Thoughts on the hot mess
I asked Creative Pinellas director T. Hampton Dohrman over email for his thoughts on the Salon piece that called Tampa America's hottest mess. Here's what he wrote back:
I think there are a lot of spot-on points in it that are good to remember for those in the business of change. The City has been the worst enemy of the city. I think the most exciting shift is that more people have figured out that we can make Tampa a cool place with or without help from the administration. I started my first nonprofit specifically because the existing government-based development models for the arts were unsatisfying. We're on track this year to give out more than $25,000 in cash and small grants to support the arts and creativity in the Tampa Bay area, which is not a huge amount, but is organically generated and invested in a way that makes a big difference. I was in a focus group hosted by the Tampa Chamber of Commerce a few months ago. My favorite comment was a Star Trek reference: "You must never be afraid to blow up the Enterprise." Or something like that.