Arts and culture

Dozens march in Wimauma, Florida, to celebrate Women's History Month and the contributions of women farmworkers on March 23.
Ashley Lisenby | WUSF

Rosalva Serrano worked with her family as a girl picking oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables and fruits in Florida, Georgia and other parts of the south.

“I’ve learned so much from being a farm worker,” Serrano said, “It was the best time of my life because I learned so much and I shared so many wonderful memories with my family.”

Visitation and annual revenue are up since Selby Gardens was repositioned as a "living museum." The newest exhibit pairs botany with artist, Paul Gauguin.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens has big ideas for the renovation of its 15-acre site on Sarasota's Bayfront.

Their 10-year master site plan includes a vertical "sky" garden, a cutting edge plant research center, parking garage and a rooftop restaurant. The plan, which is estimated to cost $67 million, will include infrastructure improvements aimed at keeping Selby's living collections out of flood zones into secure structures using green technology.

Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

The first day of the Gasparilla Music Festival drew a sold-out crowd to Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday. 

Headliners included the Avett Brothers and 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest winners, Tank and the Bangas.  But the nonprofit organization that plans and runs the festival also committed 50 percent of the spotlight to local acts. 

Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Two ships that are replicas of Christopher Columbus’s historic sailing vessels, the Pinta and the Niña, have docked in Palmetto for a week-long stop.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Whether it’s known by the traditional name of “professional wrestling” or the modern label of “sports entertainment,” there’s no denying that the biggest event in that business is WrestleMania.

Next year, World Wrestling Entertainment is bringing the spectacle – and the thousands of fans that come from all over the world for it – to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium for the first time.

Gasparilla Music Festival

More than 40 artists will rock Tampa Bay at this weekend’s Gasparilla Music Festival.

courtesy Hurley Young family

June Hurley Young was the television teacher to generations of Tampa Bay children who tuned in every weekday to the local version of the syndicated program “Romper Room.”

Young, better known as “Miss June,” died on February 2 of pneumonia.  

Haines City WINGS

Murals have been popping up in Haines City since January as part of an interactive art program where the public can “try on” some wings.

Chuck Manahan

Booker High School serves the most diverse and underprivileged student body in the Sarasota County School District. It's also recognized for its rigorous program in arts education, including instruction in music, theatre, dance, digital film and motion design, and visual art.

This week, the Booker High School Visual and Performing Arts program will host its first ever fundraiser to support initiatives that provide educational enhancements for VPA’s rising stars.

A new documetary centers around the largely forgotten sport of Jai Alai, whose history is tied to the Miami of the 1980s. At that time thousands would fill arenas to watch players use cestas to launch balls at over 100 miles per hour, making Jai Alai known as one of the fastest sports around. Today, arenas in Miami struggle to sell tickets and the game is viewed as "a dying sport." 

Tampa Bay History Center

A new exhibit opening this weekend highlights the colorful history of beer in Tampa Bay.

Cigar maker Vicente Martinez Ybor founded Florida's first commercial beer brewery, The Florida Brewing Company, in Tampa in 1897 at the site of an ancient springs. Artifacts from that brewery will be among the items on display at the Tampa Bay History Center at an exhibition called "History By the Pint," which explores the story of beer and brewing in Tampa Bay.

Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Several months out of the year, Ugandan children travel with staff from the Watoto Ministries to cities around the world to share their stories of resilience.

Members of the Watoto Children’s Choir are performing Ugandan songs and Christian contemporary music around the Tampa Bay area over the next few weeks. On Wednesday, their audience was students and teachers at Cambridge Christian School in Tampa.

St. Petersburg Arts Alliance

Members of the Florida Cultural Alliance want lawmakers to give millions of dollars more in grant funding for arts and cultural programs throughout the state after years of declining contributions.

The Key West Art and Historical Society already maintains some of the island's most important historic buildings, like the lighthouse and the Custom House. And now the group is taking on another.

Tiffany Razzano

St Petersburg is known as a haven for creative arts, and there's no shortage of opportunities to refine and celebrate work. A writing conference this weekend focuses on the business side of things.

Tiffany Razzano, the founder of the literary arts organization “Wordier Than Thou,” says the the group’s second annual publishing conference aims to help writers find a place for their work.

Courtesy of Roy Peter Clark

The City of St. Petersburg will declare Feb. 15 "Ray Charles Day" during a special event at the Studio @ 620 Friday evening.

Honey? You awake?

There's no shortage of romantic verse for people who have just fallen in love. But no one waxes poetic about the soft glow of a smartphone screen, or the sweet caress of sweatpants.

So John Kenney, a "longtime married person," has filled this void with a slim volume called Love Poems (for Married People), in which he celebrates what happens to romance after years (and years, and years) of partnership.

One poem asks: "Are you in the mood?"

Stephen Voss

NPR listeners across the country can hear 1A with Joshua Johnson every weekday.

Many South Floridians are even more familiar with Johnson because he hails from West Palm Beach and has journalistic roots in Miami.

photo courtesy of Eve Barbanell

Fans of Alexander Hamilton, both the historical figure and the musical one, can experience the second annual Hamil Fest Saturday in St. Petersburg.

Vickie Oldham / Newtown Alive

Sarasota’s first African-American community, Overtown, will be in the spotlight during a Newtown History Makers panel next week.

Nicole Slaughter Graham / WUSF Public Media

For the past 93 years, the Tampa Theatre has been a buzzing hub for entertainment and movies. Visitors come from all over to enjoy the storied, Mediterranean style theatre.

To honor the building's significance, a Tampa lawmaker has submitted a letter asking the government to recognize it as a State Historical Marker.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

With Gasparilla Pirate Fest invading Tampa Saturday, there are concerns about what happens after the parade to the beads that pirates hand out.

Dade City Chamber of Commerce

The long-standing Dade City Kumquat Festival is making a comeback this weekend after last year’s cold snap.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

There are all kinds of methods for creating art. Jean Schlumberger's medium was gemstones. From useable objects like cigarette cases and candlesticks to extravagant fine jewelry, the designer's work sparkles.

In 1933, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra gave the world premiere of Symphony No. 1 by a then little-known composer named Florence Price. The performance marked the first time a major orchestra played music by an African-American woman.

Price's First Symphony, along with her Fourth, has just been released on an album featuring the Fort Smith Symphony, conducted by John Jeter.

Alexis Fraser

Alexis Fraser, known as Lipstick Lex, has been inspiring positivity through her unique medium.

Armed with tubes of lipstick and an assortment of makeup brushes, Sarasota resident Alexis Fraser, more popularly known as Lipstick Lex on social media, has been spreading positivity with her unconventional art since 2012.

Lieutenant Colonel George Hardy, is the youngest member of the Tuskegee Airmen. Thursday, he spoke at Florida A&M University. The discussion focused on racial segregation and what took place shortly after it was outlawed.

Matthew Paulson/Flickr

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with TV host Mario R. Núñez, who sparked a debate over the proper moniker for people who live in the city of Tampa.

You'll find a lot of 2018 films more loved by critics than Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody, but both have found enthusiastic audiences. On Sunday night, they were the big winners in film at the Golden Globes, in a ceremony that dragged 20 minutes past its scheduled time and occasionally felt as if it was rushing through a list of awards and trying desperately to get winners to wrap it up.

Last month, the Tampa Bay Rays announced their plan to build a new baseball stadium in Tampa's Ybor City neighborhood was dead. Now they're unveiling a new seating configuration at Tropicana Field.