Florida Culture for the Week of May 20 by Josh Garrick

by Josh Garrick / May 20, 2013 / 0 comments

Florida Culture for the Week of May 20 by Josh Garrick

Current – Innovative Fundraising Tool Offered by United Arts

Under the enlightened new leadership of Flora Maria Garcia, United Arts of Central Florida has launched power2give.org, a new giving platform that “empowers donors to support specific arts, sciences and history projects.” With the new program, nonprofit arts, sciences and history organizations post projects to the site with estimated costs of up to $10,000 for up to 90 days. With this distinctly new direction for UA, donors review the list and give to the project(s) of their choice, thereby transforming the giving landscape in Central Florida and giving all of us a new – more direct – way to give to the organizations we care about. Visit power2give.org or call 407.304.6172

May 24 – Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin Opens at SeaWorld

Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, which opens at SeaWorld Orlando on May 24, transports guests into the icy world of the South Pole. Seen through the eyes of a “hero penguin” with the Shakespearean name of Puck, the experience is a first-of-its-kind family ride into a massive penguin colony, both above and below the penguins’ icy world. The opening of a major new exhibit such as this includes an army of talent that includes management, designers, zoologists, merchandisers, ride technologists, engineers, explorers, animal ‘ambassadors,’ curators, aviculturists, educators, and even chefs – for the penguins and for us, as the new ride also introduces a new restaurant called Expedition Café: Empire of The Penguin. Visit seaworldparks.com


May 25 – Francesco’s Night of Dining AND Opera

A year ago, I wrote in my Restaurant column, “The best way to KNOW that you are going to get great food at a new restaurant is to find a restaurant where the CHEF is also the owner. Such is the case with the wonderful-in-every-way FRANCESCO’S in Maitland.” I love this restaurant, and I’m happy to report FRANCESCO’S will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a night of “Musica Italiana” on May 25. Experiencing our favorite music while enjoying our favorite foods with Chef Francesco on-hand to make sure the party is authentic – all we have to do is “Enjoy.”  Francesco's is at 400 S. Orlando Avenue (17-92) in Maitland. Call 407.960.5533

May 29 to July 28 – Photos by Rick Lang, David Monroe and Rick Wagner

The Alumni Focus exhibition at the Southeast Museum of Photography presents work from distinguished alumni of the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies, a consortium with Daytona State College and the University of Central Florida. This year’s exhibit features the work of three iconic photographers, all based in Florida, and all of whom specialize in landscape. They include Rick Lang presenting Signs of the South; David Monroe presenting Nature Through My Eyes; and Rick Wagner presenting large format landscape photography. Call 386.506.4475 or visit smponline.org


May 30 – Field to Feast at the Winter Park Library

Winter Park Authors Pam Brandon, Katie Farmand, and Heather McPherson traveled thousands of miles around Florida, tasting fresh crops along the way, to create Field to Feast, a new cookbook that is a celebration of Florida food and a roadmap filled with profiles of hardworking farmers, recipes from world-famous chefs, and photographs highlighting the produce grown in the Sunshine State. We are invited to meet the authors of Field to Feast, and sample a delicious recipe from the book, on May 30 at 7 pm at the Winter Park Public Library. The abundance of Florida’s produce is the basis of this beautiful, 352 page cookbook including 150 color photos and easy-to-make recipes, all tested in the authors’ Winter Park kitchens. Pre-registration is recommended for the library event at [email protected] or by calling 407-623-3279.


May 31 – Orlando Philharmonic in Hi Def at Full Sail University

The Orlando Philharmonic is building a name – and an audience – based on exciting new ways to present symphonic music, and their fund-raiser on May 31 may top them all. Presented in association with Full Sail University, the Philharmonic will present Symphony in HD: Music of the Night as a live orchestra performance with photography, animation and other visual elements created by Full Sail University faculty and students – and a guest appearance by former Broadway ‘Phantom,’ Davis Gaines. “Developing the program has stretched the creative talents of both organizations, and the result is going to be an intersection of music and technology unlike anything you’ve ever seen before,” says Philharmonic Exec Director David Schillhammer. Guests at the fund-raiser will enjoy a three-course meal and live auction with proceeds benefitting the Orlando Philharmonic. The evening begins with drinks and a silent auction on Full Sail’s Hollywood-style Backlot. Visit orlandophil.org or call 407-896-6700 x236.


May 31 – Three Exhibits Open at the A&H

An Opening Reception will be held on May 31 from 6 to 8 pm at the Art & History Museums – Maitland (A&H) as they present three exhibits highlighting works of André Smith (1880-1959), artist, architect, author and founder of the A&H’s Maitland Art Center. The exhibits highlight the Museum’s prints, paintings, and drawings reflecting Smith’s travels in the United States and Europe. Selections from the Permanent Collection: André Smith Sketch Books features Smith’s sketchbooks dating from the 1920s through 1940s, comprised mostly of small watercolors and crayon sketches depicting a wide range of subject matter. Recent Acquisitions celebrates the ongoing addition of works of art to the A&H collection. Call 407-539-2181 or visit ArtandHistory.org


And Looking Ahead – June 2 -- The Maitland Symphony Orchestra

The Maitland Symphony Orchestra will present its FREE annual spring concert on June 2 at 7:30 pm at Maitland Presbyterian Church at 341 North Orlando Ave in Maitland. Reflecting the concert’s title A Musical Kaleidoscope, it’s an evening of entertainment changing in color and theme including Saint-Saen’s ‘Organ’ Symphony No. 3, featuring the Church’s powerful Wicks organ. A percussion ensemble will present an interpretation of Clair de Lune; guest soloist Rob Ross will sing Bring Him Home from Les Miserables; and the orchestra will delight with a medley of Beatles’ songs and music from Broadway and the cinema. This FREE concert is sponsored by the Performing Arts of Maitland and is appropriate for all ages. Visit pamaitland.org/orchestra


June 7 to July 7-- DREAMGIRLS at Mad Cow

Tickets are selling fast for this highly-anticipated, Tony Award winning musical that captures the spirit of hope in 1960’s Motown when a girl group from Chicago gets their big break in the music business. Their struggle to find acceptance – and stardom – is a time-lapse spectacle about the price of show-biz success. Sizzling with disco and R&B soul, Dreamgirls is directed and choreographed by Ray Hatch and features an ensemble of singing actors in their Mad Cow debut. Presented at the Mad Cow Theatre in downtown Orlando from June 7 to July 7, call 407-297-8788 or visit madcowtheatre.com






Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators