The kids are heading back to school and summer is winding down – what better time to make a quick couple’s escape to Tampa Bay? Decompress with a stroll through exciting new exhibits at our art museums, let yourself be transported by the experience of live theater and orchestra, or enjoy the ornate environs of Tampa Bay’s oldest movie palace. Indulge in an autumn of amazing art in Tampa Bay!

Art Blog Slides
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Yellow Door
Art Blog Slides
Robert Lazzarini, chain-link fence
Art Blog Slides
Robert Rauschenberg, Jack Daniels from Suite 1
Art Blog Slides
Rodrigo Valenzuela, Barricade# 3

Tampa Museum of Art

Robert Rauschenberg: America Mix-16

August 9 through January 5, 2020

Famous for his "Combines," Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925-2008) made his art out of everyday imagery and non-traditional materials, often building on photographs to create layered images that rendered provocative narratives or observations about the world around him. America Mix-16, a portfolio of 16 photogravures, features pictures of found vignettes or objects Rauschenberg encountered during his travels around the US. He found beauty in the mundane, such as a dilapidated rag hanging from the gas cap of an abandoned truck or the inadvertent still life of discarded objects resting on the curb. Rauschenberg spent part of his time working in Tampa Bay at the University of South Florida's Graphic Studio.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: One Master Artist /Two Masterpieces

September 12 through November 10, 2019

This show focuses on two unique Basquiat artworks: Yellow Door (1983) and Untitled (Word on Wood) (1985), examining Basquiat's visual vocabulary through these two important paintings. Visitors explore the artist’s use of found materials, text, and portraiture as a means to explore socio-political themes and self-identity. Related materials address how Basquiat’s art signified new directions in abstract figuration and 20th-century painting. Part of the fall exhibition series Ordinary/Extraordinary: Assemblage in Three Acts.



Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Steve Martin's Meteor Shower

September 4-September 29

Once a "wild and crazy guy," performer Steve Martin has transformed into a talented playwright. Tampa Bay's Jobsite Theater troupe brings his latest play to life at the Straz Center's Shimberg Playhouse, one of five theaters under the roof of the Southeast's largest theater complex.

Broadway season

Starting September 19

Broadway comes to Tampa Bay starting September 19 with the comedy romp Spymonkey's Hysteria, followed October 8-13 with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the stage adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's book. Future shows in this year's series include Fiddler on the Roof in November and Aladdin in December.

Florida Orchestra

Starting September 27

Conductor Michael Francis takes up his baton as Tampa Bay's hometown symphony tunes up for a new season with Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, Grieg’s Piano Concerto, and Beethoven’s Leonore Overture. Future shows includes a free Pops in the Park concert October 20 in Rivertower Park on the banks of  the Hillsborough River.


Tampa Theatre

Summer classics

The grande dame of downtown winds down its Summer Classics Series with Sunday matinees of masterpieces from years past. Relive the slapstick comedy of "9 to 5," the beauty of friendship in "Shawshank Redemption," and that most classic of classics -- "Casablanca," which will play over two days. The theatre's 1,400-piece Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ will roar to life for "The Silent Clowns," carrying viewers back to the age before the talkie took over. Set aside 3 p.m. Sunday on your weekend calendar through August.

September sing-alongs

You know you want to. Why should the stars on the screen have all the fun? Now you can join Julie Andrews spinning in that alpine meadow or Hugh Jackman and his crew of misfits celebrating themselves in that New York bar. Let's hear what you've got when Danny & Sandy remember their summer fling or Mary Poppins offers that spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down!

Live shows

Make your plans to attend the theatre's live shows, including comedians Jim Jefferies and Nate Bargatze, as well as author Salman Rushdie (a show co-sponsored with Oxford Exchange).


USF Contemporary Art Museum

The Return of the Real

The University of South Florida’s on-campus museum reopens after an extensive renovation with “The Return of the Real” featuring works by New York-based sculptor Robert Lazzarini and Chilean-born artist Rodrigo Valenzuela. Programs associated with The Return of the Real exhibition will include a conversation with artists Robert Lazzarini and Rodrigo Valenzuela, and CAM Curator-at-large Christian Viveros-Fauné.

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts