With Just Getting Started, Deputy Mayor and City Administrator Dr. Kanika Tomalin is “telling the St. Pete story” through one-on-one conversations with change-makers. With many exciting plans and projects on the horizon, St. Petersburg’s upward trajectory remains strong. “So much has been done, but here’s the secret: We’re just getting started.”
Dr. Tomalin's guest is Wayne Atherholt, Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs for the City of St. Petersburg. They discuss the important role played by the arts in the healthy development of the city, as both an inspiration and a proven economic driver. Dr. Tomalin and Atherholt recall an advance tour they both took of the massive, soon-to-open Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, and talk about the giant "floating sculpture" design by Tampa native (and world-renowned artist) Janet Echelman for the new St. Pete Pier. The groundbreaking, six-year-old SHINE Mural Festival is discussed, as well as the importance of the performing arts in a community of this size and diversity.
"There is a great passion in the city for making it a better place. And art is one of those areas that there is so much passion for, and it makes our lives so much better."
Mural by artist Zulu Painter, Campbell Park, St. Petersburg.
"You can do anything you want in St. Petersburg, if you put your mind to it. And I think the arts have proven that."
Dr. Kanika Tomalin is a thought leader, policy-maker, community ambassador, and health advocate.
As the first African-American, female Deputy Mayor and City Administrator of one of Florida’s largest cities, Dr. Kanika Tomalin is a role model for women from all walks of life and an advocate for innovative policies, equitable community revitalization, healthy families, at-risk youth and education.
Her signature initiative, Healthy St. Pete, which launched in 2014, has made community health a priority and impacts the lives of thousands of Sunshine City residents. By creating access to healthy food options, implementing free fitness zones in city parks and adding resources for individuals and families to make healthy living easier – Dr. Tomalin has made a tangible difference.
Dr. Tomalin’s understanding of the critical role health plays as a determinant of overall quality of life was shaped prior to her career in the public sector. She quickly climbed the ranks in the healthcare industry, most recently serving as the regional vice president of External Affairs for the Bayfront Health Network and director of Strategy for Health Management Associates’ 23-hospital Florida Group.