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Pooneh Ghana

The country's top three music festivals grossed about $130 million dollars last year. But several other well-known multi-day music events managed to lose money and some were outright canceled.

But the same can't be said for two relative newcomers to the festival scene, and both are in Tampa Bay.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Artists have been a part of Tampa’s Gasparilla annual event for almost half a century. This year, more than 250 artists displayed their works in the 47th Annual Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. And the judges awarded $76,500 in prize money to more than three dozen winning artists.

The Kardashians have visited Cuba. So have Chanel models. So it was just a matter of time before animal rights activists showed up wearing bikinis made of lettuce. Right?

They did indeed fly to Cuba on Tuesday – but something might be wrong with this picture.

Most people want Cuba to be democratic. They want it to be Internet accessible. Now the Virginia-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, wants the island to get vegan.

Quincy Walters / WUSF News

It was early Friday morning when someone set fire to a mosque in New Tampa. An investigation is underway. People from the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim advocacy group, want the incident to be investigated as a hate crime. 

But, the faith community is looking beyond what has happened. 

They say opposites attract. But these days, maybe not so much.

A growing number of singles are adding a clause to their online dating profiles telling either Trump haters or Trump supporters — depending on their political preference — that they need not apply.

"This was like a deal breaker for me," says 50-year-old Elizabeth Jagosz from the Detroit area. "If you are Trump supporter, I'm not even going to consider meeting you for coffee."

It's not just an issue of party politics, Jagosz says. It's about core values. Love, she says, cannot conquer all.

Steve Newborn, WUSF

He's an artist, a pigeon fancier and a tattoo artist. Brooklyn-based Duke Riley has found a muse in the lowly pigeon. It's a bird often derided as a sort of "rat with wings" or something dirty. But Riley says nothing could be further from the truth. 

Robin Sussingham / WUSF

There is a violin shop in Tel Aviv, whose owner has spent the past two decades repairing violins that belonged to Jewish musicians during the holocaust.

These "Violins of Hope," he says, give a voice to the voiceless.

Kara Goldberg

After 10 years and 10 plays, an epic production in St. Petersburg will soon take its final bow.  

With its current production of “Joe Turner's Come and Gone" by August Wilson, American Stage is now one of just 12 theaters in the world to complete the late playwright's "American Century Cycle."

The following are newscasts for WUSF 89.7 All Things Considered Host Lisa Peakes from 2016.

WUSF 89.7 Morning Edition Host Carson Cooper newscast from July 13, 2016  

WUSF 89.7 Morning Edition Host Carson Cooper newscast from August 18, 2016

courtesy of Brad Meltzer

WUSF's Susan Giles Wantuck caught up with New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer recently to talk about his latest book.

It's a children's biography of legendary puppeteer, Jim Henson. But Meltzer says he's best known for writing thrillers. In fact, he jokes that he "kills people" for a living.

Stephanie Colombini/WUSF

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is in Tampa for some of its last shows. While crews were busy at the Amalie Arena Tuesday setting up for the tour, a small group of performers put on a kind of mini-circus at the Straz Center.


The Ringling BrosBarnum & Bailey Circus features its first female ringmaster center stage just months before announcing the iconic circus will shut down this spring after 146 years.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

You can hear the National Championship Fanfest before you ever get a glimpse of the flashing lights, huge video screens and brightly colored banners.

It’s just a ride up the escalator to second floor of the Tampa Convention Center and then a step into the cavernous hall where your instantly blasted by the musical rhythms coming from the Dance Off stage.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Hispanic artists have long been part of the visual landscape in Florida and in other parts of the country. But often, Latino art is overlooked. That's why the Smithsonian American Art Museum is growing its collection of Latino art and created an exhibit to reflect America's evolving culture. That show is now on the road and currently in St. Petersburg. 

Tabitha Blue of FreshMommyBlog.com

This New Year can be a time to simplify, and if you're looking to clear your head and clear your space, Tabitha Blue of FreshMommyBlog.com says start by gathering and grouping items by category.

For example, pull out all of your dishes to you really see what you have and what you no longer need, she says.

Courtesy Calvin Royal III

A dancer for New York's American Ballet Theatre will receive the keys to the city of St. Petersburg on Saturday.

Cheryl Mann/Goldstar Events, Inc. / AP

The magical ballet with dancing toy soldiers and sugar plumb fairies premiered in Saint Petersburg, Russia around this time in 1892. This weekend and next weekend, you can catch The Nutcracker on stages in Tampa, Sarasota, Clearwater, Lakeland and Saint Petersburg, Florida. 

Below is a list of dates and showtimes:

Dec 16:

7:00 PM

Dance Theatre Of Tampa - The Nutcracker

USF Theatre 1 – Tampa

Dec 17:

2:00PM

The Nutcracker

David A. Straz Center - Carol Morsani Hall – Tampa

Tampa Bay History Center

The Tampa Bay History Center announced an $11 million expansion to their downtown Tampa building, which will begin next month.

The project will add a new wing to the third floor, which will include new galleries and the first cartographic center in the southeastern United States.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

One of Tampa's most historic buildings has been given a futuristic makeover. The Fort Homer Hesterly Armory hosted Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, the Doors, and President John F. Kennedy four days before he was assassinated.

Thursday, it reopened as the Bryan Glazer Family JCC.

State Archives of Florida

This Christmas, a new movie based on Dennis Lehane's "Live By Night" is coming out. It's a story about a wayward son of a Boston cop who moves to Tampa's Ybor City and gets into bootlegging and becomes a gangster. Author Lehane divides his time between his native Boston and Florida, where he teaches creative writing.  

The hostess is dressed as a unicorn, reclining on a red velvet bed. She's bottle-feeding a lion cub. Monkeys scurry around in the room, which was rented from the Hotel Del Monte in Monterey, Calif.

Courtesy of Sarasota Music Festial

Pianist and Conductor Jeffrey Kahane grew up in Southern California at a time when the Beach Boys provided the soundtrack for teenagers trying to catch a wave.  He said the legendary rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix was on his radar, but he was more influenced by folk rock and drawn to the music of Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. 

Benedictine Sisters of Florida

If you’ve not yet bought your turkey and want to share the day with others, there’s an opportunity in San Antonio. The Benedictine Sisters of Florida are hosting a free Thanksgiving meal and fellowship for the 21st year in a row.

Cathy Carter

Commuting in Tampa Bay can be challenging. Often, drivers can get stuck in traffic and endure plenty of red lights.  But in a few local spots, commuters are seeing those mundane gray signal boxes transformed into colorful, vibrant canvases.

Traffic box art isn't a new thing. They’ve been successful public art projects in cities like Tampa and Fort Lauderdale. And now an arts group in Clearwater is jumping on the trend with a signal box public art project called "Thinking Outside The Box." 

Wikimedia Commons

Halloween is upon us and with the coming of this day, comes another reminder that buyers should beware.

What does state law have to do with the house you buy in Florida? A lot, and in ways you might not have imagined. If you're not buying a newly-constructed house, there's a history to be considered. Cooley Law School Assistant Professor Remalia DuBose says laws vary from state to state about what sellers must disclose to potential buyers---like, if the house is haunted.


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.

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