Community Case

About the Community Case

The Community Case is a 14-foot long exhibit case located on the second floor that places groups front and center in our 60,000-square-foot facility for a three-month period.

Past Community Case

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay helps children succeed in life by providing caring adult mentors. The children (called ‘Littles’) are paired with volunteers (called ‘Bigs’), and visitors who stopped by the display got a better idea of how the mentoring program has made an impact over the past 50 years.
The non-profit got its start in 1964 as two separate organizations, one that focused on helping boys, the other on girls. In the early years, the agency served 35 children per year. Fifty years later, the agency serves nearly 2,000 boys and girls every year in Hillsborogh, Pasco and Polk counties. The display included a timeline and historical pictures featuring former Littles who are now adults, as well stories from several Tampa notables.

Abe Brown Ministries


Abe Brown Ministries’ Live the Brown LegacyTM display used personal artifacts and other materials to tell the story of Rev. Abraham Brown’s journey from Coach… to Educator… to Founder and CEO of Prison Crusade Ministries (now Abe Brown Ministries).Abe Brown Ministries (ABM), is a faith and community based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in the State of Florida in 1976. Its mission is to compassionately assist offenders, ex-offenders and their families to achieve productive and fulfilling lives. ABM does this through carrying the message of HOPE into prisons, providing transitional housing and supportive services to former offenders returning to Tampa Bay communities, training clients in life skills and job skills, assisting clients in job placement, and reunifying children and families with their incarcerated parents.

Clearwater Stamp Club


This philatelic exhibit was presented by the Clearwater Stamp Club to celebrate the Quincentennial of Florida’s discovery in 1513. It was assembled by John Hayner, a member of the club, and first shown at BAYPEX, a Bay area Philatelic Exhibition, in February of 2013. He is honored and privileged to share this four-frame exhibit with the viewing public at the Tampa Bay History Center as part of its celebration of Florida’s 500th anniversary of discovery.

Congregation Schaarai Zedek


Founded in 1894, congregation Schaarai Zedek is the third oldest synagogue in Florida. It is also the largest synagogue in Florida outside of the lower east coast, numbering more than one thousand families.

The goal of this exhibit was to tell the history of Congregation Schaarai Zedek, to show the impact of members of the congregation on the economic and political life of Tampa, to highlight the congregation’s role in religious and charitable efforts in Tampa, and to show the important role of The Temple in Tampa’s cultural diversity. Panels were created using historical photos and documents, replicas of the Schaarai Zedek stained glass windows found in the synagogue were displayed, and the religious heritage of the Jewish people was presented using ceremonial objects.

Tampa Woman’s Club


The GFWC Tampa Woman’s Club was organized in 1900 by 10 members as a cultural and social organization meeting regularly for literary discussions and refreshments at what is now the University of Tampa. As membership grew, their interests widened and in 1913 the Club was accepted into the GFWC Florida Federation of Woman’s Clubs (GFWC Florida). Educational and welfare projects became part of the members’ concerns.

Friends of Plant Park


Three existing panels at the Tampa Bay History Center displayed information and images depicting the histories of Henry B. Plant Park, the Friends of Plant Park and GreenFest. FoPP is honored to share its story in this state-of-the-art interactive museum.

The mission of Friends of Plant Park is to(a) assist with the restoration, preservation and maintenance of the Henry B. Plant Park, Tampa, Florida, as a botanical garden open to the general public, (b) research and publicize the Victorian history of the Henry B. Plant Park and (c) educate the public and cultivate community interest in and support for the forgoing activities.

Girl Scouts of West Central Florida


Girl Scouts of West Central Florida’s display celebrated the rich 100-year history of Girl Scouts, both locally and nationally. The first Girl Scout troop in the nation was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, GA in 1912; locally, Girl Scouts of West Central Florida is home to the second Girl Scout troop in the nation which was founded at Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Tampa in 1913. The display featured an array of Girl Scout artifacts and uniforms spanning several decades and guided visitors through the 100-year evolution of the largest girl-serving organization in the nation.

Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of West Central Florida serves nearly 21,000 girls in grades K-12 and nearly 10,000 adult members in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sumter counties.

Tampa Catholic High School


Tampa Catholic High School history display was used to celebrate the school’s 50th Anniversary since its opening on September 4, 1962. TC opened its doors to educate students of Hillsborough, and surrounding counties and was and still is the only co-educational Catholic diocesan high school in the area. The community case was used to showcase the first five decades of TC history. The display was designed around five narrative panels and many wonderful artifacts including the school’s first computers, vintage uniforms and clothing, and historic memorabilia.

Nursing Heroes


As the first exhibit to tell the story of local nurses who have shaped the delivery of health care, Nursing Heroes: Caring for the Community honored the rich and unique history of nursing in Tampa Bay. “This is nurses time to shine,” said Linda Hankins, exhibit committee chair, “Nurses tend to be invisible. They are behind the scenes, doing the work and getting it done. They typically don’t take the time to appreciate and recognize one another’s contributions.”

Curated by Julia Gorzka Freeman, the exhibit featured the stories of 5 nurses who took risks to break through gender and racial barriers to serve their country, save lives, and improve the health of all citizens. From opening the first hospital in Tampa to care for Black patients, pioneering midwifery training to improve survival rates of mothers and infants, and developing a scientific theory of nursing practice to improve patient care, these nursing heroes took on historic challenges that transformed the delivery of health care. Visitors also experienced the diverse ways in which today’s registered nurses, who comprise the largest health care profession, are working to improve health care.

From flight nursing at 15,000 to 30,000 feet in the air to bedside nursing in hospitals and long-term care facilities to the halls of research institutions, state legislatures, and Congress, the depth and breadth of the nursing profession continues to evolve to meet the health care needs of our community.

Ruskin Woman’s Club


The exhibit contained photographs and documents as well as tools and implements highlighting the community’s most recent century and touching on its pre-historic era prior to arrival of the massive 1539 Hernando de Soto expedition.

Started in 1912, the Ruskin Woman’s Club is actively engaged in volunteer community service. Their main objective is college scholarships, although they donate to the Ruskin Library, the South Shore Regional Library, The Mary and Martha House, Camp Bayou Learning Center, Keep Hillsborough Beautiful, Hoby, Firehouse Cultural Center and other organizations. In 1919, The Club joined the Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs becoming the 19th in Florida. Their Club House was built in 1910 as the home of George Miller, President of the Ruskin College, and in 1940 the Miller Family deeded their family home to the Ruskin Woman’s Club. Since that time the house preservation and grounds maintenance have been the responsibility of the Ruskin Woman’s Club and through fundraising and donations from the community-at-large, they continue to restore this grand piece of history.

Moffitt Cancer Center


On Oct. 27, 2011, Moffitt celebrated 25 years dedicated to one mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. A slice of Moffitt life was featured in the Community Case at the Tampa Bay History Center. It told the story of Moffitt’s bold beginning, groundbreaking research and exceptional patient care.

The Junior League of Tampa


Whether it’s distributing more than 20,000 books each year to children in Title 1 schools or donating nearly 30,000 pounds of food annually to needy families, The Junior League of Tampa has been a positive force in the Tampa area since the 1920s. To commemorate the group’s enduring history, an exhibit was produced by The Junior League of Tampa and which donated more than 45 hours of creative services time to complete the displays within the exhibit.

Christy Vogel, president of said the project was a learning experience for her. “As a League member since the early 90’s I thought I knew about all of the contributions the Junior League of Tampa has made, but there were a few I didn’t know about, such as the League providing tuberculosis care in 1920’s.” Junior League of Tampa President Betsy Graham said the biggest challenge of the project was to figure out how to put 85 years of history in one display. “We wanted to include everything, but had to focus on a few highlights throughout the years.”

Tampa Bay Ship Model Society


Standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier, one can hardly grasp the whole, whereas viewing a model, it is within reach. This display is simply a collection of models made by members, who choose subjects that interest them individually. Often they take commercial kits and through deep research, modify them to portray a particular date or event with far greater historical accuracy than the kit can do. Others build from raw materials and plans to create solid images of vessels that might never have been seen in scale. New facts come to light on ships that are well known, and so, modelers can represent these, adding to the public knowledge when these models are displayed and/or published. Finally, it is only in model-makers that many of the skills of our maritime past reside.

Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association


The Historic old Northeast Neighborhood Association was the first organization outside of Tampa to have an exhibit in the Community Case. The exhibit was on display from Nov. 24th, 2010, through February 2011. It was based on a book published by the Association (Souvenir of St. Petersburg, Views from the Vinoy) to promote appreciation for the neighborhood which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011. (Fifty copies of the book were donated to every elementary school in St. Petersburg.)

The mission of the Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association is to promote, preserve, and protect quality of life in our unique corner of the world. Located adjacent to burgeoning downtown, the neighborhood is characterized by a diversity of architectural styles, waterfront greenspace, brick streets, granite curbs, hexblock sidewalks, and front porches. An enveloping street tree canopy reinforces the pedestrian quality of the neighborhood. The Association sponsors Porch Parties, the December Candlelight Tour of Homes and many other activities which foster engagement and participation by residents.

Panama Canal Museum


The story of one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century, the construction of the Panama Canal, came to life in the Panama Canal Museum’s Community Case exhibit. This exhibited featured photographs of the Canal’s construction and other artifacts.In 1906, the United States Congress declared that Tampa be the first city to celebrate the building of the Panama Canal, requesting that President Theodore Roosevelt hold a naval review in the waters of Tampa Bay. “By reason of its being further to the southward and nearer to said Canal than any other city in the country, having a deep and commodious harbor, reached by ample railroad facilities, as also on account of its salubrious climate and spirit of American progress among its citizens manifest in the rapid growth and development of the city and her commerce affords a suitable place for celebration of the work done in the construction of the Panama Canal.”

City of Port Tampa Civic Association


The City of Port Tampa Civic Association has installed a display at the Tampa Bay History Center Community Case. This wonderful little port community located just west of The MacDill Air Force Base was first settled in the late 1800’s when Henry Plant extended his railroad line southwest from Tampa. Chartered as an independent City in 1893, Port Tampa was annexed by the City of Tampa in 1961. The display contains a few rare artifacts, photos and postcards, and a little history of the area.

AIA Tampa Bay


The Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), is proud to host 80 Years and Counting, an exhibit highlighting significant architecture in the Tampa Bay area.

To commemorate their 80th year, the AIA Community Case exhibit depicted significant landmarks in the Tampa Bay area such as the Palace Hotel on Davis Islands, Rivergate Tower, located on the corner of Ashley Street and Kennedy Boulevard, and the Skypoint condominium building in downtown Tampa.