tampa amazing arts challenge

The Amazing Arts Challenge Has Contestants Searching For Clues Across Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. – Taking inspiration from The Amazing Race television competition, New Tampa Players president Nora Paine wants to create something fun and special to reconnect the community to the arts. While so many theatre’ stages remain dark, she hopes to shed a little light on the many creative venues throughout Tampa that the public may not know.

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Supported by the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners, and the State Division of Cultural Affairs, on three Saturdays, November 7 – 21, New Tampa Players’ The Amazing Arts Challenge will pit five pairs of contestants in a head-to-head competition. The ten contestants will visit 22 venues across Tampa to do performing and visual arts tasks and receive clues from the location. The challenge selected is entirely up to the participating venue.

This interactive, socially distanced, and masked event begins in Ybor City, goes to Seminole Heights, and concludes in South Tampa. The Amazing Arts Challenge features tasks in live theatres, movies, visual arts venues, dance groups, and museums.

Paine put out a post for contestants on social media and received tremendous response.

On the search for clues are three pairs of friends.

Amanda Schapiro and Katie Welch, are friends for 12 years. They met on the set of Tampa Bay Family Theater’s Peter Pan, where Welch played Mrs. Darling, and Schapiro played Nana, the dog, and the crocodile. 

Bri Filippelli and Trevor Lloyd became fast friends in 2016 during a production of Beauty and the Beast. Jamey Feshold and Jessica Schoenfeld became friends years ago when Schoenfeld created her musical theatre school for children.

Engaged couple, Chris Grant and Michelle Kadonsky, are attempting to navigate wedding planning during the pandemic. They met when Michelle, a transplant from St. Louis, MO, was on an apartment search in Tampa, and they bonded over the fact that they each have the same musical instruments (flute, alto sax, piano). They appeared in together in Chess the Musical in 2018.

Taking inspiration from The Amazing Race television competition, New Tampa Players president Nora Paine wants to create something fun and special to reconnect the community to the arts.
Angelina and Natasha Samreny

It’s a family affair for sisters Angelina and Natasha Samreny. While Angelina is an actress and classically trained mezzo-soprano, Natasha has them rolling in the aisles as a comedian trained at The Second City theatre in Chicago.

At the close of November 7, no one is eliminated. On November 14, two couples will be cut, and on November 21, only one couple can win The Amazing Arts Challenge cup trophy.

Throughout the day, volunteer videographers will capture the action and present a video the following Thursday on its YouTube channel. Participating venues and New Tampa Players are livestreaming on Facebook and Instagram pages.

Nora hopes that this will be the first of many fun Amazing Arts Challenges of bringing arts organizations and its patrons together safely. The event brings to the forefront the importance of the Arts. It shows firsthand what Tampa’s organizations are going through during the pandemic, with everyone struggling to stay above water. She hopes that the public might discover a gem in their community that they wouldn’t have known about with The Amazing Arts Challenge

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