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Gulfport’s Fiona Whelan Prine nominated for National Council on the Arts

Bill DeYoung



June 13, 2019: Fiona and John Prine at the Songwriters Hall Of Fame 50th Annual Induction And Awards Dinner at The New York Marriott Marquis. Photo: Shutterstock.

President Joe Biden has nominated part-time Gulfport resident Fiona Whelan Prine for the National Council on the Arts, which advises the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts on agency policies and programs including applications for grants, funding guidelines and other initiatives.

Prine, whose husband, singer/songwriter John Prine became a victim of Covid-19 in 2020, is President of Oh Boy Records, the country’s second-oldest independent record label still in operation. She also helped raise more than $3 million for Thistle Farms, a global nonprofit social enterprise dedicated to helping women survivors of prostitution, trafficking and addiction.

In an exclusive interview with the Catalyst in April, Prine described how she and her husband – who already shared a home in Nashville – fell in love with Gulfport, and the bay beaches, and decided to buy in the area.

John and Fiona raised their sons in Ireland, and in Tennessee, but always insisted on spending winters, and as many holidays as they could arrange. in Pinellas County.

“It seemed like we spent the last 15 years of John’s life trying to get back there more often,” she said. “But he got busier and busier. We didn’t always get to spend as much time as we would have liked to. But I certainly have now. It’s part of our family story, as much as Ireland is.”

The United States Senate is tasked with approving Biden’s nominees for the council; others on the president’s list include ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, choreographer Christopher Morgan and theater director Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer at New York’s Apollo Theater.

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