Executive Director John Collins and the staff and artists of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance are in high gear, planning several major events in furtherance of the organizations’ stated goal, “advocating for the arts, facilitating the growth of our arts community and driving arts-related economic development in St. Petersburg.”
Coming Oct. 6-14 is the fourth annual SHINE Mural Festival, during which more than a dozen new public murals will be created, right before our eyes, by mural artists of varying styles from our area and around the globe.
Formed with a seed grant from the Mayor’s Cultural Affairs office, SHINE has brightened up St. Pete’s otherwise drab and dingy downtown walls with more than 50 murals since its inception.
For 2018, Salt Palm Development has been brought aboard as title sponsor. A Certified B Corp aligning purpose with profit to lead community improvement projects, Salt Palm Development and mural artists the Vitale Brothers have planned a neighborhood beautification project, with details to be announced.
Narrated stories behind the first two years of Shine murals are on the Arts Alliance website at https://stpeteartsalliance.org/shine-mural-festival/
Next out of the Arts Alliance gate will be the St. Petersburg Festival of the Arts, also in its fourth year. The expansive performing arts series unfolds Oct. 19-28 at various locations around the city.
A good amount of the events brought under the festival umbrella were previously scheduled, including the St. Pete Opera production of Don Giovanni (Oct. 19, 21 and 23) at the Palladium; The Florida Orchestra saluting rock legends Queen at the Mahaffey (Oct. 19) and the annual TFO Pops show in Vinoy Park (Oct. 20); the Tampa Bay Latin Film Festival at SunDial (Oct. 18-21); An Evening of Jazz at the Hangar restaurant (Oct. 22); the jazz ensemble La Lucha! at the James Museum (Oct. 23); Paul Wilborn & the Blue Roses American Songbook Cabaret (Oct. 25 at the Iberian Rooster restaurant); AS IF! Improv Festival at American Stage (Oct. 26); Shakespeare in the City: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Williams Park (Oct. 26, 28); Halloween Movies in Williams Park (Oct. 27); the Florida Orchestra with An Evening at Bach’s Coffeehouse at the Mahaffey (Oct. 27); a special St. Pete Opera production of Sunshine City, the Musical (Oct. 28 at Opera Central).
Not a bad lineup, right? Hang on, it gets even better: The following performance events were commissioned and/or dreamed up, for the festival, by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance:
Work: Site – Dance at Work (Oct. 25 and 26, times and locations vary). Six site-specific dance works created in and for workplaces around downtown St. Petersburg. A project of Dance Linkages, curated and directed by Andee Scott, Work: Site invites the audience to experience the making and performing of dance as public art, with open rehearsals occurring during regular business hours at each location leading up to the performances. Free. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for specifics.
Air-Earth-Fire-Water: Creative Collaboration (at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Museum of Fine Arts). An intriguing collaboration between playwright Sheila Cowley, dancer/choreographer Helen Hansen French, co-choreographer Paula Kramer and actors Eugenie Bondurant and Ned Averill-Snell, viola player A.J. Vaughan and dancers Erin Cardinal, Brian Fidalgo, French and Alex Jones. “Scientists wrangle with the real world and join dancers exploring imaginative movement in this joyous outdoor work that is storytelling through words and movement,” is the way it’s being explained. Free.
St. Pete Shares the Stage! Dance St. Pete (at 8 p.m. Oct. 27, Palladium). “St. Pete’s vibrant dance community shares the stage to showcase the best of the best in the region for an enlivening evening of dance.” Tickets/info: www.mypalladium.org/box-office.
Take A Chance Dance Project (at 2 p.m. Oct. 27, First Unity). Actors/writers Bob Devin Jones, Fanni Green and Maureen McDole collaborate with choreographer Paula Kramer to create three original performance pieces focusing on a sense of place. “The excitement,” they say, “lies in taking a chance and revealing the dancer within the actor!” Free.
Orchestra Fuego Concert & Dance (6 p.m. Oct. 28, Manhattan Casino). Salsa, merengue, cha-cha, bolero, bachata and more – Tampa Bay’s own muy caliente Latin orchestra, with dance lessons too! A benefit for Puerto Rico Relief. Tickets/info: www.stpeteartsalliance.org.
Also on the schedule: “Pop-up” performances of all stripes downtown Oct. 25-27.