Make us your home page
Instagram
Arts Notes

Foundation named for Tarpon director of cultural, civic services

A new arts foundation is named after Kathleen Monahan, director of cultural and civic services for Tarpon Springs. One of Monahan’s strengths is combining arts and the preservation of historic buildings such as the Heritage Museum.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

A new arts foundation is named after Kathleen Monahan, director of cultural and civic services for Tarpon Springs. One of Monahan’s strengths is combining arts and the preservation of historic buildings such as the Heritage Museum.

Kathleen Monahan is a self-effacing sort of person. "My personality is to be in the background and make things happen," she says. "I'd rather not be out front."

But that's not really possible when your name is on a nonprofit foundation, which is what businessman Brent Wadsworth stipulated when he formed the Kathleen Monahan Foundation. He did so to honor Monahan's work as director of cultural and civic services for Tarpon Springs, heading the department that runs the city's excellent arts and cultural programs.

"I tried to dissuade Mr. Wadsworth, and I proposed some other names, but he's a man who knows what he wants," Monahan says. "It's an incredible honor. You can understand how it might feel awkward when I'm raising money for it."

"I did insist on it because Kathy has managed that department for so many years and so well that I felt she deserved the recognition," said Wadsworth, the founder, in 1958, of Wadsworth Golf Construction Co., based in Plainfield, Ill. He spends winters, and enjoys going to performances, in Tarpon Springs, where he lived full time when his company was building Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club.

The foundation, begun with initial gifts of $30,000 from Wadsworth and recently registered as a 501(c)(3) public charity, is a vehicle for raising money to supplement the department's budget, which totals $515,000 this year. The foundation's current assets are about $42,000.

"It's kind of like the relationship of Friends of the Library to a library," Monahan says. "It's a fundraising organization for our arts activities, to do those things that the city can't afford to do, and to ensure that quality programming continues for years to come."

Monahan, 63, a Tarpon city employee for more than 30 years, has been highly resourceful in combining preservation of historic buildings and the arts. "The arts program is part and parcel of our historic preservation," she says. "Most of our buildings for the arts are historic and have been adapted for reuse as cultural institutions."

The performing arts center, the cultural center, the Heritage Museum, Safford House — all are in historic structures that have been renovated and now provide venues for the arts in Tarpon.

"Kathy's ability to attract wonderful performances and do all the necessary administrative work has been remarkable, especially for a relatively small city like Tarpon Springs," Wadsworth says. "She's the best."

The Monahan Foundation is presenting a benefit concert by soprano Katie Saunders, with composer David Ott at the piano, at 7 p.m. Friday at the Heritage Museum. Funds raised will go toward purchase of a grand piano at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $50 and include the concert, gourmet pizza, wine and beer. (727) 942-5605.

Free Clinic benefit

For their third annual benefit concert, members of the Florida Orchestra Musicians Association perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg. Proceeds go to the St. Petersburg Free Clinic.

Featured on the program are two winners of the 2012 Justine LeBaron Young Artist Competition, named for the late French horn player with the orchestra. They are Aaron Lehrian, 18, a pianist from Seminole who will play a movement from Anton Rubenstein's Fourth Piano Concerto; and Brendon Sill, 17, a bassoonist from Seffner who will play Mozart's Bassoon Concerto.

The FOMA musicians will perform Beethoven's Fifth Symphony under the baton of John Bannon, the orchestra's principal timpanist as well as a conductor. Also on the docket is Verdi's overture to La Forza del Destino. $10-$25. (727) 822-3590; mypalladium.org.

Guare play readings

Playwright John Guare (Six Degrees of Separation) is being honored in Sarasota with the Greenfield Prize, and his new play, Eddie in the Andes, is being given readings as part of the Asolo Repertory Theatre's Unplugged New Play Festival. The readings, followed by a Q&A with Guare, are at 8 p.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. Friday at the Historic Asolo Theater. $7. (941) 351-8000. Guare will also speak on "My Life, My Work" at 11 a.m. Friday at the Ringling Museum of Art. Free, with reservations requested. (941) 360-7399.

John Fleming can be reached at fleming@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8716.

Foundation named for Tarpon director of cultural, civic services 04/13/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 4:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What is poke? Here's how to make the Hawaiian dish at home

    Cooking

    In Hawaiian, "poke" simply means "to cut."

    Tuna Poke Bowl: For a classic poke bowl, try this recipe with ahi (yellowfin) and only a few other ingredients.
  2. Taste test: shelf-stable milks for your hurricane kit

    Taste Test

    It was 25 years ago this week that Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida. For those of us familiar with the damage, hurricane preparedness is always a priority. With that in mind, our tasters wanted to sample some of the staples for stocking a hurricane kit. We settled on milk that doesn't need to be refrigerated, …

  3. MOSI, SPC, libraries offer safe solar eclipse viewing Monday

    Events

    If you couldn't score some of the hard-to-find eyewear that will let you watch Monday's solar eclipse, have no fear, there are safe viewing choices across the Tampa Bay area.

    Twin Falls High School science teachers Ashley Moretti, left, and Candace Wright, right, use their eclipse shades to look at the sun as they pose for a portrait at Twin Falls High School in Twin Falls, Idaho. The district bought 11,000 pairs of solar glasses, enough for every student and staff member to view the solar eclipse Aug. 21

(Pat Sutphin/The Times-News via AP)
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Aug. 21-27

    Events

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Watch the team practice for free at Bucs Training Camp on Tuesday-Thursday at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, where you'll also find the crew from HBO's Hard Knocks, the reality show featuring our team. Saturday, the team takes on the Cleveland Browns in a preseason game at …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) participates in practice during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017.
  5. Comedy legend Jerry Lewis dead at 91

    Obituaries

    LOS ANGELES — Jerry Lewis, the manic, rubber-faced showman who jumped and hollered to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, settled down to become a self-conscious screen auteur and found an even greater following as the tireless, teary host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons, has died. He was …

    In this Sept. 2, 1990, file photo, entertainer Jerry Lewis makes his opening remarks at the 25th Anniversary of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon fundraiser in Los Angeles. Lewis, the comedian whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died according to his publicist. [Associated Press]