Culture in Florida: December 2018

culture-in-florida

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.

Holiday Fun

Holiday fun continued at many organizations throughout the month. Fort Lauderdale’s Bonnet House Museum and Gardens held their weeklong “Holiday Magic” celebration which included self-guided tours, strolling carolers, and Christmas storytelling amidst beautifully decorated trees, wreaths, and centerpieces.

Jacksonville’s Museum of Science and History hosted a special motorized holiday train display that allowed visitors to learn about trains, engineering, and model building while traveling through a winter wonderland and Miami’s Frost Science Museum hosted their “Scientific Winter Wonderland” which included a live show exploring the science of snow, and interactive activities exploring the physics of freezing and other activities exploring a mini bobsled challenge, an interactive “blubber glove”, and a Nutcracker Fantasy Laser Show.   

Many museums and gardens saw their outdoor areas light up for the holidays! Over one million lights illuminated the garden and walkways at Selby Gardens, Naples Botanical Garden was transformed into a Tropical Winter Wonderland, and Zoo Miami hosted a series of holiday-themed, illuminated nights on Fridays and Saturdays throughout December.

International Opera Stars Grace our Florida Stages

Two internationally-renowned opera singers graced our Florida stages this month. Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe appeared with Palm Beach Opera’s apprentice artists on December 18, and soprano Karita Mattila will appear in concert at Artis-Naples on New Year’s Eve with the Naples Philharmonic.

Visual Art

Miami Art Week was held in December, featuring over 20 international art fairs, more than 1,200 galleries, thousands of artists and a virtual art fair. This year, artists and galleries from 16 different countries united to bring the center of the art world to Miami.

Miami’s BASS Museum also announced the acquisition of a new work by Paola Pivi, “Call Me Anything You Want”. The 2013 work is comprised of 20 individual canvases made of cascading natural pearls.

Many exciting exhibits throughout the state also featured prominently this month. The Studios of Key West opened their annual members’ exhibition, “Look Upwards, to the Sky”, and St. Petersburg’s Studio @620 hosted “Plastic is the New Fish”, a collection of sustainable modern artwork by Amandine Drouet. Lake Wales Arts Council opened an exhibit by Orlando-based artist and pop culture aficionado titled “Pop!”. The exhibit features paintings and pop-culture phenomena. ArtCenter Manatee also opened their annual exhibit featuring Women Contemporary Artists. Women Contemporary Artists is a regional organization of professional women in the visual fine arts that is based in Sarasota, that seeks to provide visibility, encouragement, and inspiration to women artists.

Arts for All

Earlier this month, we chatted with Jennifer Sabo, executive director of Arts4All Florida, about making the arts accessible for everyone. Here is just a sample of a few wonderful organizations doing just that:

Jacksonville’s Cummer Museum and Gardens celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 4. The celebrations included artworks created by persons with disabilities, an open studio opportunity to learn about the museum’s programs for persons with disabilities, outreach activities, and adaptive art-making opportunities for everyone.

Davie’s Young at Art Museum kicked off their monthly “Sensory Sunday” series on December 16. This new initiative opens the museum one hour early on the second Sunday of each month for families of children with autism or other sensory integration sensitivities. The museum welcomes families to a safe and welcoming environment with theme-based art activities and other sensory-friendly experiences.

Upcoming in January

Florida kicks off 2019 with the Amelia Island Chamber Festival, the Heartland Cultural Alliance Festival of the Arts, and the Sarasota Choral Festival, along with many other exciting events!

From all of us at the Division of Cultural Affairs, we wish you a wonderful Holiday season and a Happy New Year!


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. 

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