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Narrative History Project

The Realize Bradenton Narrative History Project is a collection of eight videos featuring select properties which are rich in history and help tell the stories which frame the history of Downtown Bradenton. The collection includes the following subjects: Council’s Bradenton Recreation, The Professional Building, Beall’s, Old Main Street Memories, Jennings Arcade, Hampton Inn & Suites/Manatee River Hotel, Pier 22 and LECOM Park.

Public Art

Realize Bradenton collaborates with the City of Bradenton to offer a public art collection that includes a variety of artists, styles, and mediums.

Since 2012, downtown’s art collection has increased from seven pieces of art to over 67 works of art for the community to enjoy.

Local residents and artists participate in the artist selection process.

The downtown collection includes the ‘Postcards from the Friendly City,’ murals, sculpture, and functional art.

To view a sample of the collection, click

To view the entire public art collection, go to

Bradenton Blues Festival

Soulful harmonica, electrifying fiddle, boogie-woogie piano, driving guitar and so much more makes the Bradenton Blues Festival line-up a treat for all music lovers – but especially blues aficionados. For the price fans normally pay to see one Blues group, guests enjoy eight diverse Blues groups – many of which are Grammy-nominated.  

Now in its 10th year, the Bradenton Blues Festival – voted Best Blues Festival in the Country in 2015 – invites guests to spend the day strolling around and relaxing at LECOM Park while listening to talented blues musicians and enjoying delicious food, as well as local craft beer, full bar, and other refreshing libations.

For more information, visit:

couple standing watching performers at bradenton blues festival


Kicking off the Bradenton Blues Festival Weekend is the Blues “Appetizer” Concert Friday evening; followed by the Bradenton Blues Festival on Saturday, presented by BMO Harris Bank; and wrapping up the weekend on a LOCAL note is the Blues Brunch, produced by Mattison’s Grille, Downtown Bradenton Riverwalk on Sunday. 


The festival generates a short- and long-term economic impact of spending and investment. Spending at downtown hoteliers, dining establishments, and entertainment businesses goes up considerably during that weekend according to sources (business owners and managers). In 2019, ticket buyers hailed from 


In addition to fostering a healthy business climate, the Bradenton Blues Festival weekend enriches the community through “Blues in the Schools.”  Ticket proceeds and donations provide a meaningful way to support our youth arts and education initiatives. 


Blues musician Willie Dixon once said: “The blues is the roots: everything else is the fruits.” Blues music is the foundation for nearly all popular styles of music listened to today.  Although not played on today’s Top 40 radio stations, this genre of music attracts people from all walks of life precisely because it is unique.  And recent blues-y hits by artists like Amy Winehouse, Elle King, and Leon Bridges are spurring a resurgence of interest among young people in a movement some are dubbing “Nu-Blues.”

Read more about the Bradenton Blues Festival’s historic 10th year anniversary and the history of the blues with an article from Blues Music Magazine’s Art Tipaldi: “Bradenton Celebrates the Blues.

Music in the Park

Fridays, March 24 – May 5, 2023
6:00 – 8:00 pm 
Bradenton Riverwalk Mosaic Amphitheater

606 3rd Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205

Bring a chair or blanket, friends, and your leashed pups to this free, family-friendly music series.

2023 Music in the Park Lineup

March 24
IRuption Movement

March 31
Glass Onion Beatles Band

April 7
Eric Von Band

April 14
Kettle of Fish
Blues, Rock, Soul

April 21
Dual Exhaust
Blues, Country, Rock

April 28
Bri Rivera
Latin Fusion, Blues, Funk Rock

May 5
Sweet Fleet
Fleetwood Mac Tribute

Clay Together

Dozens of people of diverse ages and backgrounds came together to create clay fish that artist James Simon integrated into his 120’ mosaic mural “The Magic River.”

To view the photographs from the workshop, click here.

To view the completed mosaic, click here.

Stories Connect

Support children’s books that use a two-generation approach of bringing children together with the adults in their lives (teachers, volunteers, parents, guardians, grandparents) to build reading readiness by learning LOCAL from Bradenton stories, including “Old Manatee A to Z” historical background on where Bradenton was founded; “Tales from the Table” to encourage children and adults to cook & learn together & “Art Together” on engaging children & adults in art & public art in Bradenton. Books distributed free to students in Title 1 schools & Soar in 4 participants.

In 2020, Realize Bradenton published the first children’s book to explore the history of the Bradenton area, “Old Manatee A to Z”.

To view the electronic version of “Old Manatee A to Z”, click here.
Click here to purchase the print version.

Realize Bradenton’s second book “Tales from the Table” features recipes and stories with a twist of education!

To view the electronic version of “Tales from the Table”, click here.
The print version will be available winter 2021.

Public Art & History Trails

Encouraging walking from the Village of the Arts to the Riverwalk to explore public art, restaurants, shops, historical sites, and galleries using

Village of the Arts Tapestry

To view the Tapestry Planning Document, click here.

Creating Together at Riverwalk East

A team of Millennial residents and young landscape architects collaborated to design and build a temporary version of the neighborhood’s vision for the expanded Riverwalk.
To view the Creating Together Tool Kit, visit this online book.

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