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Arts Alive! podcast: Markus Gottschlich

Bill DeYoung

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Markus Gottschlich, executive director of the Warehouse Arts District Association, guests today on the Arts Alive! podcast.

A native of Austria, Gottschlich was brought in to run the nonprofit WADA two years ago. The organization has many missions, including the support and public endorsement of local art and artists.

The Arts Xchange, the centerpiece of the district, is home base for WADA, as well as numerous artist studios and galleries, several retail businesses, a working kitchen, a new outdoor stage and, as of 2023, the home of St. Pete’s long-lived Academy of Ballet Arts.

Our discussion spans the past, the present and the future of the WADA campus, which has become, in recent years, a major hub for all kinds of community activity, most arts-related.

We also talk about Gottschlich’s other laser-focused mission, that of a jazz pianist and composer. He and his trio will perform April 4 as part of the 2024 St. Petersburg Jazz Festival.

The two careers are not as opposite as they might appear. “When you’re a musician, and you’re out there playing and teaching – the question arises, is that all there is?” he explains during the interview. “And you want to do something that affects more people than just yourself.

“So I got into arts education. I was the artistic director for the Miami Beach Jazz Festival, and I started curating educational programs that would benefit youth that would otherwise not be exposed to that kind of talent … that’s kind of when the nonprofit bug bit me. Seeing the transformative power of the arts in places where there is none.”

Click on the arrow to listen to the interview.


 

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