Realize Bradenton Logo
Realize Bradenton Logo

Initiatives

Realize Bradenton collaborates with the City of Bradenton and an array of partners to support the ideal that “Downtown is Everyone’s Neighborhood.” By bringing people together for shared experiences, we offer initiatives in Business Development, Community Placemaking, Wellness and Nutrition, and Development of Young Leaders.

Business Development
Dine Bradenton

In 2016, Realize Bradenton initiated a Dine Bradenton promotion to showcase the Village of the Arts, in downtown Bradenton.

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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.

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Mainly Art

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

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Market Analysis in Progress

A Market Analysis for downtown Bradenton was last conducted in 2007. In fall 2019, an update process started thanks to a grant from the Knight Donor Advised Fund at the Manatee Community Foundation and with the partnership of Realize Bradenton, City of Bradenton, and Manatee Chamber of Commerce. To view the May 7 2020 recorded presentation, click below.

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Small Scale Real Estate Development

Encouraging Bradenton area entrepreneurs with the tools and resource network to strengthen their neighborhoods through small-scale real estate projects.

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Walk Bradenton

A GPS-enabled mobile website that allows users to explore Bradenton’s unique mix of arts, history, culture, public art, and sports with 165 places to eat, shop, stay, and play.

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Community Placemaking
couple standing watching performers at bradenton blues festival
Bradenton Blues Festival

The Bradenton Blues Festival, presented by BMO Harris Bank, weekend returns to downtown Bradenton, bringing three days of events and acclaimed blues musicians the first Saturday of December.

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Clay Together

Dozens of people of diverse ages and backgrounds came together at Art Center Manatee to create clay fish that artist James Simon integrated into his 120’ mosaic mural “The Magic River,” which is installed on the north side of the City Centre Garage.

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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. The resulting event allowed for action-research and welcomed the community to the future park site with activities focused on nature, music, history, and wellness. Resident engagement continues through 2020 with area colleges, neighborhood events, and public art.

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people listening to music at the amphitheater at dusk
Music in the Park

Free outdoor concerts at the Riverwalk Mosaic Amphitheater take place in the spring. Come enjoy local music while watching the sunset over the Manatee River. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on.

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Public Art

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

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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 WalkBradenton.com.

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Stories Connect

Programs that engage youth through art, history, and literacy to produce a children’s book and related events that spark interest in using the future Riverwalk East park spaces for family literacy.

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Village of the Arts Tapestry

A visioning process facilitated by Realize Bradenton that involved artists, residents, property owners, merchants, and businesses and resulted in a framework to build economic strength, social cohesiveness, and cultural vibrancy within Village of the Arts.

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Wellness and Nutrition
radishes on table
Bradenton Farmers’ Market

A place where the community meets each week to enjoy fresh produce, local art, upbeat music, demonstrations by local chefs, and free family activities. Parking is free on weekends, and dogs on leashes are welcome.

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Cook Together

Why have a meeting when you can be cooking and eating?! For a variety of projects – planning the city’s streetscape, Farmers’ Market outreach, the Giving Challenge – people from all walks of life come together with local chefs to cook, eat, and share ideas that shape the future of Bradenton.

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Healthy Together

Working with partners from many different sectors to welcome SNAP-eligible families to the Farmers’ Market. Children and adult participants will develop healthy habits through fun social activities like healthy cooking demonstrations, art projects, reading, and quality time at the Market.

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Kids in the Kitchen

Junior League of Manatee County’s monthly cooking sessions at the Bradenton Farmer’s Market that promote health and wellness by creating kid-friendly snacks in a fun, social setting.

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Supplemental Nutrition Access Program

Increasing fresh food access for low income households at the Bradenton Farmers’ Market by offering Fresh Access Bucks (FAB), a USDA-funded nutrition incentive program that matches SNAP spending on Florida-grown fruits and vegetables up to $40.

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Young Leaders
Art Connects

High school students and professional artists studied the history of our community and conveyed their findings through visual art and writing, which then became ten public art postcards placed along the Riverwalk when it opened in 2012.

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mother and daughters drawing
ArtSlam

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.

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Blues in the Schools

Musicians from the Bradenton Blues Festival share their stories and a live performance with aspiring young musicians in area schools. This continues the legacy of blues music by inspiring a new generation of fans and interacting with professional musicians shows aspiring young people that they could have a future in the arts.

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Breakfast & Big Ideas

Sponsored by Bank OZK, this monthly breakfast features Bradenton-area Millennial “dreamers and do-ers” who share their story and aspirations via a live interview.

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Children’s Book Fair

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

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PopUps for a Purpose

Pop-up events, statistical research, and public art helped accelerate important conversations on how to attract and retain young people to the Bradenton area.

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PopUps Inside Access

Events and workshops by and for Bradenton-area Millennials that lead participants from interested to invested in the success of their community.

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See Me Hear Me

Public art series featured large-scale portraits of 23 Bradenton-area Millennials who reflect the demographic and occupational diversity of this generation. Each participant shared their ideas, perspectives, and priorities in an interview to amplify the voices and contributions of young people in this community.

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