TGIF: Keys Residents say they need help not tourists

Although no longer in the headlines, the Florida Keys is still suffering from the impact of Hurricane Irma that hit in September. In a desperate move, the Keys were open to the public on October 1. Tourism is the lifeline of the economy. 

While Key Largo and Key West suffered little damage, most of the Keys were devastated by Hurricane Irma. 

According to FEMA 25% of the homes in the Keys were impacted by Hurricane Irma and 65% of the homes were destroyed. Recovery efforts continue in the the lower Keys and Marathon which were hardest hit by the storm. 

The focus on luring tourists back to the Keys has baffled some residents who still haven’t recovered from the hurricane. They feel essential needs of residents are being overlooked. 

Schools and educational organizations in the Keys have also been devastated and need help. Big Pine Academy is asking for donations for their recovery efforts. Donations will help rebuild the school and replace supplies lost by the teachers. Visit their website to see how you can help. (https://bigpineacademy.com)

I’m determined to do what I can to help. I am donating 40% per cent of the proceeds from my coloring book Splash and Color to the Early Learning Children’s Foundation in Miami.

The Early Learning Children’s Foundation carried supplies to the Keys immediately after the hurricane. They have a track record of helping the residents of the Florida Keys. It’s my boots on the ground approach. Please buy a coloring book to help South Florida recover from Hurricane Irma. 

https://www.splashandcolor.com

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The Bass: Talk of the Town

 

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Before renovation, The Bass displays Public Art during Art Basel. 

The Bass solidifies its position as an art leader in Miami by bringing a fresh way of seeing and experiencing art. The grand reopening of The Bass heralds a new age.

After being closed for 2 1/2 years, The Bass opens with much fanfare and anticipation on Sunday. Before its temporary closure, the museum had transformed itself to a hotspot for contemporary art.

Now it artfully and skillfully showcases its old masterpieces alongside contemporary art. Botticelli, Rubens, El Greco and Van Dyke take center near contemporary art and challenges visitors to rethink their perceptions about art.

Instead of discarding the past, The Bass preserves it in a fresh and exciting way. The Art Deco building that houses the Bass is revitalized with new exhibition spaces, expanded lobby and education center, and grand staircase.

Designed by Russell Pancoast in the 1930s, it is one of the oldest buildings in Miami Beach. With the new expansion, the old and new form a fascinating dialogue.

As William Murtugh states “…at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present with a mutual concern for the future.”

The Bass has done that in a bold and brash way.

St Simons Lighthouse Labor Day Celebration


I love the Golden Isles. Georgia’s coast offers a quiet and scenic reprieve. Miles of sawgrass usher you into this island paradise. The magnetic, naturalistic charm of Georgia’s Golden Isles is alluring. Add this with the fabulous Sounds of Motown concert and you got swinging combination. 


Bring a basket and cooler to enjoy music with St. Simons Lighthouse as a backdrop. Relax under the stars with a blanket and lawn chair while sipping your favorite drink. 
Pay only $12 for ages 13 years and older. Admission is free for children under 12 years and Keepers of the Light. This event is September 3 from 7-9 pm. 
The Sounds of Motown ends the 2017 “A Little Light Music” concert series. It is presented by the Coastal Georgia Historical Society and sponsored by Elegant Coastal Living Magazine. 
http://www.elegantislandliving.net/events/a-little-light-music-2017-sensational-sounds-of-motown/
http://www.elainemarieartist.com

Respect Your Monument


I saw this sign a sign saying “Repect Your National Monuments” when touring the Washington Mall and visiting historic landmarks. Funny how now the fight over monuments has become the battle cry of white supremacists. The removal of confederate monuments nationwide have upset, embolden them and fueled their hatred. 

After all monuments signify who we are. The indefinite closing of the Washington Monument at the Washington Mall speaks volumes about the dysfunction in our government. 

South Beach Finally Gets It After Raucous Behavior


Splash and Color: Art Deco Coloring Book for Kids of All Ages. A coloring book to engage families with Art Deco. I thought it was a good idea a few years ago.

When I pitched my idea about reaching the family market in South Beach a few years ago, I was met with disdain. My plea fell on deaf ears when I approached the Miami Design Preservation League, Delano and the hotels on Ocean Drive about my coloring book and a Coloring Contest to reach the family market in South Beach. I wasn’t surprised by the lack of enthusiasm or vision. Artists have a tendency to be ahead of the curve.

After years of bad publicity and overly aggressive police behavior to control “raucous” behavior Mayor Levine and the City of Miami Beach are endeavoring to change the Art Deco District’s image. They want to make Ocean Drive better for residents and families. The recent Air and Sea Show is a good start. I hope the business community supports the initiatives to make Ocean Drive a safer and better place for residents and families.
http://splashandcolor.com

Hey Mr Trump Art is Business

Art Basel bring tens of thousands of cultural travelers to Miami each year.

As a savy businessman and leader of the free world, I would think you would appreciate that Art is Big Bucks.  I read that in February you visited the National Museum of African American Museum (NMAAHC). I am sure you didn’t have to stand in line like most Americans to visit the museum. I had to get up early three months in a row to get timed tickets online. It took me more than one hour to go through an online que to finally get the tickets.

The point I’m making is that the African American Museum is driving people to Washington, DC. Probably people like me who only decided to revisit DC because of the Museum. According to Skit.com the “African American Museum sets a new standard in Museums as Destination. The large number of visitors in February forced the Museum to offer timed tickets.”
The Alliance of Museums reports that museums “directly contribute $21 billion to the US economy each year and billions more through indirect spending by visitors.” In addition, “There are approximately 850 million visits each year to American museums, more than the attendance of all major league sports events and theme parks combined (483 million in 2011).

Back to the Big Bucks theory. According to the Travel Industry of America “Thirty percent or 35.3 million adults say that a specific arts, cultural or heritage event or activity influenced their choice of destination. In fact, many travelers will extend their stay because of an arts, cultural or heritage event or activity. That mean cultural tourists spend more than the average tourist. This translates to jobs. Hey, I thought you were all about bringing jobs home.

And I know you’re all about business. So is defunding the National Endowment for the Arts a good business decision? 

http://www.elainemarieartist.com

Twelve Dollars Can Save a Lighthouse 

For only $12, you can join efforts to save Florida’s Endangered Lighthouses. join the Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation at http://www.floridakeysreeflightsfoundation.wildapricot.org/page-1475853

Last year the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation announced the 2016 11 Most Endangered Historic Sites at the 38 th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference in Tallahassee. The Most Endangered Historic Sites program is designed to increase the public’s awareness of the urgent need to save Florida’s neglected or threatened historic resources, and to empower local preservationists and preservation groups in their efforts to preserve Florida’s rich history.

Florida Keys Reef Lighthouses was on the Most Endangered List
 The Florida Keys Reef Lighthouses are an important piece of Florida’s history. The six reef lighthouses are Carysfort Reef (6 miles south of Key Largo), Sand Key (7 miles southwest of Key West), Sombrero Key (5 miles south of Marathon), Alligator Reef (4 miles south of Islamorada), Fowey Rocks (6 miles east of Key Biscayne) and American Shoal (5 miles south of Sugar Loaf). Built between 1852 and 1880, these lighthouses are made of cast iron with a skeletal design to let as much wind and waves pass through in order to withstand hurricanes. These lighthouses were constructed to warn ships of the hazardous reefs below the surface. The Florida Keys Reef Lighthouses are currently owned by the US Coast Guard. The Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation is applying for ownership of all but Fowey Rocks, which has been transferred to Biscayne National Park. With the Coast Guard facing budget cuts and many boaters relying on GPS for navigation, the proper upkeep of the lighthouses has been lacking. All lighthouses now have corrosion showing, and vandals leave the doors and windows open causing damage on the inside (Fowey Rocks has been secured now). The need to save these lighthouses as pieces of history now doubles to protect the reef. Should the lighthouses be left to decay the structures would fall on the reef causing damage that cannot be repaired.

“Art, like morality consists in drawing the line somewhere” GK Chesterton.

 

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