Arts Updates, Interviews, Calendar, Calls for Artists and Volunteers, Auditions --- It's All Here in Arts Blast, Arts Blast on the Air, and on Facebook.

Supporting The Arts & Arts Councils Everywhere

Volume 5 No. 1| January 5, 2023

Notes from the Editor:

I know time's supposed to fly by when you're having fun but I've had to check and doublecheck the calendar to make sure this really is the first issue of Art Blast's FIFTH year! How did that happen?

Just for fun, take a look at the very first issue, sent out January 10, 2019. Seeing so many familiar names and events is noteworthy and a real kick because they're still here, doing what they do best.

The random-number generator did its thing and gave us a winner of The Twist of a Knife, Anthony Horowitz's latest Hawthorne and Horowitz novel. The number that came up was 964 and the winner, with 901, is Joanne Alexander. Thanks to all who entered. I'll have some more book giveaways down the road, so keep an eye on this space.

Please support small, local businesses. Arts Blast is one of them, so if you have an event coming up, or something artsy to sell or teach, consider advertising it in Arts Blast!

Click to Subscribe to Arts Blast

Some St. John webcam links, just for the beauty of it.

Arts Blast on the Air with Willi Miller

This week's Arts Blast on the Air - January 4, 2023 - Adam Schnell, Ballet Vero Beach, and Indian River County Historian Ruth Stanbridge. Listen to or download the podcast now or listen on the radio101.7FM ON THE TREASURE COAST —Sunday evening at 7.

Note: Arts Blast on the Air podcast is now available on more sites — SpreakerSpotifyiHeartRadioDeezerPodcast AddictPodchaser; and JioSaavn — and there's even an Alexa skill! "Alexa, play the latest Arts Blast on the Air with Willi Miller."

Bookmark On the Calendar at for frequent updates. Calls for Artists, Auditions, & Volunteers are on the website, too. Catch up with events at Willi Miller's Arts Blast on Facebook and pick up some laughs and interesting info on the Willi Miller's Arts Blast Extras page.

In This Issue

First Friday of the Month and the Year!

Mike Block's Back and He Isn't Alone!

Garden Club Ornament Update & Gardenfest! 2023

Markers and Movies from the IRC Historical Society

Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine in Florida

SLC Cultural Alliance Needs Musicians

Music Coming to Vero Beach Art Village

Florida History Festival in Fort Pierce

Mangroves and Moonlight at ELC

Key West in Fort Pierce

Galleries at First Pres

A.C.T. Studio Theatre

In Case You Missed These Last Week, No Worries — It Was New Year's Weekend, after all!

Waldo Sexton Homestead Days

Paradise Master Chorale Call for Singers

City of Fort Pierce Needs You

LOL with Carl Hiaasen

CCOVB Concert

GYO Diamonds and Crystals Gala

...and more!


It's Another First Friday!

In Melbourne, look for opening receptions at galleries in the Eau Gallie Arts District, 5:30-8:30 p.m..

At 5th Avenue Art Gallery, Beth Fairchild and Vicki Busy have a dual exhibition. Their show runs through January 28. Nikki Parenti's macrame designs are in the Pop-Up Gallery.

In Vero Beach, 5-8 p.m., Gallery 14's reception is for artists Carol Staub and Frank Spino, exhibiting through January 27.

At Artists Guild Gallery, see work by member artists, including Judy Rixom, Fran SanMiguel, and newest member Karen McFeaters.

Gallery Veritas and Art Library is located at 1420 20th Street features a group show.

Vero Beach Art Club Gallery & Marketplace, 1903 14th Ave. will feature work by member artists.

Mike Block Trio - Having Fun with Cello, Banjo, and Mandolin!

The MIKE BLOCK TRIO, with Zachariah Hickman - bass & vocals, and Joe K. Walsh, mandolin & vocals will be in Florida for two concerts, in Gainesville January 13 and Vero Beach, January 14. The Vero Beach performance is at First Presbyterian Church January 14, at 7:30 p.m. It's a fundraiser for the Mike Block String Camp returning to First Pres in July.

Block said, "The Mike Block Trio features some of my favorite musicians, including Joe K. Walsh on mandolin, who has also been a regular fixture for years as long-time faculty at the Mike Block String Camp each July. Zachariah Hickman, playing bass, will be making his very first trip to Vero Beach for this concert!

Block said he and his wife, Hanneke, love coming to Vero Beach so much they found a place here to call their own "and now we're excited to share more great music with the Treasure Coast community!"

After being the first mandolinist to graduate from the Berklee College of Music on that instrument, Joe Walsh returned to Berklee in 2011 as both a mandolin instructor and as Managing Director of the American Roots Music Program.

Zachariah Hickman has his own bluegrass band, Barnstar. He has also produced and ringmastered his own circus, released his own brand of mustache wax, and runs a vaudeville style variety show, Zack Hickman’s House of Ill Repute.

The Vero Beach performance will be FREE, with donations accepted to the Mike Block String Camp Scholarship Fund. Mike Block String Camp will be in-person in Vero Beach July 10-15. Enrollment is OPEN NOW at Read about the Vero Beach International Music Festival here.

Here's a Youtube link if you'd like to take these three for a test drive. They know how to have fun!

Indian River County Historical Society - Markers and Movies

The Indian River County Historical Society historic marker program, in cooperation with Indian River County Parks & Recreation Department, has installed three new historic markers. The markers recognize significant historic sites in the county.

On State Route 510, Two Dollar Bluff, prominently featured on the U.S. Geodetic Map of 1887, was considered a navigational aide for boats on the Indian River. This bluff, an Ais Indian midden, was adjacent to property owned by settler and citrus grower A.B. Michael and became the site of the Michael Dock. By 1927, the midden composed of shell, pottery shards, and bones were almost gone, used as road material. The dock was replaced with a narrow, wooden bridge with a metal swing span that crossed to the community of Orchid. This bridge allowed the Indian River citrus to travel from Orchid Island groves to the railroad, and it opened the northern part of Indian River County to tourist and land development. During World War II, the bridge was limited to only those who lived on the island, and the bridge tender was tasked with opening the span over the channel and checking those that crossed. In 1970, the old bridge was replaced with a causeway, a high-arch bridge over the main channel, and named the Wabasso Bridge. In 2020, it was renamed the A.B. Michael Bridge. This bridge led directly to the beaches of the Treasure Coast where the remnants of the treasures of the 1715 Spanish Silver Fleet are still found. 

In 1970 Disney’s Magic Kingdom was under construction, including a small gauge railroad whose tracks encircled the theme park. The railroad design included a draw bridge.

Disney's engineers heard about an old swing bridge near Vero Beach which was going to be scrapped. After careful inspection, the Disney engineers decided they could buy the bridge from FDOT and salvage the old bridge. The completely restored bridge looked very much like the old original, except for its general shape.

A second marker notes the area from Quay (later renamed Winter Beach) eastward to Hole-in-the-Wall Island, across the southern tip of Pine Island, and over the main channel to join Jungle Trail on Orchid Island. In 1923, a road with bridges was opened, crossing the river and developers and tourists came looking to build winter homes with access to the Atlantic beaches. In addition, settlers on Orchid Island sent their winter vegetables and world-famous citrus back to the mainland to be loaded on to the Florida East Coast Railway. At the Winter Beach Bridge’s eastern terminus is Bridge Tender Park, the former site of the bridge tender’s home. After World War II, the Winter Beach Bridge burned, and the metal span was removed, leaving only the pilings. Winter Beach Road and its bridge alignments are listed as one of Indian River County’s Scenic and Historic Roads.

A third historic marker will be placed on Ranch Road (82nd Avenue) to recognize Indian River County early cattle industry.  

The county’s historical marker program is managed by the Historical Society of Indian River County and funded through the Tourist Development Council of Indian River County, and The Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources. There are thirty-seven historic markers located in Indian River County. The website of the Indian River County Historical Society has a mapped informational tour of historical marker sites in the county. Go to and click on the tab reading “Historic Marker Tour”.

The Historical Society of Indian River County has announced the return of Movie Night. The first movie of 2023 is the public premier of the short documentary “Indian River Cattlemen and Women”. Sean and Mike Sexton, Will Barker and Wesley Davis are guest speakers scheduled for the event. 

This movie night will take place on Tuesday, January 10 beginning at 7:00 p.m. and will be held at the Women’s Club of Vero Beach located at 1534 21st Street in historic downtown Vero Beach, Fl 32960.

The video has a focus on the origin of our county’s early cattle ranchers with wonderful old seldom seen photos and interviews that provide a wonderful backdrop for one of Indian River County’s earliest industries.

The documentary is narrated by County Historian Ruth Stanbridge and produced by the Historical Society using the talents of local videographer Nick Verola, Verola Studios. Funding for all Historical Society videos was is made possible through an Indian River County tourist development grant. Completed videos in the Vero Beach Historical Series may be viewed from the home page of the Historical Society website 

Music to Benefit Vero Beach Art Village

Raw Space Gallery and Vero Beach Art Village are collaborating on a monthly benefit music series. Each event will feature three musicians from the Treasure Coast area performing a wide variety of styles. 

John Ryan, chair of the Friends of the Vero Beach Art Village, said, “These benefit concerts will not only include terrific music, they will also provide much needed support for the arts."

Kicking off the series on Saturday, January 14, will be flamenco guitarist Greg Reiter; contemporary folk artist Rebekah Autumn; and R&B saxophonist James Broxton. The benefit will take place at Raw Space, 1591 Old Dixie Highway, in downtown Vero Beach, across the street from Station 49 Restaurant. All performances will run from 7-9pm with 30-minute sets by the musicians. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $12 and are available at the door (cash or check only).  Visit the village website at

Old Florida Festival in Fort Pierce

History Festival celebrates 100th anniversaries of a school, a theater and a ranch

Three headliner sessions scheduled for at the annual Treasure Coast History Festival focus on the 100th anniversaries of one of Florida’s first high schools for black students, the boom-era Sunrise Theatre in downtown Fort Pierce and one of the region’s earliest cattle ranches.

The festival will take place Saturday, Jan 14, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Second Street in front of the Sunrise Theatre, 117 S. Second St.., Fort Pierce. Besides historical exhibitions outside the theater, the festival also features three presentations inside the theater, all tied to events that began in 1923.

Access to all events at the festival \, presented by Indian River Magazine and sponsored by St. Lucie Battery and Tire., is free. Also assisting in production of the festival are Main Street Fort Pierce, the St. Lucie County Historical Society and the Sunrise Theatre.

The first presentation inside the Sunrise Theatre begins at 9 a.m. and celebrates the centennial of the school that would become Lincoln Park Academy. Back in 1923, few black students were able to attend high school — there was no black high school south of Palatka — and local parents got together to begin a high school in Fort Pierce that would provide an education for black teenagers. The presentation features eight panelists deeply tied to the school, including former School Board member Samuel Gaines, who has written a history on Lincoln Park. Other scheduled panelists are Veryl Moore, Francina Mimms, Hassie Russ, Harry B. Williams, Ernestine English, Dorothy Jackson and Dave Perry.

The second presentation, at 10:30 a.m., celebrates the Sunrise Theatre, which opened as a vaudeville theater in 1923, the fulfillment of the vision of impresario R.N. “Pop" Koblegard. Two of Koblegard’s granddaughters, Wendy Bishop and Mary Ann Bryan, will help recall the theater’s early days and transition to a movie theater while other panelists, including Main Street Fort Pierce Executive Director Doris Tillman and Sunrise marketing director Anne Satterlee, will share how the theater was restored and reopened to its current splendor in 2006. The session includes a video presentation of rarely seen photographs tracing the theater’s history.

The final presentation inside the theater is at 12:30 p.m. and features a Cow Creek Reunion, bringing people together featured in Indian River Magazine’s Cow Creek Chronicles series that followed the lives of C.F. Raulerson, who founded what would become the Cow Creek Ranch on the St. Lucie-Okeechobee line in 1923, and his descendants. Scheduled guests on the panel include Debra Sloan, great-granddaughter of C.F. Raulerson and daughter of Jo Ann Raulerson Sloan and T.L. “Tommy" Sloan. Cowboys scheduled to appear during the presentation include former Cow Creek cowboys Buddy and Kent Mills, Deroy Arnold, now foreman of Triple S Ranch, Howard “Sport’’ Pickering, now an Okeechobee County sheriff’s detective and Bud Hallman, now a retired Sumter County circuit judge and rodeo performer. Also scheduled is Bertice Harper, who lived on Cow Creek in the late 1940s and is the daughter of longtime Cow Creek foreman John Norman. Woody Larson and Travis Larson, current owners of the home place at Cow Creek, also will appear.

The sessions are emceed by Gregory Enns, publisher of Indian River Magazine and author of the Cow Creek Chronicles series.

Planned exhibitions at the street festival include historical re-enactors from the Seminole War who established Fort Pierce, historical books for sale from the St. Lucie County Historical Society and the Florida Classics Library and exhibitions on the notorious Ashley Gang, a cow camp exhibition from Carlton family descendant Rick Modine, the history of the Spanish treasure fleet that sunk off our coast in 1715, the Navy SEAL Museum, the Treasure Coast Genealogical Society, the Port St. Lucie Historical Society, the Fort Pierce Art Club, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Fort Pierce Woman’s Club, Main Street Fort Pierce and Indian River Magazine.

The festival also features food vendors, including a genuine Summerlin family fish fry.

Access to all events is free and no tickets are required, but if you would like a guaranteed seat to the sessions inside the theater visit

Photos supplied by Indian River magazine, counterclockwise from top left: Historical re-enactors Talissa L. Wilson and James B. Odell; Paranormal investigator Larry Lawson; Cowboys Buddy Mills, Deroy Arnold and Alfred Norman

Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine in Florida

Ukraine Comes to Florida

Theodore Kuchar, principal conductor of the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, beginning a two-month tour of the United States in Vero Beach in January, took time away from his very busy work week in Turkey to send notes for an Arts Blast feature.

The tour begins January 13 in Vero Beach for the Indian River Symphonic Association at Community Church of Vero Beach. The other Florida performances are in Daytona Beach, Miami, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Avon Park. The musicians then move on to Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas, Maryland, Vermont, New York, Ohio, and well beyond, ending the tour March 3 in Ames, Iowa. Included on the tour are performances at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall. In Sarasota, they appear at the Venice Performing Arts Center for the Sarasota Concert Association. On this tour, Violinist Vladyslava Luchenko, a native of Kiev, Ukraine, joins the orchestra for this program.


BRAHMS – Tragic Overture, Op. 81

BRAHMS – Violin Concerto

DVOŘÁK – Symphony No. 9, From the New World

Kuchar is an old hand at moving large groups of musicians and their instruments from city to city. "This will be the fourth major American orchestral tour that I will have lead with a European orchestra, the previous three having taken place in 2005, 2009, 2017 and now, in 2023 with orchestras from Germany, the Czech Republic and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in 2017.

"I have had the exceptional fortune to be active in a career that has taken me to every continent and many of the most beautiful locations in the world. I have very rarely allowed myself to travel for what most would describe as a 'vacation' but on the several occasions that has happened over the past two decades it has always been to the State of Florida. With the immense personal suffering, psychological stress and physical hardship imposed on every Ukrainian at the present time I have some relief in knowing that I am bringing my friends and colleagues to the USA and to commence this 40-concert tour in my spiritual home, the State of Florida."

Pressed for time a week before the orchestra's Vero Beach concert, Maestro Kuchar very kindly shared his notes from an interview for United Airlines' In-Flight magazine.

He explained the importance of keeping it fresh on a lengthy tour. “… whether you are making a debut at Carnegie Hall or the Sydney Opera House, whether this is performance number 27 of a 40-concert tour or whether you are performing Dvořák's New World Symphony for the seventh time in nine evenings, as soon as one walks onstage and commences the performance it is imperative that you have the attitude that this is the first and most important performance of your life. Absolutely nothing can be taken for granted … .”

Designing a program for a tour is not the same as planning for a home audience. A tour presenter will often ask for a list of “‘standard war horses.’ They might say, ‘Mr. Kuchar, we need two separate programs and a choice of two soloists. Nothing complicated or unknown, and very standard. We have to appeal to the masses.’” Comparing programming a concert to developing a menu for a fine restaurant, he said, “That philosophy has its sense, BUT I cannot jeopardize the possibility of the major Ukrainian symphonic collective making an international debut and not presenting something from its own cuisine.”

That was the situation he faced when planning the 2017 North American tour for the orchestra. Told he didn’t understand American audiences, who ”only want the very standard names,” he pressed presenters to give people an opportunity to taste a bit of “the contemporary Ukrainian orchestral literature. ‘Ultimately, of the 44 cities in which we performed, 28 chose one of the two wonderful works by the composer Yevhen Stankovych, whom I strongly regard as the most important living Ukrainian composer. I never heard one negative comment and only comments of enthusiasm and appreciation.’”

For the 2023 United States tour, the programs of around 15 works offered will include “two Ukrainian composers - the Chamber Symphony No. 3 for Solo Flute and String Orchestra (1982) by Yevhen Stankovych (whose 80th birthday we celebrate this year) and the Violin Concerto by Thomas de Hartmann, a forgotten but known genius. … Symphonies and Concertos of Beethoven, Brahms, Bruch, Dvořák, Grieg, Sibelius and the Ukrainian Myroslav Skoryk make up the remainder of the well-rounded and diverse menu.”

Observing what has happened in Ukraine in the past year, it might seem to outsiders that the arts had to have been dealt a deadly blow. Kuchar said, “To be honest, war or no war, Ukrainian culture and the extreme integrity of what takes place within the country has been greatly suppressed by the Russians for centuries and, if nothing else, my colleagues and I represent the country and its culture as Ukraine's preeminent cultural ambassadors.”

Kuchar puts the Cape Town City Hall in Cape Town, South Africa, at the top of his list of great venues. “I have wonderful, indeed priceless memories, from those in Bayreuth, Buenos Aires, Cleveland, Lviv, Munich, Prague and Sydney, among others.” Planning travel from Ukraine has become a nightmare, Kuchar said, even though he lives minutes away from Lviv’s new airport. “Since Putin and his gang started the annihilation of Ukraine with their rockets and missiles, air-travel within Ukraine has been halted and the only way to travel by air from Ukraine is to first take a bus to the airports of Warsaw or Krakow, Poland, and to then begin the journey. I can assure you that the 10-12-15 hour bus journey, including sitting at the Ukrainian-Polish border is far more exhausting than the 15-hour flight between Cape Town and Newark! Of course, we all hope that this is temporary and will end in the near future.”

Garden Club of Indian River County Christmas Ornament Update

From the committee chair:

"They sold very well. We are now collecting the remaining ornaments from our 19 Vendors, with the exception of Zeran's and the Heritage Center, who sell these year 'round for us. The remaining 2022 ornaments will be for sale at Gardenfest! February 4 and 5 at Riverside Park, Vero Beach. If anyone would like ornaments the rest of the year they can call the Garden Club and leave their name and information on our voice mail." 

 The Environmental Learning Center (ELC) will kick off its 35th-anniversary celebration during its annual fundraiser social, Mangroves and Moonlight, on Saturday evening, January 28th, 5-8 p.m.. Enjoy an evening of live music, small plates, and cocktails on the beautiful ELC lagoon-island campus at 255 Live Oak Drive in Vero Beach. Dance the night away under the stars to live music from the popular local band East Harbor. Wild Thyme Catering will be serving their signature CharCrudite and delectable small plates.

Advance tickets can be purchased online at, by mail, or in person at ELC Guest Services prior to the event.

Indian River Charter High School's Visual Arts students have an exhibition at The Emerson Center January 11, with an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. 1590 27th Ave., Vero Beach.



The St. Lucie Cultural Alliance is looking for great talent to be a part of our festivals!

Art Mind & Soul Fest | April 1 & April 2

A 2-day festival with art, music, dance, yoga, meditation, and so much more.

Levitt AMP Fort Pierce - Music at the Pointe

Saturdays, April 8 - June 10

St. Lucie Cultural Alliance, St. Lucie County Parks & Recs, and the City of Fort Pierce bring ten FREE outdoor music concerts to Museum Pointe Park! Apply now to be considered!

A Sunday in Key West Returns to Backus

The A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery announces the rousing return of the “Sunday in Key West” Luncheon & Auction event, Sunday, January 29, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Pelican Yacht Club, 1120 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce. This annual and exciting getaway event brings the free-spirited fun of Key West to the scenic Indian River Lagoon. An exhilarating live auction of exclusive experiences and a fresh silent auction of exceptional items are served with delicious food and a hearty helping of merriment in support of the Backus Museum.

Reserved seats are $100 per person, but space is limited, so act now! Please call (772) 465-0630 or visit to reserve seats before January 24.

The doors open for “Sunday in Key West” at 11:00 am for champagne and auction item viewing, with the official Welcome and start at 11:30 am. Lunch is served, with bottomless champagne flutes recommended for $50. The afternoon crescendos with the exciting Live Auction, featuring many exclusive, sought-after experiences to bid on and to enjoy. This year the Silent Auction returns with a Valentine’s Day theme of one-of-a-kind items, and near the end of the afternoon, participating attendees will have a chance to win a gorgeous framed limited-edition lithograph of A.E. “Bean” Backus, signed by the artist himself and valued at more than $1000! The feast, fun, and fellowship will conclude with the auction checkout by 2:00 pm. 

Among the new and coveted items in the spectacular Live Auction are:

  • A Week in Paradise – Marathon in the Florida Keys (7 days, up to 4 people)
  • Tennessee Mountain Retreat (5 days, up to 8 people)
  • North Carolina Getaway (7 nights, up to 4 adults / 4 children)
  • Champagne Day on the River (4 people)
  • Nighttime Bow Fishing Excursion (3 people)
  • 90-minute Personal Coastal Flight (3 people)
  • Dinner + Sunrise Theatre Evening with Big Shot – Billy Joel Tribute (4 people)
  • Night @ The Museum Cocktail Party & Tour (up to 24 people)
  • Easiest Kids’ Party Ever – Pizza & Karaoke (10 pizzas!)
  • Indulgent Dessert-of-the-Month personal subscription
  • Pointe West Vero Golf Package (4 people)
  • Private Art Lessons by Jacqueline Schindehette (4 adults)
  • An original oil painting by famed Highwaymen Artist Al Black
  • Khalil Mack signed and framed #52 Los Angeles Chargers football jersey & cleats
  • Plus more unique items & experiences!

Misty Minton, Backus Museum Board of Directors member and event chair of this year’s “Sunday in Key West,” has incited and inspired new enhancements for guests. The new “sweetheart silent auction” is perfectly positioned at the end of January for forward-thinking supporters to take care of their Valentine in advance. And the new theme of the “bottomless champagne” drawings this year allows lucky participants a chance to take home a small piece of what they are supporting – reproductions of majestic and iconic scenes of the Florida landscape as immortalized by Florida’s painter laureate, Bean Backus. All images are featured on exclusive items for the home, leading up to the grand prize of the original signed lithograph.

Brevard Happenings

Jan 6: Opening Reception: Nature’s Palette Exhibition, Fifth Avenue Art Gallery, Eau Gallie Arts District,

Jan 6: First Friday Reception, Eau Gallery, Eau Gallie Arts District

Jan 6: Friday Fest, City of Cape Canaveral

Jan 6: Los Angeles Piano Trio, Melbourne Chamber Music Society, St. Mark's United Methodist Church, Indialantic

Jan 7: Opening Reception for January Exhibits, Studios of Cocoa Beach, Downtown Cocoa Beach

Jan 7 & 8, Jan 14 & 15, Jan 21 & 22, Jan 28 & 29 and Feb 4 & 5: Brevard Renaissance Fair, Wickham Park Amphitheater, Melbourne

Jan 8: Monroe Crossing: Bluegrass Concert, Shepherd’s Hall, Titusville

Jan 10: Reception: Coastal Colors Exhibit, Strawbridge Art League Gallery, Le Galerie, Downtown Melbourne

Jan 13-29: The Miracle Worker, Surfside Players, Cocoa Beach

Jan 13 - Feb 12: Escape to Margaritaville, Titusville Playhouse

Jan 13 – Feb 19: Lettice and Lovage, Melbourne Civic Theatre, Downtown Melbourne

In Case Your Attention Was Elsewhere on New Year's Weekend - Here's a Replay

Waldo Sexton Homestead Days

Treasure Coast residents will have a rare opportunity to visit the original 1917 homestead of Vero Beach pioneer Waldo Sexton next weekend, Saturday, January 7, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday, January 8, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., when the family of Mark Tripson, grandson of Waldo Sexton, will host Waldo Sexton Homestead Days on the property at 5000 12th St., Vero Beach.

Sexton, who arrived in Vero Beach in 1913, would go on in the next five decades to create such landmarks as the Ocean Grill, McKee Jungle Gardens, Waldo's Mountain, Driftwood Inn, Patio Restaurant, and Szechuan Palace. 

Sexton, also celebrated for the comment “I’d rather be a liar than a bore,’’ claimed to begin construction on a home shortly after arriving in Vero, but it wasn’t until 1917 that he moved into the bungalow. A year later, he married Elsebeth Martens and took her to live in the house, where she found that one room served as a living area while the other was kept full of livestock feed.

Over the years, Sexton would go on to expand the house to two stories to accommodate his family of four children. When grown daughter Barbara Tripson became pregnant with her first child, he built a second home next door for her and her husband, John Tripson. 

Sexton started his Vero Beach Dairy on the property, which became Tripson Dairy after Tripson took it over.

Sexton’s homestead today, purchased by Tripson and his late wife, Hildie, in 1980, is much the same way as when Sexton lived in it and features trademark use of objects such as driftwood, iron, and other recognizable features from the ruins of Palm Beach mansions Sexton salvaged. Visitors will also be able to see his secret garden and outdoor kitchen, as well as to meet members of the gregarious Tripson family. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets can be purchased at the door through 3 p.m. each day or obtained online at

Saturday and Sunday’s visitors will be able to hear the following presentations:

Saturday 11 a.m. - Paranormal investigator Larry Lawson will share results of a ghost study taken at the home and talk about other ghost lore related to Waldo Sexton.

Saturday 2 p.m. - Tribal Courts of the Seminole Tribe will talk about the history and impact of the Seminoles in Florida.

Sunday Schedule to be announced: Representatives from the A.E. Backus Museum and other notable community members will be present.

Photos from the website,

The Community Church of Vero Beach continues the ’22-23 concert season with “Magical Schubert” presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center on Tuesday, January 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. 

During his brief life, Franz Schubert created a stunning musical legacy. Composing almost a thousand works in just eighteen years, his mastery accelerated as he neared death at only thirty-one, leaving symphonies, piano works, chamber music and songs for the world to discover during the remainder of the 19th century. This program features three examples of Schubert's genius, each work at the pinnacle of its genre.

Concert attendees will hear a riveting concert of Schubert’s Fantasie in F minor for piano, four hands, Fantasy in C major for violin and piano, and Trio No.1 in B-flat major for piano, violin, and cello. Artists featured are pianists Alessio Bax and Gloria Chien, Bejamin Beilman, violin and David Requiro, cello. Tickets are $35 and may be purchased in advance or at the door. 

To purchase tickets, call the ticket office at 772-778-1070 or visit the church website,

With rehearsals beginning soon, a “call for singers” is being made for anyone interested in singing with the Paradise Master Chorale. Weekly rehearsals for their next performance, “Music Fit for a King!”, will take place at St. John of the Cross Catholic Church at 7550 26th Street in Vero Beach.

The Paradise Master Chorale, under the direction of Artistic Director Ryan Kasten, is a a group of men and women singing Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass vocal parts. Kasten is the Director of Music Ministries and Organist at St. John of the Cross Catholic Church. Their next concert of the season will be on Friday, May 12, 2023, and is entitled “Music Fit for a King!”. The performance will feature “Te Deum for the Victory of Dettingen”, as well as two Coronation Anthems, all composed by G.F. Handel. 

There are no auditions or fees to be in this ensemble. Just have a love for music and a desire to work hard! For more information on the Paradise Master Chorale, please contact Ryan Kasten, Artistic Director and Director of Music Ministries at St. John of the Cross Catholic Church at (772) 584-9744 or

The Galleries at First Pres will offer an opening reception of the Sixth Anniversary Art Show on Sunday, January 15, 2023, from 2:00 to 4:00pm. The show will feature the works of local artists Jean Breeding, Cathleen Hahn, and George Kofas. The galleries are located throughout the campus of First Presbyterian Church at 520 Royal Palm Boulevard in Vero Beach. Admission is free, light refreshments will be provided.


You don’t need to know anything about Shakespeare to enjoy this supernatural fantasy about a TV star who goes to any lengths to avoid doing the role of Hamlet.  Television actor Andrew Rally relocates to New York after his west coast TV series "L.A. Medical" is cancelled.  He’s offered the opportunity to play Hamlet in NY’s famous “Shakespeare in the Park” but there’s one problem: he “hates Hamlet.” 


JAN. 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 & 22

FRIDAYS at 8:00 pm

SATURDAYS at 3:00 and 8:00 pm

SUNDAYS at 3:00 pm


On Thursday Feb. 23, The Gifford Youth Orchestra will hold its annual GALA at the Quail Valley River Club, 2345 Hwy A1A. The Diamonds and Crystals event will feature guest speaker Captain Winston Scott, a former NASA Astronaut. For 20 years the GYO has offered violin lessons to the children of Gifford where founder Dr. Crystal Bujol believes that changing hearts one violin at a time is worthwhile. She is right as all students who go thru the program, graduate high school and go on to higher education. There will be plenty to eat & drink plus entertainment by the GYO students, as well as a silent auction and 50/50. Only $150 per ticket with sponsorships available. or call 772-213-3007 and ask for Casey Lunceford, the new Executive Director. 

See Merana Cadorette's Artemis NASA MoonSnap here!

Florida humorist Carl Hiaasen celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation with “LOL Laughing Out Loud with Carl Hiaasen” on Thursday, January 19, 2023 at the Community Church of Vero Beach. “We are delighted to have reached this milestone anniversary,” remarked Marie Stiefel, LRJF President. “Our local and all-volunteer board wanted to bring the community a smile and a chance to enjoy one of Florida’s highest acclaimed authors.”  

This stellar event will begin at 6:30pm for all general seats ($50) and will be followed with a “meet and greet with Carl Hiaasen” in the courtyard of the church immediately following the event from 8-9pm. The public may purchase tickets ($50 general admission/ $100 VIP ) at or may purchase tickets directly at LRJF Writing Center on 1914 14th Street, Vero Beach, Florida 32960. For more information, please visit

“We are elated that the community has offered such astounding support for our key speaker event in January,” added Sara Wilson, LRJF Executive Director. To date, sponsors include Professional Management Inc. (Joanne Mitchell), Marie Stiefel, Charlotte Terry Group at Alex McWilliam Real Estate, Silverman Partners of Raymond James and Andrew Streeter of Edward James.  

The mission of LRJF is to preserve a feature of Florida history in the author Laura (Riding) Jackson’s historic Florida “cracker-style” home, and to maintain the Florida native plant garden which surrounds it at the Mueller Campus of Indian River State College in Vero Beach. In addition, the foundation advances her legacy by nurturing writers in the community through a series of literary offerings including adult and teen writers’ groups, summer camps, workshops, and poetry festivals. Annually each Spring, LRJF hosts a Poetry and Barbeque Festival featuring guest poets and all southern barbeque. 

Carl Hiaasen, an American journalist and novelist, began his career as a newspaper reporter and by the late 1970s had begun writing novels in his spare time, both for adults and for young-adult readers. Two of his novels have been made into feature films. Hiaasen's adult novels are humorous crime thrillers set in Florida. Many of the novels include themes related to environmentalism and political corruption in his native state. 


Vero Beach Theatre Guild announces audition dates for The Boy from OZ: January 9, 10, 11, 7 p.m.

  • 7 females/all singers (1 plays Judy Garland, 1 plays Liza Minelli) ages 21 – 60+
  • 6 males/all singers 6 ages 21 – 35
  • 2 males 35+ & 65+
  • 1 boy (sings solo &; dances) age 12 (or a small 14 – 15-year-old.)

The Vero Beach Choral Society is in need of vocalists in both Tenor and Alto ranges. Anyone who can read music and has experience singing in a vocal ensemble is welcomed to join the group by audition. Visit the group’s website,, and click on “Audition” to apply.

Streaming First Presbyterian

First Presbyterian Church in Vero Beach presents many concerts and special performances. If you can't get to them in person, visit the church's website and watch the archived videos!

Treasure Coast Theatre presents "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" -- the second longest running Off-Broadway musical in history. This hilarious show takes on the truths and myths behind the modern relationship --everything you ever secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were afraid to admit! Jan. 6-22 weekends.

Every Thursday from 6 – 9:30 PM in downtown Jensen Beach (on Jensen Beach Boulevard), Jammin Jensen offers a mini-festival of local artists’ displays, music, vendors, and family entertainment!

There is no admission fee — it’s FREE!

From the Lake Wales History Museum:

New Exhibit from the Museum of Florida History coming January 10-April 11, 2023. 

Stop in and learn about the rich history of Blues and Jazz in central Florida. This exhibit has interactive displays, videos, and much more to learn about how Florida Got the Blues!

Free trees available at the Audubon House in Vero Beach: 

  • 7 ft Southern Live Oaks in 3g pots -Produces the most insects for birds 
  • 6 ft Pond Cypress in 3g pots-Grows in dry soils also 
  • 3 ft Dahoon Holly in small pots- Small tree that needs irrigation

Visit our Pelican Island Audubon Society’s Audubon House at 195 9th St. SE (Oslo Rd) Vero Beach on Sun, Wed, or Fri from 9-11 a.m. to pick up trees. Also, Native Plants for sale! Hummingbirds will come! See our websites: 

or call PIAS: 772-567-3520

Instructions for PIAS Birds Need Plants Photo Contest

  1. Each month you can submit up to 3 photos for the Birds Need Plants Contest with emphasis on birds pursuing, consuming, using plants, or near plants and prey. To submit a photo for this month, the deadline is the last day of the month.
  2. A Florida bird must be pictured in your photograph (priority to action shots with or pursuing, using plant, food sources, habitat, and that demonstrate relationship to plants, insects, animals, natural foods).
  3. The photo must be taken in Florida.
  4. A photographer may submit 3 digital images per month.
  5. A photographer will submit only photographs that have never won an earlier award in any contest or exhibit anywhere.
  6. PIAS requests that you provide the highest resolution possible of your jpg digital images.
  7. Deadline: The last day of the month
  8. Email to

Bookmark On the Calendar at for frequent updates. Calls for Artists, Auditions, & Volunteers are now online.

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