Tuesday, January 16, 2018
News Roundup

Gasparilla arts fest adds young exhibitors to full slate of offerings

TAMPA — Gasparilla Festival of the Arts president Adam Raschke checks off a list of the outdoor exhibition's offerings this weekend.

• More than 100,000 people eyeing and buying artwork.

• Wide range of media displayed.

• Outstanding caliber of exhibitors, 235 out of 700 applicants.

• Cash prizes exceeding $75,000, including $15,000 Raymond James Financial Best of Show award.

• Juror Mark Ormond, who brings more than 25 years experience as curator, author, lecturer and consultant.

• Live music, food trucks and non-stop children's activities.

So what might the 47th annual festival lack?

"We upped the number of emerging artist stipends to 15 last year," Raschke said, "and historically, we rate excellent with established artists.

"But I always felt we had a gap in the mid-teen level of participation. And I thought we could improve our geographic exposure."

With that in mind, Raschke launched two new programs aimed at children in the 5 to 18 age range.

High school students from six area counties compete in the inaugural Scholastic Showcase juried competition. Arts educators were informed of the criteria and invited to submit four or five works per district.

Like the adult entries, students may use paint, glass, ceramics, jewelry, photography, sculpture, fiber, wood or mixed media. All of the student entries, while not for sale, will be on display at Kiley Garden, 400 N. Ashley Drive downtown.

Now here's the kicker: One piece will be awarded $1,000 and that artist's school will receive a $500 donation for its visual arts program.

The inaugural K-8 T-Shirt Art Contest, guided by board member Jessica Raia Long, a culinary arts teacher at Barrington Middle School, was open to Hillsborough County elementary and middle schools. The winning work will be printed on children's T-shirts available for purchase during the Festival.

Also new this year for the junior set, a scavenger hunt, designed by Tampa Museum of Art community engagement manager Kessanda Abel.

"Families explore the Festival through dancing, creating artwork and visiting the museum," Abel said. When they complete all the activities, they can turn the card in for a coin which they can keep or exchange for a poster. Abel coordinates two full days of children's art experiences in Kiley Garden.

"By including more children in a significant manner, we hope they will see at an early age that becoming an artist is attainable and rewarding," Raschke said.

A news conference this week marked the official collaboration of Gasparilla-branded festivals when city, county and event officials designated March as "Gasparilla Arts Month," connecting the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, Gasparilla International Film Festival (March 2-9) and Gasparilla Music Festival (March 11-12) into a meaningful effort.

"We moved beyond the parades to look more holistically at the entire cultural offerings of the community in the February to April time window," said Patrick Harrison, Visit Tampa Bay chief marketing officer. "The Gasparilla season of events provide experiences for visitors and lets them see a side of Tampa Bay's interest in and commitment to the arts."

Hillsborough county hotel occupancy averaged 95 percent during Gasparilla Festival of the Arts weekends in 2015 and 2016, according to Harrison — an indicator of the size of the festival's following.

"Those are huge numbers and show the importance of arts, culture and having sunshine when others do not."

Comments
In major shift, House bill would turn three USF universities into one

In major shift, House bill would turn three USF universities into one

Separate accreditation has long been a point of pride and a stamp of independence for the St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee branches of the University of South Florida.Graduates of those schools frame diplomas bearing the name of their own universi...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Video captures basketball game between kids, St. Petersburg officers

Video captures basketball game between kids, St. Petersburg officers

ST. PETERSBURG — Teamwork wins games, they say. And basketball can bridge gaps.That’s what makes the Facebook video of three St. Petersburg police officers playing a game of pickup in the street against three kids so compelling. The officers, who wer...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Top Hillsborough teaching honor goes to a Lewis Elementary educator

Top Hillsborough teaching honor goes to a Lewis Elementary educator

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year is a self-described "busy, busy bee" who never tires of exploring new ways to help students learn, even if she has to be creative.At 56, Bonnie Bresnyan also is a mentor for the next generation of s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Casino boat operator in fatal fire had maintenance, safety issues before earlier blaze

Casino boat operator in fatal fire had maintenance, safety issues before earlier blaze

PORT RICHEY — The casino boat operator whose shuttle caught fire Sunday, leaving one passenger dead, says it does not know what could have caused the blaze.But federal records show the company, now called Tropical Breeze Casino Cruz, had another boat...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Goodbye 70s. Hello freeze watch. Cold spell headed for Tampa Bay.

Goodbye 70s. Hello freeze watch. Cold spell headed for Tampa Bay.

Did everyone enjoy the cool, sunny weather? Because it’s over now.It’s about to get very chilly, Tampa Bay. A rush of arctic air is headed our way, bringing another cold spell. Daytime temperatures will be in the low 60s on Wednesday, but overnight t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Thanks Twitter: Fakesters pose as jackpot winner Shane Missler

Thanks Twitter: Fakesters pose as jackpot winner Shane Missler

Jackpot winner and Florida man Shane Missler wants to leave behind a legacy with his winnings.But he won’t be doing that by doling out cash to Twitter followers.PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Florida man, 20, claims $450M Mega Millions jackpotAn account cunningl...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hillsborough County firefighter gets the ax after investigators find ties to motorcycle gang

Hillsborough County firefighter gets the ax after investigators find ties to motorcycle gang

TAMPA — Hillsborough County officials fired a Fire Rescue medic Tuesday after an internal investigation concluded he had "unwavering loyalty" to the Outlaws Motorcycle Club — the state’s dominant biker gang.Clinton Neal Walker, 33, of Bradenton is th...
Updated: 1 hour ago

St. Pete officer suspended for month after pushing concert guard

ST. PETERSBURG — A police officer was suspended for a month after he pushed a security guard at a summer concert in Tampa, according to St. Petersburg police.It could have been worse: Chief Tony Holloway determined Officer Curtis Wright could have be...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bangladesh, Myanmar agree to Rohingya repatriation timeline; Madsen charged in journalist Wall’s death; more in world news

Bangladesh, Myanmar agree to Rohingya repatriation timeline; Madsen charged in journalist Wall’s death; more in world news

South AsiaNations plan Rohingya returnBangladesh and Myanmar have agreed that they will try to complete within two years the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled from violence in Myanmar, Bangladesh’s Foreign Min...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Italian Butterfingers? Nestle selling candy business for $2.9B

Italian Butterfingers? Nestle selling candy business for $2.9B

Associated PressNEW YORK — Swiss food and drink giant Nestle is selling its U.S. candy business to Italy’s Ferrero for about $2.9 billion in cash. Ferrero will take over iconic chocolate brands Butterfinger and Crunch bars, as well as the sugary Nerd...
Updated: 2 hours ago