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 in Florida. Throughout the state, many organizations kicked off their 2018-2019 seasons and we celebrated the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. Here is just a taste of all of the wonderful arts and culture activities and events throughout the state this month:
Underwater Museum of Art Named to Time’s World’s Greatest Places
Walton County’s Underwater Museum of Art was named to Time Magazine’s inaugural list of the World’s Greatest Places, a list highlighting 100 destinations that offer extraordinary experiences to visitors. The museum is the first endeavor of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County’s Art in Public Spaces program and opened in June 2018 with the installation of seven underwater sculptures in the Gulf of Mexico off of Grayton Beach State Park in South Walton, Florida. The museum is free of charge to adventurous divers, and photos and videos are available online for those wishing to view the museum from dry land.
Hispanic Heritage Month
Florida celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 through October 15. This year’s featured artist is Juan “One” Sepúlveda, a Kissimmee-based painter whose works are included in museum collections nationally and internationally. Sepúlveda was born in Puerto Rico and has called Florida home since 1999. Learn more about Juan and Florida’s statewide Hispanic Heritage Month events and initiatives here.
Season Kick-Off Events
Over 100 arts and cultural organizations in Miami celebrated the arts and kicked off their seasons at Arts Launch 2018, an annual event hosted by the Adrienne Arsht Center. This free event included family activities, mini performances, chef demonstrations, tours, and more. In Brevard County, the King Center hosted their annual Cultural Arts Showcase, featuring art displays, cultural demonstrations, family activities and a free concert by the Brevard Symphony Orchestra.
The Florida Orchestra kicked-off their season with an exciting weekend of pop-up concerts in unexpected locations around Tampa Bay and the Bach Festival of Winter Park celebrated the first concert of their season on September 20 with the program Insights & Sounds: Harp and Strings.
The Orchestra and Friends
The Orlando Museum of Art teamed up with musicians from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra to present a special Symphony Storytime series. Art, music, and storytelling combined to consider the lessons presented in artist Jon J. Muth’s The Three Questions, which is based on a short story by Leo Tolstoy. In Lee County, Gulf Coast Symphony teamed up with the Gulf Coast Humane Society and the Alliance for the Arts for “Animals and the Arts”, an event celebrating our furry friends through a variety of media. The event featured a juried art exhibition, live music, and an educational documentary film.
Openings and Closings
Locust Projects undertook their ambitious 20/20 event, where 20 artists presented 20 projects over 20 hours. Each newly commissioned work was given a one-hour temporary exhibition over the course of twenty consecutive hours. This marathon event was in celebration of Locust Projects’ 20th anniversary year.
In Jacksonville, the Museum of Science and History opened Neighborhoods, an exhibit marking the 50th anniversary of Jacksonville’s consolidation and celebrating Jacksonville’s many diverse neighborhoods. In Lakeland, the Polk Museum of Art opened Chagall: Stories Into Dreams, the only exhibit of its kind in Florida, which pairs Chagall’s Fables of La Fontaine etchings (1952) with his Story of Exodus lithographs.
Lake Wales Arts Council opened their first exhibit of the year, Trumpets on Parade, and Winter Garden’s Crealdé School of Art opened Vibrant Vision: African Diaspora and African Artists, a 40-year effort of Charleston-based collectors, Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman that “offers a deep look into diverse cultural influences that have shaped American art over the past hundred years”.
Broward County’s ArtServe celebrated South Florida’s rich Brazilian population and honored Brazilian Independence Day with ArtBrazil, an annual multimedia contemporary art fair, and guests at Miami’s Frost Museum of Science explored the power of the sun as a renewable source of energy through solar-powered interactive activities exhibited as part of The Sun Spot, which opened September 1.
Maitland’s Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida presented Heroes of Warsaw, a collection of illustrations by Bill Farnsworth highlighting the courage and bravery of Irena Sendler and Janusz Korczak. This exhibit marks the first time that this entire collection has been displayed. In Hollywood, the Florida Biennial 2018 opened on September 14 at Art and Culture Center Hollywood. This year’s exhibition features 68 works by 30 artists, selected from over 2000 submissions from 291 artists living in 85 different cities throughout Florida.
Broward County’s Young at Art Museum closed their exhibit Saturday Morning Cartoons on September 23 and Astronomy Photographer of the Year at Vero Beach Museum of Art wrapped up on September 16. Miami Beach’s Bass Museum closed their exhibit featuring the Deste Fashion Collection and Osceola County Historical Society concluded Totally Tots!, which celebrated childhood.
Tallahassee’s Theater With A Mission held their Loco for Love festival, a four-day event featuring live music, dance, theater, and family activities, Miami’s Opera Atelier presented a series of cultural events celebrating the art of Bel Canto, and the newly-formed Tap Dance Ambassadors of Florida celebrated the first Dunedin Tap Dance Festival.
Upcoming in October
The Spanish Lyric Theatre celebrates 60 years; jazz festivals in Clearwater and Amelia Island; halloween-themed events at the Enzian Theatre, Slow Burn Theatre Company, and the Matheson History Museum.
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