When Jane Chu was growing up in Arkansas, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, she remembers that her parents liked bok choy while she liked corn dogs. They spoke Mandarin and "book English," and that, she says, could only go so far when her father died when she was nine-years-old. But she played piano, and she says music is where she found a way to express emotions where words fell short.

Chu believes strongly in the ability of the arts to transform individuals, communities and the overall economy. 

John Walther / Miami Herald staff

Much has been written about the close bonds forged between Jews and African-Americans in Miami in the 1950s at the start of the civil rights movement.  But a more complex, conflicted side of that relationship has fired the imagination of local novelist Joan Lipinsky Cochran.  

Daniel Ducassi

At a time when investors are paying record prices for land in Wynwood, real estate broker and developer David Lombardi is choosing not to build on his Wynwood properties.


There are more than 60 different conventions for comic book collectors, anime and Cosplay enthusiasts, toy collectors and science fiction fans in the state of Florida every year. They are relatively small affairs, nothing close to the mega-events such as Comic-Con International in San Diego, which attracts more than 100,000 fans annually.

After last year’s legislative session, Florida failed to secure the tax incentive money it needed to lure more movie and television projects to the Sunshine State.

But things could change in 2015. And Palm Beach County lawmakers want to play a starring role in replenishing those funds.

Phyllis Rose

Key West’s literary community was already gathered over the weekend for the annual Literary Seminar when they learned they had lost one of their own. Novelist Robert Stone died Saturday in Key West. He was 77.

Keith Douglas

In Broward County, it looks like a matter of “no dollars, no divas.”

South Florida’s premiere opera company says lack of funds might soon bring down the curtain on its Fort Lauderdale performances. 

Alicia Zuckerman

The museum director who helped usher in one of the most significant changes in South Florida's arts scene is leaving the Sunshine State to return to his roots.

Thom Collins is giving up his position as director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) to lead the acclaimed Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Abhi Sharma / Flickr CC

As the year winds down, some of us find ourselves with some extra time off and maybe a little more time to read over the next few days. So we asked Miami Herald book editor Connie Ogle to tell us about some of her favorite books of 2014.

The Herald put together a top 10 list. Click here to see it.