Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tarpon Springs to be home to Gulf Coast Folklife Center

The Gulf Coast Folklife Center plans to hold a festival where artists, such as Jude Thegenus, a Haitian painter and musician from Miami, create works about cultures throughout the state.

ROBERT L. STONE | Special to the Times

The Gulf Coast Folklife Center plans to hold a festival where artists, such as Jude Thegenus, a Haitian painter and musician from Miami, create works about cultures throughout the state.

TARPON SPRINGS — This city has long been considered by many as the center of Florida's Greek culture. But city officials hope a $40,000 grant awarded this week will help to establish Tarpon Springs as a hub for exhibits, festivals, classes and performances about folklife from around the state.

The National Endowment for the Arts awarded the grant to establish the Gulf Coast Folklife Center, which will be based in what is now known as the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center.

Programming will include information on the city's Greek heritage and culture, but will be expanded to encompass other aspects of Florida folklife and maritime history.

"We are absolutely thrilled with this grant award," said Kathleen Monahan, the city's cultural and civic services director. "It will allow us to expand our Greek cultural programming in a much stronger way, but also to help people become aware of the different cultures we have throughout the state."

Grant money will be used to expand some of the city's current cultural programming, including the Gulf Maritime Festival, folklife workshops and classes on Greek instruments and cuisine from the Dodecanese Islands, as well as the Night in the Islands concert series.

But the additional funding will also be used to:

• Present exhibits on Florida folklife in the Cultural Center's two gallery spaces.

• Hold workshops and programs in the 100-seat auditorium.

• Create the Gulf Coast Folklife Festival, which will be held in the fall. The festival will feature traditional artists from all over the state who will perform music or narratives and create textiles, paintings, instruments and costumes relevant to Florida folklife.

"Florida is different than any other part of the country," said Tina Bucuvalas, curator of arts and historical resources for the city. "We hope this will serve as a center that will present aspects of folklife from all over Florida."

Bucuvalas is uniquely qualified to establish a folklife center in Pinellas County. Before coming to Tarpon Springs two years ago, she served as the state's folklorist for 13 years and helped develop a similar project in Miami.

The first exhibit Bucuvalas will present this fall will feature Haitian artwork and storytelling.

Future exhibits will include religious art, diving helmets, Seminole Indian dugout canoes, and African-American "hymn lining," a tradition that involves a leader speaking or chanting a line that then is sung by the congregation.

Bucuvalas said she hopes to have three to four different exhibits each year.

Although the grant is one-time funding, with no guarantee of continuing after next year, Monahan is confident they will find a way to keep the center running.

"Starting up is always the most expensive part," she said. "There is an array of things we can do in the future."

Tarpon Springs to be home to Gulf Coast Folklife Center 05/19/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 19, 2011 8:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks


    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  2. Mariners lose lefty Drew Smyly to Tommy John surgery


    SEATTLE — Drew Smyly was the centerpiece to one of Seattle's many offseason moves by general manager Jerry Dipoto. He was a priority acquisition as a proven lefty for the rotation the Mariners believed would thrive pitching at Safeco Field.

    Drew Smyly will undergo Tommy John surgery after being diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Seattle announced the diagnosis on Wednesday, ending Smyly's hopes of returning during the 2017 season. [AP photo]
  3. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  4. Busted: How a Times photographer captured Donald Trump's fake news


    Tampa Bay Times photojournalist Scott Keeler was on assignment last summer for a story about Donald Trump’s presence in Palm Beach, a tale of glamour and conflict. Along the way he inadvertently captured evidence of a …

    Near the main entrance at Mar-a-Lago, the fake Time magazine cover is on display in July 2016.
  5. Jones: Steve Yzerman's plan for getting the Lightning back into the playoffs

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Seems like forever since the Lightning played a hockey game.

    If the Lightning season started right now, would Steve Yzerman be happy with what he has? "We're still a couple of players short,'' Yzerman said.. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]