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The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Todd Rosenberg

The Sarasota Concert Association was launched in 1938 with a mission to bring affordable world-class musicians to Sarasota. 

This year, the long-running cultural group is celebrating its 75th anniversary.

 

Gasparilla started out at the turn of the 20th century as a sedate little music program. Then, organizers decided to throw in a pirate invasion to spice things up -- and they succeeded: the Gasparilla Pirate Festival is now one of the country’s largest outdoor festivals. Speaking on The Zest podcast, Andrew Huse, an associate librarian at the University of South Florida in special collections, says Gasparilla “is like Mardi Gras without the Catholicism.”  

Food offerings at the Florida State Fair
Florida State Fair

If you’re looking for an excuse to throw that new diet to the wind or to enjoy the chalky taste of an antacid, this year’s Florida State Fair has got you covered.

The fair, which opens Feb. 6, will debut a variety of new foods for guests to indulge in – from variations of fair-food staples like the funnel cake and corn dogs to ramen-infused burgers.

Ira Glass, host of "This American Life," will be at the Mahaffey Theater in St Petersburg Saturday.

Part of his visit includes a workshop with student journalists. When asked why it's important for him to pay attention to younger journalists, Glass says he remembers what it was like to be starting a career.

Goodbye to Mr. Creosote. Goodbye to the naked organist. Goodbye to Brian's mum, and to all her screeching sisters. Goodbye to Terry Jones, who has consumed his final wafer-thin mint.

More than a hundred, mostly retired, part-time musicians from around the country gathered last week in Sarasota to revive what some fear is a dying art – live circus music. These elder musicians hope to pass the mantle to a younger generation of performers.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to break out the pirate costumes, line Bayshore Boulevard, and beg for beads Saturday for the Children's Gasparilla Parade and Jan. 25 for the Gasparilla Pirate Fest. 

Actor and professional wrestler Dave Bautista has been named grand marshal for the 2020 Gasparilla Pirate Fest.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has announced its 35th annual class of inductees, honoring six musical acts — Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G. and T-Rex — as well as veteran rock journalist, producer and artist manager Jon Landau.

The inducted musicians were chosen from a ballot of 16 finalists, which meant fans of Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motörhead, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy will have to wait at least another year for Rock Hall validation.

If you're like Jeff Houck, you've popped into a neighborhood convenience store and thought "wow!" this is a little quirky and an adventure.

We have this conversation every year, but that doesn't mean it's not true: It's hard to know what to make of the Golden Globes telecast. We — and by "we" I mean most awards show watchers — hold a few truths to be self-evident: that the Globes are silly, that it's nice to see people be praised for good work and that the Globes (like most awards, unfortunately) do a pretty terrible job of rewarding people who do good work in an equitable way, which means even deserved wins can feel bittersweet.

Seattle and Sarasota have at least one thing in common: each are just one of eight cities to host the largest public photography exhibition in North America.

'The FENCE" presents a series of large-scale images printed on vinyl mesh and displayed on an 800-foot fence beside the lake at Nathan Benderson Park. The traveling show is back in Sarasota for its second year.

The United Methodist Church announced a proposal Friday to split the denomination over what it called "fundamental differences" regarding its beliefs on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy.

Chef Ed
Dalia Colón

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa is the largest performing arts venue in the southeastern U.S. With five theaters and a school for budding talent, the Straz is a hub for Broadway shows, concerts, dance performances and more.

That means lots of hungry ticket holders—not to mention catering for on-site weddings, meetings and other events.

 

As always, this year's word of the year candidates came from all over.

The Temple Terrace Public Library's Erica Richardi serves as the young adult librarian, but she stresses that the library is a place where everyone is welcome. 

So she started an initiative where the library created posters and placed them inside the doors of the bathroom stalls to tackle difficult subjects that people might not feel they can ask about outright. 


If you’re NOT driving right now, raise your hand if you knew mistletoe grew on trees? If you did, great. If you didn’t, you’re like a number of people here at WFSU, including me, who had no clue, until we went outside the building, and looked up.

Whenever asked about her secret to longevity, the answer is not one that’s generally expected.

Grammy winner Brandi Carlile is among the artists who will perform at the Gasparilla Music Festival in Tampa next March.

The holiday season includes family get-togethers and, often, alcohol. For those in recovery from addiction, that can be a challenge.

“So this is what my childhood tastes like.”

Nora and Ariel
Dalia Colón

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen. But how about the reindeer with pretzel antlers and a red M&M for its nose? This season, WUSF reporters are sharing their holiday food traditions. Today, Dalia Colón introduces us to her family and their custom of baking reindeer cookies.

Sarasota is home to several museums. But until now the city didn't have one dedicated exclusively to contemporary art. On Saturday, the public can visit the region’s first institution focused on the ‘art of our time’ with the opening of The Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College at the site of the original Sarasota High School.

For Yaniv Cohen, his passion for teaching people about spices all started when his daughter was born nine years ago and he found himself wanting to give her a feeling for the tastes and aromas of his childhood in Israel.

Caroll Spinney, the actor and puppeteer who portrayed Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street over five decades, died Sunday at age 85.

The Sesame Workshop said Spinney had died at home in Connecticut, and that he had long lived with dystonia, a disorder that causes involuntary muscle contractions.

Florida's early settlers used pig hooves to make jam for desserts.
Cracker Country

Before Instant Pots, Amazon wish lists and catered holiday dinners, there were community hog killings.

“They used every part except the squeal of a hog,” says Cindy Horton, director of museum operations at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.

For nearly a decade, Diana Ramirez hadn't been able to take a book home from the San Diego Public Library. Her borrowing privileges were suspended, she was told, because of a mere $10 in late fees, an amount that had grown to $30 over the years.

Ramirez, who is now 23 and stays in Tijuana with her mother, attends an alternative education program in San Diego that helps students earn high school diplomas. To her, the debt she owed to the library system was an onerous sum. Even worse, it removed a critical resource from her life.

Fifty years ago, a college football game in Tampa helped change the course of race relations in America. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 29, 1969, a predominantly white school played an all black university in the Deep South for the first time.

For the fifth year running, All Things Considered's annual musical gratitude chat is back. This Thanksgiving, NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with four different artists, each guest having been named as a reason to be thankful by the previous artist.

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