Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cummer Museum exhibiting African American historical artifacts

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is pleased to announce the recognition of its current exhibition, LIFT: Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience by the National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC).  Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience: The LIFT exhibition is on view NOW until February 12, 2017, coinciding with the birthday of James Weldon Johnson and the first singing of the song Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.  This new Smithsonian museum opened on September 24, 2016 in Washington, D.C. and was a historic event in itself.  As the 19th Smithsonian museum and the newest, it is a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what this experience means to their lives, and how the experience helped to shape this nation.

As part of the NMAAHC opening celebrations, organizations from around the country were invited to participate in their Lift Every Voice campaign and submit for consideration events and programs that fit the theme of celebrating African American history and culture. The Cummer Museum submitted LIFT: Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience and its related programming for consideration, and was recently informed that our exhibition and programs have been accepted. The Museum is honored by this opportunity to showcase the work we are doing to highlight the African American contribution to the American story through co-branded events with the NMAAHC.

About the NMAAHC: The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts. Nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members of the museum. The NMAAHC in Washington, D.C. is the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

About LIFT: The exhibition has been co-curated by the Cummer Museum and the Ritz Theatre & Museum, and presents area contemporary artists’ responses to Jacksonville’s rich artistic African American heritage, with an emphasis on creating an artful platform to discuss issues around race, equity, and community. Using the original lyrics to Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, a song written by Jacksonville natives James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamond Johnson in 1900 for a celebration of Lincoln’s birthday, artists Thony Aiuppy, Glendia Cooper, Ingrid Damiani, Overstreet Ducasse, Dustin Harewood, Marsha Hatcher, Hiromi Moneyhun, Princess Rashid, Chip Southworth, and Roosevelt Watson III created pieces that present their views about the complex history of race relations in Jacksonville and beyond. From literal interpretations of the lyrics to more abstract emotional responses, these new works inspire, challenge, confront, and uplift, providing a contemporary view to the words and social relevance of the Johnson brothers’ masterpiece.  LIFT is a Cultural Fusion: Lift Every Voice event.

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
Dates: NOW through February 12, 2017
  829 Riverside Avenue
  Jacksonville, Florida 32204
  (904) 356-6857
  Hours of Operation & Admission

“Festival Of Praise 2016 Tour” coming back to JAX, FL for one night

For the third consecutive year, Grammy, Stellar, Dove, BET and NAACP Image Award-winning Gospel mega-star Fred Hammond returns to the road with the Festival of Praise 2016 Tour – the star-studded national event he founded several years ago.  And Jacksonville, Florida will be one of the stops the tour will make, for one night only on Thurs., Dec. 1, 2016.  Tickets are available below.  You may recall the JAX venue from last year (2015 Veterans Memorial Arena), well, if you don’t get your tickets fast; you may not get a seat for the event at the Times Union Center.

The National “Game of Life” Tour hits major cities including, LA, Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark, Jacksonville and many more.  The kick off date is October 1st, at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, Washington, and will reach over 50 major cities across the country, running through December, 2016. (See the list of confirmed dates, cities and venues HERE with more to follow).  There will be shows in over 50 cities that are planned for the 2016 tour which coincides with new Hammond RCA Fall 2016 release date.

Multi-Award Winning Gospel icon Fred Hammond brings soul-stirring music and top artists for a third year, to cities around the US.  One of the most revered singer/songwriter/producers in Christian music today, Fred Hammond is the triple threat that has gone on to sell over 10 million albums worldwide. Hammond is considered the architect behind the “Urban Praise & Worship” phenomenon in Gospel music today.  The Detroit native is now based in Dallas, where tour production originated.

The Festival of Praise Tour 2016 will feature performances by the biggest names in the industry including Hezekiah Walker, the singer/composer/choir leader/radio host, and visionary founder and Senior Pastor of the Love Fellowship Tabernacle Churches in Brooklyn, and Bensalem, PA.; the electrifying Israel Houghton & New Breed, bringing the voices and sounds of music with African, Middle Eastern and South American slants; and Karen Clark Sheard, the multi-Grammy® winner and former member of the legendary female group, The Clark Sisters.  The lineup also features: Casey Janice Hobbs (“Casey J”) best known for her Number 1 hit song, “Fill Me Up,” and Regina Belle, who recorded the Grammy® winning song, “A Whole New World,” for the film, Aladdin.  Comedian “Earthquake” will serve as show host.

Fred Hammond has been quoted to say, “FOP 2016 is going to be off the chain!  The thing I love about this tour is that no matter who you are or where you’ve come from, you’re guaranteed to have a great time, something is surely going to inspire you, and you’re going to want to come back again and again!  You definitely don’t want to miss this, so don’t be late, because we’ve got an incredible show planned from beginning to end!”

Festival of Praise Tour 2016
    The Game of Life
DATE: Thursday December 1, 2016
TIME: 7 p.m.

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

TICKETS: are NOW on sale from $30 – $60, and may be purchased online at Ticketmaster.  Everyone age 2 & up must have a ticket (Under 2 years, a separate ticket is required for your child if they are going to occupy a seat).

12th Pearls and Cufflinks event to benefit Clara White Mission

Citi will present, “A Masquerade Gala” at the Pearls and Cufflink to celebrate the Clara White Mission’s, 112th Anniversary of service to the community and the 140th Birthday of the mission’s founder, Dr. Eartha M.M. White.  The gala will be held on Saturday, November 12th, 6 p.m. at Citi Conference Center.

Melanie Lawson, WJXT and Odette Struys, will serve as Mistress’ of Ceremony for the evening and highlight the new “Beaver Street Veterans Villas”.  This new initiative is designed as a three-story mixed-use commercial and permanent housing development for previous homeless veterans.  The site will provide sixteen (16) fully furnished units for veterans and will include accessibility to comprehensive case management, substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling, job training/job placement, budget/financial counseling, daily meals, and 24 hr. security.  The veterans will share their journey and the impact that Clara White Mission has had in their lives.

In addition, the signature event they will feature a live/silent auction and entertainment by Ernie Lombardi & Friends.  All proceeds will benefit the Clara White Mission, housing, feeding and training program for homeless veterans and low-income residents in the JAX community.  To purchase your quality mask log onto .  Reference Clara White Mission15 for a discount on a mask.  “FOOD FOR TODAY. SKILLS FOR LIFE”!

12th Pearls & Cufflinks
  “A Masquerade Gala”
 benefiting Clara White Mission

DATE: Saturday, November 12, 2016
TIME: 6 –10 p.m. LIVE & Silent Auction
TICKETS: $100.00 per person
     $1000.00 for table of 10
ATTIRE: Black Tie & Masquerade or
     Business Professional & Masquerade

LOCATION: Citi Conference Center
      14000 Citi Card Way
      Jacksonville, FL 32258
      (904) 354-4162 (for more information)

The Clara White Mission Inc. is a private, 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded in 1904 and incorporated in December 1936.  The agency strives to provide individuals in need with the services and resources that offer the opportunity to achieve or regain self-sufficiency to build self-esteem and to become contributing members of society.

Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens meets NEH challenge

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens recently reached the first fundraising goal associated with receiving the 2015 Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).  The Challenge Grant is a matching grant program; in order to receive the full $500,000 award, the Museum must raise an additional $1.5 million from the community by 2020.  This year, Donors and Trustees generously gave $375,000 to match the first $125,000 from the NEH to complete year one of the challenge.  The Museum was one of only 15 institutions to have received the grant from the NEH, an independent federal agency dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.  This funding will create a $2 million Programming Endowment that will provide sustained funding for multi-disciplinary programming including lectures, workshops, symposia, and bringing scholars and artists to Jacksonville.

“We are honored that this grant award validates the important work happening at the Cummer Museum, along with that of multiple collaborators and partners, to make the power of the humanities accessible to all.  This endowment will help support our ability to provide more public programs like those we have presented over the past several years, which empowered conversations about history, race, cultural values, and other challenges facing our community,” says Chief Operating Officer & Chief Curator Holly Keris.

The endowment will allow the Cummer Museum to create innovative programs that more deeply impact its diverse audiences by examining art through the lenses of literature, philosophy, religion, history, and more.  It will also allow the Museum to fully develop and share best practices in accessibility for individuals with disabilities, building on an area of strength while benefitting other institutions and the broadest cross-section of people who desire access to art and cultural content.  By creating in-depth, accessible, humanities-based programming, this endowment will create a regional hub for exploration and sharing ideas in an area where these opportunities are far too rare.

“The Cummer strives to transmit the profundity, joy, and humanity of the arts to the greater communities of Northeast Florida. In over fifty years of service to its constituents and stakeholders, the Cummer is one of the great jewels of art and culture in our state,” said Dr. Debra Murphy, Chair of Art & Design, University of North Florida.

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
  829 Riverside Avenue
  Jacksonville, Florida 32204
  (904) 356-6857
  Hours of Operation & Admission

‘Annie Get Your Gun’ opening at the Alhambra Theatre and Dining

Do know what Reba McEntire, Ethel Merman and Bernadette Peters have in common?  They all starred as sharpshooter Annie Oakley in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “Annie Get Your Gun”.  Hold on to your cowboy hats and get ready for the music, dancing and pageantry of Irving Berlin's spectacle when Annie opens live at the Alhambra Theatre & Dining.

“Annie Get Your Gun” premiered in 1946, when men were returning to the workforce after World War II, and women were returning to the home.  Many people may be familiar with the 1950 film, which furthered the legend of Annie Oakley when she purposely threw a shooting match to save Frank Butler's ego.  In real life, ‘Annie Oakley’ and ‘Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show’ was the biggest selling ticket at the Chicago World's Fair.

A little about Annie Get Your Gun: The show is a classic Broadway romance story.  Annie is the best shot around and gets discovered by Col. Buffalo Bill. He persuades the novel sharpshooter to join his Wild West Show, where she immediately falls in love with fellow shooting ace Frank Butler, who headlines the show. A short while later, she eclipses Butler as the main attraction and he hightails it off to join a rival show. Ultimately, he ends up pitted against Annie in a final shoot-out - will the two choose to follow their competitive sides or give in to their blossoming love for each other? The rousing finale hits the mark every time in a testament to the power of female ingenuity.

Let’s talk about the Menu: Alhambra Executive Chef, Dejuan Roy, recent winner of Guy Fieri's Grocery Games, has created a uniquely-themed menu for Annie Get Your Gun.  For the first course, guests can choose from a crunchy cowboy salad with romaine, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, corn, red onion and corn chips with ranch dressing or a warm bowl of Texas chili.  The second course provides a choice of a cowboy pork chop - a giant bone-in pork chop with spicy Vidalia onion gravy, bourbon-whipped sweet potatoes and mustard greens, or a hanger steak with buttermilk mashed potatoes, green beans and mushroom gravy, or seafood-stuffed flounder with rice pilaf and caramelized carrots, or an open-faced Portobello sandwich with zucchini, squash, tomato, red onion and Monterey Jack cheese with sweet potato fries.  For a sweet ending, guests can choose from house-made pecan pie or double chocolate cake with chocolate ganache.

Annie Get Your Gun
DATES: October 19 – November 20, 2016

SHOW TIMES: Evening shows Tuesday through Sunday start at 8 p.m.  Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and dinner will be served until 7:30 p.m.  Saturday Matinees begin at 1:15 p.m.  Doors open at 11 a.m. and the brunch starts at 11:15 a.m.  Sunday Matinees are at 2 p.m.  Doors open at noon and the meal service starts at 12:15 p.m.

DRESS: “Gala Night” (Friday Oct. 21, 2016) attire is “Dressy / Formal”.  All other shows could be “Business Casual” or “Sunday Best”.

TICKETS: Regular tickets priced from $38 – $62.  Ticket prices include: a plated dinner served to your table, an incredible show and prime parking.  Group sales of 20 + are available upon request.  Price does not include gratuity or orders from the bar.

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