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. 18| May 12, 2023 CORRECTION

Notes from the Editor:

One of the many newsletters I get regularly is author Brad Meltzer's. His most recent email had lots of good news and one disturbing and disappointing piece. Read it below.

NO, it isn't First Friday Gallery Stroll! Throw away the Arts Blast you received a few minutes ago. See below 😬😬

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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 - May10, 2023 - Natalie Charle Ellis, Bailey Purvis, and Kylan Ritchie, Riverside Theatre's Honky Tonk Angels, talk about the show and their careers. The show runs May 30-June 18.

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

Brad Meltzer and Censorship

Underground Music - Luray Caverns andMammoth Cave

Dance - The Universal Language

Riverside’s New Season

Treasure Coast Creates

Blue Star Museums

Treasure Coast Flute Choir

Art at the Emerson

Flagler Museum’s Founder’s Day

Fairies and Pirates at McKee

Last Call for Artists

... And More!

Go to the Arts Blast Calendar - What's Happening all over Arts Blast Land

Make It an Artsy Summer for Your Kids!

Brad Meltzer Meets Florida Censorship

My introduction to author Brad Meltzer was through interviews for his thrillers many years ago. He's a proud Florida dad who began writing books for his own children, his "I Am ..." series, Ordinary People Change the World, ten years ago. Among his subjects are Mister Rogers, Dolly Parton, Muhammad Ali, Oprah Winfrey, Benjamin Franklin, Anne Frank, Walt Disney, Marie Curie, Jane Goodall, Billie Jean King — people we admire for what they have done with their lives.

From Brad:

Sad news: Our I am Billie Jean King book is now under review in Leon County, Florida after a parent complained. "I think it's sad," King said. “I'm very big on inclusion, everybody being their authentic self.” Let me add: This is a frivolous and meritless complaint. Sadly, my home state has created a system where our limited educational resources are spent dealing with challenges to books rather than doing the essential work of teaching our children. What our kids are learning from this process is the exact opposite of what our books are intended to teach. The world needs more tolerance, not less.

Our kids are smarter than people think. They’re watching us right now — and seeing how we react. If you really want to protect children, teach them critical thinking. Open their minds, don’t close them.

At the heart of this meritless challenge is the idea that it’s somehow inappropriate to teach that one of America’s great heroes is gay. Let me be clear: there is nothing shameful or inappropriate about being gay. I stand with Billie Jean King, I stand with the LGBTQ+ community, and I stand against hatred and intolerance.

Also, any teachers or librarians at Hawks Rise Elementary, please reach out. I have some free books for you. Full article here:

Next year marks 10(!) years of the Ordinary People Change the World series and we're celebrating by launching I am Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Coming February 2024.

Underground Music

The Great Stalacpipe Organ in Luray Caverns, Virginia, was invented in 1954 by Mr. Leland W. Sprinkle of Springfield, Virginia, who worked at the Pentagon as a mathematician and electronics scientist.

After watching a tour guide make a musical sound by tapping on a stalactite with a small mallet, Sprinkle put his professional background to work.

From the Luray Caverns website:

He began his monumental three-year project by searching the vast chambers of the caverns, with the aid of 13 English tuning forks, tapping potential formations. Stalactites were selected from over 3 ½ acres of the caverns and painstakingly altered to precisely match the tone needed to become part of what would eventually become the world’s largest musical instrument. 

Electronic mallets were wired throughout the caverns and connected to a large four-manual console. When a key is depressed, a tone occurs as the rubber-tipped plunger strikes the stalactite tuned to concert pitch.

Today, the organ is played by activating an automated system which works in a manner like a child’s music box. The organ is also fully capable of being played manually, as Leland Sprinkle did for many years.

From a story in the May 15 issue of The New Yorker by Alex Ross:

In Kentucky, YoYo Ma was featured in a recent concert by the Louisville Orchestra under Teddy Abrams in Mammoth Cave, south of Louisville. "The acoustics were, needless to say, reverberant, yet individual lines remained distinct. Despite the damp, cool surroundings, the sound had an unexpected warmth."

Dance —The Universal Language

The 2023-2024 season for Ballet Vero Beach has been announced! It features three main stage programs with original works, world premieres, and works by master choreographers George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, and Martha Graham. Nutcracker on the Indian River returns, and Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre makes its Riverside Dance Festival Debut. Series subscription tickets are on sale now.

Riverside Dance Festival

Student Workshops: July 24-August 5

The Riverside Dance Festival is a unique experience in Intensive Summer Study presented by Riverside Theatre and Ballet Vero Beach. Accepted students will experience day-to-day life with Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre. Students will have the opportunity to take daily technique classes in ballet and contemporary dance forms from Terminus and Riverside’s own distinguished faculty. They will also participate in master classes, open rehearsals, and work towards the creation of their own work to be performed alongside Terminus in a mixed repertory concert to culminate the festival. 

All applications/auditions will be submitted digitally this season.

Check website for discount information valid until May 14.

Last Call!

Ballet Vero Beach has one available space in the Fellowship Initiative for Dancers for the 2023/2024 Season. Interested candidates MUST return their application by June 1st to be considered. 

This is a two year, one-of-a-kind program that combines professional performance experience with Ballet Vero Beach, quality higher education with Indian River State College (paid for by the company), and unmatched training in arts integration, arts literacy, and the science of teaching with The Learning Alliance. 

Applications are open to graduating seniors and recent high school graduates, help us spread the word and tell your friends! To apply, visit:


AUGUST 4, 2023 at 7:30pm

AUGUST 5, 2023 at 7:30pm


Continuing our pursuit of bringing the best of dance to our own backyard, Ballet Vero Beach is thrilled to present, in partnership with Riverside Theatre, Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre. By bringing together the classical and contemporary dance forms and strengths of each of its principal artists, Terminus has become celebrated for the creation of daring and theatrical dance works. Through performance and contemporary storytelling, the company expands the conventional definitions of ballet.

The Laughs and the Music are Back in the Loop at Riverside!

Get the summer lineup online at

Riverside Theatre Announces 2023-2024 Lineup!

Art with a Local Connection Coming to Vero Beach Museum of Art

From Vero Beach Museum of Art:

Treasure Coast Creates: A Tribute to Local Artists

May 20 – September 3, 2023 Holmes and Titelman Galleries

The Vero Beach Museum of Art is pleased to announce the inaugural 2023 juried fine art exhibition of recent works of art by living local artists. Over the years, numerous artists have settled in and around Vero Beach, Florida. The VBMA‘s mission to recognize the outstanding quality and diversity of work being generated by contemporary artists. With over 350 applicants, and over 800 artworks to consider, Juror Ellen E. Roberts, the Harold and Anne Berkley Smith Senior Curator of American Art at the Norton Museum of Art (West Palm Beach, FL), finally selected 137 works for the show. In order to curatorially give the exhibition structure, the selections were assigned the following categories: 1. Cityscape, Landscape and Seascape, 2. Abstract, 3. Figurative, 4. Photography, 5. Sculpture, Ceramic and other 3D and 6. Other. The winners will be announced at the Opening Reception on May 26.

Photo: Joel Johnson, Winter Shadows (detail), 2019. Watercolor on paper, 39 x 38 inches. On loan to VBMA, Vero Beach private collection.

The Vero Beach Museum of Art announced it will join museums nationwide in the Blue Star Museums initiative, a program that provides free admission to currently-serving U.S. military personnel and their families this summer. The 2023 program will begin on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, and end on Labor Day, Monday, September 4. Find the list of participating museums at

Blue Star Museums is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families, in collaboration with the Department of Defense and participating museums across America.

This summer, in addition to Treasure Coast Creates, Blue Star Families can enjoy an exhibition of drawings by
Jack Tworkov from May 26 to September 3. Families can explore student artworks in the Patten Community Gallery as well as enjoy the Art Zone, an interactive children’s space. 

VBMA joins many museums of all kinds, zoos, gardens, lighthouses, and more from all 50 stats, District of Columbian and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military—Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and Space Force, members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), DD Form 1173-1 ID card or the Next Generation Uniformed Services (Real) ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.

Backstage Access classes are back at Riverside Theatre and there's still room in the Honky Tonk Angels class.

This class will focus on the impact of women in the Country music industry by telling the empowering story of three women who leave their thankless lives to pursue their dreams.  

Led by Kevin Quillinan, Director of Theatre Education, Backstage Access classes are part lecture, part seminar, part participation, part discussion, and seek to build a greater awareness of the many facets and collaborations involved in mounting a show.

May 18, May 25, & June 1, 10 a.m. to 12 noon

Tuition for the three-week class is $75. Class sizes are limited. Patron Producers and Upper Level donors are entitled to some free tickets for the classes. To purchase, call 772-231-6990, or go online at

Art at the Emerson

Forever in Bloom - A fragrant array of floral art on view through May 30.

Featured Artists:

Lisa Willnow, Paris Birich, Vera Titova, Daniel Jones, Patricia Kolalewski, Betsy Kurzinger,

Anne Whitney & Judy Burgarella

Monday - Friday, 10am - 3pm, with no entry fee.

Treasure Coast Flute Choir

Mother's Day Concert

The Pittenger Center at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Stuart

Sunday, May 14 at 3 p.m.

Donation at the door - no tickets necessary

The Treasure Coast Flute Choir, founded by Lindsay Hager in 1983, has grown into a 16-piece professional performing ensemble comprised of the whole family of flutes: piccolo, C flute, alto, bass and contrabass. Al Hager has been the Conductor since 1991. This unique choir has performed frequently on the MartinArts Sunset Series Concerts, churches, social functions, malls, the Stuart School of Music and the Blake Library. The music they perform is scored specifically for flutes and embraces several music genres.

Each year on June 5th the Flagler Museum celebrates its anniversary by opening free of charge in honor of the Museum's founder, and Henry Flagler's granddaughter, Jean Flagler Matthews, who rescued the estate from potential demolition and established the Museum in 1959.

On Monday, June 5th this year, the Flagler Museum will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visitors may take a self-guided tour of Whitehall, view the permanent collection of art and objects related to America's Gilded Age, and climb aboard Henry Flagler's personal Railcar No. 91.

When it was completed in 1902, Whitehall, Henry Flagler’s Gilded Age estate in Palm Beach, was hailed by the New York Herald as “more wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world.” Today, Whitehall is a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public as the Flagler Museum, featuring changing exhibitions and special programs. The Museum is located at One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach, FL 33480. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday, 12 to 5 pm. For more information, call (561) 655-2833 or visit

Pirates & Fairies continue at McKee

Come explore and discover McKee Botanical Garden and the Children’s Garden during Pirate & Fairy Celebration Saturdays (May 13, 20 & 27) from 10 am – 3pm. Come dressed in your fairy best or swashbuckling gear! Costumes welcome, but not required. 

Festivities include Make & Take Crafts (while supplies last), Temporary Tattoos, Games, and Fairy House Building. In addition, guests will enjoy different activities each Saturday including live pirate and maritime music, magician, balloon twister, fairy hair applications, and a visit with Caption Jack Sparrow. (All activities subject to change. All activities are outdoors and will be canceled in inclement weather).

Admission: $15 Adults | $13 Seniors (65+)/Youth (13-17) | $10 Children (2-12). McKee members and children under 2 free.

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm |  Sunday - Noon - 5 pm. Last admission is at 4 pm.

Children’s Garden closes at 4:30 pm.

For more information, please visit

McKee Botanical Garden | 350 US Highway 1, Vero Beach, FL 32962 | 772.794.0601

Mother's Day is This Sunday!

Last Call for Artists!

CRYSTAL JUBILEE INVITATIONAL: A Special 15th Anniversary Celebration” - CALL TO ARTISTS In continuation of their celebratory 15th Anniversary Season, Gallery 14 presents a special summer show, CRYSTAL JUBILEE INVITATIONAL: A Special Anniversary Celebration. This show, runnning from June 1 through September 2, will have four receptions: June 2, July 7, August 4 and September 1, all in tandem with the summer First Friday Gallery Strolls. Artists should be inspired by topics that include celebration, clear, sparkling, lightness, clarity, and durability. Applications are due MAY 15TH. Please go to to access and download the application form.

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

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. And now there's a Facebook Arts Blast on the Air!


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