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Your weekend arts forecast: MLK documentary, sidewalk arts in Gulfport

Bill DeYoung



Gulfport's Second Saturday IndieFaire. Photo by Larry Busby

Monday celebrates the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (the day’s St. Petersburg’s observance parade will be virtual). Appropriately, St. Petersburg’s indie movie house – the intimate Green Light Cinema at 221 2nd Ave N. – is screening director Sam Pollard’s new documentary film MLK/FBI, covering FBI director J. Edgar Hoover’s exhaustive efforts to blackmail and discredit King.

Screenings are twice daily Friday through Monday. The theater is socially distanced. Details are here.

Ah, but when he speaks. It’s not just the famous speeches, but things like a press conference after he won the Nobel Peace Prize (which, naturally, infuriated Hoover), or when he’s talking to a reporter who is setting up a TV segment. And especially when a reporter keeps pestering him about the violence that breaks out at peaceful rallies. She won’t let it go, and there’s an ugly, condescending tone in her voice.

King’s tone is calm and measured, and far more effective. We have to look at who is committing the violence at those rallies, he said.

Film review, Chicago Sun-Times/Jan. 12, 2021


In Gulfport

In October, the Gulfport Merchants Chamber hived off its monthly artwalk into two parts – the First Friday ArtWalk, a juried show dedicated to nothing but fine art, and the Third Saturday IndieFaire, with crafts, jewelry, botanicals and others.

The latter event happens this weekend, on Jan. 16, on the downtown sidewalks of Gulfport’s Beach Boulevard. Hours are 5-9 p.m., and all social distancing and safety protocols are met and exceeded as part of the safety awareness campaign known as Gulfport STRONG. Face masks are required.

Music and theater

Back for another round of weekend classics is The Florida Orchestra, in a 25 percent capacity Mahaffey Theater. Saturday’s performance, at 2 and 8 p.m., is called New Year’s in Vienna, and it includes those good auld lang syne favorites Johann Strauss Jr.’s Blue Danube, Champagne Polka, Overture to Die Fledermaus and more. Michael Francis conducts. Tickets are here.

Doubt: A Parable opens tonight at the David A. Straz Center’s Jaeb Theater, after a Covid-mandated 10-month hold. With Roxanne Fay, David Jenkins, Emily Belvo and Andresia Moseley onstage, it’s like watching a master class in dramatic acting (yours truly attended Wednesday’s preview performance). Tickets are here.

The first weekend of American Stage’s 2021 21st Century Voices: New Play Festival is upon us, with panel discussions and workshops dedicated to mental health, wellness and resiliency. The all-virtual event is, of course, centered around staged readings, and the schedule includes In Search of The Mothman by Amber Palmer, and Sons of Liberty by Cris Eli Blak. Both are followed by discussions with the artists.

In the art museums

On view this weekend: The awesome immersive Van Gogh Lives at the Dali Museum; Color Riot! How Color Changed Navajo Textiles – a unique historical travelogue at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg; Blake Little: Photographs From the Gay Rodeo Circuit at the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art; and the visually stunning Living Color: The Art of the Highwaymen at the Tampa Museum of Art.

“Color Riot! How Color Changed Navajo Textiles” is on view through March 14 at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg.


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