Progress Energy Supports Economic Vitality Projects in Tampa Bay

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ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - The Progress Energy Foundation will invest $425,000 this year to fund economic vitality projects across the Tampa Bay area. Economic vitality grants foster economic development and improve the quality of life in communities served by Progress Energy though contributions to major arts organizations that make a significant impact on the vitality of our headquarters cities.

"“Our company has a proud history of supporting economic vitality in the communities where our customers and employees live and work,”" said Vincent Dolan, president of Progress Energy Florida. "“We recognize that a strong arts community helps to improve the quality of life in local communities.”"

Over the last five years, the Progress Energy Foundation has invested approximately $2.5 million to assist economic vitality initiatives in Florida.

Progress Energy Foundation 2012 grants will support these Tampa Bay area organizations:

Ruth Eckerd Hall - The Progress Energy Foundation provided funding to underwrite the 2012 – 2013 Mainstage Broadway Series.  The upcoming season will include performances such as West Side Story, a Chorus Line, Bill Cosby, Dave Koz, Natalie Merchant and La Traviata. The family entertainment series and Adults at Leisure series will benefit as well.

Museum of Fine Arts - Funding will underwrite the upcoming exhibition The Art of Golf. Organized by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the National Galleries of Scotland, The Art of Golf is composed of approximately 90 works that feature representations of the ancient game, its players and its landscapes in a variety of media and styles. The centerpiece of the exhibition is The Golfers (1847) by Charles Lees, which is jointly owned by the National Galleries of Scotland and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. The Golfers shows a match in progress at the Old Course at St. Andrew’'s. This is the first time The Golfers (and many of the other exhibition works) has traveled to the United States for display. Also included in the exhibition are paintings by Rembrandt, Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol. Portraits include Tom Morris Sr.; Bobby Jones; Old Man Tracy; Jack Nicklaus; and John Shippen, the first African-American to compete in the U.S. Open.

The Florida Orchestra - A grant will underwrite their Audience Development and Community Accessibility Initiative. This grant will aid in increasing the orchestra’'s visibility and encourage broader community participation through three levels: lower prices, programming and packaging and bold artistic initiatives. Starting its second year, the Community Accessibility Initiative'’s goal is to significantly reduce barriers to participation through lower prices and a greater variety of performance options.

In addition to economic vitality grants, the company funds grants that focus on the environment and education.

The Progress Energy Foundation is funded each year by the company’'s board of directors from shareholder funds.

Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and provides approximately 10,000 megawatts of diverse electric generation to serve a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles, including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. For more information about Progress Energy, visit