New Orleans artists to set up temporary musical structures in Tampa park

Visiting artist New Orleans Airlift creates a musical playground with performances over the next four weeks.

Musical architecture like this piece created in a past exhibit will be set up in Sulphur Springs' Mann Wagnon Park. New Orleans Airlift
Musical architecture like this piece created in a past exhibit will be set up in Sulphur Springs' Mann Wagnon Park.New Orleans Airlift
Published March 22 2016
Updated March 22 2016

A temporary public art installation brings a musical playground of sorts to Tampa for the next four weeks at the Community Stepping Stones site at Mann-Wagnon Park in Sulphur Springs.

A series of interactive musical structures presented by USF's Contemporary Art Museum is called "The Music Box: Tampa Bay," a project by visiting artists New Orleans Airlift.

The idea is to create a village comprised of "musical architecture," structures that are embedded with instruments, and are meant to be played to create music and sounds.

New Orleans Airlift collaborated on the construction of the musical village with local artists — from design and production cooperative LiveWork studios and land artist Tory Tepp, with help from students from USF and from Community Stepping Stones, a nonprofit arts program for the youth of Sulphur Springs.

This is one of several musical villages that New Orleans Airlift has created around the country since their first in New Orleans was built as a response to Hurricane Katrina.

The Music Box will only be open for four weeks, with plenty of free cultural programming for its duration.

Open exploration is on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m., with guided tours offered on Thursdays with advance notice.

Thursday evenings will include open jam sessions, artists' talks, lectures on the history of Sulphur Springs and spoken word. Friday and Saturday evenings feature a series of performances orchestrated by local musicians.

All programs are free, but tickets are required for the Friday and Saturday performances.

This week Ray "Rayzilla" Villadonga conducts The Modified Mosquito Massive at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saurday and noon Sunday. There will be an artists' talk at 2 p.m. Saturday.

For the schedule, tickets and to arrange a tour, visit cam.usf.ed u/musicbox.

Community Stepping Stones at Mann-Wagnon Park is located at 1101 E River Cove St., Tampa, FL 33604. For information on New Orleans Airlift, visit