culture

Courtesy of Seraphic Fire

For vocal students, the transition from college to professional choirs can feel impossible. Miami's only professional choral ensemble is working to change that this summer.

Sometimes all it takes for love to blossom is a chance encounter — or a murder and a mystery. This month, I've picked three books that prove love finds a way, no matter the circumstances of a first meeting or the reasons couples are stuck together. When sparks are flying and hearts and minds are open, there's no stopping these happily ever afters.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Anyone who's spent any time in the Florida Keys knows the local symbol is the conch (pronounced konk) shell. The island chain is the Conch Republic. People who were born there are Conchs. It’s the Key West High School sports mascot.

So why, in front of Key West City Hall, is there a proud giant statue of … a tiger?

Donald Hall, a former poet laureate of the United States whose writing explored everything from nature to mortality to the toss of a baseball, has died at the age of 89.

Hall died on Saturday at his family farm, known as Eagle Pond, in the small town of Wilmot, N.H. His death was announced by his literary agent, Wendy Strothman.

Hall was a prolific author who began writing when he was just 12 years old. Over the course of a career that spanned more than seven decades, he wrote over 40 books, about half of which were works of poetry.

Screenshot/MakeMusicDay.org

All of Miami will be dropping beats Thursday.

    

The city is marking the longest day of the year – officially the summer solstice – with a lineup of free musical performances. 

Make Music Miami is joining the worldwide celebration Make Music Day, which began in Paris in 1982 as Fête de la Musique. More than 800 cities in 120 countries carry on the spirit of the day – that all musicians can play in public spaces.

Right around dawn Sunday, an unidentified person stole into an art exhibition space in Toronto. Encased in a sweatshirt, with hands in armpits and face obscured by a camouflage cap, the dark-dressed lurker slinked into a room lined with works by Banksy.

Courtesy of Lynn Lavner

Thanks to my father’s late-life nostalgia, last summer my family reconnected with a woman we’d known back in Brooklyn decades ago who’d gone on to live a remarkable life. Her name is Lynn Lavner, and it turns out, she’d been living under 10 miles away from my parents’ place in south Florida for years. It also turns out that in the decades since we’d seen her, she’d become a pioneering crusader in the movement for equal rights for the LGBTQ community.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

People in the Florida Keys are still picking up property that got blown around by Hurricane Irma - and the Monroe County sheriff’s office is looking to return one special item that just turned up.

Hurricane Irma moved a lot of things around underwater off the Florida coast. And the storm has revealed new evidence of an old shipwreck off the Florida Keys.

When my brother, sister, and I were growing up, our dinner conversation would inevitably turn scatological at some point, the grosser the better: A kid puked on the teacher's desk, another tracked in dog poop. "Must we talk about this at dinner?" our mother would protest. To which we would answer, "When else are we supposed to talk about it?"

Haitian Americans Joshua Jean Baptiste and Edson Jean grew up without any characters on screen that they felt accurately portrayed their Haitian background. So the South Florida natives decided to make a show of their own.

Updated at 12:50 a.m. ET

Philip Roth, whose novel American Pastoral won a Pulitzer in 1998 but who was best-known for the controversial and explicit 1969 Portnoy's Complaint, has died at age 85.

Roth's biographer Blake Bailey, who confirmed his death to NPR, says the author was surrounded by friends and family.

For decades, one of the most popular exhibits at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West was "lift a gold bar." Until eight years ago — when two men lifted it. As in stole it.

Fifty years after his LOVE painting made Robert Indiana a sensation, the artist has died at the age of 89.

Indiana's two-row rendering of the word, with its tilted "O," became one of the most recognizable works of modern art in the world. The famous design emerged from deep influences in Indiana's life, from his early exposure to religion to his father's career.

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