An In-Depth Look at Florida's Capital
Quality of Life
» Strengths — Tallahassee is livable, affordable and attractive. It offers many amenities of a larger city, but the area immediately surrounding the city is rural with much natural beauty. Overall, the population is well-educated. Government creates a stable employment base.
» Weaknesses — Air service, high poverty rate, Southern racial dynamics and lack of a larger convention facility. The city’s downtown is attractive and historic, but the space is dominated by offices of professional groups.
• Soul Report
A 2009 Knight Foundation report called “Soul of the Community” found that in Tallahassee, the most important things connecting people to the community are “social offerings (fun places to gather), openness (how welcoming the place is) and basic services (community infrastructure).”
The study found strengths in the community’s educational backbone, university resources and its physical beauty. The report found that Tallahassee’s residents felt the community was lacking in social offerings, the availability of basic services, particularly affordable housing, and openness, particularly toward gays and lesbians.
The people least likely to feel attached to Tallahassee, the survey noted, are younger, single, rural-dwelling and new residents — highlighting the challenges facing economic developers as they try to build the area’s non-government economy. “Increasing residents’ emotional attachment to where they live,” the Knight study found, “has a significant relationship to economic vitality.”
Challenger Learning Center planetarium
» Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science — The facility is a Smithsonian Affiliate organization that combines hands-on science exhibits with art displays.
» Tallahassee Museum — Features historic buildings and nature exhibits [“A Taste of Tallahassee”]
» Museum of Florida History — The state history museum, with artifacts from Florida’s past
» FAMU Foster Tanner Fine Arts Gallery / FSU Museum of Fine Arts — Both facilities feature multimedia exhibitions across a broad range of styles and themes, along with international art competitions and student exhibitions.
» John G. Riley Center/Museum of African American History and Culture — The museum is housed in a downtown home that is a remnant of an African-American neighborhood from the 1800s.
» Boys’ Choir of Tallahassee — A program targeting at-risk young men, the choir performed at Walter Reed Medical Center during President Obama’s inauguration.
Boys’ Choir of Tallahassee [Photo: Reggie Grant]
» Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra
» Tallahassee Ballet
» A group called the Florida Center for Performing Arts and Education, with a board headed by Bob Inzer, is trying to raise money to build a performing arts center near downtown. Fundraising efforts are headed by Campaign Executive Director Jean Frey.