Locals call for cultural arts building in Port St. Joe

Port Theatre

Several attempts were made to purchase the historic Port Theatre to use as a cultural arts center, but a price could not be agreed upon.

Wes Locher
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 10:28 AM.

For some, Gulf County has it all: beautiful beaches, a friendly community and a charming, small-town feel.

Others feel that the addition of a cultural arts building would be the icing that’s missing from the cake.

A full-time cultural arts building would allow Gulf County to play host to traveling exhibits, local art showcases and evening entertainment including theatre productions or public speaking engagements.

It would also give creative minds a place to converge, meet and share their passions with others.

Former president of the Forgotten Coast Cultural Coalition Natalie Shoaf spent years examining this cultural void and regularly sought out ways to fill it. After years of scouting locations and holding conversations, she believes she may have found the right place...but she can’t do it alone.

Shoaf said that there are several opportunities available in downtown Port St. Joe, but a building would need to be rented full-time until it could become self-sustaining and those interested in having such a building in the community will need to help out.

“When people visit Gulf County, they want something to do and something for their kids to do,” said Shoaf. “When I travel, I see cultural things and we need to insert that into our community.”

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