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Realize Bradenton Receives American Planning Association Award of Excellence

BRADENTON, FL – The American Planning Association, Florida Chapter, has honored Realize Bradenton and the City of Bradenton with its Award of Excellence in the Best Practices Category for Creating Together: Youth Centered Planning for the Riverwalk East Master Plan.

“This award is recognition of our commitment to engaging the community in positive, meaningful ways – particularly in terms of attracting and retaining talented young people to help shape our city’s future” said Carrie Price, Chair of Realize Bradenton Board of Directors.

In 2017, when the City of Bradenton announced the expansion of the Riverwalk, Realize Bradenton joined with park designers Kimley-Horn to put young people in key leadership roles during the park planning process. Funded by the Knight Donor-Advised Fund of the Manatee Community Foundation, the Creating Together Millennial team assisted in gathering ideas and feedback about what the neighborhood thought was important in the park design.

One of the many outcomes was an event called “Park for a Day” an event where the Millennial team built temporary versions of resident ideas with activities and outdoor focused on nature, music, history, and wellness. Park for a Day attracted more than 100 participants from the surrounding neighborhood to experience a glimpse of the park’s future. One retired neighbor remarked that having young people involved in the process was positive because it “ensures a vital continuation of community, public awareness, engagement, and contribution to Bradenton’s future.” From this, Realize Bradenton published a toolkit based on the Project for Public Space’s principles of placemaking and a video with interviews of the Millennials’ experiences.

This APA Florida Chapter “Best Practices” Award follows the 2019 “Future of the Region” Award for Economic Development from the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. Johnette Isham, Executive Director of Realize Bradenton said, “Creating Together Bradenton is a model transferrable to other communities wishing to meaningfully include the younger generation in civic planning.”

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Park for a Day video link
Creating Together Toolkit link

About Realize Bradenton
Realize Bradenton is a nonprofit organization that builds community and promotes economic prosperity to build a vibrant, healthy, inclusive, and fun downtown Bradenton.
Collaborating with the City of Bradenton and an array of partners, the organization promotes the ideal that “Downtown is Everyone’s Neighborhood.” By bringing people together for shared experiences, Realize Bradenton offers initiatives in Business Development, Community Placemaking, Wellness and Nutrition, and Development of Young Leaders. For more information, visit

This Week’s Music In The Park And Bradenton Farmers’ Market Are Canceled

Realize Bradenton strives to keep our community healthy and happy. Following Governor DeSantis’ request that cities and counties postpone or cancel mass gatherings, Realize Bradenton has canceled the first concert of Music in the Park, scheduled for Friday, March 13, 2020; and the upcoming Bradenton Farmers’ Market, scheduled for Saturday, March 14, 2020.

“This decision was not taken lightly. We recognize our musicians and market vendors rely on the concerts and the farmers’ market for their financial health; however, we feel this is the right decision for the wellbeing of the entire community,” said Johnette Isham, Executive Director of Realize Bradenton. “We will continue to evaluate whether further events will occur as new information becomes available.”

Updated information on all Realize Bradenton events will be posted on and

Realize Bradenton encourages everyone to support proactive efforts that prevent the further spread of any illnesses. Follow for the latest updates.

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About Realize Bradenton
Realize Bradenton is a nonprofit organization that promotes redevelopment and economic growth in downtown Bradenton by transforming places, engaging people, and realizing possibilities. For more information visit:

SUE’S Handbags / Sue Sweeney Art

Hand-painted artwork and special “shimmer” finishes on cross-body purses.

(941) 806-7787

Root Awakenings

Plant rooters with live plants, complete with hangers. Just add water and hang up. Wind chimes made with silverware and chimes cut from spoons made to look like fish.

Phone: (941) 961-4210

Rockman Studio

Handcrafted semi-precious stones prepared from scratch, set in Sterling or Silver-plate or Sterling-Wire-Wrapped; handcrafted necklaces, bracelets, earrings.
(813) 633-8531

Red’s Shadow

Handcrafted shadow boxes of beach scenes with local sand and shells.

Phone: (941) 447-0832

Pat Nickerson’s Watercolor

Watercolor on rice paper and other mixed media, mostly local birds and landscapes. 5″ x 7″ cards and 8″ x 10″ and 11″ x 14″ sizes.

Email: Pat Nickerson
Phone: (941) 350-3760

Logan Pottery

Hand-built, high-fired stoneware. Functional pieces depicting sea life. mugs, goblets, soup mugs, platters and bowls. All products are food safe, microwave, oven and dishwasher safe.

Email: Jim & Steffi Logan
Phone: (941) 441- 6440

Brushes and Bouquets by Mike Parrott

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Phone: (941) 518-7855

Road Art

This art was designed to create visual connectivity between downtown Bradenton and the Village of the Arts. The abstract spheres are applied directly to the asphalt using commercial grade thermoplastic.

Artist: Milagros Collective, 2017
Location: Village of the Arts – 821 12th Street West

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