Soulwalk Trail coming to Tampa

Souldwalk Trail is coming to Tampa and will bring Twoo Dozen New Art Pieces to the City!

In honor of Black History Month, mayor Jane castor has announced the new Tampa Soulwalk Trail! This trail will be 46-miles long, covering about 25 neighborhoods, and also includes over 100 stops for visitors to explore the public artwork and historic sites using a free digital guide and a printed map of the trails. The Tampa Soulwalk Trail is a new art and heritage trail telling the history of Tampa's Black communities and highlighting the diverse, thriving community that it is now. 

Some of the historic stops will include destinations such as;

  • Scrub Houses: The two last remaining homes of the pioneering Black community that lived in the Scrub neighborhood after the Civil War.
  • Perry Harvey Sr. Park: Located along Historic Central Avenue, the park includes several dynamic artworks, including iconic gateway sculptures by James Simon and a history walk by Rufus Butler Seder.
  • Dozens of other public art installations, historic landmarks, museums, cemeteries, and more.

This new trail is designed to strengthen surrounding Tampa neighborhoods and contribute to building communities through storytelling, public engagement, and documentation of shared history. Several new essays were commissioned from the  University of South Florida professors to contextualize the trail's sites and interpretation content was developed with historians from the Tampa Bay History Center. Partnering institutions include the Florida Humanities Council, Visit Tampa Bay, the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa, Hillsborough Community College, and Hillsborough County.

“Tampa Soulwalk is an incredible opportunity for our community to come together and learn about the rich and diverse history of Tampa,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “It will not only bring to light the contributions and creative resiliency of our city’s Black communities, but also provide a platform for discussions about equity, inclusion, and cultural diversity. We are excited to share this trail with visitors and invite everyone to come explore and learn about the unique history that makes Tampa the vibrant and diverse city it is today.” 

In 2023 and 2024, Tampa Soulwalk will feature more than two dozen new public art installations added to its route! On-site signage will be installed at each of the stops to provide visitors along the trail with additional content. There will be a community cookbook, panels, talks, and workshops by artists and historians at Soulwalk in the future. To raise awareness and involve the community in the development of the trail, there will be community events and educational opportunities throughout the year. 

“Soulwalk not only educates visitors about Tampa’s rich Black history, but also serves as a reminder that our past and present are intricately connected,” said Sherri Brown, Vice President of Multicultural Sales and Development at Visit Tampa Bay. “It’s a vital tool in understanding the diversity and cultural richness of our city, and we are proud to support and showcase it to the world.”

“Soulwalk tells some of Tampa’s most uplifting stories,” said Cheryl R. Rodriguez, Professor of Africana Studies and Anthropology at the University of South Florida. “This history is a source of pride for everyone.”

Visitors can explore the new trail on foot, bike, or by car and can access more information about each of the existing locations on the Soulwalk website. In addition, Bloomberg Philanthropies has developed a digital guide that allows visitors to experience Soulwalk onsite using Bloomberg Connects, their free arts and culture app.

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