Cultural Council Update


Have you creatively adapted how you connect with the public during these days of crisis?  Let us know what services or resources you are providing so we can assist in spreading the word.


Send info regarding your changes to so we can relay your news via our weekly Newsletter and/or our weekly Cultural Connection. If you have listed events on our Arts and Cultural Calendar, please email us any edits, updates or corrections at


I am overwhelmed by the response of our desire to see what you out there in this Creative Community of ours have been doing while Isolating.

So many wonderful pieces of art have been submitted by a wide variety of individuals…with new pieces being shared every week. What began as an attempt to stay connected to the artists/creators/makers that thrive in Vero Beach…Indian River County…and beyond, has been so uplifting and inspirational to a lot of people. I hear this from fellow artists…from fellow collectors…from fellow residents in our area: “Seeing this art has brightened my day…made me feel less alone…given me a reason to create something myself…!” 

Thank you for being a voice for creativity in this community…and thank you for being part of the bigger picture, because we are one of thousands of groups and organizations and communities that have embraced the concept of sharing our emotions and passions and frustrations and solutions to the isolation we have experienced. Newspapers, magazines, social media platforms…all over the world…have featured art, sculpture, music, dance, song, fashion, etc., etc., from millions of souls crying for connection. I am proud to be a part of the Cultural Council of Indian River County…and hope that we continue to see more from you out there, as we move forward to a new day.

-Mark Wygonik

Thank you to the artists who have submitted their work, created during social distancing, for our viewing pleasure. We invite you to see the artists submissions on our website. Visit:

“City Snow” 20×20 Oil on Canvas by Frank Gavin
By Beth Siebert
By Beth Siebert

Accidental Abstract Painting by Ms. Beth Siebert On exhibit at The Indian River County Courthouse, 2000 16th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32960. Exhibit runs through September 12th. The exhibit is sponsored by the Cultural Council of Indian River County. Ms. Siebert has a master’s degree in science and has taught at two colleges. She has been oil painting for the past thirteen years during which she developed cataracts and could not see well. To continue painting she turned to fluid art. Once her vision was correct Ms. Siebert returned to oil and acrylic painting using knives and brushes but never lost her love for fluid art.


A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery

The A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery has shifted to its summer schedule of public hours. The Museum is open to the public Saturdays 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, and Sundays 12 Noon – 4:00 PM. The Museum is located at 500 North Indian River Drive in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce.

AE Backus Museum & Gallery looking west

This summer the Museum will resume special free admission dates on Sunday, August 2 as part of its Free Admission Days on the first Sundays of the month. The Museum’s summer schedule will continue through Sunday, August 9, then closing to prepare for the upcoming new season. For more information, please visit

Visitor safety, well being, and the ability to share works of art with the public are the Backus Museum’s enduring priorities. The following steps have been instituted in order to maintain a safe environment for the public and staff:

  • Visitors are asked to follow current CDC recommendations to wear cloth face coverings; disposable single-use masks are available for visitors if needed. Additionally, all staff will wear masks.
  • Visitors are asked to observe social distancing practices while in the Museum, maintaining a 6-foot spacing between non-household groups
  • Hand sanitizing is available upon entry and inside the Museum for visitors’ use; they have increased the facility cleaning routines, cleaning frequently touched surfaces, with soap and paper towels fully stocked

At this time, the Museum is suspending all group tours. Please check the Museum’s website and social media for updates.

In addition to the special exhibition, permanent collection and video presentation always available to view, there is an outdoor family scavenger hunt accessible at any time on the Outdoor Mural Plaza. And no visit would be complete without a stop in the Museum Store, which offers many fine and creative gift items, including unique merchandise inspired by the works of Backus.

The special exhibition James F. Hutchinson: Visionary Truths has been extended indefinitely, courtesy of the artist. The Backus Museum is grateful to Mr. Hutchinson in allowing this extension, so that during our community’s recovery from the COVID-19 public health crisis, visitors will be able to delight in the magnificent work of this Florida Artists Hall of Fame master. The Museum is located at 500 North Indian River Drive in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce. James F. Hutchinson: Visionary Truths features more than 30 oil paintings that present the exquisite variety of scenes from Florida, Hawai’i, Jamaica, and the American West, as well as perceptive Seminole portraits and glimpses of a vanished way of life, all rendered with deep and genuine insight by a modern master. For more information, please visit



The Vero Beach Theatre Guild, the longest running community theatre on the Treasure Coast, plans to raise the curtain once again January 8, 2021 with the legendary musical Jesus Christ Superstar, weekends from January 8 through the 24. The romantic comedy Almost, Maine plays its full schedule of Tuesdays through Sundays from February 10 through 21 as will the comedy A Shot in the Dark, March 10 through 21. The Broadway musical Sister Act will be given a three week run April 7 through 21 and the season will close May 12 through 23 with the comedy Moonlight & Magnolias. The Guild’s annual Genie Awards for the 19-20 season will held in conjunction with the 20-21 awards in May of 2021. Three other comedies originally planned for the 2019-20 Main Stage Season; Over the Tavern, Calendar Girls and See How They Run have been added to the 2021-22 Season.

Anyone holding pre-purchased tickets to any productions at the Guild will be honored for any production of the holders’ choice from now through the end of the 2021-2022 Season. The box office is currently closed until October, but further information or any questions patrons may have will be answered as quickly as possible by email the Guild at:


Riverside Theatre’s Live in the Loop Outdoor Grill and Bar reopened offering two dining experiences: outdoor dining with live music and indoor dining with comedy. CDC and State guidelines on reopening casual dining will be followed for outdoor dining in The Loop and indoor dining in the Waxlax. To view the upcoming events visit: Tickets to Live in the Loop are still FREE, but must be obtained on website: www. There is a limit of 4 tickets per household. For more information on Riverside Theatre, call the Box Office at 772-231-6990 or visit:

Summer Series Concert & Art Gallery Reception


A Summer Series String Concert by the Youth Orchestra at First Presbyterian Church and opening reception for the Spring into Summer Art Installation at the Galleries at First Presbyterian will take place on Sunday, August 9, 2020, social distancing observed.. The concert will begin at 3:00pm and the galleries will be open from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. First Presbyterian Church, 520 Royal Palm Boulevard, Vero Beach. Featured local artists include Keith Mills, Suzan Phillips, and Donna Ware.

Tours will be available with an opportunity to meet the artists in attendance. Per CD recommendations, social distancing protocols will be in place for seating in the sanctuary (100 maximum), and masks will be required to attend. These events are free to the community, a $10 donation is suggested for the concert.

Vero Beach Opera kicks off the 2021 Opera Season, with Puccini favorite La Boheme, on Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 3:00 pm. Met Opera Artist David Pershall returns as Marcello and Met Opera Maestra Caren Levine will conduct.

Vero Beach Art Club invites you to attend Summer at the Annex, Fine Art Exhibit Monday – Saturday, 11am – 3:00pm, through August 6th. For more information visit:

The Space Coast Symphony Orchestra  will be performing drive-in concerts to celebrate the strength and resilience of our community. Concerts in the special Treasure Coast Strong Series are  held in an outdoor setting at the Pathway Church, 1105 58th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32966 on Fridays at 7:00 pm. Attendees can remain in their vehicles or bring their own seating.

Treasure Coast Strong Series presents;

A salute to health care workers and first responders with a concert of Broadway’s best.

We salute all those who have worn our nation’s uniform and defense workers.

Celebration of educators and essential workers in restaurants, groceries, and hotels!

For more details visit:

Sydney O;Haire

Vero Beach Wine Film Festival 2020 Filmmaker Sydney O’Haire

Born and raised in Vero Beach, Florida, Sydney O’Haire graduated with an MFA in Cinema Directing from the School of Cinematic Arts at DePaul University. Her short film ‘Being Here’ is a raw drama based on Sydney’s true story. After spending a period of time in rehab, on the road to recovery, Sydney rediscovers her love for film. Learn more about Sydney O’Haire’s film recommendations and download your virtual film screening and wine tasting mat at

Ballet Vero Beach 2020-2021 Season Update

At this time, it is not prudent to execute the full partnership with Riverside Theatre and friends from konverjdans. Both organizations feel it makes sense to bring them to town a year from now in 2021. If you have reserved tickets to these performances, Ballet Vero Beach staff will contact you. Every effort is being made to execute the student portion of the summer collaboration.

  • The spectacular Nutcracker on the Indian River returns to the VBHS Performing Arts Center for a 4th season December 30 and 31, 2020.
  • Program 1: “Ballet: Bold and Beautiful” on January 15 and 16, 2021
  • Program 2: “Composer’s Notebook: The Music of Antonio Vivaldi”, will take the stage at the VBHS Performing Arts Center February 26 and 27, 2021
  • Program 3: “Chamber Music: Sweeping Dance”, brings the 2020-2021 season to a dramatic close on April 16 and 17, 2021.
  • Additionally, the 2020-2021 Season features the debut of an Accessible Series and a Family Friendly Series.

For more information about the new season please visit or call 772-905-2651.


The VBMA 2020 Summer Art Camp goes Virtual

Vero Beach Museum of Art summer virtual art camp beginning June 8 to July 17. The Museum offers six one-week virtual sessions with over 45 classes taught by professional artists and area art educators offering an environment for budding artists of all levels to explore new ideas, develop skills, and build self-esteem through art. Creatively themed weekly sessions around a wide range of hands-on and minds-on activities that engage the imagination and spark kids to make their original creations. Registration is now open. Registration forms and class brochures are available on the Museum’s website Scholarships are available. For more information, call Museum Art School Manager Kathie Elias at 772-231-0707 ext 104 or email

Ballet Vero Beach presents: A Summer To Celebrate!


  • June 8: Pourquoi by Camilo A. Rodriguez
  • June 22: Debussy Suite by Samuel Kurkjian
  • July 6: Go For Barocco by Peter Anastos
  • July 20: Divertissement Nostalgique by Camilo A. Rodriguez
    All premieres take place at noon (East Coast) on our YouTube Channel.

Each work will remain viewable until the next work premieres.

The Learning Alliance (TLA) and the creativity they and BALLET VERO BEACH’s own phenomenal Elena Carter have exhibited to continue momentum with the participation in TLA’s “Moonshot Summer Academy” despite having to move the entire program online. To watch one of the videos produced for participation in The Learning Alliance’s “Moonshot Summer Academy” visit:

Space Coast Symphony brings great music to our community. There is no substitute for a live orchestral performance, but while concerts and community activities are on hold, you can still find ways to enjoy and support your Symphony. Even though we can’t be with you at the concert hall right now, enjoy videos from our incredible musicians in how they’re keeping the music alive at home. We encourage you to TIP the musician (will go directly to the musicians).

Vero Beach Art Club presents Virtual Art Classes every Thursday 1-4:00 PM via Zoom, in a variety of subjects and mediums. July 9th Virtual Art Class is conducted by Judy Burgarella. For more informations & to register visit :

Vero Beach Art Club’s New Virtual Exhibit EXHIBIT & SALE EXTENDED to June 30th, 2020. Enjoy browsing the virtual art gallery and purchasing an awesome artwork created by one of the club’s members. All artwork is for sale. Please be sure to check back each month for new artwork. Attention Artists to participate in the exhibit isit:

 Vero Beach Museum of Art features Museum Extras designed and developed to provide the opportunity for our members, patrons, and visitors to stay connected with us during this time of disconnect. The page provides inspiring educational tours and insights into our exhibitions and permanent collection. Offering entertaining film content on an artist or period, art tutorials and engaging stories and art projects for tiny tots.  Updated weekly, the VBMA encourages visitors to connect with us regularly online and explore these new resources.

  • Mondays Anke’s Art Moment

Weekly short videos highlighting works in our collection or exhibitions hosted by VBMA Senior Curator, Anke Van Wagenberg.

  • VBMA Tuesdays Flick Pick

To educate and entertain, Film Studies coordinator Diane Thelen recommends a new film each Tuesday on an artist or time period related to the VBMA’s permanent collections.

  • Museum Stories

To keep active young minds engaged, we present a creative lesson plan with suggestions of books, music, and art-making for babies and toddlers.

  • Art Tutorials

A short weekly art-making tutorial with Museum Art School faculty.

  • Museum Fun

A fun collection of Museum related photos, moments, social media and more.



The Cultural Connection with WILLI MILLER. New Time: Sundays at 8pm on the Treasure Coast on WQOL 103.7 FM. Hear a replay at

Kids Art Camps with Art Works

Every week through the end of July. Monday-Friday, AM & PM sessions. Engage your children with these exciting art camps! Studio is sanitized according to CDC standards and small groups allow for social distancing. Each child uses a set of tools dedicated only for them. All materials and supplies are included in the camp fee. Call 772-907-5128 for availability and to reserve your spot.

Private Art Lessons with Art Works

Discover your new passion! One on one lessons allow for social distancing while still giving you guidance, instruction, and feedback that you can’t get from a virtual course! Lessons are customized for your needs and beginners to advanced students are welcome. Mediums include acrylic or watercolor painting, graphite or pastel drawing, and mixed media such as plaster and sand. Call 772-907-5128 to reserve your spot.

BALLET VERO BEACH is honored to report being the recipient of a prestigious national grant fromThe Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation’s P/Arts Program. This $25,000 grant (the maximum awarded to applicants of the program) will be used to continue their work with TLA as they revamp the free Student Matinee Series with an eye on combating the early literacy crisis in our area. To read more about the P/Arts Program and the Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, visit :

Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation announces the writing contests’ winners “What Covid 19 means to Me” For details of the winners visit :

Environmental Learning Center

Due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Florida and in Indian River County, the ELC will be closing their indoor facilities beginning June 29, however the outdoor campus will remain open.

Temporary Admission Updates: FREE admission for ELC members, $5 for adults 12 and up, Free for children under age 12. Visitors may pay online at www.DiscoverELC.orgor by texting ADMIT to 772-238-5424. The ELC has plenty of activities for guests to enjoy. Guests may register for a paid, guided experience.

The experiences available are pontoon boat tourswater-sports rentalsnature reikiwalking meditation in the butterfly garden and family lagoon island adventures! Masks will be required when interacting with ELC representatives.

The Environmental Learning Center is a 64-acre 501(c)(3) not-for-profit nature center whose mission is to educate, inspire and empower all people to be active stewards of the environment and their own well-being. The ELC serves the community through festivals and events, field trips, camps, youth and adult programming, outreach/virtual education and more. The campus includes native plant gardens, a gift and native plant store, boardwalks, kayaks, canoes, a pontoon boat, children’s play areas, facilities rentals for events, and many other amenities that help increase access and connection to nature for people of all ages. ELC is open 7 days a week. Visit or call 772-589-5050 for more info.

Call Open to Florida Resident Artists

The city of Clearwater, in partnership with the Public Art and Design Board and the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), is seeking three artists to install completed sculptures on the 400-600 blocks of Cleveland Street in Downtown Clearwater. Applications are due by noon (EDT) on Thursday, July 16, 2020, and the selected artists will be notified by August 24, 2020. Sculptures must be available for installation by September 30, 2020 and remain on display through March 2022. Applicants must be Florida residents and each of the three artists will be awarded a $3,000 honorarium for the loan of the art.

Sculpture360 is a rotating exhibition of temporary artwork and is part of the Clearwater Public Art and Design Program. The exhibition is entering its tenth season and is supported through contributions from the City’s Public Art Fund and partnerships with other local donors and organizations. The artwork will be displayed at three locations in Downtown Clearwater and are all highly visible to pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The artwork will be displayed for 18 months and is entering its tenth season. This call is open to Florida resident artists and teams of artists with professional experience in temporary sculpture exhibitions and public art.

Those interested are asked to submit the following items:

  • A one-page resume or short bio
  • 2-4 photographs of eligible sculptures, with details such as name, materials, and dimensions
  • Contact information for 2 references from past installations

To submit your work, contact Christopher Hubbard at or (727) 562-4067.


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