(Tampa, Fla.) — Hillsborough Community College (HCC) will be hosting its first Art and Innovation Market on Thursday, December 9, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the HCC Dale Mabry Campus. This inaugural event will showcase HCC and community everyday entrepreneurs that have businesses themed around the arts and innovation.
Businesses will set up pop-up shops on campus. This free event provides an opportunity for the Tampa Bay community to connect with HCC student entrepreneurs, small businesses and local artists. The event is hosted by HCC’s InLab and Gallery221. There will be music and food available to shoppers and vendors. Interested vendors can sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/art-innovation-holiday-market-vendors-tickets-211150766627. Anyone interested in attending and shopping with small businesses can register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/art-innovation-holiday-market-attendees-tickets-211155871897.
“HCC is deeply committed to supporting and nurturing the Hillsborough County small business community,” said Dr. Ken Atwater, President of HCC. “The Art and Innovation Market brings together our state-of-the-art entrepreneurship center (the InLab@HCC) and art galleries (Gallery221 and Gallery114) to provide a crossroad to art and innovation in Tampa Bay.”
The event is powered by Hillsborough County and the HCC Foundation, and is designed to help support aspiring everyday businesses as we head into the holiday season. Small businesses are the backbone of all municipalities throughout the nation. Despite the huge economic disruption that COVID has created over the past year, there has been a surge in the number of new business applications filed. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2021 will be a record year in terms of people starting new businesses, and specifically high propensity new businesses – businesses that are likely to hire employees quickly.
A recent research study (2021) from Americans for the Arts revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on America’s arts sector. Even as arts organizations return to in-person programming and employment conditions improve for artists and creative workers, the arts are recovering slower than other industries.
“We are delighted to support an event that creates a bridge between the community and everyday small businesses to help accelerate a recovery in the arts community,” said Amanda Poss, HCC Gallery Director.
“Creativity is a critical part of the fabric that makes up HCC,” said Dr. Paige Niehaus, HCC Dale Mabry Campus President. “The arts fuel creativity, open the mind, foster inclusivity and help to build empathy. I am so happy to see that our campus, through this event, will be providing another opportunity for creativity to flourish.”
“Over the past several years, we have noticed an increasing number of entrepreneurship students seeking to start art-related and social entrepreneurial businesses,” said Professor Beth Kerly, a full-time faculty member at HCC and the co-founder of the InLab@HCC. “From a faculty perspective, working alongside these students has been an extraordinarily inspiring journey.”
Hillsborough Community College serves over 42,000 students annually at its five campuses located throughout Tampa Bay. The College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, visit hccfl.edu.