Academy of Performance Arts – Off To A Great Start  


As schools kept cutting funds for the arts, “Mr. Lu” Alatorre retired from 40-years in  television production. He and wife Michelle, wanted to “give back” to the arts, which he had set aside for his career.

They have created a place where performers can have fun while unleashing their  inner creativity.

Celebrating an anniversary in June at 7525 Blind Pass Rd. in St. Pete Beach, their Mission Statement is simply: Providing opportunities, quality instruction, and hands-on training for performers of all ages so they may develop their inner creativity and gain appreciation for the arts.

Three MAJOR items differentiate the Academy of Performance Arts philosophy from  other such schools:

  • The Academy offers ALL of the Arts, to ALL Ages, All in One Place!
  • The Academy features LIVE outdoor public performances in addition to “in-house” productions.
  • Performances are for FUN, not competition. With 6 studios featuring Dance, Art, Acting, Tutoring and 2 Music Studios, a variety of the arts can be conducted all at the same time… all day long.

Students from the Academy performed at the Fish Broil in Horan Park in November,  on the streets of Gulfport at the Holiday Hoopla in December, in March at the Pass-A-Grille Island Festival and in April at the SouthPasadena Block Party. They will be performing several shows during the summer, beginning Saturday, May 20 in the Bandshell in Bay View Park on Sunset Dr.,South Pasadena.

Spring, Summer & Holiday Camps provide great opportunities for young performers to find inner creativity while making lasting friendships. Summer camps start May 30. Teen Theater Workshops are planned for Tues. & Thurs. 4 – 7pm for most June and/or July, with performances Fridays, June 30 & July 28 at 6pm.

Dance, Art, Acting & Music evening classes continue all summer. The Academy aims for teamwork and fun while fulfilling performers dreams, drive and ambition, rather than at competition.  While other studios may boast about their awards, trophies and medals, the Academy boasts only of bringing out the best in their performers.

Questions? Visit  for information about the Academy’s summer camps, various dance, music singing, art, and acting lessons & watch videos of outdoor performances. If the website doesn’t answer them, call (727) 350-4644.

Are Pesky Mosquitoes or Ticks Ruining Your Outdoor Enjoyment?


This may be Paradise, but Florida is known for bugs, and with one of the mildest winters in memory, mosquitos are expected to be especially bad this spring and summer.

If you have pest control service for your home, maybe it is time to get service for your yard as well.

As North America’s leader in tick and mosquito control, Mosquito Squad will help you take back your yard. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you select the program that’s right for you.

It’s not what they do. It’s who they are.

Mosquito Squad founded the Protective Barrier Spray since 2005 to help outdoor lighting installers fight the bite while working. They are the original mosquito control business and have protected more than 100,000 backyards.

Their mantra: Passion. Service. Education. Giving. Just ask them…     

“We approach every day with a passion to do our best in every capacity possible so our clients can enjoy their yards and outdoor spaces. We strive to provide extraordinary service in every aspect of our client relationships, from the first time we answer your phone call to continually treating your property with the utmost respect. We educate consumers with strong messages on how to avoid mosquito bites in memorable ways.”

They are also making the world a safer place through giving and by helping to raise funds to eliminate malaria in sub-Saharan Africa through a partnership with Malaria No More, donating thousands of dollars to educate mothers and their children and providing them with tests, treatments and protective bed nets to avoid mosquito bites when they sleep.

For a no-obligation quotation for Protective Barrier Spray service for your yard, contact

Mosquito Squad   St. Petersburg, FL Call 877 MO SQUAD  or 727-350-4276 or visit

Article by Peter A. Roos

Madeira Bay Resort

Madeira Bay Resort, the newest and finest resort location on the Gulf Beaches is about to begin construction on the final 44 luxury condo resort units!  CENTURY 21 Beggins has successfully sold the pre-construction units as they now enter the final phase of the selling cycle.  Only a few luxury investment units remain for the fortunate few.

The resort overlooks the peaceful and scenic Intracoastal waterway on one side and the pristine white sands and sunsets of the Gulf of Mexico on the other. The resort features classic Mediterranean architecture, tropical landscaping, a heated swimming pool and the Mad Beach Fish House Restaurant, with waterfront dining and cocktails in the elevated tiki bar overlooking the marina and beach. Located adjacent to Pinellas County’s #1 tourist destination, John’s Pass Village, the Madeira Bay Resort complex was the brainchild of Developer Sam Lewis, who envisioned a mixed use area that would offer townhomes for residents and an all-suite hotel with supporting amenities. Owners can stay in their units for 90 days a year and can rent the suites out the rest of the year for significant income opportunities.

Local architect, Jack Bodziak who had designed multiple projects on the Gulf beaches for over 30 years, took Sam’s dream from concept to reality. The 44-slip marina was designed for sport fishing, cruising boats and yachts.

The resort’s first phase, a 68-suite condo resort hotel with meeting rooms for weddings and events, set the stage with suites featuring 1, 2 and 3 bedroom accommodations. Madeira Bay resort has become a destination for our tourist friends as well as the local drive market. “Many locals are buying units in the resort as their revenue generating guest homes.” Says Jeff Beggins of CENTURY 21 Beggins who is successfully selling out the project.

“Buyers are so excited to own in Madeira Bay because they know their future guests will love the location…you come check into your room for a week and go to a different restaurant or bar every day, parasail, rent jet skis, rent boats, go fishing, walk the beach, bike ride, etc..all within a few hundred feet of the resort…there is nothing quite like it anywhere…especially at these prices.” Says Beggins. He adds, “These units are sold fully furnished and rent ready down to the coffee maker and forks and knives…guests enjoy the amenities of a condo, like full kitchen, washer and dryer, multiple bedrooms and baths.

Sam Lewis and his longtime friend, and seasoned developer, Fred Bullard of The Bullard Companies, have joined forces to finish the dream and complete the final 44 units. The lessons learned on the first 68 units have been taken into account, these final 44 units will be the crown jewel of the resort with the most desirable views, and finest of finishes.

The building has enclosed corridors and a secure lobby. The amenities of Madeira Bay Resort include, exercise room, meeting space, restaurant, marina, 24/7 desk and heated pool and spa. Owners are free to manage the rooms themselves should they desire to explore the world of AirBnB, VRBO, HomeAway, etc…or they can turn the units over to the experienced front desk management company to handle the marketing and management of the suites for them. Pre-construction prices start at $274,900. Just 44 lucky owners have the opportunity to become part of Madeira Beach’s largest and most successful all-suite hotel. There are only a handful of suites left. Come own your piece of revenue generating paradise.

The CENTURY 21 Beggins Sales Center is located on site and is staffed daily 12-4.

Please call for an appointment for a personal experience.

Proudly marketed by CENTURY 21 Beggins Enterprises, Inc.
The #1 Selling C21 company is the Southeast USA. 14 locations, 450+ expert associates.
727-393-2534 | 800-950-2534  |
14995 Gulf Blvd., Madeira Beach, FL 33708

Madeira Bay Resort Sales Center (Look for all of the C21 flags)
13115 Gulf Blvd., Madeira Beach, FL 33708
Phone:  727-596-1811 • Toll-free US:1-800-541-9923 

Bookworms in Paradise: SunLit Festival

The SunLit Festival is an annual literary event designed by, for, and about lovers of the exquisitely written word. The festival premiered in 2015, and this year’s 3rd Annual Celebration of Literature, runs April 10-25, a springtime celebration of reading and writing.

Produced by Keep St. Pete Lit, the Festival will host a kick-off party on April 6 at the Chihuly Gallery from 7-9 pm.  Bookworms can enjoy 17 events in 20 venues during 16 days bringing together various literary organizations and arts disciplines to celebrate literacy, literature, reading, and writing.

The festival line-up is provocative and ambitious. There will be local writers performing their written work inspired by Museum of Fine Art’s photo collection; literary history walking tours and other notable performances. Writes can enjoy contests and competitions including timed writing “death” matches, short story contests and a spelling bee supporting literacy.  You can even enjoy two “beat generation” films Pull My Daisy (1959) and This Song for Jack (1983)

SunLit will also present kids poetry night hike, a city-wide read/write in, writing workshops and storytelling/improv events. You’ll find this PN writer drooling like a kid in a candy store.

Check out:

April 13: Poetry at The Dali hosts Janet Wallace

This an ongoing series hosted by St. Petersburg Poet Laureate, Helen Wallace. Occurring on the second Thursday of each month through May 2017, each evening features Wallace joined by selected poets to present poems addressing the theme of Food and Sustenance. Following the presentation, there will be an audience Q&A.

April 14 David Amram  Music, Stories & Kerouac Palladium Theater, 253 5th Ave N.

At age 86, David Amram is still writing, playing and improvising. Said the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns, “Amram seems to have taken a lesson from practically everything.” Indeed, Amram began his professional music career in the early ‘50s playing the French horn for symphonies, as well as with legendary jazz bands including Mingus, Gillespie and Hampton. Appointed in the late 50s by the New York Phil’s Leonard Bernstein as that orchestra’s first composer in residence, Amram also composed scores for, well, scores of award-winning films and theatrical productions as well as his own, influenced by friends, artists, cultures, the world.  As an iconic member of the “Beats,” Amram was thought of by many as the unofficial mayor of Greenwich Village. He hung with and played with jazz greats Charlie Parker and Thelonius Monk, and accompanied Jack Kerouac on any number of instruments while the author read from his poetry and other writings. With a catalogue of mammoth proportions, some of his most recent compositions, classical and otherwise, are based on stories by Willa Cather, Zora Neale Hurston and Kerouac.

April 21-23 Florida Antiquarian Book Fair  St. Petersburg Coliseum 535 4th Ave. N

The book fair is the third largest in the country and features more than one hundred specialized book sellers from all over the United States. Visitors will find books of every age and about every conceivable topic. Additional materials found at the Fair include maps, prints, postcards, ephemera, autographs and other paper collectibles. Items range in price from a few dollars to several hundred thousand dollars. 727-234-7759

April 25: Book Release Party & Conversation:Intersection of Art & Story

Meet local author and New York Times bestseller, Lisa Unger and acclaimed artist Ya La’ford who will appear at Behar + Peterancz Architecture to celebrate the release of THE RED HUNTER and offer an exhibit of La’ford’s paintings. Friends and major figures of the Tampa Bay area arts community, Unger and La’ford bring their private conversations about art, story, process and life – and where it all intersects – to the stage. With an introduction by Susana Weymouth, Executive Director of Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts

For more information and schedule visit Learn more about Keep St. Pete Lit at In addition to this popular festival, the organization hosts literary salons, classes, a bookspace, book clubs and clever reading/writing events.

Festival Line-Up

Thursday, April 6th – SunLit Festival Kick-off Party
Monday, April 10th – An Evening with Craig Pittman
Tuesday, April 11th – First Draft
Tuesday, April 11th – Silent Read and Write In
Wednesday, April 12th – True Stories
Thursday, April 13th – Pull My Daisy (1959) and This Song for Jack (1983)
Thursday, April 13th – Poetry at The Dali with Jane Hirshfield
Thursday, April 13th – Sunday, April 23rd – Voodoo Macbeth
Friday, April 14th – From Page to Stage @St. Pete City Theater
Friday, April 14th – David Amram: Music, Stories, & Kerouac
Saturday, April 15th – Downtown Tour With a Literary Twist!
Saturday, April 15th – Lucha Libro: The Madness Returns
Monday, April 17th – Jump At The Sun (2008) and talk with Lois Gaston
Tuesday, April 18th – Fiction Live
Wednesday, April 19th – City of Poets
Thursday, April 20th – Literary Carousel at the MFA
Friday, April 21st – Sunday, April 23rd – 36th annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair
Friday, April 21st – Adult Spelling Bee Fundraiser
Saturday, April 22nd – Mission Compostable: An Earth Day Letterpress Workshop & Brunch
Saturday, April 22nd – Writers, Winners and the Publishing World
Saturday, April 22nd – Children’s Poetry Night Hike
Sunday, April 23rd – City-Wide Read and Write In
Tuesday, April 25th – Lisa Unger and Ya La’ford, in Conversation: The Intersection of Art and Story

Sun Lit Festival 2017 Partners  

St. Petersburg Art Alliance, Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, Palladium Theater, Dali Museum, St. Petersburg City Theater, Morean Arts Center, Chihuly Gallery, Haslam’s Book Store, Inkwood Books, AIGA Tampa Bay, Literacy Council of St. Petersburg, Warehouse Arts District, Soft Water Studios, Studio @ 620, St. Petersburg Preservation, Todd Bates Creative, Craftsman House Gallery, Unscripted Theater, Tampa Bay Times, TBT Festival of Reading, Wordier Than Thou, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, Friends of Main Library St. Pete, Behar + Peteranecz Architecture, Friends of the Mirror Lake Library, Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts, First Draft Tampa, Black Crow Coffee Roasting, and Calusa Press for the 2017 SunLit Festival.

Article by Nanette Wiser

Play Ball, Let’s Eat

Baseball season is in full swing. Plan to come hungry and stay late. One thing is for sure; you won’t go hungry. Whether you nosh at The Trop or grab something to eat at Ferg’s before or after the game, DSTP and the Rays deliver on winning games (we hope!) and delicious diversions. Here’s what’s new and where to hang out.

The Trop’s New Chef

Executive Chef Marcelo Miranda is now in charge of all food operations at Tropicana Field, from the suites to the seats. A graduate of the esteemed Culinary Institute of America, he was formerly the executive chef for Turner Field, executive chef at the Kansas City Speedway, culinary director for the WinStar World Casino and he regularly performs volunteer work for local food networks.

New Eats

New to the lineup is the Urban Dugout, a food stand operated by Urban Restaurant Group. Their St. Petersburg restaurants—Urban Brew and BBQ, Urban Comfort, Urban Deli and Drafts and Urban Creamery—serve up fresh goodies prepared from scratch. The stand will feature a selection of favorites including their famous crispy fried chicken sandwich, chicken and waffles, homemade mac and cheese and delicious BBQ plates.

Fish Shack offers Florida seafood favorites, including delicious crispy fried fish sandwiches, fried seafood baskets and garlic crab fries. The Wine Cellar serves premium wines by the glass or full bottle carafe for fans to share in their seats. Enjoy a classic Cuban, Cuban burger or vegetarian Cuban(fresh grilled veggies and mozzarella cheese). The Burger Up! features a behemoth burger (locally sourced beef patty) between two buttery grilled cheese sandwiches. My favorite offered during day games is the Brunch Bloody Mary, a skewer of sausage, egg, chicken and waffles, bacon and donuts served in a keepsake mason jar.

Clubs and Suites

What’s Back? Taco Bus, Pipo’s and Evan Longoria’s Ducky’s restaurant all return this season, as well.  For the second year,  Rays and Green Bench Brewing—St. Petersburg’s first craft microbrewery—have partnered to create a beer just for the Trop: 4-Seam American Lager (4.8% ABV) will make its debut for the 2017 season.  

Craft Beers @ The Brewhouse: With 38 taps, the Brewhouse offers more variety than anywhere in the ballpark. From wheat beers and blonde ales to IPAs and a sour grapefruit Gose, the Everglades Brewhouse is the best spot to sample beer from St. Petersburg and beyond.

Sports Bars We Love

Don’t want to deal with crowds? Why not catch the game at some of our favorite sports bars.

At the beaches, The Guy Harvey Outpost serves up a Rays Watch parties where you can watch the Rays on a big screen TV right on the beach May 14, July 30, Aug. 27 and Sept. 24.  Rumfish Grill is a cool place to chill over tasty appetizers such as firecracker shrimp and Korean BBQ beef skewer.

Want to watch the game and enjoy the beach? Go local at Swigwam’s, Tapz on Corey Avenue, Caddy’s, The Wharf, The Roost, Mastry’s Brewery, Ft. Knox, The Pub, Sea Hags, Players Sports Bar and any of the tikis.

Head over to The Getaway, Courthouse Grill and BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse in Pinellas where fans from every team often gather.  Over in Tyrone, you can hang out with the boys of summer at the Buffalo Wild Wings, Sports Bar, Hooter’s or Outback Steakhouse or just hunker down in Madeira at the new Slyce (near Publix) or Angry Pepper (now owned by Ka’ Tiki).

Downtown, catch your favorite team at the Tap House (Hollander Hotel), Thirsty First, Caddy’s On Central, Five Bucks Drinkery, all the craft breweries (Green Bench, 3 Daughters) and especially Ferg’s, named the Best Hang-Out in Tampa Bay and one of CNN’s Top 101 Sports Bars in the U.S. Best of all, you can walk to the Trop from Ferg’s!

Article by Nanette Wiser

Dining: Middle Grounds Grill Celebrates 10 Years

A decade ago, Treasure Island’s beloved Robbie’s Pancake House transformed into Middle Grounds Grill, a culinary haven for seafood and steak lovers. Superb food, service and cocktails coupled with an elegant, boutique wine list and craft beers, brings locals and visitors flocking to this superb restaurant.

PN caught up with Dan Coover, who proudly said Middle Grounds is still a family affair. His dad, brother Scott and sister-in-law Wendy Coover, even Scott’s son, little Scott, are all involved in the restaurant, although Dad heads out to Montana in spring just after the bi-annual May classic car show at the restaurant.

What’s the secret to their success? “We get the freshest fish possible every day and deliver a dining experience that is like no other, especially with the aquarium that makes you feel like you’re dining under the sea,” says Dan. “We also offer wet-aged steaks, upscale entrees, delicious sauces and unique seasonal dishes in a casual, comfortable atmosphere without the fancy white tablecloths.”

You can get treated like a VIP in a tuxedo or flip-flops. It’s a local hotspot, with nightly light live music seven nights a week during season (including April), a full bar that you can dine at, magnificent martinis, a tempting kids menu, daily happy hour (4:30-7), $12.95 early bird specials (4:30-5:30) and ½ price wine bottles on Wednesday. There’s valet parking and a private banquet room that seats 48 for receptions and parties.

Earlier this year, Middle Grounds refurnished the patio with new tables and chairs making it more of a hip lounge experience where you can drink and eat as well. For Easter and Mother’s Day, the restaurant opens at 3 p.m. and serves the regular menu with a few holiday favorites, such as lamb for Easter.

Seafood rules here. The best fresh fish from here and around the world is delivered daily. Hogfish it sells out quickly. One of the most popular dishes is a three nut-crusted, fresh local, black grouper, served with mango beurre blanc.

On the apps and salad side, big hits are the Key West chowder, grilled Mediterranean octopus salad, fresh smoked mahi fish spread, tangy ginger calamari, coconut almond-crusted shrimp, artichoke gouda dip on toast points and Prince Edward island mussels hand-selected for presentation and delivered live on ice.

For meat lovers, order the 18 oz bone-in cowboy steak topped with gunpowder onion rings, New Zealand lamb shank, stuffed veal scaloppini or herb-crusted pork tenderloin.  Says Dan: “All of our steaks are certified angus beef, wet aged unlike Bern’s that uses a dry aged steak and a totally fabulous flavor.” Get your steak Oscar style with crabmeat, asparagus and hollandaise sauce or served with a lobster tail.

Save room for desserts and after-dinner drinks, especially the deep-fried cheesecake rolled in Rice Krispies, the chocolate lava cake and tangy key lime stack with tuile cookies.

Middle Grounds serves some of the most innovative sauces to pair with their dishes. Right now, the chimichurri and mango habanero sauces have my vote. “The customers drive what dishes stay on the menu,” says Dan proudly. “It becomes a signature dish because they love it so much and tell their friends.”

So if you want to enjoy a little dish of paradise, head over to Middle Grounds Grill. Open at 4:30 daily.
If you get there too early, stop in next door at Coffee Grounds for a cocktail or vanilla cafe latte.

FYI:  Open 4:30 daily.  10925 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island; 727-360-4253,

Larry’s Donuts!

Larry’s adds Mini Donuts to the Beach’s Most Popular Dessert Menu!

“Mini Donuts was a natural brand extension for Larry’s; donuts are dessert just like ice cream and gelato…it’s in the family,” according to Alison Herman. “So, it made sense.” Family is more than the assortment of desserts offered at Larry’s at 6595 Gulf Blvd.…it’s what Larry’s is all about.  Owned for two decades by Alison’s mom, Dorothea Herman and her father Louis. Now owned and operated by mother and daughter, Larry’s remains a family-owned business and staple in St. Pete Beach as Alison branches into all things donut, gracing St. Pete Beach with the delightful, bite-full, treat in addition to the overwhelming variety of ice cream and gelatos.

Adding to the family business, the Herman’s bought Twistee Treat in 2004 so they could add, get this… 66 flavors of soft serve… to the ice cream eating public on St. Pete Beach. Family-owned and operated isn’t just a catch phrase for the Herman’s, it’s a way of life. Alison works side by side with her mother, Dore, managing, purchasing, menu planning, dealing with vendors, training staff… it’s more than a full-time job, it’s more than two full-time jobs. But, it’s also a labor of love. Love of ice cream, love of gelato, love of donuts, love of desserts, and most importantly, a love of family “My mom and I wanted to bring back the old-style, fresh made donut that you can’t get any where. Just like our ice cream and gelato (over 150 flavors) we offer the donuts in dozens of varieties.”

After a year of planning, Larry’s rolled out their mini donuts just as 2017 was replacing 2016.
“It took us a while to get the mix just right with us being literally at sea level and the salt air.” Their persistence and patience was worth the wait.

Larry’s now proudly makes the only fresh donuts in St. Pete Beach and serves them up with a myriad of toppings. There are the traditional favorites such as powdered, cinnamon sugar and glazed but that’s just for starters. With offerings ranging from Smores (chocolate glaze dusted with graham cracker crumbs and topped with marshmallow) to the Elvis (peanut butter icing topped with crumbled bacon).

Accompanying the new mini donuts are locally roasted Kahwa coffee and a cold-pressed, nitrogen-infused espresso, brewed in Sarasota. 

Mirroring the many different offerings on Larry’s menu is the crowd enjoying them: families, groups of young people, couples on dates, and folks of all ages. If you have questions about including Larry’s donuts in a family, church or school event, call (727) 360-4259

So, if you’re reading this article, come try some of Larry’s ice cream, gelato, or mini donuts. “Because, after all, there are no strangers, just family we have yet to meet!” says Alison.

By John Waterman


Although we can’t be everywhere, as your Arts & Culture Concierge, I like to suggest diversions that will inspire, education and amaze. From art classes at the Morean and Creative Clay to floral-inspired exhibits (ArtLofts) during DTSP’s Artwalk and our Garden Festivals (see this month’s article), you can admire talent or nurture your own on the canvas of your choice. Ciao baby, see you around town!  – Nanette Wiser   

FYI: For venue address, phone. website, check our Events Listings in the back of the magazine.


April 19-23 6th Annual Listening Room Festival features six musical acts performing throughout Florida, but mainly in the Tampa Bay area. A showcase to meet the artists takes place on April 21 at the Palladium Theatre in St. Petersburg. On April 20 7 pm Teneia performs at St. Pete Artworks (635 Central Avenue),,  bringing a message of love and equality through songs at a concert in an art gallery.  Teneia Sanders and Husband Ben Eichelberger create music that combines elements of folk, soul, Southern gospel, blues and easy-listening pop. The R&B vibe, unique rhythms, and moving lyrics will lull you into a hypnotic trance and then get you on your feet to dance. It is a part of the Listening Room Festival, a series of concerts at local homes and businesses.

April 28-29 Pass-A-Grille Beach Goes Pops: Bring your blankets and beach chairs to 9th Ave. and Gulf Way and a few bucks for food and drink. The music is free. There’s art and crafts for sale in the park from noon till twilight.  Benefiting Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Friday night kicks off 5-7 pm with Reggae Rich followed by Reverand Barry 7 Funktastic Soul featuring the Hellacious Horns. On Saturday, Reggae Rich (5-6:30 pm) warms up the flip flop crowd for St. Pete High’s Pitchforks Acapella Choir’s Salute to the Troops. Rumours ATL: A Fleetwood Mac Tribute performs 7- 10 pm.   VIP Saturday: Sit back, relax and enjoy a beautiful evening of surf, sand and live music in our “Chillin’ on the Grille” Chillounge Experience, which includes tables for 10, tables for 8, High Top tables for 4 and seating in the Lounge Seats all in the VIP area for the music.

Musical Theater: At the Mahaffey Theater Rock Stars & Stripes: A Rock ‘n Roll Road Trip Across America (4/14) is the brainchild of former Boston frontman and guitar player David Victor, Rock Stars & Stripes is a unique concert experience that takes audiences on a virtual road trip across the country by performing classic American rock ‘n’ roll hits set against the backdrop of engaging video of some of America’s most iconic landmarks, places and people. Duke Energy Center for the Arts, The Mahaffey Theater 400 First St. South 727-893-7832;  At Ruth Eckerd Hall, Cindy Lauper’s delicious musical and dance romp Kinky Boots dances into Tampa Bay April 11-16, followed by Dirty Dancing May 5-7 and The Three Musketeers May 18-21 and 25-28.  111 McMullen Booth Rd. Clearwater  727-791-7400;

Voodoo MacbethApril 7 Preview Performance (7 pm); April 8 Opening Night (7pm) The Studio@620 honors the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s legacy with “Voodoo Macbeth”, inspired by Orson Welles’ historic 1936 production. For those unfamiliar, the play centers on a brave Scottish general named Macbeth who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland.  An all African American cast directed by Bob Devin Jones, will include local notables Sharon Scott, Kylin Brady, Nadine Smith, James L. Lincoln, and Cranstan Cumberbatch, and features Erica Sutherlin as Lady Macbeth and Calvin M. Thompson as Macbeth. A soundscape composed of percussion and live sound effects and a creative installation of the set by artist Ya La Ford will add to this unique dramatization!

Studio @ 620: Music, art, spoken word, poetry, this performance/visual art gallery is a downtown treasure. 620 First Avenue S., downtown St. Pete 727-895-6620

Palladium/Side Door/Hough Hall: One of our favorite venues, this refurbished beauty is hip and happening. We usually start at The Hollander Hotel for a craft beer, and stop back in at The Tap House after the performance. 253 Fifth Ave. N, downtown St. Pete 727- 822-3590 my

4/7 Harry Allen & Grant Stewart: Two Tenor Giants with Nate Najar Trio
4/8 Defending the Caveman, Broadway Comedy
4/9 Brendan Nolan and Colin Farrell, Irish Singer-Songwriters
4/12 Palladium Chamber Players (Strauss, Schubert, Saint Saens)
4/14 David Amram: 60s Beat Icon and Multi-Instrumentalist
4/18 Helios Jazz Orchestra
4/22 Say Goodnight Gracie, Broadway Comedy
4/23 Heralds of Harmony: Encore ’17, Barbershop
4/27 Sunscreen Film Festival’s 12th Annual Red Carpet Opening Event
4/28 Daniel Giron, Flamenco Guitar


Check out Steve Traiman’s article in this issue on the star-studded Sunscreen Film Festival. In addition to Eckerd College International Cinema Series in Miller Auditorium (art films, opera in HD), Clearwater Beach’s Sunset Cinema @ Pier 60 on the jumbo-sized screen Fri.-Sat. beginning at 6 pm. Another favorite of ours is the St. Petersburg Preservation’s (SPP) May Movies in the Park who will unveil the May 2017 movie poster April 6 (6 pm – 8 pm) n the courtyard at The Ale & the Witch (111 2nd Avenue NE). Proceeds from beer sales will be donated to St. Petersburg Preservation.  Movie trivia questions will be asked, offering hints to the movie titles that have been selected.  Prizes will be given to those who guess the May Movie title! May Movies in the Park occurs each Thursday evening in May (4, 11, 18 & 25) starting with live music @ 7 pm and the movie at dusk.(North Straub Park, between 4th Ave. & 5th Ave. NE on Beach Drive).  On April 27. there will be a Movie at Midtown in the garden of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum (2240 9th Avenue South).  Movie goers can come early, enjoy live music before the movie and enjoy a picnic they can either bring or purchase food from Midtown vendors who will be set up on-site. Bicycling to movies is a fun way to arrive and free bicycle valet parking will be provided by Coast Bike Share during the movies.  Movies are free.


April 13 6:30 pm – Florida Holocaust Museum: The FHP’s Genocide and Human Rights Awareness Movement (GHRAM) lecture series presents  Rwandan Genocide testimony expert Karen Jungblut   As the Director of Research and Documentation at the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation, Jungblut oversees scholarship and research activities, as well as a global network of partner sites with access to the Institute’s nearly 52,000 testimonies. Jungblut is in charge of expanding the existing archive with video of Survivors of other genocides, which will provide scholars and teachers with unprecedented research and teaching opportunities. In 2013, the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive expanded beyond the Holocaust for the first time, taking in 64 audiovisual testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. That set of atrocities claimed as many as one million lives over the course of about 100 days in 1994 when government-backed militias of ethnic Hutus went on a mass killing spree targeting the country’s next largest ethnic group, the Tutsis. The Rwandan government has since eliminated the official use of those ethnic terms in its census and on identity cards in hopes of fostering reconciliation.

Studio@ 620  620 1st Avenue South, downtown St. Pete

Wordier Than Thou, an open mic for storytelling, share prose or just catch tales from area wordsmiths. A featured reader kicks off the night, followed by 10 minute open mic slots.

In partnership with Keep St. Pete Lit , enjoy Poetry Open Mike with a featured poet and opportunity to read  7-9 pm May 17, June 21, July 26, Aug. 23, Sept. 27 and Oct. 25

Happy Hour with the Historian: Sharing the stories of the Sunshine City for 95 years, the St. Petersburg Museum of History’s popular lecture series features an evening of wine, words and wisdom.  May 11: Lisa Bradberry:  Weedon Island’s Sunhaven Movie Studios; July 13: Peter Meinke:  An Evening with Florida’s Poet Laureate; Sept 14: Bill Leavengood:  Doc Webb and his World Famous Webb’s City; Nov 9:  Lynn Waddell:  Fringe Florida 335 2nd Avenue NE on the Pier Approach; 727-894-1052;

April 21-23 The Florida Antiquarian Book Fair: The oldest and largest antiquarian book fair in the Southeastern United States. Visitors will find books of every age and about every conceivable topic, in a wide range of price ranges. The event features books, maps, prints, ephemera, autographs and more. The book fair will be part of the third annual SunLit Festival, a celebration of literature.  The Coliseum, 535 4th Ave N. downtown St. Pete

Comedy: Stand-up comedy tickles the brain and no one does it better than baudy Ron White (The Mahaffey, April 28). Locally, check out Coconuts Comedy Club (5501 Gulf Blvd., SPB; 727-360-5653) and Hawk & Wayne’s Anywhere USA quirky improv at American Stage 6 pm Sunday.

Spring into Festa Italiana in Ybor City April 8-9 for wine, bocce, good food, homemade vino and a Sunday performance by Zucchero.  Tarpon Springs 43rd Fine Arts Festival on the Bayou April 8-9 showcases juried arts show, 200 artists, live entertainment and refreshments.

Apr 14-15 @ 10:00 am – 8 pm: Gulfport’s Springfest Garden Art and Faerie Festival The 23rd Annual Springfest Garden Art & Faerie Festival will transform Gulfport’s Clymer Park into an “enchanted village” inhabited by costumed faeries, sprites, gnomes, ogres and trolls on Friday. Renaissance-era characters and gypsies may be spotted strolling through the 7.5-acre greenspace along with minstrels, wizards and roving entertainers during the event which includes a Good Friday Fish Fry, carnival rides,  May pole dances,  faerie house competition, costume contests and live music plus a children’s area offering face painting, pixie dusting, bubble blowing, and more.  Shop the market for plants, garden art, Renaissance-period trinkets, clothing, jewelry, art, hand-made crafts, food, beverages and other items of whimsical interest. 5501 27th Avenue South

St. Petersburg Second Saturday Artwalk: The Waterfront Arts District, Central Arts District, EDGE District, Grand Central District, and the Warehouse Arts District become one arts destination for the St. Petersburg Second Saturday ArtWalk from 5 to 9 p.m.  Don’t forget about Gulfport’s Tuesday’s Fresh Market and Swing Dancing Wednesday at the Casino, plus Gulfport Artwalk 1st Friday and 3rd Saturday.  3101 Beach Blvd.,


Any night in DTSP is a street party on Central Ave., with dancing at Ruby’s Elixir, Iberian Rooster and Push Lounge, music at The Hideaway and other shenanigans. The 7th Annual Chillounge Night at Curtis Hixon Park April 8 (6-11 pm) features live bands, fireworks, fashion show and a Brazilian Samba Parade to benefit Julie Weintraub’s Hands Across the Bay Charity.  Sheraton Sand Key Resort will host Evening with the Chefs May 5 (7-10 pm) showcasing award-winning chefs and Pinellas County culinary students creating gourmet cuisine and raising money for the


The Straz Center presents Biana Del Rio Not Today Satan Tour April 7, Opera Tampa’s Tosca April 7 & 9, Sex and the City A Parody April 11-13 and Alton Brown Live Eat Your Science April 21. On Oct. 7, Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will engage in an unscripted and unforgettable conversation at The Straz Center. Through April 23, you can enjoy Ain’t Retirement Grand at the Early Bird Dinner Theater (21905 US 19 North, Clearwater, FL 33765  727-437-2363)

April 29- May 28 FreeFall Theater: End of the Rainbow: A play with music about the final years in the life of Judy Garland, End of the Rainbow triumphed in London’s West End in 2010/2011 and on Broadway in 2012. It’s Christmas 1968, and Judy Garland is booked for six weeks of “comeback concerts” at London’s Talk of the Town. The failed marriages, the suicide attempts, and the addictions are all behind her. At forty-six and with new flame Mickey Deans at her side, she seems determined to carry it off and recapture her magic. But stormy skies are on the horizon as old patterns resurface, and the drama backstage chips away at the onstage brilliance of one of the greatest singers of all time. Shifting back and forth between moments of onstage triumph and backstage tribulation, this speculation on a pivotal chapter in the life of a legend is at once wildly entertaining, irreverently funny, and deeply moving. FYI: 727-498-5205

If You Go: Dine @ The Reading Room: This clever new bistro in the former Christian Science Reading Room mixes iconic dishes and drinks.

American Stage Theater

April 19-May 14: Hairspray: The American Musical is performed in Demens Landing Park. Bring a picnic and dress vintage. Next up? The Invisible Hand opens May 31

Thru April 9 “Informed Consent” : Continuing its 2016-17 Season – “In Search of…America” theme, American Stage will showcase the Tampa Bay area premiere of “Informed Consent” by Deborah Zoe Laufer, winner of the 2009 Helen Merrill Playwriting Award. This powerful drama takes us into the personal and national debate about science v. belief, and whether genetics defines our fate. Inspired by a landmark court case between one of the country’s largest universities and a Native American tribe based in the Grand Canyon, “Informed Consent” goes “in search of… A CURE” while asking the question, “is your DNA your destiny?”   Raymond James Theatre, 163 3rd Street North downtown St. Pete   727-823-PLAY (7529)


In April, there’s something for everyone. At the Capitol Theater, catch jazzy Chris Botti April 14, Olivia Newton John April 20, Kenny G April 21 and Everclear April 30. On April 28, The Fabulous Thunderbirds perform at Blast Friday, the popular street and music festival outside the Cap in downtown Clearwater. Ruth Eckerd Hall features Little River Band April 8, Boston April 18, Air Supply April 23 and Sheryl Crow April 30. On April 8 @8 pm,

Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center features the Elgon John Rocket Man Tribute  Largo Cultural Center hosts Richard Elliott April 29. The Rays have announced two post-game concerts: Sabrina Carpenter June 25 and Lauren Alaina July 9

The Florida Symphony Orchestra tickles the keys with Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concert No. 1 April 8-9. At the Mahaffey there’s a TFO Coffee Concert April 20 featuring French delights including Ravel, Dukas, Saint-Saens and Debussy and on April 22 Singing & Swinging with Ella.

A Touch of Classics: The South Pasadena Community Band showcase classic favorites at 7:30 pm at two locations: 4/12 Treasure Island Community Center; 5/18 Galatea Garden, South Pasadena

April 7 (8 pm) – Street Corner Symphony @ The Club at Treasure Island: This a cappella group transitions seamlessly from gospel to barbershop to rock and roll. Enjoy a seafood buffet before the show. Reserve your spot at 727-367-4511. 400 Treasure Island Causeway

April 7 (7:30 pm) – SPC Piano Concert Series Extravaganza: Presented by St. Petersburg College Music Center Gibbs Campus at St. Petersburg College Music Center, St. Petersburg  this is a  delightful evening of lighthearted arrangements for 4 pianists, 2 pianos, 8 hands. With pianists Eunmi Ko, Rebecca Penneys, Omri Shimron, Benjamin Warsaw. All are on the faculty of the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival and hold other academic appointments.

April 8 (5 pm) – Dean Johansen: Accomplished Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist, Dean Johanesen will bring his unique brand of gypsy swing, American roots and Spanish guitar to St. Pete ArtWorks Gallery during the Second Saturday Art Walk. Johanesen, a local favorite spins stories ofld times, characters from the 20’s and 30’s, side show and circus performers. This is also the closing reception for Freddie Fred’s current exhibition, “True Dat”. Stop by the gallery for music, food, drink and art.

April 8 (1 pm – 9 pm) Latin Music Festival by the Bay: Gulfport City Limits, LLC. is proud to present the first in a series of annual Latin Music Festivals, “Latin Music by the Bay” on April 8, 2017.  The concert will be located on beautiful Boca Ciega Bay from 1 pm until 9 pm.  The concert event will feature recording artists Orchestra Fuego, The Latin Jazz Knights, Freddy Montez, Victor J. Moreno with Esther Suarez, and Eddie Garrido.  The concert is pet friendly, (dog, cat, bird or whatever) but bring a leash. Enjoy food and drink for sale, a Cuban Cigar maker at La Habana Cigar and Richard Maurer, Massage Therapist will be set up for your relaxation. 5730 Shore Blvd. S., Gulfport,


The St. Petersburg Opera Company will perform Opera Therapy 3: Couples Therapy April 20-21 and Preview to the Tales of Hoffmann: Three Times A Lady May  18-9 in the Evenings and Mornings with the Maestro series. Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann will be performed June 2, 4 and 6 at the Palladium Theater. Hoffmann, the poet hero of The Tales of Hoffmann, has four love affairs that haunt him in Offenbach’s grand and final opera.  The opera fantastique begins with Hoffmann waiting in a tavern for his current passion, an opera diva appropriately named Stella.  To pass the time, Hoffmann tells the other students stories about three of his previous loves, each of which ends in disaster. June 30-July 9, Stephen Sondheim’s enchanting Into The Woods will be performed.

Eckerd College: Live HD Opera Performances in Miller Auditorium, where April 7 at 1:30 screens Hedda Gable: A Play by Henrik Ibsen. Hedda and Tesman have just returned from their honeymoon, and the relationship is already in trouble. Trapped but determined, Hedda tries to control those around her, only to see her own world unravel. Tony Award–winning director Ivo van Hove (A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic Theatre) returns to National Theatre Live screens with a modern production of Ibsen’s masterpiece. Ruth Wilson (Luther, The Affair, Jane Eyre) plays the title role in a new version by Patrick Marber (Notes on a Scandal, Closer).


Duncan McClellan Gallery 2342 Emerson Ave South; 855-436-4527.

ZIPLINE! The Duncan McClellan Gallery and DMG School Project headquarters in the Warehouse District will soon launch the first-ever ArtZipline®. The zoning department for the City of St. Petersburg has approved the DMG’s plan for the ArtZipline® as yet another unique way to tour St. Petersburg’s popular art center! The ArtZipline® will start at the largest glass studio in Florida–Duncan McClellan Gallery and DMG School Project headquarters in the Warehouse District.  Duncan McClellan thought of this wacky idea to help promote art in the city of St Petersburg and more specifically in the increasingly popular Warehouse District.  He envisions the ArtZipline® to start at his gallery and learning center, then connecting with the Art Xchange via the Pinellas Trail.

Thru April 7: Seattle glass artists Kelly O’Dell and Raven Skyriver.

April 8, 5-10 pm – Joie de Vivre with Nancy Callan! Come to the opening party and welcome renowned Seattle Glass Artist Nancy Callan to St Petersburg. Glassblowing demonstration with Callan begins around 6:15pm. Jazz concert with Henry Ashwood Jazz Project from 8-10pm. Cash Bar and Food Truck on premises.

April 9 noon-1 pm – Art Glass Sunday: Watch  Nancy Callan blow glass in this one hour event. From 3-4, Callan will give a talk at MFA.

ArtPool Gallery – July 15 Trashin Fashion Looking for Designers/Artists/Models

Design your own collection, or team up with some friends, and work on a line of recycled & upcycled couture!  Trashion Fashion is our most creative fashion show of the year, we welcome designers of any age, no experience needed, and it is free to participate. Come get creative and be a part of the community fun at ARTpool Gallery! All models must apply here. Submissions by April 30. 2030 Central Ave DTSP 727-324-3878

The Enroy Foundation Inc., Gallery @ Marketplace at Boca Bay (Gulfport)

This new gallery features local artists such as David Vasquez, Rose Caballes, Nikita Rosalind, Naomi Glueck, Annamarie Sisson, Larry Busby and Scott Spillman. You can buy and enjoy local art while enjoying refreshments from the coffeehouse. On the 1st Friday and 3rd Saturday Art & Gallery Walks they will host live music. Enroy Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization is committed to the visual and performing arts in the Tampa Bay Area, with an emphasis on collaborative, educational, and environmental projects.  Started by Gulfport musicians Maureen Kilroy and Larry Enlow, the organization has sponsored collaborations between artists and a school, performers and environmental interests, house concerts, and a mutually beneficial relationship with a Gulfport restaurant, Boca Bay Grille.  2838 Beach Blvd S. FYI: Jessica  727-608-0070

The Veteran’s Arts Center: Opened in March, the VACTB is Florida’s first art center for Military, Veterans, First Responders and Families that provide therapy, healing, wellness and education programming. And is supportive of their need for creative outlets as well as the need for economic opportunities. 6798 Crosswinds Drive North  813-504-3092

Creative Clay 1114 Central Avenue DTSP 727-825-0515 “The 2017 Project: Securing Our Future,” is ready to kick off as Creative Clay prepares to move its headquarters this June from St. Petersburg’s EDGE District, to 1846 First Ave. S in the Grand Central District.

Thru June 30 Community Café: Flower Power showcases paintings of flowers by Linda M., Emily M., Gina K., Conchita, Mike E., Dolores M.,Yalanda S. & Patsy Lieberman, Teff A. Hazard, Sheryl L.

Thru June 30 Time After Time featuring the artwork of Ray M who paints clocks and watches. Opening reception April 8 (9 pm) with live music, beer and wine.

Morean Arts Center

PN welcomes new executive director Michael Killoren, who comes from the NEA in Washington D.C. Thru May 31: Ceramic artist Joe Pintz; opening reception April 8 (5-9 pm)


The Chihuly Collection: This  stunning, permanent collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s unique artwork is presented in a fabulous architectural space designed specifically for his art, showcasing how  art and architecture can work together. 720 Central Avenue, downtown St. Pete 727-822-7872

Florida CraftArt: Debuts Round Square (thru 4/22) 501 Central Avenue downtown St. Pete 727-821-7391 The exhibition features art works by four established Florida artists: Edgar Sanchez Cumbas, Kendra Frorup, Babette Herschberger and Charles Parkhill.  

Syd Entel Gallery and Susan Benjamin Glass: The 5000 square foot gallery located on Main Street in charming downtown Safety Harbor showcases acclaimed artists from around the World along with today’s premier American glass artists. 727-725-1808  247 Main St.


Thru June 10 – St. Petersburg Museum of History: Two exhibits offering a unique look at Florida history run through June 10: Seminole People of Florida: Survival and Success and Florida Folk Art – Just Above the Water. SPMOH.ORG

Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Dr. NE 727-896-2667

April 29-July 23 Dorothy Height’s Hats : Civil rights icon Dr. Dorothy Irene Height (1912-2010) was known for her courage, intelligence, leadership, standing straight—and hats made by African-American milliners. Dorothy Dorothy Height’s Hats are a window to history, commemorating meetings with Eleanor Roosevelt (white mink chapeau).  One hat in the exhibition is by Harriet Rosebud, a noted milliner who grew up in St. Petersburg. She wore others by such fashion luminaries as Oscar de la Renta, Mr. John, Lisa Rene, Luke Song, and Ruth Kropveld, who established Chapeau Creations.

  • The Book Club @ the MFA, presented by Keep St. Pete Lit, will discuss her memoir Open Wide the Freedom Gates on  May 11, at 6:30 p.m. The program is free with Museum admission, which is only $5 after 5 p.m. on Thursdays.

April 12 10-11 am: Coffee Talks with Nan Colton as novelist Virgina Woolf as she sits for painter Jacques Emile Blanche.

April 30 noon-4pm Painting In The Park: Enjoy family friendly fun such as giant paintings, kite making and flying, painting on the NOMAD Art Bus and more; food available.

Thru May 7 Greg Smith Multimedia Artist: Smith’s work often centers on a character attempting to “create something, trying to structure his environment, but who’s also kind of hapless, and, in the end, probably doomed.” Catch his video Breakdown Lane (2013).

Thru July 2  Dominique Labauvie – Dig: The formal explorations of interdisciplinary artist Dominique Labauvie are rooted in both material and a highly developed relationship to philosophies of the drawn line. Dig brings together recent works by Mr. Labauvie in his signature media of steel and pastels. The theme of the ruin runs throughout, as he seems to take on the role of archaeologist, digging into the earth’s histories to try to understand their effect on current events.

Thru June 4: The Open Road- Photography and the American Road Trip: Nothing says spring break like this exhibition, a delightful journey through America’s kitschy landscapes.

The Dali Museum

  • Thru April 17 – Frida Kahlo at the Dali: An exhibition of Frida Kahlo’s paintings and drawings, together with her personal photograph collection showcase her dreamlike work suggesting that love and suffering create a new sense of beauty. Kahlo’s art and storied life stir immense public interest. The Dali and Beyond Film Series fatures the A&E biography of Frida Kahlo.
  • April 23 @ 7 pm – The Art of Recovery: From a hopeless, homeless addict to an outstanding artist and man in recovery, Dione Christopher will be showcasing his artistic talents at The Art of Recovery- An Evening with Dione at The Dalí Museum. Dione is a graduate of Survivors of Addiction who has battled with addiction throughout his life. This night will be an effort to change the perception of addicts and those in recovery, while raising money for a noble, local cause. The event will be hosted by local non-profit, Survivors of Addiction, Inc. The theme of the night is “Principles through Portraits,” where those who are in recovery, as well as those who are still suffering, will get the chance to showcase their artist talents, in hopes to lessen the stigma around addiction.
  • Thru May 2017 – Dali/Duchamp: The father of surrealism and the papa of conceptual art, this is the first exhibit dedicated to Dali and Duchamp’s friendship and influence on each’s art, showcasing 60 works and supplemented by correspondence and collaborative projects.


Ringling College of Art & Design  2700 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
April 7-22,  2017 Best of Ringling Annual Juried Student Exhibitions.


Morean Arts Center Turns 100: In March, Mayor Rick Kriseman presented a city proclamation commemorating 100 years of the arts in St. Petersburg. The Morean Arts Center started in 1917 as The Art Club of St. Petersburg, the first art gallery south of Atlanta, on Beach Drive. In 1963, as plans for the Museum of Fine Arts took shape, it became clear the Art Club needed to find a new home. 201 Beach Drive – the old homestead – was razed in 1965 after the Museum of Fine Arts opened. A kapok tree was planted in 1965 to commemorate the Art Club. After two additional moves and a name change, the Art Club is now known as the Morean Arts Center. 719 Central Ave.

KUDOS to St. Pete Arts Alliance: The MUSE Awards event netted $32,000 that will help support our activities this year. Since the event a few weeks ago, they have already helped sponsor the Black Arts & Film Festival 2017, and we made a grant to the Arts Conservatory for Teens.  We will soon announce our new student arts grants program, and the February ArtWalk recorded the highest number of attendees in four years.  .


Creative Pinellas Looking for Artists: Creative Pinellas is looking for up-and-coming artists for a new grant program that encourages them to create new work. Its Emerging Artists Grant program will award $2,000 each to 10 working in the creative arts, who will be mentored by someone in their field (literature, choreography, interdisciplinary, media arts, music composition, theatre/musical theatre, and visual arts)  They must be at least 18 and a legal resident of Pinellas County for at least one year and agree to maintain legal residency during the grant period ending in October. Artists must have a track record of success, a strong portfolio, a plan for the future, and a commitment to participate in the exhibition planned Oct. 26. Grant participants are expected to work with mentors and make regular reports on the progress of their work between July 1st and October 26.

Applications are being accepted online through 5 p.m. April 12. Artists are advised to begin uploading before or by 4:30 p.m. to ensure their work is successfully received by the deadline. More information is available at Creative Pinellas. Awards will be announced in June.

Creative Life Project Seeks Artists For 2017 Exhibits: The Creative Life Project is looking for artists to display works within their network of venues. Artwork of all mediums are accepted, including photography. Venues include Hidden Springs Ale Works, Cigar City Brewing, Four Stacks Brewing, Revolution Ice Cream, Escape Brewing, 81 Bay Brewing and more. Submit work to:  Hello@TheCreativeLifeProject.Org   Http://Www.Thecreativelifeproject.Org/Artshowentry/

Call To Artists: Animals In Art May 1, 2016 Deadline: June 3: Smithtown Township Arts Council in St. James NY invites submissions for its upcoming juried fine art exhibition: “Animals in Art – Our Partners on the Planet” at the Mills Pond Gallery, with JurorTim Newton. Artists are encouraged to share their artistic vision of animals both domestic and wild. Artwork may include any animals that live on land, in the sea or in the air and can range from realism to surrealism to abstraction. Open to USA artists age 18 or older. All media considered except photography and computer generated art. Prospectus at Http://Www.Stacarts.Org/Exhibits/Show/96.

Call To Artists: Public Art In Sarasota May 1, 2016 Deadline for submissions: June 5: A Call to Artists is underway for the creation of an original landmark sculpture to be placed at a future roundabout at Orange Avenue and Ringling Boulevard in Sarasota, to become part of the City’s permanent public art collection. Artists with a proven track record of creating significant outdoor public art commissions that can withstand the Florida elements are encouraged to apply. The piece should be  free standing. Complement the Orange Avenue/Ringling Boulevard roundabout location. Require minimal maintenance (no water features). Must be an original design. Can be appreciated from a distance (does not draw people toward it). Must not exceed 20 feet in height. Must not display messages or contain signs, flashing lights etc. The project budget cannot exceed $150,000.  Installation: November 2017. Specific details about the project, including the application process and selection process are posted at 

12th Annual Sunscreen Film Fest April 27-30 in St. Petersburg 

The Sunscreen Film Festival, launched in 2006, has grown from its first festival in a local art gallery with 600 attendees. It is organized and presented by the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Film Society Inc. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity is dedicated to education, economic development, informing the public about the art of visual storytelling, enhancing opportunities for local filmmakers to develop their craft and art, and increasing the public’s awareness and support of local filmmaking as a cultural and economic asset.

Founder Tony Armer, who is also the Pinellas County Film Commissioner, provided some relevant details: “With the Pinellas County Film Commission as the headline sponsor, the festival now is an internationally-recognized event with an annual attendance of over 10,000 in St. Petersburg and Los Angeles. In 2013 the festival expanded to Los Angeles and now holds the Florida version in the spring and the Los Angeles version in the fall each year.”

This year’s event downtown has Opening Night Film Screenings Thursday (27) at The Palladium, followed by dual screenings Friday through Sunday (28-30) at the AMC Theaters Sundial and American Stage. Film Workshops are Friday-Sunday at American Stage.

Festival Executive Director Ryan Tarrant told Paradise News, “Among accepted films for the 2017 Festival are 16 excellent submissions by local Pinellas County filmmaker/directors. Included are Tiny Bacteria, Victoria Jorgensen; The Newest Member, Andi Matheny; You Are Not Alone, Cam Simon; Oklahoma Sun, Andrew Andrade; T’s Up: Branding Team Tampa, Travis Bell; BTS, Christian Schwier;  Ava’s Blood, Kira Howe; Good Ol’ Fashioned Christmas Video,  Daniel O’Ryan; Ransom, Stefanie Davis; It’s Not About Sex, Anjani Pandey; Allconsumingfilmsshort, Jeremy Jones, Logan James, Chuck Ardezzone; One Step From Alpha, Hector Luis Soto Vazquez; Bedsheets & Cigarettes, Alan Mehanna; 812 Knavish Way, Eric Stalnaker; The Deposition, Carrie Drazek; Phone, David Scott Leatherwood; Eat Speak St. Pete, David Vega.   

Special events include Opening Night Reception at The Palladium; Filmmaker Party (28); Outdoor Movie on the Museum of Fine Arts Lawn with special guest appearance (28); Women In Film Brunch at the Chihuly Exhibit (29);

Awards Ceremony & Party (29), 7 to 9 pm; followed by the Awards Karaoke After-Party, 10 pm – 3 am. Filmmaker Brunch is Sunday (30), sponsored by 400 Beach, at the restaurant.

This year’s confirmed celebrity list includes Dylan McDermott who will be at the festival for Opening Night’s feature film Blind, and Sugar, which is in the Spotlight category. Retrospective Screenings will include Daphne Zuniga, on hand honoring the 30th Anniversary of Mel Brooks’ classic Spaceballs. Robert Davi will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award and Joe Pantoliano will be honored with a Legacy Award.

Tarrant provided this additional festival history: “In May 2006, the inaugural festival was held at Studio@620 in downtown St. Petersburg, screening 35 short and feature films over two days and hosting two world premieres. That event had a standing-room-only attendance of more than 600 film lovers and filmmakers, some traveling from as far as New York City and Los Angeles.

“Due to overwhelming popularity, the festival expanded in 2007 and 2008 to include the Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club. With this added new venue, the festival drew more than 100 short and feature films on multiple screens, and celebrity guests included actors John Travolta and Kelly Preston.

“In 2009, the venue moved to the Muvico (now AMC) Baywalk 20, where the celebrity roster grew to include actors Patrick Wilson, Michael Rooker, Bill Cobbs, and Jeffrey Donovan. More than 70 short and feature films were screened, including the Southeastern premiere of Passengers, starring Anne Hathaway and Patrick Wilson.

“That year, MovieMakermagazine voted Sunscreen one of the ‘25 Coolest Film Fests’ in the country. In 2013-2014, Sunscreen was one of only 23 film fests nationwide to be sponsored and acknowledged by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.”

Awards are given for Best Short Film, Student Film, Feature Film, Documentary, Director, Florida Film, Latin Film, Latin Documentary, International Film, Webisode, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress.

Founder Tony Armer told Paradise News, “Programming Director Joe Restaino has done an amazing job selecting and recruiting films, resulting in one of the best array of submissions ever. Add in some great celebrities, workshops and parties, and we’re looking forward to one of our best ever Sunscreen Film Festivals here in St. Petersburg.”

For more information on the 2017 Sunscreen Film Festival, check the website at or contact Ryan Tarrant via email:

STORY by STEVE TRAIMAN      Photos courtesy of Sunscreen Film Festival

[Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Tony Armer, Ryan Tarrant and Harry Chittenden at the Sunscreen Film Festival for their excellent information and photos.]

[Steve Traiman is President of Creative Copy by Steve Traiman in St. Pete Beach, offering freelance business writing services. He can be reached via email at ]





Sugar Sands at TradeWinds Island Resort 

TradeWinds Resort executives want to build the proposed “Sugar Sands at TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach” on the former site of the Coral Reef Hotel. Sugar Sands would be the city’s first major redevelopment project in more than a decade.  

A twelve (12) story building which will include a 217 room hotel, an 811 space, ten (10) story parking garage, office space and IT room, five (5) story commercial space, which will eventually house a Blue Green Sales Center, Reservations office, HR office, Spa and Fitness Center. Included in the scope are a pool with hot tub, pool bar, towel distribution building with restrooms, site work, paving, drainage and underground utilities as shown on the 90% plans and specifications  

Total construction cost is estimated at $60,000,000. Construction plans have been circulated and bids have been obtained. What is holding them up is St. Pete Beach’s continuing sewer system problems. 

Tim Bogott is excited about the project, and has presented an offer to the city for what appears to be a no-lose opportunity to solve at least ½ of the expensive problem, and allow the loan to be paid back from new sewer connections instead of residents getting a huge tax increase. The city commission is expected to hear a presentation of the plan at its April 11 commission meeting. 

When asked about the proposal, newly elected mayor Al Johnson said that he had spoken to state representative Kathleen Peters about the plan and about other potential funding sources. “She said that the legislators love to hear about public-private partnerships being used to solve such problems. The city’s chances for more help would be improved by embracing such an offer. 

For the TradeWinds it is a matter of economics. The sooner they build, the sooner they can rent out the rooms and sell shares in the newly built building.  They need the parking for guests, help and future construction plans. 

The TradeWinds has done a remarkable job of making people think they are having a luxury vacation in the patchwork of ‘60’s motels that are cobbled together on the resort’s 30 beachfront acres. Imaging what they could do with a fancy new building! 

“If new redevelopment is not allowed to occur, then as older properties reach the end of their economic life, they will be forced to convert to residential condominiums,” Bogott has been quoted as saying.” resulting in a loss of tourism and significantly eroding the county’s tax base.