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News Alert
Radnor Township: Rabid Raccoon Found at Willows

Proposal: Fill the Willows with Art, Music, Dance and Drama

Artists and teachers John and Christine Kline propose to use the Willows mansion to teach and celebrate the arts.

 

Radnor Township residents John and Christine Kline have a special place in their hearts for the Willows mansion — it was the site of their wedding reception 18 years ago. They hope that that use of the building can continue, but they are also proposing that they run art, music, dance and drama classes for children there.

In addition to running extra curricular art and music classes out of the Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Bryn Mawr, they teach there; she music, he art. The also just opened a "Kline Creative" studio in Manayunk, where they expand their offerings to dance and drama.

"Like everyone in the area, we have a soft spot for the Willows," Christine told Radnor Patch. The family has gone on picnics there and have spent countless hours with the couple's two sons there. "It's such a wonderful place. I just feel like theres room not only for our program but for developing partnerships with local artists and local businesses."

In addition to the aforementioned programs, the Klines would also offer parent/child programs for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, she said. The classes would take place during days and after school; private instrumental and voice lessons would take advantage of the smaller rooms upstairs.

"We're also really interested in offer community events, like a community children's theater," Christine said. "There are many artistic programs in the area, but they're all a little bit different. I think there's room for everyone."

She added that in most everything they offer, their stuff is portable — so they could move their props aside for a rental of the building. "We see that space as something that should be used by the people of Radnor," she said. "I think the creative possibilities are endless."

Related:

Caterer Tells His Plan for Willows Mansion

Willows Proposal: 'To-The-Manor-Born' Experience

Dan Webster October 11, 2012 at 03:35 PM
The township is never going to tear the Willows down or convert it from its park-like setting, but the building might fall down if some funding source isn't found to keep up with the very significant capital requirements of the property. I like the Willows, but regardless of how you feel about the arts, I'd be surprised if revenue from this use would make much of a dent in the capital requirements for the Willows. If a funding source isn't found, that means the burden stays on the existing Radnor taxpayers, but remember that we also have $139 million of unfunded liabilities that eventually need to be funded. Sorry to rain on the parade...
Lauren Deets October 11, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I think Kline Studios would be a wonderful addition to the willows. What a wonderful environment to foster the love of music and arts in children and there families. It may not bring in the revenue that is needed to upkeep the building, but it would be bringing in revenue at times that the facility would not be in use. I hope that this idea can be brought to life at the Willows!
Josie October 11, 2012 at 06:58 PM
It would be wonderful to see this lovely old building used to promote the arts by educating our children! Too many school districts are cutting old the arts, it would be refreshing to see the building used this way instead of simply becoming a sometime wedding venue.
Connie Minnich October 16, 2012 at 02:22 AM
What a beautiful way to use such a beautiful building. I think that a program that encourages children and the arts is a program that we can all get behind. This would also be a great way to introduce more people to the Willows which in turn could generate more rental use of the building.
karin kennedy October 16, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Dan, you would be surprised how much money parents pour into these after school activities; especially with entire school districts cutting all music, art education. Besides, they did say that their equipment was portable and would allow for rental on weekends. And like Connie said below, the more people that are exposed to the willows, the more likely they would be to rent the facility as well.

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