Photos Courtesy of The Cornell Fine Arts Museum


"Afrotopia" by Stacy Robinson (2015)


"Linen Market, Dominica" by Agostino Brunias (1780)

"Patience" by Whitfield Lovell (2004)

"Patience" by Whitfield Lovell (2004)

An Exploration of Art and Black Identity

Three exhibits at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum on the campus of Rollins College deal in different ways with African-Americans and the visual arts. One exhibit, AfroFantastic: Black Imagination and Agency in the American Experience, features fantastic and futuristic works created by black artists from the 1850s to the 1970.

Two other exhibits are more directly related to one another: The Black Figure in European Imagery explores historic depictions of blackness by European artists, while Reclaiming the Past, offers more contemporary — and contrasting — images of African-Americans.

AfroFantastic, which runs January 14 through April 2,
was curated by Rollins students under the direction of Julian Chambliss, professor of history and chair of the college’s Department of History.

Says Ena Heller, director of the Cornell: “We’re proud to present this exhibit not only because it explores a timely topic — the intersection between black identity, experience and imagination — but also because it reflects the voices of Rollins faculty and students in collaboration with our museum.”

AfroFantastic relates specifically to Chambliss’ field of scholarship, which is urban history. “The idea of the imaginary landscape as a space of contestation, negotiation and reconciliation is a defining concern,” he says.

Adds Chambliss: “Weaving together these pieces of black imagery offers a chance for my students — and the public — to consider how the African-American struggle to achieve equality has continually intersected with a broader narrative of societal evolution.”

The Black Figure in European Imagery, which runs January 14 through May 14, explores the manner in which black people were depicted by European artists from about 1750 to 1914.

The exhibit is co-curated by Susan Libby, a Rollins professor of art history, and Adrienne L. Childs, an art historian affiliated with the Hutchins Center for African-American Research at Harvard University.

In contrast to racist caricatures of African-Americans often found in American visual art of the period, black people — although still socially marginalized — were often portrayed as beautiful, alluring and romantic by European artists.

Reframing the Picture, Reclaiming the Past, which runs January 14 through April 2, addresses some of the themes and concepts presented in The Black Figure.

It consists of contemporary works, and offers “a historical dialogue” between the two exhibits, according to Heller. Libby, whose current research focuses on visual representations of French Caribbean slavery, curated Reframing the Picture along with her students.

The Cornell, which overlooks Lake Virginia, has more than 5,000 objects in its collection, and is the only local museum to own works by European Old Masters. Its Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art is shown both at the museum and at the nearby Alfond Inn, a boutique hotel owned by Rollins.

Courtesy of alumni philanthropist Dale Mongomery, admission to the museum is free. 407-646-2526.

— Randy Noles


What: AfroFantastic: Black Imagination and Agency in the American Experience (January 14-April 2); The Black Figure in European Imagery (January 14-May 14); and Reframing the Picture, Reclaiming the Past (January 14-April 2).

Where: The Cornell Fine Arts Museum on the campus of Rollins College

Notes: Three new exhibits explore imaginative and futuristic works by African-American artists, as well as contrasting depictions of black people by European artists in the “long 19th century” (1750-1914) and by more contemporary artists from around the world.

Admission: Free

Information: 407-646-2525 or


Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. This 54-year-old lakeside museum is dedicated to preserving the works of Polasek, the famed Czech sculptor for whom it was both home and studio for more than a decade. While focused on Polasek’s sculptures, the museum also features the work of internationally renowned artists in all mediums. An exhibit of paintings by Frantz Zephirin, one of Haiti’s leading contemporary artists, runs through April 16. Related programming includes a free (and family friendly) Haitian Mardi Gras-themed open house on February 26. A lecture and guided tour by Rachel Walton, digital archivist at Rollins College, of another exhibit related to the Caribbean island republic, Haitian Culture through the Lens of Art History, is slated for March 14. The museum also offers tours of the adjacent Capen-Showalter House on Wednesdays and Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students and free for children. 633 Osceola Ave., Winter Park. 407-647-6294.

Art & History Museums – Maitland. The Maitland Art Center, one of five museums anchoring the city’s Cultural Corridor, was founded as an art colony in 1937 by visionary American sculptor, painter and architect André Smith. The center offers exhibits and classes at its Maitland campus, located at 231 W. Packwood Ave. The complex is the Orlando area’s only National Historic Landmark, and one of the few surviving examples of Mayan Revival architecture in the Southeast. From January 14 to May 8, four artists-in-residence return to the center to showcase their work in three exhibits under the umbrella title Meditations, Mapping and Memories: Sharon Lee Hart, Marie Yoho Dorsey, Masha Ryskin and Serge Marchetta. Starting in March, other contemporary artists from across the U.S. converge on the center to create new works and engage the public in the creative process through a series of exhibits and art happenings known as Art31: Borrowed Light — Stephen Knapp, Deanna Morse, Nathan Selikoff & C.R. Barnett. The program kicks off March 3, and the work is on display through April 16. The Cultural Corridor also includes the Maitland Historical Museum and the Telephone Museum, both at 221 W. Packwood Ave. On display at the main museum through February 10 is Historic Threads, which examines the significance of fabric — for everything from clothing to furnishings — with examples of popular period fabrics. And completing the corridor’s lineup: The Waterhouse Residence Museum and the Carpentry Shop Museum, both built in the 1880s and located at 820 Lake Lily Drive. Through January 10, you can still catch Holidays at the Waterhouse and explore the fully decorated residence, built in 1884 by William Waterhouse as his family’s home. From March 10 through May 15, it’s Springtime at the Waterhouse, when the Victorian-era home is decked out for Easter and the new season. 407-539-2181.

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. With more than 19,000 square feet of gallery and public space, the museum houses the world’s most important collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany creations, including jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass and an entire chapel interior originally designed and built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. With the approach of its 75th anniversary in February, the Morse celebrates the breadth and depth of its collection, assembled by founders Hugh and Jeannette McKean, in Celebrating 75 Years — Pathways of American Art at the Morse Museum. The exhibit, which concludes January 21, includes portraits, landscape paintings, works on paper and pottery. Also in its final weeks, concluding January 29, is Arts and Crafts from the Morse Collection, which highlights objects that exemplify the Arts and Crafts movement. Continuing through September 24 is The Bride Elect: Gifts from the 1905 Wedding of Elizabeth Owens Morse, which features the original registry and some of the 250 gifts presented to the daughter of Charles Hosmer Morse and Martha Owens Morse by her family’s wealthy friends. Other ongoing exhibits include Revival and Reform: Eclecticism in the 19th-Century Environment, which encompasses two galleries and has as its centerpiece The Arts, a neoclassical window created by the J&R Lamb Studios, a prominent American glasshouse of the late 19th century. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $1 for students and free for children younger than 12. However, in celebration of the museum’s 75th anniversary, admission is free for everyone during the month of February. 445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park. 407-645-5311.

Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Located on the campus of Rollins College, the museum houses one of the oldest and most eclectic collections of fine art in Florida. Free weekend tours take place at 1 p.m. each Saturday at the campus facility and 1 p.m. each Sunday at the nearby Alfond Inn, which displays dozens of works from the museum’s Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art. Happy Hour art tours of the Alfond Collection are also conducted the first Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. On January 14, the museum opens a trio of related exhibits: The Black Figure in the European Imaginary (through May 14), which considers the manner in which the visual arts of Europe imagined black people during the “long” 19th century (1750-1914); Reframing the Picture, Reclaiming the Past (through April 2), in which contemporary art depicting the black body “talks back,” so to speak, to the historic works presented in the first exhibition; and AfroFantastic: Black Imagination and Agency in the American Experience (through April 2), which explores sociopolitical forces linked to the black imagination in the American experience from the 19th century to the present. Admission is free, courtesy of Dale Montgomery, Rollins class of 1960. 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park. 407-646-2526.

Crealdé School of Art. Established in 1975, this not-for-profit arts organization offers year-round visual-arts classes for all ages taught by more than 40 working artists. Continuing through January 7 is New Works from Crealdé’s Emerging Artist Program: Photography, Ceramics and Sculpture, in which creative up-and-comers display work produced during their fellowships at the school. Through January 16 is Spinning Yarn: Storytelling through Southern Art, which explores the power of visual storytelling through more than 50 works. (This two-venue exhibition also has works on display at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center.) Admission to Crealdé’s galleries is free, although there are fees for art classes. 600 St. Andrews Blvd., Winter Park. 407-671-1886.

Hannibal Square Heritage Center. Established in 2007 by the Crealdé School of Art in partnership with residents of Hannibal Square and the City of Winter Park, the center celebrates the city’s historically African-American west side with archival photographs, original artwork and oral histories from longtime residents. Through January 16 is Spinning Yarn: Storytelling through Southern Art, a two-venue exhibit shared with the Crealdé School of Art. Ongoing is the Hannibal Square Timeline, which documents significant local and national events in African-American history since the Emancipation Proclamation. Admission is free. 642 W. New England Ave., Winter Park. 407-539-2680.


Annie Russell Theatre. The next show at “The Annie,” the historic jewel-box of a theater on the campus of Rollins College, is A Piece of My Heart, by Shirley Lauro, a drama based on the true stories of six women who served in the Vietnam War. It runs February 17-25. Performances (intended for mature audiences) are at 8 p.m., with a 4 p.m. matinee on February 19, and a 2 p.m. matinee on February 25. Tickets are $20. The Second Stage Series, in the nearby Fred Stone Theater, features student-produced and student-directed plays. Upcoming is Constellations, by English playwright Nick Payne, a love story in which science and romance collide across time and space. It runs February 1-4 at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on February 4. Constellations is followed by God of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza, a French comedy (also intended for mature audiences) that examines conflict and maturity when two couples meet after their children have a playground confrontation. It runs February 8-11 at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on February 11. Admission to Second Stage shows is free to the public, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. 1000 Holt  Ave., Winter Park. 407-646-2145.

Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park. This volunteer-based organization bills itself as “Winter Park’s only community theater,” a non-Equity group that encourages self-expression through dance, music and theater. Upcoming are two shows that are part of the theater’s Breakthrough Cabaret series: The Songs of the Carpenters, January 6-8; and Best of Broadway (2006-2010), January 20 through February 13. Both shows are at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets range from $12 to $20. 419-A W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park. 407-920-4034.

Winter Park Playhouse. Winter Park’s only professional, not-for-profit theater continues its 2016-17 mainstage season with Why Do Fools Fall in Love?, about best friends grappling with age-old questions about love, marriage and the dating scene during an impromptu bachelorette party. The musical comedy, which runs January 20 through February 18, features pop hits from the 1960s. Shows are Wednesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m., with an assortment of 2 p.m. matinees that had not been scheduled at press time. Tickets range from $15 to $40. The theater’s Spotlight Cabaret Series also continues on January 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. with singer Natalie Cordone. Tickets are $20. 711 Orange Ave., Winter Park. 407-645-0145.


Pookie’s Pet RescueFest. This annual pet-adoption day and fundraiser for local nonprofit animal-rescue groups returns for its ninth year to Lake Lily Park in Maitland. The event, slated January 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., attracts dozens of rescue groups and thousands of pet lovers. In addition to adoptions, there’s a wealth of information offered by a wide variety of pet-oriented vendors, including trainers, sitters, boarders and veterinarians. 900 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland. 321-287-0390.

Unity Heritage Festival. Shady Park in Winter Park’s Hannibal Square neighborhood is the setting for this annual, two-day event spanning the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend to promote family history and raise funds for economically disadvantaged youth. The January 15 and 16 festival, from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, features live gospel music, dance, children’s games, food concessions, retail vendors, career booths and presentation of the annual Heritage Award. Admission is free. 721 W. New England Ave., Winter Park. 407-599-3334.

Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. Among the oldest, largest and most prestigious juried outdoor art festivals in the U.S., the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival celebrates its 58th year from March 17 through 19. The festival, which features about 225 artists selected from more than 1,000 applicants, draws an estimated 350,000 visitors to downtown’s Central Park over three days. Participating artists compete for dozens of awards with tens of thousands of dollars in prize money at stake. In addition to works in a variety of media — painting, sculpture, photography, graphics, fiber, leather, wood, glass and jewelry — there are kid-friendly activities in the Children’s Workshop Village and an exhibit of student art from Orange County public and private schools. There are also dozens of food and drink concessions and live entertainment by an array of bands, orchestras and other musical groups. Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. 407-644-7207.

Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities. This popular, weeklong series of events and exhibits, now in its 28th year, takes place mostly in Eatonville, where the author and folklorist spent much of her childhood. But there are also events in neighboring Maitland and at the University of Central Florida. Running January 20-29, the festival includes an opening gala dinner, an exhibition and reception at the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts, a daylong bus tour of Eatonville and the surrounding area, an evening program at UCF, an education day for students, and more — all leading to a three-day street party known as the Outdoor Festival of the Arts. Many events are free and open to the public. Zora Neale Hurston National Museum, 227 E. Kennedy Blvd., Eatonville. 407-647-3307.


Enzian. This cozy, not-for-profit alternative cinema offers a plethora of film series. Peanut Butter Matinee Family Films are shown on the fourth Sunday of each month at noon. Upcoming flicks include Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (January 22), The Last Starfighter (February 26) and Born Free (March 26). Tickets are free for children under 12; otherwise they’re $9 (or $8.50, if you’re an Enzian Film Society member). Saturday Matinee Classics are shown on the second Saturday of each month at noon. Upcoming are Young Frankenstein (January 14), It Happened One Night (February 11), and Tampopo (March 11). Tickets are $9. Cult Classics are shown on the second and last Tuesday of each month at 9:30 p.m. Upcoming are Blazing Saddles (January 10) and Stir Crazy (January 24). Tickets are $9. FilmSlam, a showcase for Florida-made short films, is held most months on Sunday at 1 p.m.; the next scheduled dates are January 8, February 19 and March 12. Perhaps the biggest upcoming event is an offshoot of Rollins College’s annual Winter with the Writers: On February 1 at 6:15 p.m., there’ll be a screening of the 2002 film Adaptation, starring Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep. Afterward, there’ll be a question-and-answer session with Susan Orlean, author of the non-fiction book The Orchid Thief, on which the Spike Jonze film is based. To attend, you must become an Enzian Film Society member. Other special showings include: 2016 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour (January 3), Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (Book to Big Screen series, January 28), Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land (National Theatre Live, January 29), and Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus (National Theatre Live, March 25). 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland. 407-629-0054 (information line), 407-629-1088 (theater offices).

Popcorn Flicks in the Park. The City of Winter Park and Enzian collaborate to offer classic, family friendly films free in Central Park. These outdoor screenings are usually on the second Thursday of each month, and begin at about 7 p.m. (or whenever it gets dark). Upcoming are The Producers (January 12), Harold and Maude (February 9) and A League of Their Own (March 9). Bring a blanket or chairs and a snack. 407-629-1088.

Screen on the Green. The City of Maitland offers free outdoor movies most months on the field at Maitland Middle School beginning at 6 or 7 p.m. Bring a blanket or chairs. The next showing is scheduled for March 4; check the city website’s Special Events calendar for titles. 1901 Choctaw Trail, Maitland. 407-539-0042.


Valentine Concert in Central Park. The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and the Park Avenue Merchants Association hosts an afternoon of music and romance in Central Park on February 12 at 4 p.m. Bring a blanket, a picnic basket and someone special for this pre-Valentine’s Day celebration. The concert, which features the incomparable Michael Andrew and Swingerhead, is free. 407-644-8281.


Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum. This stunningly restored Spanish farmhouse-style home was designed by acclaimed architect James Gamble Rogers II and is now a community center and museum. Free open houses are hosted by trained docents every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon. Also, live music is featured in the large downstairs parlor on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. 656 N. Park Ave. (adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course). 407-628-8200.

Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. The center is dedicated to combating anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice, with the goal of developing a moral and just community through educational and cultural programs. It houses permanent and temporary exhibits, archives and a research library. Its ongoing exhibit, Tribute to the Holocaust, presents an overview of the Holocaust through artifacts, videos, photographs and artwork. Through January 6 is Two Regimes, an exhibit created from the salvaged works of two women: Teodora Verbitskya, whose journal chronicled her experiences in Russia during the first half of the 20th century; and her daughter, Nadia Werbitzky, a professional artist who translated her mother’s writing into haunting works of art. Anne Frank: A History for Today, opens January 23 and continues through March 18. The exhibit examines the life history of Frank and her family, juxtaposed with world events before, during and after the Nazi Party’s rise to power in neighboring Germany. Admission is free. 851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland. 407-628-0555.

Winter Park History Museum. Ongoing displays include artifacts dating from the city’s beginnings as a New England-style resort in the 1880s. Its current exhibition, Winter Park: The War Years, 1941-1945 — Home Front Life in an American Small Town, looks at how World War II affected Winter Parkers. Admission is free. 200 W. New England Ave., Winter Park. 407-644-2330.

Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts. Eatonville is strongly associated with Harlem Renaissance writer and folklorist Zora Neale Huston, who lived there as a girl and recorded her childhood memories in her classic autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. The museum that bears her name provides information about the city and sponsors exhibits featuring the works of African-American artists. During the opening of the 2017 Zora! Festival (January 20-29), the museum debuts Back in the Day: Reflections of Historic Eatonville, which features artifacts and memorabilia related to Eatonville’s history. The exhibit continues through September. Admission is free, though group tours require a reservation and must pay a fee. 227 E. Kennedy Blvd., Eatonville. 407-647-3188.


Gladdening Light Symposium 2017. Franciscan activist Father Richard Rohr opens this annual four-day series of events sponsored by GladdeningLight, a Winter Park-based not-for-profit that explores the intersection of arts and spirituality. Rohr will be joined for the January 26-29 symposium by Haitian surrealist painter Frantz Zephirin and world-music trio Free Planet Radio from Asheville, North Carolina. Tickets range from $30 for Rohr’s Friday night lecture to $330 for all related events, including a Thursday reception with the artists and additional weekend sessions led by Rohr. A Saturday night concert and Sunday’s final session are free and open to the public. Activities take place at various locations around downtown Winter Park, including the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, All Saints Episcopal Church and Rollins College. 407-647-3963.

Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. The institute, affiliated with Rollins College, presents lectures, readings and seminars by thought leaders in an array of disciplines. Its ninth season continues January 19 with George Takei, the actor and social justice activist best known as Mr. Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise on the original television series Star Trek. In his presentation, Takei, a Japanese-American, offers the story of his life, from his family’s forced internment during World War II, to his rise to celebrity as a science-fiction icon, to his remarkable success as a social-media influencer and his high-profile battles for LGBTQ rights. The season will end April 4 with former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords and her husband, retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. The couple became advocates for stricter gun laws after a near-fatal 2011 attempt on Giffords’ life. Takei, as well as Giffords and Kelly, will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Warden Arena at the Alfond Sports Center. Tickets are $15, $30 and $50. 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park. 407-646-2145.

Winter with the Writers. Sponsored by the Rollins College Department of English and open to the community, this annual festival of the literary arts dates back to 1927, when it featured such luminaries as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ogden Nash and Carl Sandburg. This year’s series opens on February 2 with bestselling writer Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief. It continues February 9 with Peter Meinke, poet laureate of Florida, and David Kirby, author of Little Richard: The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Next up, on February 16, is Chris Abani, whose fiction includes The Secret History of Las Vegas. The grand finale on February 24 features two National Book Award finalists whose names had not been announced at presstime. Each writer will give a master class for students at 2 or 4 p.m. and a public reading with an on-stage interview at 7:30 p.m. in the Bush Auditorium. 407-646-2666.

University Club of Winter Park. Upcoming lectures include Thank God It’s Over, a look ahead at politics, the media and Central Florida in the wake of the 2016 elections. The speaker for the January 27 event is Scott Maxwell, featured columnist for the Orlando Sentinel. Tickets for the noon event, which include a buffet lunch, are priced at $18 for members and $23 for nonmembers, who must make advance reservations. 841 N. Park Ave., Winter Park. 407-644-6149.


Maitland Farmers’ Market. This year-round, open-air market — held each Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — features fresh produce, seafood, breads and cheeses as well as plants, all-natural skin-care products and live music by Performing Arts of Maitland. The setting on Lake Lily boasts a serene boardwalk, jogging trails, a playground and picnic areas. 701 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland.

Winter Park Farmers’ Market. The region’s busiest and arguably most popular farmers’ market is held each Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the old railroad depot that houses the Winter Park History Museum. The open-air market offers baked goods, produce, plants, honey, cheese, meat, flowers, crafts and other specialty items for sale. After shopping, make a morning of it with a stroll along nearby Park Avenue. Dogs are welcome to bring their people. 200 W. New England Ave., Winter Park.


Bach Festival. The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park celebrates its 82nd season with another jam-packed February. Events include a free organ recital by Todd Wilson, head of the organ department at Cleveland Institute of Music, on February 17 at 7:30 p.m. That’s followed by Bach & Beer on February 18 from noon to 4 p.m. You’ll enjoy German music and selections from J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos as well as a limited-edition craft beer created specifically for the festival. The event is at Cask & Larder, 565 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, where admission is free, but the beer is for sale. Members of the Bach Festival Orchestra perform Spiritual Spaces: Peace and Serenity, a program of familiar and beloved pieces, on February 19 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Works include Claude Debussy’s “Clair de lune” and Paul McCartney’s “A Leaf.” The Bach Festival Orchestra and featured soloists perform four duo concertos: Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Mandolins in G Major, Mozart’s Flute & Harp Concerto C Major K 299, and Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra on February 24 and 25 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation on February 26 from 3 to 5 p.m. with two cantatas composed by Bach for the Feast of the Reformation and one written for the Feast of St. Michael. Also on the program: Felix Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony, written 300 years after the cantatas in honor of the tercentennial of the Augsburg Confession. Giovanni Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in C Minor, a monumental work for string quintet and two female soloists, will be performed  on February 28 at 3 p.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church, 338 E. Lyman Ave., Winter Park. That’s followed on March 4 at 7:30 p.m. by Antonin Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, performed by the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra. In a nod to musical democracy, on March 5 at 3 p.m. the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra will play a program of favorite movements as chosen by the audience, choir and musicians. Closing out the festival on March 6 at 7:30 p.m. will be the Toronto-based Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, with 17 permanent members who specialize in historical performance. The orchestra’s new all-Bach program, J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation, combines text, music, and projected video and images to explore the world of the artisans who helped Bach realize his musical genius. All performances are in Knowles Memorial Chapel on the campus of Rollins College, except Bach & Beer and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. Tickets range from free to $65, depending upon the performance and the seating. 407-646-2182.

Bach Festival Society Visiting Artist Series. The series continues January 29 with pianist Olga Kern, a Russian-born musician who jump-started her U.S. career by earning a Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2001 — the first woman in more than three decades to do so. The concert, which starts at 3 p.m. in Tiedtke Concert Hall on the Rollins College campus, includes pieces by Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, Scriabin and Balakirev. Tickets range from $35 to $55. 407-646-2182.

Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts. This eclectic new venue on the far-west side of Winter Park is part performance hall, part recording studio and part art gallery. It offers live performances most evenings, with an emphasis on jazz, classical and world music. There are also theater, dance and spoken-word presentations. Upcoming musical events include: Croatian jazz pianist Matija Dedik, January 6 at 8 p.m. ($15); The Nostalgia Radio Hour, a neo-vaudeville band, January 12 at 7:30 p.m. ($18); Chinese pianist Fei-Fei Dong, a finalist at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2013, January 13 at 8 p.m. ($15); and jazz pianist Lenore Raphael and jazz guitarist Wayne Wilkinson, who’ll perform romantic ballads and songs from the Great American Songbook on February 14 at 8 p.m. ($15). 1905 Kentucky Ave., Winter Park. 407-636-9951.

Central Florida Folk. This Winter Park-based not-for-profit  is dedicated to promoting and preserving live folk music, primarily through concerts on the last Sunday of each month (except May, when the Florida Folk Festival takes center stage). The group is trying out several venues right now, including the Winter Park Public Library, 460 E. New England Ave., Winter Park. The next two concerts scheduled at that location are Andrew McKnight, with Nicholas Roberts (January 29); and Tim Farrell, with Katie Grace Helow (March 26). Both concerts are at 2:30 p.m., and there’s a suggested donation of $12 for non-members. 407-679-6426.

Yonetani Concert Series. The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens’ 11th annual chamber concert series consists this year of a single performance. On February 12 at 2 p.m., internationally acclaimed violin/viola soloist Ayako Yonetani will team with cellist Si-Yan Darren Li, an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida. The concert, with seating limited to 45 people, takes place in the elegant Capen-Showalter House and will be followed by a private reception. Yonetani, a world-renowned violinist with three degrees from the Juilliard School, is a professor of violin/viola at UCF but also travels the world as a guest soloist. Admission is $30 for museum members, $35 for non-members. 633 Osceola Ave. 407-647-6294.


Metro Cup Regatta. The oldest dual-crew meet in Florida is fueled by a crosstown rivalry between rowers from the University of Central Florida and Rollins College, as well as teams from longtime scholastic foes Winter Park and Edgewater high schools. Eight- and four-rower boats race head-to-head across Lake Maitland starting at 8 a.m. The March 4 competition is best viewed from the southeast shore at Winter Park’s Kraft Azalea Garden (on Alabama Drive) or, of course, from a boat on Lake Maitland. The event is a fundraiser by the Rotary Club of Orange County East-Winter Park, which sells refreshments and operates a shuttle bus between the parking lot at Lakemont Elementary School and the gardens’ viewing area. Admission is free, but a donation is requested. Parking is very limited near the gardens.

Ovations Awards Ceremony. The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual Ovations Awards, a sort of  “best of” celebration recognizing local businesses and organizations, on January 26 at 5:30 p.m. Finalists and winners are feted during ceremonies at the Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments are served. Tickets are $10 for members in advance, $15 for non-members and at the door. 1050 W. Morse Blvd. 407-644-8281.

Park Avenue January Sidewalk Sale. The Park Avenue Merchants Association hosts a four-day sidewalk sale running January 12 through 15 at participating stores along and near Park Avenue. Shop early for savings up to 70 percent. 407-644-8281.

Winter Park Sip, Shop & Stroll. Sip wine and enjoy appetizers while checking out what’s new at your favorite Park Avenue-area shops and restaurants on March 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $25, and can be reserved in advance; check-in is at the corner of Park Avenue and Morse Boulevard, where ticketholders receive wine glasses and “passports.” 407-644-8281.

Tranquility in the Garden. Bill Metzger, head gardener at Matthew’s Hope Ministries in Winter Garden, gives a talk entitled Peace of Dirt, which describes the homeless-outreach organization’s horticultural-therapy program during the Winter Park Garden Club’s monthly meeting on January 18 at 10 a.m. at Mead Botanical Garden, 1300 S. Denning Drive, Winter Park. 407-644-5770.

Orchids 101. Doug Watson, general manager of Worldwide Orchids in Apopka, presents a class entitled Orchids 101: Their Mystery and Majesty, during the Winter Park Garden Club’s monthly meeting on February 8 at 10 a.m. at Mead Botanical Garden, 1300 S. Denning Drive, Winter Park. Orchids will be available for sale. 407-644-5770.

Flower Arrangements. John Kobylinski, owner since 1990 of In Bloom Florist of Orlando and Heathrow, gives a talk entitled Bringing Spring Indoors during the Winter Park Garden Club’s monthly meeting on March 8 at 10 a.m. at Mead Botanical Garden, 1300 S. Denning Drive, Winter Park. 407-644-5770.


Good Morning Winter Park. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these monthly gatherings attract civic-minded locals who enjoy coffee and conversation about community issues. Typically scheduled for the second Friday of each month; upcoming dates include January 13, February 10 and March 10. Networking begins at 8 a.m.; each month’s program begins at 8:30 a.m. Admission, which includes a complimentary continental breakfast, is free. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 W. Lyman Ave., Winter Park. 407-644-8281.

The Hot Seat. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, this business-oriented series puts local executives in the spotlight as they offer advice and discuss entrepreneurism, leadership and sales-and-marketing techniques. These hour-long, lunchtime events take place quarterly at the Winter Park Welcome Center; the next scheduled gathering is February 22 at noon. Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Reservations required. 151 W. Lyman Ave. 407-644.8281.

Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Membership Awards Celebration. The chamber’s annual gala, slated for February 3 at 6 p.m. at The Alfond Inn, pays tribute to the members and volunteers who make the organization and community so exceptional. Reservations are required; tickets are $75 for individuals or $700 for a corporate table. 300 E. New England Ave. 407-644-8281.

Winter Park Executive Women. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these monthly lunchtime gatherings feature guest speakers and provide networking opportunities for women business owners. Topics revolve around leadership development, business growth and local initiatives of special interest to women. Typically scheduled for 11:30 a.m. the first Monday of most months; upcoming dates include January 9 (to avoid the New Year’s Day weekend), February 6 and March 6. Check the website for the next scheduled topic. Tickets, which include lunch, are $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers; reservations are required. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 W. Lyman  Ave., Winter  Park. 407-644-8281.


Behind the Curtain: Elixir of Love. Selections from Gaetano Donizetti’s romantic-comic opera L’elisir d’amore (Italian for The Elixir of Love) are presented during this January 28 “informance” by Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra maestro Eric Jacobsen and director Mary Birnbaum at Kathy and Steve Miller’s lakeside home in Winter Park. This event, from 7 to 10 p.m., benefits the not-for-profit orchestra. 407-896-6700.

Chili for Charity. The Rotary Club of Winter Park offers chili made by top local caterers and restaurants during this annual fundraising event, held February 15 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market. In addition to the savory chili, there’s a live auction and live music. Net proceeds benefit the Rotary Club of Winter Park Foundation, which provides grants to more than 30 local charities. 200 W. New England Ave. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Patron packages, which include four tickets and program recognition, are $250. For more information call 407-408-5850.

For the Birds. In this January 15 benefit performance for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, violinist Colin Jacobsen, in town for an Orlando concert with the orchestra, performs with his brother, conductor and philharmonic music director Eric Jacobsen, at the Audubon Birds of Prey Center in Maitland from
4 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $100 for Friends of the Orlando Philharmonic members, $130 for non-members. 407-896-6700.


State of the City Luncheon. Winter Park Mayor Steve Leary delivers his annual appraisal of the city’s overall well-being at the annual event, slated for February 17 at the Alfond Inn. It’s co-sponsored by the City of Winter Park and the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $35 for members, $40 for non-members; reservations are required. The program, which starts at noon, includes brief remarks from Winter Park’s city commissioners and formal recognition of the city’s Employees of the Year. 407-644-8281.


Various creative and educational outlets exist for aspiring writers in all genres, from poets and storytellers to novelists and playwrights. Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts offers several monthly programs, all free, at the Copper Rocket Pub, 106 Lake Ave., Maitland. The group meets on the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. for Some-Theme Special, a themed open-mic night; and on the third Monday of each month for Practice Session, a chance for new writers, or writers with new material, to take a practice run in front of their peers. On the last Sunday of each month, the group hosts Emotional Storytelling Hour, where invitation-only performances are featured. The Playwrights Round Table offers free monthly workshops in the Fred Stone Theater on the Rollins College campus in Winter Park, usually on the second Sunday of each month at 1 p.m. Writers may bring any piece they’re working on, from a short story to a full-length script. But you’ll need to email in advance to to schedule a time slot. And Austin’s Coffee, at 929 W. Fairbanks Ave. in Winter Park, hosts Open Mic Poetry every Wednesday starting at 8 p.m. For more information about these events and organizations, visit,, or