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SHAMc Project is Still On and Going Strong

With construction delays behind them and fundraisers ahead, the founders of the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center say the project is progressing nicely.

Acclaimed local artists Kiaralinda and Todd Ramquist want to make one thing clear: work on their Safety Harbor Art and Music Center, or SHAMc, project has not been halted. 

Now that their summerlong trip to art festivals around the country is over, they are working non-stop on making sure their longtime dream becomes a reality as soon as possible. 

In fact, the pair is in the process of organizing a major fundraiser in November, called the LuWOW, in order to raise awareness — and money — for the project.

“We want people to know that it hasn’t stopped, we are working on it,” Kiaralinda said from their home, known as Whimzeyland, on Wednesday. 

“People think because we’ve been out of town, and there isn’t work going on there every day, that the project has stalled. That is not the case.”

The couple are working on transferring many of the events they have hosted at Whimzey house over to the new facility, which is no easy task. 

Some events held at the Whimzey compound include an annual Holiday Art Interactive Installation, intimate private concerts, art shows and even movie productions. 

But putting something together like SHAMc, an interactive art and music center that benefits the entire community, takes more than just opening a building and inviting everyone to come over to hear music and look at art. 

“SHAMc is like our house, but on a commercial level,” Ramquist said of the project, which was partially funded by a grant from Pepsi. “There’s a lot more to it.”

“We’ve had two delays recently, with the foundation and the main building, which is being assembled in North Carolina,” he added. “After the building is delivered and put up, then it will look like something is going on there.”

In the meantime, the pair is planning the LuWOW, an fundraising event being held at the Garden Room in Palm Harbor on Nov. 19.

For a $25 ticket, patrons will be treated to a light dinner and a live Polynesian hula show. There will also be a silent auction of donated items and artwork for sale at a reduced rate.

Kiaralinda says all the proceeds will benefit SHAMc, which in turn benefits the Safety Harbor arts scene. 

“Even though the event is in Palm Harbor, we are raising awareness for SHAMc, so it benefits Safety Harbor.”

And she urges people to be patient with the process of creating something as wonderful and important as SHAMc.

“We’ve got strong support in the community and from the city, and I’m encouraged by that,” she said.

“Please enjoy the journey with us, because we don’t have an idea when it will end.”

For more information on SHAMc and the LuWOW fundraiser event, visit safetyharborartandmusiccenter.blogspot.com or Kiaralinda's website, or call 727-725-4018.

Jeffrey Rosenfield November 01, 2012 at 08:21 PM
I appreciate your comment and question, Lori. I will ask Kiaralinda if she can reply to this directly.
Jeffrey Rosenfield November 02, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Lori, Kiaralinda tried to reply directly but she was having computer issues, so she asked me to post her response to your comment: Hi jeff could you please post on patch...our computer is having connection issues. Thanks a million SHAMc and Kiaralinda and Todd are two separate entities. SHAMc is a 5013c and 100% of funds raised go into SHAMc's account for building. SHAMc is 100% volunteer (thanks to all who are working towards this goal for our community). There have been two unexpected delays... Asbestos removal and a sewerline issue. The foundation will be poured within the next couple of weeks and the steelframe building is in production off-site. We have been updating our progress (slow as it may be) as it happens on our facebook page for all to see. We have been making our living traveling to art festivals nationwide for 25 years and will continue to do so. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call 727-725-4018.
nancy ulrich November 02, 2012 at 01:50 PM
The fact that Kiaralinda and Todd have been as successful as they have been in this economy is AMAZING! They work nonstop all over Tampa Bay. Please support them and the LuWow event coming up! Our artists and future artists need your support.
Laura Kepner November 02, 2012 at 02:46 PM
It's so easy to look at the surface of success and question how it happened, but do ask questions if you have concerns. If you are a true supporter of the arts, do the right thing and find the facts. I moved to this town 4 years ago from Washington State and have been directly affected by the creative generosity that these two artists freely offer. Generosity? Yeah. They share their love of art and encourage artists to pursue their dreams. I'm writing full time now. Something that (before Safety Harbor) I only dreamed I would see happen. A couple artists with bowling balls around their house and music in their garden encouraged me. Lori, If you were here full time, and if you reached out to these amazing artists, I know you would also be encouraged to live your dream too. They'd encourage you to dream big, to pursue and to live an artful life. They've figured out how to live the dream. There's nothing dishonest about that.
Steve November 02, 2012 at 03:44 PM
I appreciate how Todd and Kiaralinda have helped put Safety Harbor on the map as a great artist community. I have attending their fund raising events in the past and I have even donated money to SHAMc. However, I must also admit that I have been disappointed with the delays in building the new SHAMc center. Now there appears to be a question on the Patch regarding SHAMC’s finances. Since SHAMc is a 5013c non-profit organization, Todd and Kiaralinda must have the 5013c annual State financial report showing that the funds raised actually did go into SHAMc's building account. As with all 5013c non-profit organizations, financial transparency is both appropriate and essential for the comfort of all donors and interested parties. I suggest Todd and Kiaralinda make SHAMc 5013c annual State financial report publicly available on their website.

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