The eighth annual Foo Foo Festival is distinguished by a few anniversaries. The 12-day catalog of arts events, which runs from November 3-14, encompasses the 50th anniversary of the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival; the 40th anniversary of the Pensacola Opera House and the 10th anniversary of the “Stamped LGBTQIA+ Film Festival”.
“This year’s Foo Foo is shaping up to be one of our biggest years yet,” said Erica Benken, Giant Noise vice president: public relations, social media and events in San Antonio, Texas. “Based on the level of funding available this year, we were able to award funds to more organizations than ever before.”
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Arts, Culture and Entertainment, or ACE, a nonprofit that distributes funds to local arts organizations, has awarded more than $400,000 for the festival’s 12 signature events.
Where: Intendencia and Jefferson Streets
During the 2017 Foo Foo festival, non-profit promoter Friends of Downtown sponsored the “Umbrella Sky Project”, a month-long aerial display that generated a lot of buzz. “Bubble Alley” is a sequel to this project, but with thousands of reusable vinyl balloons.
“(They) wanted to continue the incredible popularity of the Umbrella Sky project with another colorful public art installation in the air,” explained Caron Sjoberg, CEO of Ideaworks, a local PR agency. “Adding to the appeal was that it could be a free event and it appeals to all age groups.”
“Unrequited” by Pensacola Little Theater
Three shows at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., Nov. 4-6, 8-9.
The PLT pulls out all the stops with this unique and immersive take on “Romeo and Juliet.”
“Foo Foo allows us to do theater outside of our domain,” said Ashley McGlothren, chief marketing officer of PLT.
“Unrequited” is inspired by “Sleep No More,” an acclaimed company whose home is a converted New York hotel whose “guests” act out Shakespearean scenes. The Pensacola iteration is a tour of the Cultural Center where Montagues and Capulets dance and duel.
“I’ve always wanted to take Shakespeare’s interactive, slightly creepy idea of ’Sleep No More’ and see what the incredible pool of talent here in Pensacola could do with it,” said McGlothren, who is also the director. “What better way to experience these themes than to walk through them with the characters?”
The one-hour performance/tour is for ages 21 and up only. Tickets are $50 (includes three drinks) and are available at the PLT box office, 400 S. Jefferson St.
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“Vandals to Vanguards” at the Pensacola Museum of Art
Nov. 4-11, 407 S. Jefferson St., free admission
The pop art movement of the 1960s served as a springboard for the fetishism of “street art”. This exhibition demonstrates this direct evolution, a continuous flow of appropriation of everyday objects and, eventually, public spaces, towards the fine arts.
“‘Vandals to Vanguards’ uses works from local collections to explore the intergenerational relationships between pop artists and current street artists,” explained Anna Wall, PMA’s chief curator. “Artists like Basquiat and Keith Haring collaborated with Warhol and incorporated his iconic imagery into their work. Contemporary street artists like Banksy and Mr. Brainwash frequently remix and reimagine pop art and early street artist themes for 21st century audiences.
The show opens with a free block party from 6-9 p.m. on November 4. Viewers can take it up a notch during “Art Factory Night” on November 10.
“The PMA is taking over Vinyl Music Hall for a special one-night-only event that merges music, video projections, live street art demonstrations and interactive art creation,” Wall said. “It’s meant to evoke the infamous parties at Andy Warhol’s factory.”
The themed bacchanalia includes screen printing, street art demos, performance art, a drag show and, of course, a DJ. 70s and 80s attire is encouraged, as is bringing a can, Warhol-style, to pass on to Manna Food Pantries.
Reservations are recommended at Pensacolamuseum.org
Schumann Symphony No. 3, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra
1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., November 5, Saenger Theater
The PSO interprets the “Splendours of the Rhineland” as well as “The Hebrides” by Mendelssohn and the “Scottish Fantasy” by Bruch. The guest performers are Rachel Lee Priday on violin and composer Michael Menturia for his work “Petra”. The concert is preceded by a live dress rehearsal at 1:30 p.m.
For a preview, attend a free public discussion between PSO conductor Peter Rubardt, Senturia, and Priday, at noon, November 4 at Maritime Place, 350 W. Cedar St., downtown.
Tickets: dress rehearsal – $5, performance – from $23 plus fees
7:30 p.m., November 5, Hunter Amphitheater at Maritime Park, free
All banjo jokes are definitely buried by Bela Fleck, who racked up 16 Grammys in her storied career.
“Bela Flack has been one of the finest banjo performers for decades across all genres of music – jazz, classical, jazz and bluegrass,” said Dale Riegle, who chairs the GGAF Main Stage.
This bayside concert, “Bela Fleck My Bluegrass Heart”, is part of the 50th anniversary of the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival.
No tickets required for admission, ggaf.org
The Little Universe of Karl Denson
6 p.m., November 7, Vinyl Music Hall, 2 Palafox Place
Saxophonist on tour with the Rolling Stones, Karl Denson is at the head of a 7-member group that fuses jazz, funk, soul, blues and rock. The promising act of 3 brothers, AC3, is the opening.
Presented by Jazz Pensacola, tickets are $25, jazzpensacola.com
“Music City Hit Makers: The Songs, Their Stores, A Symphony”
6:30 p.m., November 8, Saenger Theater
A trio of Nashville songwriters – Jon Nite, Rivers Rutherford and Brett James – will perform their own works with backup from the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. Expect an evening of storytelling, comedy and music from their library of nearly 50 No. 1 hits.
Proceeds will go to the Frank Brown International Foundation.
Tickets start at $29 plus fees at ticketmaster.com
“Out of the House Party” by Second City Touring Company
7 p.m., November 9, PSC Ashmore Auditorium
Touring company from Chicago’s one and only comedy proving ground, Second City, brings “Out of the House Party” for a memorable evening of skits and improv where “laughs (but not masks!) are mandatory “.
Tickets from $7, free for PSC students, pensacolastate.edu
“Hand Born Jive; A ‘Grease’ to sing with Thunder Road
7-9:30 p.m., Nov. 10, Rex Theater, 18 N. Palafox St.
The Choral Society of Pensacola presents this interactive throwback based on the beloved ’50s musical, “Grease.” Leather jackets, poodle skirts and leather loafers are expected. The screening is accompanied by a costume contest and a display of classic cars on Palafox Street parked by the Panhandle Cruisers Club.
Tickets start at $10, choralsocietyofpensacola.org
“STAMPED: LGBTQIA+ Film Festival”
5-9pm, Nov 10-11; All day, November 12; 1 to 4 p.m., November 13. Pensacola Little Theater
This four-day celebration of diversity includes a guest list of notable actors, writers, producers and directors. The keynote is Tituss Burgess who played the hapless hero Titus Andromedon in “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” The exclusive evening includes a Q&A with the audience and a chance to win dinner with Burgess at Jackson’s Steak House in a $10 raffle. Other guests include Del Shores, Fiona Dawson and Mercury Stardust. The bulk of the 10th annual film festival runs from November 11-12, culminating in a family version with children’s theater workshops and a story hour on November 13.
Free. Tickets required for some events. stampedfilmfest.com
“Forty Forward”, by the Pensacola Opera
6 p.m., November 12, Saenger Theater
In 1982, a grassroots effort created the Pensacola Opera, a welcome addition to the arts community. “Forty Forward” will commemorate its ruby anniversary with a concert featuring 16 singers, most of them from the PO’s Artist-in-Residence program, along with local singers and a few nationally known performers.
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“The ability for us to bring in singers, some of whom have international careers and others who are destined for great things in the future, is a luxury that would have been unfathomable 40 years ago,” Corey McKern said. , artistic director.
“Forty Forward” will also showcase the PO’s synergy with other local arts groups like the Pensacola Ballet and the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. The program will feature works from ‘Tales of Hoffman’, ‘Serenade to Music’, ‘La Boheme’, ‘La Rondine’, ‘Candide’ and more.
“I think this concert will be unlike anything the city of Pensacola has ever seen,” Mckern concluded.
Tickets start at $25, pensacolaopera.com
“Jazz for Justice”
1 p.m. until Nov. 13, Museum Plaza, free VIP tickets – $50
Legal Services of North Florida combines the 9th Avenue Brass Band and two New Orleans-based groups with artwork from Gallery Night and science demonstrations from Pensacola MESS Hall.
LSNF is a non-profit organization that provides access to courts for people with low incomes. See lsnf.org for more information.
Friends of Foo Foo
In addition to the 12 subsidized events, the Foo Foo festival tent extends to a number of independent complementary events. Here is a sample:
“Moda! by Pensacola Opera House
6 and 8 p.m., November 3, Vinyl Music Hall, $50
The Pensacola Opera Parade for an evening of fashion, music and visual arts. The digs will be transformed by Shannon Pallin of Fiore while the show is hosted by Julia Ussery of Scout. Jarvis Derrell of VH1’s “Jarvis in the Elevator” is the MC while DJ Dad covers the beats.
“American Mariachi” – by PenArts
7:30 p.m., November 3-5; 2:30 p.m., Nov. 6, The Gordon Community Center, 306 N. DeVilliers St.
The city’s newest theater company, PenArts, presents this new play by Jose Cruz Gonzalez at their base in Belmont DeVilliers.
“It’s a universal story of family, love and tradition,” said artistic director Christine Kellogg. “It’s a story that most people will relate to in some way.”
Tickets start at $15. Penarts.org
The Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival
November 4-6, Seville Square
More than 200 artists-jurors, Heritage Arts, a children’s festival and a full program of performances come together for the 50th year of GGAF.
38th Annual Frank Brown Songwriters Festival
Nov. 3-13, various locations and times
Songwriters and musicians perform together at various venues along the Florida-Alabama coast in what has become an anticipated annual tradition.
More than a dozen other events fill the Foo Foo calendar. See foofoofest.com for more details.