Grantee Spotlight: MOCA Jacksonville ‘Art Aviators’

Provided by MOCA Jacksonville

MOCA JAX 3Founded in 1924 as the Jacksonville Fine Arts Society, MOCA Jacksonville is a private nonprofit visual arts educational institution and cultural institute of the University of North Florida. MOCA Jacksonville serves the community and its visitors through its mission to promote the discovery, knowledge and advancement of the art, artists and ideas MOCA JAX 2of our time.

For over a decade, MOCA Jacksonville has served the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) community in Northeast Florida with its pioneering Art Aviators program. Formerly known as Rainbow Artists, the program began when a museum educator with a personal interest in working with children with special needs hosted a series of Saturday workshops for children with ASD. Art-making activities enable children with ASD to foster new means of self-expression and communication.

MOCA JAX 1Since its inception in 2017, Art Aviators has served hundreds of children throughout the region. From 2008 to 2015, Art Aviators was implemented in Duval County schools, and the curriculum was also adopted by the Coral Springs Museum of Art in South Florida.  Today, the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville offers free monthly workshops for families of the ASD community to enjoy as well as free spring and summer art camps. Art Aviators harnesses art as a powerful proven means of promoting expression and social interaction among children with ASD and their teachers, caregivers, and peers.  It is our hope to be able to export this exciting curriculum to museums and organizations nationally to give them a resource to serve the ASD families in their communities.

For more information about MOCA Jacksonville and Art Aviators, visit their website at: http://mocajacksonville.unf.edu.


Interested in seeing your organization featured on Culture Builds Florida? Please fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/3sMwuJWA3bM1orPl2.

 

 

Culture In Florida: August 2018

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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.

August was a busy month for arts and culture in Florida! As summer activities wrapped up and kids headed back to school, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gilbert King visited St. Petersburg’s Studio 620 to celebrate the release of his newest book, Panama City’s Martin Theatre held a Mel Brooks retrospective, and Zoo Miami celebrated the birth of a baby pygmy hippo! Here are a few other highlights from around the state:

Short Plays, New Musicals, Opera, and a Lipsync Battle

In Fort Lauderdale, the teens of the Broward ARTrepreneurs program debuted eight original one-act plays over two nights. This free program, introduced by ArtServe in 2013, allows up to ten talented teens instruction in artistic development and production, which culminates with the two-night Short Play Festival.  In Winter Park, six brand-new musicals were showcased at the 2nd Annual Florida Festival of New Musicals at the Winter Park Playhouse. Palm Beach Opera hosted their second Summer Opera Night, featuring food trucks, trivia, and interactive games alongside a world-class performance from bass-baritone Neil Nelson. Osceola Arts hosted their 3rd annual Lipsync Battle to help support their youth arts education programs.

Openings and Closings

In Orlando, Mennello Museum of American Art opened “Our Orlando: Making Sense of Our World”, featuring local artists on the rise each considering how we relate to our world; Gainesville’s Matheson History Museum opened “Gators and Beyond: a Sports History of Alachua County”; Miami’s Bakehouse Art Complex featured works of resident artist Alejandra Suarez in “Atmospheric Perspective”, a look at “imagined landscapes through impaired perspectives”; and Tallahassee’s Florida Historic Capitol Museum opened its final exhibit commemorating the decision to save the Historic Capitol, “Demo by Design”.

Miami Beach’s Bass Museum announced the acquisition of major contemporary works by artists Sanford Biggers, Mark Handforth, Karen Rifas, Mika Rottenberg, and Lawrence Weiner, representing the museum’s commitment to local and international contemporary art.

The invitational exhibition of works from the fifth annual Florida Prize in Contemporary Art at the Orlando Museum of Art closed on August 19. This years’ winner was multimedia artist Kenya (Robinson), who was raised in Gainesville. The People’s Choice Award was given to Carlos Betancourt, who has lived and worked in Miami since 1981.

Science Through the Ages at Pensacola MESS Hall also closed on August 19. Visitors were offered a unique opportunity to explore the history of scientific discovery through workshops, MESS kits, and other hands-on experiences.

Featured Festivals

IFÉ-ILÉ Afro-Cuban Dance Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary with many exciting events including dance workshops in various afro-cuban styles, a week-long children’s camp, a performance parade, and an academic conference on Cuban dancing. The festival celebrates Miami’s large Afro-Cuban population and various dance traditions that share African roots.

Bok Tower Gardens honored “summer’s most popular plant”, the caladium, with a month long Caladium Festival. Events included a special caladium trail highlighting over 20 different varieties and a series of plant education workshops. 

Brevard Zoo also hosted a Bonsai Weekend which featured dozens of miniature trees on display and included bonsai care demonstrations and workshops.

Upcoming in September

20/20 at Locust Projects, an ambitious, 20-hour, rotating exhibition by 20 different artists; ArtsLaunch 2018, Miami’s arts season kick-off celebration; Women in Science Conference at Emerald Coast Science Center; State of the Arts 2018 at Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville; Global Peace Film Festival in Winter Park. 


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.

Share Your Story with Culture Builds Florida

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We want to hear from you! 

Would you like to see your organization or community featured on the Culture Builds Florida blog? We are currently accepting content for submission. Posts should be 150-250 words long and include a picture or two.

 

Post categories are:

  • Grantee Spotlight (short features of our grantee organizations);
  • Art Talk (Q-and-A with Florida arts leaders);
  • Month-in-Review (monthly recap of Florida arts and culture events).

For Grantee Spotlight submissions:

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Questions? Leave a comment below.

Note: submission does not guarantee publication.

Grantee Spotlight: Emerald Coast Theatre Company

Provided by Emerald Coast Theatre Company

Cats--28Emerald Coast Theatre Company exists to inspire, educate, and empower the community and artists of all ages to achieve the highest level of cultural excellence through collaboration, productions, and educational programs that promote lifelong learning and provide excellent, professional entertainment in the Emerald Coast Community. The company was founded in 2012 by husband-and-wife team, Nathanael and Anna Fisher, who serve as producing artistic director and associate IMG_8794artistic director, respectively.

Having returned to the Destin area after completing their graduate studies, the Fishers identified a community need for performing arts educational theatre as well as professional theatre in the area. Furthermore, the opportunities for elementary, and middle school students to be involved in theatre were slim-to-none. Many students did not have the opportunity to be exposed to or involved with theatre before reaching ninth grade. The Fishers aimed to fill that void, and sought the advice and consultation of the long-established Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation, which asserted the community’s need for a comprehensive professional and educational theatre company.

IMG_8861What started as an afterschool program with ten students at Destin Elementary has now grown to a comprehensive, multi-level education program with over 400 students enrolled per year, serving children in Okaloosa, Walton, and Bay counties. Four of the original ten students are still involved with the company, and ECTC has developed satellite programs at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City and at Rise Dance Center in Destin.

Nathanael Fisher credits some of the program’s successes to the rapid growth-rate in the area. Many families relocating to the Destin-area are coming from larger cities, where comprehensive professional and educational theatre is commonplace. Emerald Coast Theatre Company is able to offer a successful, multi-faceted program that is comparable to those in larger cities.

IMG_6781Most of Emerald Coast Theatre Company’s camps and classes are production-based, meaning that every student enrolled has the opportunity to participate in a fully-staged production. The classes meet for two hours a week for ten to fifteen weeks. Nathanael and Anna are passionate about fostering community. The primary goal for ECTC is to create a space where children really feel like they “belong” and can explore and develop their creativity in a welcoming and safe environment.

IMG_4979As they continue to grow and evolve, ECTC is committed to expanding beyond their immediate area and aims to reach schools in the north of the county, where there is a higher population of Title I schools. They have started a scholarship program to make theatre accessible to all children and are also actively seeking grants to help sponsor more Title I schools for their Theatre for Young Audiences program.  They are also committed to reaching the growing homeschool population in the Destin area, and are continuing to expand their homeschool programming.

For more information, visit their website at: http://www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org.


Interested in seeing your organization featured on Culture Builds Florida? Please fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/3sMwuJWA3bM1orPl2.

Meet the Florida Council on Arts and Culture: Heather Mayo

The Florida Council on Arts and Culture is the 15-member advisory council appointed to advise the Secretary of State regarding cultural grant funding and on matters pertaining to culture in Florida.

Appointments to the Council are determined by the Governor, President of the Senate and Speaker of the House, in consultation with the Secretary of State. The Governor manages seven seats that serve four-year terms. The President and Speaker manage four seats each, with terms of two years. The appointments are based on geographic representation, as well as demonstrated history of community service in the arts and culture.

In this bi-monthly series, we will introduce you to each member of the council and share their thoughts on the role of arts and culture in the state of Florida. This month, we chatted with the council’s newest member, Heather Mayo. Heather was appointed to the council in April 2018 by House Speaker Corcoran. 


Heather Mayo - HeadshotDCA: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Heather: I am a Tallahassee, Florida born-and-raised resident who has a great love for the arts. The arts have always played an integral role in my life, and my involvement in the arts began at a very young age when my mother, a ballet instructor enrolled me in dance lessons at the age of three. At seven years old, I picked up the guitar for the first time and discovered my passion for music. Throughout the years, I have played various genres on the guitar but mainly focused on studying the styles of classical and jazz guitar during my studies as an undergraduate student at the Florida State University College of Music. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Commercial Music in 2006, I worked at a prominent recording studio on music row in Nashville, TN and learned various aspects of the music business. Four years later, I decided to return to FSU to pursue a Masters in Arts Administration and to dedicate my career to working as an arts administrator in the non-profit arts sector.

Currently, I have the privilege of working for Florida State University as the Assistant Director of Production and Community Engagement within our College of Music. In my position, I help oversee our performance hall production coordination and assist in various outreach, engagement and entrepreneurial activities of the College. As a volunteer, I am currently serving as the Immediate Past-President of the Friends of Dance Council within the College of Fine Arts at Florida State University, and I am also serving as a 2018 Catalyst with the Knight Creative Communities Institute in Tallahassee.

DCA: What do you think of when you hear “Culture Builds Florida”? Why are the arts and culture important to our state?

Heather: When I hear “Culture Builds Florida”, I think of economic growth and social impact. In the most recent Arts and Economic Prosperity study conducted by Americans for the Arts, it was found that the arts and culture sector is a $4.68 billion industry in Florida. The arts and culture industry in our state supports 132,366 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $492.3 million in local and state government revenue [1] In my hometown of Leon County, FL the nonprofits arts and culture sector is a $201.9 million industry which supports 7,161 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $26.6 million in local and state government revenue.[2]  To me, these numbers prove that the “Arts Mean Business!” The arts support job growth, generate government revenue and attract cultural tourism in our state.

In addition to impacting our state’s economy, arts and culture contribute in countless ways to the well-being of our state by making a social impact in our everyday lives. The arts enable us to uphold our cultural identity as Floridians but also keep us moving forward in innovative ways that are relevant. Arts and culture celebrate diversity and inclusion by bringing people together under one purpose. They enable us to express ourselves, our feelings, and our beliefs creatively. They help us heal; they contribute to our health and wellness. They are vital to the education of our children. They allow us to reflect on our society, on world issues and on our own lives in meaningful ways.

 DCA: For you, what is the most inspiring part about working in the arts?

Heather: For me, the most inspiring part about working in the arts is the opportunity I have to work in an industry that makes a difference in people’s lives through a creative process. The best example of this in my own world is witnessing a performance come to fruition after our team has spent months preparing for its premiere. There is so much behind-the-scenes work that goes into each production, but the most rewarding part is to see it all come together successfully. Some of my most favorite moments are when I stand in the back of the concert hall and witness the joyful impact the performance is having on an audience member’s life. I often think to myself, “Wow, we helped create this moment for them!” Those are the times I feel most inspired.

Another aspect I love about working in the arts are the relationships that are made along the way. On a daily basis, I get to work with a fantastic team of colleagues who inspire me to be more excellent in everything I do. I also have the wonderful opportunity to work with multiple artists at the local, national and international level. Through these relationships, I have seen the power in collaboration and how we can spur on each other to new creative heights.

DCA: What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the Florida Council on Arts and Culture?

Heather: First and foremost I hope to support the mission of the Department of State and the Division of Cultural Affairs through my service on this council. I genuinely believe that state arts agencies are one of the most significant vehicles our country has to fulfill our public duty to the arts. By representing all interests of the state, the Division helps ensure that the economic, educational, and civic benefits of the arts are made available to all Floridians. For that, I am thankful for the work the Division is doing for us on a daily basis and look forward to supporting their efforts.

Alongside my fellow council members, I also hope to strengthen strategic partnerships and boost arts advocacy conversations with art constituents throughout the state. It’s no secret that we are living in a time in which advocating for the arts needs to be at the forefront of our daily lives. With this in mind, I hope we as art constituents can become familiar with the economic impact of the arts within our own immediate communities and that we can also be prepared to express how the arts enhance our quality of life. In turn, I hope that through these increased conversations, we can come together as an arts community and jointly make an impact in preserving the cultural heritage of our great State of Florida.

[1] http://dos.myflorida.com/media/698818/artseconomicprosperityfl.pdf

[2] https://coca.tallahasseearts.org/uploads/documents/COCA_Arts__Economic_Prosperity_Bklt_v2.pdf

Grantee Spotlight: Key Chorale ‘Tomorrow’s Voices Today’

Provided by Key Chorale

Key Chorale 2

Key Chorale, Sarasota’s Symphonic Chorus, celebrates its 6th year of “Tomorrow’s Voices Today”, a music in education initiative that has given hundreds of choral students the opportunity to sing at the professional level. Students involved in the program have debuted world premiere commissions, recorded albums, and performed on the national stage at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Additionally, each spring, Key Chorale is joined by three Sarasota County high school choirs for a unique festival concert that features over 200 voices of all ages, from teenagers to octogenarians and everything in between.

Key Chorale 3

This season, Key Chorale is particularly excited to admit twelve exceptional area high school students for the second year of the Key Chorale Student Scholar Program. In this program, students who intend to pursue music beyond high school are granted the opportunity to sing on scholarship with Key Chorale for their full performance season. These talented young singers study and perform with a professional conductor, accompanist, orchestra, and world-class soloists. Additionally, they receive private voice lessons, coaching on the business of music, and attend workshops on preparing for college level music success. The students have the opportunity to demonstrate their progress by performing in a recital at the end of the season.

Key Chorale 1

These programs are the result of artistic director Joseph Caulkins’ passion for education and giving back to the next generation of artists. Key Chorale aims to inspire a lifelong love for and dedication to music in these young students. As Caulkins describes, “experiencing a student’s joy of self-discovery… seeing the looks on their faces when everything just clicks in a moment of transcendent beauty…these are moments where one realizes that sharing your love of music with others is the most important thing a conductor can do.”

As Key Chorale and Caulkins continue to deepen their relationships with local educators and students, they hope to create long-lasting partnerships to build not only good musicians, but good citizens, ensuring that choral music and artistry are alive and well in our community for generations to come.

Key Chorale 5

For more information, visit Key Chorale’s website at: http://keychorale.org/.


Interested in seeing your organization featured on Culture Builds Florida? Please fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/3sMwuJWA3bM1orPl2.

Culture In Florida: July 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.

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.

Featured Festivals

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.

Hemingway Days

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.

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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.