Committee Says City Needs Community Theater | North County

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DUNEDIN — Discussions about establishing a performing arts theater in the community took center stage during a May 17 City Commission discussion involving representatives from the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee .

Committee chair Jackie Nigro said Dunedin needed a hall with a capacity of 200-250 that could accommodate poetry readings, plays and comedies, children’s theatre, music and movies.

“And while we’re not looking at a public-private partnership…we are looking at and inviting municipal government alignment and support,” Nigro said.

A professional theater will provide economic development through increased tourism, jobs for performers and staff, and enhance the visibility of surrounding businesses, she said.

“It will increase diversity and acceptance, expression and provide an educational center for our children and grandchildren to see the possibilities of life on stage and explore their imaginations,” Nigro said.

Elizabeth Brinklow, the city’s consultant on the arts, said proponents of having a theater say there is no expectation of funding from city coffers, but are asking for support from others. means.

Commissioners have expressed excitement about having a theater, but Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski said she doesn’t think the government should take on the task alone.

“And I don’t want to be on the boil, but we don’t have a penny set aside for that, nor do we have it available to us right now with our current plans,” said Bujalsky. “That doesn’t mean it won’t evolve.”

Enthusiasm for such a project is great, Bujalski said, and she congratulated the project’s promoters who recently traveled to Sarasota at their own expense to visit a venue involving a number of arts organizations.

Commissioner Deborah Kynes said she wanted to have a performing arts center, mentioning a variety of performances and other activities it could support.

“There are very small theaters that I’ve seen that show wonderful films that you really can’t find in the big theaters,” Kynes said.

Commissioner Moe Freaney said plans for a performing arts center will require “an outpouring of citizen support and money to make it happen, but I’m certainly in favor because I think it adds something to the community”.

The discussion stemmed from a draft resolution extending the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee for another three years. The commissioners approved the resolution.

Senior Hall of Fame

The Town Commissioners have also recognized by proclamation two town residents who are the newest inductees into the Dunedin Senior Hall of Fame.

They are Dan Massaro, who has served on numerous city boards and committees, and Patti Boylan, who has taught schools in Pinellas County for more than 36 years and is recognized by multiple organizations for her contributions to the environment.

Massaro has left his mark on everything in Dunedin with his vast experience and expertise in architecture and construction and related fields, according to city officials. He is considered a catalyst that helped the downtown become what it is today.

From 1975 to date, Massaro has been involved in corporate boards for 37 of those 47 years. He is vice-chairman of the board of directors of the Local Planning Agency.

“And I enjoyed every moment of it. I think our downtown is absolutely beautiful and awesome and the envy of many, many other cities in the state of Florida. So thank you for letting me to be part of these boards and committees,” Massaro said.

Boylan has lived in Dunedin for over 40 years and in Pinellas County for over 50 years.

“I am so honored to receive this award. I could not have done all of this without the help of hundreds of people over the years who have helped me with my projects and I have helped them with theirs. I thank the Municipal Commission for all you have done,” Boylan said.

The commissioners and the mayor congratulated the recipients for their service.

Bujalski said what she appreciates for both Massaro and Boylan is the time they’ve taken to not just try to address the things they see happening in the community that can be improved. , but they sit down and “discuss it like neighbors and spend some heartfelt time at these committees and councils and projects with maybe the staff here in the city and anybody else…”

“A lot of people don’t do that anymore. They don’t have time for that in their lives anymore,” Bujalski said. “They don’t think it’s important. And they (Massaro and Boylan) have set a great example for everyone moving around in the community on how to put down roots – how to meet people, how to make a difference in your community and how to resolve community issues in a way that doesn’t divide.

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