Pinellas Community Foundation in Tarpon Springs: Putting the “Art” in Partnership

by | Oct 11, 2022 | Arts, Education, Scholarships | 0 comments

It’s easy to imagine what springs to mind when you think of the beautiful community of Tarpon Springs — the area’s vibrant Greek heritage.

Whether it’s a stroll through the historic Sponge Docks, enjoying the authentic delicacies, or attending the annual Epiphany celebration, where dozens dive to retrieve a cross thrown into Spring Bayou, there’s no doubt that Greek culture gives Tarpon Springs its unique flavor.

However, the city is also home to one of the richest arts and culture communities in Pinellas County — a fact that may be lesser known.

Pinellas Community Foundation (PCF) is proud to be a supporting partner for several charitable forces that lift emerging and long-established pillars of the arts and arts education in Tarpon Springs. Just like this community, there is much more to how PCF provides services and philanthropic support to causes all over the county than you may have realized.

The Arts Scene

You may have seen a show at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center or visited the 1883 Safford House Museum & Gardens, managed by Tarpon Arts, the city’s engine for history and preservation of the arts. However, for many visitors, the Leepa Rattner Museum of Art (LRMA) isn’t on their radar — and it should be.

Located on a beautiful campus, a branch of St. Petersburg College just miles from the Sponge Docks, the LRMA features modern and contemporary works in three collections. The Leepa/Rattner/Gentle (LRG) Collection features the works of Abraham Rattner, a figurative expressionist, and Esther Gentle, a printmaker, sculptor, and painter.

The Gulf Coast Museum of Art Collection features the works of Florida artists like photographer Clyde Butcher, who is considered Florida’s Ansel Adams. Lastly, the LRMA Inc. Collection holds a large variety of prints, photography, paintings, and sculptures from such renowned artists as Caroline Adams-Byrd-Denoy and Richard Florsheim, to name just a few.

Legacy of Arts Education

Many arts pursuits in Tarpon Springs emphasize education and the advancement of student involvement in the arts. The future of arts and culture in any community depends on providing support and opportunities to emerging visual artists, musicians, actors, poets, and the culture-keepers that will preserve this legacy.

For more than 20 years, Pinellas Community Foundation has been a dedicated resource for arts and culture funding. The Theodore and Marion Tonne Grant for Cultural Outreach offers funds to support direct project expenses of arts education and outreach programs serving underserved populations. The Janet A. Huntley Arts Enrichment for Youth Grant supports arts teachers in Pinellas County Schools to help arts education flourish, specifically for K-12 students in Title I or Title II schools. Assisting with the expense of training an artist to become a fine art or performing arts teacher elevates the learning experience and helps open a future in arts and culture.

PCF is not just an organization that receives and distributes funds through grants. PCF helps manage and provide resources for many donor-advised funds, which are dedicated accounts for charitable giving. Though PCF is your partner, you choose how, when, and where to distribute the funds based on your philanthropic goals and the causes that are important to you.

These donor-advised funds assist in several areas, including senior services, hunger, disaster relief, and the arts. The issues people care about are limitless, and the Pinellas Community Foundation partners in helping philanthropic pursuits be formed and realized.

One such fund is the March to Macy’s Fund 2022, which supports students from the Tarpon Springs High School Leadership Conservatory for the Arts, whose academic curriculum integrates the performing arts, technology, and leadership skills.

Through study and performance, Conservatory members develop musical artistry, poise, confidence, and self-discipline. These talented musicians will follow their dreams to New York City, where they’ll perform in the prestigious Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these hardworking teens to represent their hometown in a beloved national parade and holiday tradition.

The Kathleen Monahan Foundation Fund Scholarship is another donor-advised fund under the PCF umbrella that focuses on uplifting the arts in Tarpon Springs. Kathleen Monahan, the fund’s namesake, was singularly responsible for making the city a major regional center for the performing arts. As the founding director of Cultural and Civic Services for the city, Kathleen developed a range of programming, including concerts, theatre, and dance performances, and a lecture series, at city-owned venues — the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center, and the 1883 Safford House Museum and Gardens.

The late Brent Wadsworth, a renowned golf course developer, and his wife, Jean, founded the Kathleen Monahan Foundation Fund to recognize Kathleen’s contributions to the arts in Tarpon Springs after her retirement in 2017.
This year, the KMFF, managed in partnership with Pinellas Community Foundation, awarded $1,000 scholarships to two Tarpon Springs high school seniors who plan to continue their performing arts education. Expanding scholarship funding is a necessary part of helping all students in Pinellas County realize their dream careers. PCF helps make administering scholarships easier for donors and is proud to be a chosen partner of KMFF, impacting arts and culture in Tarpon Springs for generations to come.

Pinellas Community Foundation has been a trusted community partner for more than 50 years. Whatever charitable cause is important to you and your community, PCF is your partner in philanthropy — from helping individuals, families, and good works in honor of a loved one to supporting education, the environment, or any community priority.

Give Humanity a Hand in Tarpon Springs

Learn more about and contribute to the Pinellas Community Foundation funds based in Tarpon Springs.