Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Hernando group to develop multipurpose cultural center

BROOKSVILLE — Board members of the newly formed Cultural Arts and Entertainment Center formally unveiled their plans Thursday evening to develop a multipurpose venue that would house several local art, music and cultural organizations.

Speaking before a modest group made up primarily of Hernando County arts group members at the Quarry Enrichment Center, board members offered few specifics about the ambitious effort, but insisted that there was no reason it couldn't work.

For now, the project revolves around acquiring a building capable of housing a 600-seat theater, offices and classroom spaces for arts groups, and an art galley.

The organization's chairman, Rick Foti, cautioned that the group is in the early stages of its effort.

"We've got a long, long way to go," said Foti, who also serves as president of the Hernando Symphony Orchestra. "But we have to start someplace, and that's why we're here."

Although other sites are being considered, the group's main focus is the purchase of the defunct Hernando Suzuki auto dealership on Cortez Boulevard near the Suncoast Parkway, a 6,000-square-foot building that would provide ample under-roof space for its operations.

The final cost of the building and the necessary improvements is still unknown, vice chairwoman Myndee Washington said. But based on rough estimates, the group would have to raise at least $2 million to complete the project.

"It's not an outrageous price," she told the audience. "But if it doesn't work, we'll figure something else out."

Under the group's plan, the purchase of the building and capital improvements would be paid for with grants and funding by private donors willing to buy naming rights to various rooms inside the building.

Washington said the operation could recoup the estimated $9,100 in monthly operating expenses by renting space for dance recitals, conferences, theater events and summer camps, among other things.

Last month, the group got a financial boost when county commissioners voted to transfer $30,000 from a capital funds account belonging to the Hernando County Fine Arts Council that was once part of a $100,000 donation from the county that was earmarked for the council's ill-fated Nimmagadda Cultural Center project.

The fledgling group has received some positive community support as well. Longtime Spring Hill resident Nick Morana donated $500 to help the effort get off the ground.

"The community has needed something like this for a long time," Morana said. "I think that once it's up and going, people will be proud to support it."

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or

New Hernando group to develop multipurpose cultural center 09/09/11 [Last modified: Friday, September 9, 2011 7:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.