We exist to help awaken you to a life of creativity and adventure!


I started the Creative City Project in 2012 after looking around at so many of my creative friends in music, dance, design, and visual art and thinking, "our city would be better off if more people knew about the amazing work my friends are creating." So that first year, without much organization, almost no money, and no permission, I (along with help from Lindsay Janssen and Theresa Dobritch) facilitated a performance in a Downtown public space every day during the month of October. 

On a whim, we called Orlando Ballet and Cirque du Soleil. They were interested in what we were doing, and they both agreed to participate. Years later, they remain some of our staple collaborating organizations. 

In July of 2013, I began asking myself, "was that a one time thing, or should we do it again?" and, again, a small team started contacting artists and businesses, and with a little more organization, we started moving forward – this time with the plan to condense all that energy and creativity into one night of performance.

Really, for me, so much of this was tied up in my desire to see my friend thrive creatively here in Orlando. There seems to be so much transience, and I believed that creating meaningful moments for artists and audiences, we could begin creating a deeper sense of care for our city. It was happening, and people were noticing. 

Soon after our 2013 event, I got a message from Thomas Chatmon at the Downtown Development Board. They were interested in helping us amplify the Creative City Project, seeing it as a unique offering that could diversify the Downtown Orlando experience. And since that time, the DDB has remained instrumental in helping us bring the Creative City Project to life. 

As we've continued on, thousands of artists have joined us and tens of thousands of patrons have encountered the meaningful experiences those artists are creating in the streets and public spaces of the city. 

Momentum has continued to make the Creative City Project one of the south's most exciting and collaborative art and performance event gaining national and international attention. 

I believe the Creative City Project, and Orlando, are well on our way to becoming the premiere destination for performance and installation artists from all over the world. Together, we can make it happen, and we'd love to have you join us on the journey. 

Cole NeSmith
Executive Director, Creative City Project

Our mission is three fold :

Cultivate a thriving arts community in Orlando.

We do this by :

  • Paying emerging artists to create work at our annual event

  • Connecting new audiences to existing and established arts organizations.

  • Providing training for artists through workshops and seminars.

Nurture a deeper sense of ownership of and care for Orlando amongst its residents.

By creating meaningful shared experiences in the public spaces of our city, we transform the way its residents see and experiences its people and places.

We do this by : 

  • Making the arts accessible to all through our free annual event.

  • Encouraging artists to consider how architecture and environment affect the relationship between artist and audience – creating unique and meaningful experiences.

We do this by : 

  • Promoting excellence and high production value in all we do.

  • Creating experiences audiences can't have anywhere else.

  • Encouraging cross-genre artistic collaboration.

  • Highlighting and recruiting world-class artists innovating in their field.



Shape the global perception of our city as one known for innovation and creativity. 


Frank Billingsley
Orlando Mayor, Buddy Dyer's
Chief of Staff

Cristina Calvet-Harrold
CCH Marketing

Eric Jacobsen
Music Director, Orlando Philharmonic

Kelly Cohen
Partner, Southern Strategy Group

Camille Evans
Greenberg Traurig

Paul F. Bryan
CEO, Grover Bryan, Inc



Ted Maines
Ted Maines Interiors

Cole NeSmith
Chief Executive Officer

Former : Stephanie Dang Murphy
Rollins College
US Senator


Chris Albanese
Chief Operating Officer

Michael Caibio
Director of Strategic Partnerships

Holly Harris
Programming Consultant

Crystal Edwards
Programming Director

Melyssa Marshall
Bookkeeper/Grants Manager

Cole NeSmith
Chief Executive Officer

Jake Ellis
Production and Tech Director

Matthew Weller
Social Media Manager

Heather Boni
Volunteer Coordinator

John Kazaklis
Hospitality Director 



Mayor Buddy Dyer
City of Orlando
Honorary Event Chair

Mayor Teresa Jacobs
Orange County
Honorary Event Chair


Nick Fouraker
Bishop Beale
Event Chair

Chris Belt
Accidental Music Festival
Contemporary Music Chair

Masami Koshikawa
Performance Art Co-Chair

Sumner Mormeneo
Performance Art Co-Chair

Larissa Humiston
Emotions Dance
Dance Chair

Diana Portillo
SAK Comedy Lab
Volunteer Chair

Doug Brown
Interactive Art Chair

The Creative City Project is made possible by the generosity of these donors :

Harriett Lake

Ford Kiene

Craig Ustler

Hal Kantor



Jim Pugh

Donna Dowless

Jennifer Quigley

The NeSmith Family

David Nelson

Bill Neighbors

Mahesh Chaddah

Gregg Pollack

And thank you to our generous corporate sponsors : 

*This year's project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program.