Arts in the Community

Orlando Boasts a Variety of Ways to Get Involved

Orlando is bursting with ways to appreciate creativity and culture within its arts community. With so many avenues of involvement and an array of venues, no matter what creative outlet you’re looking for, there’s no need to travel far to enjoy a first-rate arts
experience.

Arts in Action

There are countless youth programs across the state for a variety of interests, yet there’s an ever-growing need for programs to support the active senior community. Arts in Action is geared toward engaging seniors with affordable eight-week-long courses that foster creativity, artistry and community. The program is presented by Central Florida Community Arts, sponsored by the Winter Park Health Foundation, and is in partnership with AARP, Winter Park Public Library, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, Performing Arts of Maitland, Crealdé School of Art, Art & History Museums Maitland, The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida, Winter Park Community Center, Maitland Senior Center and First Congregational Church of Winter Park.

CFCArts founder and Executive Director Joshua Vickery conducted research for Arts in Action by visiting Stagebridge, a performing arts organization geared toward older adults in Oakland, California, as well as the National Center for Creative Aging’s international conference in Washington, D.C. With the help of NCCA, visits to organizations in Washington, D.C., and New York City were arranged, providing vital insight into the world of creative programming for older adults, which resulted in a National Leadership Council.

“Social engagement and creativity were the key drivers behind this program,” said Diana Silvey, program director of Winter Park Health Foundation. “We provided Joshua Vickery’s team at CFCArts with a planning grant to survey local older adults and review practices of other programs around the country before this program.”

Arts in Action offers a variety of eight-week courses with 90-minute classes each week, which encourages mastery of skill as well as creates more opportunities for individuals to create long-lasting bonds. The courses offered in 2017 will highlight the areas of acting (Play It Out), singing (Just Sing), storytelling (Pass It On), and dancing (Feel It, Move It). At the conclusion of each program, participants may showcase or perform for their peers, friends and families.

“The performance can be an important validation for the artist,” Silvey said. “But it’s also an opportunity to see the talent of our older adults, to better appreciate how vital they are and how much they have to offer.”

CFCArts’ mission is to create opportunities for artists of any age to connect, serve and perform. With dues of $30 for each eight-week program, these courses are affordable and accessible thanks to a sponsorship by the Winter Park Health Foundation. Those who are unable to pay may apply for scholarships.

For more information or to register, call 407-937-1800, ext. 720; or visit cfcarts.com/artsinaction. Space is very limited, and classes are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Art After Dark

Representatives of Downtown Orlando’s dynamic cultural community, The Downtown Arts District, have announced that the second annual Art After Dark semiformal soiree for young professionals will take place Aug. 5. Attendees have the opportunity to meet emerging artists and collectors while enjoying interactive art experiences in a creative atmosphere that features photo opportunities and a silent auction. Within the seven contemporary galleries, complimentary craft cocktails and gourmet light bites will be served by Artisan’s Table, Mediterranean Blue, Hunger Street Tacos, Woodford Reserve, Insomnia Cookies and more. Guests will also receive a special gift. Tickets are available online for $35 and at the door for $45. Art After Dark is a limited engagement with entry for 250 attendees. It will be held at CityArts Factory, 29 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, from 7-10 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit artafterdark2017.eventbrite.com, and for more information, visit www.orlandoslice.com.

New Art Exhibition

Officials at Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens announced an exhibit that highlights the new Florida School of Painters. Captured in Paint: Central Florida in Art will run from Sept. 12 through Dec. 3. The works on display come from the private collections of Hal Stringer and Kevin Miller, local art collectors and plein air advocates. The exhibit explores a collection of contemporary landscapes illustrating the Central Florida that residents love — one filled with light, atmosphere, dramatic weather and a myriad of lush ecosystems, from palmetto scrub to sandy beaches — depicted by various plein air artists.

Plein air comes from the French word meaning “open air” and is the painting style that the artists featured in the collection embrace. The canvases become more impressive when the viewer considers the challenging factors for the artist who chooses to paint in the field, with shifting natural light and a range of temperatures and weather conditions. Captured in Paint: Central Florida in Art also illustrates and helps to preserve some of Central Florida’s most beloved natural landscapes.

“It is our hope that this collection of contemporary Florida landscapes not only captures the beauty of this remarkable, sunshine-drenched state, but will also kindle the spark of conservation within each viewer’s heart,” said Rachel Frisby, Polasek Museum curator. “This exhibit is a celebration of what the Florida landscape is today as we highlight relevant conservation challenges and the triumphs of our next generation of the Florida School painters.”

For more information, visit polasek.org.

Orlando Museum of Art

Orlando Museum of Art welcomes visitors of all ages and abilities. Special programs have been set up specifically to suit the needs of different groups of people. Arts on the Go is for senior adults living in congregate living sites who are unable to travel to the museum. It uses art reproductions and hands-on objects as a way to connect to lifetime experiences, social issues and to stimulate personal memories as part of lifelong learning activities. It creates a positive, communal experience that gives older adults the opportunity to appreciate art and share memories together.

Art With Purpose is a partnership with the Zebra Coalition, a local nonprofit organization that provides services for LGBTQ youth ages 13-24. The program offers Zebra youth weekly art workshops that relate to topics of identity. Each youth is provided with a visual journal in which he or she creates his or her work. The process of art journaling allows the youth to engage in a progressive internal dialogue whose tone develops each week. At the conclusion of each session, participants are asked to share their work with the group — a conversation that is overseen by a licensed mental health counselor. The objective of the program is to provide engaging art programming that offers opportunities for self-development and self-improvement.

Through interactive tours of the museum’s exhibitions, Art’s the Spark gives those living with memory or neurological impairments and their healthy caregivers a fun experience, an expressive outlet and an opportunity for adult discussions. It is based on a similar program at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and is the only one of its kind in Central Florida. It provides a safe environment for members of the community who may have lost their memory but not their imagination and a forum for dialogue through looking at and making art. OMA professional educators lead small group tours in the museum’s galleries during nonpublic hours, offering an experience designed to use fine art as a catalyst for discussion and reminiscing. After the tour, healthy caregivers enjoy social time with other caregivers with coffee and conversation while their loved ones engage in a studio art activity.

The museum offers a program that connects visitors of all ages with developmental and learning disabilities and those on the autism spectrum to art and the world around them. In an environment where there are no wrong questions or answers, the Creative Connections program sparks imagination and fosters creative expression. The workshops welcome children and adults with a range of abilities and learning styles together with family members. All can enjoy the workshops, which include exploring art galleries and then making their own studio classroom.

ArtReach delivers multifaceted arts enrichment programming for children and families living at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. The program consists of instructor-guided studio art classes and workshops delivered at the Women and Children’s Resource Center at the coalition and the museum, plus five interactive tours of exhibitions at the museum. ArtReach sessions provide participants with a creative outlet and safe environment for the expression of feelings. The art-making activities within the program develop lifelong learning skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving and patience. Successful completion of art projects also builds self-esteem and confidence in youth participants.

The museum brings art to ill children through engaging storytelling and hands-on art activities. Hospital ArtReach provides an opportunity for children to spend quality time with their families outside of a sterile hospital room and a creative outlet for expressing their feelings. OMA officials believe the power of art will aid in the healing process to lift spirits, spark imaginations and boost self-esteem. The project currently provides programs to Nemours Children’s Hospital, Florida Hospital for Children, and Orlando Health’s Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital.

Outreach Lectures makes art appreciation and lifelong learning accessible to those unable to visit OMA. The museum offers lectures about a variety of artists, art historical trends and current exhibitions at the museum on a regular basis throughout the year to retirement centers, organizations and conferences.

Available times and costs for OMA’s programs vary. For more information, call 407-896-4231 or visit omart.org.

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