Newsroom

Latest News from the City of Gainesville
Posted by: SuperUser Account
9/19/2013
Posted by: SuperUser Account
9/18/2013

The "City Manager’s Biweekly Report to the City Commission" provides information about significant upcoming activities, projects, and meetings in the City of Gainesville over the course of the next two to three weeks. In addition to brief descriptions on each of the upcoming activities, you can click on hyperlinks for more information regarding the presented topic. read more ...

Posted by: SuperUser Account
9/18/2013
Gilberto DePaz and Tropix to Play a Latin Night at "Free Fridays" on Sept. 27

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The City of Gainesville’s “Free Fridays” Concert Series and the Latino Film Festival have partnered to bring the Gainesville community an incredible Latin night with “el Maestro de la salsa” Gilberto DePaz and Tropix on Friday, Sept. 7 from 8-10 p.m. The evening is part of the Latino Film Festival’s calendar of events and is called Noche en El Barrio (A Night in the Neighborhood).

Tropix is a tropical fusion band based in Gainesville, Fla. The band has its roots in the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, and performs music from all over Latin America and Spain, along with American standards. From merengue and salsa, bachata and cumbia, to disco and ballads, Tropix will entertain you with a variety of Latin sounds. The band is composed of five core members, Gilberto DePaz, Waldemar Cabrera, Laura DePaz, Jose “Joe” Rivera Cepeda and Bruni DePaz.

The Gainesville Latino Film Festival (GLFF) is presented by the Latina Women’s League of Gainesville and is one of Gainesville’s biggest and most diverse international cultural events dedicated to developing, promoting and increasing awareness of Latino cultures by presenting a wide variety of art forms and education. Imperative to the GLFF mission is to create a cultural dialogue amongst Latinos and non-Latinos to discuss universal, cross-cultural experiences.

The Gainesville Latino Film Festival showcases the diversity of political and social issues, as well as cultural practices in the Latin community. The lineup expresses these differences, and is also a great representation of the excellence of the Latino community’s art. All shows are free and open to the public. For more information on the film festival, visit www.latinawomensleague.org or call 352-378-9787.

Founded in 2005, the Latina Women’s League is an all women, non-profit organization (501c3) dedicated to contributing to the Latino/Hispanic culture and art in Gainesville. The Latina Women’s League is created as a forum for the discussion of the experiences of Latina women living in the United States.

The “Free Fridays” Concert Series runs from 8 to 10 p.m. on Friday nights in 2013 from Friday, April 5 through Friday, Nov. 8. The Bo Diddley Community Plaza is located on the corner of Southeast First Street and East University Avenue. A complete listing of the “Free Fridays” entertainment schedule can be found at http://www.gvlculturalaffairs.org.

The Free Fridays Concert Series is presented by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. The Cultural Affairs Division is the designated local arts agency for Gainesville and Alachua County. For more information on “Free Fridays,” or to schedule an interview, please contact David Ballard at 352-393-8746.
Posted by: SuperUser Account
9/18/2013
"The All-American Payne's Prairie Home Companion" Show Rescheduled at the Historic Thomas Center

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The rain-cancelled All-American Payne’s Prairie Home Companion show has been rescheduled at the Historic Thomas Center Thursday, Sept. 26 from 8-10 p.m. Admission is $5, with proceeds going to the show’s musicians. The performance was originally scheduled at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza as part of the “Free Fridays” Concert Series on Friday, July 5. It was slated to be this year’s version of the “All-American Song Fest,” held annually at “Free Fridays” since 2008 on the Friday closest to Independence Day.

This year, the songfest that traditionally celebrates American music, has a different focus. According to area musician Ron Thomas, who organizes the songfest, “While previous years have highlighted songs about America and American places, historical and cultural themes, American songwriters and the various genres of American music, this year the theme is a spoof on the popular radio show ‘A Prairie Home Companion.’”

“A Prairie Home Companion” is the National Public Radio show hosted by Garrison Keillor. The local version will offer music, comedy, mock commercials for Gainesville institutions that no longer exist, and the “News from Lake Wauberg,” which parodies the popular “News from Lake Woebegone” sketch on the NPR show.

Musical acts will be Quartermoon with John and Raven Smith, and the New Prairie Dogs, an eclectic group of some of Gainesville’s finest musicians that includes Mike Boulware, Cathy DeWitt, Mick Marino, Rob Rothschild and Ron Thomas. Local actor and Santa Fe College theatre professor Gregg Jones will offer his inimitable vocalizations and serve as a comic foil, and as Ron Thomas says, “He will be the affable, self-deprecating host. A rollicking, informative and hygienic time is guaranteed for all.”

The Historic Thomas Center is located at 302 NE Sixth Ave. in Gainesville. The concert is presented by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. The Cultural Affairs Division is the designated local arts agency for Gainesville and Alachua County.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact David Ballard at 352-393-8746.
Posted by: SuperUser Account
9/18/2013
Embrace Artistic Excellence by Volunteering at Gainesville's Downtown Festival & Art Show

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Mingle with nationally acclaimed artists and sample international cuisine as a volunteer at the 32nd Annual Downtown Festival & Art Show. This award-winning art festival, which is presented by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, features 250 of the nation's finest artists, as well as three stages of live entertainment. Four-hour shifts are available Saturday, Nov. 16 or Sunday, Nov. 17, for volunteers of all ages. Volunteers can assist at the Information Booth, sell T-shirts and posters, booth sit for artists or help with the Children's Imagination Station, a free, hands-on art activity area. As a token of our appreciation, volunteers will receive a commemorative T-shirt.

Volunteers will also have the chance to see downtown Gainesville transform into a hub of artistic culture and creativity. More than 100,000 visitors stroll through the streets to purchase one-of-a-kind artwork and marvel at original oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, unique sculptures, dazzling jewelry, decorative ceramics and vivid photography. Artisans compete for more than $18,000 in cash prizes and purchase awards. While they shop, festival visitors can explore booths showcasing the services and missions of more than 55 local nonprofit organizations. Food booths line the streets and give visitors the chance to indulge in gyros, bloomin' onions, sweet barbecue ribs, Mediterranean pitas, jambalaya and authentic pad Thai cuisine.

For music lovers, the Downtown Festival & Art Show features three stages with continuous, live entertainment by local bands, solo musicians and dance companies. The festival weekend kicks off on Friday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza with a free Downtown Blues Concert presented by the North Central Florida Blues Society. Headlining the evening is Memphis vocalist and harmonica player Brandon Santini.

The festival also includes musical performances, magic shows and puppet shows at the Children's Imagination Station. The Imagination Station offers a large selection of free, hands-on art activities. Children can draw with sidewalk chalk, design masks and hats, make puppets and buttons and sculpt clay.

The Downtown Festival & Art Show, a nationally-recognized event, has ranked among the top festivals in the nation since 1996 and has steadily climbed in rankings in recent years. The festival moved up another three positions this year, breaking its own placement records. The Downtown Festival & Art Show jumped into the top ten in national art show rankings for the first time, from the No. 13 spot to No. 10 on Sunshine Artist magazine's "200 Best" list of top fine arts festivals in the nation.

Celebrate a tradition of artistic excellence at the Downtown Festival & Art Show. If you would like to be a part of our amazing team of volunteers, please contact Linda Piper, Festival Coordinator, at 352-393-8536. Applications may be downloaded at www.gvlculturalaffairs.org. We hope you can join us at this year's festival.
Posted by: SuperUser Account
9/18/2013
The Thomas Center Galleries Opens THE ARTIST IN ALL OF US Alachua County Public Schools Staff Exhibition

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Thomas Center Galleries announces the opening of THE ARTIST IN ALL OF US Alachua County Public Schools Staff Exhibition. This exhibition features work by both art teachers and employees of the district and showcases their remarkable talent. The show is scheduled to run now through Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 in the Thomas Center Mezzanine Gallery.

THE ARTIST IN ALL OF US Alachua County Public Schools Staff Exhibition features over 50 pieces from more than 20 artists created in a variety of media and include: paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures, mosaics, textile works, photographs and furniture.

“In this exhibition, contributing employees have this opportunity to share a part of themselves, their creative side, that they can’t always share in their daily job,” says Debbie Gallagher, Alachua County Public Schools curriculum specialist. “We have employees who excel in many areas of the visual arts and are thankful to the Thomas Center for providing gallery space to display their great work in such a beautiful venue.”

A reception for the exhibition, as well as the soon-to-open PIECES OF DREAMS The Art of Lorelei Esser exhibition will be held Friday, Oct. 4 from 5:30 - 8 p.m. at the Historic Thomas Center.

Selected images from the exhibit can be viewed online at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gainesville/sets/72157635562667423/.

The Thomas Center Galleries are located at 302 NE Sixth Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 1-4 p.m. The galleries are closed for observed holidays. For additional gallery information, please contact Russell Etling, cultural affairs interim manager, at 352-393-8532 or go to www.gvlculturalaffairs.org.
Posted by: SuperUser Account
9/17/2013
Contribute to the Making of a Masterpiece: Become an Art Sponsor for the Downtown Festival & Art Show

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Foster creativity in Alachua County by becoming an art sponsor at the 32nd Annual Downtown Festival & Art Show on Saturday, Nov. 16 and Sunday, Nov. 17. Presented by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, the nationally-recognized Downtown Festival & Art Show draws more than 100,000 visitors each year. As an art sponsor, you can make your name stand out among the crowd by pledging a minimum of $50 in advance toward the purchase of any piece of art. To request a pledge form, contact Festival Coordinator Linda Piper at 352-393-8536 or visit www.gvlculturalaffairs.org.

Art sponsors have the opportunity to choose their favorite artwork from a wide variety of original pieces. Once an art sponsor selects a favorite piece, the chosen artist proudly displays a ribbon and certificate personalized with the sponsor's name. Art sponsors are recognized throughout the festival during live announcements from the Plaza Stage.

During the Downtown Festival & Art Show on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the historic streets of downtown Gainesville will be transformed into a celebration of art and creativity, complete with live music, dance performances and a spectacular array of food. More than 250 artists will line the streets from City Hall to the Hippodrome State Theatre to display their art. Visitors will marvel at vibrant paintings, decorative ceramics, unique sculptures, dazzling jewelry and breathtaking photography.

While adults explore the booths filled with artwork, children can create their own works of art at the Imagination Station, which features a large selection of free, hands-on activities. They can design masks, create puppets, sculpt clay and paint pictures. The Imagination Station will also feature entertainment including magic shows, puppet shows and musical performances.

For music lovers, the festival features continuous, live entertainment on three stages by local bands, solo musicians and dance companies. The weekend kicks off Friday, Nov 15 at 7 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza with a free Downtown Blues concert presented the North Florida Blues Society. Headlining the evening is Memphis vocalist and harmonica player Brandon Santini.

Since its creation, the Downtown Festival & Art Show has risen dramatically in national rankings. The Downtown Festival & Art Show jumped into the top ten in national art show rankings for the first time, from the No. 13 spot to No. 10 on Sunshine Artist magazine's "200 Best" list of top fine arts festivals in the nation.

Mark your calendar now for Nov. 16 and 17, 2013. You won't want to miss this incredible weekend of arts and entertainment at the Downtown Festival & Art Show, north central Florida's most beloved fine arts festival. For more information, call 352-334-ARTS or visit our website at www.gvlculturalaffairs.org.
Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DowntownFestivalandArtShow.
Posted by: SuperUser Account
9/17/2013
Gainesville’s “Free Fridays” Concert Series Presents the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Tribute Band Heavy Petty Sept. 20

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Heavy Petty returns to the “Free Fridays” Concert Series with a tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Friday, Sept. 20 from 8-10 p.m. Tom Petty is one of the most famous musicians to hail from Gainesville, Fla. Heavy Petty is Gainesville’s own Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tribute band. The band first played on Valentine's night in 2010 at Common Grounds in downtown Gainesville. Since then, the four-piece rock and roll band has played many different events and venues in and around Gainesville. Heavy Petty prides itself in playing Tom Petty songs with attention paid to strict interpretation, but also in being able to rock out, have a lot of fun and get the crowd involved.

Jason Hedges is the leader of the band, taking on the role of Tom Petty. Hedges is a natural entertainer and easily gets crowds riled up and singing along. He leads the band by drawing on a vocal style surprisingly similar to Tom Petty. Other members of the band include the newest band member Drew Doerr on bass, Logan Fischer on drums and Daniel App on lead guitar.

All four members of Heavy Petty are also involved in other original music projects. Jason Hedges plays in a multitude of bands including Company Man, a stringed country/folk band based out of Gainesville. Daniel App and Logan Fischer write record and play their own original music and belong to the local dance/rock band Action Figure Saga. Logan also plays in a local pop punk band called The Upside, while Doerr writes music and spends time playing and collaborating with other musicians.

Friday, Sept. 20 is also the second United Downtown event of the season. Produced by the United Way of North Central Florida in partnership with the City of Gainesville, United Downtown is a free downtown street party held adjacent to “Free Fridays” on Friday nights before select home Gator football games. The event series will feature a live DJ from Gainesville’s very own Grooveshark and acoustic music each week at the outdoor beer garden, brought to you by Swamp Head Brewery. The O2BKids! play zone is returning, bigger and better than ever and, for your shopping pleasure, a variety of vendors will be selling their wares.

The Bo Diddley Community Plaza is located on the corner of Southeast First Street and East University Avenue. A complete listing of the “Free Fridays” entertainment schedule can be found at http://www.gvlculturalaffairs.org. “Free Fridays” is presented by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. The Cultural Affairs Division is the designated local arts agency for Gainesville and Alachua County. For more information on “Free Fridays,” or to schedule an interview, please contact David Ballard at 352-393-8746.
Posted by: SuperUser Account
9/17/2013