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.
We hope that you are spending the extra hours of daylight exploring all that Florida arts and culture have to offer. Here is a sampling of events that took place throughout the state during the month of July:
Dog-Friendly Museum Days
The arts are for all– even your dog! Several museums across the state, including Naples Botanical Garden and Bok Tower Gardens in Polk County, are offering special dog walk days where your family pets can accompany you to enjoy the beautiful outdoor exhibits. Orlando’s Mennello Museum of American Art even offers a dog membership program! Dogs are welcome year-round and always admitted for free at Heathcote Botanical Garden in Fort Pierce and at Mission San Luis in Tallahassee. Summer is the perfect time to experience the arts in this playful way!
Arts and Wellness
Many museums are also offering opportunities to practice yoga and other fitness activities in the beautiful settings of their gardens and galleries. Summer is a perfect time to try out one of these activities that feed body, mind, and soul. Check out Vero Beach Museum of Art, Naples Art Association, Miami’s Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Tampa’s Glazer Children’s Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, Orlando Museum of Art, Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, and Sarasota’s Marie Selby Botanical Gardens for an event near you.
Arts in the Great Outdoors
The abundance of beautiful weather presents new ways to experience the arts outdoors. Delray Beach’s Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens presents an ongoing “Sushi & Stroll Summer Walk” series. Guests can experience the beautiful gardens enhanced by live taiko drum performances and the opportunity to try pan-Asian cuisine. Broward County’s Museum of Discovery and Science presents Moonlit Sea Turtle walks where visitors can experience a nighttime educational adventure learning about Sea Turtles and trying to spot them on Fort Lauderdale Beach. In Daytona Beach, the Museum of Arts and Sciences presents a “Summer of the Planets” viewing party, an outdoor stargazing party where visitors can spot the planets using telescopes guided by museum educators.
Openings and Closings
Throughout the state, July was a wonderful and varied month for art exhibits. In Delray Beach, Arts Garage showcased artworks created by city employees and their children. In Naples, twenty-one Florida-based artists were amongst those featured at the Camera USA ® National Photography Exhibition at Naples Art Association. Ocala’s Appleton Museum of Art featured “From Medieval to Metal: The Art and Evolution of the Guitar”, a touring exhibition from the National Guitar Museum.
In Palm Beach, the Lighthouse Art Center in Tequesta offered a unique opportunity for children to see some of their favorite books come to life with their exhibit “Full STEAM Ahead”, which featured artworks of five Caldecott-winning children’s book illustrators and offered unique STEAM-based interactive activities. Ongoing at Orlando Science Center is the “Hall of Heroes”, an interactive exhibit that merges science and science fiction and explores superhero lore and origin, featuring artifacts and relics from superhero films.
In Tallahassee, the year-long celebration of the Museum of Florida History’s 40th anniversary closed. “Living the Dream- Twentieth-Century Florida” explored the state’s modern history through music, films, artifacts, and immersive experiences that both examined the past and considered the future.
Symphony of the Americas’ Summerfest
Fort Lauderdale’s Symphony of the Americas continues to celebrate its 30th anniversary season with the presentation of its annual summerfest, “The Shape of Music”. Throughout July and August, the symphony will present many programs throughout South Florida and complete a two-week performance residency in Panama. The festival also features performances from nationally and internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles, resulting in a varied, unique cultural exchange experience. Artists from more than ten different countries will be featured on stages throughout the state.
In Key West, the 38th annual Hemingway Days festival was held between from July 17-22. Featuring a Hemingway ® Look-Alike Contest, poetry readings, a running of the “bulls”, a deep-sea angling tournament, symposium presentations and other events, Hemingway Days is a unique tribute to the legendary author and his time living and working in Florida.
Micro Theater, Mangoes, and More
In Tallahassee, Goodwood Museum and Gardens hosted the first annual Micro Film Festival, a two-day event that featured four 15-20 minute “micro plays” in a casual, open-air atmosphere. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden hosted their annual Mango and Tropical Fruit festival, featuring exhibits, demonstrations, cooking classes, live music, and the opportunity to try rare varieties of mango and other tropical fruits. Venice Theatre also opened their sixth annual Cabaret Festival, featuring dozens of cabaret shows covering various topics and highlighting local talent.
Upcoming in August:
The 20th annual Ife-Ile Afro-Cuban Dance Festival in Miami (August 16-18); ‘Birds of Paradise’- photographs from Florida’s Wetlands at Gadsden Arts Center (through September 8); half-off admission at Bok Tower Gardens for Florida residents during the month of August.
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.
Thanks, Curtis, for mentioning Lighthouse ArtCenter! Don’t forget the 22nd floor Capital Gallery, Art of the Figure: A Cultural Narrative of the Native Born Sam Perry, Terre Rybovich and Purvis Young (2018 Florida Artist Hall of Fame)