Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
In the spring of 2001, Cynthia L. Flowers put forward the idea of starting a photography museum in Tampa. Shortly thereafter, Charles J. Levin (an attorney), Vincent Sorrentino (an art dealer) and Cynthia L. Flowers (a business owner) established the Tampa Gallery of Photographic Arts, a museum dedicated to photography. Working in close cooperation with Madison Marquette, the owner of Hyde Park Village, exhibition space for the museum was secured. “Masters of Black & White,” the first show, consisted of 50 iconic black and white images borrowed from private collections. With many of the early shows currated by Vincent Sorrentino, critical acclaim followed. Since its inception, the museum has qualified as a not-for-profit entity under the provisions of s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
In the fall of 2001, Cynthia L. Flowers began the museum’s first children’s outreach program. It involved underserved children at the USF/Patel Partnership Elementary School located at the University of South Florida in Tampa. From this first program, the museum developed many ongoing community programs such as the free Children’s Literacy Through Photography Program for at-risk children, and fee based adult photography classes, workshops, and children’s summer camps. In the Children’s Literacy Through Photography Program, children are inspired through hands-on workshops and field trips where photographs are taken, printed and written about by the participants. An annual reception for the children is also held at the museum.
In the summer of 2006, the museum was renamed the FLORIDA MUSEUM of PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS and relocated to downtown Tampa. It then moved to its present location in the Waterfront Arts District in Rivergate Plaza’s architecturally significant Cube, a soaring six-story atrium recognized as one of the most impressive interior spaces on the west coast of Florida.