Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Catching Up

I have a little catching up to do. I was a little busy last week, what with the election and all. What, you didn't know about the election on September 11th? That's OK, most of St. Pete didn't seem to know about it either.

There were primary elections for St. Petersburg City Council on Tuesday, September 11th. However, only about 11% of the registered voters in the two districts with elections bothered to show up to vote. In Council District 5, incumbent Council Member Jamie Bennett received 67% of the vote. He will face Chris Kelly in the general election in November. Kelly received 19% of the vote in the District 5 primary.

In the District 3 Primary, Cathy Harrelson failed to advance. Harrelson received 23% of the vote in the four person primary. The top two vote getters were Ed Montanari (42%) and Bill Dudley (30%). These two advanced to the general election, to be voted on city wide, in November.

So much for the election results. At the Friday Morning Group meeting on September 7th, we were joined by Barry Rothstein of the Maddux Report. In his spare time, Barry is also President of the Downtown Business Association. Barry filled us in on the Downtown Business Association's plans for a holiday window display program, themed to "Holiday Music". Downtown businesses will be teaming up with interior designers for some eye catching window displays (a la New York city) in the hopes of turning the downtown into a window viewing (and shopping ) destination this holiday season. The kickoff will be the day after Thanksgiving and the displays will run through New Years.

And for those of you who don't know, Barry is also a painter. In fact, Barry has a show opening at the Finn Gallery (176 4th Ave NE) on October 19th. You'll want to check out the bottom of this little ditty for a real treat.

On September 14th, we were joined at the Friday Morning Group by the inimitable Tony Collins. Tony, one of the founding members of the Friday Morning Group, is going on the Board of Directors of the Tampa Museum of Art in October.

We also got all the low down on the Friends of Photography dinner for Herb Snitzer at Redwoods. This sold out event was half tribute and half roast. Herb also sold eight photographs at the dinner. And the Museum of Fine Arts extended his show for one week. To top it off, Herb is now a member of the faculty of Eckerd College.

In other news that made the rounds last Friday Morning:
  • Mike Conway received an Honorable Mention at the Arts Center Member Show. Congratulations, Mike!

  • Rave reviews were given about the rave review received by Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson now playing at American Stage. Here is a snippet from the St. Petersburg Times:
"It is a brilliant production that goes to the heart of why Wilson was an American playwright to rank with Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller. ... Sharon E. Scott heads the outstanding cast of Gem of the Ocean, expertly directed by Bob Devin Jones. ... Gem of the Ocean is so rich with humanity, and this production is so fine, that it virtually demands American Stage return to the other plays of Wilson's cycle in seasons to come. "
  • Bravo, Bob!
  • Salt Creek Art Works will be hosting the Art of Healing on September 28th. This show is a benefit for the Bayfront Medical Center Foundation.

Finally, the City of St. Pete has found an additional $200 thousand for arts and social services funding in the upcoming budget year. Yet to be determined is how it will be divvied up. The level of arts and social services funding is still only about 25% of what it was a year ago.

And for a little treat, here is the invitation to Barry Rothsteins's show at the Finn Gallery.

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