Tampa Museum of Art receives $25 million donation for major expansion along the Riverwalk

Rendering of a waterfront museum of a second floor observation area, and an outdoor bar
Rendering via Tampa Museum of Art

The Tampa Museum of Art has received a huge $25 million donation from Dick Corbett as the lead donation to the Museum’s Centennial Capital Campaign for Renovation and Expansion, which began during its centennial celebration in 2020. The expansion will include a site redevelopment and add approximately 51,000 square feet of new space along the Hillsborough River to its 25,000 square foot renovation currently underway to double its exhibition spaces and triple its education spaces.

“This extraordinary gift to the Museum contributes a historic $25 million cash gift to our campaign for the Museum’s expansion. It will allow us to grow our overall area from 69,000 to 120,000 square feet and expand our exhibition and collections space from 14,800 square feet to 43,000 square feet. It will also more than triple available event space, add public restaurant and retail store space as well as a 10,000-square-foot Education Center, allowing us to serve 24,000 Hillsborough County school students annually,” said Michael Tomor, Ph.D., the Penny and Jeff Vinik Executive Director of the Tampa Museum of Art.

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rendering of a rooftop bar with lights over a large bar
Rendering via Tampa Museum of Art

Tampa Museum of Art to add rooftop events venue

The Tampa Museum of Art’s building expansion is phase II of the Centennial Renovation and Expansion project. This phase is expected to break ground in late 2022 to build a new four-story expansion connected to the existing building and augment downtown Tampa’s public riverfront.

“This gift from Dick Corbett makes history in Florida’s art community because it constitutes the single largest private donation ever made to a public art museum and art education center in this state,” Tomor added, noting that although there have been other large donations made to museums in Florida, those have been in the form of part cash-part collections of art.

“This generous donation is unique because it is a stand-alone cash contribution to our capital campaign,” Tomor explained.

The expansion will triple the amount of space available for special event rentals to sustain the Museum’s mission and growing popularity. The new expansion significantly increases the Museum’s special events and food services capacity. The new lobby will accommodate different types of events, which can spill out to the expanded terrace and engage the park. The design sets a waterfront café with outdoor seating on the western front of the lobby, easily accessible from the Riverwalk.

Showcasing the power and beauty of art

“The Tampa Museum of Art strengthens arts and culture in our vibrant city, and opens the eyes of schoolchildren to the power of beauty and imagination. I am proud to make this historic gift to TMA in celebration of their centennial anniversary. My hope is that it will encourage others who have the means to give back to also join in and support the growth of the Museum’s world-class exhibits and programs,” said Dick Corbett.

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“Dick and Cornie Corbett have been extraordinary patrons and supporters of the Tampa Museum of Art for decades,” according to Jerry Divers, chair of the Tampa Museum of Art Foundation and head of the Museum’s Centennial Capital Campaign. Divers added: “Our community is blessed by so many other significant gifts and legacy projects developed and funded by Dick Corbett. His contributions have been bold catalysts for effective, broad-based public and private projects with lasting benefits for commercial development in Florida as well as on policies affecting K-12 education, growth management, economic development, agriculture and commercial real estate.”

Rendering via Tampa Museum of Art

Donation helps expedite expansion and renovation

“Dick Corbett’s generous donation to the Museum’s Centennial Capital Campaign will allow us to move swiftly to complete the significant renovations already underway and to begin our transformative expansion project scheduled to break ground in the next eight to 10 months,” according to Dianne Jacob, President of the Tampa Museum of Art Board of Trustees.

Want to keep up with the latest exhibits and events coming to Tampa Museum of Art? Make sure to follow the institution on Facebook, Instagram and its website.

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