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‘Catalyst Sessions’ recap: John Collins

Bill DeYoung



The highlight of Thursday’s Catalyst Sessions interview with John Collins was the rollout of the Curate St. Pete website, the latest tool in the box for the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, of which Collins is executive director.

The website includes a selection of brief, professionally-created videos in which artists and gallery owners introduce themselves, and take the viewer through the work. The music was provided by St. Pete jazz trio La Lucha.

There are 28 videos on the site, with more being added all the time. They are entertaining and informative, and go a long way toward filling the void left by the Covid-mandated cessation of the Arts Alliance’s monthly ArtWalk.

“Look at these pictures!” Collins said as he shared the home page with Catalyst Session viewers. “It’s not about the galleries, it’s about the gallery owners. So you literally go to the Charlie Parker Gallery, and Charlie opens the door. He says ‘Hi, I’m Charlie Parker, come on in.’”

Collins also talked about the realities of operating a not-for-profit support and advocacy group in a time in history where every artist and arts organization needs support and advocacy in order to survive.

“The City of St. Pete opened up the Fighting Chance Fund to nonprofits,” he pointed out. “I did not apply because I serve those people. I couldn’t apply and think somebody didn’t get a grant.”

Today on The Catalyst Sessions: Longtime historic preservationist Monica Rowland Kile checks in from her family’s ongoing cross-country RV journey.

Streaming weekdays at 7 p.m. on the Catalyst Facebook page. All episodes are archived on our YouTube page.




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