Together Manatee Art and History Trail Brings New Public Art, Encourages Walking

Together Manatee Art and History Trail Brings New Public Art, Encourages Walking

Realize Bradenton and Together Manatee have collaborated to create the Together Manatee Art and History Trail. Set to debut next year in downtown Bradenton, the walking trail will feature a new public art installation in the Village of the Arts and highlight the area’s existing public art and historical sites. 

“The Together Manatee Art and History Trail, along with the additional public art panel in the Village of the Arts, build on the healthy aspects of exercise by encouraging walking by residents and visitors to explore public art, restaurants, shops and galleries, from the Village of the Arts to the Riverwalk,” said Bob Turner, Project Manager of Together Manatee.

The walking trail will feature 14 existing public art panels and 25 historical sites. Visitors will discover detailed information of each location using their smartphones through, a website Realize Bradenton launched in 2016. Information will also be available to walkers in print.

“Downtown Bradenton is distinguished by its 60 pieces of high-quality public art,” said Johnette Isham, Executive Director of Realize Bradenton. “Through a $26,000 grant, Together Manatee and other partners will fund a new public art panel and a walking trail. The panel will be installed in the Village of the Arts, revealing the rich history and heritage of the area. The walking trail will provide further connectivity between Riverwalk, Old Main Street, and the village, strengthening existing cultural tourism options.”

Realize Bradenton FloridaThe Together Manatee Art and History Trail will be prominently featured on, a user-centric website developed by Realize Bradenton to highlight the assets of downtown and encourage on-foot exploration of the city. Using GPS technology built into smartphones and tablets, the user’s location is identified as a smiling emoji icon on a map. Every point of interest, which is marked with a unique icon, has a ‘location card’ that appears once the icon is tapped. These ‘location cards’ feature detailed descriptions, photographs, videos, and links.

“We’re going to host a scavenger hunt in March 2019 to launch the Together Manatee Art and History Trail during Manatee County History Month,” said Isham. “Everyone is invited to participate. It will be exciting, zany, and the perfect way to encourage families, youth, millennials, and all generations to join the fun.” Isham explained that Realize Bradenton will promote the new walking trail and scavenger hunt across its broad digital assets, including websites, social media, and email newsletter.  

About Realize Bradenton
Realize Bradenton is a nonprofit organization that transforms public places and engages people using arts, culture, heritage, and food to build a vibrant, healthy Bradenton. Bringing people together, our work results in social, physical, and economic revitalization and shapes a community where people want to contribute, live, work, and visit. For more information, visit:

About Together Manatee
Together Manatee is an organization of local business and civic leaders who are interested in providing funding for lasting projects that will enhance the community and future of Manatee County. For more information visit:

Photos courtesy of Realize Bradenton

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Bob Turner, Jeremy Piper, Johnette Isham, Realize Bradenton, Together Manatee

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