Culture in Florida: November 2018

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 are very thankful for the contributions that arts and culture make to the state of Florida! Did you know that the arts and cultural industry generates $4.68 billion of economic activity statewide? Here are a few highlights of how Culture Builds Florida from throughout the state during the month of November:

Awards and National Events

Opera America celebrated National Opera Week from October 26-November 4. This week-long celebration featured numerous events that celebrate the timeless artform of opera. More locally, the botany team at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens was awarded a prestigious grant from the Cactus and Succulent Society of America. The grant will allow the team to care for a federally endangered cactus species known as the Harrisia aboriginum, or the ‘aboriginal prickly apple’. Key West Literary Seminar also announced the recipients of their Emerging Writer Awards.


In Miami, Bakehouse Art Complex opened ‘Collectivity’, an exhibit that explores the line between the individual and the collective. It was curated by 17-year old Quinn Harrelson and remains on display through March 30, 2019. In Davie, Young at Art museum opened ‘Lightscapes’, one of three new light sculptures where light, color, and sound combine for a multisensory experience.

Several museums celebrated Florida-based artists and Florida history with new exhibitions that opened in November. In Jacksonville, JAX Makerspace opened ‘Ties and Knots: Weaving Narratives of Northeast Florida’ on November 7. This exhibit “explores the dynamic relationship between tradition and modernity, as textiles expand beyond functional art and into the realm of fine art”. In partnership with Art and Culture Center/Hollywood, Art Center South Florida opened ‘Center to Center’, an exhibit focused on the ever-growing community of artists in South florida, on display through January 6, 2019.

Boca Raton Museum of Art opened ‘Imagining Florida: History and Myth in the Sunshine State’, the most comprehensive Florida-themed show of its kind, featuring a major anthology of art made in and inspired by Florida and its people, places, flora, and fauna. History Miami Museum opened ‘A Peculiar Paradise’, a collection of photographs that caputred Florida in 1981 by Nathan Benn. The exhibit features over 100 selections in addition to artifacts from Benn’s career at National Geographic.

Fort Lauderdale’s Museum of Discovery and Science opened their newest permanent exhibit ‘Design! Build! Play! KEVA!’ on November 10. The exhibit combines a science lab and an art museum to create a place to explore design and invention. Perez Art Museum Miami opened the most significant presentation to date of the art works of Kingston-born artist Ebony G. Patterson. The exhibition features multimedia artworks that explore the importance of gardens in the artist’s life.


St. Petersburg’s Dali Museum closed their exhibit titled ‘Clyde Butcher: Visions of Dali’s Spain’. This exhibit featured photographic documentation of Dali’s homeland by the nationally renowned nature photographer. Bay Arts Alliance’s quilting exhibition ‘Maxine Thomas: Through Threads of Time’ ended on November 17. The exhibit featured a wide variety of quilting techniques that used fabrics from around the world. The Sarasota Chapter of the Sumi-E Society of America concluded their 55th annual exhibit at Art Center Manatee on November 30. Sumi-E is the Japanese word for Black Ink Painting. The juried exhibit featured 112 paintings by 18 artists from the United States and Germany.

Special Events

Fort Lauderdale’s Museum of Discovery and Science kicked off their quarterly “Discovery After Dark” series on November 8 with their event “Science of Beer”. This adults-only series allows the opportunity to meet other curious-minded people and explore the museum’s interactive exhibits while enjoying food and beverages.

Young at Art museum presented their 13th annual Recycled Fashion Show. This benefit event celebrates the creativity and talent of teenagers from the museum’s volunteer program and at PACE Center Broward. Each teenage designer was challenged to create fashions that “bring awareness to environmental issues using recycled materials”.

Osceola County Historical Society celebrated their 27th annual Pioneer Day on November 10. Residents were able to “step back in time” and learn about Osceola County’s first residents through historic re-enactments, demonstrations, shopping, and entertainment.

Lakeland’s Imperial Symphony Orchestra teamed up with the Mulberry Phosphate Museum to present a free community concert called “FOSSILS!”, which allowed attendees a kid-friendly musical journey through prehistory.

Jacksonville’s Cathedral Arts Project hosted the international dance troupe ILL-ABILITIES on November 5. The all-star team of dancers features differently-abled dancers from around the world.

Miami’s Frost Science museum hosted comic and science educator Rhys Thomas for several presentations of his “Science Circus: The Physics of Fun!”. This popular live show blends science, comedy, and circus acts while exploring Newtonian physics.

Featured Festivals

Filmmaking was frequently celebrated throughout the state in November! Key West and Fort Lauderdale held their annual film festivals, Miami’s Gables Cinema hosted the 6th annual Miami International Children’s Film Festival, and Orlando’s Enzian Theatre hosted their 27th annual Brouhaha Florida Video Showcase, which featured films by local artists, educators, and residents.

In Pensacola, 12 days of artistic shows and events were celebrated during the popular Foo Foo Festival. The annual festival features ballets, operas, culinary events, Naval air shows, and everything in between.  

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden hosted their 78th annual Fall Garden Festival and Ramble from November 9-11. This lively event featured numerous plant sales, culinary demonstrations, garden demonstrations, and family-friendly education events.

Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum also hosted their annual American Indian Arts Celebration. The event takes place on museum grounds in the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, and features traditional and contemporary arts, dance, and music of the Seminole,  Southeastern, and other Indian tribes from across the country.

Kicking Off the Holiday Season

Orlando Museum of Art celebrated its thirty-second Festival of Trees. This annual, week-long festival ushers in the holiday season by transforming the galleries into a sparkling winter wonderland filled with trees and decorations available for purchase. Miami’s Gold Coast Railroad Museum started offering round trip adventures to the “North Pole” aboard The Polar Express™ on November 10! Rides are available through the end of December and feature music and theatrical recreations of scenes from the beloved movie.   

Upcoming in December

Art Basel and Miami Art Week; international opera superstar Stephanie Blythe pays a visit to Palm Beach Opera; and many wonderful holiday events statewide.

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

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