CPPAF to host Glammie Jammies Extravaganza fundraiser

LARGO — The Central Park Performing Arts Foundation will present the Glammie Jammies Extravaganza, a social distancing fundraiser, set for Saturday, June 27, 7 to 9 p.m.

The event will feature an online auction, entertainment, music and contests.

To participate, log into the Central Park Performing Arts Foundation Facebook page, online at www.facebook.com/CentralParkPerformingArts. To take part in the auction, register online at handbid.app.link/CPPAF.

All proceeds will support the local arts, children’s camp and the foundation.

The Central Park Performing Arts Foundation is a community-based, nonprofit 501(c)(3) foundation, working to increase general public awareness of the cultural and educational programs available in the Tampa Bay area. As the fundraising cornerstone at the Central Park Performing Arts Center, CPPAF:

• Awards substantial Summer Theatre Camp scholarships

• Underwrites the yearly children education series programs, ensuring the arts are accessible to all

• Builds vital endowment funds that will ensure future generations to take their first steps into live theatre, music and dance

• Helps to raise critical operating funds to continue the availability of affordable tickets

• Ensures performances are at the highest level by keeping the theatre state-of-the-art

For information about how you can help support the arts in the community, visit www.largoarts.com/rentals/cppaf/index.php.

News veteran Mike Deeson’s memoir now available
from St. Petersburg Press

ST. PETERSBURG — Longtime Tampa Bay investigative reporter Mike Deeson has written a memoir, “Bad News For You Is Good News For Me!,” chronicling his 50 years in broadcast journalism.

Published by St. Petersburg Press, the book — now available at local retailers and through Amazon — focuses on the 35 years Deeson spent at WTSP, the Tampa Bay area’s CBS affiliate.

During that time, he exposed corruption in politics, business and the private sector, reported from Saudi Arabia and Guantanamo Bay, witnessed four executions and covered every major story affecting the state of Florida.

He is the recipient of 12 news Emmy Awards, and was named Florida Journalist of the Year by the Society of Professional Journalists.

“I was able to see things firsthand that people could only vicariously live through my stories,” Deeson said in a press release. “And I thought folks might be interested in the different things I encountered over the past 50 years.”

Written in a folksy, conversational style, “Bad News For You Is Good News For Me!” is an informative and entertaining look behind the sacrosanct curtain of broadcast news.

Museum of Fine Arts St. Pete sets reopening date

ST. PETERSBURG — The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, is optimistically looking ahead in announcing its plan to reopen to MFA members on Sept. 12.

This decision to remain closed in the coming months aligns with the museum’s stance to rely on data as the driving factor for our reopening plans, and considers the increasing rate of positive coronavirus cases in Pinellas County and the state of Florida. According to a press release, the health and safety of staff and visitors remains paramount. The museum has made a commitment to do its part to help slow the spread of the virus within the community. As staff members continue to monitor state and local COVID-19 data, they will provide any updates to reopening plans, including the reopening date to the general public.

During the time of temporary closure, museum staff has been undertaking deep cleaning of the entire museum, working on maintenance projects, preparing for safe reopening protocols, researching and writing about hundreds of works in the collection, and — most exciting— renovating and reinstalling our galleries ahead of a planned summer schedule. This major project is already underway, and MFA staff members look forward to unveiling the new look and installation to the community later this year. Upon reopening, visitors will be able to enjoy the special exhibition, “Derrick Adams: Buoyant.” Originally scheduled to be on view this summer, the show will now run Sept. 12 through Nov. 29.

The museum’s online programming, “MFA From Home,” will continue throughout the summer, celebrating the power that art offers to inspire, delight and educate.

PAVA reschedules Cool Art Show

ST. PETERSBURG — At this time of year, members of the Professional Association of Visual Artists are usually getting ready for the annual Cool Art Show, a St. Petersburg tradition for more than 30 years.

The show is usually presented at the St. Petersburg Coliseum in July. This year, due to the pandemic, the show has been tentatively rescheduled from July 11-12 to Aug. 15-16. In an effort to give the show’s patrons an easier way to shop, PAVA has created a new ecommerce website, www.TheCoolestArtShows.com, that features the show’s juried fine art and fine craft artists’ artwork for sale.

The ecommerce website showcases an impressive collection of both visual and functional art in both 2D and 3D mediums including paint, ceramics, photography, mixed media, drawing, pastels, sculpture, and jewelry. Patrons who purchase online throughout the months of June and July, will be contacted to schedule a time and place to pick up their artwork, while those who purchase online during the month of August can pick up their artwork at the Coliseum over the two days of the show.

PAVA is also using www.TheCoolestArtShows.com as the main destination for patrons to view all updated information about the show as time progresses. Additionally, show updates, as well as artist profiles, will be posted on two new PAVA Cool Art Show social media accounts on Instagram — instagram.com/coolartshowspava/ — and Facebook — facebook.com/pavaartshows.

The 32nd Cool Art Show is sponsored by PAVA. PAVA is a nonprofit organization run by volunteer artists to serve local artisans and support the arts community in the Tampa Bay Area. It provides exhibition, education and grant opportunities for its members and supports local art centers through scholarships for art instruction. Visit www.pava-artists.org.

Free violin lessons continue virtually
through TFO, Prodigy Cultural Arts 

ST. PETERSBURG — The global coronavirus pandemic has not stopped the Florida Orchestra’s free violin classes for kids through its partnership with the University Area CDC’s Prodigy Cultural Arts Program in Hillsborough County.

TFO has taught students through virtual lessons online since mid-March and will continue to do so for the summer sessions starting in June.

In the past couple of months, TFO has taught about 20 children consistently through group and one-on-one video conference sessions, coordinated through three sites: Roy Haynes Community Center, Thonotosassa Recreation Center and Gardenville Recreation Center. The violins are delivered for free to the students, along with worksheets, books and other supplies. Parents have helped students with the technology, and to keep access equitable, printed worksheets have been delivered to each student, which will continue over the summer.

As the pandemic took hold, TFO Community Engagement Coordinator Michelle Painter and her instructors quickly saw how important the virtual Prodigy lessons are to the students, who look forward to seeing each other every week.

“That’s important because it speaks to the positive and safe environment these lessons provide, whether in person or virtually,” Painter said. “It’s a tough time right now, and any pocket of community or sense of belonging is so meaningful. I’m proud that our music program is able to provide a little piece of that every week.”

The summer sessions include virtual group classes, buddy lessons, a “field trip” and a masterclass. Since students can’t come to the Florida Orchestra for a field trip, TFO musicians will come to them via a video chat to give a behind-the-scenes tour of how an orchestra works.

The two summer sessions are running June 8-July 31 and June 15-Aug. 7, with opportunities for new and returning students.

University Area CDC and Hillsborough County jointly provide funding for the program, which began small in the summer of 2018 to offer lessons and other musical experiences to children who might not have the opportunity any other way. The program has grown steadily with plans to include more sites as health and safety guidelines allow.

Prodigy, a research proven diversion and prevention program, uses an innovative approach to empower, educate and enable eligible youth, providing a doorway to a better world. Kids ages five to 18 experience performing and visual arts, taught as a tool for self-expression, to learn communication, exploration, problem solving and conflict resolution skills. For more information about the Prodigy Cultural Arts Program, please visit uacdc.org/prodigy.

TFO teaching artists post more than 50 videos

In a program in Pinellas County, the Florida Orchestra Teaching Artists Kristin Baird and Kaitlin Springer have recorded more than 50 videos on violin and viola to support the schools’ string teachers and students in a robust virtual learning section on the orchestra’s TFO at Home webpage. The videos help students learn scales, vibrato, fundamentals of shifting, warmup exercises, and other tips and tricks for playing a string instrument.

The advice comes straight from the pros: Baird and Springer are professional musicians who typically would split their time between playing on stage with the orchestra and helping in Pinellas classrooms during the school year. From mid-March through the end of May, they have supported teachers through phone calls and virtual sessions. They work in partnership with the Pinellas County School District, but the free videos are available for all music students here; they have nearly 2,000 views so far.

The pair also have taught 54 virtual private lessons to Pinellas strings students in the past two months.

In addition, TFO musicians are developing materials to help students prepare for 2020 All State auditions, hoping to close the gap for students who do not have access to private lessons.

TFO cellist Lowell Adams is volunteering his time over the summer to create these resources for student cellists.

This is the third year of TFO’s Teaching Artist Program, which has helped build and guide strings programs in partnership with the Pinellas County School District since January 2017. It is funded in part by the Pinellas County Schools referendum.

As a musical thank you to teachers, who have faced extreme challenges this year, the teaching artists recorded the Flower Duet, which you can see here.

The Florida Orchestra is recognized as Tampa Bay’s leading performing arts institution for more than 52 years, the largest professional symphony orchestra in Florida, and one of the most vibrant and innovative orchestras in America. Under the leadership of Music Director Michael Francis, it performs more than 130 concerts a season, with series of classical, popular, and morning coffee concerts in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as free Pops in the Park concerts. Dedicated to bringing music to all people, connecting to the community is a priority, with pre-concert talks, family and youth concerts and other educational activities. For tickets and information, visit FloridaOrchestra.org.