South Florida knows how to throw a party. And it better, considering how important hospitality is to the regional economy. From conferences and conventions to fairs and festivals, the event business picks up as temperatures up north drop. Some are for out-of-towners exclusively, others celebrate South Florida for South Floridians.
To get a sense of the economics and local emotions involved, The Sunshine Economy spoke with the driving forces behind four big events that dot the South Florida map.
From the opening pages of poet Richard Blanco’s refreshing memoir, “The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood,” it’s clear that you’re not wandering Calle Ocho in one of those nostalgic, Little Havana paradises that so many Cuban-American chronicles try to recreate.
Instead, you’re wandering a Winn Dixie in Westchester.
Say you walk into an office building. On the reception desk is a nice, lush, green-leafed plant with white dots on it. You think, “how nice and outdoorsy.”
Chances are it's a deathly, toxic plant called a "dumb cane."
That's one of the tidbits included in Michael Largo's most recent publication, "The Big, Bad Book of Botany." It’s an encyclopedia-style book about botany sprinkled with surprising, funny and historical tales of plants.
Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 5:57 pm
The National Book Awards shortlists — for fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature — were announced October 15 on Morning Edition by Mitchell Kaplan, co-founder of Miami Book Fair International and former president of the American Booksellers Association. On November 18, finalists for the National Book Awards read from their nominated works at The New School in New York City. The National Book Foundation will announce the winners Wednesday night. Read more about each of the finalists — and hear the authors read from their works — below.
Libraries are no longer just about the books. On Monday afternoon, that was the main point at a Knight Foundation-sponsored discussion about the future of libraries.
Libraries are exploratory labs for potential startups, spaces for interactive education and in some states, home to community gardens. These were among some of the examples at a luncheon in downtown Miami on how libraries across the nation are looking toward the future.
Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 1:31 pm
Comics and graphic books are flourishing these days — writers and illustrators are taking on increasingly sophisticated topics and children's authors are finding just the right balance between naughty and nice. But a number of the books have come under fire from critics who would like to see them banned from schools and libraries. That's why comics and graphic books are the focus of this year's Banned Books Week, an annual event that calls attention to challenged titles.
A program in Miami-Dade County that gives kids and parents free books to keep and read together is in the midst of a big push for donations.
The Read to Learn Books for Free programis having trouble keeping up with demand. The program distributes 3,000 books at more than 30 locations around the county every week in an effort to increase literacy among some of the county's most vulnerable children.
07/02/14 - On Wednesday’s Topical Currents we’ll sit for a spell with Mitchell Kaplan, founder of Books & Books and co-founder of the Miami Book Fair International. He’ll tell us how he has become one of the country’s most successful independent booksellers and about his plans to venture into publishing. We’ll also get his recommendations for a good summer read. Join us and call in with your own suggestions on the next Topical Currents, Wednesday at 1pm.