The St. Petersburg renaissance has been in full swing for more than a decade. We’ve excelled in many areas and struggled in others. In our series St. Pete 2.0, we’re partnering with the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership to explore what lies on the other side of our potential – what will it take to move to the “next level” as a city? Through this series, we’ll dig into specific topics with the hope that you, our thoughtful citizens, will share your insight, experience and wisdom.
The planned redevelopment of the 86-acre Tropicana Field site hit a new milestone in late July when the City issued a request for proposals to find a master developer. Officials have described the publicly-owned land as an unparalleled, generational opportunity to meet many needs and create a vibrant place accessible to all. Based on years of community outreach, the City has developed a list of priorities for the site.
Louis Armstrong was on one wild ride in 1957. Arguably the best-known jazz musician in America, he was playing to packed houses, and in the Jim Crow South – where the audiences were almost always segregated – he’d endured death threats, and bomb threats, and one day in January several sticks of dynamite exploded outside a Knoxville auditorium while he was onstage with his combo. No one was injured, and Armstrong kept the 3,000-strong crowd’s spirit up by quipping “That sounded like a drunk falling out of the balcony.” And then he played another tune.
Florida Orchestra CEO Mark Cantrell often speaks of the “adventure gene” as a key part of his DNA. He took the reins of the bay area’s venerable nonprofit in March 2019, and just a year later found himself facing the unforeseeable Covid crisis. Like everything else, The Florida Orchestra shut down for an indefinite period of time.
Monday on The Catalyst Sessions, Cantrell candidly discussed his feelings about the performance blackout, now in its fifth month, about how he, music director Michael Francis, the board and the staff are working diligently to bring the curtain back up in a slow, steady, safe fashion.