TAMPA Fla. (May 24, 2022) –The Tampa Museum of Art has announced that its new education center will be named the Vinik Family Education Center, in honor of a $5 million gift made by Jeff and Penny Vinik to the Museum’s $100 million Centennial Campaign for Renovation and Expansion.
“The Tampa Museum of Art is renowned for the value of its educational programs and its exceptional support for Hillsborough County students and teachers. We are delighted to advance that good work with this gift, and to further contribute to the Museum’s mission to educate, engage, and inspire Tampa Bay residents and others around the world,” said Penny Vinik.
“The opening of our new education center is long-awaited for Museum members, volunteers, and other visitors. We are so thrilled to finally have a facility with a capacity to match the demand for our education programs, and we are grateful to the Viniks for their generous gift to help make this facility and the future growth possible,” said Michael Tomor, Ph.D., the Penny and Jeff Vinik Executive Director of the Tampa Museum of Art.
The education center opened on May 16 and will serve as the temporary entrance to the Museum while additional renovations are completed on the west side of the building. The first classes in the space will be the Museum’s Summer Art Camps for ages 6-17, beginning Monday, June 6. Over 200 children are already enrolled for the summer, with few available spots.
The most recent gift by the Viniks for the education center is made in addition to a previous $5 million gift made in October 2019 to endow the position of executive director, bringing the family’s total contributions to the Centennial Campaign to $10 million. To date, including the Vinik family’s gifts, the Centennial Campaign has raised $71 million toward the Museum’s $100 million goal.
With the Education Center renovations complete, the education space has grown from 1,400 to 8,000 square feet, including four classrooms, a lobby, orientation spaces, and a secure entrance. With these improvements in place, the Museum anticipates quadrupling the number of students it serves per year, and the school tour program alone can grow from 6,000 students to 24,000 each year.
In 2021, the Museum announced it was embarking on its $100 million Centennial Renovation and Expansion to expand the Museum’s gross area from 69,000 to 125,000 sq. ft. The renovation portion of the project is rolling out now, beginning with the new Vinik Family Education Center. New galleries are scheduled to open in the fall of 2022, and the groundbreaking for the expansion portion of the project is expected to take place early next year.
The design of the entire renovation and expansion project is led by New York-based WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism. Speaking about the accomplishment of this milestone, Principal Architects Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi said, “we’re inspired by the Tampa Museum of Art’s expansive commitment to arts education. We’re thrilled that the Vinik Family Education Center is the fitting and very visible first phase of the larger transformation and expansion of the Museum. These studios and education spaces will provide light-filled settings to connect all the arts to the larger community of Tampa.”
The future expansion project will add a 4,000-square-foot auditorium. Culinary Arts classes on the third-floor rooftop area of the expansion will also add to its future education program offerings.
“I am a longtime Tampa resident, and I cannot remember another time when our local arts and culture institutions have had so much wind at their back,” said Jerry Divers, chair of the Campaign Cabinet and president of the Tampa Museum of Art Foundation. “This generous gift from the Vinik family, in addition to the historic $25 million donation from Dick Corbett announced last month, is truly transformational for the Museum and the Tampa Bay community.”
“As we embarked on the Centennial Campaign, we made a commitment to Hillsborough County students and teachers that we would make it a priority to serve them and make the Museum’s resources accessible to them for field trips, extracurricular programming, and professional development. By giving so generously to the new Education Center, the Viniks have made a lasting impression on the next generation of Tampa Bay residents,” said Dianne Jacob, chair of the Tampa Museum of Art Board of Trustees.
To learn more about the Tampa Museum of Art Centennial Renovation and Expansion, visit http://centennial.tampamuseum.org
About The Vinik Family Foundation
Vinik Family Foundation (VFF) is a private foundation created and managed by Jeff and Penny Vinik. Founded in 1997, VFF has donated over $100 million to nonprofits working in the areas of education, human services, healthcare, and the arts. VFF is especially dedicated to broadening the public’s understanding of art through inclusive, interactive exhibits and installations.
Under the umbrellas of the Vinik Family Foundation and the Lightning Foundation, the Viniks have invested significantly in Tampa Bay area charities through a variety of initiatives – the most notable being the Lightning Community Heroes program, which honors grass-roots heroes with $50,000 each for their respective non-profits at every Lightning home game.
Vinik has ventured into development and over the last several years has moved forward with his vision to develop some 60 acres in downtown Tampa. Water Street Tampa includes donated land and financial support to house the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine & Heart Institute downtown. The walkable waterfront community will also feature corporate office buildings, a hotel, residences, retail, restaurants, and entertainment options. In Tampa, Penny Vinik is a board member of the Tampa Museum of Art and she chairs a community arts initiative that enables Tampa Bay-based artists to display their works throughout Amalie Arena and to bring exhibits such as The Beach and The Art of the Brick to Tampa Bay as free events that are open to the public. Penny is also at the forefront of organizing the annual Celebration of the Arts, a juried exhibition that displays the works of hundreds of local and regional artists.
About Penny and Jeff Vinik
Jeff & Penny Vinik moved to Tampa in 2012 after Jeff acquired the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team. After 20 plus years in Boston, the Viniks were thrilled to experience the warmth of Tampa Bay – both in the weather and in the people. They have been embraced by the Tampa Bay community in an exceptional manner and they are pleased to reciprocate this friendship whenever and wherever they can.
Jeff initially moved his company, Vinik Asset Management to Tampa but soon closed it to focus on the Lightning and the redevelopment of the district surrounding Amalie Arena. In partnership with Cascade Investment, the investment arm of the Gates Foundation, Jeff and his real estate development company, Strategic Property Partners are diligently working on the re-imagining of 50 acres in downtown Tampa. In addition to this “small” project, Jeff likes to travel with his family and, of course, cheer on the Bolts!
Penny currently serves on the Board of the Tampa Museum of Art and formerly served as an Ambassador for the non-profit, Dress for Success. In August 2016, she and Jeff were pleased to bring The Beach Tampa by Snarkitecture to Amalie Arena. Following the tremendous response to this installation, they presented The Art of the Brick Tampa in summer 2017, welcoming over 135,000 guests to experience the art of Nathan Sawaya free of charge.
WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism is a multidisciplinary design practice based in New York City. Founded by Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, the firm is known for the dynamic integration of architecture, art, infrastructure, and landscape design. The firm is well known for the Seattle Art Museum’s celebrated Olympic Sculpture Park, named by TIME magazine as one of the top ten marvels in the world and by Architectural Record as one the “most significant works that defined architecture in our era.” Other notable projects include the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center, and Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park. The firm’s current work includes the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, the Artis—Naples Baker Museum and Cultural Campus, and the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale. Most recently, the firm was selected through an international competition to reimagine the La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum in Los Angeles. For more information visit weissmanfredi.com.
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