Arts and culture

Top 5 Changes to Ybor City's Guavaween Event

Oct 26, 2012

Guavaween, Ybor City's annual Latin-themed Halloween celebration, returns Saturday with a few changes. The 27th edition of the event will still feature a costume contest and host "Mama Guava," but here's what's new:

Steve Newborn / WUSF

The bell tower at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales is revered enough as a place to perform that there have been only three carillonneurs in it's 83-year history. Today, the fourth will be shown off to the public for the first time.

A book for many is an escape. You travel to different times and places. You meet people who shaped history or just fell into a tragic romance.

Whether it be self-help, science fiction or biography, a good book is always a comfort. But physical comfort is also essential in the place where you choose to escape--maybe a local park or even a corner of the library.  

When you want to let your mind wander into the pages of a book where do you go? 

In this video, we are flying over the Earth, looking down and seeing what astronauts see when it's nighttime, when lightning storms flash like June bugs, when cities look like galaxies, when you can see where people are. It's quietly astonishing.

This montage of space footage was assembled and narrated by NASA scientist Justin Wilkinson. There's another one, which takes us around the Earth in daytime.

Owen Carey

The Rays' baseball season may be over, but Tampa Bay residents still have a reason to flock to Tropicana Field this fall.

Starting Nov. 8, the Trop parking lot will host Cirque du Soliel's KOOZA under the big top tent. Today 14 additional performances were announced for the show, which now closes Dec. 9.

Details Weigh Down The Drama In 'Live By Night'

Oct 7, 2012

A short list of mishaps that befall characters in Live by Night, Dennis Lehane's new novel: stabbed with a potato peeler ("It sounded like fish parts sucked into a drain"); stabbed in the Adam's apple; shot in the face ("the exit hole splattered pink all over the ferns"); tied to the hood of a car; devoured by alligators. A woman commits suicide by cutting off her genitals and slashing her own windpipe. How can a book packed with macabre acts of violence possibly be dull? Live by Night offers an excellent opportunity to contemplate this question.

A new museum could soon grace downtown's Curtis Hixon Park, where the Tampa Museum of Art and Glazer Children's Museum are located. The city of Tampa received a proposal today to build The American Craftsman Museum - and they're asking for taxpayer help. Lots of help.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

Some works feature the trademark surrealistic flair that could only come from the brush of Salvador Dali. Others are from so early in his career that they don't look like his trademark work. And they all have never been on display in the U.S.  Beginning today, art lovers on this side of the Atlantic will get their first look at 12 works by Dali.

Tampa's Cafe Kili Voted No. 9 Coffee Shop in U.S.

Oct 1, 2012

The owners of Cafe Kili got an added jolt over the weekend -- and it wasn't just from the java.

The Temple Terrace watering hole was voted the ninth best independent coffee shop in America by Huffington Post readers. (The survey is ongoing. At the time of this writing, Cafe Kili sits at No. 5, as seen in this slide show.) The survey marked National Coffee Day, which was Saturday.

Two words you should not hear from your kids this weekend: I'm bored.

Saturday, Sept. 29, is Smithsonian magazine's annual Museum Day Live, when more than 1,400 attractions nationwide wil offer free admission. Just go to to print a ticket good for two people.

Participating local venues include:

If you traveled by way of Florida's Route 1 in the '60s and '70s, you might have encountered young African-American landscape artists selling oil paintings of an idealized, candy-colored, Kennedy-era Florida. They painted palms, beaches, poinciana trees and sleepy inlets on drywall canvases — and they came to be known as the Highwaymen. The group made thousands of pictures, until the market was saturated, tastes changed, and the whole genre dwindled.

Roadside Innovation

Tampa Bay Fashion Week Nurtures Local Talent

Sep 20, 2012
Dalia Colon / WUSF

Twenty-two-year-old Simone Fratus is sitting in a computer lab at the Art Institute of Tampa, doing homework with a friend.

"Right now, I have on knee-length riding boots with studs on them and an oversized shirt and leggings and tons of accessories -- everything that I could just kind of throw on together. Three necklaces, a whole wrist full of bracelets. So I guess today I felt 'downtown girl,'" Fratus says with a laugh.

The past 24 hours have produced a few answers — but many more questions — about the anti-Islam film that became a flashpoint across North Africa and the Middle East this week.

NPR's Carrie Kahn reports on Morning Edition that The Innocence of Muslims was shot in Los Angeles County last August, under the title Desert Warriors. It's full of "choppy dialogue, bad acting and scenes of a buffoonish Muhammad," she says.

Rev. Terry Jones has a knack for getting publicity, so it is no surprise he’s inserted himself into the latest controversy involving Islam.

The surprise for Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute is how the media lets Jones get away with it.

"The media apparently are biting on this without asking some critical questions,” she said.

“Specifically, how did Terry Jones have anything to do with the violence? And the answer is, he didn’t!”

Most Americans knew nothing about Innocence of Muslims. That's the film that has set the Muslim world on fire, causing protests in Egypt and Libya that led to the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.

primemover88 / Flickr

Fewer out-of-state residents are applying for Florida driver's licenses, and it's not because they've donated their car to their favorite public radio station. Population experts say Northerns are no longer flocking to the Sunshine State the way they used to, according to this report from the Associated Press.

Remembering 9/11

Sep 11, 2012

It was a day that started out like any other here in the Tampa Bay Area. 

President Bush was on a two-day swing through the state promoting education reform. 

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays were scheduled to host the Boston Red Sox that night at Tropicana Field.  That game would never be played.

Bobbie O'Brien

Elephants are iconic Republican and they’re also the closest living relative to the Florida manatee according to the Florida Wildlife website.

So, it seemed only natural that the animal kingdom duo be the focus of our RNC art coverage.

First, the “Elephants Herd About Tampa Bay” art project. It gave 29 artists a chance to adorn, embellish and festoon fiberglass, elephant sculptures.

Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Tampa International Airport officials faced a major challenge Saturday--not a huge number of people leaving town after the Republican National Convention, but fans of the boy band One Direction.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

I was in search of a good protester or two - which, after the first two days of the Republican National Convention, became rather hard to find in downtown Tampa. So I went to Cafe Hey, a coffee shop in the shadow of Interstate 275 that had become a de-facto hangout for the radical set. There, I came across Heather Merlis and Justin West, who was strumming a guitar on the sidewalk outside the cafe.