Florida Culture for the Week of May 14 by Josh Garrick

by Josh Garrick / May 14, 2012 / 0 comments

Florida Culture for the Week of May 14 by Josh Garrick


May 16 through 28 – “You’ve got a FRINGE …”

Steadfast in its non-juried wackiness, often weird, and always wondrous, the 21st Annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival is also the oldest, non-juried festival in the United States. Having grown into a makes-my-heart-glad-celebration of Theater, Art and Music, Fringe presents hundreds of theater works, Visual Fringe, outdoor concerts and Kids Fringe. Events are held at various venues, and true to Fringe’s founding ethos, ALL acts remain uncensored, with performances ranging from traditional ‘nerdiness’ to Adults Only ‘nudiness.’   Admission is $5 to 11 per show with all proceeds going to the performers. Visit orlandofringe.org or call 407-648-0077.


Fringe Fest



PARENTS – Do NOT Miss...

Kids Fringe is a special part of the Festival just for kids and families. Located in the sculpture gardens of the Mennello Museum of American Art, Kids Fringe offers performances, classes, art activities and more.  Do your best Tigger in the bounce house, meet a creature, dress up in a costume, play a drum and take funny pictures. Kids Fringe is Free and runs from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday May 19 and 20 and May 26 and 27. Find the giant Fringezilla at the entrance of the park and follow his footsteps to the fun. Visit orlandofringe.org.



May 17 – Third Thursday Art Stroll

Every 3rd Thursday, the galleries in Downtown Orlando OPEN with their new exhibits, making the evening one great ‘art-party’ of meeting, looking, net-working and BUYING Art. On May 17 – at the City Arts Factory – a group of eight artists – Holly Tharp, Chad Pollpeter, Cameron Moore, Chad Kendall, Johanna O’Donnell, Shawn Rinehart, Plinio Pinto and Rachel Wronowski – will present new work, and some will also create pieces for a community wall. The City Arts Factory is at the corner of Orange and Pine in downtown Orlando.  Call 407.648.7060 or visit orlandoslice.com


To Dream of the Next, by Holly Tharp

To Dream of the Next, by Holly Tharp



May 18 – The ART of Basketball

The Art of Basketball (Wave 3), opening on May 18 from 6 to 9 pm, is a preview of a unique collection of NBA licensed artworks by leading graffiti and street artists who ‘re-imagined’ the official NBA backboard and All Star court. The ‘notoriously harmonious’ artist/curator Billi Kid, from New York, will be on-hand to “share the vision behind the art exhibit.” With each piece of Art designed for interior spaces, Art of Basketball will be at Church Street Exchange at 101 S. Garland Avenue, Orlando through June 15. Proceeds benefit the Downtown Arts District, and can be purchased at orlandoslice.com or by calling 407.648.7060. The exhibit is available for private viewings and for purchase by contacting Bill Fickett at bill [at] publicworksdept dot com


Art of Basketball



May 18, 19, and 20 -- 4th Annual Mount Dora Blues and Wine Festival

Mt. Dora offers three days of ‘rain-or-shine’ entertainment AND wine tasting at their biggest and best Festival ever. Bring your blankets or chairs as Friday features the Blues Bros Revisited. Saturday begins with a guided Wine Stroll & Taste, and then the music continues with music legend Leon Russell. Sunday afternoon features more Blues Talent and wraps up with the now-traditional "Blues & Wine Fest All-Star Jam.” The event is shared by the City of Mount Dora with neighboring Tavares. Visit mdbwf.com.


Blues Bros Revisited


Leon Russell



May 19 – United Way’s 20th Annual Chef's Gala

There are some BIG food & wine events in Central Florida, but none are as ‘truly fabulous’ as the Annual Chef’s Gala that benefits Heart of Florida United Way. Festivities begin Saturday, May 19 at 6:45 pm as the sparkling wine begins to flow (along with a silent auction) at Epcot at Walt Disney World. The evening features fine cuisine from over 20 of Central Florida’s top chefs and restaurants. Most importantly, proceeds benefit programs that provide food, shelter and vital services to Central Floridians in need. Sponsored by Walt Disney World for the past 19 years, this event is true to its slogan. The Chef’s Gala is a “Tasteful Way to Make a Difference.” Call 407.429.2161 or visit ChefsGala.org.


Chef's Gala



May 19 – Bok Tower Music Series Begins

The oh-so-beautiful Bok Towers’ 11th Annual Live at the Gardens Summer Music Series kicks off on May 19 at 7:30 pm as violinist Ashley Liberty and pianist Daniel Strange perform an eclectic mix from American spirituals to the classic Romanian Rhapsody. The summer concerts are presented inside the Visitor Center with cabaret-style seating, and an optional prepaid dinner is served at 5:45 p.m. The series continues on June 23 with The Friends of Jazz and July 14 with The Porchdogs. Voted Florida’s best garden, Bok Tower Gardens is a National Historic Landmark located 55 miles southwest of Orlando. Reservations are encouraged. Visit boktowergardens.org or call 863.676.1408.


Bok Tower



May 19 – Food Revolution Day Declared

With the majority of the world’s population more likely to die from obesity than from hunger, the Jamie Oliver Foundation will launch the first-ever Food Revolution Day, a day of action to inspire people everywhere to stand up for real food. Thousands will participate worldwide in events to arm people with the knowledge and tools to make healthier food choices. In Orlando, the Winter Park Harvest Festival, Edible Orlando, Slow Food Orlando and Livepretty.com will present family urban farm tours, cooking demonstrations, kids’ activities and a special food-lovers raffle. Tours start at 10 am, 11 am and 12 noon at Winter Park Urban Farm at 1650 Pine Ave. in Winter Park. Register online at livepretty.com/foodrevorlando or visit winterparkharvestfestival.com.


Food Revolution Day


Food Revolution Day





May 20 – FREE Museum Day

The Orlando Museum of Art (omart.org) will lead the way among our many Florida Museums by offering free admission on May 20 as part of the Association of Art Museum Directors' (AAMD) Art Museum Day. This international event spotlights the value of the Arts while providing new opportunities for audiences to participate in museum programs. OMA will encourage visitors to share their museum experiences on a special printed form as part of a collective public response. A special presentation is also free to OMA visitors of all ages on May 20 at 2 pm when storytellers will bring history to life with stories and songs about Florida and its people. Visit omart.org


Orlando Museum of Art


Orlando Museum of Art



May 25, 26, and 27 – Jacksonville JAZZ Fest

The Jacksonville JAZZ Fest will heat up the heart of Downtown Jacksonville on May 25, 26, and 27 as the Festival begins performances on multiple stages presenting Bela Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio and the legendary Sonny Rollins on Memorial Day Weekend. They know how to PARTY in Jaxville with a ‘juried’ art show, Wine & Brew Tasting Experiences each of the days, Jazz Dinner Cruises aboard the Lady St. Johns 904.396.2333, 'Round Midnight Jazz Jams,’ and jazz brunches and lunches all over town. The Jazz Festival Hall of Fame will offer FREE admission. In addition to great jazz performances, the 2012 Generation Next Youth Talent Competition offers a live talent showcase where the winner receives a savings bond to be used expressly for the purpose of furthering his or her musical education. Visit makeascenedowntown.com

Jacksonville Jazz Festival


Bela Fleck


Sonny Rollins




Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators


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