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Build Bradenton

Build Basics is an energizing 8-session business and project planning class designed for aspiring and newly established entrepreneurs using an online learning management system.

Classes are taught by local experts and cover the basics of starting or bolstering an independent business – from licensing to financial literacy, market research to cash flow and more. Participants leave the class with a completed business plan, a cohort of entrepreneurs in the Bradenton area, sources of small business capital, and the knowledge and confidence to take their ideas to the next level.

The current cohort is currently full.
Complete this form to be considered for future classes:

Children’s Book Fair

Children and families learn more about local authors and illustrators in an annual event that promotes literacy and reading together.


Twenty-three teams of elementary, middle, and high school students develop a business plan to share their collective creativity with the public at an all-day event on Old Main Street.

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

Dine Bradenton

In 2016, Realize Bradenton initiated a Dine Bradenton promotion to showcase the Village of the Arts, in downtown Bradenton. With many chef-owned restaurants and bakeries, Dine Bradenton was a tour of Sugar Cubed Bakery, Arts & Eats, Arte Caffe, Birdrock Taco Shack, Ortygia, and Retrobaked.

To view the Dine Bradenton playlist, click here or check out the video below.

To explore the #DineBradenton hashtag on Instagram, click here.

Bradenton Blues Festival

A day on the Riverwalk listening to eight blues musicians, enjoying southern-inspired cuisine, craft drinks and art. Kicking off the blues weekend is the Blues Appetizer Concert presented by Mojoe Productions, Inc.; followed by the Bradenton Blues Festival, Saturday, presented by BMO Harris Bank; and wrapping up the weekend is the Blues Brunch, produced by Mattison’s Grille, Downtown Bradenton Riverwalk on Sunday. For more information, visit:

couple standing watching performers at bradenton blues festival

Music in the Park

Free outdoor concerts at the Riverwalk Mosaic Amphitheater attract people of all ages and backgrounds. Check out some of our pictures from Music in the Park by clicking the picture>

Music in the Park | Ari & The Alibis

Mainly Art

Local artists and creators are featured at the Bradenton Farmers’ Market each month to build their businesses and market their creations.

Enjoy examples from this Flickr Album.

Downtown Bradenton Market Analysis


Kennedy Smith of the CLUE Group completed the Downtown Bradenton Market Analysis in December 2020.

Full Downtown Bradenton Market Analysis Report

Recommendations from the Downtown Bradenton Market Analysis:

Recording of Kennedy Smith sharing the completed report on February 19, 2021.


The purpose of the video is to summarize responses from people who expressed interest in the Market Analysis, many of whom participated in a May 7 webinar that shared preliminary results. 

Below is a PDF link to more detailed results from the follow-up survey, including graphs, charts, and comments sorted by sections. 

Results from Market Analysis Follow-Up Survey

Work continues with CLUE Group on the Market Analysis Report for Downtown Bradenton. If you have any ideas, questions, see contact info at the bottom of this page.

With so much going on right now, thank you for staying tuned in to this project as it sets the stage for important recovery efforts and long-term progress. 


In the fall of 2019, Realize Bradenton together with partners City of Bradenton and the Manatee Chamber of Commerce engaged Kennedy Smith of the Community Land Use + Economics (CLUE) Group to conduct a market analysis for downtown Bradenton and to recommend strategies for strengthening the district’s retail/commercial/culinary composition, with particular attention on cultivating young entrepreneurial talent.

When this initiative began, COVID-19 was unknown. CLUE Group conducted market research just a few months before the pandemic began to unfold. While it is difficult to know what the mid- and long-range impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be on downtowns throughout the country and around the world, it is clear that the retail, hospitality, and culinary landscape will be changed.


Rather than producing a comprehensive market analysis report based on downtown Bradenton’s pre-pandemic conditions, CLUE summarized some of the major findings from the market research in the May 7 presentation.

The May 7 presentation outlines eight recommendations. Here is a sampling of four:

This important study was funded by the Knight Donor Advised Fund at the Manatee Community Foundation. 

Interested in learning more? Contact Jodi Carroll at Realize Bradenton

Love This City Bradenton

Reconnect | Reimagine | Rebuild | Recover

Love This City Bradenton is an initiative created by Realize Bradenton to attract a diversity of people to downtown restaurants, hotels, businesses, cultural assets, events, and the Riverwalk. Upbeat and engaging, this campaign includes banners, posters, public art, stickers, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and even a love song to Bradenton written by songwriter, Matt Burke of Have Gun Will Travel.

People of all ages will engage and enjoy videos, contests, songs, walking tours, good news stories, and promotional materials to reconnect socially, reimagine possibilities, and rebuild businesses in downtown Bradenton.

This initiative is funded by the Knight Donor Advised Fund at the Manatee Community Foundation.

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