Aug. 24 – Historic downtown Sanford Art Walk
One more day in the month – dedicated to art – is the fourth Friday of each month when art galleries in Sanford showcase local talent and visiting artists. The monthly event is free and runs from 6 to 9 p.m. On that evening, downtown Sanford becomes a pedestrian corridor enhanced by live music and award-winning restaurants. Participating venues include Art Affair Gallery, Framing 508 Gallery of Art, Gallery on First, Historic Sanford Welcome Center, Hyder Gallery Center for Fine Art, Jeanine Taylor Folk Art, little fish HUGE pond and the Sanford Flower Shop. All venues are within walking distance of one another and will be open “at least until 9 p.m.” Special congratulations go to the Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery at 211 E. First St., which celebrates Taylor’s 15th year in business this month. Jeanine invites us to stop by for a slice of anniversary cake and punch. Call 407-323-2774 or visit jtfolkart.com or sanfordartwalk.com
Aug. 25 – The 8th Annual Red Chair Affair
It’s known as the kick-off of the Central Florida arts and culture season, and whether you are new to the area, a patron of the arts or simply want to know more about the arts in Central Florida, this one evening serves as a not-to-be missed fundraiser and variety performance. Moved along at a brisk pace by Director John DiDonna, the evening is your ‘sampler’ of this season’s cultural offerings. Performances will be provided by Art & History Museums – Maitland, ArtistsRegistry.com, Empty Spaces Theatre Collaboration, the Bach Festival, Enzian, Florida Opera Theatre, the Orlando Ballet, the Orlando Philharmonic and Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, among others. The evening is a fundraiser for the Red Chair Project, a collaborative involving 360 arts organizations working to promote the arts. The 8th Annual Red Chair Affair will be held at the Bob Carr PAC. Call 407-872-2382.
Aug. 25 –Great food for an important cause
It breaks my heart to report that 1 out of 5 people in Central Florida – that is more than 732,000 people – needed food assistance last year, a 152 percent increase from 2006. But it gladdens my heart to know that in the past year Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida distributed more than 35 million pounds of food to our hungry neighbors. That is 732,000 reasons to support Taste of the Nation Orlando on Saturday, Aug. 25. Those of us fortunate enough to be able to lend our support may savor the finest food and wine with our most esteemed chefs coming together to donate their talent to end hunger in America. All 100 percent of the ticket sales support Share Our Strength’s efforts to end hunger, so please join Honorary Chair Mayor Buddy Dyer at the World Center Marriott on Aug. 25. Tickets are $150 with 100 percent of ticket proceeds going directly to Second Harvest Food Bank and the Coalition for the Homeless. Visit facebook.com/nokidhungry or ce.strength.org/Orlando
Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. – Artist Critiques & Conversation with the public invited (for free!)
I am grateful every day that my life is filled with art and artists, and one of the joyful ways I’ve found to give back is to lead an introductory Artist Critiques & Conversation evening on every fourth Tuesday of the month at The Art & History Museums – Maitland (A&H). The next fourth Tuesday is Aug. 28. Not only does the series help emerging artists with a professional critique, but it also allows the public to meet these artists. At each session, works of art have been purchased directly from the artists while they were being critiqued – and that is real help to these artists – especially in this economy. Each month I am joined by two fellow panelists, and on Aug. 28, I am honored to be joined by artist Robin Maria Pedrero and Orlando Sentinel columnist and artist Terry Hummel. That’s the fourth Tuesday of every month at A&H at 210 W. Packwood Ave. in Maitland. The program is free. Visit ArtandHistory.org or call 407-539-2181.
Aug. 28 – Big Time Rush in Big Time Tour
Recently chosen as the world’s most popular boy-band by Parade magazine, and in response to their first tour – which sold out thanks to their popular TV series – Big Time Rush will come to the Amway Center on Aug. 28. The series follows four best friends from Minnesota who trade in hockey sticks for music stardom in Los Angeles (averaging 3.6 million viewers). Their new album “Elevate” includes “Music Sounds Better With U,” “All Over Again” and “Elevate” plus music that will debut on the TV series. The soundtrack for their upcoming movie, “Big Time Movie,” features covers of Beatles songs including “Help” and “Hard Day’s Night.” Visit BigTimeTour.com. Buy tickets at amwaycenter.com, at Amway Center box office, or by phone at 800-745-3000.