Josh Garrick: Unearth your inner scientist

Fossil Fest 6 at Orlando Science Center March 17.

Fossil Fest 6 at Orlando Science Center March 17.

Josh Garrick

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March 17 — Fossil Fest at the Science Center

March 17 is a Scientific Saturday event at the Orlando Science Center as OSC hosts Fossil Fest 6 – a celebration of dinosaurs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Unearth your inner paleontologist as you experience presentations from fossil experts, bones on display and dino-riffic activities. Peter Larson, founder of Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in South Dakota, will conduct a seminar — via Skype — on extinction theories about what killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. You can interact with Florida Fossil Hunters, who will share specimens of huge bones and teeth from mega-beasts that thrived here during the ice ages, and participate in a new hands-on activity called the Jr. Paleontologist program. Call 407-514-2000 or visit osc.org

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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will host a neighborhood summit March 17.

March 17 — Mayor Dyer hosts Neighborhood Summit

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer invites all Orlando residents to attend the 7th Annual Neighborhood & Community Summit from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 17, at the DoubleTree hotel, near Universal Orlando, at 5780 Major Blvd. The Summit brings together neighborhood, arts and cultural, civic, community and faith-based leaders to share information on community partnerships while offering the opportunity to learn about city programs. Some of the many workshops include: Ask Your Mayor; OPD: Your Safety Connection; Mayor’s Matching Grants; and Creating a 501(c)(3). A $10 registration fee includes workshops, continental breakfast, lunch and conference materials. Call 407-246-2500 or visit cityoforlando.net/summit

March 16, 18, and 20 — Opera at UCF 

UCF Opera has been expanding its program, including adding three performances of Otto Nicolai’s “Merry Wives of Windsor” this month. The performances are free and open to the public. The first two performances will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 16, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 18, in the Pegasus Ballroom in UCF’s Student Union Building. The third performance will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20, at the Resurrection Catholic Church in Winter Garden. Under the direction of Thomas Potter, UCF Opera will perform a musical adaptation of the Shakespearean comedy with themes of love, marriage, jealousy and revenge as one of Shakespeare’s most famous comic characters — Falstaff — simultaneously courts two married women … and gets caught. The opera will be sung in English, and will feature the UCF Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Laszlo Marosi. Call 407-823-2869 or visit music.ucf.edu

March 21 to April 22 – Seeing ‘Red’

The Orlando Shakespeare Festival presents the 2010 Tony-award-winning play “Red,” a seductive and often disturbing look at painter Mark Rothko, from March 21 to April 22 in Loch Haven Park. Written by John Logan, who was nominated for Oscars for writing “Avatar” and “Gladiator,” Rothko is seen struggling to create new works as he nears the end of his career. The play’s two characters, the angry and impassioned Rothko and his timid assistant Ken, fling thoughts and philosophy around the stage like the random drops on a Jackson Pollock painting. In 90 short minutes, the venomous Rothko embodies the will to create that drives great artists while timid Ken blooms into someone able to fight Rothko as an equal. In the end, the audience sees through the psychobabble to understand a defensive artist struggling with his pride, his legacy and his will to create. Call 407-447-1700 or visit orlandoshakes.org

March 24 – pARTicipation at the Art & History Museums – Maitland

Step up and be amazed! The Art & History Museums – Maitland will dazzle you at its upcoming fundraiser called pARTicipation, Circus of the Surreal, at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 24, at the A&H’s Maitland Center, 231 W. Packwood Ave. This evening of art, dining and diversions begins with cocktails and performers in the Mayan Courtyard, where guests will mingle with acclaimed artists. The ringmaster then parades the crowd into the main garden, where the artistic hosts will each create a table that expresses their artwork. In addition to an artistic dining experience, guests will enjoy performances featuring the Empty Spaces Theatre Co., directed by John DiDonna. The evening concludes with a finale of decadent desserts, libations and performances, and a silent auction of art created and donated by the host-artists. Call 407-539-2181, extension 262, or visit artandhistory.org

Josh Garrick is a writer, photographer, educator, and fine art curator. He is a member of the Curatorial Council for the Museum of Florida Art. Garrick can be reached at joshgarrick9@gmail.com or 407-522-3906.