“See Me, Hear Me,” part of Realize Bradenton’s “PopUps for a Purpose” program, showcases 23 Bradenton-area Millennials (men and women between the ages of 18 and 35) in large-scale, black and white portraits. The portraits are exhibited in four spaces in downtown Bradenton, through September 30. The larger-than-life photographs (some measuring over five feet wide) are on display in the windows of the Bradenton Herald, 1111 Third Avenue West; Manatee Chamber of Commerce, 222 Tenth Street West; Manatee County Administration Center, 1112 Manatee Avenue West; and at the Downtown Bradenton offices of Fawley Bryant Architects, 1001 Manatee Avenue West.
For more information about the exhibit and Realize Bradenton, call 941-621-6471 or visit RealizeBradenton.com/SeeMeHearMe.
What was the inspiration for “See Me, Hear Me?”
“Actually, it was the Millennials themselves,” says Catherine Ferrer, community engagement coordinator for Realize Bradenton. “We interviewed several Millennials who attended our ‘PopUps for a Purpose’ events. What emerged from those interviews were stories that challenge the notion of a generation that is unattached to place.” Ferrer referred to national studies showing that, contrary to popular belief, many Millennials value a sense of place over career. She affirmed, “The words and images of these young people certainly attest to their connection to the Bradenton area.”
Area-based photographer Dieter Tamson was commissioned to create portraits of hundreds of area Millennials from all backgrounds and walks of life for the project. Interviews with each of the 23 subjects are featured online at RealizeBradenton.com/SeeMeHearMe.
Ferrer adds that many Manatee County businesses, governmental agencies and nonprofits are eager to make the Bradenton-area more attractive to Millennials. Several supported this project, including the Bradenton-Area Economic Development Corporation, Manatee Chamber of Commerce, Manatee Young Professionals, Manatee County Government’s Manatee Millennial Movement (M3) and the Bradenton Herald.
PopUps for a Purpose is a Realize Bradenton production, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation through the Knight Cities Challenge, which is designed to create connections among Millennials in innovative ways. Six popup events have been held since October 2015, temporarily transforming outdoor spaces into event venues, including Plaza Cubana at the South Florida Museum; Books, Bots and Bites at the Central Library; Market Meetup at the Bradenton Farmers’ Market; PopUp Lounge at Pickin’ Picnic; and Shuffle at the Shuffleboard Park off 14th Street.
“Bringing people together is a major strategy of Realize Bradenton,” says Realize Bradenton’s executive director, Johnette Isham.
“Through PopUps for a Purpose, we’re simply narrowing our focus by finding innovative ways to strengthen local connections amongst the largest and most demographically-diverse generation, because when people connect with each other in new places, the social capital of a community grows, vibrancy builds, and lasting economic development goes forward.”
For more information about Popups for a Purpose and Realize Bradenton, visit RealizeBradenton.com. Follow #RBPopUps and #SeeMeHearMe on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.