Saturday, November 18, 2017
News Roundup

Tarpon Springs' Center for Gulf Coast Folklife opens with exhibit on Haiti

RECOMMENDED READING


TARPON SPRINGS — The gallery near the entrance to the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center is awash with the colors of the Caribbean. The traditional arts and music that decades of Haitian immigrants have brought to Florida fill the room.

This free exhibit is the first to be shown in the new Center for Gulf Coast Folklife at the cultural center, which is housed in Tarpon Springs' stately brick former city hall. It opens tonight with a 5:30 reception and will run through May 20.

"Florida is different than any other part of the country. We hope this will serve as a center that will present aspects of folklife from all over Florida," said Tina Bucuvalas, curator of arts and historical resources for Tarpon Springs.

She hopes to bring three or four exhibits a year to the new folklife center.

The Haitian exhibit, made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, is an outgrowth of the devastating earthquake suffered by the island nation in 2010, Bucuvalas said.

"We began planning for an exhibit at the time of the earthquake," she said, "and decided then to dedicate this first exhibit to Haitian arts."

People attending tonight's free opening reception can sample traditional Haitian culinary treats, including a spicy ceviche, made from raw seafood marinated in lemon juice, and a malanga fritter, made from a root vegetable commonly used in Haitian and Cuban cooking.

The exhibit begins at the front door with the human-sized figure of Anacona, a 15th century woman prominent in traditional songs and stories of the island of Hispaniola, which Haiti occupies along with the Dominican Republic. The stately figure is fashioned from jet black plastic and adorned with bright turquoise feathers and red gemstones, including a lavish feathery headdress.

A visitor ambling around the room will find panels discussing the history of Haitians in Florida, along with descriptions of the music and art on display. Among the wall hangings are an image of a smiling chef, two geese in hand, crafted from a steel drum. There's also a jungle scene painted by Haitian artist Rara Kuyu of Miami. In the painting, a black panther and an orange tiger peer through vivid red, green and blue foliage.

On one wall is mounted a different type of art — a Haitian voodoo (called "Vodou" in Haiti) flag in muted colors, made from hundreds of beads and sequins.

Most of the art comes from the former Historical Museum of Southern Florida, now called HistoryMiami. An estimated 375,000 or more documented Haitians now live in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, according to the U.S. census figures. Most are refugees from decades of corrupt dictators and the 2010 earthquake.

"The Haitians in Miami have done tremendously well," said Bucuvalas. "They've gotten into education, politics and the whole area of health care."

The Tampa Bay area has fewer resident Haitians — about 3,000 in Hillsborough County and fewer than 1,000 in Pinellas, according to the census.

Several Haitian artists from Miami will be on hand for tonight's reception, including Carl Montes, who designed the Anacona figure at the entrance, and Jude Thegenus, a painter and musician who will play a traditional Haitian drum.

Thegenus' drum appears in a display case along with other traditional instruments, such as a po lambi, a large conch shell, and a tcha tcha, which resembles a maraca.

A display of typical domestic items, including a mortar and pestle for mashing herbs and seeds, is on view, as is a homemade kite and a traditional fanal, a type of small church originating in Africa — in Senegal and Sierra Leone. The fanal is made from cardboard with colored paper windows. A candle inside shines through the paper.

More informative panels throughout the room reveal how Africa and various Caribbean cultures influenced each other. Those nations include the more distant Trinidad, along with Cuba, the Bahamas, Hispaniola and Jamaica.

"Because of limited natural resources, there's always been a lot of migration among Caribbean nations," Bucuvalas said. "The languages of Haiti have been influenced by French, Creole and African languages."

 
Comments

HomeTeam Hot Shots: Male nominations for Nov. 11-17

Each week, our HomeTeam staffers nominate male Hot Shots from each of the counties we cover. Then we turn the voting over to readers. These nominations span Saturday, Nov. 11-Friday, Nov. 17. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Monday...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Boater missing in waters north of Bradenton, dog found alive

Boater missing in waters north of Bradenton, dog found alive

CORTEZ — The Coast Guard and others are scouring the waters near Mead Point, just inland from Anna Maria Island, for a 63-year-old boater who has been missing since Friday evening. Fraser Horne, from Cortez, left Egmont Key on his 30-foot boat, Golde...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

TAMPA — Belief is the biggest attribute a quarterback can bring to his team. Belief in his talent. Belief in his commitment to winning. Belief in his ability to bring everyone together and have his voice lead the path forward.But the belief the Bucs ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

TAMPA — Can the Bucs pull off back-to-back wins with a backup quarterback? Win a game on the road for the first time this season? Politely hand the unnamed trophy for the state’s worst football team back to the Dolphins?Mike Evans is back from his su...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh: Who would you rather have?

Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh: Who would you rather have?

In the crowd-pleasing sports-talk of game of "Who Would You Rather Have?’’ there might not be a more perfect match-up than this.Gerald McCoy vs. Ndamukong Suh.Both are defensive tackles. Both went to, what were at the time, Big 12 schools. Both were ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

TAMPA — In the spring of 2010, one of the biggest debates the week leading up to the NFL draft was which defensive tackle would be selected first? Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy.Both figured to be highly productive NFL players. S...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa police: Drunk wrong-way driver caused major crashes on Courtney Campbell Causeway

Tampa police: Drunk wrong-way driver caused major crashes on Courtney Campbell Causeway

TAMPA — Police arrested a 26-year-old man they say drove the wrong way while drunk and caused a multi-vehicle crash Friday on the Courtney Campbell Causeway.Collin John Cole faces two counts of driving under the influence causing serious bodily injur...
Updated: 3 hours ago

AC/DC founding member Malcolm Young dead at 64

NEW YORK (AP) — Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitarist and guiding force behind the Australian hard rock band AC/DC, has died. He was 64. AC/DC announced the death on their official Facebook page and website Saturday. The posts did not say when or where...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Dolphins preview

Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Dolphins preview

Greg Auman has a final preview of Sunday’s Bucs-Dolphins game in Miami in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.He talks about key matchups to watch for, from perhaps the NFL’s best slot receiver in Jarvis Landry, to Miami’s vulnerabilities at right tackl...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Romano: Hunting for a deadly needle in the Seminole Heights haystack

Romano: Hunting for a deadly needle in the Seminole Heights haystack

During the day, you hear from the psychics and the kooks. The well-intentioned tipsters, and the unsolicited profilers. This is all part of serial killer spillover, a sort of cottage industry of macabre.It gets tougher at night when you’re hounded by...
Updated: 2 hours ago