TAMPA — Organizers are putting the finishing touches on Jazz on the Lawn @Edison, a day-long festival to support Edison Elementary School, on Saturday, Oct 12.
For prices that range between $10 and $45 for VIP service and free admission for children, guests can enjoy professional jazz and R&B from entertainers such as Trumaine Burrell and Nathan Mitchell; as well as performances by the Edison Elementary choir, the Blake High School Jazz Ensemble and the Straz Jazz Ensemble..
Food trucks will serve seafood, barbecue and other fare. For the children, there will be a playground, bounce house and rock climbing. The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the school grounds, 1607 E Curtis Street. Free parking will be available at nearby Middleton High School, with shuttles between the schools for $1.
Behind the event, which follows a similar festival last year, is a coalition of community organizations including Project LINK, which offers assistance from the full-service center at Just Elementary School; and What We Could Be Exchange, whose numerous projects include enrichment activities for students at Edison.
Organizers want to support not only the school, but East Tampa’s neighborhoods as well.
“We wanted to put something in the community that residents can be proud of,” said What We Could Be’s chief executive Jeannette Bradley, who is intent on growing the event every year. “People will say, ‘we’ve got to get over to East Tampa.’ We want this to be a signature event.”
Bradley said she hopes this year’s event will pull in more money than last year’s, which offered free admission and attracted about 700 guests. With room for 1,500, organizers are projecting they will get about 1,100 visitors this year.
Bradley’s grass-roots organization seeks to enhance student engagement and academic progress by offering exposure to activities outside the norm, and working on soft skills such as social etiquette. These activities include art, gardening and chess lessons, and there will be an area at the festival where children can practice their chess.
Edison is coming off a successful year. It is one of the original schools that the district targeted for improvement in its 2015 Priority Schools program, and one of 50 so-called Achievement Schools. Its grade remained a "C" this year, just three percentage points shy of a B.