tampa Bay residents with new and inspiring experiences.

In a survey study conducted by American for the Arts, the nation’s nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America, it was found that $433 million was being pumped into Hillsborough County’s economy from arts organizations, and their audiences, and $241 million from Pinellas County.

Often partnerships with businesses help to boost that number.

One example of this is the Art in our Communities program. Sponsored by Bank of America,  museums and nonprofit galleries are able to borrow complete exhibitions – at no cost – increasing public accessibility to these important works of art, while also generating vital revenue for these important institutions.

This year, the Tampa Museum of Art is continuing its 100th-year anniversary celebration with an exhibit focused on women photographers. The exhibit, “Modern Women: Modern Vision Works from the Bank of America Collection,” is on display through May 24 and presents more than 100 photographic images taken by leading artists of the 20th and early 21st century. This is the sixth exhibition brought to Tampa Bay through the bank’s Art in Our Communities program.

Art can do more than brighten a living space. The art market has become one of the hottest new investment crazes in recent years. Painting and sculpture collectors frequently buy pieces with an eye towards adding to their investment portfolio.

Another way we show support of the arts is through Bank of America’s Museums on Us program. For the past 23 years, during the first full weekend of every month, they have offered valued cardholders’ free general admission to more than 225 cultural institutions, in dozens of cities, across the U.S.

Tampa Bay has four community partners, including the Florida Holocaust Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Tampa Museum of Art and The Florida Aquarium.

In addition, this spring Bank of America is celebrating the 11th year as the presenting sponsor of American Stage in the Park with the performance of Footloose in Demens Landing Park, and this fall entering our 14th season supporting Bank of America Broadway at The Straz. It is also the eighth year as presenting sponsor of Tampa Theatre’s year-round movie series celebrating family, classic and holiday films.

As part of the contribution, several Bank of America local leaders also volunteer their time to serve on the boards of several arts organizations in Tampa Bay, including The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, American Stage Theater Company, Tampa Museum of Art and Tampa Theatre.

All in all, Bank of America’s support for arts and culture is part of a commitment to grow responsibly while bringing value to the economies, and communities served. Artistic and cultural centers are the beating heart of a thriving community, pumping energy, innovation and beauty into the routine of daily life.

As Tampa Bay continues to become a major arts hub in Florida, and the nation, programs that bring together private and nonprofit partnerships, will surely keep the tides rising in our community, while contributing significantly to our economy.

To learn more about support for the arts, please visit

Bill Goede, in addition to being Bank of America’s Tampa Bay Market President, is the bank’s Business Banking Market Executive for the Greater Tampa Bay Market.  Business Banking provides a full array of client-managed services to businesses with annual revenues in the $5 million to $50 million range.  In the Tampa Bay community, Bill serves locally on the board of trustees of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Homeless Empowerment Project, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, University of Tampa and Starting Right Now.  A graduate of the University of Florida, Bill and his wife Lori have two grown sons living in the Tampa Bay area.


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