Fusion Fest Returns to Orlando

Celebrate the People and Many Cultures That Make Central Florida Awesome at the Free Two-Day Festival That Features Over 1,000 Local Artists and Draws People From More Than 110 Different Cultures to Experience Music, Dance, Food, Visual Arts, Spoken Word, Games and Interactive Activities

Downtown Orlando’s annual celebration of the people and the many cultures that make Central Florida awesome, FusionFest, announces the return of the in-person festival, keeping CDC guidelines, on Thanksgiving Weekend: Saturday, November 28 from Noon to 8pm and Sunday, November 29 from Noon to 6pm.  Cultures from all across the world will fill the Seneff Arts Plaza in front of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and Orlando City Hall Commons Plaza for the free, two-day festival, which draws people from more than 110 different cultures to experience music, dance, food, visual arts, spoken word, games and interactive activities and features over 1,000 local artists, who will perform and showcase their work on the stages, gallery and interactive installations at FusionFest. 

Guests of FusionFest will enjoy the Opening Spectacle, International Food Court and Marketplace, three stages featuring music, dance, spoken word and fashion, Film Pavilion screening the MYgration Films in partnership with Global Peace Film Festival, Global Street Dance Party, Diversitastic! Choir, Interactive Experiences, Visual Arts Gallery, Fun and Games Station, exciting prizes, community panels, Fusion contests with cash awards up to $1,000, plus a new station highlighting cultural celebrations from around the world.

“FusionFest began as a grassroots movement,” says FusionFest Chief Instigator Terry Olson and Business and Development Manager Thali Sugisawa.  “When you see a festival the size of FusionFest, it is easy to think that this is a corporate effort, but it isn’t.  There is a Steering Committee in place of over 40 people representing many different cultures, ethnicities and communities.  Representation matters and FusionFest has it in mind since day one.  It is about honoring the diverse local community and highlighting Central Floridians talents, and we are proud to continually show the community and the world that people with different lifestyles and different ethnicities and heritages can live together in a non-divisive way.”

In compliance with state and local laws, FusionFest will implement a wide variety of health and safety protocols, which include: Six feet social distancing for tables, chairs and patron lines, temperature checks at dedicated entrances for staff, vendors, performers, volunteers, participants and all attendees, masks for vendors, staff and volunteers and facial coverings available for sale on site, increased handwashing and hand sanitizer stations throughout the festival, and continuous spraying of CDC-approved disinfectant on all high touch areas will be handled by several staff members. 

“With theme parks and schools open, we have examples to observe now,” says Olson and Sugisawa.  “We are conducting additional research at any outdoor festivals happening between now and then, and we attended the recent Florida Festivals and Events conference to discover and formalize best practices for social distancing at outdoor events to ensure that this year’s FusionFest is a safe, comfortable and secure environment, while also a fun-filled, memorable and always meaningful festival for everyone attending.”

FusionFest is a free to attend.  VIP Passports can be ordered in advance online or at the festival for $25, which include: (1) Neck Wallet, (4) Food Tokens, (1) Souvenir Button, (1) Prize Ticket and (1) Super Prize Raffle Ticket ($300 Gift Card).

Experience FusionFest on Saturday, November 28 and Sunday, November 29, 2020 in Downtown Orlando.  For updates on the performance schedule, artist lineup and vendor stations and for more information, visit www.FusionFest.org for or call 407-836-5540.  Apply as an Artist, Vendor or Volunteer (until October 1) at www.FusionFest.org/JoinUs.

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Mennello Museum Hosts Votes for Women Exhibit

Mennello Museum Votes for Women Logo

As the 100th year of the 19th amendment providing voting rights for women and the 59th Presidential Election approaches, the Mennello Museum is hosting Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence.

The crusade for women’s suffrage is one of the longest reform movements in American history. Between 1832 and 1920, women citizens organized for the right to vote, agitating first in their states or territories and then, simultaneously, through petitioning for a federal amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Mennello Museum Votes for Women
Equality Is the Sacred Law of Humanity, c. 1903–1915

Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery. This project received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.

The Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story, is one of the country’s most ambitious undertakings to research, collect, document, display, and share the compelling story of women. It will deepen our understanding of women’s contributions to the nation and the world. More information about the initiative is available at womenshistory.si.edu.

Mennello Museum Votes for Women
Ida Bell Wells-Barnett by Mary Garrity

The poster exhibition addresses women’s political activism, explores the racism that challenged universal suffrage, and documents the ratification of the 19th Amendment which prohibits the government from denying U.S. citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex. It also touches upon the suffrage movement’s relevance to current conversations on voting and voting rights across America. 

The in-person, free exhibition of posters is featured on the Mennello Museum’s front porch beginning now through election day, November 3.

Visit them during museum hours, Tuesdays – Sundays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (weather permitting).

Mennello Museum Votes for Women
College Women Picketing in Front of the White House, 1917

Then visitors can continue their stroll through history and meet voting-rights heroes, as our neighbors at the Orlando Repertory theater present Eric Coble’s “Vote?,” a fully-produced online play streamed directly to you, now through November 8.  Stream Eric Coble’s “Vote?” here.

Also if you cannot make the trip out to the Mennello Museum, the virtual exhibition is also available online through November 2020.

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Festival of Trees Celebration Returns for the Holidays

34th Festival of Trees 2020 Orlando Museum of Arts

The Festival of Trees is back for its 34th year at the Orlando Museum of Art to bring joy to Central Florida with advanced tickets available now.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 12-29, with the exception of Mondays and Thanksgiving Day.

During this time, the Orlando Museum of Art will be transformed into a holiday wonderland filled with stunning décor and holiday cheer. This year’s theme is “Joy to the World—Celebrating a Season of Joy,” selected by the Council of 101 to focus on adding a little joy during the holiday season.

But while the fun will be what Central Floridians have come to expect from the beloved event, the Council of 101 has scaled down the event this year and made some changes to ensure a safe a fun event for all.

Tickets will be managed through reserved admissions due to limited capacity. Advanced ticket purchases are strongly encouraged. Onsite visitors will be asked to strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines. For those who can’t make it out, organizers have enhanced the virtual experiences, offering online tours of the festival, virtual events, and even the opportunity to purchase a tree online.

34th Festival of Trees 2020 Orlando Museum of Arts

“The Festival of Trees is a truly a favorite tradition here in Central Florida. It’s what really makes it feel like the holidays for so many people,” said Jill Toole, president of the Council of 101. “While some things will be different this year, we’re proud we could still bring the holiday spirit to our community, perhaps when we need it most.”

Onsite or online, guests can experience the decorated halls of the museum and enjoy more than 25 decked-out trees, exceptional gingerbread houses, pop up vendors, elegant Entertaining by Design table settings, performances by talented local entertainers, and special drawings throughout the event. Not to be missed are the Santa sightings on the weekend, and children can make their Christmas requests by writing letters.

The first weekend of the festival kicks off with Ugly Sweater Day on November 14, with dignitaries and special ambassador appearances anticipated for this fun-filled theme event.

The Council of 101 events, including the Festival of Trees, have raised over $12 million for the Orlando Museum of Art’s educational programs. Festival of Trees benefits lifelong learning programs at the Orlando Museum of Art. Reaching deep into the community, these programs support many people from different walks of life, age, and income groups.

34th Annual Festival of Trees General Admission:

  • Thursday, November 12- Sunday, November 29 (Excluding Mondays and Thanksgiving Day)
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Don’t miss your chance to relish in the holiday season. Tickets are available at Councilof101.org or by calling 407-896-4231 ext.254. Tickets will be managed through reserved admissions as the museum is operating at limited capacity. Advanced ticket purchase is encouraged. Onsite visitors will be directed to strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Ticket Prices for 34th Annual Festival of Trees:

  • Adults $15
  • Children (3-11) $7
  • Seniors (65+) $12
  • Military Personnel & First Responders (with valid ID) $12

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Councilof101.org or call 407-896-4231 ext.254

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Orlando Science Center Hosts Kids Night

The Orlando Science Center is hosting a Kids Night at the Museum this Saturday, August 29th, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., where kids ages 5 to 12 years have the opportunity explore exhibits, experience enhanced programming, and enjoy dinner and a film in age-appropriate small groups to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Orlando Science Museum Kids Night at the Museum August 2020

The best part? Caregivers can enjoy a stress-free and childless evening on the town while their budding scientists have an entertaining experience of their own exploring the wonders of everything the Science Center has to offer.

Orlando Science Museum Kids Night at the Museum August 2020

This event has a limited capacity to support our health and safety guidelines and ensure proper social distancing so caregivers need to reserve spots for their children ASAP.  The schedule for the evening will be as follows:

  • 6:00 p.m. – Drop-off Begins Until 6:30 p.m.
  • 6:30 p.m. – In Classroom Activities 
  • 7:00 p.m. – Pizza Dinner
  • 7:30 p.m. – Guided Exhibit Hall Experience
  • 8:00 p.m. – Live Science Show
  • 8:30 p.m. – Guided Exhibit Hall Experience
  • 9:00 p.m. – Giant-Screen Film
  • 9:45 p.m. – In Classroom Activities (pickup begins)
  • 10:30 p.m. – Program Concludes

Registration is open until this Thursday night at 11:59 p.m. so we’re just trying to get the word out.

Orlando Science Museum Kids Night at the Museum August 2020

For more info, including FAQs, fees and how to register, please visit https://www.osc.org/visit/events/kids-night-at-the-museum/

Discounts available for siblings and Orlando Science Center members and families. The Science Center’s exhibits don’t come to life after hours, but during Kids Night at the Museum, the building will definitely be full of energy!

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Art in Bloom: Festival of Fine Arts & Flowers

Art in Bloom Orlando Museum of Art 2020

Florida might not have much of a winter, but spring is stunning in the Sunshine State. This March, the Council of 101 will welcome the season once again with its second-annual springtime fundraiser — Art in Bloom: A Festival of Fine Arts & Flowers.

The event will run from March 26-29 at the Orlando Museum of Art and includes the Museum’s collections and current exhibition Living Color: The Art of the Highwaymen.

Art in Bloom Orlando Museum of Art 2020

The Council of 101 will put the “petal” to the metal to bring visitors a museum-wide kaleidoscope of breathtaking floral arrangements inspired by works from the Orlando Museum of Art’s permanent collection and current exhibitions. There will also be curated antiques, lifestyle events and design workshops that are sure to inspire.

“Springtime is beautiful in Central Florida,” said Nancy Sedacca, president of the Council of 101. “We’re very excited to host this festival for the second year to bring the community together and help support the arts.”

This year’s special guests are Margot Shaw, the founder and editor-in-chief of Flower Magazine and author of Living Floral: Entertaining and Decorating with Flowers, and Carleton Varney, one of America’s best-known interior designers and president and owner of Dorothy Draper & Co., Inc. Shaw and Varney will give lectures and sign books during the festival.

Other events on the schedule include the opening night party, daily appraisals, a mystery home tour, and floral workshops.

Art in Bloom supports the Orlando Museum of Art. The Council of 101 has raised more than $12 million for the museum’s educational programs and operational expenses over the years.

Art in Bloom Orlando Museum of Art 2020

General Admission:

General admission is $15 Adults / $5 Children (Ages 3-11)

  • Friday, March 27, 2020 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 28, 2020 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 29, 2020 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Admission to Art in Bloom includes entry to the current Orlando Museum of Art exhibitions. Parking is available on-site for a fee.

For more information, please visit OrlandoArtInBloom.com.

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Magical Dining Month Returns to Orlando

70 Restaurants Ready to Dish Out Savings During Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

Newly-Updated Website Features Menus, Message Boards and Reservations

 

For the entire month of September, 70 of Orlando’s top restaurants will serve up three-course prix-fixe dinners for $30 during Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month. The newly-updated OrlandoMagicalDining.com features menus, message boards, reservations and a mobile version launching late August. In addition, the month-long event will benefit the Edgewood Children’s Ranch, with $1 from every meal donated to the organization.

Now in its 7th year, Magical Dining Month continues to grow with the addition of new restaurants to Orlando’s ever-expanding dining scene, including Fogo de Chão, Prickly Pear and Nick’s Italian Kitchen. This year’s restaurant list boasts a wide variety of unique atmospheres and cuisines spread across six unique dining districts:

  • Convention District – This area, encompassing International Drive, hosts the largest concentration of Magical Dining restaurants, including popular steakhouses like The Capital Grille, Charley’s Steak House and Vito’s Chop House.
  • Disney/Lake Buena Vista District – Known for its world-class theme parks and resorts, this upbeat district offers up upscale, fine dining restaurants including The Venetian Room, Todd English’s bluezoo and La Luce by Donna Scala.
  • Downtown District – In the midst of trendy neighborhoods and endless nighttime entertainment options, downtown Orlando hosts local favorites including Citrus Restaurant, Funky Monkey Wine Company, Le Coq Au Vin and The Boheme.
  • Universal/CityWalk District – Fully-themed, Universal area restaurants include Emeril’s Tchoup Chop at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Bice Ristorante at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and The Palm at Hard Rock Hotel.
  • Restaurant Row District – This one-mile stretch of Sand Lake Road is a mecca for upscale and casual restaurants, including Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion, Timpano Italian Chophouse and Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine. Featured seafood restaurants in the area include Ocean Prime, Moonfish, Big Fin Seafood Kitchen and Fishbones.
  • Winter Park District – Signature restaurants – unique to the Orlando area – including Luma on Park and Chez Vincent make up this quaint, picturesque district just north of downtown Orlando.

As the 2012 charitable beneficiary for Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month, Edgewood Children’s Ranch will receive $1 for every meal served. Edgewood Children’s Ranch provides residential, educational and counseling services for troubled children and their families. For more information visit EdgewoodRanch.com.

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram