Image of The Music Box Roving Village installation at City Park, New Orleans by William Widmer.

“Our basic desire is to create wonder and awe – for ourselves and for our audiences. Wonder and awe unite us, breaking down stubbornly held ideas and opening pathways to community building, artistic progress, and urban regeneration.” ~ Delaney Martin, Founder of New Orleans Airlift

Come experience the wonder and awe of
The Music Box: Tampa Bay!

The USF Contemporary Art Museum (USFCAM) is pleased to present The Music Box: Tampa Bay, a musical architecture project by visiting artists New Orleans Airlift (NOA). An interactive public artwork that fuses architecture, engineering, history and music-making, The Music Box: Tampa Bay is a performance space and site for exploration, experimentation and discovery at the Community Stepping Stones (CSS) site at Mann-Wagnon Park along the Hillsborough River in the Sulphur Springs neighborhood of Tampa. Free public programming at the site will include musical and spoken word performances, talks exploring the history of the area, jam sessions, interactive tours and periods for open play.


SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: March 25 – April 17

PLAY - Explore the site during open hours; fun for all ages

Thursdays, 10am – 5pm, and Sundays 12pm – 6pm.

LISTEN - Hear The Music Box played by an exciting mix of musicians and performers during orchestrated concerts every Friday and Saturday night at 7:30pm. Admission is free, but requires tickets. Tickets for all Friday and Saturday performances available through Eventbrite.

Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26, 7:30pm
Ray ‘rayzilla’ Villadonga conducts The Modified Mosquito Massive featuring an all star cast of local luminaries
Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2, 7:30pm
Career performs Structures
Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9, 7:30pm
USF Composition presents It's Called 'The Locktsapopka’
Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16, 7:30pm
Gwan Massive

LEARN - Join us for lectures, talks and guided tours

Saturday, March 26, 2pm The Music Box: Tampa Bay Artist TalkHow did the artists do it?
Thursday, March 31, 6-8pm How did we get here? Explore the geological and cultural history of the site with historians Rodney Kite-Powell and Hermann Trappman.
Guided Tours available with advance scheduling. Please contact Sarah Howard.

PARTICIPATE - The Music Box: Tampa Bay is your stage. Sign up for hosted open mic nights.

Thursday, April 7, 6-8pm – Open Jam session with The Ginger Twins
Thursday, April 14, 6-8pm – Open Mic & Spoken Word performance with Heard ‘Em Say Youth Arts Collective

The schedule of events is subject to change; weather permitting.

For the latest news and photos from The Music Box: Tampa Bay, follow us on Facebook.



NOA began the project in New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina as a way to engage and rebuild the artist community of New Orleans. NOA creates immersive, spectacular spaces that inspire wonder and engage a wide variety of audiences. Since their initial installation of The Music Box in New Orleans in 2011 and 2012, NOA has created other villages in New Orleans and Shreveport, Louisiana, but this will be their first project in Tampa. 

The Music Box: Tampa Bay is comprised of temporary structures with imbedded instrumentation designed to produce sounds when interacted with and performed by musicians and visitors. During the month of March, NOA is collaborating with local artists Jan Awai, Devon Brady and Michael Lemieux from Livework Studios and community-based land artist, Tory Tepp to design and construct the musical village. Students from CSS and USF College of The Arts are working with the artists to execute the public art installation and presentation.

Following the artist design and build residency, The Music Box: Tampa Bay will be open to the public for four weekends starting March 25th and concluding April 17th. Musical performances, orchestrated and performed by local musicians, will occur on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 pm, cultural programs will occur on Thursday evenings from 6-8pm, and the site will be accessible for open exploration and play on Thursdays from 10-5 pm and on Sundays from noon-6 pm. Guided tours will be offered on Thursdays with advance notice. Please contact Sarah Howard to schedule a tour. All programming will be free, but the Friday and Saturday evening performances will be ticketed due to limited capacity. Check back for more info on tickets.

A call for volunteers is open to interested individuals who would like to take part in this unique project promoting community engagement and awareness of the city’s heritage and contemporary cultural diversity. We are looking for volunteers for the following: docents for Thursday tours, Cultural Programming nights, and Evening Performance nights. After a volunteer training meeting, you will get behind the scenes experience of The Music Box: Tampa Bay! If you are interested, please email Sarah Howard.

Where: Community Stepping Stones at Mann-Wagnon Park, 1101 E River Cove St, Tampa, FL 33604. Google map or directions

When: March 25th to April 17th, 2016. The Music Box: Tampa Bay will be open to the public every Thursday, 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday, 12 pm to 6 pm. Tours available on Thursdays by appointment. Cultural Programming every Thursday evening from 6 pm to 8 pm. Evening Performances every Friday & Saturday starting at 7 pm.

Contact: Sarah Howard, Curator of Public Art and Social Practice, 813-974-2203 or

Join the Conversation: For the latest news and photos from The Music Box: Tampa Bay, follow us on Facebook.



New Orleans Airlift -
The New Orleans Airlift (NOA) was founded in 2007 by musician and DJ Jay Pennington and Delaney Martin, a visual artist and curator, in response to the unparalleled destruction of Hurricane Katrina and its devastating aftermath. The mission of NOA is to produce innovative projects for New Orleans-based artists to collaborate and engage with diverse communities locally and around the globe. NOA projects are hallmarked by collaboration, innovation and a belief in the artist’s role in creating a just, equitable and joyous future. Support for NOA has come from New Music USA, Education Foundation of America and the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

From 2010 through 2012, NOA presented The Music Box, A Shantytown Sound Laboratory, in New Orleans. Constructed from the remains of a blighted house, the project was created by 25 collaborating artists, who embedded invented instruments into the walls, ceilings and floors of the existing structure and additional constructed structures. Performed by more than 70 world-class musicians for orchestral concerts and attended by more than 15,000 visitors and 500 students, The Music Box captured the hearts of New Orleanians and the attention of international press including NPR, who said: “High concept and nontraditional as it may be, The Music Box has found a place in the long history of New Orleans music.”

Community Stepping Stones -
Community Stepping Stones is a nonprofit after-school learning center offering an integrated arts curriculum designed to help children, teens and young adults find the right canvas for their lives. Through social enterprise programs such as “Inside the Creative Studio” and Murals2Go, CSS is able to provide job-training opportunities to students and arts enrichment for the community at large. The CSS campus is located along the tranquil Hillsborough River in Sulphur Springs, Tampa.

LiveWork Studios -
LiveWork Studios LLC is a cooperative design, research, and production facility located in the heart of Tampa’s historic Seminole Heights district.  The members of LiveWork strive continually to bring an ethos of collaboration and cooperation to their work across a variety of media.  From fine furniture and fine art to restaurant interiors and public art installations, the design/build process at LiveWork follows an open-source model which encourages our customers and community to become active participants in each phase of the creative process.

Tory Tepp -
Tory Tepp, a native of Wisconsin, received his undergraduate BFA in painting from Parsons, the New School for Design in New York City with a minor in non-traditional art histories. In 2009, Tory earned his MFA in public practice as part of the inaugural class of Suzanne Lacy’s social practice program at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. After a temporary relocation to New Orleans, Tory assumed the role of the driver of a vintage armored car for Mel Chin’s Fundred Dollar Bill Project and proceeded on a 19,000-mile journey around the country. This led to the development of an itinerant art practice that has kept him on the road for the past three years, working from project to project in New Orleans, Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Death Valley. Recently Tory relocated to St. Petersburg and has been actively developing community-based land art projects in and around Central Florida including two projects as the inaugural Artist in Residence for the Community Artist in Residence program at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Currently Tory is developing Earth Tones in Orlando, Florida, a project at the intersection of urban agriculture, land art and music.



The Music Box: Tampa Bay is supported by a National Endowment for the Arts ART WORKS grant, The Frank E. Duckwall Foundation, The Gobioff Foundation, and the USF School of Art and Art History’s Bank of America Community Arts Endowment Fund. To find out more about how NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit

NEA ART Works logo Frank E. Duckwall Foundation logo Gobioff Foundation logo
USF Contemporary Art Museum New Orleans Airlift logo Community Stepping Stones logo
Livework Studios logo Brokenmold Entertainment logo BoomBap productions logo
USF College of The Arts Tori Tepp logo Springs Theatre logo
Heard em say logo USF School of Music Composition Program USF Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships


The USF Contemporary Art Museum is recognized by the State of Florida as a major cultural institution and receives funding through the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Board of County Commissioners. The USF Contemporary Art Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Arts Council of Hillsborough County logo Hillsborough County Florida logo Culture Builds Florida American Alliance of Museums



Contemporary Art Museum
Institute for Research in Art

University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Avenue, CAM101
Tampa, FL 33620-7360 USA
(813) 974-2849 |