Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh





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Leonard and Kathy Stept enjoy a beuatiful summer day in the Sculpture Garden at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

To Instill Imagination

For Kathy Stept, a fondness for the arts led her to discover her own artistic talent and to a long-term relationship with Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. “I was always interested in the arts,” says Kathy. “I was working in business when, in 1980, I decided to go back to school to pursue a graduate degree in psychology. I wandered into the art department and wound up pursuing a degree in the studio arts program.”

While Kathy was in school, she became a museum volunteer. Throughout the 1980s, she put her business degree to work by consulting with several departments on museum programs, administrative projects and Carnegie magazine. In 1983, Kathy helped develop the Carnegie On Tap program, which continues to this day to attract young professionals to the museums for unique, after-work entertainment.

“I really enjoyed working with everyone at the museums, “says Kathy. “It was wonderful to be surrounded by people who wanted to share their talent and knowledge of the arts. Ever since, I knew I would always be involved in the arts in some way.”

“The arts raise our level of thinking and provide a sanctuary for us from the rest of the world, which gives us the opportunity to ponder, critique, disagree and imagine.”

While taking art classes, Kathy discovered her talent for painting. “I painted quite a lot for a while,” she says. “But only for myself, and for the sheer enjoyment of creating something out of nothing.” 

But Kathy isn’t the only artist in the family. Her husband, Leonard Stept, M.D., has an aunt who makes her living as an artist and an uncle who turned to sculpting since his retirement. Another uncle, Dr. Raymond Stept, was passionate about art and acquired a large collection during his lifetime.

“Art has always been a big part of both our lives,” asserts Kathy. “We have been patrons of the arts in Pittsburgh as long as I can remember because we believe they play an important role in both society and education. The arts raise our level of thinking and provide a sanctuary for us from the rest of the world, which gives us the opportunity to ponder, critique, disagree and imagine.”

 Recently, Kathy enrolled in the docent class at the Museum of Art because she wants to continue her arts education and to instill an interest in the arts in the children who visit the museums. “I enjoy working with the children who come to the museum most of all,” says Kathy. “They come for a fun day out of school and without even knowing it, they end up learning something.” 

Today, Kathy and her husband Leonard are Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh Donors at the Guild level. They also have made bequests to the Museum of Art. They are pleased that the funds generated by their bequests will become part of the museums’ endowment and provide permanent support for its operations.

“My husband and I are grateful for the opportunities we have to enjoy the museums,” says Kathy. “It’s important to visit the museums often because they keep us in touch with reality by putting it all right out in front of us. Yet, they also encourage us to wonder, question, and interpret what we see in our own way, on our own time, with our own imaginations.”




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