Soul of the Community

Attachment to your community makes you stay, shop locally and enjoy its cultural offerings, helping to grow the local economy. But what attaches you to Bradenton?


Twin Dolphin Marina photographed by Chris Thibaut

The “Knight Soul of the Community Project,” sponsored by Gallup and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, interviewed about 43,000 people in 26 communities over a three-year period beginning in 2008 and found that “social offerings, such as entertainment venues and places to meet, openness (how welcoming a place is) and the area’s aesthetics (its physical beauty and green spaces)” attach people to their communities.

These three factors rose to the top of the list every year of the survey and did not vary from large city residents to those in small communities. Respondents’ ethnicity, age, and occupation also had less to do with their community attachment than did its openness (diversity), social offerings and aesthetics. The study concluded that “optimism for a community’s future is tied to residents’ connection to place.”

The report on Bradenton was very encouraging:

“Community leaders are positioned well to use residents’ attachment to Bradenton aesthetics, including the city’s natural beauty and culture, as a differentiator between it and other comparable communities. This becomes extremely important when competing for tourist dollars in the state of Florida and the Southeast in general.”

Source: Knight Soul of the Community in Partnership with GALLUP, Why People Love Where They Live and Why It Matters, November 2010,

Realize Bradenton sponsors and promotes cultural experiences that residents can share, furthering their sense of place and identification with their community. By weaving arts, culture and heritage into the fabric of the Bradenton community, we hope to engage more residents and tourists with our riverfront community.