Arts For All Ages and Abilities

Your Recommendations
of Arts Spaces For Everyone

. . .

We’re asking for arts experiences in our area you’d recommend to friends and family of all ages and abilities, for this special Arts Coast feature.

Maybe it’s a museum where your dad with a cane can find a place to sit and rest a moment, or where there’s room for your scooter. Maybe it’s a festival your kids or teenagers enjoy, or an arts studio with a comfy spot to take care of a baby.

Maybe it’s a performance that makes sure you can understand the voices,  an audioguide that describes the visuals and other language options if English isn’t your first. An arts space where your daughter doesn’t feel overwhelmed by noise and distractions, or a gallery where your service dog is treated kindly, and there’s a water bowl.

We hope this is a start at creating a resource for everyone who wants to experience the arts in Tampa Bay. If you’ve got an arts space or experience to add, you can email and we’ll keep updating this list.

I love the Chamber Series at the Palladium Theater in St. Pete.

I have single sided deafness and experience sensory overload during loud performances and attending art openings. I live with constant ringing in the ears which becomes amplified when I am exposed to loud venues.

I recommend the artist talk series at the MFA, coffee and conversations at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, and Sixstar Art Studios in St. Pete. They are hosting discussions on art on third Saturdays at 10 am.

– Kimberly Engel

The Beach Art Center in Indian Rocks Beach is on one level which makes it simpler for companions who require walkers, wheelchairs or simply avoid stairs.

The “Art on the Rocks” classes are my favorite. One-time classes are designed for various age groups, and offered during evenings or weekends. The small fee covers all the art supplies needed to create and take home your custom work in 3 hours or less. The summer children’s art camp is a creative adventure too.

Pinellas County residents enjoy free parks, showcasing nature’s beauty. Walsingham Park in Seminole is an easy getaway as it’s centrally located in mid-county.

A new all-inclusive playground featuring ADA-friendly equipment is under construction with completion expected by summer 2024. The large grassy areas and sheltered lakeside picnic tables are perfect for coloring books or craft projects. The playgrounds and a fenced dog park are other family-friendly options.

– Suzanne Norman

Mural by Creative Clay member artists and Todd Frain

Creative Clay in St. Petersburg helps people with disabilities achieve full and inclusive lives by providing expressive, educational and vocational experiences in the arts. Member artists visit museums, galleries and a wide range of arts experiences.

Creative Clay’s Studio Manager Coral Walden shares her perspective on several St. Pete arts spaces.

Dalí Museum

Pros – They have Sensory Friendly Sundays with lower light, noise and crowd levels. They also have noise-cancelling headphones available to those with sensory sensitivities, and a museum experience book available to download. Like many local museums, the Dali provides discounted admission to those with SNAP benefits.

Cons – There aren’t many places to sit inside the exhibit rooms, so it may be difficult for folks who need to sit frequently to make it through the whole exhibit. They do have a couple of wheelchairs guests can use if needed. And they have accessible spots in their parking lot, but you do have to pay for parking (even with a disability tag).

Matthew Campbell – photo courtesy of Fairgrounds St Pete

Fairgrounds St. Pete at The Factory

Pros – It is a self-guided experience and there are many comfortable places to sit and take breaks. It is all on one floor and is accessible to those using mobility devices.

Cons – There are a lot of lights, sounds and visual clutter that may be overstimulating to some folks with sensory sensitivities – I recommend bringing headphones and checking out the ‘pool’ area for a sensory break.

photo by Harriet Monzon-Aguirre

The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art

Pros – Accessible for people using mobility devices (inclufinh bathrooms and gift shop). There are benches throughout the exhibit to sit and take breaks.

A map and photo guide is provided on the website for those with sensory sensitivities. Admission is free to those with SNAP benefits.

Cons – It can be hard to find an accessible parking spot in the garage during high traffic times (street parking is also available).

Christian Sampson Tempus Volat, Hora Fugit Installation – image courtesy of MFA St Pete

Museum of Fine Arts St Pete

Pros – There is seating in some of the larger galleries, and the museum is fairly accessible to those using mobility devices. A sensory guide is available on their website and headphones, fidget toys and color-enhancing glasses are available behind the counter.

The MFA hosts Sensory Friendly Saturdays on second Saturdays, and they have an outdoor garden that’s good for sensory breaks.

Cons – There is limited accessible parking, so those with accessible vehicles may have to use street parking. The garden is not super accessible for those using mobility devices.

I have also used this article from Visit St. Pete/Clearwater to look at the accessibility features of different Pinellas museums.

– Coral Walden

photos by @ÉlanVitalVisuals

GrowHouse is a poetry collective dedicated to growing community, creatives and culture through spoken word and hip-hop. They host monthly writing workshops and open mics and specialize in helping artists grow to their fullest potential.

Everyone is welcome – the diversity of artists, ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, at all of their events is plentiful!

Dennis Amadeus

GrowHouse is run by Dennis Amadeus and Curtis Davis, two uber-talented spoken word poets and community leaders who are renowned for their eclectic portfolio of work, and for the heart that they pour into the community. I personally started off photographing their events as a newbie photographer almost 7 years ago, and they welcomed me with open arms despite the fact that I barely knew how to operate my camera.

As shy as I am, I remember a time where I jumped into one of their cyphers [an informal gathering of rappers in a circle] and spit a 16 [a rhyme flow of 16 counts of 4 beats].

It felt like a movie moment, to be honest – but it’s a testament to the supportive environment that they created and continue to create years later.

Curtis Davis

They gifted me a community to be involved in where I could practice and work on my craft without judgement, inspiring me to just show up, execute, and continue to study till I got to a point where I felt knowledgeable and confident in my craft, and was able to authentically represent myself through my lens with the art of storytelling.

The same is true for all the spoken word poets, singers and rappers who enter the space. They’ve spent years highlighting the work of other local artists, and they deserve to be highlighted themselves for the incredible atmosphere that IS GrowHouse. They are FOR THE PEOPLE.

Curtis is also a gifted DJ who has some of the best sets I’ve experienced! The room is always groovin when its him controlling the sound. He also serves as the Creative Director of Heard ‘Em Say, a youth poetry collective in Tampa Bay.

– Medina Karagic

ASL interpreter Carol Downing at The Studio@620 – photo by Margo Hammond

I would like to suggest the Radio Theater Project at The Studio@620 in downtown St. Pete.

Since ASL interpreter Carol Downing is always part of the show and it’s “radio” – meaning you don’t have to see the performance – I think these performances are accessible to those who might be visually limited or hearing impaired.

[Recordings of RTP’s live performances are available for free online, for anyone who can’t get to a live performance.]

– Polita Glynn

Of course, I’m going to share our amazing venue, Studios@5663 in Pinellas Arts Village in Pinellas Park! We’ll be reopening after renovations are complete, May 12 is the current date.

We host an Art Walk event on the first Saturday of every month from 5-9 pm, community “make and take” events, Pride celebrations, gallery exhibitions and many other arts events.

We’re home to the nonprofit Diversity Arts, supporting underserved youth and communities by providing a safe and welcoming environment, guidance and materials for creative self-discovery, expression and interaction. Visual artists Tricia Lynn BushJohn Gascot, Jill Kaplan, Terry ScopellitiEmily Stehle and my Urban Dog Studio (Laurie Elmer and Knicki Lucrezi) all have studios here.

Our space is accessible with no stairs or barriers.  We have ample parking. We welcome guests of all abilities.

Well behaved and leashed pets are ALWAYS welcome AND encouraged!

– Laurie Elmer

The Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA in South St. Petersburg, is dedicated to providing accessible and high-quality arts education programs for all members of the community.

At the forefront of this effort is WADA’s flagship initiative, ArtsXploration, currently expanding through new partnerships with Academy Prep, Boley Centers and Mt. Zion Christian Academy. These collaborations aim to specifically cater to at-risk populations in South St. Pete.

ArtsXploration offers a diverse array of art classes that are free of charge and customized to accommodate individuals of all ages and skill levels. Our primary focus is ensuring accessibility for everyone interested.

Participants have the opportunity to engage with professional artists who share their expertise and insights. Through this shared experience of art-making, the program provides both educational enrichment and therapeutic benefits.

– Vicky Lang

Purple Moonlight by Marquise R. of Creative Clay


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