Tidbits January 2016

Gulfport Tidbits

Make a resolution to become the confident, relaxed leader that you have always dreamed of being. Gulfport Toastmasters will help you every step of the way. Meet with them in the Gulfport Public Library Community Room from 6:15 – 7:30pm each Wednesday evening.  Visitors are welcome. More  at gulfporttoastmasters.com  La Cote Basque Winehouse offers dinner theatre on the third Thursday each month. Call 727-321-6888 for info and reservations.


Madeira Beach Tidbits

Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge Sponsors Corner Stone Laying. The dedication ceremony is the symbolic laying of the Cornerstone, that which supports the entire structure. The officers conducting the ceremony, usually officers of the Grand Lodge of the State of Florida, travel from all over the state to conduct the ceremony of symbolically squaring, leveling and plumbing the Cornerstone, assuring that it is set correctly and that “the Craftsmen have done their duty.”  The Grand Master then asks for the Blessings of Deity, upon this new edifice after which he asks that the Corn be scattered as a symbol of plenty; the Wine be poured as a symbol of refreshment; and Oil be poured as an emblem of peace and joy. Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge No. 291 meets each Thursday evening at 7:30 pm from September through June. All local Masons, as well as visiting Masons are invited attend the Lodge meetings. Further information can be found on the Lodge website, www.gulfbeachlodge.org or by emailing the Secretary, Howard Knapp, at Secretary@gulfbeachlodge.org


Pinellas County Tidbits

vspc-logoVSPC expanding national marketing reach in 2016. Visit St. Pete/Clearwater will launch a national marketing campaign in 2016. Rather than the occasional advertisements in national publications, the campaign will be sustained for several months throughout the United States through Pandora, NPR and AT&T cable systems to make the area more recognizable to a national audience. Additionally, VSPC will add Boston to their annual winter marketing campaign, which has covered New York City and Chicago. Tourism is the #1 employer in Pinellas County. In 2014, the county welcomed 5.8 million overnight visitors generating $35 million in bed tax. The overall spending impact of visitors was nearly $8.5 billion.

Volunteers needed for annual homeless count The Pinellas County Homeless Leadership Board needs help from the community to conduct a one-day count and survey of homeless individuals and families in the local community. The count is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 28.  Those who are interested in volunteering for the count can visit www.pinellashomeless.org and look for 2016 Point in Time Count registration or call (727) 582-7922. There will be a mandatory training session for all participants held on various dates in January.  The survey helps identify gaps in services and helps countywide efforts toward ending homelessness. Last year’s one-day count identified 3,387 homeless individuals who met the study criteria set out by HUD, though the county’s total homeless population is estimated to be almost twice that number.

The Pinellas County  “Doing Things for You”  app is available for residents to report issues and access useful resources. Pinellas County can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & Instagram. More information is available on the county website www.pinellascounty.org which features LiveChat for assistance. 

St. Pete Beach Tidbits

Jackie just opened her new Tapz & Tapaz concept restaurant on St. Pete Beach’s Corey Avenue. Located where the Shell Store sat for 50 years, the concept combines craft beer and small plates with popular pricing. (Nothing over $7) 

TradeWinds Island Resorts Launches Major Employment Campaign – The Island Grand and Guy Harvey Outpost are looking to fill more than 100 full and part-time positions at the popular beachfront resorts, including housekeepers, cooks, reservations agents, security, activities counselors, stewards, beach attendants & more. The resorts are investing more than $2.4 million into current and new employees for 2016, with the goal of having all non-gratuity based positions starting at $10 /hour, making TradeWinds one of the highest paying employers on Pinellas beaches. For more info see www. ILoveMyJobBecause.com


The CRA (Community Redevelopment Area) plan contemplated by the city’s newly adopted comprehensive plan since 2005, was unanimously approved by city leaders, a major step in providing a 30-year sharing of tax revenues from redevelopment in the city’s core and major resort districts. When properties redevelop and their taxes increase due to incremental improvements, the city retains a share for infrastructure improvements. The plan envisions using CRA funds in the future for underground utilities, streetscape and mobility improvements in the CRA district, including public parking, signage, gateway features, park and open space improvements and more.

St. Petersburg Tidbits

Chill Lounge Night was rescheduled to February 20. We had a full-page story on page 8 in November’s Paradise NEWS about the 8th Annual Bert Smith sponsored spectacle that had to be rescheduled due to serious weather that had been predicted for Nov. 21st. You can imagine the complications for event founder and promoter Rainer Scheer. We are praying for a perfect night to help Rainer, who also had to reschedule an event in Ft. Lauderdale this season, recover from the losses and the trauma. Feb. 20 should be an incredibly memorable night in Straub Park on the waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg. With local favorites The Black Honkeys Cirque du Chill performers and more. Purchase tickets from $25 -$120 for VIP, and Ultimate VIP packages for up to $990, Call 1-888-695-0888. Tell them you read about them in Paradise NEWS.

The Mill was awarded the Robert W. Tolf Award for Best New Restaurant by Florida Trend magazine. The restaurant, which opened at 200 Central Avenue on the ground floor of Priatek Plaza downtown in July, features New Southern cuisine.  “Very honored to be awarded this,” said Mill co-owner and Executive Chef  Ted Dorsey. “It speaks a lot to what we’ve done and what we’ve accomplished in a short amount of time.”     – Editor’s  Note – Dorsey was the executive chef at the Zamora’s Castile when it opened, accounting for early rave reviews. “Tasty but a surprisingly tiny portion” thought Pass-a-Grillians Tim & Trish Kelley of their first sampling of an appetizer at The Mill, the Blue Crab Croquettes $14.

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held on November 20, 2015 for the new Johns Hopkins All Children’s Research and Education Building. The $85 million, 225,000 SF research facility will house research labs, academic and research offices, a simulation lab and a 250-seat auditorium. Located southeast of All Children’s Hospital at 5th Street and 6th Avenue South, the new building highlights the area’s status as St. Petersburg’s Innovation District. Construction will begin in 2016, bringing an estimated 300 construction jobs. When completed in 2018, the facility will house approximately 200 faculty, educators, researchers, physicians, nurses and support staff. Overall, an estimated 30 new highly skilled jobs will be added to the city by this project.

FOCUS St. Petersburg is accepting applications for 2016 Program: January 20, 22, & 23 FOCUS St. Pete is a program of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Leadership St. Pete Alumni Association for professionals who are eager to establish civic relationships and learn more about the inner workings of the community with a minimum expenditure of time. The program is limited to 35 participants and is open to professionals from both the private and public sectors who generally occupy key positions and are new to the area or have accepted new or expanded responsibilities. Register through the St. Petersburg Chamber.stpetersburgflcoc.wliinc34.com

A study by Global Aquaponic Foods, Inc. (GAF) found that a fish farm would be feasible at the decommissioned waste water treatment plant next to Albert Whitted Airport. The farm could potentially raise red drum, sea bass, sheepshead, tilapia, and oysters, among other species. Next, GAF will conduct a more detailed analysis to pursue the opportunity.

The M/V Pearl Mist, a 325-foot cruise passenger vessel, is staying at Port of St. Petersburg until late January.  Owned by Pearl Seas Cruise, she can accommodate approximately 210 passengers and will be operating out of South Florida for cruises to Cuba starting in March 2016. The cruise owners indicated that if Cuba opens up, they would consider St. Petersburg as a port for future cruises. Park Once shuttle service begins – In November, the city launched a 6-month pilot project to support its new mobility program, Park Once, in downtown. The project provides for a free shuttle service for those visiting downtown St. Petersburg on weekend evenings. Service is operational between 5 pm & midnight on Fridays & Saturdays, with stops conveniently located at the Sundial, 117 2nd St. N., or South Core, 101 First Ave. South, garages with additional stops located along the Waterfront, Beach Drive and Central Arts District. The high-frequency shuttles run a continuous 7 to 10 minute route to encourage visitors to spend less time on parking and more time enjoying all of the wonderful things to do downtown.

PSTA receives $500,000 grant to complete design of the Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit project in St. Petersburg. The grant will help pay for final design of the route connecting downtown and the beaches. The route is intended to complement the existing Central Avenue Trolley and other local routes by supplying limited, expedited stops along First Avenues North & South from downtown St. Petersburg to the beaches 7 days a week. The route will cover 10 – 14 miles with 12 to 16 stops in each direction, and 5 – 7 buses serving passengers every 15 minutes along the route. With a total estimated price tag of $16.5M derived from a combination of local, State and Federal sources, service is expected to begin in 2020.

Pending approval from City Council, the city looks to launch the first phase of Bike Share with approximately 300 bicycles at 30 stations in the greater downtown area with an emphasis on connecting commercial corridors such as Central Avenue, 4th Street North and 22nd Street South.

Tierra Verde Tidbits

Interested in trying Yoga?  Nava Yoga Studio and the Tierra Verde Business Partnership have teamed up to offer a Free Yoga Class in the Tierra Verde Park on Sat. Jan. 23, 2016 from 9am-10am.  All levels of students are welcome – even if it is your first time! Bring the whole family! Yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation, which may help to reduce stress and anxiety, and improve your overall mental and physical health. Enjoy the beautiful weather and experience how yoga can help you! Bring your yoga mat if you have one; if not, some will be available to borrow. For more see navayoga studio.com, email info@navayogastudio.com or call 727-592-1999.

Treasure Island Tidbits

treasureislandpirateA city Visioning meeting will be held on January 30th at the Treasure Island Community Center. These sessions are held every five years to see if residents are willing to share their vision for the future of  Treasure Island. A pervasive anti-redevelopment mentality has kept Treasure Island fairly entrenched in the sixty’s. The only time a majority of registered voters in Treasure Island have turned out for an election has been to ensure that the 5 story building height restriction does not get changed without a majority of registered voters being in favor of it.  The last such visioning session brought out the wish for downtown improvements and a beach trail. The beach trail has become a reality, and some changes were made in city zoning allowing downtown to Improve when investment dollars surface. Chairperson of the organizing committee, Mitchell Shenkman hopes for a good turnout.

Treasure Islettes gave money this year to a non-profit group, Be A Santa to A Senior; national charity that makes the season happier for and helps provide much-needed items to homebound, financially challenged, lonely seniors in Pinellas county. Additionally, 24 residents at the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch and Villas were given gift certificates to make their Christmas brighter. Treasure Islettes have supported their community and other charitable organizations since their inception in 1955.  Fundraising projects include weekly Thursday night Bingo. Please join the Islettes Thursday evenings for games.  Early bird games begin at 6:45 pm and regular games at 7:45 pm.  They have a great snack bar, free coffee and cash prizes – so come and spend an evening with the Islettes and support your community.  The games are held at the Treasure Island Community Center located behind Walgreens. For info about the Bingo games contact, Marian Cox at 727-512-9102. The Treasure Islettes meet on the 4th Monday evening of each month from September to May at the Treasure Island Community Center. More information about membership can be obtained by calling Marian Alton at 727-360-0164. 

What to have some fun and meet new people?  Keep the brain cells active or build your resume?  The Treasure
Island and Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce supports local businesses and charitable organizations in building a dynamic local community and thriving tourist industry.  We need additional volunteers for our welcome center, office, and special events. As a volunteer you play a key role as the first point of contact for many visitors in our 
welcome  center. Duties include providing information to tourists & snowbirds, event management, computer skills, phone bank, & light administration.   Come help keep Treasure Island and Madeira Beach a  great place to work, live and play. Call  Ellen or Pat 727.360.4121 weekdays.  Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce, Hours:  10 am – 4 pm Monday – Friday. 245 107th Ave., Treasure Island, FL 33706. Call: 727.360.4121 • IslandNeighborsChamber.org

Third Annual MUSE Awards Recognizes Five Local “Muses”

MUSE will celebrate artistic inspiration on Friday, January 29 at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg at 7:30 p.m.  The third annual benefit for the arts will recognize the breadth and beauty of art and culture in our City of the Arts, and pay tribute to those that continue to inspire and guide St. Petersburg to its standing as an international arts destination.  Proceeds will benefit artists, arts education, and arts & cultural organizations through our Arts Alliance programs and services.

1. Steven Kenny — MUSE Visual Arts Award recognizes an artist or organization that has achieved excellence in the visual arts which include ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, glass-blowing, printmaking, design, crafts, photography, video, filmmaking and media arts.  


Steven Kenny’s oil paintings are reminiscent of the Old Masters while depicting a contemporary blending of the human figure with elements from nature.  During his 31-year artistic career, his paintings have been exhibited worldwide, garnered many awards, and can be found in private, corporate, and museum collections.  His home and studio are located in the newly established Artist Enclave of Historic Kenwood in St Petersburg.   Steven’s artwork, The Pinnacle is our featured poster. The Pinnacle depicts a moment of creative equilibrium. 

muse-city-theatre2. St. Petersburg City Theatre — MUSE Performance Arts Award recognizes an artist or organization that has achieved excellence in the performance art field to include music, dance, theater and/or interdisciplinary which is presented to an audience.

St. Petersburg City Theatre is a Classic Icon of Community Theatre. The oldest, continually operating community theatre in the state of Florida, City Theatre has set the bar for live community theatre excellence since 1925! City Theatre celebrated its 90th Anniversary in the fall of 2015 with a special exhibit on display at the St. Petersburg Museum of History. Commemorating this milestone, while turning the gaze toward the future, City Theatre remains committed to keeping the arts and arts education alive and in the community.

muse-pruitt3. J. Crayton Pruitt Foundation — MUSE Patron of the Arts Award recognizes an individual or couple who, with their time and treasure, generously supports charities, organizations, and/or individuals that work in or concern the arts.

The J. Crayton Pruitt Foundation, in honor of the late J. Crayton Pruitt, made a leadership gift to the Warehouse Arts District, enabling their board to purchase land and establish the ArtsXchange.  This transformational gift establishes the ArtsXchange, where artists and the arts they create will serve as a catalyst for economic and urban development.  “The J. Crayton Pruitt Foundation, along with many other organizations and individuals, is eager to support the exciting growth of St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay area. It is an honor given to my siblings and me by our father, Crayton Pruitt, to be able to help and encourage others through our foundation.  We are humbled to be recognized with this Muse Award and thrilled to be among such inspiring people so generous of spirit.”   -Helen Wallace, Natalie Judge, Crayton Pruitt, Jr.

muse-mcdole4.  Maureen McDole — MUSE Literary Arts Award recognizes an artist or organization that has achieved excellence in the written word in fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose, print or digital formats.

Maureen McDole is the author of two poetry books, “Exploring My Options” and “Longing for the Deep End.”

In 2013 she co-founded Keep St. Pete Lit, which celebrates and promotes greater St. Petersburg’s literary community – past, present and future – through arts, education and events with a literary twist. “We are readers, writers and lovers of words who strive to bring an approachable, engaging literary component to St. Petersburg’s vibrant arts community.”  

Maureen states, “I believe wholeheartedly in the power of literature to save the world. This inspired me to co-found Keep St. Pete Lit as a vehicle to spread literary love around our community. It inspires me to put pen to page and write everyday. Reading and writing saves lives; I know because it saved mine. If Keep St. Pete Lit can be a catalyst to creativity and healing in people’s lives through literature, what’s better than that?

muse-laford5.  Ya La’ford — MUSE Arts Ambassador Award recognizes a beloved St. Petersburg artist (of any discipline) who is a stellar representative of the “City of the Arts” to the world.

Ya La’ford is a professor, visual painter, installation artist, muralist and community advocate.  In her practice, she explores human interconnectivity, community, evidence, and manipulation.  Her artistic practice is a quest to find a universal language, a true community advocate that merges her art practice to impact and creates community change.    Most recently her artwork was included in Miami Art Basel, Harlem Art Flux; Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum; An 85-foot mural in a tunnel for the Shine Mural Festival, Asia Contemporary and Jamaica Biennial, and the Tropicana Stadium in collaboration with Rays Up for kids.

Happy Hour with the Historian Returns With A Bigger and Better Season 4

happy-hour-with-the-historianIf only high school history classes were this much fun.

Happy Hour with the Historian – the St. Petersburg Museum of History’s successful lecture series which feature an evening of wine, words and wisdom – kicks off its 2016 season Thursday, January 14 with Shipwrecks and Sunken Secrets – an  underwater journey discovering treasure in shipwrecks around Florida’s coastline.

Held six times a year, this season’s Happy Hour with the Historian topics range from Tampa Bay’s mafia connections, to the story of Jack Kerouac and The Beat Generation in the Burg, to St. Pete’s rich yachting historic past.  

The 2016 Happy Hour with the Historian schedule:

– January 14, 2016 – Ellen Gerth:  Shipwrecks and Sunken Secrets
– March 10, 2016 – Charles Fountain: The Inside Story on Spring Training
– May 12, 2016 –  Barbara Watson: From Havana to Morgan, St. Pete’s Yachting Past
– July 14, 2016 – Jon Tallon: Beats in the Burg – A Story of Jack Kerouac
– Sept 8, 2016 – Scott Deitche: Cigar City Mafia
– Nov 10, 2016 – Dick Crippen: Rowdies to the Rays – Evolution of Tampa Bay Sports

Presented by Green, Henwood & Hough, an RBC Wealth Management group, eachHappy Hour installment features a full cocktail cash bar and an opportunity to meet the speaker.

“With the help of RBC Wealth Management, the Museum of History is once again able to present an impressive slate of entertaining authors and historians in a fun and laid back atmosphere,” Museum Executive Director Rui Farias said.

Happy Hour with the Historian begins at 6:30pm and admission is a $5 suggested donation. Museum of History members are admitted free and receive reserved seating.  

The St. Petersburg Museum of History – celebrating its 94th year – is located at 335 2nd Avenue NE on the approach to The Pier. For more information, please call 727.894.1052 or visit www.spmoh.org.

Do you want your yard to be a Florida Yard?

turf-grassIt is not about turfgrass anymore!!! Less grass is better. Be the cool homeowner by installing native plants in your yard. Every homeowner can Floridify their yard and reduce pollution runoff by following a few key guidelines.

1. Use Turfgrass Only Where Needed for Pets or Play Areas

– Use Florida friendly trees, shrubs and groundcovers to reduce turfgrass in your yard.
– Match the right plants to the right places in your yard.
– Expand your landscape beds and reduce the time spent mowing your yard.

2. Use Water Wisely

– Don’t water until you can see footprints in your lawn and the leaves of your plants are starting to curl.
– Don’t water when rain is expected or immediately after it rains.
– Place an inexpensive rain gauge in an open are so you can track the amount of rain falling on your yard and the amount of water used for irrigation.
– Supervise your sprinklers to make sure that the heads aren’t broken and that the water is spraying on your lawn and not the street.
– When you irrigate, it is better to give the landscape at least 1/2 to 3/4 inches of water so that turfgrass and plants put down deep roots.

3. Reduce or Eliminate Fertilizers

– Remember that there is a ban on use of fertilizer for turfgrass in ALL areas of Pinellas County between June 1 and September 30.
– When you fertilize your lawn, use a fertilizer with slow-release nitrogen and no phosphorous.
– Clean up fertilizer that lands on sidewalks, driveways or roadways. Blow it back on to your yard.
– Remember to keep fertilizer at least 10 feet away from surface water and the edge of a seawall.

4. Reduce or Eliminate Pesticides

– The No. 1 rule for pest control is to know what insects are infiltrating your territory before you start applying pesticides.
– Many insects in Florida are helpful, such as ladybugs and spiders.
– There are a variety of non-toxic horticultural soaps and sprays that keep harmful plant insects under control without using poison.

Check out the following web site for more information, including Florida Friendly Products and Landscape Services: http://befloridian.org/floridifying/ City staff thanks every resident for their support in reducing pollution to the Bay.

Information from the City of St. Pete Beach.

Disney and Dali Coming to The Dali Museum

This immersive and enriching multi-media exhibition will tell the story of the unlikely alliance between two of the most renowned artists of the twentieth century: brilliantly eccentric Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dali and American entertainment innovator Walt Disney.

Presented through a multimedia wonderland of original paintings, story sketches, conceptual artwork, objects, correspondences, archival film, photographs, and audio – this comprehensive exhibition showcases two vastly different icons who were drawn to each other through their unique personalities, their collaboration on the animated short Destino – which, regrettably to both Disney and Dali was never completed during their lifetimes – and their enduring friendship.


Born three years and half a world apart, both Disney and Dali bore boyhood imaginations grounded in their upbringing in the 1900s, encouraging their lives, careers, and legacies to be paralleled on a profound level. A deeper look into the lives and artistic prominence of the Surrealist and the dreamer—highlighted by hand-written letters and alongside filmed dramatizations and audio re-creations—will show just how alike these two innovators were in blurring the lines between reality and dreams.

“Disney and Dali heralds a new era in art exhibitions,” said Dali Museum Executive Director, Hank Hine. “Visitors can expect a multi-sensory environment of moving image, soundscapes, and the transformative aura of exquisite individual paintings. Disney and Dali broke new ground as artists—the Walt Disney Family Museum and The Dali will deliver a brave new world of experience.”

Exhibit Features

Admission: The Disney exhibit is included in the price of admission.

Audio Guides: FREE audio guides developed for the Disney exhibit are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Educational Program Events: We are offering a host of relevant programs for the Disney exhibit covering a wide range of topics to engage the mind. For an active list of upcoming lectures, films and other special programs, please visit our Calendar of Events.

Members: FREE, unlimited admission to the Disney exhibit. Join Today!

Private Tours: We offer private tours for the Disney exhibit—with advanced reservations—in English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Italian. To learn more or to schedule your tour, please contact groups@thedali.org.

Photography: Photography in the Disney exhibit is not permitted; non-flash photography is permitted in the permanent collection gallery.

Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination is co-organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum and The Dali Museum, with the collaboration of the Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation in Figueres, Spain, and The Walt Disney Studios. The exhibition is guest-curated by filmmaker Ted Nicolaou.

Pre-Order your tickets today at TheDali.org.

Corey Avenue Update

jackies-logoThe Corey area is turning into a food court, bounded by the best Thai & Sushi in town and ‘Little Italy’ two blocks to the north. Jackie’s Bistro & Jazz Club expanded this summer, adding an adjacent Martuni Lounge. Brunch at Jackie’s is all the craze with an all you can eat gourmet buffet from 9-2 and bottomless Mimosas from 11-2, all for $19.

Tapz and Tapaz just opened on New Year’s eve where the Shell store was for 50 years. This new concept combines craft brews with small plates, all under $7 in a hip design with unique decor, originally designed lights and furnishings. 

Chill has relocated onto the Corey Ave. district and their menu has even more creative dishes!  Mmmmm!

The old German Bakery location at 595 Corey Ave. is one of the newer Italian restaurants, A Slice of New York, offering indoor dining, takeout and delivery from 11am until 4 am, 7 days a week. Craig Munroe, owner of  Slice of New York is busy retrofitting the old Chill location into a ‘Cajun Bar-b-que’. 

The Corey Market is on Sundays from 10 am – 2 pm unless pre-empted by a weekend Art Festival like Jan. 9-10 and the first weekends of April, June & December. The new owners at Beach Memorial Chapel, Dignity Memorial are holding free luncheon seminars to introduce planning for Celebrations of Life and  freezing the high cost of saying goodbye.

Corey Corners is now a property law office, Anderson & Broderson, P.A. Coastal Properties has opened a new realty office next door to Annabels. Two title companies are located on Corey too. Fidelity National Title is now open where Chicago Title used to be at 595 Corey Ave. Paramount Title is also open next to Keller Williams Realty, across from the post office.

Cheryl West, proprietor of Paradise Gifts has opened another store across the street. Paradise Lights houses her expanded line of decor and furnishings.

Corey is totally pet friendly too! Welcome Brook Bickford, new owner at Gone to the Dogs Boutique & Grooming, LLC, 310 Corey Ave., where you can have your pet groomed any day of the week. Also, meet Tiffany Rimar, the new hollistic vet in town, an amazing doctor for your special friend. See the July issue for a feature story about Dr. Rimar, visit www.myzenvet.com or call 727-360-5700. 

Events and more, visit www.CoreyAve.com.

Barry Manilow Donates New Yamaha Piano Once More to Kick Off New Music Instrument Drive for McLane Middle School

barry-manilowLegendary singer-songwriter Barry Manilow is “hitting the road” ONE LAST TIME! and hopes others will follow his philanthropic lead as he brings his Manilow Music Project to the McLane Middle School in Tampa. The pop icon plans to donate a Yamaha piano to launch a local instrument drive during his ONE LAST TIME! Tour. Anyone who brings a donation of a new or gently used musical instrument at the McDonald’s® Ticket Office at AMALIE Arena will receive two free tickets (valid for pre-selected seat locations) for Manilow’s February 4, 2016 concert at AMALIE Arena.

The Manilow Music Project has conducted music instrument drives all over the country to assist local schools with their music programs.

“I’m thrilled to once again bring the gift of music to these kids,” added Manilow.

The McDonald’s® Ticket Office at AMALIE Arena will serve as the base for the instrument drive in Tampa from January 28th through February 4th. The instrument drop off location is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Saturdayfrom 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

For more information, hours and contact numbers, click here

“We know the importance of music for every student in our schools. We are thrilled to receive this generous donation of musical instruments from Barry Manilow and The Manilow Music Project. It will expand our program for more students and allow them to share in the gift of music,” said Superintendent Jeff Eakins, Hillsborough County Public Schools.

The Manilow Music Project (MMP) is part of The Manilow Fund for Health and Hope.  It was formed as a grass roots organization to assist local charities and programs.  Its primary focus is to provide musical instruments to high schools and middle schools and to provide music scholarships at universities throughout the US, Canada, and the UK. More information on the Manilow Music Project can be found at http://www.manilowmusicproject.org/.

ONE LAST TIME! Tour is a co-production of BRE Presents and STILETTO Entertainment.

Arts & Theater Tidbits January 2016

Saturday, January 9th, Ringling College Presents Nature in Glass from the Basch Collection, (photo below) which will deliver a stunning display of artworks from a selection of world renowned glass artists. The exhibition will consist of more than two dozen works exploring and reflecting on the natural world, showcased in the on-campus Basch Gallery. Basch Gallery, on the 1st floor of the Academic Center, 2363 Old Bradenton Rd, on the campus of the Ringling College of Art and Design.For more info, visit www.ringling.edu/galleries or call 941-359-7562.  Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS and unveils the unbelievable to children of all ages in an all-new show. Legendary circus artists from around the globe perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder. Join us for an unforgettable family night of legendary proportions at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS at AMALIE Arena from January 6-10. For more info and tickets, visit www.Ringling.com or call 813-301-2500. 

The New Music Conflagration, Inc., in conjunction with local sponsors, is proud to present the 1st Annual Florida International Toy Piano Festival, a celebration of the toy piano, which seeks to further the creation and performance of works for the instrument. This festival will take place January 8-10, and features five concerts across St. Petersburg, Tampa  and Pinellas Park; as well as three interactive public lectures and forums in St. Petersburg and Tampa. For more info, visit www.thenewmusicconflagration.org or call 813-618-7639. 

arts-allianceThe St. Petersburg Arts Alliance is proud to announce that it has established an arts endowment fund at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay to support St. Petersburg’s arts and cultural non-profits. The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the Arts Alliance will seek gifts to the endowment fund.  The endowment will generate annual earnings that the City’s Arts Advisory Committee may award to arts and cultural non-profits through the established grant award process. For more info, visit www.stpeteartsalliance.org, or call 727-518-5142. 

Newly-curated collection by artist legend, Peter Max’s exquisite paintings will be on exhibition and available for acquisition in a presentation at SydEntel Galleries, Safety Harbor’s premier fine art gallery. Peter Max will make two very special appearances at the gallery. Previews will begin Friday, January 15th with a Preview Party, 6-8pm, and two scheduled “Meet the Artist” receptions Friday, January 22nd, 6-9 pm & Saturday, January 23rd from 2-5 pm.  For more info, call 727-725-1808 or visit www.sydentelgalleries.com.

The 12th Annual Eckerd College Writers Conference: Writers in Paradise has announced the lineup of award-winning authors for its popular Evening Reading Series. The free series kicks off Saturday, January 16th with a reading by Gilbert King. Series closes January 23 with a reading and talk by New York Times best-selling author and Eckerd College graduate Dennis Lehane, co-founder of the conference. All readings are in Miller Auditorium at Eckerd College and begin at 8pm, followed immediately by author signings. The eight-day conference will run January 16-23 on the campus of Eckerd College, 4200 54th Ave S in St. Petersburg. For more info, visit www.eckerd.edu or call 727-867-1166. 

Nan Colton, critically acclaimed performing-artist-in-residence at the Museum of Fine Arts will portray Mrs. Thomas Edison at Pass-A-Grille Beach Community Church on Tuesday, January 26th at 2pm. The church is located at 107 16th Ave., St. Pete Beach. For more info, call 727-360-5508 or visit www.pagchurch.org.

St. Petersburg’s Arts Alliance presents the Third Annual Muse Awards on Friday, January 29th at the Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Dr. NE in St. Petersburg, at 7pm.  The St. Petersburg’s third annual fundraising benefit for the arts will recognize the breadth and beauty of art and culture in our City of the Arts, and pay tribute to those that continue to inspire and guide St. Petersburg to its standing as an international arts destination. For more info, visit www.stpeteartsalliance.org or call 727-518-5142.  

Garden Club of St. Petersburg, 500 Sunset Dr. S in St. Petersburg, is offering some fun events during the month of January, including Creative Crafts: “Crystal Pendants” on Monday, January 4th at 10am. Following that event is “Artistic Crafts in the Flower Show” on Tuesday, January 12th at 1pm. There are also great events on January 14th, January 21st and January 28th. For more info on the Club’s events this month, please visit www.gardenclubstpetersburg.org or call 727-381-8920. 

St. Petersburg College Heissler Organ Concert Series Presents Michael T. C. Hey on Friday, January 15th at 7:30pm. Michael Hey, assistant organist at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC and the “papal organist” during the Pope’s recent visit to the US, makes his second appearance upon the Music Center stage of St. Petersburg College, 6605 5th Ave. N, St. Petersburg. For more info, call 727-341-4360 or visit www.spcollege.edu.

The winter offering from the St. Petersburg Opera Company will be Mozart’s homage to the Turkish craze of the early 19th century, The Abduction from the Seraglio. The antics in the harem will be on February 5, 7, & 9, The Palladium Theatre, 253 5th Ave N, St. Petersburg. For more info and tickets, visit www.stpeteopera.org or call 727-823-2040.

St. Petersburg’s “Royal Family” of 57 Queens and 401 Princesses continues the legacy at the 58th Annual Queen of Hearts Ball benefitting Clothes to Kids, Inc. PARC. This fantastic event will take place on Saturday, February 27th at Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park, 960 Carillon Dr. For reservations and more info, call 727-520-0286 or email Co55starr@aol.com.

Adopt-a-Tree from Pinellas County Extension

adopt-a-treePinellas County residents are invited to give a tree a home this year in celebration of Florida Arbor Day. On Saturday, Jan. 23, residents can attend the inaugural Adopt-a-Tree event at the UF/IFAS Extension in Pinellas County at 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo. 

Adopt-a-Tree will include lectures and hands-on classes taught by UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County horticultural agents to educate attendees about choosing, planting and maintaining new trees for their yards. Those who attend will be able to take home trees selected to thrive in yards and landscapes found in Pinellas County. The trees will be provided by Sweet Bay Nursery, located in Parrish.

Check-in for the Adopt-a-Tree program will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. The schedule will include the following classes and lectures:

– What Trees Provide for Us: 9 to 9:30 a.m.
– Putting a Tree in the Right Place and Fun Tree Facts: 9:30 to 10 a.m.
– Initial Planting and Tree Care: 10:15 to 11 a.m.
– After Care and Maintenance: 11 to 11:15 a.m.

Anyone interested in attending the Adopt-a-Tree classes can pre-register online athttp://www.eventbrite.com/e/adopt-a-tree-tickets-18963354905. Admission is $10. You can email questions about the event on the Eventbrite page or call (727) 582-2100 for more information.

UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County is a partnership between Pinellas County government and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences as part of a nationwide network of land grant universities. The University of Florida is an equal-access/equal-opportunity institution. 

The mission of UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County is to provide research-based knowledge and education programs enabling people to make practical decisions to improve their quality of life and the world around them. Education focuses on sustainable living, lawn and garden, families and consumers, and 4-H youth development.

UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County offers programming at the Extension office, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, (727) 582-2100. The Largo office is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County also offers programming at the Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs, (727) 453-6800 and at the Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg, (727) 453-6500. For more information, visit www.pinellascountyextension.org and find Pinellas Extension on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Pinellas County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in an event or class you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. At least seven days prior to the event or class, please contact the Office of Human Rights, 400 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Suite 500, Clearwater, FL 33756, (727) 464-4062 (Voice/TDD).

A video about many of these programs can be found at www.youtube.com/pcctv1.

The Pinellas County “Doing Things for You” app is available for residents to report issues and access useful resources. Pinellas County can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. More information is available on the county websitewww.pinellascounty.org which features LiveChat for assistance.