The Straz Center began as a dream by visionary citizens of Tampa who persevered to bring to reality one of the finest performing arts centers in the nation. It is many things to many people and it's more than just a building, more than just a performing arts center. It is a presenter, a producer, an educator, a community partner and an economic engine for the Tampa Bay area. It is a cornerstone of the Tampa Bay community. The Straz Center creates a regional economic impact of more than $100 million each year. To our local economy it can mean more tourists staying in hotels, eating in restaurants, shopping in stores and visiting other venues when they are here. At both the local and national level, it provides access to more than 700,000 people of all ages, abilities and cultures each year. It also provides jobs for artists and other professionals who have a passion for the arts and for our mission.