Arts and culture

Quincy Walters / WUSF News

Lincoln Cemetery in Gulfport is a historic resting place for many prominent African-Americans. For decades, it's also suffered from neglect. Some locals say that's about race. Others believe it's a little more complicated than that. 

Tampa Bay Lightning TV

The Tampa Bay Lightning won their season opener Thursday night against the Detroit Red Wings at Tampa's Amalie Arena. The final score was 6-4 with the Lightning scoring four goals in the third period.

Before the game, Lightning Captain Steven Stamkos warned against getting "caught up in predictions" that have the Lightning as a Stanley Cup favorite. The team has gone deep in the playoffs the last two seasons.

Robin Sussingham / WUSF

Public art in the Tampa Bay area is not limited to Sarasota, Tampa or St. Petersburg. Heading east to Lakeland, there's an entire organization dedicated to showcasing local artists and bringing art to nontraditional spaces.  Platform Art,  for the last 12 years, has sponsored everything from public monuments to community gardens.

Alison Miller

When you think of St. Petersburg, what’s the first image that comes to mind? Time once was that answer was likely to be the Pier or the city’s  famous green benches.

Now, that answer might be murals. In the past few years more than 100 murals have been created and more are arriving all the time.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

WUSF recently launched an occasional series called “Art Populi,” an occasional series that is focusing on public art.

From city murals to street sculptures and free art, we're hoping to shed a new light on the Tampa Bay's art scene.

For our second story, we follow two artists as they abandon their creations in Pinellas and Pasco Counties.

Courtesy of Sarasota Orchestra

The remembrances of Maestro Paul Wolfe have been pouring in since news of his death became public this week.

Wolfe was the co-founder of the Sarasota Music Festival, the longtime Artistic Director of the Sarasota Orchestra, and established and nurtured four chamber ensembles while serving in the latter capacity. 

Wolfe attended the High School of Music and Art in New York, Queens College, the Juilliard School and Columbia University. He went on to work with the likes of Paul Whiteman and Frank Sinatra in New York.

WUSF TV is celebrating a milestone today – it’s been 50 years since the station serving West Central Florida went on the air.

University of South Florida students were the first people to tune in when WUSF TV went on the air on Sept. 12, 1966. The station provided distance learning classes, from Monday to Friday.

Quincy Walters/WUSF News

A folk trio played outside of the ARTicles art gallery along Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. 

Inside the gallery, St. Pete-based artist Eva Avenue drew portraits of people who stopped in. She said the portraits, which she uses acrylic, colored pencils and pastels, is her own - something she calls "a mixture between realism and feelism". 

Art Populi: Whimzeyland Will Bowl You Over

Sep 7, 2016
Cathy Carter

WUSF is infusing a little fun in our news with an occasional series called “Art Populi.” The aim is to shine a light on Tampa Bay's rich cultural landscape-- and offer a perhaps welcome diversion from the political stories that can dominate during election season.

Our debut collection of stories will focus on public art.  We’ll be reporting on city murals, abandoned art, public art galleries and more.

For our first story-- we traveled to a place in Pinellas County known as "Whimzeyland."

The Florida Orchestra

Classical music to some people conjurs up images of large music ensembles in ornate concerts halls. The Florida Orchestra is trying to change that perception by performing in the community. 

Tampa Convention Center Facebook page

If you've noticed people wearing maroon or white fezzes walking around downtown Tampa this week, that's because the Shriners are back in town.

For the third time in six years, the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Noble Mystic Shrine - also known as Prince Hall Shriners - is holding its Imperial Session in Tampa. An estimated 25,000 members of the primarily African-American order, along with members of their women's auxiliary, known as the Daughters of Isis (or Imperial Court), are visiting the area.

State of Florida

The State of Florida is holding a “garage sale” of sorts this Saturday in Tampa. Diamonds, rubies and pearls are among the more than 70,000 items that will be up for bid.

It’s the annual Unclaimed Property Auction and will include featured items like an 18-karat gold Rolex-brand watch, rare coins, vintage jewelry and collectibles like sports trading cards featuring Hank Aaron, Dan Marino and Larry Bird.

Ballpark / Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays launched a new website,, to gather your ideas and vision on what a new stadium should look like and include.

Their theme is "Different By Design" and it urges contributors to get creative with ideas that will not only “enhance” the ballpark but make it a community gathering place for generations to come.

The goal is to create: “An icon as distinct as we are,” states the website video.

First Draft Facebook

Jay Thompson is from Chicago where live storytelling is a big deal. That's one of the cities that regularly hosts events such as The Moth, where true stories are shared live at a mic in front of an audience. So when she moved here, she wanted to bring storytelling with her.

Florida Studio Theatre

The 8th annual Sarasota Improv Fest gets underway Thursday night at Florida Studio Theatre. Comedy troupes from across the U.S. and world are returning to Sarasota to perform and hold workshops.

A good story comes with a good setting,  and Craig Pittman, a Tampa Bay Times reporter, sets the scene for some of Florida's wildest stories in his latest book, Oh Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country.

William Garamella

Sunken Gardens is a lush, colorful and fragrant tropical oasis in the middle of St. Petersburg.

It's one of Florida’s original roadside attractions; WUSF's Florida Matters is taking a look at several classic attractions this week. 

People's Choice Awards / AIA Florida

Just like art, people have varying opinions on what is “good” architecture.

For some it can be as simple as “I know it when I see it.” For others, important design criteria must be met such as “form follows function.”

Daylina Miller/WUSF

Located about an hour north of Tampa at the crossroads of U.S. 19 and State Road 50, Weeki Wachee is more than just a mark on a road map. The state park is one of Florida’s oldest roadside attractions, and features a spring-fed water park, wildlife show, a river boat cruise and more. 

Cathy Carter/WUSF

One of the oldest continuously operated attractions in Florida is an 11-acre oasis just minutes away from a busy strip mall.

At Sarasota Jungle Gardens, visitors can feed flamingos, stroll under a canopy of lush foliage and even see the occasional unicycle-riding cockatoo.