Be Proud. Be Passionate. Be Strange. Be Beautiful.

Pride & Passion at the Tampa Museum of Art brings together our diverse community to raise money for engaging educational programing and world-class exhibitions.

The LGBT community has been synonymous with Arts and Culture in Tampa Bay and around the world. It’s befitting that Pride & Passion, a signature fundraising event for the Tampa Museum of Art, features our community. It’s equally befitting that the money we raise funds programs at the Museum that reduce barriers to admission, create safe places for people to experience the arts, and celebrates our local talent.

The inspiration for Pride & Passion 13, Strange Beauty, began with the number 13, and the many strange beliefs and superstitions behind it; how it is considered to be an unlucky number by many cultures, but a sacred and lucky number by others.  These dichotomous beliefs made me think how art and people are often perceived in the same way. One person may look at a Dali or Kahlo painting and think its subject matter is weird, or dark, or even taboo, while another person thinks it’s fascinating and beautiful; and since life imitates art, this translates into our everyday lives. People of different races, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, and cultures are often considered to be strange. Our diversities are as endless as the opinions about them. What is perfectly normal to one person may be bizarre to another, but truly beautiful things happen when we see something or someone that we don’t identify with, or maybe even makes us uncomfortable, and emotions are evoked, thoughts are formed, questions are asked, and we see something that we haven’t seen before and find the light in the darkness and the beauty in the strangeness.

Strange Beauty will be a fun and energy-filled evening full of surprises inspired by Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild’s 1972 Surrealist Ball at the Chateau de Ferrières; Please arrive wearing your finest Strange Beauty attire;  black tie optional, evening gowns, and surrealist masks and headdresses.  The night will feature meticulously planned details, bizarre décor, intriguing guests, intoxicating food and drink, and bewitching music and dance. 

Live Beautifully,

Marvin Meeks, 2018 Chair