Arts & Culture

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

An international, but temporary, art installation is taking shape on the shore of Key West.

The International Sand Art competition winds up Saturday, with judging scheduled for the afternoon.

Kenya Downs / For WLRN

The island nation of Trinidad and Tobago boasts one of the world's largest carnivals. Dating back to 1783, the pre-Lenten celebration blends French, African and Indian cultures, all leading up to two days of masquerading, also called “playing mas.”

And unlike its South American counterpart in Brazil, anyone can take to the streets in a glitzy, colorful costume, dancing through Port of Spain to the sounds of sweet soca music.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

As soon as the fourth and fifth graders at Natural Bridge Elementary were handed the lyrics to "Amazing Grace," they were ready to sing out.

But first, they needed a lesson in the four voice types of a choir – bass, tenor, alto and soprano.

One by one members of the group added their part while the students waited to sing the melody. Finally, it was time to add soprano Sara Guttenberg.

“I really hope she sings the melody,” tenor Patrick Muehleise told the kids.

The students are ready. They join in before the conductor gives them their cue.

State Archives of Florida

What does Cyrus Teed have in common with people like Marjorie Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway, Henry Flagler and Juan Ponce de Leon? 

He was not from Florida. But he came to Florida, like the names listed above, and left an indelible mark on the state's history. 

The first thing you should know about Teed is that he was likely a lunatic. Or so thought many of the people who challenged him in the 19th and early 20th century. And by challenging, I mean people who wanted to fight, sue or even kill Teed.

Richard Blanco's poem for President Obama's second inauguration, "One Today," just came out as a children's book, with illustrations by Captain Underpants creator Dav Pilkey (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers).

Blanco is a poet and a civil engineer and says in the right brain/left brain equation, he uses both sides in equal measure. He recently spent some time with us talking about his own childhood. 

James Profetto / WLRN

  Pompano Beach has a new cultural center, in a home that has had roots in the city since the 1920s.

The Ali house was once a welcoming place to many African-American performers and musicians during segregation.

Laura Rawlings, daughter of the late Florence and Frank Ali, mentioned times when her mother’s room would be occupied by Ella Fitzgerald or Louis Armstrong.

“It just brings back memories of my mom and how I used to be sneaking in here — her room,” says Rawlings.

Knight Blog

The Knight Foundation is letting South Floridians decide where their arts funding should go. 

The foundation provides funding to arts programs across the country. Each year it hosts an arts challenge based in South Florida in which local art projects compete for money.

For the past four years, the foundation has used a crowd-sourcing effort to give some of the finalists an extra financial boost.

There are four finalists for this year's Knight Foundation’s Arts Challenge "People’s Choice Awards".

John O'Connor / WLRN

Last spring, Miami-Dade students at 10 schools planted new food forests -- large gardens filled with kale, tomatoes, passion fruit and more.

Some of those crops are ready now, and giving away what’s grown in the garden has become a big weekly event.

At Twin Lakes Elementary School  in Hialeah, students listen as their teacher tells them how to find a sweet potato.

“So this is the leaf we’re looking for," she tells them. "You follow the vine to the root. And then you harvest your sweet potato. OK?”

Turkish Airlines Builds World’s Tallest Sand Castle

Oct 27, 2015
Audrey Armitage / For WLRN

Turkish Airlines unveiled its successful attempt to break the world record for tallest sand castle Monday at Historic Virginia Key Beach. The event was intended to promote the start of Turkish Airlines’ direct flight service from Miami to Istanbul, which began Sunday.

Turkish Airlines Chairman Ilker Ayci said the project reflects the optimism and success he sees in Miami, and “shows the innovative capacity and creative capacity of the people.”

The future is, literally, now, at least in the Back to the Future universe: Oct. 21, 2015.

The sequel of the 1985 classic has time-traveling Marty McFly ogling at all kinds of cool things that the creators imagined we'd have by now.

John O'Connor / WLRN

Students at two Miami elementary schools got a lesson in singing together from choral group Seraphic Fire Friday.

The group is based in Miami but performs all over the country. It is providing music classes in local schools this year.

Most students at North Miami’s Natural Bridge Elementary had never sung an Israeli folk song before. Some are just learning English.

But Seraphic Fire singer James Bass had more than 100 students belting out the words to “Zum Gali Gali.”

Earlier this month, Wal-Mart trumpeted that it had beaten a goal it set five years ago: to open at least 275 stores in food deserts by 2016. That targeted expansion into "neighborhoods without access to fresh affordable groceries" came as part of the retailer's "healthier food initiative," lauded by — and launched with — First Lady Michelle Obama in 2011.

How One Family Is Bringing Steel Pan Back

Oct 8, 2015
Lisann Ramos / WLRN

Henry Potter was a 10-year-old in the Virgin Islands when he was first captivated by a noise from a churchyard.

He remembers:

“I’m like, ‘What is that ting-ting-ting?’ so I looked in and I saw kids playing and I watched them. The next day I went back. And probably about the third day, the guy who was in charge of the band, he asked me, ‘Do you wanna play?’ I’m like scared but I said yes. He said, “Well no problem, you can come, you can come and learn to play.’”

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