RFP: Tarpon Springs Black Heritage Project

  • Commissioning Entity: Public Art Committee (PAC) and the Tarpon Area Historical Society
  • Budget: $135000
  • Open Date: 2021-08-29
  • Commissioning Location: United States
  • Geographic Eligibility: Applicants in region of installation
  • Close Date: 2021-10-29

Brief Description

The City of Tarpon Springs is unique in many ways. The origins and settlement of the city were made by three symbiotic groups: the sponge hookers who came north to Tarpon Springs from the Bahamas and the Florida Keys; the Greeks who came from the Dodecanese Islands with their innovative diving suits and helmets that revolutionized the sponging industry and the “crackers,” the “cowboys” of Florida who brought cattle, orchards and farming to the area. The black sponge hookers and the immigrant Greeks supported each other’s efforts. Many of the black sponge hookers learned Greek to facilitate their working alongside the helmeted Greek spongers. Descendants of these groups still inhabit Tarpon Springs to this day. This unique fellowship has not been recognized in public art. The purpose of this project is to represent this unique relationship in art. The project is envisioned at being located at two places: the Sponge Docks and the Union Academy neighborhood.