Winter Park Magazine Summer 2021

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Park Plaza, Abby Ober

A TROUPER’S FINAL BOW  |  THE 2021 INFLUENTIALS  |  THE POEM BY BILLY COLLINS


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1651 SUMMERLAND AVENUE, WINTER PARK 4 bedrooms/ 3 bathrooms, 3,023 sq.ft. LISTED BY: The Bagby Team

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1770 CHOCTAW TRAIL, MAITLAND 4 bedrooms/ 3 bathrooms, 2,921 sq.ft. LISTED BY: MaryStuart Day + Megan Cross

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2720 SUMMERFIELD ROAD, WINTER PARK 4 bedrooms/ 4 bathrooms, 2,490 sq.ft. LISTED BY: Maria Van Warner

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1160 FERN AVENUE, BALDWIN PARK 5 bedrooms/ 5 bathrooms, 3,951 sq.ft. LISTED BY: Megan Cross

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CONTENTS SUMMER 2021

FEATURES

DEPARTMENTS

24 | FINAL BOW FOR A TROUPER A $3 million grant will jump-start construction of a new theater and dance facility at Rollins College. But let’s not forget Fred Stone, the consummate showman for whom the prior venue was named. By Randy Noles, photo restoration by Will Setzer at Circle 7 Studio

HOME 16 | DESIGN THAT’S UPSIDE-DOWN Phil Kean’s New American Home is like a treehouse, except it offers way more luxuries to accompany the spectacular Winter Park vistas. By Randy Noles, photography by Uneek Image

35 | THE INFLUENTIALS Who makes a difference in Winter Park? Let’s welcome the Class of 2021. By the Editors, photography by Rafael Tongol KUDOS 74 | CLASSICALLY COLLINS Billy Collins, former two-term U.S. poet laureate, says his writing owes a debt to the humanistic philosophies and rhythms of language invented by the ancients. Now, he has begun to repay that debt. By Michael McLeod FASHION 76 | SUMMER SIZZLES The sultry air crackles with creativity at the Crealdé School of Art, which makes it an ideal location for a summer fashion shoot. Photography by Rafael Tongol, styling by Marianne Ilunga, makeup and hair by Elsie Knab

IN EVERY ISSUE 8 | FIRST WORD 12 | COVER ARTIST 94 | EVENTS 110 | OUR TOWN 112 | THE POEM

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DINING 82 | BECOMING A BISTRO Financier has changed and changed again since opening on Park Avenue just before the pandemic. The French gem has now emerged as a luncherie. By Rona Gindin, photography by Rafael Tongol

COMMEMORATION 88 | A SPECIAL STRADIVARIUS On June 12, 2016, the Pulse nightclub massacre shocked Central Florida and the world. In the Winter 2017 issue of Winter Park Magazine, columnist Michael McLeod wrote about the tragedy, and juxtaposed it with a concert he had attended just blocks away. As a tribute to the 49 victims and those who loved them, we are reprinting that powerful essay from five years ago.


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FIRST WORD | RANDY NOLES

IT’S A TIEDTKE FAMILY TRADITION

Philip Tiedtke (right) originally thought the Winter Park Library & Events Center was too large and costly. Now he’s funding the amphitheater that will bear his family’s name.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WINTER PARK LIBRARY & EVENT CENTER (RENDERING)

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inter Park could use a lot more folks like Philip and Sigrid Tiedtke — and not just because they’re well positioned to make a difference through philanthropy. That’s nice, of course, but hardly unique in a city filled with people whose bank balances are healthy enough to support an array of causes. What’s so admirable about the Tiedtkes is the purposeful way they go about their giving, always seeking to solve a problem, fill a need or make the community a better place culturally and intellectually. Take the Winter Park Library & Events Center, for example. When news broke that the city had fallen $750,000 short in private fundraising needed to complete an amphitheater on the soon-to-open campus, Philip Tiedtke picked up the phone, called City Manager Randy Knight and offered to cover the entire tab. Just a few weeks later, it was announced that the amphitheater would be completed on schedule and would heretofore be known as Tiedtke Amphitheater. I never worried that no one would step up. But this particular benefactor was an unexpected one. Tiedtke happened to be among those who, from the very beginning, thought the whole glitzy celebritect-designed complex was simply just too costly for a small city — even an affluent one. Such a viewpoint was entirely defensible and shared by nearly half of registered voters. After all, a razor-thin majority approved the bond issue in 2016, a result that reflected genuine discomfort among many voters. Elections, however, have consequences. “It’s happening, so all those arguments are moot,” says Tiedtke, whose donation was made through his family’s Florida Charities Foundation. “The only thing that matters now is, do you care

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about the future of Winter Park? If you do, then you need to get behind this beautiful project.” Take a moment and let that sentiment sink in. A person initially unsupportive of the entire effort just wrote a substantial check to pay for an enhancement — and at the same time called for erstwhile naysayers to rally around the flag. No, that doesn’t mean Tiedtke believes he was incorrect in 2016. He does, however, believe this: Once a new library and events center became a fait accompli, the focus should have shifted toward making it a great library and events center. Also intriguing about the Tiedtke connection is possible synergy between Winter Park’s brandnew civic hub and Enzian’s 30-year-old Florida Film Festival. Enzian, the region’s only art-house cinema, was funded by the legendary John M. Tiedtke, Philip’s father, and was first run by Philip’s sister Tina. Later, Philip and Sigrid had charge of the beloved community institution, which is tucked away on that familiar wooded lot in Maitland. Today, Enzian’s managing director is Elizabeth Tiedtke Mukherjee, Philip and Sigrid’s daughter, who spent much of her childhood darting around the theater and began helping as soon as she was old enough to take tickets. “The film festival was an afterthought when I made the donation for the amphitheater,” insists Tiedtke, who adds that cooperative opportunities will be explored. “Maybe there are ways we could broaden the festival’s footprint into Winter Park. If there are, we’ll try.” So, while it’s much too early to suggest any specific connection between the star-studded, Oscar-qualifying event and the dazzling David Adjaye-designed campus in Winter Park, the possibilities are intriguing. Also intriguing is speculation about what Tiedtke may do next.

Just prior to writing a check for the amphitheater, his family foundation contributed $3 million for an as-yet unnamed black box theater and rehearsal space on the campus of Rollins College (see page 24). The new building would replace the Fred Stone Theater, a charming but rickety circa-1920s church that had been demolished due to safety concerns. “Again, it was a question of need,” says Tiedtke, who’s a member of the college’s board of trustees. “It was time to give the theater project a nudge forward.” Surely arts philanthropy is in Tiedtke’s genes. His father became an angel to nearly every arts organization in town, including the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, the Florida Symphony Orchestra, the Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando Opera and the Festival of Orchestras in addition to being a founder/funder of United Arts of Central Florida. The elder Tiedtke, who had made his fortune growing sugar in South Florida, even took over operation of the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park when founder Isabelle Sprague-Smith died in 1950. The music-loving magnate served as president of the nonprofit and would remain in that position — often funding deficits from his own pocket — for 54 years until his death at age 97. The flagship music venue at Rollins is the John M. Tiedtke Concert Hall. With that sort of family history — and with two headline-making acts of philanthropy in rapid succession — could it be assumed that Tiedtke has more delightful surprises up his sleeve? “That’s how you should end the column,” says Tiedtke with a smile, leaving me momentarily puzzled and prompting him to repeat himself. “I mean, you just wrote your ending. The column should end with that question.”


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RANDY NOLES | Editor and Publisher THERESA SWANSON | Group Publisher/Director of Sales PHYLLIS M. MILLER | Director of Administration DENA BUONICONTI | Associate Publisher/Account Executive CAROLYN EDMUNDS | Art Director MYRON CARDEN | Distribution Manager RAFAEL TONGOL | Photographer WILL SETZER | Photo Restoration RONA GINDIN | Dining Editor MARIANNE ILUNGA | Fashion Editor HARRY WESSEL | Contributing Editor BILLY COLLINS, CATHERINE HINMAN, MICHAEL MCLEOD, CONNIE SUE WHITE | Contributing Writers

WINTER PARK PUBLISHING COMPANY LLC RANDY NOLES | Chief Executive Officer ALLAN E. KEEN | Co-Chairman, Board of Managers JANE HAMES | Co-Chairman, Board of Managers THERESA SWANSON | Vice Chairman, Board of Managers MICHAEL OKATY, ESQ. | General Counsel, Foley & Lardner LLP

COMMUNITY PARTNERS Larry and Joanne Adams; The Albertson Company, Ltd.; Richard O. Baldwin Jr.; Jim and Diana Barnes; Brad Blum; Ken and Ruth Bradley; John and Dede Caron; Bruce Douglas; Steve Goldman; Hal George; Michael Gonick; Micky Grindstaff; Sharon and Marc Hagle; Larry and Jane Hames; Eric and Diane Holm; Garry and Isis Jones; Allan E. and Linda S. Keen; Knob Hill Group (Rick and Trish Walsh, Jim and Beth DeSimone, Chris Schmidt); FAN Fund; Kevin and Jacqueline Maddron; Drew and Paula Madsen; Kenneth J. Meister; Ann Hicks Murrah; Jack Myers; Michael P. O’Donnell; Nicole and Mike Okaty; Bill and Jody Orosz; Martin and Ellen Prague; Serge and Kerri Rivera; Jon C. and Theresa Swanson; Sam and Heather Stark; Randall B. Robertson; George Sprinkel; Philip Tiedtke; Roger K. Thompson; Ed Timberlake; Harold and Libby Ward; Warren “Chip” Weston; Tom and Penny Yochum; and Victor and Jackie A. Zollo.

Copyright 2021 by Winter Park Publishing Company LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holder. Winter Park Magazine is published four times yearly by Winter Park Publishing Company LLC, 201 West Canton Avenue, Suite 125B, Winter Park, Florida 32789.

FOR GENERAL INFORMATION, CALL: 407-647-0225 For advertising information, call: Theresa Swanson, 407-448-8414; or Dena Buoniconti, 407-832-9542 Like us on Facebook or visit us online at winterparkmag.com

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COVER ARTIST

AN INTERLUDE AT A HISTORIC HOTEL ABBY OBER CHECKS BACK IN AT THE PARK PLAZA, WHERE SHE ONCE WORKED.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF ABBY OBER

The Park Plaza Hotel topped the list of places Abby Ober wanted to capture with her brush during the 2020 Paint Out, sponsored by the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens.

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over artist Abby Ober today lives and works in St. Michaels, Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay. But she graduated from Rollins College in 1980 with a degree in fine arts and has a special place in her heart for Winter Park and the historic Park Plaza Hotel. As a student, she worked as a prep chef at the hotel’s restaurant, then The Palms (later Park Plaza Gardens and now Bovine, which is unaffiliated with the hotel). “I felt a real connection painting the hotel,” says Ober, who did the vibrant image for the 2020 Paint Out sponsored by the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. “I stayed at the hotel in 2004 with my best friend from college, so had the chance to view Park Avenue from that balcony.” So the Park Plaza topped the list of places Ober wanted to capture with her brush when she was in town for the annual invitation-only plein air event. Mindy Spang Livingston, daughter of longtime owners John and Cissy Spang, bought the finished product to hang in her home.

Ober, a native of Illinois, spent her youth abroad as the daughter of a foreign service officer and lived in Poland, Germany, Russia, India and Greece. She dreamed of becoming an artist since childhood and attended the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., after graduating from Rollins. After a career in advertising Ober moved to Pennsylvania, where she raised two children and began teaching art to adults and children — including those with disabilities — at Wayne Art Center in Wayne, Pennsylvania. She also began a career as a fine artist, painting both in her studio and at plein air events across the country. She’s looking forward to returning to Winter Park for the Polasek’s 13th annual Paint Out in October. Ober’s work has been featured in exhibitions and is held in many private collections. She accepts commissions and does many personalized paintings for homes and businesses. She may be reached through her website, abbyober.com. —Randy Noles


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NOW LEASING


PALM HILLS Coming soon to Winter Park’s booming shopping and dining district along U.S. Highway 17-92 is an extraordinary and upscale new destination, brought to you by the developers of Park Hill Townhomes on North Park Avenue. It’s a commercial project that will feature all the design sensibilities you’ll find in Hill Gray Seven LLC’s magnificent custom homes. It will be the gem of what was once called Winter Park’s Million Dollar Mile. Palm Hills will offer 25,000 square feet of luxury dining and retail space. The opportunity exists now to lease space in these stunning new buildings, which are destined to become landmarks. Palm Hills is yet another legacy project from Hill Gray Seven LLC.

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HOME

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According to Kean, who has become something of a showcase home guru, he approaches every project by asking a simple question: “Would I want to live there?”

DESIGN THAT’S UPSIDE-DOWN Phil Kean’s New American Home is like a treehouse, except it offers way more luxuries to accompany the spectacular Winter Park vistas. BY RANDY NOLES PHOTOGRAPHY BY UNEEK IMAGE

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f anyone knows about the potential pitfalls of highprofile showcase homes, it’s Phil Kean, president of Winter Park-based Phil Kean Design Group. Kean’s team has designed and built four such homes, and Kean was the architect on one other. “It’s an adrenaline rush, doing these homes,” says Kean, 59, who was among the first builders to introduce sleek, modern residential architecture to a city where more traditional genres had long predominated. “It’s fun and cool because you’re using all these new products that people haven’t seen yet. Not everybody’s into that, but I am.” Showcase homes are the centerpiece of the International Builders’ Show (IBS), sponsored by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB). The projects are intended to demonstrate the latest technologies and most leading-edge building materials for the confab’s 65,000-plus attendees. IBS descends upon Orlando and Las Vegas in alternating years. For nearly four decades, there’s been a New American Home — and more recently a New American Remodel — for attendees to scrutinize and real estate writers to critique. That fact alone is daunting enough. But the 2021 New American Home — located near the corner of Morse Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue alongside The Coop restaurant in Winter Park — was under construction during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supply chain disruptions and labor shortages hampered progress, while construction crews had to observe social distancing and practice other unaccustomed safety measures while racing against the clock to complete the home in time for its worldwide debut. As the virus persisted, however, the in-person show — slated for February at the Orange County Convention Center — was canceled and held virtually. Consequently, the 2021 New American Home could only be seen by taking an online 3D tour accessible to registrants via the IBS website. Perhaps cancellation of the show was a mixed blessing since, pandemic be damned, most builders were much too busy churning out homes to spend a week cavorting in Orlando. One of the anomalies of this health crisis has been a booming real estate market even during COVID-19’s prevaccine rampage. But that’s another story altogether. In any case, New American Homes have been over-the-top mansions on sprawling suburban homesites. Impressive, perhaps, but risky for the builder, who must sell to recoup his or her costs. Kean’s project, however, is a dandy departure from the norm — and likely won’t be on the market long. It’s a vertical three-level structure on a 1,969-square-

The 2021 New American Home (facing page) is centrally located in picture-postcard Winter Park’s downtown corridor. The three-level structure, which encompasses 5,536 square feet counting the terraces, was originally intended to be two smaller adjacent townhomes. Kean, however, decided to combine the units based on customer feedback.


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HOME

foot homesite that anchors the south end of his company’s most recent local development — which is billed as townhomes but in fact encompasses three tightly packed single-family homes and four attached townhomes. The IBS home, which has 4,390 square feet of air-conditioned space — 5,536 square feet counting the terraces — was originally intended to be two smaller adjacent townhomes. Kean, however, discovered that many buyers wanted to combine units or to have single-family options. Other single-family offerings on the same infill parcel — which stretches all the way from Morse to Shady Park — have more conventional floorplans. But Kean describes the featured design as “upside-down” because the main living space is on the top floor, where views of Winter Park’s lush tree canopy are spectacular.

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There are technically four bedrooms — if you include two rooms that have been repurposed — as well as 4.5 bathrooms, a back-entry three-car garage and terraces on each of the top two floors: one on the second floor and two on the third floor. “It’s about as urban as you can get in Winter Park,” says Kean. Each floor offers a unique living experience. The first floor, with an art gallery entrance, encompasses a guest bedroom with an en suite bathroom. All the home’s toilets, by the way, include bidets — a change inspired by the pandemic. There’s also an office, which was originally another bedroom but ended up being outfitted as a workspace because of COVID-19. Doing business from home will clearly remain a preference for many even after the pandemic abates. The second floor is dedicated to the owner’s

How’s this for a wow factor? The custom-built floating staircase in the first floor entry area (above) is enhanced by clear glass balusters and lighting under each tread. Of course, if you’d rather look at a staircase than climb one, there’s a hydraulic elevator to get you to the upper levels.

suite, which is anchored by a large master bedroom. (The king-sized bed has a padded leather headboard that takes up most of a wall). The master bathroom connects to an expansive walkin closet. And there’s a generous lounging area, a laundry room and a bedroom-turned-gym with an en suite bathroom and sauna. The third floor is an ideal place to entertain — whether it’s in the great room or the music room, which has a niche that can accommodate a baby grand piano or a small combo of musicians. In



HOME

The second floor is dedicated to the owner’s suite (above), which includes a large master bedroom in which the king-sized bed boasts a padded leather headboard that takes up most of a wall. The master bathroom connects to an expansive walk-in closet (below). The kitchen (facing page) offers an array of handy built-ins and a variety of finishes to add interest. The space is highlighted by the warmth of dark walnut — especially notable on the floor-to-ceiling china cabinet — and a high-contrast color scheme that includes creamy white, soft black (the tone is called “charcoal”) and shiny taupe.

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fact, it’s difficult to find an excuse to leave the third floor other than an aversion to wasting two floors of space. There you’ll also find the kitchen, with an array of handy built-ins and a variety of finishes to add interest. It’s a beautiful space, highlighted by the warmth of dark walnut — especially notable on the floor-to-ceiling china cabinet — and a high-contrast color scheme that includes creamy white, soft black (the tone is called “charcoal”) and shiny taupe. The adjacent dining area offers easy access to the wet bar and wine storage units. On the main terrace there’s another kitchen — of the outdoor variety — and an intimate dining area, where retractable screens keep the pests at bay. Notes Kean: “There aren’t that many places in Winter Park where you can see the sky the way you can from the upper terrace.” Kean and husband Brad Grosberg, a principal in Kean’s company, are dog people and their household includes a pampered basset hound. So it should come as no surprise that the home

has plenty of doggie doors and a first-floor room specifically for dog grooming and the storage of dogfood, leashes and other canine paraphernalia. That’s a small but endearing touch. If you’re looking for a wow factor, though, get a load of the custom-built floating staircase, enhanced with clear glass balusters and lighting under each tread. Of course, if you’d rather look at a staircase than climb one, there’s a hydraulic elevator to take you to the upper levels. As you might expect in a home that’s touted as state-of-the-art, this one exceeds the National Green Building Standard’s requirements for Emerald certification. There are numerous high-tech systems to enhance energy efficiency, including solar panels on the roof that help the home to generate its own power. As for the exterior, Kean — who attended Harvard University as an undergraduate and later earned both an MBA and a Master of Architecture degree at Washington University in St. Louis — doesn’t believe it fits any particular style except “modern” or

“urban modern” with an industrial vibe. However you label it, you can tell who designed it thanks to its clean lines and white stone veneer highlighted by metal cladding. Early on, Kean and Grosberg planned to occupy the home before eventually selling it. Says Kean: “The way we approach everything we design is by asking, ‘Would I want to live there?’ Well, I definitely would want to live there.” Kean and Grosberg had, in fact, lived in two previous IBS showcase homes designed and built by Kean — one in Winter Park and one in Lake Nona Golf & Country Club. Instead, however, they decided to put the New American Home on the market. The anticipated price: $4.25 million. In the meantime, Kean — who was named 2013 National Custom Builder of the Year by NAHB and 2014 Contractor of the Year by the Orlando Chapter of the American Institute of Architects — is looking forward to being the architect for the 2022 New American Remodel, which will be in Rose Isle, adjacent to Winter Park. S U MME R 2 0 2 1 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ROLLINS COLLEGE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

As a stage performer, Fred Stone’s most notable star turn was that of the Scarecrow in the original live adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz. Playing the Tin Man was Stone’s longtime vaudeville sidekick David Montgomery.

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IMAGE COURTESY OF ROLLINS COLLEGE

any were sorry to see the Fred Stone Theatre at Rollins College demolished in 2018. The creaky little red-brick building near the Harold & Ted Alfond Sports Center made its debut in 1926 as the First Baptist Church of Winter Park and was bought by the college in 1961 after the church outgrew the space. Of course, it’s always sad when an old building is bulldozed — even out of necessity — and doubly so when that building was named in someone’s honor. But as readers of Winter Park Magazine understand, there’s always a backstory — which we’ll get to shortly. First you should know that by whatever name, the charming churchturned-theater with its boarded-over lancet windows — a place where both preachers and performers answered their kindred callings — had been deemed a safety hazard due in large part to structural damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017. Even prior to the storm, however, college officials had determined to replace the venerable venue as soon as possible with a facility more befitting an undergraduate theater and dance program that ranks among the best in the country. Now, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to prepare for a premiere. Rollins President Grant H. Cornwell has announced a $3 million grant from the Florida Charities Foundation toward construction of a state-of-the-art performing arts complex — as yet unnamed — located near where the Fred Stone once stood on Chase Avenue. The building’s size wasn’t finalized at press time, but the Winter Park Planning and Zoning Board had previously approved up to 11,655 square feet. That’s more than four times the size of the Fred Stone — known by college denizens as simply “the Fred,” which seated just 80 people for its often-edgy presentations. Ironically, the COVID-19 pandemic — the impact of which has made fundraising an even greater challenge — at first delayed the much-needed project. Ultimately, though, the college’s agile response to this once-in-a-century health crisis impressed Philip Tiedtke, a member of the board of trustees

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The new performing arts facility at Rollins College (above) will be located on the site formerly occupied by the Fred Stone Theatre, which was demolished in 2018. It will be roughly four times larger than the building it replaces — a charming but hurricanedamaged former Baptist church that was bought by the college in 1961 and relocated to the campus in 1965. It was retrofitted as a theater in 1973.

who heads his family’s foundation. Tiedtke lauded the college’s ability to adapt to unprecedented challenges while remaining true to its liberal arts mission by reconfiguring indoor classrooms, creating outdoor meeting spaces and, in some cases, using a hybrid approach combining virtual and in-person learning. Such deft management ought to be rewarded, thought Tiedtke, whose giving is usually predicated on problem solving. As a longtime patron of the arts, he didn’t need much time to identify where a targeted donation could have the most immediate impact. “After the Fred Stone was torn down, you had kids dancing on concrete floors,” he says. “This gift was needs-based and about the quality of education. I said, ‘We have to get these kids into a building, and we have to start it now.’” The new venue, like the Fred Stone, will offer intimate, experimental productions, many of them student directed. It will also encompass a costume shop and a dance studio. The ornate Annie Russell Theatre, built in 1931 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will continue to host the college’s mainstage series. “We’re so grateful to the Florida Charities Foundation and to Philip’s visionary leadership,” says Cornwell. “[The new theater] is critical to the educational excellence and rigor of one of our top-ranked academic programs. Generations of students will benefit from this investment.” The Tiedtkes have been generous friends to the college — and to the arts in general — for decades. Tiedtke Concert Hall, located within Keene Hall (which houses the college’s music department), is named for Philip’s father, the late John M. Tiedtke, who chaired the board of trustees for the Bach Festival Society of


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Winter Park for 54 years. So the foundation’s gift was indeed good news, especially for performing arts students who routinely (and justifiably) complained about Fred Stone, the building. But what should we know about Fred Stone, the man?

FROM VAUDE VIL LE TO BROADWAY

The Colorado-born Stone, though little-remembered today, began his career in the 1880s as an acrobat with traveling circuses. He graduated to vaudeville and minstrel shows (unfortunately, his act often involved blackface routines) and later snared starring roles in musical comedies and legitimate theater. In his waning years, he played character roles in motion pictures. As a stage performer, Stone’s most notable star turn was that of the Scarecrow in the first production of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, where his comedic acting chops and acrobatic dancing style won rave reviews through more than 1,300 performances between 1903 and 1907 in touring companies and on Broadway. He married actress Allene Crater, who had a minor role in Wizard, and eventually the couple had three daughters, all of whom became performers and often shared the stage with their legendary father. The family lived comfortably in Forest Hills, New York, where Stone bought property northwest of his home and built two cottages, a stable, a riding track and a polo field Stone, together with longtime performing partner David Montgomery, appeared in a series of successful revues throughout the early 1900s. Most were hits in New York first and then went on tour — demonstrating that Stone’s name meant boffo box office in the boondocks as well as on Broadway. Concurrently, as Stone’s stage successes multiplied, he made a series of undistinguished silent films, none of which appear to have survived. In the early days of the cinema, it seemed, the triple-threat trouper was best appreciated in person. Critics were smitten with Stone’s energy, charisma and versatility — attributes that could elevate sometimes mediocre material. Vanity Fair’s P.G. Wodehouse declared that “Fred Stone is unique. In a profession where the man who can dance can’t sing and the man who can sing can’t act, he stands alone as one who can do everything.” And he did, indeed, do everything in stage productions of The Red Mill (1906), The Old Town (1910), The Lady of the Slipper (1912), Chin-Chin (1914), Jack O’Lantern (1917), Tip Top (1920), Stepping Stones (1923), Criss-Cross (1926), Three Cheers (1928), Ripples (1930), Smiling Faces (1931), Jayhawker (1934), Lightnin’ (1938) and a revival of You Can’t Take it With You (1943). Three Cheers — which costarred daughter Dorothy — was notable because Stone had been sidelined for several months after his small airplane crashed, causing career-threatening injuries. Famed cowboy philosopher Will Rogers filled in for his close friend, who amazed doctors by fully recovering and dancing as energetically as ever upon his return to the stage. In Ripples, Stone and Dorothy appeared together as Raggedy Andy and Raggedy Ann. This otherwise silly romp is worthy of mention because the music was by Jerome Kern, who would become one of the most important popular music and musical theater composers of the 20th century. His contributions to the Great American Songbook include “Ol’ Man River,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and “The Way You Look Tonight.” Sinclair Lewis’ Jayhawker — which costarred youngest daughter Carol — marked Stone’s debut as a dramatic actor. He played the lead role, Ace Burnett, a U.S. Senator from Kansas who tries in vain to stop the Civil War. The show ran only three weeks on Broadway and generated tepid notices. Opined Variety: “[Stone] impresses rather pleasantly and it seems a shame to have wasted his talents thus.” Lightnin’, a revival of a 1918 musical comedy about “Lightnin’” Bill Jones, a carousing lawyer whose wife runs a seedy hotel that straddles the border of California and Nevada, was described by Variety as “dated and a creaky mixture of

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crude melodrama.” But the same review praised Stone, describing him as “something of a theater tradition who brought enthusiastic and friendly applause.” George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s You Can’t Take It With You is familiar to modern audiences and remains widely performed. Stone starred as Martin “Grandpa” Vanderhof — played by Lionel Barrymore in the 1938 film adaptation — the curmudgeonly patriarch of a zany extended family. The revival played to packed houses and warm reviews. Stone would reprise the role twice — once at Rollins for a 1946 fundraiser and once four years later, near the end of his career, for the Las Palmas Theatre in Los Angeles.

QUITE A CHARACTER (ACTOR)

In his 60s and too old for acrobatic dancing, Stone bought a home in Hollywood and began to pursue opportunities for character roles in films. Prospects seemed promising when he was cast as Katharine Hepburn’s sickly father, Virgil Adams, in RKO’s Alice Adams (1936). To everyone’s surprise and relief, the prickly Hepburn treated Stone with the respect due a show business veteran, and the two became fast friends. But the triumphant premiere for Alice Adams at Radio City Music Hall was overshadowed for Stone when he received word the following day that Will Rogers had been killed in a plane crash. At a private funeral in Hollywood Hills and a public memorial service held at the Hollywood Bowl, a grieving Stone sobbed openly and had to be physically supported by his wife and daughters as they walked to their seats. Almost immediately, though, Stone was back at work in Paramount’s The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936) — only the second feature film to be shot in Technicolor. It followed the travails of rustic Kentuckians battling railroad and mining interests. Adapted from a bestselling 1908 novel by John Fox Jr., The Trail of the Lonesome Pine starred Henry Fonda in one of his first film roles and was another financial and critical success. Stone believed that he had found a niche playing sympathetic rural characters and hoped to solidify his post-stage career in westerns — a genre for which he seemed well suited. As a film actor, Stone was certainly busy in 1936, appearing in several bargain-basement RKO releases. But he quickly grew to dislike the studio, which was notorious for its skimpy budgets and hurried production schedules. That summer, Stone returned to Paramount to make My American Wife, where his performance as Ann Sothern’s grandfather prompted The New York Times to acknowledge that the old barnstormer “had suffered plenty with his recent assignments but gets a much better chance here to show what he can do. When he is not present on screen, he is missed.” After making several forgettable B-movies for Warner Brothers, Stone finally got his western — and it was a mighty good one. In the Samuel Goldwyn Company’s The Westerner (1940), Stone received third billing behind Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan. The film, directed by William Wyler, earned an Oscar for Brennan, who played corrupt Judge Roy Bean, and Oscar nominations for Best Original Story and Best Art Direction. Stone, in what would be his final screen role, played a homesteader struggling against Bean and his cattle-ranching allies.

VICTOR HUGO OF THE NORTH

Stone’s Rollins connection was through his brother-in-law, novelist Rex Beach, who was married to Allene’s older sister, Edith. The hard-living Beach, who attended the college from 1891 to 1896 but failed to graduate, was nonetheless regarded as an important alumnus. He had traveled to Alaska in 1900 during the gold rush but didn’t strike it rich — at least not from prospecting. He did, however, mine numerous colorful tales, and in 1906 wrote a bestselling novel, The Spoilers, based upon a true story


PHOTO COURTESY OF POSTERAZZI

Film prospects for Stone seemed promising when he was cast as Katharine Hepburn’s sickly father, Virgil Adams, in RKO’s Alice Adams (1936). To everyone’s surprise and relief, the prickly Hepburn treated Stone with the respect due a show business veteran, and the two became fast friends.


LIGHTNIN’ PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ROLLINS COLLEGE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

Fred Stone returned to Rollins in 1939 and performed with students in Lightnin’ (above), a fundraiser for the Fred Stone Laboratory (later the Fred Stone Theatre). Flanking Stone are (left to right): Helen Bailey, Alice Elliot, Caroline Saudlin, Victoria Morgan, Deedee Hoenig and Virginia Kingsbury. Three years prior, Stone had filmed My American Wife (below), in which his performance as Ann Sothern’s grandfather prompted The New York Times to acknowledge that the veteran actor “had suffered plenty with his recent assignments but gets a much better chance here to show what he can do. When he is not present on screen, he is missed.”

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of corrupt government officials seizing gold mines through fraudulent means. The Spoilers — which was described by one critic as “throbbing with the blood-blindness of ferocity” — was adapted as a stage play and was filmed five times with versions starring Gary Cooper (1930), John Wayne (1943) and Jeff Chandler (1955). The prolific Beach, sometimes called “the Victor Hugo of the North,” wrote countless short stories and several dozen adventure novels. All sold well early in the 20th century and several, in addition to The Spoilers, were adapted for the screen. Literary sorts never cared for Beach, which neither bothered the writer nor impacted his bank account. One reviewer described his work in general as “big, hairy stories about big, hairy men” while others criticized his formulaic approach to storytelling. His readers, not surprisingly, tended to be young men who hung on his every word. Beach and Stone shared a proclivity for macho thrill-seeking and took at least one trip together to Alaska for a bear hunt. They remained lifelong friends, except for a two-year period when they were estranged over a rift about boxing and bigotry. Stone sometimes sparred with his friend and neighbor “Gentleman” Jim Corbett, a former World Heavyweight Champion who had become a vaudevillian following his retirement from the ring. Corbett told Stone that Beach and writer Jack London had helped facilitate an upcoming prize fight between champion Jack Johnson, an African American, and former champion Jim Jeffries, an overweight alcoholic who had not stepped into a boxing ring for five years. Beach, like many white boxing aficionados of the era, was horrified that the cherished championship belt was held by a “dreaded negro” and believed that even a dissolute Jeffries could defeat the usurper and reclaim the title for its “rightful owners.” Stone — who feared that the fight would be a fiasco and was offended by the


Stone’s Rollins connection was through his brother-in-law, novelist Rex Beach (top right). Beach and Stone remained lifelong friends, except for a two-year period when they were estranged over a rift about boxing and bigotry. Beach had helped to promote a boxing match between champion Jack Johnson and former champion Jim Jeffries (bottom right) in hopes that Jeffries, who was white, could win the title back from Johnson, who was African American. Stone knew the fight would be a bloodbath and was appalled at Beach’s racism.

BEACH PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ROLLINS COLLEGE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

hateful rationale behind it — confronted his brother-in-law about what he had heard from Corbett. When Beach confirmed that he and London had indeed helped recruit Jeffries to face Johnson, and the reasons why they had done so, Stone was horrified. He vowed never again to speak to Beach. Johnson handily won the match in 1910 and sisters Allene and Edith, after two frosty years, finally negotiated a reconciliation between their feuding husbands. From a modern perspective, it seems discordant that Stone, who performed in blackface and routinely exploited racial tropes, took such umbrage at Beach’s beliefs, which were, sadly, not uncommon at the time. But Stone surely knew and shared stages with the handful of African American entertainers who were popular enough to perform on the mainstream vaudeville circuit. We know, for example, that Stone admired Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, who caused a sensation with an intricate “stair dance” in which he tapped his way up and down a small staircase. Robinson tried to secure a patent on the choreography, but when that effort failed, other dancers — Stone included — learned the routine and performed it with impunity. Only Stone, however, sent Robinson a check — a quiet gesture of respect from one great hoofer to another. As for Beach, perhaps the thrashing that Johnson administered to Jeffries caused him to reconsider his position. More likely, though, Stone and Beach simply agreed to disagree for the sake of family harmony. It was Beach, in fact, who lured Stone to Rollins in 1929. The actor, just a year removed from his potentially catastrophic and widely publicized airplane crash, had made a triumphant comeback and was on tour with daughter Dorothy in Three Cheers when he visited the campus. There, to Stone’s great surprise, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Literature (Litt.D) by President Hamilton Holt, who had doggedly pursued Will Rogers for that year’s honor but settled for Rogers’ less famous but equally worthy friend — a circumstance surely unknown to the honoree. Beach took the pulpit at Knowles Memorial Chapel and described Stone as “probably the best-loved figure on the American stage, who has brought more mirth to the hearts of the theatergoing public than any man before the footlights. He makes them laugh, but the tear is not far behind the smile.” Stone showed his appreciation to Rollins in 1939, when he returned for a week’s run as the director and star of Lightnin’ to raise funds for the Fred Stone Laboratory (later the Fred Stone Theatre). The project involved adding a stage to Comstock Cottage, a wood frame house at the corner of Fairbanks and Chase avenues that had previously been a dormitory for the Chi Omega sorority. Within the rambling structure, workshops, classes and performances were held for 34 years until it was deemed a fire hazard and demolished in 1973. Before the dust had settled, an erstwhile Baptist Church — by then known as Bingham Hall and used for faculty gatherings — was retrofitted as a theater and inherited Stone’s moniker and mission. (The versatile building — named for Mortimer Bingham, a charter member of the board of trustees — had been purchased by the college in 1961 but remained at the corner of Comstock and Interlachen avenues until in 1965, when it was moved on campus to Chase Avenue.) Stone, who never attended college, was back at the place he affectionately referred to as “my alma mater” in 1946 to appear in and direct You Can’t Take It With You, in which he reprised his role as Martin “Grandpa” Vanderhof, and again in 1947 to appear in and direct Mark Twain by Harold M. Sherman, who had also written the screenplay for the tear-jerking 1944 Warner Brothers biopic The Adventures of Mark Twain. S U MME R 2 0 2 1 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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In 1929, Beach (top left) persuaded Stone (top right) to visit Rollins, where the actor was awarded an honorary Doctor of Literature (Litt.D) by President Hamilton Holt. Within the Fred Stone Laboratory (center left), as it was originally called, workshops, classes and performances were held for 34 years until the building was demolished in 1973. Before the dust had settled, an erstwhile Baptist Church (bottom left) — by then known as Bingham Hall — was retrofitted as a theater and inherited the old trouper’s mission and moniker. The photograph shows the building as it was being moved to its Chase Avenue location in 1965.

Both shows, held at the Annie Russell Theatre and co-starring members of the Rollins College Players, were fundraisers for the drama department. The Orlando Sentinel praised Stone’s performance in Mark Twain as “uncanny” and noted how much the actor looked like the irascible humorist when costumed in a white wig and walrus mustache. Naturally, Holt persuaded Stone to appear at the Animated Magazine during his 1939, 1946 and 1947 sojourns to Winter Park. As most Winter Parkers know, the Animated Magazine was the brainchild of Holt and Professor of Books Edwin Osgood Grover, who annually assembled prominent speakers from the fields of literature, business, academia and politics for an event that drew thousands to the campus.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ROLLINS COLLEGE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

TAKING THEIR FINAL BOWS

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Stone’s last years were heartbreaking. He began to lose his vision to glaucoma, developed dementia and suffered a near-fatal heart attack in 1955. When Allene died in 1957, his daughters opted not to tell him. Indeed, his condition had deteriorated to the point that he often ceased to recognize her anyway. Declared “the Grand Old Man of the theater” by The New York Times, Stone died at his Hollywood home in 1959 at age 85. The following year, his work in theater and film earned him a place on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. During Stone’s sad decline, one of his few visitors other than immediate family members was his cousin, a former song-and-dance man who had more recently achieved fame for his portrayal of “Doc” on the CBS western series Gunsmoke. In a fitting coincidence, Milburn Stone, accompanied by co-star Amanda Blake (“Miss Kitty”), visited Rollins just a month after Fred’s death. The duo lent star power to the local CBS affiliate’s cerebral palsy telethon and answered student questions at the Annie Russell Theatre. Stone’s friend Beach also suffered in his final years. He and Edith had settled near the Highlands County city of Sebring on substantial acreage, where Beach eased his frenetic writing pace and turned his attention to experimental farming. But Edith died in 1947 and Beach was diagnosed with throat cancer shortly thereafter. He took his own life in 1949, at age 72, because pain from the disease had become so severe. Rollins accepted his ashes, along with his wife’s, and had them buried near the Alumni House on campus. Rex Beach Hall, a dormitory, was erected in his memory. So, as broadcaster Paul Harvey once intoned, now you know the rest of the story. And you may be wondering if the new theater will carry Stone’s name. A spokesperson for the college said no decision had yet been made, but that Stone would be recognized in some way. As well he should be, perhaps with a lobby display using items from the Betty M. Mitchell Collection of Fred Stone Theatrical Materials at the college’s department of archives and special collections. Mitchell was a neighbor of Charles Collins, husband of Carol Stone, and the collection was donated by her daughter, Joyce. After all, while not a household name today, Fred Stone was, according to Beach, as stellar a human being as he was a performer.“To my way of thinking,” said Beach at the ceremony awarding his friend an honorary doctorate, “the biggest thing about Fred is not his genius as an entertainer and his hold upon the affections of the American public, nor is it the fact that, in spite of his enormous success, he made good with but few advantages; it is the fact that, in spite of his enormous success, he has remained a simple, unspoiled, honest and charitable man.”


ASK THE EXPERT

Preparing for Headwinds and Tailwinds

JASON EDWARDS MANAGING PARTNER, EDWARDS FINANCIAL SERVICES Jason Edwards is Managing Partner of Edwards Financial Services. He has had an office in Winter Park for more than two decades and is a past Orlando Business Journal Executive of the Year. His firm is listed among the publication’s Top 25 Financial Planning Firms and has earned many other professional awards. Edwards Financial Planning has nearly 3,600 clients in more than 18 states. For more, visit efs-advisors.com.

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his year has been a roller coaster — and understanding what could lie ahead is critical to understanding what you should do with your money. Earlier this year, the economic outlook was dramatically different. Inflation was low, the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to be subsiding and business was starting to thaw as states began to reopen. However, what a difference a few months can make. While tailwinds such as the pandemic are abating to some extent, and the U.S. economy is reopening, we are now dealing with tailwinds and some substantial headwinds. With the amount of capital (cash) infused into the economy, as well as massive supply disruptions, inflation has started to explode. Fuel and other basic needs are starting to see 10-50 percent increases — which could spell doom for an already beaten-up economy. When the cost of items such as fuel rise, such increases

eventually get passed along to the consumer because it becomes more expensive to simply transport goods to market. These types of issues, along with a challenge for small businesses to reopen due to labor shortages, will combine to pull down the GDP (an indicator of how a country is doing economically) to lows we haven’t seen in several years. It’s time to make sure your personal savings and investments are positioned to handle these new hurdles and challenges. It is not all gloom and doom, however. Prior to COVID-19, the U.S. economy was doing very well. So if these issues can be corrected in time, the next market correction, or hiccup, could be short and not signal any long-term economic damage. Like I always say: “People don’t plan to fail, they simply fail to plan.” So, be prepared, review your situation and always look for professional advice.

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Calton & Associates Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Edwards Financial Services, Inc. is independent of Calton & Associates, Inc. S U MME R 2 0 2 1 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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INFLUENTIALS 2

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By the Editors Photographs by Rafael Tongol

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T’S TIME AGAIN TO RECOGNIZE WINTER PARK MAGAZINE’S Most Influential People. The program, in its seventh year, recognizes those who — sometimes quietly — make a difference through their professions, their volunteerism, their philanthropy, their talents or their community engagement. The selectees are presented in the summer issue and celebrated at a big event at the Alfond Inn, which was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is tentatively scheduled for October 23, outdoors at the Alfond, and will celebrate the Classes of 2020 and 2021. Here are the people who have already been Influentials. The Classes of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, 2019 and 2020 included: Roy Alan and Heather Alexander, Richard O. “Rick” Baldwin, Jim Barnes, Dan Bellows, Justin Birmele, Anna Bond, Rita Bornstein, Jill Hamilton Buss, Jeffrey Blydenburgh, Daniel Butts, Michael Carolan, Sid Cash, Charles Clayton III, Billy Collins, Grant and Peg Cornwell, Linda Costa, Julian Chambliss, Patrick Chapin, Judy Charuhas, Carolyn Cooper, Chris Cortez, Deborah Crown, Jere F. Daniels Jr., Mary Daniels, Robynn Demar, Mary Demetree, Betsy Gardner Eckbert, Jeff Eisenbarth, Dykes Everett and Andrea Massey-Farrell. Also: Carolyn Fennell, Bill Finfrock, Allen Finfrock, Meg Fitzgerald, Sue Foreman, Scot and Christine Madrid French, Shawn Garvey, Hal George, John Gill, Alan Ginsburg, Steve Goldman, Sarah Grafton, Elizabeth “Betsy” Gwinn, Ralph V. “Terry” Hadley III, Jane Hames, Larry Hames, Frank Hamner, Ena Heller, Debra Hendrickson, Catherine Hinman, Eric and Diane Holm, Herb Holm (deceased), Charlene Hotaling, and Jon and Betsy Hughes.

Also: Susan Johnson, Gary I. and Isis Jones, Phil Kean, Allan Keen, Linda Keen, Tom Klusman, Randy Knight, Debbie Komanski, Linda Kulmann, Cindy Bowman LaFronz, Jack C. Lane, Whitney Laney, Steve Leary, Fairolyn Livingston, Chevalier Lovett, John (deceased) and Rita Lowndes, Lawrence Lyman, Lambrine Macejewski, Paula Madsen, Jesse Martinez, Brandon McGlammery, Genean Hawkins McKinnon, Joanne McMahon, Micki Meyer, Johnny Miller, Anne Mooney, Ronnie Moore and Patty Maddox. Also: Alex Martins, Marc Middleton, Kristine Miller, Elizabeth Tiedtke Mukherjee, Stephanie Murphy, Tony and Sonja Nicholson, David Odahowski, Betsy Rogers Owens, James and Julie Petrakis, Jim and Alexis Pugh, Jana Ricci, John Rife, John Rivers, Randall B. Robertson, Laurence J. “Larry” Ruggiero, Greg Seidel, Peter Schreyer, Polly Seymour, Thaddeus Seymour (deceased) and Shawn Shaffer. Also: Jason Siegel, John and Gail Sinclair, Sarah Sprinkel, Susan Skolfield, Sam Stark, Chuck and Margery Pabst Steinmetz, Bronce Stephenson, Dori Stone, Matthew Swope, Paul Twyford, Bill Walker, Fr. Richard Walsh, Jennifer Wandersleben, Harold A. Ward III, Debbie Watson, Todd Weaver, Bill Weir, Chip Weston, Pete Weldon, Cynthia Wood and Becky Wilson. On the following pages, please meet the Class of 2021 — which is every bit as deep and impressive as previous classes and, as always, includes some people you may not know as well as some longtime community icons. They come from all walks of life but share a love for Winter Park — and a desire to keep it as special as the founding visionaries intended.

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“It’s not so much abo ut b ig or smal l as it is ab out t h e chance to make a 21st- centu r y communit y ce nte rp ie ce t hat e ng ag e s the beaut y of the pa rk , max imize s social in te rac t ive space s and hol ds co l l ab orat ive l e arning at it s core.”

Sir David Adjaye Principal and Founder, Adjaye Associates

THE ARTFUL ARCHITECT

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IR DAVID ADJAYE WAS BORN IN DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA, and has homes and offices in London, New York and Ghana. But he is surely one of Winter Park’s Most Influential People because he designed, in collaboration with Orlando-based HuntonBrady Architects, arguably the most important civic project ever constructed in the city — the Winter Park Library & Events Center, which occupies a 23-acre site in Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Indeed, the Adjaye factor elevates the $41.2 million campus, which consists of two separate but synergistic buildings, to international significance among aficionados of architecture — stature that not many small-city libraries and events centers achieve. At 54, Adjaye is considered among the most acclaimed architects working today. His commissions include the Smithsonian Institution’s 665,000-square-foot National Museum of African American History and Culture, with three tiers of inverted half-pyramids wrapped in ornamental metal latticework. (In 2017, after the museum opened on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Adjaye was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.) Other striking Adjaye-designed structures include the 460,000-square-foot Moscow School of Management, with four elongated buildings precariously perched over its large circular base, and the 82,000-squarefoot Studio Museum in Harlem, with huge niches on its glass-and-concrete façade to display works of sculpture. Although the Winter Park project is relatively small (35,000 square feet for the library, 18,000 square feet for the events center), Adjaye says he was excited by the opportunity. “I found it incredibly progressive how the city envisaged both the library and events center as a destination,” says Adjaye, winner of the 2021 Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal for his body of work. “They understood the potential for this new campus [to offer] lifelong learning, respite and recreation. I was struck by this shared vision to create a dynamic, multifaceted public enhancement on this beautiful lakeside site.” Still, if Adjaye follows local Facebook pages — which he likely does not — then he knows that a vocal minority of armchair architects in this tradition-laden city don’t care for his decidedly avant garde style. Works of art that are both great and convention-defying are often controversial at first but tend to endure over time. Frank Lloyd Wright’s cylindrical design for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan, for example, was criticized in the late 1950s but is today considered an architectural masterpiece. Indeed, by hiring

Adjaye Associates the city got a world-class design as well as the sizzle that comes from affiliating with a high-profile “celebritect.” Adjaye, it turns out, has an affinity for libraries and an interest in their evolution from “simply repositories for books to spaces for multigenerational social incubating.” His two public libraries in Washington, D.C., were described by the Washington Post as having “well-channeled exuberance, a playfulness that is never merely arbitrary … [they] deserve to be on any serious architectural tour of the District.” In London, Adjaye designed two Idea Stores, which are rebranded public libraries that encompass the attributes of civic centers and exude a hipper, more welcoming vibe. Winter Park’s own destination for social incubation is slated to open in early December of this year after delays caused by two citizeninitiated lawsuits — both of which were thrown out of court — and an unsuccessful effort by newly minted commissioners to “pause” work despite the city’s significant investment in design and site prep. Such contentiousness was perhaps inevitable. After all, the $30 million bond issue that made it all possible was approved in 2016 by barely more than 200 votes. Then costs increased when the city okayed a rooftop venue, a porte-cochere for the events center, a sloped auditorium for the library and an outdoor amphitheater near the lake. No, the project did not carelessly careen “over budget.” It could certainly have been built for $30 million. However, knowing full well that additional sources of revenue would be required, commissioners opted for enhancements. And for the most part, the tab has been covered. Orange County put up $6 million in Tourist Development Tax money after local leaders positioned the project as an attraction for visitors, and the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) committed another $1.2 million out of its coffers. The balance was to come from philanthropy, which was bolstered in May when Philip and Sigrid Tiedtke, through the Florida Charities Foundation, donated $750,000 to build the amphitheater — which will be named, appropriately, Tiedtke Amphitheater. In any case, commissioners who engaged this unconventional architect — and took a calculated risk on paying for upgrades to his spectacular design — have already seen their judgment vindicated. “Civic projects are very much at the heart of my practice,” says Adjaye. “It’s not so much about big or small as it is about the chance to make a 21st-century community centerpiece that engages the beauty of the park, maximizes social interactive spaces and holds collaborative learning at its core.”

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Adjaye may never again visit Winter Park after the ribbon is cut on the Library & Events Center. But his name will be prominent in local history books written decades from now as the architect who designed the city’s internationally acclaimed social and intellectual centerpiece.

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PHOTO BY ED REEVE, COURTESY OF ADJAYE ASSOCIATES

Adjaye at his “Sunken House” project in London.

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Anderson on Park Avenue.

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“ We shoul d do thi ngs th rou g h t he l e n s of a p l an inste ad of a l e n s of excepti ons . Resi dent s s houl d fe e l l ike t hey ’ re b e ing he ard , an d th e i r feel i ngs are what we’re ac t in g on . T hey shoul d n’t h ave to stay u p unti l 3 a.m. wor r yi n g ab ou t w h at t he commission mig h t d o.”

Phil Anderson Mayor, City of Winter Park

THE VILLAGE’S VOICE

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AYOR PHIL ANDERSON’S CAMPAIGN HAD HIS NAME PLOPped right in the center of his ubiquitous yellow-and-blue signs. That’s appropriate, Anderson says, “because I’m a centrist; I want to be a bridge that unites people.” In March, Anderson, 61, a civil engineer by training and now a semiretired developer of senior-living communities, defeated retired teacher and Florida Virtual School executive Sarah Sprinkel, a former three-term city commissioner who had been one of Winter Park’s most reliable vote-getters. The race was one of those 53-47 splits that have marked several recent campaigns for city office, reflecting not only the fact that two good candidates were in the race but also the degree of factionalism present in local politics. Anderson, a city commissioner from 2008 to 2011, particularly appealed to voters who were concerned that large-scale redevelopment, such as the original Orange Avenue Overlay plan, would damage the city’s legendary village charm. (The plan, with Sprinkel’s support, was initially adopted only to be rescinded shortly thereafter by a newly elected slate of commissioners.) Such issues, Anderson says, wouldn’t be so divisive if the city would do a better job communicating — more specifically, employing strong visuals to show residents what proposed new projects would look like. “Residents need more information that they can relate to,” he says. “We need to move away from the pro-development versus anti-development dialogue that we’re always having.” For one thing, says Anderson, that’s an oversimplification. He notes that his campaign knocked on 4,000 doors, and neither he nor his volunteers found many zealots who could be counted as entirely in one camp or the other. Anderson, at least, can relate to the hurdles developers face when trying to do business in Winter Park. In 2015, a subsidiary of Bridge Seniors Housing Fund Manager — a company co-founded by Anderson two years prior — sought to purchase the city’s Progress Point property at the intersection of Denning Drive and Orange Avenue and develop a two- and three-story senior living facility there. Anderson’s company ultimately withdrew the offer after an array of complications arose, among them: an after-the-fact appraisal that deemed the property worth more than the original asking price; opposition to the proposed use voiced by, among others, Mayor Steve Leary; and uncertainty over how to resolve parking challenges in the area. It was all just as well, says Anderson today, because he’s looking forward to a significant

chunk of Progress Point becoming a public park as part of a revised plan for the Orange Avenue Overlay. “We should do things through the lens of a plan instead of a lens of exceptions,” says Anderson. “Residents should feel like they’re being heard, and their feelings are what we’re acting on. They shouldn’t have to stay up until 3 a.m. worrying about what the commission might do.” A graduate of Georgia Tech, Anderson moved to Winter Park in 1998 to start CNL Retirement Properties, a real estate investment trust. He stayed at the Park Plaza Hotel and fell in love with the charming town he viewed from the hotel’s balcony. He later fell in love with the charming Jennifer Devitt, then director of the Rollins College EMBA program, whom he met via a blind date arranged by a friend. In 2004, he proposed to her next to the Memorial Fountain in Central Park. Jennifer had two young girls, Phil had two young boys, and the blended family “was like the Brady Bunch,” Anderson says. (Many locals know that daughter Kimberly Devitt, one of last year’s Winter Park Magazine People to Watch, is director of business development for Maitlandbased Corkcicle.) Anderson subsequently served a term on the city commission — during which the national economic collapse posed fiscal challenges — and his family supported (and continues to support) such good causes as the Boys & Girls Club of Eatonville, the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens and the Winter Park History Museum. Anderson is also the founding treasurer of the Winter Park Land Trust, which promotes opportunities for the city to expand parks and greenspace. On top everything else, Anderson, the son of missionaries who lived as a child in the Philippines, is a partner with his brother in an Escambia County Subaru dealership — all of which may delay his longtime dream of traveling the U.S., at a leisurely pace, in a motor home. In the meantime, however, he’ll focus on his goals for Winter Park, which include enhanced communication between the city and the public, upgraded technology (including the laying of fiber optic cabling) to create a “smart city” better able to manage traffic, implementation of measures to boost the post-pandemic economic recovery (he would consider economic incentives to attract new businesses downtown), and adoption of an Orange Avenue Overlay plan that will anger as few people as possible. Most important — and perhaps most challenging — is his goal to “find the center” and, where possible, to achieve consensus instead of contention.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Anderson becomes mayor at a pivotal time in the city’s history, as its businesses have struggled with economic travails caused by the pandemic and its residents have adopted heatedly opposing viewpoints on major issues (the Library & Events Center, the Orange Avenue Overlay, the Henderson Hotel, etc.). Can Anderson hit a reset button on the tone of civic dialogue and promote informed debate while balancing the need to grow with the importance of preserving the city’s village ambiance?

S U MME R 2 0 2 1 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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Sabrina Bernat Executive Director, Winter Park Public Library

THE NEW AGE LIBRARIAN

Y

OU’LL HAVE TO FORGIVE SABRINA BERNAT, 35, for sounding like a kid on a thrill ride when talking about the new Winter Park Library & Events Center set to open in early December: “It feels like the moment of giddy exhilaration as you crest the top of the roller coaster and get ready to scream, laugh and throw your hands in the air. Woohoo!” Bernat, who grew up in tiny Floral City in Citrus County, says the nearest library was in the “big city of Inverness.” With her first library card, young Sabrina checked out so many books that she could hardly carry them. What could be better, she thought, than working at a library? After earning an undergraduate degree in literature and fine art and a master’s degree in library science from the University of South Florida, Bernat did just that in Beverly Hills (Florida) and Kissimmee before joining the Winter Park Public Library in 2015 as assistant director. She became executive director in December 2019, just before construction began on a new library with a companion multiuse civic space and amphitheater. Now, Bernat is busily preparing to move into the state-of-the-art complex taking shape in Martin Luther King Jr. Park — and hopes to win over skeptics who tried so hard to derail the project. “Friction creates energy: plans and ideas changed, people came and went, needs grew or metamorphosed,” she says. “Our community didn’t just build a library — it forged one. We’re ultimately all the stronger for it.” Bernat — whose husband, Mike, is a computer engineer — is the smiling face of a New Age library that she envisions as a place of diversity and inclusivity serving people from “cradle to infinity” and providing “an environment where the serendipity of new ideas sparked by conversation leads to better lives for everyone.” She’s thankful for the staffers “who can take my cheerful nonsense and spin it into reality.” Building the complex has been a roller-coaster ride, prolonged in part by a 2016 bond validation lawsuit that ultimately was thrown out. Bernat — a graduate of Leadership Winter Park, a program of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce — is cooking up some cheerful nonsense for the grand opening. “There’s a pair of fairy wings hanging on my wall right now,” she says. “I’m sure those are going to come into play!” Woohoo!

THE BOTTOM LINE:

There could be no more effective spokesperson for the expanding role of libraries in the digital age. And that role will be important in Winter Park, where some believed that the old facility was just dandy and the new complex was too costly.

40 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUM M ER 2021

Bernat at the Winter Park Library & Events Center.


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Lauren Bradley Director of Strategic Communications, Rollins College

T H E M E S S AG I N G M AV E N

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AUREN BRADLEY HAS A GIFT FOR WRITING. But at the University of Florida, when she had to decide her major, she chose public relations over journalism. In public relations, she says, “I can control the message; I can craft it the way I want to.” Bradley has been effectively managing messages for municipalities and organizations for more than 20 years, with the last 12 years at Rollins College — where she’s director of strategic communications and responsible for all internal and external messaging. It’s never boring. “Every day is different,” she says. “There’s always something to learn.” Last year, PRNEWS named Bradley to its 2020 class of Top Women in PR — professionals whose traits include “the ability to think outside the box to create new programs that drive business results.” Bradley was perhaps born with communications savvy. She’s the daughter of local public relations pioneer Jane Hames and civically active tax attorney Larry Hames (both previously honored as Influentials). But Bradley, 43, has made her own way using a journalist’s instinct for a good story and an advocate’s skill in spinning the narrative. She honed her skills as a public information officer for the City of Orlando and the City of Daytona Beach, dealing with everything from hurricanes to political hubbubs. After earning a master’s degree in mass communications from the University of Florida in 2007, Bradley took an agency job in Chicago, where she also met her husband, Thomas, a digital marketing specialist. But after two winters, she was ready to come home, and Thomas was game. At Rollins, Bradley helped navigate the college’s highly effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, earning plaudits from PRNEWS for launching an e-newsletter that kept faculty and staff abreast of the rapidly changing situation. With two daughters, ages 8 and 10, Bradley serves as a troop leader for Girl Scouts of Citrus and is a board member for Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, where her father has been chairman of the board and interim CEO. She’s also a graduate of Leadership Winter Park, a program of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. As the pandemic abates, Bradley is crafting happier stories — including the phased opening of Lakeside Neighborhood, an amenityrich, $71 million student housing project, and the on-campus installation of a large-scale sculpture of Fred Rogers this fall.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

As Rollins College embarks on its most ambitious building program since the Hamilton Holt era, someone with Bradley’s skills is required to maximize its benefit while keeping a curious community in the loop.

42 W I N T E R P A R K M A G A ZI N E | SUMM ER 2021

Bradley on the campus of Rollins College.


Congratulations to Rollins’

Most Influential Lauren Bradley

Senior Director of Strategic Communications

Rev. Katrina Jenkins Dean of Religious Life

Dr. Bruce Stephenson

Professor of Environmental Studies

rollins.edu

Elizabeth Morse Genius (1872–1928)

Charles Hosmer Morse (1833–1921)

Jeannette Genius McKean (1909–1989)

Hugh Ferguson McKean (1908–1995)

The Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation and The Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation Congratulate

Richard Strauss Trustee, Treasurer, Executive Vice President

Dick Strauss was chosen by Winter Park icons Hugh Ferguson McKean and Jeannette Genius McKean more than three decades ago to assist them in the management of the business and investment assets of the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation and the Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation, which honor the memories of Jeannette’s mother and grandfather, respectively. Through Dick’s commitment and stewardship, these foundations have effectively carried forth the McKeans’ legacy of sharing art and beauty with the people of Central Florida. For that, the community and the trustees of the foundations offer gratitude and congratulations to Dick upon his much-deserved selection as an Influential. P. O. Box 40, Winter Park, FL 32790 • 407.644.0005 • geniusfoundation.org S U MME R 2 0 2 1 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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Tom Dyer Partner, Dyer & Blaisdell Founder, Watermark

THE PRIDE PIONEER

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N 1994, WHEN TOM DYER STARTED THE WATERmark newspaper to serve Orlando’s growing LGBTQ community, he was trying to influence only one person: Tom Dyer. “The audience for the newspaper was me,” he says. “I knew I was gay and not sure I was thrilled about it. Not sure I could have a happy, open, productive life here without being in fear all the time of how people would react.” Dyer’s influence has grown exponentially since he convinced the man in the mirror. Watermark has been catalyst and chronicler of the LGBTQ community’s emergence as a social, cultural, political force in Orlando and beyond. Some 20,000 copies of the biweekly are distributed in more than 500 locations throughout Metro Orlando and Tampa Bay, while a robust website attracts readers worldwide. “At first, politicians didn’t want to talk to us,” says Dyer, a graduate of DePauw University who attended law school at the University of Florida. “In 10 years, if you were running for office, you really did need to talk to Watermark.” How to gauge the seismic impact? In 1998, a trepidatious City of Orlando allowed the newspaper to hang rainbow flags downtown for Gay Pride Month — and was roasted by televangelist Pat Robertson, who predicted that apocalyptic hurricanes would ravage the wicked city. In 2014 — doomsday averted — Dyer was presented the Key to the City by Mayor Buddy Dyer (no relation), which was just one of many honors for his continuing activism. Dyer’s family, including his four siblings, moved from Wisconsin to Maitland when he was 12. All the kids graduated from Winter Park High School and his mother taught fashion merchandising there. After law school, Dyer joined a small practice in Orlando and got involved with the Metropolitan Business Association (now the Pride Chamber). It was there he began his bridge building, inviting Linda Chapin, then chair of the Orange County Commission, to address the group — the first elected official to accept a speaking invitation from the MBA. “It was a very brave thing for her to do,” Dyer says. “A big moment for Orlando.” Dyer, who turns 66 in July and serves on the education committee of the onePULSE Foundation, sold the newspaper in 2017 to focus on his law practice, Dyer & Blaisdell, having left his Watermark on a transformed community.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

It’s hard to imagine how risky Dyer’s decision to publish an LGBTQ newspaper was as recently as 1994. But the newspaper was in the vanguard of a movement that, within a decade or so, made sexuality virtually a moot point even among most conservatives. Dyer deserves no small measure of credit for opening hearts and minds in Central Florida.

44 W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SUM M ER 2021

Dyer and his corgi, Seamus, at Azalea Lane Park.


the name you know

the care you trust AdventHealth Winter Park connects you to the expertise that keeps you feeling your best — including advanced surgical services — conveniently located in your neighborhood. With top-notch health care services, including advanced emergency care on a 24/7 bases, an impressive update to those services arrives this June with the opening of a newly renovated, state-of-the-art ER. Plus, we’re home to a team of highly skilled specialists in cardiology, oncology, obstetrics, gynecology, urology, orthopedics, ENT, and gastroenterology. And, during these challenging times, we’re taking every measure to keep you and your family safe when you’re here.

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Christy Grieger Executive Director, Winter Park History Museum

T H E T I M E T R AV E L E R

“W

HEN PEOPLE COME HERE, THERE’S A FEELing and an energy that you don’t find in every town,” says Christy Grieger, executive director of the Winter Park History Museum. “[Original developers] Oliver Chapman and Loring Chase created something special that’s still preserved here. History has an echo, and we are its voice.” Grieger, for certain, is its voice these days. The City of Culture and Heritage has plenty of culture to go around — but its heritage is squeezed into just 800 square feet. Nonetheless, the aptly nicknamed “little museum that could” — which occupies a room inside the 97-year-old building that once served as the Atlantic Coast Line’s freight depot — has for years enjoyed an outsized community presence with creative exhibitions and lavish events. Grieger, 48, knows plenty about events. She previously worked in event sales and management at Hello! Florida and, later, at the House of Blues in Disney’s Lake Buena Vista. She then headed human resources at a family-owned printing business before becoming executive assistant to the energetic Susan Skolfield at the museum. When Skolfield departed, the 11-member board of the Winter Park Historical Association — the nonprofit that owns and operates the museum — had a worthy successor already on the payroll. Grieger, who has a sociology degree from the University of Pittsburgh, has always been an achiever. In college, she captained the swim team and broke a school record in the 200-meter backstroke. “Swimming taught me discipline — getting up for practice, setting goals, working as a team member — and sociology taught me about people,” she says. In addition to local history, Grieger — who has two daughters: Ada, 14, and Liv, 11 — enjoys antiquing and is an avid amateur photographer. She’s proud of the museum’s latest exhibition, Rollins: The First 50 Years, and will continue such programs as recording oral histories, offering a speaker series and hosting the annual Peacock Ball. “Penelope — Princess of the Peacocks” will still share stories and songs with children every Monday morning. Yes, the museum may be small, but it manages to draw about 15,000 visitors annually. It’s also efficient, operating on a $248,000 annual budget (including a $76,000 contribution from the city). Entrepreneurs like Chapman and Chase would surely be pleased that the echo of their effort still reverberates.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Winter Park was built by generations of visionaries from whom today’s civic leaders could learn valuable lessons. Therefore, the museum serves a crucial function by reminding us that the city’s combination of livability and panache is the result of smart decisions spanning more than 135 years.

46 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUM M ER 2021

Grieger at the offices of the Winter Park History Museum.


CONGRATULATIONS TO THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE, CLASS OF 2021

ONLY THE BEST, IN EVERY WAY.

Hill Gray Seven LLC is renowned for Park Hill and Penn Place, our Winter Park townhome projects. Now we’re setting a new standard for commercial development excellence with Palm Hills. It’s a one-of-a-kind shopping and dining destination now underway on U.S. Highway 17-92, along what was once known as the Million Dollar Mile. Palm Hills will feature all the design sensibilities you’ve come to expect in Hill Gray Seven’s magnificent residences. That’s because, like you, we believe that Winter Park deserves only the best. We make a statement with our projects — and so do you, through your profession, your volunteerism, your philanthropy or your activism. Because of you, our city is an even better place to live, work and play. That’s why we’re proud to congratulate Winter Park’s Most Influential People, Class of 2021. Great buildings are important, but great people make a community truly special. Our sincere thanks to each of you for all that you do.

PALM HILLS

Leasing Broker: James Mitchell, CBRE, 407.404.5024 Hill Gray Seven LLC is a family-owned company that develops high-end residential, retail, officer, medical and industrial projects in more than 17 states. The company is a preferred developer to many firms such as daVita Dialysis, a Fortune 500 company. Visit hillgrayseven.com for more details.


Katrina Jenkins Dean of Religious Life, Rollins College

T H E R E L ATA B L E R E V

K

ATRINA JENKINS WAS DOING INFRASTRUCture before infrastructure was cool. “I’m here to build bridges,” she said in 2016 after being named dean of religious life at Rollins College, making her the first female, the first African American and the first Baptist to hold the job — which, before she was hired, had been simply called dean of the chapel. Jenkins, however, has an expansive mission to accompany her expansive title. She provides spiritual guidance, mentors students in their spiritual development and advances the college’s mission to foster global citizenship and responsible leadership. Prior to being chosen by Rollins after a national search, Jenkins pioneered interfaith programs at Illinois College, a private school with a long Christian heritage, and Bentley University, a business school in Waltham, Massachusetts. “Religion is messy, spiritualism is messy,” she says. But “The Rev,” as Jenkins is known on campus, loves the mess. “People come as they are. It doesn’t matter if you’re of faith or not, I journey with you.” For Jenkins, it’s a journey that began early. She grew up in Stratford, Connecticut, “one of those wacky kids who enjoyed church. I started volunteering and it was just one of those things that stuck.” She graduated from Syracuse University and, after a short detour in the healthcare industry (pharmaceutical sales and training), returned to her true path, earning a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School and ordination by American Baptist Churches USA. Jenkins, 52, is ecumenical in her faith outreach and eclectic in her off-pulpit passions, which include science fiction, community theater, the music of Earth, Wind & Fire, and pro sports of every sort — including the Mets (baseball), the Lakers (basketball) and the Cowboys (“God’s gift to football”). Some duties as dean of religious life are those of a traditional chaplain, including conducting worship services at Knowles Memorial Chapel and performing marriages, baptisms and funerals. And then there’s the more complex and challenging task of building a spiritual infrastructure, through which she connects disparate faiths within the college’s diverse international community. She doesn’t expect kumbaya and understands that there’ll be issues and arguments. “But it means we choose to be in a relationship with one another. You might disagree with someone, but you’re not going to call them a hate monger on social media. We choose the opposite of hate.”

THE BOTTOM LINE:

In a time of increasing cynicism and division, Rollins College remains an oasis of understanding and inclusivity. Jenkins will help shape the next generation to be more tolerant, inquisitive and welcoming of differences than this generation has been.

48 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUM M ER 2021

Jenkins in Knowles Memorial Chapel.


TO WINTER PARK’S MOST INFLUENTIAL:

Congratulations & Thank You! Since 1989, The Mayflower has been woven into the very fabric of Winter Park, with a synergy that has flourished through strategic partnerships, civic involvement and philanthropy. Our staff and residents actively support worthwhile causes that preserve the city’s history, character, environment and business climate. Simply put, we are part of Winter Park . . . and it is part of us. So it is with great pride that we salute Winter Park Magazine’s 2021 Most Influential People. With vision, creativity, dedication and hard work, you continue to enrich and advance our hometown – bringing new ideas and perspectives that build on a legacy of success. Your leadership makes a difference – not only for the community at large, but for each of us as individuals. Whether we live here, work here, or just visit here, we’re all better . . . because of you.

Proud Co-sponsor of Winter Park Magazine’s Reception Saluting Winter Park’s Most Influential People

1 62 0 M A Y F L O W E R C O U R T

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WINTER PARK, FL 32792

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407.672.1620

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THEMAYFLOWER.COM 88141 PRAD WPM 7/2021


Steve Kramer President and CEO, The Mayflower at Winter Park

THE SENIOR EXECUTIVE

S

TEVE KRAMER, WHO IN JUST OVER FIVE YEARS has set The Mayflower at Winter Park on course for the largest expansion in its 33-year history, was hired without any experience running a life plan community. But Kramer, president and CEO since August 2015, had been a manager and executive in the hospitality and healthcare industries for more than 20 years. And he’ll be at the helm as a $108 million project called Bristol Landing at The Mayflower takes shape. Located on 16 acres just west of the existing campus, Bristol Landing will encompass seven buildings with 50 two- and three-bedroom water view apartments, a 9,800-square-foot clubhouse and restaurant, and an 84,842-square-foot healthcare building offering skilled nursing, short-term rehabilitation and memory-care services. Kramer, 51, grew up in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, where his father was a foreman in a steel mill. Having enjoyed his early employment at an upscale restaurant, he decided to major in hotel, restaurant and institutional management at Penn State. (He later earned an MBA with a concentration in healthcare management from the University of Michigan.) Kramer then spent almost five years in various management capacities at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, the iconic restaurant-and-gift store chain. Yes, he can whip up a mean batch of biscuits if required, but it’s the company’s simple mission statement, “Pleasing People,” that has stayed with him. From restaurants, Kramer moved into healthcare food service, which in turn led to executive positions at healthcare systems in rural North Central Pennsylvania. Before sunny Florida beckoned, he was president and CEO of North Penn Comprehensive Health Services in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. Kramer and his wife, Kathy, have one son, Kolby, 19, who has just joined the Navy. Kramer — who became certified as a master scuba diver after relocating to the Sunshine State — is on the board of the Rotary Club of Winter Park and is treasurer of LeadingAge Florida, an association that supports facilities serving seniors. He’s also a graduate of Leadership Winter Park, a program of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. The Mayflower, founded in 1989, is consistently ranked among the region’s top retirement communities and is home to some of Winter Park’s most accomplished people. Adds Kramer: “Now we’re going to have additional facilities that not only match but further exceed our reputation.”

THE BOTTOM LINE:

The Mayflower, although it opened in 1989, seems as though it’s been around forever — and has set the bar for other retirement communities in an increasingly competitive market. Kramer will oversee a major expansion designed to help the community maintain and even elevate its appeal among well-heeled seniors.

50 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUM M ER 2021

Kramer on the grounds of The Mayflower at Winter Park.


DR. DREW BYRNES

Congratulations TO ALL THE HONOREES !

ARE YOU OVERPAYING FOR DENTAL INSURANCE? Dental insurance was first offered in America around 1954. Our practice has been in Winter Park since 1939 so we’ve had a long time to study the dental health of patients with and without dental insurance. To this day, still only around half of our patients carry dental coverage. When dental insurance began, it was a good deal for patients and dentists. Unfortunately, due to rising costs, increasing premiums and annual maximums that have remained flat for decades ($1,500 a year covered a lot more in 1960 than it does today), many have become disappointed with their plans. Our mission is to make dentistry easy for people. Yes, that means making it a pain-free experience. But it also means making the financial aspects easy to understand — and insurance often does just the opposite. That’s why we’re becoming known for our Dental Membership Plan. Unlike dental insurance, which is filled with loopholes and exclusions, our plan is simple. Instead of paying for something for years without using the benefits, with our plan, you only pay for the routine services that you’re already getting (cleanings, exams, etc.). And if you do end up needed additional dental work, you receive an extra discount on that treatment. If you’re paying out of pocket for dental insurance or for dental care, let us connect you with our insurance team to find out which option makes the most sense for your situation. You can call or text (407) 645-4645 or schedule at DentistWinterPark.com.

In 1882, Winter Park became an inspired place respected for its unique vision that was influenced by a new form of iconic American town planning linking nature, buildings and transit. Today, all of us have the opportunity and responsibility to continue that vision — and to explore ways of evolving our city’s specific attributes and unique features so they can be infused with new ideas. Ideas that compliment and best reflect Winter Park’s relevance to today’s diverse community and remain relatable to future generations. Only by joining together can we create a better tomorrow. Larr y and Joanne Adams

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Visit book.mfahealth.com to schedule an appointment online. S U MME R 2 0 2 1 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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Deirdre Macnab Former President, Florida League of Women’s Voters

THE ARDENT ACTIVIST

W

HEN SHE WAS IN COLLEGE, SAYS DEIRDRE Macnab, “I was too shy even to stand up and say my name. My father told me being shy was a waste of time.” So she took a public speaking course. Now everyone in Central Florida who cares about democracy, women’s issues and the environment knows her name. So do cable-television hosts such as Rachel Maddow, John Oliver, Al Sharpton and others who’ve had her on their shows to amplify her causes. And so do politicians who’ve tried in the past (they’re still trying, by the way) to suppress voting and to adopt gerrymandered congressional districts. As president of the Florida League of Women Voters, Macnab spearheaded a drive to get two Fair Districts constitutional amendments on the 2000 ballot, both of which passed and eventually — following four years of lawsuits — led to the redrawing of congressional and state senate boundaries. That effort, among other accomplishments, earned Macnab the title “Central Floridian of the Year” in 2012 from the Orlando Sentinel. A native New Yorker from a politically connected family, Macnab earned an MBA from Columbia University and began a career as a consultant and marketing executive in Manhattan. She and her then-husband later moved to Nashville, where she was elected to the school board, and to Atlanta, where she joined a local league chapter to make what civil-rights icon John Lewis called “good trouble.” In 2004, the family moved to Winter Park, where Macnab continued her league involvement — ultimately becoming president — and steered the organization in a more activist direction on a variety of hot-button issues. In 2014, the league and its allies raised a ruckus over a scheme (subsequently abandoned) to purge the voter rolls, and successfully sued the state over a law that placed restrictions on voter-registration drives. These days, Macnab — who takes frequent trips to Colorado to help manage a family cattle ranch — is involved with alliances to protect rivers and promote solar power as well as the league’s initiative to expand the use of electric vehicles. Still, there’s no rest for the weary. Laws that critics say seek to disenfranchise voters have been proposed (or have already passed) in 43 states following the 2016 election. “If called upon I will try to be helpful,” Macnab says. “We need to protect the delicate foundation of democracy.”

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Macnab was flamboyant — often dressing as Susan B. Anthony at public events — but savvy and knew how to navigate the hallways of power in Tallahassee and get things done. Democracy needs powerful advocates these days, and Macnab’s most important legacy may be inspiring other strong women to follow her lead.

52 W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SUMM ER 2021

Macnab, with solar panels as a backdrop, advocates for sustainability.


ASK THE EXPERT

Now, the Banter is About Bubbles

I

BRIAN CIRILLO PARTNER/BROKER, BALDWIN PARK REALTY

Brian Cirillo has 25 years of experience as a top-producing real estate agent and broker in Central Florida. His background, as an owner of several business ventures and as a co-owner and founder, has given his real estate business a high level of experience, leadership and professionalism. For more, visit baldwinparkre.com.

love watercooler chatter. It seeps into sidelines at Little League games, punctuates the air at the hairdressers, hovers over adult beverages at the bar. Hardly a leading indicator of anything, it’s just my fascinating little glance at what seems to interest people. Around 2001, it was abuzz with advice on Internet stock picks, and a few years later it hummed with news of home-flippers down the block. We’re well past any watercooler mentions of masks and vaccine prospects. Now, one word defines any respectable banter of small talk: Bubble. The word is charged with wideeyed expectations of a pop and a colossal collapse. The mention of it rises to the top of the idle-chatter stew. It comes at a time when many homebuyers are more likely to find a $20 bill on the ground than a decent home they can afford. The last time people spoke the B word, a knowing watercooler crowd might have pointed to unsustainable mortgages. Loose lending criteria made mortgages seem almost like door prizes. Need two or three mortgages but have no income? No problem! Borrow against your home to purchase anything? Sure! This time around, those issues have been largely addressed for banks. But now there’s more private money being lent than ever before, so it’s not as clear exactly what might prick our fast-rising bubble now. The wallop of that 2006-07 crash lingered in ways that are still catching up to us. It ruined builders, left banks quivering and buried mortgage companies under new regulations. As a result,

a high-demand market like the Orlando region simply didn’t rebound with the supply of new homes it clearly needed. This might sound like a stretch, but think of the new-home industry as an African elephant. The enormous mammal has one of the longest gestation periods in the world. Similarly, developers go through years of prep before builders can present model homes to the world. Let me tell you, COVID-19 did nothing to speed up that process. And so we have this crush of demand from retirees fleeing cities, tax reform creating other demands, remote workers seeking better confines, and renters abandoning apartments just at a time when there are too few places for them to go. Prospects for the home-construction industry to gain speed are unlikely. In addition to labor shortages, lumber is becoming the new endangered species. Where it used to take three weeks to get roof trusses, now it’s closer to three months. These forces have all driven up prices beyond the level where

most Central Floridians can afford them. Outside money tends to prop up our bubble, at least for a little while. Demand is likely to shift with rising wages, inflation and interest rates. We’re already seeing top-end prices calm down after rising last year like a helium balloon at an outdoor birthday party. Consider this: One client offered $100,000 less than the asking price on a home because it sat on the market for the outrageous span of 40 days. Not that long ago, Orlando-area houses sat on the market an average of four months. Now they last only an average of six weeks, which is little more than the time needed to inspect, appraise and prep for closing. One client texted me the other day: “It seems like the frothiness has changed.” Choice words for any watercooler. If you happen to see me at anything remotely resembling a gathering of people around a watercooler, don’t ask when this bubble might burst. I’m not smart enough to make that call. But I may just tell you that it can’t get much bigger.

S U MME R 2 0 2 1 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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Congratulations to our CEO Greg Spencer for being named one of Winter Park Magazine’s Most Influential!

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Maines (standing) and Miller outside Ted Maines Interiors.

56 W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SUM M ER 2021


Ted Maines Owner and President, Ted Maines Interiors

Jeffrey Miller Partner and Shareholder, SeifertMiller

THE UNTIRING ACTIVISTS

I

T WOULD TAKE A SPREADSHEET THE SIZE OF A BEDSHEET TO chart the array of public and private organizations across the political, cultural and social landscape of Winter Park and Orlando touched by power couple Jeffrey Miller and Ted Maines — and their partner Donatella, the media star of the threesome. Donatella, a 10-year-old Italian Greyhound, is co-couch — er, make that co-chair — of the annual Paws for Peace walk that benefits Harbor House of Central Florida, a shelter for victims of domestic abuse and their pets. Donatella, despite her sweet nature, is a forceful fundraiser when she pops up on billboards and appears on television shows. “When she’s on the screen the phone bank blows up,” says Maines, owner and president of Ted Maines Interiors. In April, Donatella’s sixth year as cochair with Maines, the walk exceeded its goal and raised nearly $70,000. Over nearly three decades, Miller, 69, and Maines, 63, have served as volunteer leaders or event hosts for some 20 organizations devoted to causes ranging from ballet, fine arts and historic preservation to AIDS support, human rights, hospitals, libraries and Holocaust awareness. The 1993 March on Washington for LGBTQ rights lit the fuse on the couple’s activism. “Ted and I went and came back energized,” Miller says. They were founding members of the Rainbow Democratic Club and Central Floridians United Against Discrimination, which later became Equality Florida. Miller, a Lakeland native who attended law school at the University of Florida, and Maines, a New Jersey kid who majored in business management and accounting at Rutgers University, met in Key West in 1983. “It was love at first sight,” says Maines. But, given the tenor of the times, not marriage. The couple made it official in New York City, two years before the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling that struck down prohibitions against samesex marriage in every state. Maines, whose 27-year management career included a stint as CEO of Historic Creations Design and Development in Maitland, started his interior design business in 2010. Miller, who in the 1980s worked for what he describes as a “very conservative” downtown firm where he didn’t feel safe revealing his orientation, co-founded SeifertMiller, a personal injury and wrongful death practice, in 1996. Today, Miller and Maines are the most celebrated husband-husband team in local philanthropy and routinely appear on media-compiled lists of the region’s most powerful people. “There’s a certain obligation that comes with that,” Miller says, “an obligation to be that person who gets involved and tries to make the community a better place.” Their good works continued during the pandemic, though not at the same breakneck pace. Their laser focus these days is on construction of the new Holocaust Museum for Hope and Humanity in Orlando. Miller, past president of the Holocaust Center Board, is co-chair of the project, while Maines is on the fundraising committee. Donatella, of course, will help where she can.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

There are no Central Floridians more active in civic affairs than Ted Maines and Jeffrey Miller. Their current focus is on the new Holocaust Museum for Hope and Humanity, which could draw 75 million annual visitors to downtown Orlando. S U MME R 2 0 2 1 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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Gus Malzahn Head Football Coach, UCF

Kristi Malzahn Wife, Mom, Booster

THE GOOD KNIGHTS

B

ILLBOARDS ACROSS FLORIDA (AND PARTS OF GEORGIA) SHOW a familiar fist-pumping coach alongside a UCF logo and a proclamation that “the future of college football is in Orlando.” The coach, Gus Malzahn, was tapped in February to helm the Knights, and believes that he can eventually deliver a legitimate national championship to an upstart program that brashly claimed the title for itself — to the amusement and annoyance of Alabama fans — in 2017. But the Knights had a strong case to make: In a Peach Bowl matchup, they had beaten the only team to beat the Crimson Tide in the regular season: the Auburn Tigers, then coached by — Gus Malzahn. Last year, in a shuffle apparently orchestrated by the football gods, UCF Athletic Director Danny White left to take the same job at Tennessee and took Head Football Coach Josh Heupel with him. White was replaced by former Arkansas State Athletic Director Terry Mohajir, who had worked with Malzahn during his first and only season coaching the Red Wolves. Mohajir might well have sought out a hot young assistant coach who would likely have bolted for a Power 5 program after a couple of good seasons with the Knights. Instead, he chose a battle-tested veteran who had powered through eight pressurepacked seasons in the SEC and had become one of only two active head coaches to notch three wins against Nick Saban (the other is former LSU Head Coach Les Miles). Malzahn, despite playing for a national championship (losing by a field goal to FSU) and compiling a 68-35 record, was let go by Auburn in 2020 following a sub-par 6-4 season. And so it was that Gus, 55, and his wife, Kristi, 52, took up residence in the City of Culture and Heritage — a place that Kristi describes as “a little utopia; it has such a warm and fuzzy feeling that it just draws you in.” Gus, who grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and played football at the University of Arkansas and Henderson State, says UCF is a perfect fit because “the foundation is in place to take the next step — and I believe that more now than I ever have.” Kristi, an ebullient former insurance agent who now describes herself as happy to be a mom and a coach’s wife, says that she and Gus are interested in charities that help children. Gus has a particular fondness for the Boys & Girls Club, where he says he learned valuable life lessons as a youngster. The Malzahns, who met while she was an eighth-grader and he was a junior at Fort Smith Christian Academy, have two adult daughters, Kylie Peek and Kenzie Stander, and two grandchildren. So, is the future of college football really in Orlando? Perhaps — but it might be more accurate to say that the future of college football is in Winter Park.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

There’s no reason to believe that UCF didn’t make a great hire with Gus Malzahn, who isn’t looking to make a name for himself (he’s already done that) but is genuinely excited and energized by the opportunity here. Kristi, a funny and outspoken Southern charmer, is likely to have a high community profile and be a terrific ambassador for her husband’s program.

58 W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SUMM ER 2021

BREAKING NEWS

As this issue of Winter Park Magazine was going to press, the College Football Playoff expansion subcommittee announced that it was “strongly considering” increasing its championship field from four to 12 teams, with slots for the six highest-ranked conference champions and six more at-large selectees. Under the proposed new structure, UCF — a member of the Group of Five’s American Athletic Conference (AAA) — would have earned playoff berths in 2017 and 2018. A decision is not expected before September and would be unlikely to take effect before the 2023 season. What might this mean for fans of the Knights? For starters, the hometown team could compete for a national championship by dominating the AAA instead of by chasing an elusive affiliation with a Power Five conference.


The Malzahns outside their home. S U MME R 2 0 2 1 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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Robert A. Mandell Public Servant

T H E D E V E LO P E R D I P LO M AT

N

OT MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN APPOINTED to important posts by both President Obama and President Trump. But Robert “Bobby” Mandell — entrepreneur, attorney, developer and diplomat — can count two presidential nods among his accomplishments. In 2011, he was tapped by Obama to serve as ambassador to Luxembourg, where he remained until 2016. In 2019, he was named by Trump (who was required by statute to appoint a Democrat) to the board of directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Previously, he was one of the region’s most important homebuilders and chaired both the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission and the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority. He also served on the boards of AdventHealth Orlando and the Burnham Institute, and co-chaired a capital campaign for United Cerebral Palsy that raised $6.5 million for construction of the UCP Bailes Early Childhood Center in east Orange County. A Miami native, Mandell attended the University of Florida, where he earned a law degree in 1972. He practiced for a time in Punta Gorda, then joined Greater Construction Company, founded by his father, Lester Mandell, and his great uncle, Lester Zimmerman, along with associate Jack Lazar and land-use attorney John Lowndes. Mandell, who started as a laborer on construction sites, then held a succession of executive positions before buying the company in 1998. Following a 2005 sale to Arizona-based Meritage Homes, Mandell remained as president and chairman emeritus. He met Obama, a young U.S. Senator from Illinois, through Mel Martinez, a former Orange County chairman and then a U.S. Senator from Florida. “I had dinner with him and was mesmerized,” recalls Mandell, 73. Soon thereafter, Mandell became a major fundraiser for Obama, who had launched a longshot race against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. We all know how that story turned out. President Obama would later appoint Mandell to the President’s Trade Council and nominate him for the ambassadorship. During his stint as a diplomat, Mandell started “The Luxembourg Forum,” which brought together the U.S. Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice, and the embassy “adopted” the nearby Kannerland orphanage. Mandell, a painter of unusual talent (he signs his work with the distinctive imprint “RAM”), is married to Julie Walker Mandell, and the couple has four adult children. He is now a partner in two healthcare-related technology companies.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Mandell is indicative of a proud but frayed tradition of successful business people using their acumen to make the world a better place through government service.

60 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUMM ER 2021

Mandell outside his home.


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Jason Seeley Director of Parks & Recreation, City of Winter Park

THE PARKS PROPRIETOR

N

OWHERE IN JASON SEELEY’S JOB DESCRIPtion does it say he’s point man for dealing with overflowing trash cans and aggressive squirrels. He just wouldn’t have it any other way. “My number is on the website,” says Seeley, director of the city’s first-rate Parks & Recreation Department. “When a resident calls with a problem it doesn’t go to a secretary or assistant, it goes to me, no matter how large or small — like an aggressive squirrel in the park. It’s my job to handle the problem, not hope it goes away on its own.” Seeley is the anti-Ron Swanson, the grumpy parks director on the sitcom Parks and Recreation who believes “government is garbage” and seeks to undermine it. Overseeing a system with 11 parks, 14 mini-parks, seven playgrounds, two swimming pools, a golf course and a tennis center, Seeley does everything he can to counteract the image fomented by his TV counterpart. He grew up in a very conservative family, Seeley says, where the prevailing belief was that government workers “are sort of lazy and don’t do their job — I never want that said about the department I work in.” Seeley, 41, was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and moved to New Smyrna Beach when he was 16. He planned to teach and studied history at the University of South Florida while holding down — and enjoying — part-time parks jobs in Tampa. After graduating, he took a job as athletic and aquatic assistant with the City of Casselberry, which married his twin passions of teaching and parks. And the rest is history — a succession of parks and recreation gigs in Cape Coral, Dunedin and Seminole County before joining Winter Park in 2011 as chief of recreation before moving up to the director’s role in August 2019. Most locals who are involved in recreational programs know Seeley through his role as staff liaison to parks-related city advisory boards as well as to civic groups and youth sports organizations. He’s a graduate of Leadership Winter Park, a program of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, and with his wife, Bessie, has a son, Harrison, who’s in first grade. According to Seeley, “being able to come to work for the City of Winter Park and lead this department is my proudest achievement.” Ron Swanson would never understand.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

For local residents, few if any city perks are more important than beautiful parks and robust recreation programs. For the service-focused Seeley, delivering what residents expect and demand is as much a passion as a job — an attitude that makes him effective and has endeared him to those who believe that such amenities are crucial to the enviable quality of life Winter Park.

62 W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SUM M ER 2021

Seeley outside the Winter Park Community Center.



Greg Spencer CEO, Timbers Resorts

THE DREAM BUILDER

W

HEN TIMBERS RESORTS CEO GREG SPENcer began to investigate moving the company’s corporate headquarters from Carbondale, Colorado — a picture-postcard small town just northwest of Aspen — he wanted to find a location that combined sophisticated panache with top-notch schools and proximity to an international airport. Spencer, 51, who was born in Orlando, seemed to recall that Winter Park fit the bill in most respects. “The city was a fit for our brand and the ethos of our company,” says Spencer. “The kind of people who live in Winter Park would be our buyers.” Central Florida’s concentration of hospitality industry professionals was likewise a major plus, says Spencer. So, in February 2019, he and a handful of other Coloradans moved into West Morse Boulevard offices that were decked out to reflect the company’s mission — which is to develop and operate hotels, boutique resorts and posh private-residence vacation communities in alluring locations around the U.S. (and one in Tuscany, Italy). The company — which has $250 million in annual sales and a $2.5 billion portfolio of properties — employs 40-plus people in its Winter Park office. But that number could double as expansion opportunities put on hold by COVID-19 are revisited, including a new venture called Soleil Hotels & Resorts. Wherever the company has a presence, corporate citizenship is emphasized. Before the paint was even dry at headquarters, Timbers Resorts had committed to sponsorships for the Taste of Winter Park and Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade. Spencer, who joined the company in 2007 as a project manager, holds a B.S. in political science from Florida State University, where he was an ROTC corps commander. He became a logistics officer in the Air Force and left military service as a captain, joining Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in Atlanta and specializing in major bank mergers. He later earned an MBA from Webster University and another master’s degree in real estate development from Columbia University. Spencer and his wife, Suzanne, a women’s health nurse practitioner, have two daughters: Avery, 7, and Morgan, 11. Family is more important now than ever to the hard-charging, globe-trotting CEO, who late last year was diagnosed with liver cancer following a physical examination prompted by the relocation. Luckily, the disease was caught early enough to successfully treat. Notes Spencer: “I guess you could say moving to Winter Park saved my life.”

THE BOTTOM LINE:

It was major coup for Winter Park to be chosen as the corporate headquarters of a prestigious international company. Best of all, its CEO is a native Central Floridian who values the city’s unique assets.

64 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUM M ER 2021

Spencer in the offices of Timbers Resorts.


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Bruce Stephenson Professor of Environmental Studies, Rollins College

THE NEW URBANIST

I

F YOU’VE ENJOYED ALL THAT IS VERDANT, LUSH and canopied in Winter Park, it’s likely Bruce Stephenson has had something to do with it. The professor of environmental studies at Rollins College, a former city planner, is the go-to New Urbanism advocate in a city that holds its greenspaces sacrosanct. Stephenson helped craft the master plan for downtown’s Central Park, which has since led to its expansion, the placement of the SunRail station and, to Stephenson’s delight, a one-acre native garden that he works with his students. “It’s a hint of the wild nature right in the heart of Winter Park,” he says. Last fall, Stephenson’s efforts were recognized with the John Nolen Medal from the Congress for the New Urbanism. (Stephenson wrote an award-winning biography of Nolen, a visionary landscape architect who in 1923 designed the state’s first master plan, for the City of St. Petersburg.) His student-involved planning projects have led to the Cady Way Trail, the boardwalk at Mead Garden and — in collaboration with the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation — an ongoing restoration of the natural habitat at the Genius Preserve on Lake Virginia. Stephenson is known for bringing zeal, humor and persuasive research to the planning table. And he’s not afraid to be bold. One idea he has floated is connecting the Rollins campus to Interlachen Avenue with a pedestrian walkway beneath busy Fairbanks Avenue. Stephenson, 65, who joined the Rollins faculty in 1988, holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida Southern College, a master’s degree from Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from Emory University. And he not only preaches New Urbanism, he lives it; he gave up his car in 2015 and lives part-time in Portland, Oregon’s Pearl District, a prototype urban renewal project. His book, Portland’s Good Life: Sustainability and Hope in an American City, was recently published. Locally, Stephenson serves as a trustee for the Winter Park Land Trust and, with his students, helped to craft the nonprofit organization’s proposal for a 1.5-acre park at Progress Point — vacant city-owned property at the intersection of Denning Drive and Orange Avenue. The park, he says, would eventually become the most prominent gem in an “emerald necklace” of parks and greenspaces. Notes Stephenson: “If you can create synergy with this park on Orange Avenue like Central Park has with Park Avenue, then everybody wins.”

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Stephenson’s voice will be important at a time in Winter Park when redevelopment is revving up and many new projects cause controversy. He’s an environmentalist who also understands how smart, mixed-use development can enhance a city’s appeal.

66 W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SUM M ER 2021

Stephenson at the native garden in Central Park.


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Richard Strauss Trustee, Treasurer, Executive Vice President, Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation and Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation

THE LEGACY KEEPER

R

ICHARD STRAUSS REMEMBERS WALKING A couple of steps behind Hugh McKean as the former Rollins College president led Sir Gus, the kissing camel, to the middle of Central Park. The gentle animal, owned by Orlando’s Bahia Shrine, was a featured attraction at Christmas in the Park, an event launched in 1979 by the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. McKean and his wife, Jeannette Genius McKean, founded the museum, which is renowned for its collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. “It kind of chokes me up a little bit,” says Strauss as he explains that, like the crowds who turned out, McKean was a big Gus fan. So much so, in fact, that he mused aloud about buying his own camel — and wondered whether it should have one hump or two. Ultimately, Strauss wasn’t sent camel shopping — but would have happily done so if asked. “Mr. McKean was delightful in that I never knew what to expect,” says Strauss, who was chosen by the McKeans more than three decades ago to manage the business and investment assets of the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation and the Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation, which honor the memories of Jeannette’s mother and grandfather, respectively. The Morse Foundation owns the Morse Museum, while the museum’s funding comes primarily from the Genius Foundation, which also supports an array of other good causes. The Genius Foundation’s holdings in Winter Park alone include the 50-acre Genius Preserve and more than 20 revenue-producing commercial properties. Strauss, 78, believes that his most important role is carrying on the McKeans’ legacy of bringing beauty to the community they loved. It’s a privilege, he says, to have worked so closely with these community icons — whom he still respectfully refers to as “Mr. McKean” and “Mrs. McKean.” A Pennsylvania native — something he shares with Hugh McKean — Strauss graduated in 1963 from the Keystone State’s Washington & Jefferson College with a degree in economics. He began his career in accounting and finance with Westinghouse but sought a warmer location and moved to Central Florida in 1979. He joined the Winter Park Land Company — incorporated by Charles Hosmer Morse in 1915 — as general manager in 1988. Strauss and his wife, Marianne, have six adult children as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Says Strauss: “When you love what you do, then it’s not really a job.”

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Strauss, a walking repository of local history, was tapped by Hugh and Jeannette Genius McKean to deploy their assets for the good of the city — and, along with trustees of the two foundations, he takes that responsibility seriously.

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Strauss at a foundationowned private park across from the Osceola Lodge.


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U NVEILING 2022 | W INT ER PA RK , FL OR IDA Recognized for providing ongoing support for civic, cultural, healthcare, and educational organizations, Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation is laying the groundwork for a productive and meaningful future. The Foundation is rising to meet the challenges of promoting programs and institutions that help create a high quality of life and a prosperous Florida. It is within this spirit that we are proud to continue shaping Central Florida communities with new thinking, leadership, and innovative solutions to help build our state for years to come.

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Julie von Weller Owner, Freshly Cast

THE TEAM BUILDER

J

ULIE VON WELLER, 40, RUNS A WOMEN’S FASHion consulting business and is mom to two children: Caitlin, 12, and Cade, 8 — “kind souls,” she calls them. Her husband, Ryan, is managing director of a company that develops affordable and workforce multifamily housing. She also consults for Winter Park-based ACi Architects, where her father, Larry Adams, is founder and CEO. Let’s face it: Von Weller is busy — just like most people who juggle careers and families. But she found it worrisome that so few in her age cohort are involved in city issues or cast ballots in city elections — as evidenced by the 8 percent turnout of voters under age 50 in the March 2020 contest for two city commission seats. And she wasn’t alone. Consequently, like-minded young (defined as under age 55) residents coalesced on social media and a group called Winter Park Voter emerged. Its purpose was “to create a collaborative space for those in our peer group to find factual information and have their voices heard.” Von Weller, however, is not the group’s president or spokesperson. In fact, she says, Winter Park Voter doesn’t have a formal leadership structure and its followers don’t agree on every issue. Says von Weller: “If Winter Park Voter was about one person, it wouldn’t have grown organically the way it has.” On its Instagram and Facebook pages, the loosely configured coalition has encouraged participation in city meetings. It has co-sponsored a 2021 mayoral debate with Rollins College. And it has, on occasion, opined on controversial issues, such as its support of the now-rejected Henderson Hotel. It has also pushed for diversity on city advisory boards, dialogue surrounding single-member districts, and pandemic-era support for small businesses by occasionally prohibiting vehicles on Park Avenue and allowing restaurants and retailers to expand their outdoor footprints. Through a Fund Our Fields social media push, the group successfully advocated for drainage and turf improvements on sports fields at Ward Park and Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Von Weller, who has a degree in public relations from the University of Florida, is herself a force of nature, collaborating with women to refine (or redefine) their personal styles through Freshly Cast, her small business, and volunteering for Support Our Scholars and Habitat for Humanity of Winter Park-Maitland. She’s a former president of the Park Avenue Merchants’ Association (she coowned a boutique, Thread, for six years) and in 2013 raised funds to expand the YMCA of Central Florida’s “Links 2 Learning” program for disadvantaged youth. “Oh, don’t ever tell me I can’t do something,” she says. “Because if you do, you’d better believe I’m going to find a way to make it happen.”

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Von Weller has a get-it-done ethos and a vision for making Winter Park a place where everyone can constructively participate in problem solving.

70 W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SUM M ER 2021

Von Weller with her children, Cade and Caitlin, at Ward Park.


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Diomedes

O

rdinarily, Billy Collins can, in a single sitting, write a poem of the sort that has made him a national treasure. I try not to hate him for that. It helps to know that the native New Yorker, a former two-term U.S. poet laureate whose books are perennial bestsellers, spent decades refining the rare ability to “put the fun back in profundity,” as one reviewer phrased it, while addressing the simple mysteries of everyday life — from trying to fathom what dogs think of their owners to wondering why a teenager steeped in the raw energy of adolescence can’t muster enough of it to clean up her room. Collins, a regular contributor to this publication who retired to Winter Park several years ago, just turned 80 and published his 13th collection, Whale Day: And Other Poems. But he has arrived at a stage in his career when his attention is divided between his next volume of verse and the larger legacy he’ll leave behind. He placed his notes, diaries and other historical papers at the Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin, where they’ll be in good company among the archives of such fellow literary luminaries as T.S. Elliot, Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound, e.e.

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Odysseus

Nestor

Achilles

cummings, Anne Sexton and Dylan Thomas. Then, more recently, he donated $250,000 to create an endowed scholarship for promising college students, though the gift didn’t go to an institution with a noted creative writing program, as you might expect. Instead, he bequeathed it to his alma mater, the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, to support a somewhat more obscure program: classics, a subject that traditionally involves the study of ancient cultures, particularly that of the Greeks and Romans. A good deal of personal sentiment is involved here. But there’s a bit more to the story than that — and not just for poets and professors. When Collins graduated from Holy Cross in 1963 with a degree in English, all his classmates had been male (it would be nine years before women were admitted) and the faculty consisted entirely of Jesuits, the highly educated, hard-core order of priests who were essentially the Roman Catholic equivalent of the Marines. Their charges wore coats and ties to classes and the cafeteria, were rousted out of bed at 5 a.m. for misbehaving — and studied Latin and Greek,

Agamemnon

both the languages and the classical cultures and philosophies in which they evolved. Collins learned to love poetry from his mother, who read it to him as a child; absorbed conviviality from his father, an Irish-Catholic insurance executive who could walk into a tavern and turn strangers into back-slapping friends; and discovered the danger of indulging in too much self-importance from his classmates. “If you took yourself too seriously in grade school, you got beat up,” he recalls. “If you took yourself too seriously in high school, you got ridiculed.” But press him for the bedrock of his success as an English professor for 35 years and a poet with a worldwide fan base, and he’ll tell you it was what he learned at Holy Cross about both the humanistic philosophies and rhythms of language invented by the ancients. An interviewer once described Collins as “the class clown in the schoolhouse of American poets.” Fair enough. But he was a clown with an education in the classics, and that made all the difference — as it likely did for scores of his fellow graduates, whatever their professions. Though he didn’t plan it this way, Collins’ ges-


ture of support for the discipline arrives at a time when classics departments are not only looking to remain relevant but are caught up in the cultural clashes of the day. One reason for that recent development is that white supremacy groups have seized on classical iconography and a twisted interpretation of Greek and Roman cultures to support racist ideology. This has led some classics scholars to reexamine their responsibility to study and present the realities of Greco-Roman attitudes about race. A key figure in the debate is Dan-el Padilla Peralta, a Princeton University classics professor who has dedicated much of his career to researching slavery as it existed in Greece and Rome. Peralta has even suggested that, given the historic misappropriation of Greco-Roman ideals ranging from the Nazis to present-day extremists, classics departments should be disbanded, rebuilt from scratch and focused exclusively on combating such views. Although such an all-encompassing shift is unlikely, the way in which the classics are taught has changed radically over the decades. There’s an example of this seismic shift close to home. The founders of Rollins College envisioned it as a traditional 19th-century liberal arts institution, one whose bedrock would include introducing students to the wisdom of ancient Roman and Greek scholars. “This was in an era when educators talked about providing students with the discipline and ‘furniture of the mind’ that they would need to lead meaningful lives — and the best method to make that happen was thought to be through a close study of the classics,” says Jack Lane, author

of a seminal Rollins history. The modern evocation of classical studies at Rollins is on the opposite side of the spectrum from the rooms-to-go, rubber-stamp approach imposed upon students a century or so ago. “We’re interested in giving our students the chance to engage from a multitude of perspectives,” says the chair of the program, Robert Vander Poppen. “And if it doesn’t connect with the spirit of the times and their own lived experience, it won’t be of any use to them.” Vander Poppen is an archeologist. The remainder of the interdisciplinary teaching staff consists of professors with backgrounds in theater/dance, philosophy, and history. The program, like many others across the country, is broad ranging not just in methodology but in content, delving into the wisdom traditions and lifestyles of the civilizations in Asia and Africa that surrounded and influenced the Greek and Roman empires. Classics educators across the country are also giving heightened attention to race and ethnicity as it played out in ancient times. Rebecca Futo Kennedy is an associate professor of classics in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. She leads discussions on these thorny issues in her classroom. Says Kennedy: “The responsibility rests with all of us to look at how and what we teach, especially when it contributes to the continued use of the classical past to support modern white supremacy.” Kennedy is careful to emphasize the long-standing tradition of the Romans to allow anyone — both the descendants of freed slaves and people

of other ethnic groups in the provinces — to earn citizenship as a Roman. She says that this policy doesn’t mean Romans didn’t have prejudices. What it does mean is that Romans must have had a fundamental understanding of diversity as an alloy that strengthens a culture. By the way: You probably know what an alloy is. It’s when you blend two metals together to create another metal with more strength and durability. But you might not know the word’s derivation. It’s from the Old French alijer, which means “to join,” and the Latin alligare, which means “to bind.” Mark that down as yet another lesson the ancients passed down to us — and rest assured that Billy Collins appreciates it. Collins, for his part, sees all of this through two lenses. It’s a perspective that gives him an abiding faith that the wisdom of the ancients will continue to maintain a presence in our culture — even if that wisdom is more critically analyzed. As a wordsmith, he’s keenly aware that Latin-derived words make up roughly 50 percent of the English language. The percentage is much higher in certain categories. Words that represent abstractions are largely Latin-based, while words with Anglo-Saxon roots tend to describe concrete, specific things. “It’s like two verbal spigots,” he says. “A good poet knows when to turn which faucet on and off.” As an educator, adds Collins: “I just never considered the classics to be in need of defending. They’re so foundational to our common understanding at all levels. You might as well bring math and physics into question.” —Michael McLeod S U MME R 2 0 2 1 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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PHOTO (TOP LEFT) COURTESY OF BILLY COLLINS; PHOTO (TOP RIGHT) BY SUZANNAH GAIL COLLINS

A portrait of the poet as a young man (above): Collins’ 1963 yearbook picture from the College of the Holy Cross. The former two-term U.S. poet laureate (right, during a recent visit to Paris) has endowed a classics scholarship for his Worcester, Massachusetts-based alma mater.



Amanda wears a print shirt ($118) and print pants ($138) by Tizzie, both from Arabella on Morse Boulevard. She also wears a fuchsia pink taxidermy bag ($350) from The Grove on Pennsylvania Avenue. Her gold emerald bracelet ($128) by ElleGems, her multicolor hoops ($48) by Accessory Concierge, her gold-tone link bracelet ($330) by Julie Vos and her gold-tone ring ($48) by Sahira are all from Arabella on Morse.

SUMMER

SIZZLES

PHOTOGRAPHY: RAFAEL TONGOL STYLING: MARIANNE ILUNGA MAKEUP/HAIR: ELSIE KNAB MODEL: AMANDA CAMERON, MODELSCOUT LOCATION: THE CREALDÉ SCHOOL OF ART

The sultry air sizzles and crackles with creativity at the Crealdé School of Art, which makes it an ideal location for Winter Park Magazine’s summer fashion shoot. Crealdé offers visual and three-dimensional art classes for all ages, a summer art camp and a visiting artist workshop series. Instruction is available in photography, painting, ceramics, sculpture, papermaking, jewelry design, fabric arts and bookmaking (the legal kind) as well as in other forms of drawing. William S. “Bill” Jenkins, who was a successful local homebuilder, founded Crealdé Arts Inc. in 1975 and built the distinctive Spanish-style campus. Born in rural Preston, Georgia, in 1909, Jenkins told the Orlando Sentinel in 1988 that he was inspired by childhood memories of quilting bees. “When the other kids were sick or busy, I didn’t have much to do,” Jenkins recalled. “So I would go to the quilting bees and listen to the ladies talk as they worked. They had the best time, and so did I.” You can visit in person at 600 St. Andrews Boulevard or, for more information, check the website first at crealde.org. S U MME R 2 0 2 1 W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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Amanda wears a neon linen dress ($206) by Sofia and tie-dye platform sneakers ($96) by Superga. She also wears hot-pink drop earrings ($86) by Allie Beads, a pink tie-dye headband ($36) by Jack & Fox along with stacked bracelets ($44$80) by Lucky Star and a pink tie-dye tote ($228) by Koala Kawaii, all from Dear Jane on Park Avenue. Her oversized sunglasses ($415) are by Chloe and from Tuni on Park Avenue.

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Amanda wears a yellow neon top ($68) by Endless Love and from Tuni on Park Avenue. Her straw hat ($92) by Sunshine Tienda, her slit detail multiprint pants ($165) by Farm Rio and her multicolor rainbow earrings ($38) by Twist are all from The Grove on Pennsylvania Avenue. Her gold shimmery belt ($115) by Ada Belt and her snakeskin sandals ($140) are both from Tuni on Park Avenue.

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Amanda wears a navy gingham maxi dress with ruffle details ($328) by CK Bradley and yellow beaded hoops ($24) by Twist, both from The Grove on Pennsylvania Avenue. Her navy and yellow print headband ($36) is by Jack & Fox and from Dear Jane on Park Avenue. The sandals are the model’s own.

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Amanda wears linen shorts ($148) and a matching jacket ($248), both by Walter Baker; a ruffledetailed crop top ($324) by Alexis; a multipendant necklace ($188) and tube earrings ($68), both by Yochi; and black oversized sunglasses ($375) by Gucci and from Tuni on Park Avenue.

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Entrées at Financier Bistro & Bar à Vin include steak frites— strip steak, french fries and herb butter — with a choice of several side salads.

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DINING

I

Executive chef and general manager Théo Goupil and his wife, Danielle, opened Financier primarily as a purveyor of pastries. The reimagined concept is quite different — and quite impressive.

BECOMING A BISTRO Financier has changed and changed again since opening on Park Avenue just before the pandemic. The French gem has now emerged as a luncherie. BY RONA GINDIN PHOTOGRAPHY BY RAFAEL TONGOL

f we all learned one thing this past year, it’s that we can be flexible. Stay home. Dine outdoors. Ditch stiff clothing. Winter Park’s restaurateurs adapted along the way, too, perhaps none more than Financier, a comfy French eatery that opened on Park Avenue in December 2019 — three short months before you-know-what. By the time this petite purveyor of Parisian breakfasts and impressive pastries emerged from the worst of the yearlong travails caused by the pandemic, the operation had been entirely transformed. Financier now has Bistro & Bar à Vin after its name instead of Patisserie & Café. Its menu is smaller, heavy on “bistro classics” and entrées, with baked sweets all but absent. The hours of operation, once 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., are slimmer too, as breakfast is no more and lunch — originally a brief menu meant to accompany coffee — is the main meal of the day (although it is often consumed during brunch hours). An abbreviated dinner menu is served on select evenings. “Financier was a New York-style bistro where you could come for your breakfast, then come for your lunch then come for a nightcap,” says Executive Chef and General Manager Théo Goupil, who runs the restaurant with his wife, Danielle. That concept is gone, and that’s OK. Today, Financier is a charming bistro with familiar Gallic staples and a curated wine selection plus mimosas and wine cocktails — all served at shaded outdoor tables and in a dreamy, Old World-style space with dark woods and ruffly lamps. The back wall is covered in wallpaper resembling old books. Financier survived the shutdown and the COVID-19-era’s light crowds like most of us did — by adapting. The restaurant was meant to be a clone of the several Financier Patisserie & Cafés serving French pastries and light meals in New York City. Théo ran the pastry production kitchen for the chain — owned by Manhattan-based HPH Hospitality Group — which at times has had as many as 14 restaurants under its umbrella. Eager to relocate with their young children, the Goupils — 27 (Théo) and 28 (Danielle) — arranged to scout a location for a Financier outpost in Central Florida, then run it. And so they did, selecting a storefront most recently vacated by The Rustic Table. The space was designed by Prototype Design Lab, the same firm that conceptualized the interiors of several other HPH-owned eateries, including Harry’s, a classic Big Apple steakhouse just a block from Wall Street. So iconic are Financier’s green and white stripes that New Yorkers in Winter Park could tell what the restaurant was going to be before the sign even went up. That pre-sold following among erstwhile Big Apple denizens boded well for the Goupils, who were pleased that all went according to plan — for not quite three months. The son of a French pastry chef and a food industry veteran S U MME R 2 0 2 1 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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DINING himself, Théo is no stranger to chaos; pandemonium is built into that profession. He pivoted into survival mode and today, candidly and humbly, shares his trials, errors and experiences as he continues to rebuild his newbie bistro like a schoolboy relentlessly reworking a Lego creation. Just as Financier was finding its footing, it had to close for two months. Then it reopened with six staffers instead of 20 — with Théo and Danielle comprising two of the six. Also, the Goupils found that customers didn’t want sacher tortes, almandines, raspberry white chocolate mousse and chocolate eclairs anymore. Mon dieu! Remember how we all tucked into comfort foods in the pandemic’s early days? We cooked beef stews and mac ‘n’ cheese, baked our own breads and generally sought out treats that we fondly remembered from our childhoods. Financier, however, was selling artistic edibles in an era of peanut butter cookies and financiers (small French almond cakes, for which the restaurant is named) when folks craved fluffernutters. “Something changed, and people seemed uncomfortable with elegant, fancy desserts,” Théo notes. “So the pastry program kind of died a little bit — which was hard because that’s my roots.” That’s when the savories began to take center stage. But Financier’s non-sweet dishes really, truly, need to be eaten on the premises — and at that time, to-go meals were all the rage. “The only things on our menu good for takeout were the burger, the croque monsieur sandwich and the bacon croissant,” says Théo. “I would never order a steak frites to go. Eggs Benedict would be a mess in a box.” Be that as it may, Financier made it through — and business is picking up as vaccinated people have become more comfortable dining indoors. Those who come in should experience a muchappreciated treat after a year of eating easily transportable foods from styrofoam containers. The menu offers bistro classics, including that croque monsieur (or madame). It’s basically a French ham and cheese sandwich made with ham (naturally), Gruyère, parmesan and a simple béchamel sauce on sourdough bread. The madame version gets a poached egg on top. Monsieur or madame, either way it’s quite a production. The kitchen team stacks the sandwiches in advance, lets them “rest” in the fridge and then bakes them — finishing by bubbling up the cheese under a gadget called a salamander. Other bistro classics include eggs Benedict, quiche lorraine, salmon fumée and avocado toast. Sharable items include prosciutto, burrata, shrimp cocktail, tuna tartare, baked brie and ratatouille. Entrées include the bistro burger, lobster brioche, seared salmon, poulet rôti (roasted chicken) and

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The croque monsieur or madame (above) is basically a French ham and cheese sandwich made with country ham, Gruyère, parmesan and a simple béchamel sauce on sourdough bread. The madame version gets a poached egg on top. A bistro classic, the eggs Benedict (below) includes poached eggs, thick cut Canadian bacon and hollandaise sauce, served with smashed potatoes.


The Dijon brussels sprouts (above left) are roasted, tossed in the deep fryer so they crisp up and then drizzled with mustard vinaigrette. The smoked salmon (above right) is served on sourdough bread and topped with crème fraîche, cucumber, dill and lemon juice. The baked brie (above) is baked to gooey glory then topped with fig jam and enhanced by bits of walnut and served with a warm sliced baquette. S U MME R 2 0 2 1 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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DINING

Part restaurant, part bar, Financier combines the elegance of a comfortable café with the casual nature of a neighborhood eatery. It’s a light-filled space ideal for long lunches of shared dishes or the perfect spot for late-night dinners perfectly complemented by the restaurant’s wine list.

steak frites (strip steak and french fries). There’s a choice of several salads. After two independent visits at which I was floored by how fabulous Financier’s food was, I returned with a posse of tasters before reaching out to the Goupils for this feature. Our experience was mixed, but not enough to sway me away. We ordered a whole lot of food, and most of it arrived at our sidewalk table lukewarm — likely because of the logistics required to prepare and

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transport it all from the small kitchen. The culinary skill, the quality ingredients and the heart behind it all were evident. I’ll try that steak frites again — although I’ll request to have it delivered to my table the second the chefs finish plating it. I’m an unapologetic medium-steak gal, and my sliced strip steak came out just right. There was a pool of rubybrown liquid at the bottom of the plate that combined steak drippings and the extras that

enhance the beef. “Most restaurants cook their steaks on a flat-top grill,” Théo explains. “Mine are seared in a pan, dry, then once it’s gotten a sear we add a nice amount of butter and continue cooking the steak in the butter — which browns, almost to a nutty flavor.” That butter, incidentally, is laced with herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. The french fries alongside are addictively thin and crispy, but not house made — yet. Théo speaks wistfully about fromscratch fries, lamenting his lack of space and staff so sincerely that I suspect he’ll find a way to make them over time. The smoked salmon is notably excellent at Financier. I first had it on a toasted croissant and was obsessed with having it again. A frustrated smokedsalmon shopper myself, I understand how Théo must have scoured Central Florida for a worthy source of this tasty fish before turning to a supplier in New Jersey who offered a spectacular product. We had started our feast with baked brie, here baked to gooey glory then topped with fig jam and enhanced by bits of walnut. My troupe wanted more walnuts — and toasted walnuts at that. Let’s just say that by the time you read this, Théo will likely be using crisper, darker nuts once again. He’s more than willing to listen to feedback and adapt accordingly. As for the Caesar salad: It’s just OK. It needs some bite, both crunch-wise and flavor-wise. The croutons, though, are lovely housemade bits of sourdough bread that have been lightly toasted, then pan-fried to golden in olive oil and topped with salt and herbs de Provence. Whatever you order, add a side dish called Dijon brussels sprouts. Théo roasts the sprouts then tosses them in the deep fryer for a second or two so they crisp up. Then he drizzles mustard vinaigrette over the toasty brown orbs. He does the same with baby spuds for the “smashed” potatoes served with some dishes. Another reason to return. One more tip: A crab cake has been wildly popular as a special for a few months. It’s loaded with jumbo lump crab, baked and served with a smear of lemon cream made of butter, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, pearl onions, crème fresh, lemon juice, lime zest and segments of lemon and lime. I’ll try that next, along with the smashed potatoes. See you on the Avenue. Just look for the outdated “Patisserie” sign. Yes, it will be swapped out when the Goupils can get around to it. But we’re being fluid in 2021, remember? Financier Bistro & Bar à Vin 212 North Park Avenue Winter Park, FL 32789 321.972.2284 • financierbistrobar.com


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6/11/21

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Multiple Voices/Multiple Stories Path to Paradise: The Artistic Legacy of Dante’s Divine Comedy NOW THROUGH AUGUST 29

TOP After Frans Pourbus the Younger (Flemish, 1569-1622), Portrait of Marguertie de Valois, ca. 1610, Oil on panel, 133/4 x 11 in. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Everett M. Myers in memory of John C. Myers, Sr. 1962.4 BOTTOM Tom Peterson (American, 1930-2018), The Divine Comedy, 2001, Oil on canvas, 77 x 82 in. Donated by the family of Tom Peterson. 2019.5. RIGHT: Yinka Shonibare (British, b. 1962), Athena (after Myron), 2019. Fiberglass sculpture, hand-painted with Batik pattern, and steel base plate. The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, Gift of Barbara ’68 and Theodore ’68 Alfond. 2019.2.17. © Yinka Shonibare / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Free admission courtesy of CFAM’s Director’s Circle. Register for tickers prior to arrival at rollins.edu/cfam

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COMMEMORATION

HOPE, LOVE AND A SPECIAL STRAD

Editor’s Note: On June 12, 2016, the Pulse nightclub massacre shocked Central Florida and the world. In the Winter 2017 issue of Winter Park Magazine, columnist Michael McLeod wrote about the tragedy, and juxtaposed it with a concert he had attended just blocks away that featured Joshua Bell playing a Stradivarius violin once owned by Bronislaw Huberman (above) an early 20th-century Polish virtuoso whose efforts rescued roughly 1,000 Jewish musicians and their families from the oncoming genocide of the Third Reich.

W

e had great seats that night: rightcenter orchestra, 20 rows back. The concert was a wondrous double-header, pairing stellar jazz trumpeter Chris Botti with Joshua Bell, the greatest violinist in the country. Botti brought along his 1940 Martin Handcraft Committee trumpet, while Bell travels with a $4 million, 300-year-old Stradivarius. I had never been under the same roof with a Stradivarius before, let alone that close, let alone that Strad. When Bell walked onto the stage of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and raised the instrument to his chin, the sight of it raised goosebumps on my forearms and made the hair on the back of my neck prickle up before he so much as played a single note. For this was the Gibson ex-Huberman Stradivarius, surely one of the most legendary Strads in the world. It had been stolen and recovered — not once but twice — before being acquired by Bell in 2001. More significantly, it had survived a time of murderous hate — and then played a part in overcoming it. Once it belonged to Bronislaw Huberman, an early 20th-century Polish virtuoso. Huberman, who charmed Johannes Brahms as a 12-year-old violinist, grew up to become an international star. But in the end, his virtuosity as a musician would

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be transcended by his courage as a humanitarian. In 1936, he founded what would become the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, fleeing from Central Europe to Tel Aviv and recruiting scores of Jewish musicians to follow. In the process he rescued the musicians and their families — roughly 1,000 souls altogether — from the oncoming genocide of the Third Reich. I promised myself, that night at the arts center, to always remember the sweet spell cast by Botti with his Martin and Bell with his legendary Strad. The next morning, I awoke to the news of the Pulse nightclub attack. Suddenly, the very thought of a sublime concert being separated from a senseless slaughter by a few city blocks and a matter of hours was just another ragged edge to the horror. Over time, I would come to see things differently. For generations, community leaders have championed the arts for the role they play in sustaining both the prosperity and the life-worthliving connective tissue of our communities. So we dress ourselves appropriately for the fundraising galas, buy the season tickets and applaud the performers. But it’s one thing to pay lip service to the arts, and another altogether to wake up to a grief that leaves your soul scoured

in a way that resists the usual, go-to ministrations of friends, family and faith. And so you find yourself among hundreds of people who’ve gathered for a community vigil on a grassy plaza in front of the very place where you’d heard that beautiful music — music you can’t let yourself think about anymore. And then you look around and realize that you’re surrounded by newly minted artists — ordinary people who’ve reached out for a way to raise themselves up against this terrible thing. Their grief and indignation, their connection to the living and the dead, are borne by makeshift tableaus of votive lights and flowers and stuffed animals, by poster boards and sheets and even the canvasses of their own skins, now inscribed with tributes to the children, friends and lovers they’ve lost. And soon enough, the seasoned performers and playwrights and musicians and muralists would follow with their tributes, not just in Orlando but around the world. But from start to finish, it would remain a primal outpouring, a pro-am affair in which the playing field was leveled, with no distinction to be made between street-corner mourners and Broadway stars. It was the most important year in the history of the arts in Central Florida — a darkly won course in art appreciation whose lessons were viscerally absorbed rather than intellectually learned. In the days that followed the Pulse attack, we told ourselves that love would conquer its opposite, hate. The parallel role the arts played was to remind us that creativity can triumph over its opposite, destructiveness. Bronislaw Huberman understood the principle. There was always more to his plan than saving musicians. That was just the beginning of his battle. He had seen an enemy coming, and he had fought it with the only weapon available to him: his music. He described his orchestra as an upraised fist against anti-Semitism, a way of protecting a people and a culture from a hatred that wished to eradicate them from the face of the Earth. The presence of his violin among us that night was a harbinger of hope and defiance, a reminder of the power the arts can wield. I’ll remember that concert. I’ll remember that Strad. Not just for its sweetness, but for its strength. —Michael Mcleod


PULSE, FIVE YEARS LATER

On display at Community: Five Years After the Pulse Tragedy are artifacts of that horrific night, including items left at makeshift memorials surrounding the nightclub and other locations. Every year since the shooting, the Orange County Regional History Center has staged a Pulse exhibition. But this year has added significance because it’s the fifth anniversary of the tragedy.

Within hours of hearing about the Pulse shooting on June 12, 2016, Pamela Schwartz pulled herself together and got to work. She had been recently hired as chief curator and senior program manager for the Orange County Regional History Center, and knew that the tragedy at the LGBTQ nightclub — where 49 people were gunned down — had to be treated as an event of monumental historic importance. So Schwartz became the architect of the One Orlando Collection Initiative and, in the years that followed, became a nationally recognized expert on historical collecting after incidents of mass violence. In 2017, she won a special achievement award from the American Alliance of Museums for a commemorative exhibition, One Year Later: Reflecting on Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub Massacre. There have been annual Pulse-related exhibitions ever since. Today, Schwartz is executive director of the history center, where Community: Five Years After the Pulse Tragedy — which runs through August 16 — displays artifacts of that horrific night and reflects on the ways in which the impact of the senseless shooting spree still reverberates far beyond Central Florida. “We try to put it all in a global perspective,” says Schwartz. We ask, ‘Where does everything stand five years later?’” On view are hundreds of items — many not previously displayed — that were gathered in the days and weeks following the carnage. Some were left at makeshift memorials at the site of the nightclub, as well as at Lake Eola Park and on the front lawn of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. They range from such simple but poignant items as a small American flag bearing a handwritten message of sympathy to a glitzy white piano that was once in the nightclub’s “white room” but removed prior to the shooting. The piano, among other objects, is on loan from the OnePulse Foundation. Schwartz says that she has shied away from displaying objects directly connected to the event out of sensitivity to survivors — and to friends and loved ones of those who were killed. But in a separate section labeled with a disclaimer are several chilling reminders, including the bed of a truck used by first responders to evacuate the wounded to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Also featured are interactive components, a history of the nightclub prior to the shooting and works of art created to commemorate the victims. The history center is located at 65 East Central Boulevard, Orlando. For more information, call 407836-8500 or visit historycenter.org. S U MME R 2 0 2 1 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

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S U MME R 2 0 2 1 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E

91


WELCOME TO WINTER PARK Index to Chamber Members Index to Chamber Members Apparel Media Bebe's & Liz's

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EVENTS ART, HISTORY, ENTERTAINMENT AND MORE

AN ARTIST’S ADVENTURE IN SEGOVIA

CENTRAL SPAIN REMAINS JUST AS COOL AND COLORFUL A CENTURY LATER.

Spain, with its sunny Mediterranean weather, spectacular mountain-to-sea landscapes, rich culture and historic architecture, has long been a top destination for international travelers. This summer — never mind the pandemic — the Art & History Museums - Maitland invites you on a tour of Spain with A&H’s Maitland Art Center founder Jules André Smith. A century ago, Smith — then at the height of his etching career — made his first visit to Central Spain, including to the towns of Segovia, Toledo and Cuenca. On Seeing Segovia — which runs through September 19 — showcases more than 40 etchings, drawings, watercolors and paintings created by Smith during his 1921 trip. The title of the exhibition is taken from the artist’s 7,000-word account of his stay in the city, which the art center has republished. Segovia, about 50 miles northwest of Madrid, is famous for remarkable architecture that includes a Roman aqueduct, a Gothic cathedral and a fortified medieval castle. Smith’s 36-page book includes 16 of his etchings from Segovia. “Most of them,” Smith wrote, “were done in pleasant sunshine, the air charged with the fragrance of flowers, the day entirely too lovely, or myself too well at rest with the world to do, take or ask for more than was before me.” While in Segovia, Smith rendezvoused with his friend and fellow etcher Ernest David Roth. Several of Roth’s works will be in the exhibition as well. With Smith’s essay, which recalls in style Mark Twain’s humorous travel writing, the art center reveals yet another dimension of the visionary who in 1937 established the Mayan Revival-style studio and artist compound that became the Maitland Art Center — today a National Historic Landmark. In his writing, Smith lightheartedly, often poetically, opines on such topics as the Spanish custom of “belated ” meals, the donkey as an essential beast of burden and the splendor a shepherd would behold upon viewing the city at sunset. “André is primarily known to us as an artist,” says

94 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUM M ER 2021

Smith’s On Seeing Segovia, a 7,000-word travel narrative with accompanying artwork, will be published for the first time in conjunction with the upcoming exhibition.

Danielle Thomas, co-director of the art center. “But all of the written pieces that we have of his in our archives — which includes more than 300 pages of letters that he wrote while stationed in France during [World War I] — are written with an expressive and casual eloquence, punctuated by his quick-witted banter.” Smith, born in 1880 in Hong Kong, was raised in Germany, New York and Connecticut and educated at Cornell University. He was an architect before dedicating himself to art full time. In 1915, he won a gold medal for his etchings — images created on metal plates for printing — at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San

Francisco. During World War I, Smith worked in a camouflage unit and helped document the American war effort in Europe with his drawings. From 1930 to his death in 1959, he wintered in Maitland. There he was known as a champion of modern art (especially abstraction and Surrealism), a social progressive (as his close friendship with folklorist Zora Neale Hurston attested) and a brilliant sculptor and architect who drew inspiration from many cultures, including European, Chinese, Christian, African, Persian and especially Mayan. Yet, despite Smith’s eventual embrace of modernist approaches to drawing and painting, the Spain etchings are mostly in the realistic style of his war sketches, says Randall Webster, the art center’s co-director and curator of On Seeing Segovia. Relative to Roth’s detailed images of Segovian architecture, however, Webster says Smith attempted to capture life in the city with drawings that focused more on its occupants than its buildings. In addition to the etchings, visitors to the exhibition will see Smith’s 19th-century cast-iron printing press, etching plates and travel photographs from the era. Spanish guitar music piped through speakers will complete the experience. Webster says he hopes to transport visitors back in time to the Spain that captivated Smith. “We all need a vacation,” he says. “We’ve all been cooped up, and we all want to go somewhere — and it’s been hard to do that.” The Art & History Museums-Maitland is a complex that also includes, in addition to the Maitland Art Center, the Maitland Historical Museum, the Waterhouse Residence Museum and the Telephone Museum. (What would become the Winter Park Telephone Company was founded in Maitland in 1910 by Carl H. Galloway.) The Maitland Art Center is located at 231 West Packwood Avenue in Maitland. For more information, visit artandhistory.org or call 407-539-2181. —Catherine Hinman


IMAGES COURTESY OF ART & HISTORY MUSEUMS - MAITLAND

During On Seeing Segovia, the Maitland Art Center presents more than 40 etchings, drawings, watercolors and paintings created by founder Jules André Smith during his 1921 trip to Central Spain. The art center is one component of the Art & History Museums - Maitland.

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EVENTS NOTE: Due to COVID-19 mitigation efforts, venues may be closed or offering limited hours. Also, events are subject to cancellation and attendance capacities may be reduced. The dates and times in these listings are those of normal operation and will likely be different by the time this issue of Winter Park Magazine reaches homes. Some, in fact, had not fully reopened at press time, although they were planning to do so in the coming weeks. So please use the contact information provided and check in advance before making your plans. We also encourage you to anticipate that masks may be required, as well as observance of social distancing protocols.

in the 1880s and located at 820 Lake Lily Drive. Continuing through September 19 at the art center is On Seeing Segovia, a collection of drawings, etchings, watercolors, paintings and a short story done by the center’s founder during his travels from Paris to Segovia, Spain, in 1921 (for more information, see page 94). 407-539-2181. artandhistory.org.

Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. This lakeside museum, open since 1961, is dedicated to preserving works of the famed Czech sculptor for whom it was both home and studio for more than a decade. The museum offers tours of Polasek’s home Tuesdays through Saturdays. And it offers tours of the adjacent Capen-Showalter House three times weekly: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 a.m., and Saturdays at 10:15 a.m. Built in 1885, the CapenShowalter House was saved from demolition several years ago and floated across Lake Osceola to its current location on the Polasek’s grounds. Running July 20 through October 3 is A Classical Conversation, a collection of works by Florida-based artists Jack Hill (sculptor) and Edson Campos (painter). This dualperspective exhibition incorporates both classical influences and modern or even surrealist takes on the human body (for more information, see page 106). Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $3 for students and free for children. 633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park. 407-647-6294. polasek.org.

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. With more than 19,000 square feet of gallery and public space, the Morse houses the world’s most important collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany creations, including jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass and an entire chapel interior originally designed and built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The museum’s latest exhibition, Watercolors from Louis Comfort Tiffany’s “Little Arcadia,” invites visitors to look beyond Tiffany’s legendary legacy to discover the gifts of other talented artists — especially women — who worked more anonymously in his studios. Continuing through September is Portraits of Americans from the Morse Collection, featuring works by John Singer Sargent, Charles Hawthorne, Cecilia Beaux and other artists who guided portraiture into the age of photography with compelling works that captured not only the physical likeness of their subjects, but their innate character as well. Also on view through September is Iridescence — A Celebration. The dazzling display features works in enamel, pottery and art glass that replicate the shimmering optical effects previously only found in nature. The museum’s new vignette, Chinese Blue and White Porcelain, features examples of Chinese blue-and-white ceramics dating from around 1740 to 1890 (for more information, see page 104). Regular admission to the museum is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $1 for students and free for children younger than age 12. As of press time appointments were required for admission and hours were 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays — but check the website for the most upto-date information. 445 North Park Avenue, Winter Park. 407-645-5311. morsemuseum.org.

The Art & History Museums - Maitland. The Maitland Art Center, one of five museums that anchor the city’s Cultural Corridor, was founded as an art colony in 1937 by visionary artist and architect J. André Smith. The center, located at 231 West Packwood Avenue, Maitland, is Central Florida’s only National Historic Landmark and one of the few surviving examples of Mayan Revival architecture in the Southeast. Admission to the art center’s galleries is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students (ages 5 to 17) and free for children age 4 and under. Maitland residents receive a $1 discount. The Cultural Corridor also includes the Maitland Historical Museum and Telephone Museum at 221 West Packwood Avenue, and the Waterhouse Residence Museum and Carpentry Shop Museum, both built

Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Located on the campus of Rollins College, the Cornell houses one of the oldest and most eclectic collections of fine art in Florida. Continuing through August is Multiple Voices/ Multiple Stories, an examination of the multilayered narratives contained in figural representations ranging from traditional portraiture to creative depictions; Path to Paradise: The Artistic Legacy of Dante’s Divine Comedy, a collection of works from the 14th century through the contemporary era inspired by the medieval narrative poem; Uptown/Downtown, which features prints by German-American artist Richard Lindner; and Creatures in the Margins, which explores the ways human qualities are projected onto animals. Guided tours take place at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays at the nearby Alfond Inn, where a selec-

VISUAL ARTS

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tion of more than 400 works in the museum’s Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art are on view. Happy Hour tours of the Alfond Collection are also conducted on the first Wednesday of most months at 5:30 p.m. If you prefer historic works, Throwback Thursday tours are offered at the museum from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of most months. Admission is free, courtesy of PNC Financial Services Group. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-6462526. rollins.edu/cfam. Crealdé School of Art. Established in 1975, this not-for-profit arts organization on Winter Park’s east side offers year-round visual-arts classes for all ages, taught by more than 40 working artists. Visitors may take a self-guided tour through its lakeside sculpture garden, which includes approximately 60 three-dimensional pieces of contemporary outdoor art and educational panels that describe the diversity of expressive styles and durable media. The 40th Annual Juried Student Exhibition, continuing through September 11, features some of the year’s best student work in painting, drawing, photography, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry and fiber arts. Admission to the school’s galleries is free, although there are fees for art classes. 600 Saint Andrews Boulevard, Winter Park. 407-671-1886. crealde.org. Hannibal Square Heritage Center. Established in 2007 by the Crealdé School of Art in partnership with residents of Hannibal Square and the City of Winter Park, the center celebrates the city’s historically African American west side with hundreds of archival photographs, original artwork and oral histories from longtime residents that are collectively known as the Heritage Collection. On view through December 31 is Preserving the Past and Looking Towards the Future: A Celebration of Hannibal Square, which is the largest showcase of the collection to date (for more information, see page 109). The center also offers a walking tour of Hannibal Square, Now and Then, with Fairolyn Livingston, chief historian. The tour, offered on the third Saturday of each month from 10 to 11:30 a.m., requires reservations; the cost is $10, or $5 for those with student IDs. Historic sites include the Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, the Welbourne Avenue Nursery & Kindergarten and the Masonic Lodge, all built in the 1920s. 642 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-539-2680. hannibalsquareheritagecenter.org. Snap! Downtown. Patrick and Holly Kahn’s contemporary photograph art gallery in the lobby of Camden Thornton Park Apartments showcases the work of local and international photographers and digital artists. Opening July 9 is a solo exhibition by Prague-based photographer Martin Stranka, whose serene, dreamlike images have garnered him more Continued on page 99


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A Classic Christmas, a program featuring Order of Moses by Nathaniel Dett (above right) and Seven Last Words of the Unarmed by Joel Thompson (left), will be performed in December as part of th Bach Festival of Winter Park’s Choral Masterworks series.

BACH FEST CONFRONTS RACIAL JUSTICE After a year season of presenting superb music despite uncertainty caused by COVID-19, the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park is coming back for its 87th season ready to present its usual soaring classical music while wading into issues of racial justice. The society, headquartered on the campus of Rollins College, has announced a full slate of shows for the 2021-22 season, which will include a memorial concert for the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a mother-and-son piano duo and music from two African American composers. Expect the latter program to pack an emotional punch, given the times in which we live. It encompasses an oratorio that tells the story of Moses’ leading his people to the Promised Land juxtaposed with a searing choral composition that incorporates the final words of unarmed young Black men who have been killed by police officers. As always, the season consists of sometimes overlapping themed segments including Choral Masterworks, Insights & Sounds, the Visiting Artist Series and the Bach Festival itself. In addition, the festival’s choir and orchestra headline several community events. The first event of the new season will be an Insights & Sounds concert featuring organist Colin MacKnight and a brass ensemble (September 23). Next in that series will be Exploring African American Composers (January 22, 2022) and Commemorating Brahms’ 125th Anniversary (March 31, 2022). Insights & Sounds is usually held in the Tiedtke Concert Hall on select Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. A perennial highlight, in addition to the music, is the discussion led by Artistic Director John Sinclair on the fascinating backstories of the composers and their work.

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Choral Masterworks, featuring large-scale works combining the full choir and orchestra, is usually held in Knowles Memorial Chapel. First up is Mozart, Barber and Lauridsen (October 23 and 24), followed by A Classic Christmas (December 11 and 12) and a program featuring Order of Moses by Nathaniel Dett and Seven Last Words of the Unarmed by Joel Thompson (April 23 and 24). Dett, born in 1882 in Ontario, Canada, to formerly enslaved parents, became the first African American to receive a bachelor’s degree in music from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. He later earned a master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. At Oberlin, Dett became fascinated with traditional Negro spirituals: “Suddenly it seemed I heard again the frail voice of my long-departed grandmother calling across the years; and in a rush of emotion which stirred my spirit to its very center, the meaning of the songs which had given her soul such peace was revealed to me.” He later became a prolific composer and arranger and chaired the music department at Hampton University (then called the Hampton Institute), where the choir he directed toured the world presenting sacred music. Thompson, age 24, is an Atlanta-based composer, conductor, pianist and educator best known for the choral work Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, which was premiered in 2015 by the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club and won the 2018 American Prize for Choral Composition. Seven Last Words of the Unarmed uses the dying words of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon

Martin and, most memorably, George Floyd’s “I can’t breathe” as Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck. The 87th annual Bach Festival runs from February 4 through 27, 2022. Among the offerings will be a concert by organist Ken Cowan (February 6, 2022), Spiritual Spaces (February 6, 2022), a concert by organist Cowan and violinist Lisa Shihoten (February 6, 2022), Concerts by Candlelight: Sibelius and Grieg (February 11 and 12, 2022), Mendelssohn’s Elijah (February 19 and 20, 2022), Mozart’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy (February 25 and 26, 2022) and J.S. Bach: A Brandenburg, an Orchestral Suite and Two Cantatas (February 27). Most Bach Festival events are held in the college’s Knowles Memorial Chapel. Additional programs, master classes and community events will be announced in January 2022. The Visiting Artist Series will feature the a cappella group Voces8 (October 31), a piano concert by the mother-and-son duo Olga Kern and Vladislav Kern (date TBD), a concert by the Julliard String Quartet (March 12, 2022) and a concert by Norwegian trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth (April 3, 2022). Community Events include the City of Winter Park’s Olde Fashioned 4th of July Celebration in Central Park (July 5), a presentation of Fauré’s Requiem to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks (September 11) and Christmas in the Park (December 2), a Central Park holiday tradition presented by the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. For more information call 407-646-2182 or visit bachfestivalflorida.org.


EVENTS Continued from page 96

than 50 major international photography awards. Admission is free. 420 East Church Street, Orlando. 407-236-1190. snaporlando.com.

PERFORMING ARTS

Annie Russell Theatre. “The Annie,” in continuous operation since 1932, returns from summer break to kick off its 2021-22 season, which will exclusively feature plays that have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. First up is Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers (September 24 through October 2), a coming-of-age story about two teenaged brothers who, after the death of their mother, are sent to live with their stern grandmother, childlike aunt and gangster uncle. The rest of the season includes Sweat (November 12 through 20), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (February 11 through 19, 2022) and Next to Normal (April 15 through 23, 2022). Curtain times are 7:30 p.m., 4 p.m. or 2 p.m., depending upon the day of the week. Individual tickets are $25. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2145. rollins.edu/ annie-russell-theatre. Winter Park Playhouse. Winter Park’s only professional, nonprofit theater continues its 2020-21 season with Crazy for Gershwin (July 30 through August 22), a high-energy song and tap dance celebration of the works of George and Ira Gershwin that encompasses 27 timeless classics, among them “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” “Embraceable You” and “I Got Rhythm.” That’s followed by The Book of Merman (September 24 through October 17) and Christmas My Way: A Sinatra Holiday Bash (November 12 through December 18). Performances are Thursdays through Sundays, with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets range in price from $20 for students to $45 for evening shows. 711 Orange Avenue, Winter Park. 407-645-0145. winterparkplayhouse.org.

TIFFANY at the MORSE The Morse Museum houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including his chapel interior from the 1893 Chicago world’s fair and art objects from his Long Island estate, Laurelton Hall.

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445 north park avenue winter park, florida 32789 (407) 645-5311 morsemuseum.org

FILM

Enzian. This cozy, nonprofit alternative cinema offers a plethora of film series. Tickets are usually $12 for regular admission; $10 for matinees, students, seniors and military (with ID); and $9.50 for Enzian Film Society members. Children under age 12 are admitted free to Peanut Butter Matinee Family Films, shown the fourth Sunday of each month at noon. Other series include Saturday Matinee Classics (the second Saturday of each month at noon), Cult Classics (the second and last Tuesday of each month at 9:30 p.m.), and Midnight Movies (every Saturday night). FilmSlam, which spotlights Florida-made short films, takes place most months on the second or third Sunday at 1 p.m.; the next scheduled date is July 18. 300 South Orlando Avenue, Maitland. 407-629-0054 (information line), 407-629-1088 (theater offices). enzian.org. Continued on page 102

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COURAGE, CONVICTION, COMPASSION

Winter Park thinks of itself as an enlightened place all year round. But never more so than during GladdeningLight’s annual symposium, the 10th version of which will be titled “Our One True Self: Courage, Conviction, Compassion.” The three-day event, which draws attendees from around the world, was cancelled in 2021 because of COVID-19. But it’s back in 2022 with an array of presenters and an emphasis on African American voices. The life and work of mystic theologian Howard Thurman (1899-1981), a native of Daytona Beach whose commitment to social justice inspired Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., provides the 2022 symposium’s spiritual and intellectual underpinning, says Randall B. Robertson, founding director of GladdeningLight, a Winter Park-based nonprofit. Activities surrounding the symposium — which include receptions, lectures, discussions, concerts, worship services and book signings — will take place at various venues on the campus of Rollins College and at nearby All Saints Episcopal Church from Thursday through Sunday, February 3 through 6, 2022. Thurman, an advocate of nonviolent protest, became the first Black American to meet with Mahatma Gandhi on a pilgrimage to India in 1936. His 1949 book Jesus and the Disinherited discusses the gospel through the experience of the oppressed and disenfranchised. The keynote speaker is James Finley, a therapist and teacher whose theology encompasses Thurman’s mysticism. He’s a principal faculty member at The Living School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, alongside Father Richard Rohr, who was a GladdeningLight headliner in 2017. Finley spent his early life at the Abbey of Gethsemane in Kentucky as a monastic novice under the guidance of spiritual director Thomas Merton, whose message of love and discipline is often compared to that of Thurman. Both posited that a form of “ethi-

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cal mysticism” could serve as a springboard for social change. Eugene Sutton, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, will also appear on the jam-packed program. Sutton is a leading voice in the discussion of reparations as a step toward racial reconciliation and served as canon pastor and director of the Cathedral Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage at Washington National Cathedral until his consecration as bishop in 2008. Yet another intriguing presenter will be Lerita Coleman Brown, a Thurman scholar and professor emerita of psychology at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta. Brown, who has recovered from both a heart and a kidney transplant, is certainly indicative of courage and speaks movingly about her journey. And there’ll also be music that’s as delightful as it is hard to categorize courtesy of GladdeningLight’s “house band,” which is composed of cellist Eugene Friesen and Irish a cappella singers Owen and Moley Ó Súilleabháin. They’ll perform throughout the weekend. “Spiritual pilgrims spend lives searching — gleaning — proper purpose for our brief time on earth,” says Robertson. “Yet this isn’t a solitary pursuit. If our yearlong experience with COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that being physically and consciously present with and for others is essential to the human condition.” Robertson notes that many attendees build their seasonal calendar around coming to Winter Park and participating in the annual symposium he founded 10 years ago. “That sets a high bar for our deliverables,” he notes. Cost to attend all events is $270, with Rollins students, faculty and staff admitted free. Additionally, the Thursday evening devotional service at All Saints Episcopal Church and the Sunday morning worship service at the college’s Knowles Memorial Chapel are free and open to the public, no registration required. For more information call 407-647-3963 or visit gladdeninglight.org.

GladdeningLight’s annual symposium will welcome (from left to right): keynote speaker James Finley, a therapist and faculty member at Albuquerque’s Living School ; Lerita Coleman Brown, a professor emerita of psychology at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta; and Eugene Sutton, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. Musical entertainment will be provided by GladdeningLight’s “house band,” which includes cellist Eugene Friesen and Irish cappella singers Owen and Moley Ó Súilleabháin (below).


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Popcorn Flicks in the Park. The City of Winter Park and Enzian collaborate to offer classic, familyfriendly films free in Central Park on Park Avenue. These outdoor screenings are typically held on the second Thursday of each month and start at 7 or 8 p.m. Upcoming shows include Men in Black (July 8) and Captain America: The First Avenger (August 12). Don’t forget to pack a picnic and blankets or chairs. Advance registration is requested to ensure proper social distancing. 407-629-1088. enzian.org.

HISTORY

Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum. This stunningly restored Spanish farmhouse-style home, designed by acclaimed architect James Gamble Rogers II, is now a community center and museum. Free open houses are hosted by docents on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Also, live music is featured in the large downstairs parlor most Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. As of press time the tours had been postponed until further notice, but check the website for the most up-to-date information. 656 North Park Avenue (adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course), Winter Park. 407-6288200. casafeliz.us. Central Florida Anthropological Society. Do you want to preserve Florida’s historic heritage? Are you curious about prehistoric Florida? Join the CFAS for this new lecture series highlighting current anthropological and archaeological investigations with a special focus on Central Florida. Enjoy light refreshments and socializing when the doors open at 6:30 p.m., followed by a presentation at 7 p.m. Meetings, which are free of charge, are usually held the third Monday of each month at the Winter Park Public Library. After a hiatus in July and August, the next date will be September 20. 460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park. cfasorlando.com. Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. The center is dedicated to combating anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice, with the goal of developing a moral and just community through educational and cultural programs. It houses permanent and temporary exhibitions, archives and a research library. The museum’s ongoing exhibition, Tribute to the Holocaust, is a presentation of artifacts, videos, text, photographs and other works of art. Also ongoing is an exhibition of stunning images and powerful words captured in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis. Uprooting Prejudice: Faces of Change, showcases the work of renowned photographer John Noltner, who went to the scene of Floyd’s fatal encounter to capture the passion of the

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protestors who took to the streets in the tragedy’s aftermath. What he found was profound pain, resilience and a desire to bring the community together. Admission to the center is free, but as of press time was limited to small groups with advance registrations. Check the website for the most up-to-date information. 851 North Maitland Avenue, Maitland. 407-628-0555. holocaustedu.org. Winter Park History Museum. Travel back in time to the city’s earliest days with ongoing displays that include artifacts dating from its beginnings as a New England-style resort in the 1880s. The efficiently designed 800-square-foot museum features a new exhibition, Rollins: Florida’s First College. Visitors can step back in time and experience student life as it was in the college’s early days with re-creations of a dorm room, a “conference plan” classroom (a concept pioneered by President Hamilton Holt that prioritized one-on-one interaction between professor and student), and a student union with sports memorabilia, collegiate fashions and more. Admission is free. 200 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-2330. wphistory.org. Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts. Eatonville is strongly associated with Harlem Renaissance writer and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, who lived there as a girl and recorded her childhood memories in her classic autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. The museum that bears her name provides information about the historic city and sponsors exhibitions featuring the works of African American artists. Admission is free, though group tours require a reservation and are charged a fee. 344 East Kennedy Boulevard, Eatonville. 407647-3188. zoranealehurstonmuseum.com.

HOLIDAYS

Annual 4th of July Celebration. Head for downtown Winter Park on July 5 for a belated but no less festive celebration featuring patriotic music performed by the Bach Festival Choir and Brass Ensemble, free watermelon and apple pie, games and much more from 9 a.m. to noon. If you want to start celebrating even earlier, enter the annual Watermelon 5K run, which begins at 7:30 a.m. on Park Avenue. Military personnel and their family members receive a $10 discount on the 5K registration fee, plus a special race bib. 407599-3463. For information about the race, visit trackshack.com. For information about other activities, visit cityofwinterpark.org.

LECTURES

Morse Museum Wednesday Lecture Series. The Morse regularly invites recognized scholars in the field of late 19th- and early 20th-century art to speak on topics related to the museum’s collection and ex-

hibitions. Lectures are at 2:30 p.m. in the Jeannette G. and Hugh F. McKean Pavilion, located behind the museum. As of press time no lectures had been scheduled, but check the website for the most upto-date information. Admission is free. 161 West Canton Avenue. 407-645-5311. morsemuseum.org. University Club of Winter Park. Nestled among the oaks and palms at the north end of Park Avenue’s downtown shopping district — a block beyond Casa Feliz — is another historic James Gamble Rogers II building, this one home to the University Club of Winter Park. Members are dedicated to the enjoyment of intellectual activities and socializing with one another. The club’s various activities, including lectures, are open to the public, although nonmembers are asked to make a $5 donation each time they attend. (Some events include a buffet lunch for an added fee.) As of press time most meetings were being held online, but check the website for the most up-to-date information plus a full schedule of events and speakers. 841 North Park Avenue. 407644-6149. uclubwp.org.

MUSIC

Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts. This eclectic venue is part concert hall, part recording studio and part art gallery. It offers live performances most evenings, with an emphasis on jazz, classical and world music — although theater, dance and spoken-word presentations are sometimes on the schedule. On July 18, Blue Bamboo will celebrate its fifth anniversary with an Orlando Jazz Orchestra concert that will begin at 3 p.m. Admission generally ranges from free to $25. 1905 Kentucky Avenue, Winter Park. 407-636-9951. bluebambooartcenter.com. Central Florida Folk. This Winter Park-based notfor-profit is dedicated to promoting and preserving live folk music, primarily through concerts usually held on the last Sunday of each month (unless a holiday intervenes) at 2 p.m. The group’s primary venue is the Winter Park Public Library, 460 East New England Avenue. Check the website for dates and performers. A donation of $15 for nonmembers is suggested. 407-679-6426. cffolk.org. Music at the Casa. The Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum presents acoustic performances on most Sunday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m. in the museum’s cozy main parlor. Past performers include opera singers, jazz guitarists and flamenco dancers. A $5 donation is suggested. As of press time these performances had been postponed until further notice, but check the website for the most up-to-date information. 656 North Park Avenue (adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course), Winter Park. 407-628-8200. casafeliz.us. Continued on page 108


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IMAGES COURTESY OF THE CHARLES HOSMER MORSE MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

A FLURRY OF ACTIVITY AT THE MORSE If you think of the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art as a place to see dazzling work by Louis Comfort Tiffany, you’re right — but there’s so much more. Recently, Theodore E. Stebbins Jr. and Susan Cragg Stebbins have donated their collection of American art in honor of Mrs. Stebbins’ parents, Henry and Evelyn Cragg. The Craggs were longtime Winter Parkers, and Henry Cragg was a member of the museum’s board of trustees from its founding in 1976 until his death in 1988. Stebbins’ name is prominent in American art collecting and scholarship. He had an illustrious career as a professor of art history and curator at the Yale University Art Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Harvard Art Museums from the late 1960s to his retirement in 2014. Among his numerous publications are his broad survey of American works on paper, American Master Drawings and Watercolors: A History of Works on Paper from Colonial Times to the Present, and his definitive works on American painter Martin Johnson Heade, The Life and Work of Martin Johnson Heade. Thanks to Stebbins, American art gained recognition beyond the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1981, he staged the first exhibition of American paintings ever shown in the People’s Republic of China. In 1983, his exhibition A New World: Masterpieces of American Painting, 1760-1910 was shown in Paris at the Musée du Louvre. “Susan and I are deeply honored that our collection will find a home at the Morse, a crown jewel among smaller American art museums,” says Stebbins. “We’re especially pleased to make this gift in honor of Susan’s parents, who brought their family up in Winter Park and who loved everything about the town.” A total of 65 pieces, including works of art from preeminent American masters, were gifted to the museum as well as two longterm loans and the addition of three future gifts. The Stebbins Collection includes watercolors, drawings, sculptures and paintings from the late 19th century and early 20th century. Laurence Ruggiero, the museum’s director, says that the Stebbins Collection contains “exquisite pictures that are not only a delight to the eye but a joy for the mind.” How and when the Stebbins Collection will be displayed is being determined and will be announced with the museum’s season preview in the fall. In the meantime, the museum’s new vignette, Chinese Blue and White Porcelain, features examples of Chinese ceramics dating from around 1740 to 1890. Such pieces became popular as home-decoration items, particularly in the 19th century, and remain sought after today.

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Chinese blue-and-white porcelain — candlesticks, platters, pitchers, sugar bowls, tureens and teacups — likewise inspired many European and American artists and designers. Among them was Tiffany, who studied his own porcelain collection for design ideas. In the 18th century, two regional variations of porcelain — Canton and Nanking, both of which were produced in the port city of Guangzhou — emerged. Complete sets of Canton porcelain, fashioned to accommodate European dining traditions, were embellished with broad brushstrokes of toned blues depicting flowers, village scenes and interweaving patterns. Nanking wares were a higher quality of export porcelain, often featuring evenly executed cobalt scenes in more refined detail highlighted by gold accents. Works in the vignette were acquired over the course of 40 years by lifelong Orlando residents Benjamin L. Abberger and Nancy Hardy Abberger. The 200-piece collection was recently donated to the museum by their children. The Abbergers, who died eight months apart in 2011 and 2012, were patrons of the arts — both supported the Opera Guild of Orlando and the Florida Symphony Orchestra — and had a connection to the museum through their long friendship with founders Hugh McKean and Jeannette Genius McKean. Nancy, in fact, was an assistant to Hugh McKean and head docent at the museum prior to its relocation in 1995. The Morse, located at 445 North Park Avenue, is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. As of press time, visits are by appointment only and may be made online by calling 407-644-1429 or visiting morsemuseum.org.


IMAGES COURTESY OF THE CHARLES HOSMER MORSE MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

Theodore E. Stebbins Jr. and Susan Cragg Stebbins (above right) recently donated a collection of American Art to the Morse Museum of American Art. Among the 65 pieces in the collection are Cala Lillies by George Cochran Lambdin (above left) and Castle of Chillon by Sanford Robinson Gifford (below). How and when the collection will be displayed will be announced in the fall. In the meantime, the museum’s vignette, Chinese Blue and White Porcelain (facing page), continues to be on view at the museum.

Cutline

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IMAGES COURTESY OF ALBIN POLASEK MUSEUM & SCULPTURE GARDENS

Edson Campos’ over-the-top Opera reflects his affection for (and influence from) Renaissance masters. While the Brazilianborn artist created a surreal self-portrait titled Rubens/Display (below left) specifically for Classical Conversations, he admits that his favorite painting in the exhibition is Fall of a Dream (below right), an oil painting that won a Gold Medal in 2020 at the Grand Palais in Paris.

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The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens’ latest exhibition, Classical Conversations: Jack Hill & Edson Campos, brings two Florida-based artists together for the first time under one roof in an intriguing pairing that juxtaposes two different mediums exploring similar themes. “The works of these two talented artists — Hill, a renowned sculptor, and Edson, a masterful painter — reflect classical inspiration,” says Curator Emily Coughlan. “I like to think of them as classical paintings and sculptures with a modern twist.” Nearly 30 works are on display — 16 sculptures and carvings by Hill and 12 oil paintings and drawings by Campos. The exhibition runs July 20 through October 3 and can be viewed in person or online. “We both work figuratively and have classical influences, but we basically treat classical themes as figurative work — mine being 3D, his being 2D — and try to generate thought in the viewer,” says the DeLandbased Hill, who came to sculpting as a second career. “There’s more than one way to interpret something.” Hill, who was a professional mime for 20 years, says his performances helped him to become familiar with the human body and the way it filled and defined the space around it. “Figurative sculpture is very much like that,” he adds. In addition, Hill says, his knowledge of art history — specifically that of ancient Greece and the Renaissance — also translates well to his work as a sculptor. A case in point is his dramatic Wrestling with Our Demons, a four-foot-tall bronze of a winged female figure trying to fly away but being pulled back to Earth by a male figure. Asks Hill: “Do you let things go to see if they come back or do you hang on?” Campos, whose drawings and paintings often reference works by the Old Masters, says he detects the same underpinning in Hill’s sculptures — but with more of a sense of humor. While the Brazilian-born Campos created a graphite self-portrait titled Rubens/Display specifically for the Polasek show, he admits that his favorite painting in the exhibition is Fall of a Dream, an oil on canvas that won a Gold Medal in 2020 at the Grand Palais in Paris. “The concept is about the end of a moment and the start of a new beginning in a hopeful way, and the idea that all the innovation and progress can come from a dream or an inspiration,” says Campos, who lives in Winter Park. “I believe we’re going through major changes right now.” The Polasek is located at 633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park. For more information call 407-647-6294 or visit polasek.org. To learn more about the artists, visit edsoncampos.com and jackhillscultpture.com. —Connie Sue White Wrestling with Our Demons, by Jack Hill, depicts a winged female trying to fly away but being pulled back to Earth by a male figure. Asks Hill: “Do you let things go to see if they come back or do you hang on?”

IMAGE COURTESY OF ALBIN POLASEK MUSEUM & SCULPTURE GARDENS

A CONVERSATION BETWEEN TWO GENRES


EVENTS Continued from page 102

Opera on Park. The first official performances of Opera Orlando’s 2021-22 season are its threepart Opera on Park series, which takes place at the University Club of Winter Park, 841 North Park Avenue. First up is soprano Cecilia Violetta Lopez (August 15), followed by tenor Victor Ryan Robertson (August 22) and soprano Kirsten Chambers (August 29). Tickets are $46.35 each or $108.15 for all three recitals, which will take place at 2 p.m. 407-512-1900. operaorlando.org. Performing Arts of Maitland. This not-for-profit group works with the City of Maitland and other organizations to promote performances for and by local musicians. It supports various groups, including the Maitland Symphony Orchestra, Maitland Market Music, the Maitland Stage Band and the Baroque Chamber Orchestra. A full schedule of events can be found online. 407-339-5984, ext. 219. pamaitland.org.

MARKETS

Maitland Farmers’ Market. This year-round, openair market — held each Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — features fresh produce, seafood, breads and cheeses as well as plants, all-natural skin-care products and live music by Performing Arts of Maitland. The setting on Lake Lily boasts a boardwalk, jogging trails, a playground and picnic areas. 701 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland. itsmymaitland.com. Winter Park Farmers’ Market. The region’s busiest and arguably most popular farmers’ market is held every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Since the summer months, the market has been held in the more spacious Central Park West Meadow, located at the corner of New York Avenue and Morse Boulevard, instead of in its usual location at the old railroad depot that also houses the Winter Park History Museum. The open-air market offers baked goods, produce, plants, honey, cheese, meat, flowers, crafts and other specialty items. After shopping, make a morning of it with a stroll along nearby Park Avenue. Dogs are welcome to bring their people. 200 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. cityofwinterpark.org.

WRITING

Florida Writers Association. Join fellow scribes for lectures by guest speakers and discussions led by local authors. The Orlando/Winter Park-Area chapter meets on the first Wednesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the University Club of Winter Park, 841 North Park Avenue, Winter Park. Upcoming meetings (held online as of press time) are scheduled for July 7, August 4 and September 1. Another chapter, the Maitland Writers Group, meets on the second Thursday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30

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p.m. Meetings are scheduled for July 8, August 12 and September 9 at the Maitland Public Library, 501 South Maitland Avenue, Maitland. floridawriters.org. Orlando Writers Critique Group. Writers gather under the guidance of author and writing coach Rik Feeney to review and critique their current works on the third Tuesday of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Winter Park Public Library. The next scheduled event, July 15, is expected to be held online. 460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park. meetup.com/orlando-writers-critique-group, usabookcoach@gmail.com. Storytellers of Central Florida. Experienced and fledgling storytellers gather to share stories and practice their craft on the first Tuesday of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Winter Park Public Library. To ensure social distancing, meetings are limited to 15 people and pre-registration is required. 460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park. 321439-6020, jerrysmith19@me.com, wppl.org. Wednesday Open Words. One of the area’s longest-running open-mic poetry nights is held every Wednesday at 9 p.m. at Austin’s Coffee, 929 West Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park. 407-975-3364. austinscoffee.com. Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts. This group offers various free programs that attract writers of all stripes. Short Attention Span Storytelling Hour, a literary open-mic night, meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of most months (online as of press time). It’s for authors, poets, filmmakers, comedians, musicians, bloggers and others. Upcoming dates are July 14, August 11 and September 8. Orlando WordLab, a workshop that challenges writers to experiment with new techniques or methods, meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Winter Park Public Library (460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park). Upcoming dates are July 28, August 25 and September 22. meetup.com/writersof-central-florida-or-thereabouts.

BUSINESS

Good Morning Winter Park. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these monthly gatherings attract business- and civic-minded locals who enjoy coffee and conversation about community issues. Held the second Friday of most months, the next scheduled events are July 9, August 6 and September 10. Networking begins at 8 a.m. followed by a 45-minute program at 8:30 a.m. Admission, which includes a complimentary continental breakfast, is free. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org/good-morning-winter-park.

Hot Seat Academy. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, this quarterly businessoriented series puts local executives in the spotlight as they offer advice and discuss entrepreneurism, leadership and sales-and-marketing techniques. The next scheduled event is August 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; check the website for information about the featured speaker. Tickets are $15 for members, $30 for nonmembers. Reservations are required. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org/hot-seatacademy. Winter Park Professional Women. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these gatherings — held the first Monday of most months from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — feature guest speakers and provide networking opportunities for women business owners. Topics revolve around leadership development, business growth and local initiatives of special interest to women. The next scheduled events are August 2 and September 13. Tickets, which include lunch, are $25 for chamber members and $50 for nonmembers. Reservations are required. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org/winter-park-professional-women. Soirée: A Summer Happening. Meet new people, sip a cocktail and learn some fresh ideas about how to put your best self forward on July 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Orlando Museum of Art. This fun and informative gathering — sponsored by the Winter park Chamber of Commerce — will feature exciting speakers, demonstrations and vendors sharing presentations on food, drink, fashion, lifestyle, personal branding and more. Tickets are $75. Register online. 2416 North Mills Avenue, Orlando. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org. Winter Park Outlook. The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce’s annual regional issues summit will take place September 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Alfond Inn. The focus will be the state of the economy and how to facilitate Winter Park’s recovery from the pandemic. 300 East New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org.

CAUSES

Keep Winter Park Beautiful. Winter Park’s watersheds will stay beautiful all season long with selfdirected cleanups on the date and time of your choice. Litter grabbers, safety vests, gloves and garbage bags are provided at City Hall. Volunteers must contact kwpb@cityofwinterpark.org for more details and to complete a waiver. 407-599-3364. cityofwinterpark.eventbrite.com.


THE WEST SIDE’S PAST, PRESERVED director of the Crealdé School of Art. It’s on view through December 31. Crealdé founded the center in 2007 in partnership with the City of Winter Park Community Redevelopment Agency. Its collection is the only one of its kind in Central Florida and depicts the hardships and triumphs of the increasingly diverse neighborhood from 1900 to the present. Says Livingston, an alumna of Rollins College and winner of its 2021 Fred Rogers Global Citizenship Award: “Newcomers and longtime residents alike owe it to themselves to learn the history and contributions of all ethnic groups to their community.” The Hannibal Square Heritage Center is located at 642 West New England Avenue. For more information, visit hannibalsquareheritagecenter.org or call 407-539-2680.

The Hannibal Square Heritage Center has hundreds of photographs and oral histories depicting community life in one of the region's oldest African American neighborhoods.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE HANNIBAL SQUARE HERITAGE CENTER

The Hannibal Square Heritage Center, a focal point of the Hannibal Square neighborhood on Winter Park’s west side, was founded with the award-winning Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park as its cornerstone, along with The Sage Project: Hannibal Square Elders Tell Their Stories. The permanent collection that resulted is a museum-quality exhibition of more than 200 archival framed photographs and oral histories that depict family and community life spanning 100 years of history in one of Florida’s oldest African American communities. A new exhibition, Preserving the Past and Looking Towards the Future: A Celebration of Hannibal Square, will be the largest showcase of the permanent collection to date, according to curator Fairolyn Livingston, the center’s chief historian, and Peter Schreyer, documentary photographer and executive

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OUR TOWN | MICHAEL MCLEOD

PHOTOS BY RAFAEL TONGOL

PARK AVENUE: ENDEARING, ENDURING

Ask me to name my favorite Park Avenue establishment and ordinarily I’d nominate the Morse Museum, for the stained glass, or the Briar Patch, for the California Benedict. These days I’d have to go with Simmons Jewelers, for the girls on the runway. By girls I mean Bling, a fluffy Pomeranian, and Chiwa, a fashion-forward Chihuahua. By runway I mean the display cases at the avenue’s oldest shop, where at any given moment you might find Bling and Chiwa promenading, their polished nails ticking delicately against the glass. “The tourists especially ask to see them,” says coowner Robin Simmons. “They’re working girls. They love the attention.” I’m no stage-door Johnny, and my taste in dogs historically runs to huskies, pit bulls and mutts. But over the past year and a half, I’ve been worried enough about the avenue to find the sight of scale-model pets strolling above Rolex watches and expensive jewelry reassuring. Nothing like a couple of mascots to boost your morale. Walk the length of Winter Park’s signature commercial boulevard these days and you’ll pass 11 vacant storefronts. Pandemic casualties range from a fun, true-to-its-name toy store called “Lighten Up!” to the progressive-cuisine emporium Luma on Park. But the majority of the 140 merchants in the downtown district used a combination of ingenuity, inventiveness, savings accounts, PPP loans and a lucky break or two to survive. “I became the book fairy,” says Lauren Zimmerman, owner of Writer’s Block Bookstore. For the benefit of bibliophiles hesitant to visit the shop, she began delivering books as well as puzzles — the

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latter a hot item among cabin-fever victims. Meanwhile Zimmerman and her staff were beefing up the shop’s website for expanded e-commerce. Some boutique owners opened after hours so customers could shop solo. Lisa West, owner of Charyli (the name is an amalgam of her four children’s first names), got into the delivery business, too, and did a healthy swimsuit trade thanks to homebound customers using the opportunity to work on their tans. Like several other merchants up and down the avenue, Kevin and Jami Ray, co-owners of Peterbrooke Chocolatier, took pride in getting through the pandemic without having to lay off staff — a feat they managed with an assist from the National Basketball Association. The shop got a boost when the NBA needed help stocking welcome baskets for players and staffers after creating the “NBA Bubble” at Walt Disney World — a self-imposed quarantine zone to gather and protect its athletes and try to salvage a single-site 2019-20 season. Another stroke of luck, perhaps the most important one: A year before the pandemic, a group of small-business owners had formed the Park Avenue District as a think tank and lobbying group. “Little did we know how much we were going to need each other,” says Sarah Grafton, a savvy and engaging financial adviser whose idea it was. “We had some members who were really in a tough spot.” The presence of the group enhanced a spirit of cooperation and camaraderie that was epitomized, despite dour headlines and pervasive angst, by a moment that took place out of sight, in an airy alcove just off the avenue called The Hidden Garden. It happened just outside The Ancient Olive, a gour-

Park Avenue is, in every way, the heart of Winter Park. At Simmons Jewelers, co-owner Robin Simmons (above left) employs Bling and Chiwa to raise the spirits of customers. At the nearby Ancient Olive, owners Jeffrey Schrader and and Bryan Behling (above right) helped a Farmers’ Market vendor weather the pandemic.

met outpost filled with hard-to-find olive oils and vinegars. Its owners, Jeffrey Schrader and Bryan Behling, were talking to one of the merchants at the Farmers’ Market, located a block away, which was closed for two months in the early phase of the pandemic. “They were saying they’d just have to take everything back to the farm and plow it under,” says Schrader. “So, we arranged to have them set up their tables outside our store.” Hearing the tale that day, a customer who wishes to remain anonymous bought all the produce — to the tune of $5,000 — and donated it to a retirement home. Park Avenue is a place where that kind of magic can happen. When you say it’s in the heart of Winter Park, there’s no need to point out the double meaning. It’s our avenue, meant to be celebrated, especially now. On one of my recent visits, as I headed toward the avenue from the direction of the train station, I saw a little girl who must have been about 9 years old. She was jumping up and down and clapping her hands for the joy of having spotted SunRail cars approaching. I said to myself: That’s the spirit. Michael McLeod, mmcleod@rollins.edu, is a contributing writer for Winter Park Magazine and an adjunct instructor in the English department at Rollins College.


TRAVIS TRITT July 18

SUPPORTED BY

Enjoy dinner and drinks delivered to your box at our revamped outdoor venue. The lineup keeps growing. FRONTYARDFESTIVAL.ORG Mainstage at Senee Arts Plaza

SUPPORTED BY

King Crimson July 26 Dave Koz & Friends August 1 Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin & Marc Cohn N ovember 13


THE POEM | BILLY COLLINS

“H

istory — read it and weep,” quipped Kurt Vonnegut, borrowing a wisecrack from the poker table. In this poem, a hopelessly idealistic teacher attempts by tricky wordplay, even puns, to insulate his students from the horrors of the past. But the nearby cruelties of the playground — believed to originate in the sandbox — are enough to demonstrate to us, if not to him, the futility of his labors. It’s the kind of poem that wants to be funny and sad at the same time, but readers are free to lean one way or the other.

THE HISTORY TEACHER Trying to protect his students’ innocence, he told them the Ice Age was really just the Chilly Age, a period of a million years when everyone had to wear sweaters. And the Stone Age became the Gravel Age, named after the long driveways of the time. The Spanish Inquisition was nothing more than an outbreak of questions such as “How far is it from here to Madrid?” “What do you call the matador’s hat?”

Billy Collins is a former two-term U.S. poet laureate (2002-03) and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. “The History Teacher” originally appeared in Sailing Alone Around the Room by Billy Collins. © 2001. Reprinted by permission of Random House.

The War of the Roses took place in a garden, and the Enola Gay dropped one tiny atom on Japan. The children would leave his classroom for the playground to torment the weak and the smart, mussing up their hair and breaking their glasses,

PHOTO BY SUZANNAH GILMAN

while he gathered up his notes and walked home past flower beds and white picket fences, wondering if they would believe that soldiers in the Boer War told long, rambling stories designed to make the enemy nod off.

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