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.
Welcome to a special Halloween edition of Culture In Florida! Many organizations got spooky and kooky with arts and culture this month. The Imperial Symphony also hosted Lakeland’s own rock band Copeland in a unique concert, Tampa’s Spanish Lyric Theatre celebrated the beginning of their 60th anniversary season, and Zoo Miami’s newest baby pygmy hippo made his debut.
Here’s a glimpse into arts and culture throughout Florida during the month of October:
National News of Note
October marked National Arts and Humanities Month. Celebrated by Americans for the Arts for more than 30 years, NAHM is an opportunity to focus on the arts at local, state, and national levels, to encourage individuals and organizations to participate in the arts; to allow governments and businesses to show their support of the arts, and to raise public awareness about the role the arts and humanities play in our communities and lives. Learn more by clicking the link above.
In Tampa, the Florida Aquarium hosted Brews By The Bay, which featured beer and food samplings, live entertainment, and a silent disco throughout its exhibits. In Green Cove Springs, the CalaVida Arts Festival brought dozens of visual and performing arts experiences to the small town on the majestic St. John’s River. Jazz festivals were held in Clearwater and Amelia Island, and downtown Orlando was transformed into a dynamic outdoor performance venue for IMMERSE 2018, facilitated by the Creative City Project.
The arts were on wide display in St. Petersburg, which hosted their annual Festival of the Arts, featuring pop-up performances, theatre, dance, music, culinary experiences, family-friendly events, and performances by local arts organizations. St. Pete also held the SHINE Mural Festival, an initiative that “illuminates the power of art in public spaces by revitalizing areas, inspiring dialogue, and uniting our community–while cultivating new standards of artistic excellence and reflecting St. Petersburg’s creative and vibrant spirit”.
Artis-Naples enjoyed the international spotlight with the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Naples International Film Festival. This four day festival featured a diverse range of films and events. Jacksonville’s Cummer Museum and Gardens, in partnership with the City of Jacksonville’s Environmental Protection Board, hosted their third annual Envirofest, a family-friendly festival centered on raising environmental awareness through the arts. In Delray Beach, Morikami Museum and Gardens hosted their hugely popular Lantern Festival, which featured Japanese folk-dancing, drumming, an Ennichi street fair, and lantern floating ceremony.
Openings and Closings
Naples Botanical Garden opened “Reflections on Glass: Fräbel in the Garden”, which “brings a collection of whimsical sculptures and installations by flamework glass artist Hans Godo Fräbel to Naples for the first time. The exhibition features botanical pieces, playful figures, and ornate geometric shapes. Palm Beach’s Old School Square opened “Tech Effect”, on view through February 2019, an exhibit that explores how technology has influenced contemporary art through augmented reality, immersive gallery installations, and interactive artwork. Daytona Beach’s Museum of Arts and Sciences hosted a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian called “100 Faces of War”. The exhibition features 100 oil portraits of American veterans.
Art Center South Florida opened “Parallels and Peripheries”, a series that “investigates how eight artists create work constructed from narratives, myths, and memories that shape personal, political and societal identities”. Studios of Key West revisited Thomas Filipkowski’s popular 2013 project, “Heads Up Key West”, which featured photographs of 600 faces from the community. 2018’s “Heads Up Key West: Then and Now” explores changes caused by time and circumstance and “the reality of what it means to live in paradise”. Sarasota’s Selby Botanical Gardens is celebrating orchids in their many froms from October 12 through November 25. Never-before-seen displays of orchids that celebrate the “plant family’s dramatic diversity of colors, shapes, and scents” are featured.
Dozens of arts and cultural organizations embraced the halloween spirit this month. Alachua County’s Matheson History Museum offered a one-of-a-kind immersive theatre experience called “Halloween Moon Rising” and Orange County’s Enzian Theatre showcased a series of 13 scary movies and events throughout the month. In Broward County, Slow Burn Theatre Company reprised their popular 2017 event called “The Silver Scream”, which incorporates extravagant productions, a haunted walk-through, live music and entertainment, and food and drink that pay homage to classic horror icons such as Dracula, Frankenstein, the Werewolf of London, and the Mummy.
In Tallahassee, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra performed their 4th annual “Symphony Spooktacular”, a free event featuring trick-or-treating and live music by costumed symphony members and the Tallahassee Museum held their 24th annual “Halloween Howl” featuring haunted trails, family-friendly activities, trick-or-treating, carnival games, and a costume contest.
St. Petersburg’s Studio @620 featured an exhibit called “The Unseen” which explored signs, symbols, and apparitions from “the beyond” using visual, theatrical, and optical art, and the Amelia Island Museum of History featured a special “Halloween Ghouls and Goblets Tour”. Visitors explored the streets of Fernandina, stopping along the way for stories and spirits. Miami’s Frost Science Museum enhanced their ongoing exhibit “Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence” through interactive experiences and recreative environments at their “Spooky Science Monster Mash”, which featured underwater pumpkin carving, zombie biology, owl and snake encounters, halloween music, and more.
Upcoming in November
Film festivals in Miami and Key West, Foo Foo Fest in Pensacola, and National Opera Week nationwide.
Have an event you’d like to see featured as part of this blog series? Please fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/rNFpweK1euL3y9YH2. Note: submission does not guarantee inclusion.