Steve Hardesty (photo by Tom Dorsey / Salina Journal) | Buy Journal Photos


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Golf course manager becomes Arts and Humanities interim director


7/31/2010
By GARY DEMUTH | Salina Journal

So what does a golf pro know about art?

Steve Hardesty is about to find out.

Hardesty, a PGA golf professional and general manager of the Salina Municipal Golf Course, was appointed interim director of Salina Arts and Humanities, effective July 26.

Hardesty replaces former Salina Arts and Humanities executive director Connie Bonfy Stewart, who resigned July 9.

While it might seem an unusual move for Salina City Manager Jason Gage to appoint a sports guy to an arts position, Hardesty said the two jobs are not that dissimilar.

“It’s mainly an administrative position,” he said. “Although my arts background is limited, I do have a lot of experience working with board members and the city on budgets, fundraising and grants.”

Hardesty, who has worked for the city of Salina for 16 years at the Salina Municipal Golf Course, 2500 E. Crawford, doesn’t expect the transition to be difficult. He said the staff of Salina Arts and Humanities is professional, experienced and “really know what they’re doing.”

“I see myself as someone who’s guiding the ship into the next harbor,” he said.

The interim position is expected to last two to three months while a nationwide search for a permanent director is undertaken. In the meantime, Salina Municipal Golf Course assistant manager Mike Hargrave will assume administrative duties at the golf course, Hardesty said.

When seeking an interim director for Salina Arts and Humanities, city officials were looking for someone with a solid managerial background with good people skills and grant-writing knowledge, said Natalie Fischer, the city’s director of human resources.

Hardesty seemed an ideal choice, she said.

“He has great knowledge and is familiar with all our procedures and processes,” Fischer said. “He’s been with us a number of years and knows a lot of people in our community. It made sense to us.”

Perhaps most importantly, she said, Hardesty had an experienced staff at the municipal golf course who could successfully operate the facility during his absence.

“We’ll have a place for him to go back to when we make our permanent selection,” Fischer said.

Hardesty is confident he’ll work well with Salina Arts and Humanities staff and city officials despite his lack of an arts background.

“There are very fine people here who do arts projects full time, and my job is to help them keep running things smoothly,” he said.

Besides, he said, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to have an outsider’s view on things.

“I’m learning something totally new, so perhaps I can bring a new idea or perspective from a different side of the street, so to speak,” he said.

nReporter Gary Demuth can be reached at 822-1405 or by e-mail at [email protected]






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