Enzian’s Florida Film Festival, as always, has something for everyone.

Director Victor Nuñez’s (above) new film, Rachel Hendrix, will make its Southeastern debut on the Florida Film Festival’s opening night. Poster for the Florida Film Festival 2024 (below).

It’s time for a road trip, one that won’t involve junk-food hoarding, creepy pit stops and arguments over who gets to ride shotgun. This isn’t that kind of a road trip, thanks to Deanna Tiedtke and the brain trust behind the 33rd Annual Florida Film Festival.

Tiedtke is director of public relations for Enzian, a family-owned, oak-shaded outdoor lounge and cabaret-style movie theater complex in Maitland that will again serve as the epicenter of the festival, slated to run April 12 to 21.

“Road trip” is even part of the festival’s designated tag line: “Like a Road Trip for Yer Mind.” (Lighten up, proofreaders — that’s how “your” is spelled on the promotional material.) 

It’s a slogan meant to underscore the expansive assortment of themes explored at the Oscar-qualifying event, which brings film lovers and industry professionals together to mingle, take in an array of moviemaking seminars and watch newly produced flicks — lots of them. 

Over the course of 10 days, there’ll be at least 160 films and film-related events. Categories in which Grand Jury Award-winners qualify for Oscar consideration are Animated Short Films, Live Action Shorts, and Film and Documentary Short Subjects.

And, as usual, there’ll be guest celebrities. This year, the festival will welcome back award-winning director Victor Nuñez, a Tallahassee resident who teaches at Florida State University. His new film, Rachel Hendrix, will make its Southeastern debut on the festival’s opening night. 

Nuñez was first here in 1997 with star Peter Fonda for a showing of Ulee’s Gold, which was filmed in Orlando and earned an Oscar nomination for Fonda as Best Actor. And Nuñez was back in 2011 for a special screening of Ruby in Paradise, a 1993 film that won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and launched the career of Ashley Judd.

Rachel Hendrix, filmed in and around Tallahassee, stars Golden Globe-winner Lori Singer (Footloose) as a creative writing professor who experiences a relapse of grief a year after the death of her husband. Singer will accompany Nuñez to Central Florida, and both are expected to attend one of two screenings on Friday, April 12, at 6:30 p.m. 

Two screenings? That’s right: Rachel Hendrix will be shown concurrently at both Enzian and the Regal Winter Park Village. In either venue, moviegoers can expect quite a treat: In September of last year, the film won the award for Best Narrative Feature at the Woodstock Film Festival, held in the Hudson Valley region of New York. 

Though the festival is a high-pressure, career-
making event for the filmmakers, the overall atmosphere is chatty and laid-back. 

“What we’d like people to realize is, we always have such an incredibly diverse selection of films that every year there’s something for everyone,” says Tiedtke, whose family founded the nonprofit festival and the cozy art-house venue that produces it. 

Apart from film industry professionals and geeked-out movie lovers, the festival indeed attracts more than its share of just-curious first timers and people who simply enjoy the convivial vibe — which is enhanced by informal gatherings and craft cocktails at the venue’s outdoor Eden Bar.

Enzian is located at 1300 Orlando Avenue, Maitland. The full lineup of films for this year’s event was announced in late March, after the deadline for this issue of Winter Park Magazine, but you can find it online at floridafilmfestival.com.

—Randy Noles and Michael McLeod


Breaking news! It was just confirmed that John Cleese and Natasha Lyonne will be celebrity guests at the Florida Film Festival. Cleese, legendary comedian and co-founder of Monty Python, will attend a screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail on Sunday, April 14, at Enzian and host a talkback afterward. Lyonne, most recently seen as Nicky Nichols on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, will attend a screening on Sunday, April 21, also at Enzian, and will host a talkback of her own. Lyonne’s film had not been announced and times had not been confirmed for either event at press time. For the most up-to-date information, visit floridafilmfestival.com.


Celebrate the opening of this year’s Florida Film Festival on Friday, April 12, with a film to be screened at both Enzian and the Regal Winter Park Village followed by a kickoff celebration at the Tiedtke Amphitheater and Belvedere at the Winter Park Library & Events Center.

The opening night film, director Victor Nuñez’s Rachel Hendrix, will be shown at both Enzian and the Regal Winter Park Village at 6:30 p.m. The party, which will run from 8 p.m. to midnight, will follow with cocktail and food selections from local vendors plus a live band. You can buy tickets for the party only, the film only or a package that includes both.

Promises the festival’s organizers: “Our culinary delights will transport your taste buds from the vibrant streets of New York City to the scenic coasts of California — capturing the essence of America’s diverse and rich flavors.” That sounds, not coincidentally, like a coast-to-coast road trip. 

The Library & Events Center is located at 1052 West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park. For tickets and more information, call 407-629-0054 or visit floridafilmfestival.com.



16th Annual Winter Park Paint-Out. The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens will again host the annual event, slated for April 21 to 27, which invites 24 acclaimed plein air artists to set up their easels at the museum and scenic locations throughout the city. Everyone is invited to watch the artists at work and view their recently completed paintings in the “wet gallery.” A ticketed garden party will be held on April 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the museum, where guests can see the entire exhibition and purchase their favorite pieces. Admission to the museum, sculpture gardens and gallery will be free during the weeklong event. (For more information, see page 106.) 633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park. 407-647-6294. winterparkpaintout.com.

Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. This lakeside museum, open since 1961, is dedicated to preserving works of the famed Czech sculptor for whom it was both home and studio for more than a decade. The museum offers tours of Polasek’s home Tuesdays to Saturdays. And it offers tours of the adjacent Capen-Showalter House three times weekly: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 a.m., and Saturdays at 10:15 a.m. Built in 1885, the Capen-Showalter House was saved from demolition several years ago and floated across Lake Osceola to its current location on the Polasek’s grounds. Continuing through April 14 is Yaat Ya Oke: Welcome Travelers, an exhibition of works by contemporary Seminole artists that reflect life’s beauty and the unity of the human spirit. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $3 for students and free for children. 633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park. 407-647-6294. polasek.org.

The Art & History Museums — Maitland. The Maitland Art Center, one of five museums that anchor the city’s Cultural Corridor, was founded as an art colony in 1937 by visionary artist and architect J. André Smith. The center, located at 231 West Packwood Avenue, Maitland, is Central Florida’s only National Historic Landmark and one of the few surviving examples of Mayan Revival architecture in the Southeast. Opening April 27 at the art center is The View from Within, an introduction to the works of artists Nneka Jones and Shannon Elyse. Admission to the art center’s galleries is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students (ages 5 to 17) and free for children ages 4 and under. Maitland residents receive a $1 discount. The Cultural Corridor also includes the Maitland Historical Museum and Telephone Museum at 221 West Packwood Avenue, and the Waterhouse Residence Museum and Carpentry Shop Museum, both built in the 1880s and located at 820 Lake Lily Drive. 407-539-2181. artandhistory.org.

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. With more than 19,000 square feet of gallery and public space, the Morse 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. The museum’s latest exhibitions are The American Arts & Crafts Movement, which focuses on the variety of materials used to create the uniform and warm environments favored at the turn of the last century; and Fascinating Clutter: American Taste During the Reign of Victoria, which explores the rich, romantic aesthetic landscape of the 19th century and how industry, expansion and war influenced personal and artistic expression. Also currently on view are Lamps & Lighting — Tiffany and His Contemporaries, a showcase of Tiffany’s most innovative and iconic designs; and Vignette, a collection of decor items from the Ayer Mansion in Chicago, one of Tiffany’s most complete residential design commissions. Also ongoing is Revival & Reform: Eclecticism in the 19th-Century Environment, which provides a rare look at the diversity of decorative arts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with pieces by Tiffany, William Morris, Frank Lloyd Wright and others. Additional displays include Watercolors from Louis Comfort Tiffany’s “Little Arcadia,” which invites visitors to look beyond Tiffany’s legacy to discover the gifts of other talented artists — especially women — who worked in his studios. Regular admission to the museum is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $1 for students and free for children younger than age 12. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. 445 North Park Avenue, Winter Park. 407-645-5311. morsemuseum.org. 

Crealdé School of Art. Established in 1975, this nonprofit arts organization on Winter Park’s east side offers year-round visual-arts classes for all ages taught by more than 40 working artists. Visitors may take a self-guided tour through the campus’s lakeside sculpture garden, which includes more than 60 three-dimensional pieces of contemporary outdoor art and related educational panels. Continuing exhibitions include Spirits in the Silver: Discovering Lost Film by Laurie Hasan, which features recovered photographs rescued from exposed vintage film left behind in discarded antique cameras (through April 20); and The Creative Concept of Vincent Sansone, an exploration of the lifelong master ceramicist’s personal vault (through May 25). Admission to the school’s galleries is free, although there are fees for art classes. 600 Saint Andrews Boulevard, Winter Park. 407-671-1886. crealde.org.

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 hundreds of archival photographs, original artwork and oral histories from longtime residents that are collectively known as the Heritage Collection. The center also offers a walking tour of Hannibal Square, Now and Then, with Fairolyn Livingston, chief historian. The tour, offered on the third Saturday of each month from 10 to 11:30 a.m., requires reservations; the cost is $10, or $5 for those with student IDs. 642 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-539-2680. hannibalsquareheritagecenter.org.

Rollins Museum of Art. The Rollins College campus is home to one of the most eclectic collections of fine art in Florida, including ancient artifacts, contemporary collections and Central Florida’s only collection of paintings by European Old Masters. Debuting May 30 is The Fantastical Mundane: Selections from the Grasset Collection, a selection of 17th-century Dutch paintings that feature lush still lives, detailed landscapes and rich domestic scenes. Guided tours take place at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays at the nearby Alfond Inn, where a selection of more than 400 works is on view from the museum’s Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art. Happy Hour tours of the Alfond Collection are also conducted on the first Wednesday of most months at 5:30 p.m. If you prefer historic works, Throwback Thursday tours are offered at the museum from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of most months. Admission is free, courtesy of PNC Financial Services Group. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2526. rollins.edu/rma.


Annie Russell Theatre. “The Annie,” on the campus of Rollins College and in continuous operation since 1932, concludes its 91st season with The Prom (April 19 to 27), a contemporary Broadway favorite with music by Matthew Sklar and lyrics by Chad Beguelin about a high-schooler facing homophobia in a small town. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m., 4 p.m. or 2 p.m., depending upon the day of the week. Individual tickets are $25. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2145. rollins.edu/annie-russell-theatre. 

Winter Park Playhouse. Winter Park’s only professional, nonprofit theater continues its 2023-24 season with Five Guys Named Moe (March 15 to April 20), featuring a score by jazz and blues great Louis Jordan; and the one-man musical revue, George M. Cohan Tonight! (May 10 to June 9), featuring Adam T. Biner. Performances are Thursdays to Sundays, with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets range in price from $20 for students to $46 for evening shows. 711 Orange Avenue, Winter Park. 407-645-0145. winterparkplayhouse.org. 


Enzian. Lights, camera, action! It’s time for the annual Florida Film Festival, which spotlights more than 150 films between April 12 to 21. (For more information, see page 96.) In addition to the festival, this cozy, nonprofit alternative cinema offers a plethora of film series year-round. Tickets are usually $12 for regular admission; $10 for matinees, students, seniors and service members (with ID); and $9.50 for Enzian Film Society members. Children under age 12 are admitted free to Peanut Butter Matinee Family Films, shown on the fourth Sunday of each month at noon. Other series include Saturday Matinee Classics (the second Saturday of each month at noon), Cult Classics (the second and last Tuesday of each month at 9:30 p.m.) and Midnight Movies (every Saturday night). FilmSlam, which spotlights Florida-made short films, takes place most months on the second or third Sunday at 1 p.m. 300 South Orlando Avenue, Maitland. 407-629-0054 (information line), 407-629-1088 (theater offices). floridafilmfestival.com or enzian.org.

Friday Brown Bag Matinees. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art presents three film series each year on topics related to the museum’s collection as well as art in general. Admission is free to these lunchtime screenings, which span the noon hour on select Fridays in the Jeannette G. and Hugh F. McKean Pavilion on Canton Avenue, just behind the Morse. Attendees are invited to bring their own lunches; the museum provides soft drinks and themed refreshments. The four-part Spring Series, American Impressionism (April 5 to 26) explores the way American painters interpreted the French Impressionist movement. 161 West Canton Avenue. 407-645-5311. morsemuseum.org.

Popcorn Flicks in the Park. The City of Winter Park and Enzian collaborate to offer classic, family-friendly films free in Central Park on Park Avenue. These outdoor screenings are typically held the second Thursday of each month and start at 7 or 8 p.m. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and bring blankets or chairs. 407-629-1088. enzian.org.


Casa Feliz Historic Home & Venue. This stunningly restored Spanish farmhouse-style home, designed by acclaimed architect James Gamble Rogers II, is now a community center and museum. Free open houses are hosted by docents on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. 656 North Park Avenue (adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course), Winter Park. 407-628-8200. casafeliz.us.

Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. The center is dedicated to combating antisemitism, racism and prejudice, with the goal of developing a moral and just community through educational and cultural programs. It houses permanent and temporary exhibitions, archives and a research library. The museum’s ongoing exhibition, Tribute to the Holocaust, is a presentation of artifacts, videos, text, photographs and other works of art. Admission is free. 851 North Maitland Avenue, Maitland. 407-628-0555. holocaustedu.org.

Winter Park History Museum. The museum’s current exhibition, Hello Sunshine: Selling Florida Through the Art of Postcards, offers a colorful look at local history through a collection of vintage postcards from the collection of Rick Frazee, owner of the fondly remembered Best Western Mount Vernon Inn, who gifted his vast collection of more than 1,000 fun and kitschy images to the museum. Partnerships with the Orange County Regional History Center, the Winter Garden Heritage Museum and the Henry B. Plant Museum in Tampa expand the exhibition to take on a statewide focus. A visitor center-style display of brochures represents a variety of attractions, while a timeline marks notable dates in local history. A rotating installation — currently a look back at area hotels — focuses on a new topic each quarter. Admission is free. 200 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-2330. wphistory.org.

Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts. Eatonville is strongly associated with Harlem Renaissance writer and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, 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 historic city and sponsors exhibitions that feature the works of African American artists. Admission is free, although group tours require a reservation and are charged a fee. 344 East Kennedy Boulevard, Eatonville. 407-647-3188. zoranealehurstonmuseum.com.


Central Florida Anthropological Society. Do you want to preserve Florida’s historic heritage? Are you curious about prehistoric Florida? Join the CFAS for this new lecture series at the Winter Park Library that will highlight current anthropological and archaeological investigations with a special focus on Central Florida. Upcoming meetings are April 21 and May 19. Enjoy light refreshments and socializing when the doors open at 6:30 p.m., followed by a presentation at 7 p.m. Admission is free. 1050 West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park. fasweb.org/cfas.

Life Explorers Speakers Series. Hosted by Mead Botanical Garden, this new speaker series will feature programs for adults interested in expanding their knowledge on a variety of environmental and cultural topics. Meetings are typically held on the third Thursday of the month; upcoming dates are April 11 (Insect Pollinators in Florida Gardens with Dr. Marc Minno) and May 9 (with author Barry Kirsch, author of The Fairy Robots of Restoration Cottage). Admission is free. 1300 South Denning Drive, Winter Park. 407-622-6323. meadgarden.org.

Morse Museum Wednesday Lecture Series. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art regularly invites recognized scholars in the field of late 19th- and early 20th-century art to speak on topics related to the museum’s collection and exhibitions. Upcoming subjects include An Illuminating Look at Tiffany Lighting (April 27), led by Lindsay R. Parrott, executive director and curator of The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass. Programs take place at 2:30 p.m. Admission is free. 161 West Canton Avenue, Winter Park. 407-645-5311. morsemuseum.org.

University Club of Winter Park. Nestled among the oaks and palms at the north end of Park Avenue’s downtown shopping district — a block beyond Casa Feliz — is another historic James Gamble Rogers II building, this one home to the University Club of Winter Park. Members are dedicated to the enjoyment of intellectual activities and socializing with one another. The club’s various activities, including lectures, are open to the public, although nonmembers are asked to make a $5 donation each time they attend. (Some events include a buffet lunch for an added fee.) For the most up-to-date information and a full schedule of events and speakers, check the website. 841 North Park Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-6149. uclubwp.org.


Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. The 2023-24 season concludes with Dvořák’s Stabat Mater (April 27 and 28), which features soprano Mary Wilson, mezzo soprano Patricia Thompson, tenor Kyle Stegall and bass Michael Dean; and Songs for the Soul (May 16), a selection of choral music by the Bach Vocal Artists. Performances are slated for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday in Knowles Memorial Chapel on the campus of Rollins College. Tickets start at $25. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2182. bachfestival.org.

Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts. This eclectic venue, which is moving to a new venue in the Packing District (details will be forthcoming) has launched a Blue Bamboo Presents series at the Winter Park Library’s Edyth Bush Theatre. Upcoming shows in the series include guitarist Don Soledad (April 11), Catalan-Spanish singer Orilla (May 9) and the duo of Brazilian singer Daniela Soledade and guitarist Nate Najar (June 13). All shows will be at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $25. The library is at 1052 West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park. bluebambooartcenter.com.

Central Florida Folk. This Winter Park-based nonprofit is dedicated to promoting and preserving live folk music, primarily through concerts usually held on the last Saturday of each month (unless a holiday intervenes) at 2 p.m. Upcoming dates are April 27, May 18 and June 29. The group’s primary venue is the Winter Park Library, 1052 West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park. A donation of $15 for nonmembers is suggested. 407-679-6426. cffolk.org.

Music at the Casa. The Casa Feliz Historic Home and Venue presents acoustic performances on most Sunday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m. in the museum’s cozy main parlor. Past performers include opera singers, jazz guitarists and flamenco dancers. A $5 donation is suggested. For a full schedule of performances, check the website. 656 North Park Avenue (adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course), Winter Park. 407-628-8200. casafeliz.us.

Performing Arts of Maitland. This nonprofit organization works with the City of Maitland and other organizations to promote performances for and by local musicians. It supports various groups, including the Maitland Symphony Orchestra, Maitland Market Music, the Maitland Stage Band and the Baroque Chamber Orchestra. For a full schedule of events, check the website. 407-339-5984, ext. 219. pamaitland.org.


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 boardwalk, jogging trails, a playground and picnic areas. 701 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland. itsmymaitland.com.

Winter Park Farmers’ Market. The region’s busiest and arguably most popular farmers’ market is held every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Central Park West Meadow — located at the corner of New York Avenue and Morse Boulevard — and offers baked goods, produce, plants, honey, cheese, meat, flowers, crafts and other specialty items. After shopping, make a morning of it with a stroll along nearby Park Avenue. Dogs are welcome to bring their people. 200 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. cityofwinterpark.org.


Florida Writers Association. Join fellow scribes for lectures by guest speakers and discussions led by local authors. The Orlando/Winter Park-Area chapter meets on the third Tuesday of each month from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. at the Winter Park Library, 1052 West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park. Upcoming meetings are April 16, May 21 and June 18. Another chapter, the Maitland Writers Group, meets on the second Thursday of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Upcoming meetings are April 11, May 9 and June 6 at the Maitland Public Library, 501 South Maitland Avenue, Maitland. floridawriters.org.

Storytellers of Central Florida. Experienced and fledgling storytellers gather to share stories and practice their craft on the first Tuesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Winter Park Library. Upcoming meetings are April 2, May 7 and June 4. 1052 West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park. 321-439-6020. storytellersofcentralflorida.com.

Wednesday Open Words. One of the area’s longest-running open-mic poetry nights is held every Wednesday, 9 p.m. at Austin’s Coffee, 929 West Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park. 407-975-3364. austins-

Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts. This group offers various free programs that attract writers of all stripes. Short Attention Span Storytelling Hour, a literary open-mic night, meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of most months at Stardust Video & Coffee (1842 Winter Park Road, Winter Park). It’s for authors, poets, filmmakers, comedians, musicians, bloggers and others who enjoy creative pursuits. Upcoming meetings are April 10, May 8 and June 12. Orlando WordLab, a workshop that challenges writers to experiment with new techniques or methods, meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Winter Park Library (1052 West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park). Upcoming meetings are set for April 24, May 22 and June 26. meetup.com/writers-of-central-florida-or-thereabouts.


Connections. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce at local eateries provide local businesspeople and entrepreneurs an opportunity to network, socialize and share ideas. Held the fourth Wednesday of most months, upcoming events are April 24, May 22 and June 26 at Las Carretas Mexican Restaurant (4030 North Goldenrod Road, Winter Park). Admission is $35 for members and $50 for non-members. 407-599-3580. winterpark.org/connections.

Good Morning, Winter Park. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these gatherings feature coffee and conversation about community issues. Held the first Friday of most months, upcoming events are April 5, May 3 and June 7. Networking begins at 8:45 a.m. followed at 9:15 a.m. by a 45-minute program. Admission, which includes coffee, is free. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park. 407-599-3580. winterpark.org/good-morning-winter-park.

Winter Park Professional Women. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these meetings — held the first Monday of most months from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — 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. Upcoming events are April 8, May 5 and June 5. Tickets, which include lunch, are $25 for chamber members and $35 for nonmembers. Reservations are required. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park. 407-599-3580. winterpark.org/winter-park-professional-women.


Keep Winter Park Beautiful. Volunteer to help the city keep local watersheds beautiful all season long with cleanups held throughout the year. Call or check the website for dates and locations. Litter grabbers, safety vests, gloves and garbage bags are provided at City Hall, 151 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park. Volunteers must contact kwpb@cityofwinterpark.org for more details and to complete a waiver. 407-599-3364. cityofwinterpark.org.

Winter Park Garden Club. The club’s general membership meetings, which always offer something intriguing for lovers of gardening and the great outdoors, are typically held on the second Wednesday of each month from September to May at 10 a.m. Field trips and other community events are also held throughout the year. All meetings are at the club’s headquarters at 1300 South Denning Drive. For more information about the club, which was founded in 1922, and upcoming programs, call 407-644-5770, visit winterparkgardenclub.com or email


Baby Owl Shower. Brace yourself for perhaps the cutest event of the year — the impending birth of baby owls. Each year, the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, which focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation and release of Florida’s raptors — such as bald eagles, ospreys, owls and falcons — throws a Baby Owl Shower as a fundraiser to help cover the facility’s increased costs during baby-bird season. That means a day of fun and educational activities for the whole family, with non-releasable baby raptors serving as the main attraction. This year’s shower, slated for May 11 from 10 a.m. to noon, is free if you bring an item from the center’s online wish list. 1101 Audubon Way, Maitland. 407-644-0190. fl.audubon.org.

Run for the Trees: Jeannette Genius McKean Memorial 5K. This popular foot race, set this year for April 27 at 7:30 a.m., begins at Ward Park, 250 Perth Lane. But the last mile and the finish are through the privately owned Genius Preserve, which is open to the public only for this annual event. Proceeds support the Winter Park Tree Replacement Fund — and all finishers receive a young tree to plant. Registration ranges from $36 to $46 per person. 407-896-1160. trackshack.com. 

Unleashed. Uncorked. Unframed. The 11th annual fundraiser for Franklin’s Friends animal welfare group promises to be a magical evening with exemplary wines, gourmet cuisine, spectacular auctions and a private art sale. The May 18 event will be held at the Winter Park Events Center. Tickets start at $250. 1050 West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park.


Earth Day in the Park. This free event in Ward Park features a plant-based family picnic, yoga and meditation, a petting zoo, giveaways, workshops and lectures, games and much more. The event is slated for April 27 from 8 to 11:30 a.m. at 250 Perth Lane, Winter Park. 407-599-3364. cityofwinterpark.org.

Hannibal Square Heritage Center Folk & Urban
Art Festival.
This annual festival, now in its 15th year, celebrates culture and diversity through art and music. An array of Florida artists will offer their works for sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 27. The event includes live music, arts-and-crafts demonstrations, storytelling and more. Admission is free. 642 West New England Avenue, Winter Park.

Memorial Day Service. The ceremony in Winter Park’s Glen Haven Memorial Park cemetery usually includes an honor guard, music and a guest speaker. Slated for May 27 at 11 a.m. Admission is free. 2300 Temple Drive, Winter Park. 407-647-1100.


Christopher Wilkins, former music director of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and now music director of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, oversees rehearsals and performances of winning compositions during the National Young Composers Challenge Composium, held this year at Steinmetz Hall at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Who’ll be the great classical composers of tomorrow? Thanks to Winter Park philanthropist Steve Goldman, we can get a pretty good idea through the National Young Composers Challenge and its grand finale — dubbed the “Composium.”

The highly prestigious annual competition, which Goldman dreamed up in 2005 to encourage talented teenagers, has become arguably the nation’s most important incubator of next-generation new-music creators. Since 2016, UCF has been a co-sponsor of the competition.

At the Composium — slated for Sunday, April 14, in Steinmetz Hall at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts — teens ages 13 to 18 from across the country will hear their winning compositions performed in concert by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

The open-to-the-public event — which is fascinating and inspiring on a number of levels — lasts from noon until about 4:30 p.m., and attendees are welcome to come and go as they please. After the final notes are played, there’ll be a reception that everyone’s invited to attend in the Della Phillips Grand Lobby.

Goldman, an early tech entrepreneur who was himself a musical prodigy, provided UCF with an endowment that supports a position within the School of Performing Arts for Alex Burtzos, a professor of music composition who serves as the school’s liaison with the competition.

At the Composium, three winning orchestral compositions and three winning ensemble compositions will be performed by the Phil under the baton of Christopher Wilkins, the orchestra’s former music director who is now music director of the Akron Symphony and the Boston Landmarks Orchestra.

The teen tunesmiths will be onstage as Wilkins and the players — who see the music for the first time at the event — work out how to tackle each piece. “If you’re sitting in the audience, you can literally watch these performances take shape from scratch,” says Goldman. When the compositions are played, they last about five minutes.

Goldman adds that a record 137 computer-generated MIDI scores were submitted for evaluation this year. “Some of them are better than a lot of the adult composers that we know,” he says. “And some of them are quite difficult and require extraordinary skill to play.”

This year’s judges included Goldman and Burtzos as well as Dan Crozier, professor of music, theory and composition at Rollins College; and Keith Lay, professor emeritus of composition at Full Sail University. They had the all-but-impossible task of winnowing down the submissions to a handful that will be played at the Composium.

Although winners get cash prizes of $1,000 for orchestral pieces and $500 for ensemble pieces, Goldman believes the real reward is the opportunity youngsters have to hear their works interpreted by a full orchestra (or, in the case of ensembles, by a smaller group) in one of the world’s finest concert halls.

The Composium is held as part of UCF Celebrates the Arts, which runs for two weeks in April at the arts center and spotlights a slew of the university’s arts programs and the talents of students, faculty members and special guests. 

The event, hosted under the auspices of the UCF College of Arts and Humanities, features students from the School of Performing Arts and the School of Visual Arts and Design as well as contributions from other academic units — including the humanities and the sciences.

If you’d like to attend the Composium, just show up. No reservations are required. For more information about other programs that are part of UCF Celebrates the Arts, call 407-823-1500 or visit drphillipscenter.org. 

—Randy Noles


The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, among them the breathtaking interior of the shimmering Tiffany Chapel. As a gift to the community, the museum is open free on Friday nights through April.

For 25 years now, the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art has been keeping its doors open after hours on select Fridays, with admission free to new visitors and Park Avenue habitués alike. 

Begun as a special promotion for Christmas 1999, the program quickly became a perennial, with live musical accompaniment soon added as an important part of the mix. These days, kicking off a spring weekend by strolling around the exhibitions and listening to stylistically appropriate instrumental soundscapes is a community tradition. This year, the popular program began on March 8 and runs through April 26.

The Morse houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including the artist’s jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass lamps and windows. 

Particularly breathtaking is the shimmering Tiffany Chapel interior, which was originally created for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Also on view, among other treasures, are displays of art pottery and late 19th- and early 20th-century American paintings, graphics and decorative art.

During Spring Friday Nights, no-cost admission begins at 4 p.m., with musicians starting to play at 5 p.m. and continuing until the doors finally close at 8 p.m. Musicians still to come include the Beautiful Music Romance Duo (flute and guitar; April 5), the Beautiful Music Chamber Trio (cello, flute and violin; April 12), the Victoria Schultz Harp Trio (cello, flute and harp; April 19) and the Beautiful Music Paint It Black Quartet (cello, flute, viola and violin; April 26).

Betsy Peters, the museum’s deputy director and chief operating officer, sums up the immersive nature of the whole affair with a quote from Tiffany himself: “Color is to the eye what music is to the ear.” That sounds about right. 

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is located at 445 North Park Avenue, Winter Park. For more information, call 407-645-5311 or visit morsemuseum.org. 

Steve Schneider


Winter Park is especially attractive to plein air artists, several dozen of whom are invited to the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens for the annual Winter Park Paint Out. Proceeds from the sale of paintings created during the event are divided between the artists and the Polasek.

En plein air is a French expression that means “in the open air,” and refers to painting — sometimes sketching — outdoors. Plein air artists are particularly fond of Florida, with its vividly colored subtropical landscapes and year-round temperate weather.

Winter Park is especially attractive, according to Debbie Komanski, CEO and executive director of the historic Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, site of the annual Winter Park Paint Out. That’s probably because of the city’s variety of settings, from verdant parks to shimmering lakes to historic architecture.

The 2024 event — the 16th since its inception — is slated for the week of Sunday, April 21, through Saturday, April 27, when two-dozen artists from across the country will descend on the picturesque city with their canvasses and palettes to literally paint the town.

Seeing artists at work on the Polasek’s lush grounds — or anywhere in and around Winter Park — is a delight for residents. But the event has also become an important fundraiser for the museum, which was once the home and studio of Czech-born sculptor Albin Polasek, who died in 1968.

According to Komanski, proceeds from the sale of paintings created during the event —  which are split evenly between the museum and the participating artists — have cumulatively topped $1 million since 2009, with prices for individual paintings ranging from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars.

Throughout each day, completed paintings are hung in the Polasek’s “wet room” for potential buyers to peruse and purchase. Images of the paintings are also posted on the event’s website so you can check them out online first.

Admission to the museum’s gallery and gardens is free during Paint Out week, and visitors are welcome to watch the artists at work on the sculpture-filled grounds. But, of course, you might see an artist just about anywhere you go since they’re encouraged to fan out and paint whatever strikes their fancy.

Paint Out concludes on Saturday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. with a garden party dubbed “The Grand Regency Gala.” Sponsors and VIPs may gather for an exclusive preview of works still available starting at 5 p.m. Although activities surrounding Paint Out are free, the gala is a $150 ticketed event that always sells out early. 

Gala parking is located at First United Methodist Church of Winter Park, 125 North Interlachen Avenue. Shuttles will transport guests to the museum by bus or, after 5 p.m., across Lake Osceola via the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour. 

The Polasek is located at 633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park. For more information, call 407-647-6294 or winterparkpaintout.org.

—Randy Noles


Among the works shown at Pathways are Stone Ceremony, Water Deity, by sculptor Fernando Ramos (top left); Flags, by video and documentary photographer Diego Alejandro Waisman (top right); and The Teacher, by photographer and videographer Samuel Aye-Gboyin (bottom right).

Emerging artists are getting a big boost thanks to concurrent exhibitions at the Rollins Museum of Art and the UCF Art Gallery at the University of Central Florida. The works on display will showcase perspectives and experiences as diversified as the artists themselves.

Pathways 2024: The Carlos Malamud Prize will run from May 30 to August 30 and feature creations from seven finalists for this award. The juried competition, which takes place biannually, considers applications from diverse, Florida-based artists who are beginning their careers and have not yet had solo exhibitions at a museum or a major gallery.

Finalists — who are originally from Argentina, Cuba, China, Ghana and the United States — will participate in a joint group exhibition held at each collaborating institution. A single winner will be announced during an Opening Reception at the UCF Art Gallery from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, May 30.

The winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize, a solo exhibition at the UCF Art Gallery in the fall of 2025 and a consulting session with a financial adviser to discuss how to operate an art practice in a sustainable manner. 

Pathways, now in its third iteration, hopes to nurture emerging artists and provide a “pathway” to success, which ultimately coincides with the core missions of both presenting institutions.
This year’s seven finalists are Jonathan Sanchez Noa (mixed media), Samuel Aye-Gboyin (video and photography), Patricia L. Cooke (sculpture), Tenee’ Hart (fiber art, sculpture and mixed media), Diego Alejandro Waisman (video and documentary photography), Fernando Ramos (sculpture) and Clio Yang (film). 

Malamud is a Miami-based philanthropist. The competition is also sponsored by the Winter Park-based Pabst Steinmetz Foundation, which is overseen by the husband-and-wife team of Chuck Steinmetz and Marjorie Pabst Steinmetz. 

The Rollins Museum of Art is located at 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park, on the college’s campus. To attend the opening night reception at UCF, call 407-823-2676 or visit cah.ucf.edu/gallery to register. 

The UCF Gallery of Art is located on the UCF campus in Visual Arts Building No. 117, 12400 Aquarius Agora Drive, Orlando. 

—Randy Noles