Culture in Florida: November 2019

Culture in Florida is a monthly news roundup to showcase our state’s wonderful diversity, spotlight the organizations and artists that contribute so much to our communities, and stress the comprehensive benefits of arts and culture to Florida’s economy and quality of life.

Here’s a sample of arts and culture around the state for the month of November:


FEATURED FESTIVALS

At the start of November, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum hosted the American Indian Arts Celebration (AIAC) in the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation. The festival visitors got to experience dances, native music and meet some wildlife. The festival offered a variety of performances and vendors who brought silverwork, beadwork, woodwork, leatherwork, basketry, photography, paintings, jewelry and an array of food.

event flyer

The Chalk Festival presented its second festival for the year at the Venice Airport Fairgrounds where artists are given a space to create over-sized masterpieces. The Chalk Festival is known for displaying large 3D pavement illusions in one location, but visitors also experienced traditional paintings and original artworks. The “Garden of Wonders” Chalk Festival was open for four days and featured events like the Pavement Music Festival, artistic vendors, performers and food vendors.

A couple taking a picture in one of the Chalk Festival artworks, see original picture on Facebook

SPECIAL EVENTS

The 78th Annual North Florida Fair took place in Tallahassee, FL from November 7th to 17th. The fair was filled with entertainment, food, thrilling rides, educational exhibits and so much more.

Sandtastic Sand Sculpture in the Marketplace building

From November 22nd to 24th. the Professional Development for Artists Workshop took place at Panama City Center for the Arts hosted by Bay Arts Alliance. Artists learned about funding, promoting, growing their business and find resources for sustainability and disaster preparedness.

Final day of Professional Development for Artists Workshop

OPENINGS AND CLOSINGS

The Gulfshore Playhouse started their production of It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play and will performing through December 29th. Prepare to go back to the 1940s in a radio studio where actors will be broadcasting Frank Capra’s film. The show features five actors (Andrea Prestinario, Brian Owen, James Leaming, Jeffrey Binder and Keri Safran) who take on each character and produce live sound effects.

Pictured: Keri Safran in It’s A Wonderful Life, see original post on Facebook

On November 23rd, the Museum of Florida History had an open reception for donated landscape art collection by Ron Risner. The 163 paintings in the collection illustrate Florida’s diverse terrain, featuring springs, rivers and forests.

Henry Von Genk III, Drifting over the Glades, 1988

The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami reopened on November 26th with an exhibition featuring Alice Rahon’s “Poetic Invocations.” The exhibition is guest curated by Mexico City-based art historian, Tere Arcq. The exhibition aims to contribute and recognize under-explored female artists and the European art influences in the Americas.

Next Morning, 1958, 43 7/8 x 76 3/4 inches, Collection of Frances and Don Baxter

UPCOMING IN DECEMBER

The United States premiere of Chopin: The Space Concert, a documentary film by Adam Ustynowicz will feature members of the Brevard Symphony Orchestra and Polish soloists. The premiere will take place at the Kennedy Space Center on December 5th at 7 PM.

On December 15th, the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida will perform at the brand new Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The Chorus will be celebrating their 10th season with singer/songwriter, Jordin Sparks.

Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida event flyer

Have an event you’d like to see featured as part of this blog series? Please fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/rNFpweK1euL3y9YH2Note: submission does not guarantee inclusion.

Grantee Spotlight: Florida Repertory Theatre

ABOUT FLORIDA REPERTORY THEATRE

The Florida Repertory Theatre (Florida Rep) is a professional regional theatre company in Southwest Florida. Since 1998, Florida Rep has produced a variety of comedies, dramas and musicals. With over 87,000 people attending each year, this theatre has become an essential part of Lee County’s cultural, economic and educational vitality. Their commitment is to create, nurture and develop long-term relationships in the community through arts and accessibility.


Florida Repertory Theatre believes that the arts should be shared with everyone. Florida Rep outreaches to the visually impaired and Blind community by offering Audio Description services at a performance for each play in our Arcade and ArtStage Studio Theatres. Audio Description involves the accessibility of the visual images of theater to people who are blind, have low vision, or who are otherwise visually impaired. Using words that are succinct, vivid, and imaginative, audio describers convey the live action on the stage though an earpiece to the patron. We also provide Braille programs.

Florida Rep also strives to eliminate barriers to attendance for patrons who are hard of hearing or Deaf. Patrons at any performance, in both theatres, can request high tech listening devices; the Williams Sound Amplifier System or the Inductive Hearing Loop System for hearing aids. These devices amplify and clarify sound. We also provide theatregoers who use American Sign Language an ASL performance for the Arcade Theatre shows.

An American Sign Language performance of Florida Rep’s education production, Junie B. Jones – The Musical

DCA funding, along with additional grants and private & corporate donations, has helped pay for these accessibility assistance programs, making art accessible to every audience member in our community in the effort to bring theater to those who otherwise would not have access to the arts. Our next ASL performance of An Inspector Calls will be on Dec 8 at 2pm, and the Audio Description performance will be on 12/15/19 at 2 pm.

See a full schedule of these performances for Florida Rep’s Season 22.

Banner of Florida Rep’s latest production, An Inspector Calls. Photo from Florida Rep’s website

Interested in seeing your organization featured on Culture Builds Florida? Please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/vqbSaYZypLbGqMH89

Culture in Florida: October 2019

Culture in Florida is a monthly news roundup to showcase our state’s wonderful diversity, spotlight the organizations and artists that contribute so much to our communities, and stress the comprehensive benefits of arts and culture to Florida’s economy and quality of life.

October was a busy month for the Division as we celebrated our 50th Anniversary at the Ringling Museum, home to a Museum of Art, the Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, the Circus Museums and the Historic Asolo Theater. The Ringling is the State Art Museum of Florida administered by Florida State University.

Here’s a sample of arts and culture around the state for the month of October:

FEATURED EVENTS

Your Real Stories Gallery & Studio closed their 6th Annual Story Days in Tampa Bay with an art walk and closing reception at the ArtsXchange.

Event flyer on Your Real Stories’ website

The Museum of Arts & Sciences opened three exhibits last month: Biodiversity in the Art of Carel Peiter Brest van Kempen, Volusia Wilderness Captured: Florida Paintings by Sandra Lloyd, and Painting with Paper: The Art of Akiko Sugiyama.

Wave of seeds (2014), Akiko Sugiyama, vellum, watercolor, foam board

SPECIAL REPORT

The University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine and ArtPlace America released: Creating Healthy Communities through Cross-sector Collaboration! Read the full report: https://arts.ufl.edu/sites/creating-healthy-communities/resources/white-paper/

The report presents over 250 thought leaders from public health, arts and culture, and community development sectors who convened between 2018 and 2019. In addition to their voices, over 500 people participated in a national field survey and focus groups. The paper offers examples and recommendations for expanding cross-sector collaboration and innovation.


50TH CELEBRATION

The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County hosted the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs (DCA) 50th Anniversary Celebration. Members of the DCA staff, Florida Council on Arts & Culture, and leaders of the Local Arts Agencies (LAA) were greeted on October 1 with a reception at Florida Studio Theatre.

The following day was filled with business meetings hosted at Asolo Repertory Theatre and the Ringling Museum. Afterwards, everyone joined local elected officials and arts executives for a celebration in the Ringling Courtyard. Jim Shirley, the Executive Director of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, served as the master of ceremonies. The DCA staff, Florida Council on Arts & Culture, and LAA leaders were welcomed by the Director of the Division of Cultural Affairs, Sandy Shaughnessy, and the Executive Director of the Ringling, Steven High.

The Florida Secretary of State, Laurel Lee addressed the audience and presented featuring performances by Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and a recent finalist on America’s Got Talent, Emanne Beasha.

The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe performing
Emanne Beasha performing
Anniversary cake in the Ringling Courtyard

Stay tuned for an upcoming release of the Division’s 50th Anniversary book, 50 Stories for 50 Years. This book will feature individual artists, fellows, festivals, community centers, local arts agencies, and arts organizations throughout Florida. The book will include the lasting impacts of state funding on arts and culture in Florida’s diverse environments and communities.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Check out the wonderful collection of landscape art donated by Florida resident Ron Risner at the Museum of Florida History. The 163 paintings in the collection illustrate Florida’s unique and varied terrain throughout the sunshine state. The public is invited to the opening reception on November 23, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. For more information, call the Museum of Florida History at (850)-245-6400 or go to www.museumoffloridahistory.com.

banner for Risner’s exhibition

If you haven’t already, apply for South Arts‘ Southern Prize and State Fellowships! Nine artists will share $80,000 in awards and be featured in a touring exhibition. All artists will receive $5,000 State Fellowship where one will be named Southern Prize finalist, receiving an additional $10,000 and one will be named Southern Prize winner, receiving an additional $25,000 and a 2-week residency at the Hambridge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences. The deadline to apply is December 3. For more information go to https://www.southarts.org/individual-artists/southern-prize-artist-fellowships/?fbclid=IwAR1OgmP4nPQlZVMg4LkCZWkySMeGciROsQ5jFLqoU_XuiL6dUsSV0Z7ZDkM.

Southern Prize artwork square

Make sure to check in with your local arts council this month as performing arts organizations begin their new seasons across the state!


Have an event you’d like to see featured as part of this blog series? Please fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/rNFpweK1euL3y9YH2Note: submission does not guarantee inclusion. 

Special Feature: Foo Foo Festival

Festival logo

Do you Foo? There’s nothing quite like Pensacola, Florida in the Fall and if it’s Fall that means it’s time for Foo Foo Fest!

The highly-anticipated arts and culture festival, one of the largest in the South, spans an impressive 12 days and has blossomed into a “don’t miss” event for both tourists and locals alike. Pensacola will host the 6th Annual Foo Foo Festival from October 31 to November 11, 2019. This year’s Foo Foo Fest line up runs the gamut from internationally-acclaimed classical piano virtuoso Garrick Ohlsson, renowned jazz band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Multi-Grammy nominated musician Marsha Ambrosius to “Skulptures” (a display of 3D printable skateable concrete structures) and a performance of The Savannah Sipping Society (a new play by The Golden Girls writers). Strategically positioned around and during some of Pensacola’s most popular events, the 12-day Foo Foo Fest straddles some of the area’s longstanding and favorite happenings including the 47th Annual Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival, the Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show, Pensacola Eggfest and the 35th Annual Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival.

Stompfest Step Show

Foo Foo Fest is big fun, with events of high artistic and cultural caliber, delivered with a hefty dose of Southern sophistication. Pensacola’s pristine sugar-white beaches and emerald green water entice visitors from all over the world. Upon arrival in the delightful Florida panhandle city, many find themselves equally captivated by its history, culture and diverse heritage. The Foo Foo Festival profiles and celebrates this wide array of culture throughout the city, featuring innovative and extraordinary artists from all genres including art, music, theatre and much more.

In addition to the plethora of arts and cultural happenings during Foo Foo Fest, Pensacola offers year-round historic walking tours, a large farmer’s market, quaint shops, food trucks and brewery tours. Visitors can stroll along the bay, enjoy the beautiful beaches, experience the culinary arts scene, and take in historic sites all staged in the backdrop of relaxed elegance unique to this historic city on the Gulf Coast.

For more information, visit: www.foofoofest.com

A crowd watching a music performance

Interested in seeing your organization featured on Culture Builds Florida? Please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/vqbSaYZypLbGqMH89

Culture in Florida: September 2019

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is newsletter-blog-picture.jpg

Culture in Florida is a monthly news roundup to showcase our state’s wonderful diversity, spotlight the organizations and artists that contribute so much to our communities, and stress the comprehensive benefits of arts and culture to Florida’s economy and quality of life.

September was as busy a month as ever! Arts and cultural organizations across the state celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month, a diverse group of festivals were held, and many interesting art exhibits opened to the public.

Here’s a sample of arts and culture around the state for the month of September:


FEATURED FESTIVAL

Hemming Park in Jacksonville, Florida hosted their second annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration with an evening of music, dance, food, and fun for all families presented by VyStar Credit Union. Performances included Orchestra Fuego, CaribeGroove, and Danzas Perujax.


SPECIAL EVENTS

The Young at Art Museum (YAA) is celebrating their 30th anniversary. As part of their celebrations, the YAA offered 2 for 1 admission throughout the month. September is also Broward Arts and Attractions Month which encourages museum visitors to experience the diversity of cultures throughout 17 museums in Broward County.

The United Arts of Central Florida, UF Center for Arts in Medicine, ArtPlace America, and the Division of Cultural Affairs presented the Creating Healthy Communities: Arts + Public Health Florida Conference on September 23-24 hosted by Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and The Pabst Steinmetz Foundation. Over 250 attendees of art professionals, public health professionals, educators, researchers and government officials, from around the nation, gathered to connect at the intersections of the arts, public health, and community development.


OPENINGS AND CLOSINGS

The Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra (TSO) began their concert season this month with French Impressions featuring music by French composers including Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy. Conrad Tao was the featured pianist for the TSO’s first concert.

The Museum of Florida History hosted the 37th Annual Capital City Quilt Show Autumn Reverie on September 27th. This exhibit will be on display until November 3, in partnership with the Quilters Unlimited of Tallahassee. Quilters will be there to answer questions and give information about quilting. A scavenger hunt, interactive stitch boards, and magnetic quilt table are also available for young visitors.

Each year, the exhibit highlights the Opportunity Quilt, designed by members of the guild. This year’s quilt features Autumn Reverie. The quilt design is from the Lakeshore Hosta quilt pattern by Judy and Brad Niemeyer. Visitors have a chance to win the Opportunity Quilt be making a contribution to Quilters Unlimited.

2019 Opportunity Quilt, Autumn Reverie

UPCOMING IN OCTOBER

The Spanish Lyric Theatre is presenting an off-Broadway hit filled with your favorite songs from the 50’s and 60’s, The Marvelous Wonderettes.

Join the Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden for their 2019 Lantern Festival on Saturday, October 19 from 3 to 8 pm. General admission ticket sales start at 10 am on October 7.

A SMALL THANK YOU

Here at the Division of Cultural Affairs, we finished all the grant panel meetings. A big thank you to every panelist and arts representative who participated in the meetings. We appreciate your time and hard work!


Subscribe to this blog or follow us on Twitter for more updates!

Have an event you’d like to see featured as part of this blog series? Please fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/rNFpweK1euL3y9YH2Note: submission does not guarantee inclusion. 

Grantee Feature: Bay Arts Alliance Reflects Upon Post-Hurricane Michael

About the Bay Arts Alliance

Founded in 1978 and located in Panama City Center for the Arts, Bay Arts Alliance has served as the local arts agency for Bay County. Their mission is to inspire a lifelong appreciation for the arts. They provide opportunities for cultural enrichment through exhibitions, educational experiences, and quality performances.


On October 10, 2018, Bay County was hit with a Category 5 hurricane named Michael. As the year anniversary of the storm approaches, Bay Arts Alliance, Bay County’s Local Arts Agency, reflects on recovery and expresses hope for the future. We asked the new Executive Director, Jayson Kretzer about his thoughts about the current state of the Arts in Bay County.

Marina Civic Center before Hurricane Michael

“When Michael hit, we were shell shocked…we’re probably still shocked. Nothing can prepare you for the devastation of a storm that strong.

Our community lost over 90% of our trees, tens of thousands of jobs, and 100% of our buildings were either damaged, or simply destroyed.

The arts were just as devastated.

Out of all the arts buildings, theaters, and galleries in the county, only a few remain.

We lost one of the venues we’ve managed for decades, the Marina Civic Center —the largest performing arts venue in Bay County—but the other, the Panama City Center for the Arts, reopened a few days after the storm, and we’ve been able to provide much needed arts programming to the community as we recover.

Damages inside and outside the center
Wreckage of the Marina Civic Center sign

As the anniversary approaches and we take stock of the arts community, we can honestly say that things are improving. Arts groups have combined forces in the galleries and arts buildings that remain open. Performance groups have adapted to smaller, alternate venues, once again able to host music and theatre performances. And artists are slowly finding inspiration again despite the upheaval of homes and businesses.

As our galleries and theatres reopen over the next few years, we are hopeful for the future.

We aren’t going to pretend that the road ahead will be easy. As with most communities there are many obstacles in the way—chief among them will be gaining city and public support to keep the arts at the forefront of rebuilding efforts.

We all know that the arts are powerhouse economic drivers, but now it’s our job to remind our local and county officials of that fact as they make plans for the future.

Arts are essential to the health of a community. Right now Bay County is suffering, but we are going to continue to do everything we can to ensure our city, our arts organizations, and our artists have the resources they need to survive and thrive.”

For more information, please visit the Bay Arts Alliance website: https://www.bayarts.org


Interested in seeing your organization featured on Culture Builds Florida? Please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/vqbSaYZypLbGqMH89

Meet the Florida Council on Arts and Culture: Rivers H. Buford, III

The Florida Council on Arts and Culture is the 15-member advisory council appointed to advise the Secretary of State regarding cultural grant funding and on matters pertaining to culture in Florida.

Appointments to the Council are determined by the Governor, President of the Senate and Speaker of the House, in consultation with the Secretary of State. The Governor manages seven seats that serve four-year terms. The President and Speaker manage four seats each, with terms of two years. The appointments are based on geographic representation, as well as demonstrated history of community service in the arts and culture.

In this bi-monthly series, we will introduce you to each member of the council and share their thoughts on the role of arts and culture in the state of Florida. This month, we chatted with Rivers Buford. Rivers was appointed to the council in 2019 by Governor DeSantis. 

Division of Cultural Affairs (DCA): Tells us a little bit about yourself.

Rivers: As a Government Relations practitioner, I have represented a variety of groups before the state and national government for the past 30 years. I help those who don’t understand public policy or have time to engage in the legislative process. I served under eight different Secretaries’ of State and as a policy advisor to a Senate President.

When I’m not working, I enjoy walking around the woods of my family’s mountain cabin in Clayton, Georgia. I am entering my 35th year of marriage. My wife and I have one daughter, Kathryn Elizabeth. In addition, I have one loyal four-legged family member, Scout, named after Jean Louise in To Kill a Mockingbird.

DCA: Why are the arts and culture important to our state?

Rivers: When I first joined the DOS staff as a team member, the Honorable Katherine Harris was Secretary of State. She sat down with me and explained the value of the arts in cultural relationships, interpersonal relationships and professional business relationships. People want friends with common interests. Art and it’s many disciplines is the universal language that everyone can appreciate, no matter what language they speak or where they live. That is why she felt (and rightfully so) a cultural mission should precede an economic trade mission, to serve as the ice breaker in finding common ground with our future trading partners. The Arts are an economic engine for our state. More people attend events of the arts than sporting events. 

DCA: For you, what is the most inspiring part about working in the arts?

Rivers: I appreciate art in its many disciplines. though I can’t play a single instrument or sing anywhere other than my shower, or paint anything other than a solid wall, I admire those who do, and how they think. It is a gift that I hope to be able to help share with others, so they can learn to appreciate them also.

DCA: What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the Florida Council on Arts and Culture?  

Rivers: I’m an avid (some say rabid) collector of the The Highwaymen Art movement. I hope to be able to light the fire in the minds of other to appreciate our many different disciplines through visits to galleries and museums of all types around our great state. And then hopefully, they will buy something. I once heard, living artist need you to buy now, so they can continue to produce. Dead artists, though their works are great, no matter what the discipline, don’t need the money and are not contributing to our economy.