Florida Grand Opera's Future at the Broward Center Is Secure, for Now

Categories: Arts & Culture

Courtesy of the Florida Grand Opera
From the upcoming production of Così fan tutte.

On January 8, the Florida Grand Opera's (FGO) general director and CEO, Susan T. Danis, announced that a fundraising goal of $400,000 from Broward patrons and donors would be crucial to ensuring the company's 2015-16 mainstage productions.

Last fall, FGO hosted "Town Hall"-style meetings to explain its financial situation and drum up interest from preexisting patrons and donors and in order to attract new ones. The new strategic plan announced the "SAY YES! to Opera, South Florida" initiative, a $17.5 million campaign to fund the company's plans.

FGO is not one to rest on its laurels, and the company undertook an aggressive and proactive approach to its mission, engaging Broward communities with outreach programs and events as well as individual, one-on-one meets with the county's movers and shakers.

While positive opinion continued to arise from their efforts, the truth of the matter was that the campaign was not performing at its projected speed.

See also: Florida Grand Opera Brings Madama Butterfly to the Broward Center

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Fort Lauderdale's Washa Pens Dreamy "Baroque Pop"

Categories: Arts & Culture

Photo courtesy of WASHA

Fort Lauderdale musician Dwight Pendelton goes by the mysterious moniker Washa. He's a singer and songwriter that crafts complex tunes he calls "baroque pop."

Pendleton, 20, is creating the sound of a three-piece group on his own. His recently released four-song EP The Bright, Part 1 shimmers with dreamy and ethereal soundscapes, layered with the artist's choirboy voice and spare guitar riffs all drenched in reverb and atmospherics. The sublimely beautiful collection of songs is a surreal, intense, gripping, and emotional journey.

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Boy Orbison: Band In Heaven Frontman Ates Isildak's New Dark Lounge Duo

Categories: Arts & Culture

Photo courtesy of Boy Orbison
Boy Oribson duo Jessica Jean (left) and Ates Isildak.
Whether or not you're a fan of the Band In Heaven, if you enjoy a bit of the strange, you'll want to check out a performance by the group's frontman Ates Isildak and girlfriend Jessica Jean. The two have formed a side project cleverly titled (though Google unfriendly) Boy Oribson.

The noir-lounge duo is a David Lynch-inspired act the two formed last year. Today, they're creating music that is both dreamy and psychedelic, and still dark as ever. Although the two have released very little material so far, expect to hear big things coming from them soon.

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Rosston Meyer Crafts Pop Up Books as Art

Categories: Arts & Culture


Rosston Meyer is an artist of a high order; a craftsman, a warrior in the age of digital incursions. And anything related with true craftsmanship is hard to come by in this day and age. He is one, if not the only artist, making a real stab in a oft-ignored art form pop up books with his company Poposition Press.

Meyer creates the perfect corporeal amalgam of past and present into one viable nexus. He is a lonesome man worried by nothing when the nothingness of the vast digital landscape stares him down.

"I think that the attraction to pop up books is simply due to the fact that it is tangible, and that it can't ever be re-created digitally," he explains, "It has to exist in the real world to be a pop up, and that, in of itself, makes every pop up a piece of art."

See also: The Pop Up Art Book - 3-D Versions of Contemporary Artwork

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Mick Fleetwood on His Photography: "Doing It for Myself and Doing It for Fun"

Categories: Arts & Culture

Mick Fleetwood

As he approaches the start of his sixth decade making music, Mick Fleetwood's status as a superstar is beyond dispute.

As one of two standard-bearers of the rock band Fleetwood Mac he cofounded some 48 years ago, he can lay claim to two of the biggest selling albums of all time -- Fleetwood Mac and Rumours -- and to helping launch the careers of some of England's greatest guitarists -- Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, and Danny Kirwan among them. Indeed, despite the steady entry and exodus of key players, he's never wavered in his commitment to continue the group's musical mission. The band's new tour, celebrating the return of seminal member Christine McVie, is a testament to both his passion and perseverance.

Lately, though, Fleetwood has furthered his artistic ambitions with a series of photo exhibitions showcasing his lush scenic landscapes. He's currently represented in several galleries around the country, including an exhibit in Fort Lauderdale's Wentworth Galleries that continues through December 21.

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Girls' Club and Museum of Art Brunches Brought Art Basel to Fort Lauderdale

Hans Morgenstern
Julian Schnabel with a Willumsen

Though it seemed like everything was happening in Miami this past Art Week -- from protests shutting down the Julia Tuttle Causeway to dozens of art fairs and plenty of poppin' parties -- there was no need to count out Broward County's cultural offerings.

Two marvelous art-focused brunches were the highlight in Fort Lauderdale this past Saturday at both Girls' Club and NSU Museum of Art. One marked the unveiling of a new mural from local artist Julie Davidow and the other brought legendary painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel into town and center stage.

See also: How Flagler Village Became Fort Lauderdale's Cultural Core

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Peter Marino's One Way at Bass: Luxury and Leather Done Right

The name "Peter Marino" was on the well-moisturized lips of every privileged attendee at the New York Times-hosted International Luxury Conference at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami this week.

And why wouldn't it be? Of all the people on display during the Art Basel Miami Beach fair, the architect, art collector, and Warhol protege Marino seems to know about living most luxuriously.

By "on display," we mean quite literally, too. Marino's personal collection was curated thoughtfully by Palais de Tokyo's Jérôme Sans, at the Bass Museum of Art's One Way. But front and center sitting pretty is a wax sculpture of the often leather-clad Marino, hand tipping his hat at every passerby.

Every news outlet around the world seems to be frothing at the mouth for a tiny taste of Marino and his extravagant lifestyle. It's a bit odd that while most people can't afford rent, the art world still laps up the extravagant like its starving.

See also: From Wynwood to South Beach, Galleries Bring the Heat to Basel

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Art Scavenger Hunt Returns to Fort Lauderdale November 29

Categories: Arts & Culture

Steve Sticht
Every November for the last 14 years, Steve Sticht has gathered together a big sack of goodies that even Santa and his elves would envy. But these aren't Christmas gifts, wrapped in pretty paper and placed neatly under the tree.

To get ahold of these treasures, you have to find them first.

The Art Scavenger Hunt is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Sticht gathers and then scatters dozens of pieces of original -- but yet unsigned (you'll find out why later) -- artworks created by himself and other local artists.

It all started after Sticht created a few pieces, and well, just kind of put them somewhere.

See also: How Flagler Village Became Fort Lauderdale's Cultural Core

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Upper Room Art Gallery Elevates Life's Discards on Las Olas

Don Parchment

The Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk isn't exactly known as a mecca for high art. "It just goes to this weird lowest common denominator," says artist Robin Merrill. "Really beautiful, intrinsically valuable work has never had a great history on Las Olas."

But with the Upper Room Art Gallery & Mission Gifts Fair Trade Store, Merrill is hoping to change that. The space, tucked into the riverfront near Art Bar, is adding bona fide culture to the tourist-heavy strip, with pieces of work from halfway around the world that sell for $1,000 and more.

But the Upper Room, Merrill says, isn't about making money. "[The artists] are all represented by existing galleries. But commercial galleries weren't really allowing us to speak spiritually."

See also: How Flagler Village Became Fort Lauderdale's Cultural Core

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Planet of the Drums' "Compelling Story" to Be Documented by Local Filmmakers

Photo courtesy of Kevin Kocak
Planet of the Drums documentary creators Ronaldo Bahamon, Kevin Kocak, and Steven Brevig.

A team of South Florida filmmakers are gearing up to shoot an independent documentary on Planet of the Drums, the longest running electronic dance tour headed up by four DJs who, at the millennium, were intent on bringing drum 'n' bass out of the underground into the world.

The four-person film crew will be on-site at Will Call in downtown Miami getting footage this weekend that will be used in the feature-length documentary geared at profiling said DJs: AK1200 (Orlando's Dave Minner), DJ Dara (Darragh Guilfoyle), Dieselboy (Damian Higgins), and MC Messinian (James Fiorella).

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