Tampa Museum of Art announces $5 million gift from Vinik Family to support new education center
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Tampa Museum of Art announces $5 million gift from Vinik Family to support new education center
TMA Vinik Family Education Center. Photo by Bryce Womeldurf.

TAMPA, FLA.- The Tampa Museum of Art has announced that its new education center will be named the Vinik Family Education Center, in honor of a $5 million gift made by Jeff and Penny Vinik to the Museum’s $100 million Centennial Campaign for Renovation and Expansion.

“The Tampa Museum of Art is renowned for the value of its educational programs and its exceptional support for Hillsborough County students and teachers. We are delighted to advance that good work with this gift, and to further contribute to the Museum’s mission to educate, engage, and inspire Tampa Bay residents and others around the world,” said Penny Vinik.

“The opening of our new education center is long-awaited for Museum members, volunteers, and other visitors. We are so thrilled to finally have a facility with a capacity to match the demand for our education programs, and we are grateful to the Viniks for their generous gift to help make this facility and the future growth possible,” said Michael Tomor, Ph.D., the Penny and Jeff Vinik Executive Director of the Tampa Museum of Art.

The education center opened on May 16 and will serve as the temporary entrance to the Museum while additional renovations are completed on the west side of the building. The first classes in the space will be the Museum’s Summer Art Camps for ages 6-17, beginning Monday, June 6. Over 200 children are already enrolled for the summer, with few available spots.

The most recent gift by the Viniks for the education center is made in addition to a previous $5 million gift made in October 2019 to endow the position of executive director, bringing the family’s total contributions to the Centennial Campaign to $10 million. To date, including the Vinik family’s gifts, the Centennial Campaign has raised $71 million toward the Museum’s $100 million goal.

With the Education Center renovations complete, the education space has grown from 1,400 to 8,000 square feet, including four classrooms, a lobby, orientation spaces, and a secure entrance. With these improvements in place, the Museum anticipates quadrupling the number of students it serves per year, and the school tour program alone can grow from 6,000 students to 24,000 each year.

In 2021, the Museum announced it was embarking on its $100 million Centennial Renovation and Expansion to expand the Museum’s gross area from 69,000 to 125,000 sq. ft. The renovation portion of the project is rolling out now, beginning with the new Vinik Family Education Center. New galleries are scheduled to open in the fall of 2022, and the groundbreaking for the expansion portion of the project is expected to take place early next year.

The design of the entire renovation and expansion project is led by New York-based WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism. Speaking about the accomplishment of this milestone, Principal Architects Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi said, “we’re inspired by the Tampa Museum of Art’s expansive commitment to arts education. We’re thrilled that the Vinik Family Education Center is the fitting and very visible first phase of the larger transformation and expansion of the Museum. These studios and education spaces will provide light-filled settings to connect all the arts to the larger community of Tampa.”

The future expansion project will add a 4,000-square-foot auditorium. Culinary Arts classes on the third-floor rooftop area of the expansion will also add to its future education program offerings.

“I am a longtime Tampa resident, and I cannot remember another time when our local arts and culture institutions have had so much wind at their back,” said Jerry Divers, chair of the Campaign Cabinet and president of the Tampa Museum of Art Foundation. “This generous gift from the Vinik family, in addition to the historic $25 million donation from Dick Corbett announced last month, is truly transformational for the Museum and the Tampa Bay community.”

“As we embarked on the Centennial Campaign, we made a commitment to Hillsborough County students and teachers that we would make it a priority to serve them and make the Museum’s resources accessible to them for field trips, extracurricular programming, and professional development. By giving so generously to the new Education Center, the Viniks have made a lasting impression on the next generation of Tampa Bay residents,” said Dianne Jacob, chair of the Tampa Museum of Art Board of Trustees.

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