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COLUMN

Live Active Cultures

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On a more serious note, I’m thankful I had a chance to know some of the amazing people who left our arts community in the past year. Some, like United Arts CEO Margot Knight and radio reporter Katie Ball, moved away to follow their bliss. Others, like actress Kate Singleton and journalist Kelly Fitzpatrick, were taken far too soon, leaving me sad but reminding me to be grateful for this little time we are given.

Finally, I give thanks that, no matter how big Orlando grows, there’s still some space for the little guy. Last Friday night I was among a dozen patrons at Orlando Shakes for Five People Saying No, One Person Saying Yes, the debut of a production from the Roark Faction (theroarkfaction.org). The seven loosely connected segments in this multidisciplinary sampler were a bit scattershot and beset by technical stumbles. But you have to love the passion (or at least chutzpah) of young founders Samuel Butcher and Stephanie McMahon, who promise in their program notes to be “leading while others follow and screaming while others whisper.” As long as Orlando has ambitious youth with artistic urges – and accessible venues (including Urban ReThink, Stardust and Dandelion) where they can exercise them – I’ll remain thankful to be a citizen of the City Beautiful.

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