The Year in Review: Culture for Your Calendar by Josh Garrick

by Josh Garrick / Dec 23, 2013 / 0 comments

2013 has been a year in which the ARTS stood front and center for us here in Central Florida – in ways in which we may all be proud, but it has also been a year in which we ALL joined in acknowledging the need to help our neighbors who still suffer from hunger …

Holiday Giving – Feed the Need Campaign Raises $96,000 to Fight Hunger

On December 3 the First Annual Feed the Need campaign celebrated the spirit of giving in Winter Park as the result of a 22-day fundraiser to end hunger in our community was presented. After many generous fund-raising events, promotions and donations, Feed the Need raised $96,145 for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. All of Winter Park can join with Patrick Chapin, President of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, as he shares, “I’m incredibly proud of the Winter Park community for responding to the Feed the Need campaign in such a remarkable way.” And we can continue to help by visiting or by contributing directly to Second Harvest Food Bank.



Watching the new Performing Arts Center GROW –

All through 2013 we had the almost unbelievable pleasure of watching 20 years of planning and fund-raising RISE in front of us as the $429 million Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is being built in Downtown Orlando. Set to open in October of 2014, the new PAC will present everything – from Broadway productions to visiting orchestras in a home that will include two performance theaters, a 300-seat community theater, outdoor plaza, and a windowed banquet room that will extend OVER the street in a work of theatrical architecture that will give “the City Beautiful” a Center to truly celebrate all the Arts. 






NEW Public Sculptures

As a kind of welcoming preparation for the new Performing Arts Center, November 2013 saw the visual image of Orlando, already called ‘the City Beautiful,’ significantly enhanced as TEN NEW PUBLIC SCULPTURES were ‘unveiled’ throughout the City. Our ‘ART-loving’ Mayor Buddy Dyer was there to unveil them -- including a sculpture honoring the Tuskegee Airmen outside the Orlando Science Center and the illuminated Tower of Light at City Hall. On November 18 the Orlando ‘magic’ was palpable as 8 NEW Sculptures turned Downtown Orlando into a magnificent Public Museum.  The following day, the Urban Art Museum stepped up with yet another beautiful PUBLIC work – this one by Marcos Cruz. Countless individuals and corporations are to be thanked for this unprecedented celebration of creativity with special thanks to Jennifer Quigley and Mayor Buddy Dyer. Thank you –beautiful people – for inspiring us by making the ‘City Beautiful’ ever more deserving of that title.






Jai Gallery moves to Bigger, More Beautiful Quarters in Downtown Orlando

The beautiful, new Jai Gallery in downtown Orlando, became even bigger and more beautiful as it moved to its new location at 47 East Robinson off Orange Ave. Celebrating the move in October, enlightened Directors Dennis Liddy and Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon now have more space – and a framing room – to promote Fine Art in Orlando. As the Holiday Season began, Ms. Claeysen-Gleyzon invited the Community to… “Start your Christmas shopping here. We have original artworks by truly talented local artists, which are surprisingly affordable too.”






June 27 and Sept 12, 2013 – My Personal Footnote in History

Regular readers know that ‘I love my job’ – sharing news of the ARTS with you each week, but 2013 will always be the stand-out year for me as the year in which I was honored to share my Art with the country of Greece. As the first American in history to exhibit at Greece’s famed National Archaeological Museum of Art, June 27 was named “Josh Garrick Day” in the City of Orlando by Mayor Buddy Dyer leading up to my ‘historic’ Opening Day at the Museum in Athens on September 12. I share this life-changing Greek Odyssey with all the kind and wonderful people – on both sides of the Atlantic – who worked and / or contributed to the most important and gratifying experience of my life. The exhibit continues into the New Year in Athens and will make 2014 ‘special’ for me as the exhibit ‘travels’ to Istanbul, Turkey for an Opening on January 31.


Josh Garrick at Greece's National Archaeological Museum


Josh Garrick at Greece's National Archaeology Museum


Please enjoy a safe and happy and healthy Holiday Season and carry those good wishes – for you and yours – into 2014.  As we enjoy the magnificent new sculptures, remember – we have a NEW PERFORMING ARTS CENTER TO OPEN!

Welcome to 2014.




Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators