Late Thursday evening at St. Petersburg City Hall, the St. Petersburg City Council rejected – by a 4-3 vote – the proposed Janet Echelman sculpture for Spa Beach, part of the new St. Pete Pier.
Council members Gina Driscoll, Amy Foster, Steve Kornell and Ed Montanari voted against the enormous, “floating sculpture” by the popular, Massachusetts-based public artist. Council members Brandi Gabbard, Charlie Gerdes and Darden Rice voted for the sculpture. Council member Lisa Wheeler-Bowman was absent.
City council then requested a report and a list of the private, anonymous donors footing the bill for the sculpture. The report would consider other locations in the $76 million Pier District.
The Catalyst went behind the scenes with Tampa Bay Wave’s Tech Diversity Accelerator on a walking tour of St. Pete’s start-up business scene this week. The Tech Diversity program is one of the first accelerators in the country specifically created for women, minority, veteran and/or LGBT-owned businesses. The organization behind it all, Tampa Bay Wave, has gathered 10 companies from around the country – spanning from New York City to Dallas, Austin, Atlanta and cities throughout Florida. Four of the companies are from Tampa Bay.