Pow Wow! International Mural Festival Coming to Tampa

Mergeculture, Ignite Innovation and ArtUP Organization has teamed up with Art Up Organization, to bring Pow Wow! to the Tampa Area.

We’ve been working on bringing Pow Wow! to Tampa for many years and this reality is now coming to fruition. With the landscape of building facades in the city, there are many opportunities for curated outdoor artwork that speaks to the unique cultural identity of Tampa, while also contributing to the overall identity of our region. Our goal is to facilitate a series of events that encourages cross-cultural collaboration between artists, gallery owners, arts institutions, city and county administrators, as well as private businesses, to create an incredibly high-energy culturally rich arts environment that doesn’t dominate the region, but enhances it.

About Pow Wow!

Pow Wow! is a worldwide mural festival rooted deeply in the New Contemporary Movement. The festival currently takes place in over 17 other cities including South Korea, Osaka, and Taiwan. The festival was conceptualized by artist Jasper Wong in 2010, and has since, the Pow Wow! network has been growing.

Expanding to Tampa is an ambitious project that will certainly take cooperation from The City of Tampa, many different non-profit organizations, and of course building owners, neighborhood associations and artists alike. Through partnerships, community meetings, and working with a global think tank of art curators, contributors and program facilitators called Ignite Innovation Group and obviously working with Pow Wow! Worldwide organizers, our network of curators and arts administrators have carefully crafted an experience that will not only work for our city, and local arts community, but our region. This event will contribute positively to all of the other outdoor arts initiatives in our region, such as Shine on St. Pete, to compliment the culture already established, and not at all “compete with it.”

A culture of communication: We have made it a point to communicate with major arts organizations and curators both in Hillsborough and Pinellas County to ensure this expansion in our region comes from an altruistic and is built on an inclusive strategic plan.

City of Tampa, & County Support: Creating a Culture of Strong Arts Collaboration Within the Region

The Arts Programs division of the City of Tampa is on the periphery of the festival, in that all ideas have been reviewed by the team, our local committee (which is expanding… so volunteer and get involved if you’d like) has been in communication with the County, the Hillsborough County Arts Council, neighborhood associations as well as many higher education institutions and arts institutions for not only support, but collaboration.

The Tampa Bay Area is home to many movers and shakers in the arts, our goals in bringing Pow Wow! to the Tampa Bay Area is to create cross-cultural collaboration in all areas of arts programming. This means creating opportunities for new minority artists who have not been in a spotlight in the community, or creating collaborative efforts between our institutions, administrators, and international, national, regional, as well as local artists.

Opportunities for Collaboration: Building Community

Our core non-profit partner for Pow-Wow Tampa 2022 is available, we are going to be partnering with a different non-profit organization each year to help drive awareness and the vision for different non-profits in our area. The community leaders in our area can not only benefit from working within a network of global artists, but also share ideas on the ways art shapes our regional identity and amplifies the awareness of their own mission.

One example of collaboration for year one, is to work with FMoPA and collaborate with high profile skateboarding photographers, as well as photo-realistic artists. This unique experience, aiming to be in the area of West Tampa, will create a series of photo-realistic murals in a cluster like an outdoor museum. The collaborations will include photographers like Josh Stewart or Atiba, and photo-realistic painters such as Jeks, Heiro or BKfoxx.

Festival Structure and Experiences: Ignite Hillsborough Big Picture

There are 5 core experiences in different regions of the city. The experiences will bring like-minded artists together to create a unique reality, for instance, photorealistic portrait work, subcultural connection or influence, abstract work, or likely collaborations will contribute to the look and feel of the region. The entire festival will feature international, regional, national and also local artists, with about half of the projects within the festival featuring local talent.

Ignite Hillsborough

Pow Wow! Tampa is a splash for a big-picture county-wide arts initiative that will expand in 2022, creating ripples in our arts community for years to come. Ignite Hillsborough adds an extra week of programming until there are four weeks of programming total in the county. These could be daytime, nighttime (such as a projector mapping or light experience) as well as pop-up experiences. The great thing is, that the county wide plan is anchored by an international event that brings our area new credibility in the global arts network.

Get Involved!

If you would like to get involved and volunteer for Pow Wow! Tampa, please visit this page and spread the word.

Fundraising, Financing & Marketing Plans

We have a series of tools to raise funds for all of the experiences, and our fund raising deadline is fast approaching on January 20th. The festival is funded by private donors and marketing partners through the media elements of the festival. If you would like to be involved in the festival from a marketing perspective, please get in touch with CLRTY Agency, to review the marketing packages available.

For all press inquiries, please email: gallery@mergeculture.com.