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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.

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s season ended prematurely with no Stanley Cup in hand. On Monday, a former Lightning captain was dealt a similar disappointing blow. After toiling for 23 years in the National Hockey League, Dave Andreychuk has been passed over, again, by the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Quincy Walters / WUSF News

It's been a little over a week since a gunman entered the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and killed 49 people. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. And in just a few days, the Tampa Bay area plays host to St. Pete Pride - Florida's biggest celebration for the LGBT community. 

Temple Terrace Public Library Facebook page

What if you could head down to your local public library and check-out a sewing machine or a stand mixer?

The City of Temple Terrace is trying to make that a reality with donations from the community.

Anton Grassl / ESTO

This Sunday (May 15), The Ringling Museum will open its new Center for Asian Art.

David Berry is the Ringling's Assistant Director for Academic Affairs and is one of the project managers for the Center. He said the time is right to open a new home for a permanent collection of traditional, modern and contemporary art from Japan, Korea, China, India and Southeast Asia.

Courtesy Pearl.

A national tour of men dressed as women is coming to Ybor City this weekend.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” is a reality television competition to crown "America's next drag superstar." The show is in its 8th season and is a popular download on iTunes.

Joe Worthem

As a former Tampa Bay crime reporter, Ace Atkins has seen the best in people and also, the worst. He folded that knowledge into his fifth Robert B. Parker novel, "Slow Burn," about the Private Investigator Spenser, which revolves around the Boston Fire Department.

Courtesy of St. Petersburg MFA

MIT Electrical Engineering professor Harold Edgerton was trained in photography by his uncle. That uncle taught him how to take pictures and how to develop them. 

Edgerton's photographs ultimately stretched the limits of human vision by capturing images never before seen. That tick when a bullet hits an apple, that moment of impact before that apple disintegrates into a million little pieces. That Edgerton photograph is called "Bullet Through Apple."

Chef Greg Baker
Roberto Roldan/WUSF Public Media

 The Seminole Heights neighborhood, once dotted with car repair shops, has become a key player in the growth of Tampa's culinary and craft beer scene.

Greg Baker has been at the forefront of the transformation in the now-trendy historic neighborhood. And he recently brought an additional boost of national attention to the area by receiving his fifth nomination for a James Beard Award, the Grammys of the food business.

American Public Media

Garrison Keillor leaves Lake Wobegon for good this summer.

After 40 plus years, the long time host of public radio's "Prairie Home Companion" is in his final season.

Straz Center

Javier Burgos, General Manager of Habana Compas Dance, says you can't take the music out of Cuba.

It's as natural as a beating heart.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

When’s the last time you received a personal, handwritten or typed letter in the mail – snail-mail that is? There’s a concern that emails have turned letter writing into a lost art and is going the way of typewriters.

Paula Poundstone has been finding the humor in everyday life at least since kindergarten. That's when her teacher Mrs. Bump noted in a summary letter sent home to her parents, in lieu of a report card: "I have enjoyed Paula's humorous comments about our activities." 

A copy of that letter lived near the doorway Poundstone would walk through to get to the set of her short-lived TV show. 

Scottish American Society of Dunedin

The Dunedin Highland Games & Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary this week. Thousands of people –many likely wearing kilts-are expected to attend Saturday’s main event in Dunedin’s Highlander Park.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

  During his final Saturday Night Jazz broadcast on WUSF 89.7, Bob Seymour took us back to his small Illinois hometown.

Lora Warnick Photography

Joseph Volpe had only been on the job for a short time when WUSF spoke to him at his new office with the Sarasota Ballet. In his role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, he had about 850 employees, now it's more like 70, including the dancers.

When Martin Luther King Jr. made his "I Have A Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, Bob Adelman was standing just a few feet away with a camera to his eye.

From the March on Washington to Dr. King's funeral, he captured some of the most iconic images of the civil rights movement.

The photographer was found dead on Saturday in his home in Miami Beach. Ernesto Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Miami Beach Police Department, said his death is still being investigated.

Adelman was 85.

City of Tampa

A new Wallet Hub study ranks Tampa ahead of New York and Chicago for cities in which to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. The financial website graded cities in its highly unscientific survey on the percentage of people with Irish heritage, number of festivities and parties for the day per person, along with the number of Irish pubs and restaurants per capita. 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed a controversial bill dubbed the Pastor Protection Act. The measure would protect pastors and churches from lawsuits if they decline to participate in marriages that violate their beliefs.

Those of you in Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas, go ahead and feel smug.

Everyone else: prepare to lose an hour tonight, as Daylight Saving Time begins and the clocks shift forward.

Daylight saving time means an extra hour of daylight in the evening, and darkness stretching a little further into the morning. The idea is that it makes daylight hours match up with the hours when people want to be active, and saves on energy use.

His is not just a gentle voice; for many people, it's a very familiar one, too. For 25 years, Francois Clemmons played a role on the beloved children's program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Clemmons joined the cast of the show in 1968, becoming the first African-American to have a recurring role on a kids TV series.

And, as it happens, it was Clemmons' voice that Fred Rogers noticed, too, when he heard Clemmons singing in church.

Courtesy of the Texas Guitar Quartet

A chamber music class at the University of Texas-Austin has turned into a ten-year collaboration for the Texas Guitar Quartet. Isaac Bustos says the quartet is a place of real growth for all of them.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Museum of Fine Arts

One of St. Petersburg’s strongest art advocates and community leaders has retired. Kent Lydecker, executive director of the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), stepped down after six years at the helm so he can focus on recovering from heart surgery.

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