Friday, February 26, 2021

Bee Gees bring stellar performance during pandemic

Everyone in the building wore masks, seats were socially distanced, temperatures were taken, and handbags checked; this started an evening of celebrating the music of the Bee Gees despite the awareness of COVID-19.

Attendees had a great time hearing this amazing “Staying Alive – One Night of the Bee Gees” tribute band and bopping to the familiar hits of the original disco era of the late 1970s group. Some couples even felt free to socially distance themselves from others as they took to the floor for a little dancing.

Despite a small mishap at the Times Union Center fort the Performing Arts, the show continued to go on. The show was fabulous and well worth the cost and a night out on the town.

Upcoming Shows: March 18, 2021 “Electric Light Orchestra Experience 25th Anniversary”
        March 26, 2021 “LaBohème –                                   The Opera”
        April 29, 2021 “Riverdance 25th Anniversary”

LOCATION: Times Union Center Performing Arts
      
Moran Theater
      300 West Water St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202
      (904) 632-5000 or
      888-860-BWAY (2929)

Cathedral Arts Project flourishes in JAX public schools

The Cathedral Arts Project (CAP), as part of the Any Given Child Jacksonville program (AGC Jacksonville), has announced the launch of the Landscape of Education in the Arts in Duval (LEAD) artlook® map. This launch is part of a collective national effort to affect systemic change for arts education through partnerships with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Ingenuity, the Chicago-based arts advocacy organization that created the artlook® platform.

The LEAD artlook® map provides a real-time snapshot of arts resources and services on a school-by-school basis in Duval County, using data from schools, funding resources and cultural service providers, such as local museums and arts organizations. This cutting-edge tool allows community stakeholders to identify funding and partnership opportunities that will lead to greater support and resources for arts education in Duval County schools.

Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the U.S. Department of Education and the PNC Foundation, AGC Jacksonville is working to assess the state of the arts and advocate for increased equity and access to high quality arts education for all students enrolled in Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) — goals that took on even more significance as a result of the pandemic.

AGC Jacksonville initiated a collaboration between Ingenuity, the Kennedy Center and the NEA to launch the artlook® Project, a three-year initiative to gather comprehensive data to improve equitable access to arts education. Jacksonville is one of eight cities nationally, and the only city in Florida, to participate in the artlook® Project. Other communities selected for the initiative include Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Houston, TX; New Orleans, LA; Portland, OR; Sacramento, CA; and Southwestern PA.

LEAD began in 2019 with surveys to all Duval County Public Schools to collect information about arts programming and resources. A separate survey was created for local arts and culture organizations to gather information about their arts education offerings. The map will be updated annually; data from the 2020-2021 school year will be active on the map by fall 2021.

LEAD is the first artlook® map to launch outside of Ingenuity’s original Chicago map and provides a template for other school districts seeking to use data to strengthen teaching, learning, whole-child education and strategies to address equity gaps. Locally, Assessment Technologies Group and the University of North Florida are providing data analysis support to translate the map into an advocacy plan.

In recent years, DCPS has expanded its arts education opportunities for students. Recent advancements include the creation of a new arts magnet middle school, Fort Caroline Middle School of the Visual and Performing Arts; new digital arts, digital photography and cinematic film programs in multiple secondary schools; expanded performing arts programs, including show choir, theatre, band and choral programs; the addition of more than 80 fine arts teaching positions since 2013; and active representation for arts education in all pandemic planning efforts to keep programs and positions intact and available as safely as possible.

The LEAD artlook® map can be viewed at jacksonville.artlookmap.com.

 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Tennessee Williams’ play comes to the Alhambra

Since taking over the helm of the storied Alhambra Theatre & Dining, Managing Partner Craig Smith has wanted to produce a Tennessee Williams play, and on February 24, 2021 he will get his wish as the Alhambra opens his most famous one, “The Glass Menagerie”. The Alhambra has built its reputation on exceptionally casted and produced musicals and musical comedies, and has rarely mounted what theater fans call a “straight drama.” Audiences can expect the same astounding talent and set quality it is used to (and food), but with a slightly different theatrical experience overall.

Referred to typically as a “memory play, The Glass Menagerie premiered in 1944 and is credited for catapulting Williams from obscurity. The play has strong autobiographical elements, featuring characters based on its author, his histrionic mother, and his mentally fragile sister Laura.

In the script for The Glass Menagerie, Williams sets the show’s tone through the main character, Tom Wingfield, “The play is memory. Being a memory play, it is dimly lighted, it is sentimental, it is not realistic. In memory everything seems to happen to music. That explains the fiddle in the wings. I am the narrator of the play, and also a character in it. The other characters are my mother Amanda, my sister Laura and a gentleman caller who appears in the final scenes.  The scene is memory and is therefore non-realistic. Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart.”

The Alhambra will continue its 2021 season with limited seating due to its policy of strictly adhering to COVID-19 protocols. “Our role in this community is to provide entertainment and a respite for our family of guests,” said Smith. He continued, “We will always put their experience first, and this is what they told us they wanted.” With Season Partners having renewed at an even faster pace than for 2020 and hosting a sold-out season opener with Singin’ in the Rain, Smith feels reassured in the decisions he and his team made. “We’re delighted to make the seating work, and even more delighted that our guests are responding with such love and support.”

The Glass Menagerie

DATES: February 24 — March 21, 2021

SHOW TIMES: discussed with ticket sales

DRESS: “Business Casual”, or “Sunday Best”.

TICKETS: Prices start at just $48 per person.  Ticket prices include: a plated three-course meal that changes for each show, and is served directly to your table; a Broadway-style performance and complimentary parking.  Tickets may be purchases on line, or by calling (904) 641-1212.
     **Prices do NOT include gratuity, professional photos, nor orders from the bar**

LOCATION: Alhambra Theater & Dining
       12000 Beach Blvd.
       Jacksonville, Florida 32246
       (904) 641-1212

Friday, February 19, 2021

WJCT public media to rebrand WJCT-TV as Jax PBS

WJCT Public Media announced today that WJCT-TV will be rebranded as Jax PBS, effective February 24, 2021.

As WJCT continues to move toward production and distribution of its services across a wide range of digital technologies, its brands are also evolving to reflect this new media landscape. The programs that currently air on WJCT-TV are now available on platforms beyond the broadcast television channel, and it’s new name reflects this new multi-platform environment.

The Jax PBS brand aligns with growing demand for content across multiple platforms and expanded services available through WJCT Public Media, including live streaming content at wjct.org, the WJCT app, on-demand streaming through Jax PBS Passport, and distribution through both traditional TV providers such as Comcast and AT&T and new “virtual” multi-video program distributors (vMVPDs) such as YouTube TV.  Jax PBS will continue to be available as a broadcast channel found in channel position 7.1.

“WJCT-TV has been your trusted source for the very best in education, entertainment and news programming for more than 60 years. But as the way we all watch evolves so will our name. WJCT-TV will become JAX PBS beginning February 24, 2021. New name, same mission: educate, involve, inspire,” explained David McGowan, President and CEO of WJCT Public Media.

The identity will be implemented through a refreshed logo and new identity graphics. Other channels broadcast and distributed by WJCT Public Media will also reflect the new brand, including Jax PBS More!, Jax PBS Kids, Jax PBS WORLD and Jax PBS Create.

This rebranding is the first change to the station’s public name in its history. WJCT debuted in September 1958 as an educational television broadcaster, and became a member station of The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in 1969.

The PBS brand is synonymous with trust and value. For the 18th consecutive year, PBS has been named America’s most-trusted institution ahead of commercial cable and broadcast television, newspapers, and digital platforms. Americans view PBS as a destination for journalistic integrity, exceptional content, and incredible storytelling appealing to a diverse range of people in the community. Families turn to PBS Kids as a trusted and safe source over other children’s media providers for high-quality, educational programming and resources that inspire and prepare children for success in school. The trust that Americans place in the PBS brand, along with its widespread recognition, led WJCT Public Media's to work with PBS to develop the local Jax PBS brand as WJCT updated the identity of its television services.

“In the more than 60 years since WJCT-TV went on the air, many things have changed — including the ways and places we all watch 'TV'” said McGowan. “Rebranding this service as Jax PBS reflects those changes, while also making us easier to find and identify in a crowded media landscape.  WJCT is much more than a traditional over-the-air broadcast channel, and we are proud to adopt Jax PBS as a name that better reflects our multi-platform future.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated call letters for Jax PBS (WJCT) will remain the same. The programming lineup will not change as part of the rebranding initiative. For more information, visit jaxpbs.org.

About WJCT: WJCT is the community-owned and operated public media organization serving Jacksonville and the First Coast since 1958, using television, radio, digital media, and live events to help community members learn, share, and grow. For more information on WJCT’s in-depth programming content, log on to WJCT Online at wjct.org. Like WJCT on Facebook (facebook.com/wjctjax) and follow WJCT on Twitter (@WJCTJax) and Instagram (@WJCTJax).

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

New Board of Trustees for the Cummer Museum

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Board of Trustees announces the appointment of four new members: Atiya Abdelmalik, Yared Alula, Howard Dodson, Jr. and Nathanial P. Ford, Sr. The new trustees will each serve a three-year term that began on January 1, 2021.

Atiya Abdelmalik, Ph.D. (Dr. A.) has served in diverse roles in the fields of health care and community engagement. A sought-after keynote speaker, Dr. A. is the author of A Life Worth Saving: A Nurse's Journey from Sickness to Healing. She has led teams in health promotion, community programs and employee volunteerism. Dr. A. has led high level community initiatives and served on committees and the board of directors for the American Heart Association, National Kidney Foundation, Ward Home, August Wilson African American Cultural Center, YWCA and United Way. She holds a nursing degree from Eastern University, a graduate degree in nursing administration from Waynesburg University and a Ph.D. in community engagement from Point Park University.

Yared Alula currently serves as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of the PGA TOUR, where he provides legal and strategic counsel across a wide variety of the PGA TOUR’s business units, and as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for USA GOLF. Alula’s past experience included senior roles at the NBA Players Association, where he served as a key member of the NBPA negotiating committee that resolved the 2011 NBA lockout, and as an M&A attorney at Latham & Watkins. A proud native of Atlanta, Ga., Alula has also lived in Boston, New York and London. He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Howard Dodson, Jr. recently served as the Director of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and Howard University Libraries, and was formerly the long-time director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, a post he occupied for over a quarter of a century (1984-2010). Dodson is credited with extending the reach and reputation of the Schomburg Center through major exhibitions and acquisitions. Dodson has been active throughout his life in a number of projects, including service in the Peace Corps and later as a national Peace Corps staff member. He has produced a number of exhibitions and festivals celebrating Black history and African American life. Dodson is also the author of several books and articles, and the recipient of numerous awards, including being named to the President's Commission on the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Malcolm X Museum Award. He serves on the boards of directors of the Apollo Theater Foundation and the UNESCO Slave Route Project, among many others.

Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr. is Chief Executive Officer of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) and past Chair of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). His distinguished career spans more than four decades, including tenures as CEO of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Ford is the Chair of the Goodwill Industries of Northeast Florida Board of Directors and Vice Chair of the Transportation Research Board. He was named “Ultimate CEO” by the Jacksonville Business Journal, inducted into the First Coast Business Hall of Fame, honored with the 2019 “Thought Leader” Award by The Eno Center for Transportation and selected as APTA’s 2020 Outstanding Public Transportation General Manager of the Year. Ford holds an Executive MBA from the Davis School of Business at Jacksonville University and a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in organizational leadership from Mercer University. He is a graduate of the Executive Development Consortium Program at Emory University, and has completed executive training at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is a graduate of Leadership Florida (2015) and Leadership Jacksonville (2014).

‘The Marquee Project’ presented to JAX from the Florida Theatre


The nonprofit Florida Theatre is pleased to announce The Marquee Project, an effort to use the signboards of the historic Florida Theatre’s marquee to bring attention to Jacksonville’s historical figures, the diverse people who made a lasting contribution to the rich history of our city, state and nation.

The marquee of the historic Florida Theatre is seen by over 5,000 people a day. Each week, a slide featuring a different historical person will be put in rotation with the slides that advertise upcoming events at the venue. Under the heading, “We Celebrate Jacksonville,” that person’s name, photo, birth and death years, and a brief description of their contributions to society will be featured.

The goals of the project are: to bring attention to historical persons who had a significant connection to Jacksonville as a native or a resident; to honor persons who lived in the past, although persons currently living who meet the other criteria will not necessarily be excluded; to emphasize the diversity of our community; to bring attention to lesser known persons who may not have achieved “marquee name” status in their lifetimes; and to honor persons whose values and actions resulted in achievements that had a significant impact on other people’s lives, as well as the life of our city, state and nation.

Steve Smith and PC Bryant are Members of the Florida Theatre’s Board of Directors, and Co-Chairs of the Board's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. In a joint statement, they said, "Since opening as a nonprofit performing arts venue in 1983, the Florida Theatre has been a wonderful showcase for a diverse array of performers of all races, ethnicities, and artistic genres. As a committee, however, we are focused on making use of the organization's other assets to call more attention to the rich history of Jacksonville, and its richly diverse citizens. Up to 2,000 people might see a Florida Theatre show, but over 5,000 people a day see the Florida Theatre's marquee. Thus the idea for The Marquee Project was born."

Florida Theatre President Numa Saisselin says that a new person will be featured every week, and nominations are welcome from the public, although such nominations will be rigorously screened against the criteria established for inclusion. “We get calls all the time asking if we could wish someone a happy birthday, or commemorate a special occasion. This is not that. This is an effort to bring attention to historical Jacksonville natives and residents who made a contribution to our society, and might have been overlooked.” Nominations and suggestions can be forwarded to admin@floridatheatre.com, and past marquees are featured on the Theatre’s website.

‘Bee Gees Tribute Band’ comes to JAX

Stayin' Alive One Night of the Bee Gees, creates a realistic sense of hearing and experiencing the brothers’ Gibb live in concert, with the vocal match of Tony Mattina, Todd Sharman, and George Manz. Stayin’ Alive comes to the Times-Union Center on February 25, 2021. 

Stayin' Alive features a vocal trio, backed by studio musicians who wholly capture the sound mystique of The Bee Gees. Stayin' Alive offers to their audiences the songs and sights of a full Bee Gees play list. Singing blockbusters such as: Night Fever, Jive Talkin, How Deep Is Your Love, You Should Be Dancin, Nights On Broadway, and Stayin Alive. In addition, they perform softer poetic ballads such as: I Started A Joke, Massachusetts, Fanny Be Tender, Words, and To Love Somebody, among other great hits.

Stayin’ Alive is the largest and most definitive production of its kind, offering big screen video clips, photos and dazzling imagery. Stayin' Alive has played intimate settings as a six-piece band and huge venues with a 62-piece orchestra. Stayin' Alive is the quintessential tribute band to the Bee Gees, capturing the excitement of live performance and the lender subtleties of the human voice!

For information about the Safety Protocols at the Times-Union Center, please click HERE


   “Stayin Alive,
One Night of the Bee Gees

DATE: Thurs. Feb. 25, 2021
TIME:
7:30 p.m.

TICKETS: START AT $32.50 and can be purchased online 24/7 HERE

LOCATION: Times Union Center Performing Arts
      
Moran Theater
      300 West Water St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202

Friday, February 5, 2021

Koz, McKnight and Sheléa in your living room

Dave Koz & Brian McKnight
For one enchanted evening GRAMMY-nominated saxophonist Dave Koz and R&B superstar vocalist Brian McKnight announce “A Romantic Night In,” a livestream concert that will take place on Valentine’s Day Eve – Saturday, February 13, 2021 – beginning at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST via Looped. They will be joined by special guest Sheléa.

Dave Koz says, “Brian, Sheléa and I are so excited to provide the romantic soundtrack to your Valentine’s weekend celebration at home. Pour a glass of wine, dip some strawberries in chocolate…and leave it to us to provide the musical magic!”

Please note, this is a virtual event and will NOT take place at the Theatre.

Brian McKnight &
  Dave Koz”
DATE:
Sat. Feb. 13, 2021
TIME: 8 p.m.
VIRTUAL TICKETS:
$35

‘Ameris Bank’ marks 21 years of support for nonprofit Florida Theatre


Ameris Bank
, a corporate partner of the Florida Theatre since 2000, has announced its renewed support of the historic, nonprofit Florida Theatre. “We very much value our sponsorship and our relationship with the Florida Theatre,” said Scott Hall, Ameris Bank’s Commercial Banking Market Executive. “It’s been a wonderful way for us to give back to the community, and to promote and preserve the wonderful quality of life that we have here in Jacksonville.”

"The historic Florida Theatre is pleased to play its part in providing Northeast Florida with the music, dance and theatre programs that are part of what gives Jacksonville the unique character that we have all come to appreciate, and expect, as residents of a great city,” said Florida Theatre President, Numa Saisselin. “The theatre earns 85% of its annual budget from its business activities, and support from the business community, like our returning Corporate Partner Ameris Bank, helps to close that small budget gap every year and keep the Florida Theatre and its programs something special for our community.”

The historic, nonprofit Florida Theatre is sponsored by Community First Credit Union. For a complete list of upcoming events or to buy tickets visit the Theatre's official website.

About Ameris Bank: Ameris Bancorp is a bank holding company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and the parent of Ameris Bank, a Georgia state-chartered bank. Ameris Bank had 164 branches in Georgia, Alabama, Florida and South Carolina.

Singer ‘Easton Corbin’ coming to the Florida Theatre

The Florida Theatre welcomes chart-topping country music singer Easton Corbin on Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 8 p.m. “Turn up a little Conway Twitty,” Easton Corbin croons in his distinctive Southern drawl on latest single “Turn Up.” Within the track, Corbin blends traditional instrumentation with modern day production alongside vivid country storytelling for a sound that is uniquely his.

Corbin exudes country. His distinctive baritone has been gracing airwaves for the past decade as his chart-topping debut single “A Little More Country Than That” established Corbin as a mainstay on the country charts. Billboard’s 2010 Top New Country Artist would go on to garner another No. 1 hit with the feel-good “Roll With It,” and several other chart topping singles like “A Girl Like You,” “Baby Be My Love Song,” “Lovin’ You Is Fun,” “All Over The Road,” “I Can’t Love You Back” and more.

Florida-native Corbin continues to distinguish himself from other male vocalists as a tried-and-true country traditionalist who weaves timeless story songs together while tipping his hat to the classic country artists who have come before him. “That’s what I love and that’s what I do,” he says of his passion for traditional country music. “For me, it's about keeping one foot in the traditional and one foot in the modern and marrying those two. I’m a country singer: That's one of the things that I take pride in. I try to hone that craft and try to represent that.”

While 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of “A Little More Country Than That” achieving No. 1 status, Corbin shows no sign of slowing down with the release of his infectious new single “Turn Up” and more new music on the way. He promises a “wide array” of songs that include fiddle and pedal steel. As he embarks on a new chapter as an independent artist, Corbin says “A Little More Country Than That” still reflects who he is as an artist and where he sees his career going.

“That's really how I grew up,” he says of his career-defining song. “‘A Little More Country Than That’ radiates with me and my band as well because that really is who I am. That's where I came from, that's what I am. It’s just as important now as it was then, because that's the one that started it all for me. That’s definitely a staple of an Easton Corbin show. I think it also defines my audience and who they are.”

This will be a socially-distanced event with health and safety protocols in place. Patrons can visit floridatheatre.com/home/breaking-news for the most up to date information on The Florida Theatre’s safety protocols and general updates. Additionally, ticket purchasers will be notified by email of specific safety requirements prior to the event.

The historic, nonprofit Florida Theatre is sponsored by Community First Credit Union. For a complete list of upcoming events or to buy tickets visit the Theatre’s official website.

Easton Corbin
DATE:
Thurs., Feb. 11, 2021
TIME: 8 p.m.
TICKETS: $49.50 – $59.50

LOCATION: The Florida Theatre
      128 East Forsyth Street.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202
      (904) 355-2787