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Leaps & Bounds

If you’ve been near the St. John’s Town Center recently, you’ve likely noticed a new tenant: ART See and Shop. This 4,000 square foot pop-up store and gallery has been a second home for local artists of all stripes—from actors to graphic designers and glass artists—since October 29. This is the type of work the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville has been working on throughout 2019 and which Executive Director Joy Young hopes to build on in 2020.

“As Cultural Council, we need to be limber enough [and] nimble enough to take on those kinds of opportunities in partnership with the artists and with, in this case, the Markets at Town Center,” Young said.

The organization has recently experienced its fair share of challenges. In 2018, its former executive director abruptly resigned, its collaboration manager left, and the community questioned the future of the entire operation. But every challenge offers new opportunities, and that’s exactly what Young looked forward to when she arrived in Jacksonville.

In November of 2018, the Cultural Council’s search committee unanimously chose Young, then based in South Carolina, as its next leader. In the months leading up to February 2019, Young attended board meetings, began building relationships with staff members, and gained a greater understanding of the organization and its impact on the community.

“That was one important step in paving the way to success, so that when I arrived, I arrived with some background information that I might not have had, had I not done that pre-work, if you will,” Young said.

During her first four months at the Cultural Council, Young focused on strengthening the organization’s relationship with the city. Her experience and connections allowed her to bring in new faces with national experience in project management and design.

By the summer, Young was helping the Cultural Council turn its attention to a new project, LEAP, which highlighted Jacksonville’s art programs, projects, professionals and partnerships.

“LEAP was scheduled to start with State of the Arts Creative Jacksonville. We were going to do public art tours on bikes, on buses and walking and then ending with our arts awards,” Young said. “Leap leapt. However, Hurricane Dorian got in the way of the true bounds I was hoping we would have made during those four days.”

This event ended September 7, but the ideas woven into it are something Young says the Cultural Council will incorporate as it continues to plan for 2020.

Before coming to Jacksonville, Young served in leadership positions within the South Carolina Arts Commission for 14 years. During that time, she learned how various cities take care of their art communities. According to Young, Jacksonville does not have “the same level of corporate support for its local art agencies.” However, the 28 organizations that the Cultural Council serves experience a good bit of support from business communities and individuals.

To be clear, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville is not part of local government. It works with the City of Jacksonville as it relates to Art in Public Places and the Cultural Service Grant Program.

“I would like to say that the City of Jacksonville has been an amazing partner to the Cultural Council and we are incredibly grateful to them. We are incredibly grateful to all of the people who have supported me and who have supported the Cultural Council through its downs and now through its ups,” Young said.

Those ups include a seven percent increase in the Cultural Service Grant Program budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. According to Young, the Cultural Council hasn’t experienced an increase in more than five years.

Young and her team have used these last couple of months to plan for the new fiscal year, which began October 1. In the near future, locals can look forward to a new art installation in Cuba Hunter Park. Jaxoscope will be installed across from the Florida Theatre before the end of 2019. The Cultural Center also plans to collaborate with other organizations to create a more robust calendar so that residents and tourists alike are more aware of and engaged in all that Jacksonville has to offer.

“Every arts organization produces a product that is consumable. We should think differently about who we’re targeting as our consumers, not just residents, but tourists and visitors,” Young said, “and I think there is a lot of potential in creating avenues and venues where we are setting our community of artists and arts organizations up for being part of that cultural tourism industry. That’s a great opportunity and something for the Cultural Council to delve into in the coming months and year.”

Evidence of the Cultural Council’s efforts are sprinkled around Jacksonville through entrepreneurial workshops, financial support for teachers, the newly retiled fountain in front of the Yates Building, the Skyway murals and the utility box wraps, which celebrate the musical history of Jacksonville.

“When you think about this city being the birthplace of the Negro National Anthem, ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ we must honor our artist community. When you think of this place being home to hip hop artists 95 South, Quad City DJ’s, the 69 Boyz—these artists are known internationally, and they’re from Jacksonville,” Young said. “And the Cultural Council has really worked hard to make sure that not just Jacksonville knows but the world knows by utilizing public art to memorialize these artists.”

According to Young, the arts and culture community in Jacksonville employs more than 1,400 people and is responsible for a return in economic value of more than 85 million dollars. The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville helps ensure individuals’ and organizations’ success, but it can’t do it without continued community support by donating, being involved and visiting places such as the ART See and Shop, which is open until December 20.

“I would want to urge the community to support arts and culture as audience members and to support arts and culture as producers themselves,” Young said. “You don’t have to be a professional to be an artist; you just have to create.”

Politics
Yoho the Yo-Yo

During his initial bid to represent the Third Congressional District of Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ted Yoho did everything but pinky swear that he would term-limit himself after eight years of service. Yoho was theatrically critical of then-incumbent Cliff Stearns, who made the same promise but then took up residence in Washington D.C. for 24 years. Yoho term-shamed Stearns and, in a viral ad campaign, depicted career politicians as “pigs at the trough.”

“... After eight years in Washington, I’ll come home,” Yoho promised. “If eight years was good enough for George Washington, it’s good enough for me.” When a Gainesville Sun reporter asked if he would keep that promise, Yoho said he could take it to the bank.

Now, Yoho is at least considering another term. While he claims that he has not yet decided whether to take the leap, he has already registered to run and has raised more than $70,000 since January, presently reporting nearly a quarter-million dollars in his campaign chest. (Oddly, according to campaign records, a large portion of his 2019 donations came from out of state, specifically New York.)

Although Yoho’s promise to leave Washington was not conditional eight years ago or at any time during his three consecutive bids for the seat, he now cites several reasons for going back to Washington. Above all, Yoho says, he wants to support Donald Trump by ensuring his seat remains in Republican hands, although the Democratic Party considers the district “unwinnable.” FL-03—which encompasses Clay County in addition to portions of Alachua, Bradford, Marion, Putnam, and Union counties—is largely Republican and has elected Republican representatives since 1988.

Most damning for Yoho is the fact that his critics and challengers are mostly Republicans. One contender, Judson Sapp is a Clay County businessman with deep ties to the Republican Party and the Trump White House. Sapp is on President Trump’s Election Finance Committee and has raised megadollars for the party. Amy Pope Wells is another Republican seeking Yoho’s seat. A third Republican challenger, Joseph Dallas Millado, was a congressional staffer for Yoho’s old nemesis, Rep. Stearns, as well as for Rep. Gus Bilirakis of Florida’s 12th District.

Another reason Yoho has given in for staying in D.C. is to support the president during the impeachment hearings. However, the hearings will no doubt have concluded long before the January 2121 start of a fifth Yoho term. And while he is a member of a committee overseeing the impeachment efforts and has a right to attend the hearings and be recognized, he told CNN News that he had not attended any of the hearings. When asked if he had read any of the transcripts from the hearings, Yoho said he has not. After his CNN appearance, Yoho received criticism and seems to be taking his duties more seriously.

Insiders say the real reason Yoho is breaking his promise is to buy time to groom a successor: Kat Cammack, his campaign manager and deputy chief of staff. Cammack is currently a political unknown, but sources say Yoho plans to put her front and center during his 2020 campaign and during his fifth term. By the time she runs in 2022, Yoho reckons she will be a known quantity and a strong contender. Further solidifying this contention is the fact that Cammack has purchased the domain names katforcongress.com, cammackforcongress.com and katcammack.com.

Some still believe Yoho will keep his word. Furthermore, it is not unusual for politicians to continue fundraising even if they decide not to run.  Campaign funds can always benefit the local, state or national parties or other candidates. Campaign funds can also be transferred to a future election campaign should the candidate decide to run for a different office. Funds can also be donated to charities but, more commonly, politicians donate to organizations that put their names on buildings as a living legacy for their egos.

Yoho has said he will announce his decision in January.  Inquiring minds want to know if he is a man of his word or if one online critic was correct in his assessment: “The trough is fine, as long as he’s the one feeding from it.”

Voices
Verse, Chorus, Verse

Here we are, back again with another round of cannabis-inspired tunes for your swell, swole playlist. By all means, keep the suggestions coming. Forever.

 

Buck Washington, “Save the Roach for Me” (1944): With a name like Buck Washington, you just know this man delivers the goods—literally. He is not to be confused with Buck Johnson, who has done a ton of songs for Disney teen movies, but you’re free to pretend if you want to. Actually, given the horseplay and tomfoolery that many child stars have been known to get into, it’s probably not that far-fetched to imagine aging Mouseketeers lounging with some elderly bluesman, extoling the virtues of second-hand smoke. Stranger things have happened (in some cases, recently).

 

Led Zeppelin, “Going to California” (1971): You could write a whole column (indeed, a whole book) about this band’s unique contributions to drug culture, but much of the material could not be printed in a family publication like Folio Weekly. “Spent my days with a woman unkind / Smoked my stuff and drank all my wine” is one of the great rhyming couplets of the era, in a song that’s kind of a gentle breeze amidst the hurricane-force sonic attack of Zeppelin’s infamous fourth album. Surely thousands of joints have been rolled on the album cover, followed by increasingly unhinged speculation about what it all means, man. As it turned out, California did become a home away from home for the band, but it was in Seattle where the real debauchery occurred. No comment on that.

 

Black Sabbath, “Sweet Leaf” (1971): Stop. Right now. Put this paper down, and boot up your computers. Go to YouTube and watch Black Sabbath’s gig at the Olympia Theatre in Paris, recorded on Dec. 20, 1970. I simply cannot express my love for this performance without using lewd emojis. Witness one of the most important bands of all-time at their absolute peak. The British rock scene was all about the heavy blues in those days, and arguably no one—not even the mighty Zep—got quite as heavy as Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward. The coal dust of Birmingham is sediment in the grooves in the vinyl. The first and best song on Master of Reality, “Sweet Leaf,” is an oddly beautiful love song to cannabis, written at a time when that (and whiskey) were Ozzy’s only real vices. All of that would change, quickly, and the rest is history, but my gosh, what a run they had!

 

Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau, “Pakalolo” (1978): This band dominated the Hawaiian music scene in the 1970s and ‘80s. The ensemble is best-known as the original band of Israel “Bruddah Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole (1959-1997), whose iconic version of “Over the Rainbow” is guaranteed emotion-bait, on par with the Jeff Buckley version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” The title is Hawaiian slang for marijuana, and the song would have been familiar to future president Barack Obama, who spent much of his early life there. He was a high school junior at the time of the tune’s release. His high school crew was called the Choom Gang, which is also slang for marijuana. In fact, next time you’re lined up for one of his book signings (which will never, ever stop) just chant “pakalolo” at him. That wry, knowing smirk he gives you right before you’re forcibly removed from the room will be a truly priceless memory, guaranteed.

Living
DIY Doggie Treats

Everyone has his or her favorite holiday tradition. In my humble opinion, Hanukkah means two things: latkes and donuts. I’ll admit to enjoying a crunchy sweet potato latke (or two), especially with a slathering of applesauce. Many of us hold tight to our family’s holiday traditions, especially when it comes to food.

But beware! Most human holiday goodies can be harmful to pets. If you want a batch of healthy and dog-friendly treats, you might have to make it yourself. I’ve scoured the interwebs in search of the most nutritious and easy-to-create canine delicacies out there. Here’s the lowdown.

 

APPLE CARROT COOKIES

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup grated carrots

1 egg

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Mix ingredients together until dough forms.

3. Roll dough into small balls and place them on a cookie tray. Gently press down until the biscuits are about 1/4 inch thick.

4. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Let cool before serving.

 

FROZEN MINI DOG TREATS

Ingredients

5 ounces plain nonfat yogurt

1/4 cup fresh mint

1/4 cup honey

Directions

1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend thoroughly.

2. Using an ice cube tray, fill each slot about 3/4 full with the mixture.

3. Place in the freezer for 2 hours or until frozen all the way through.

4. Give to your dog for fresh breath and a great treat that also aids digestion.

 

GINGERBREAD DOG COOKIES

Ingredients

3 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 Tbsp. ground ginger

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup canola oil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325°F.

2. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves together. In a separate bowl, combine the molasses, water, and oil.

3. Pour the molasses mix into the flour and stir until well combined.

4. Roll out the dough until it’s about 1/2 inch thick.

5. Cut the dough into holiday or dog-related shapes.

6. Put the cutout dough on the cookie sheet.

7. Let them bake 20 minutes, cool and serve!

 

PEANUT BUTTER & BANANA BALL TREATS

Ingredients

1 ripe banana

3 tsp. peanut butter

1 1/2 cups of oats

Directions

1. Thoroughly mix the banana and peanut butter in a mixing bowl.

2. Take one teaspoon and make a ball.

3. Roll the ball in the oat for a delicious coating.

 

DOGGY EGGNOG

Ingredients

1/2 small banana

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup of coconut milk

Pinch of cinnamon

Directions

1. Place all ingredients in your food processor or blender and mix until smooth and creamy.

2. Serve immediately!

 

Many human eggnog recipes use grated nutmeg. NEVER give your dog nutmeg. Nutmeg is toxic to dogs and high levels can be fatal. Remember to keep your spices and foods that contain nutmeg well out of your pup’s reach.

 

Winter holidays are a great time of year to try your hand at homemade dog treats. These sweet treats are perfect when you need a pinch of holiday spirit and a sprinkle of festive fun!

Freewill Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Nobody knows really what they’re doing,” says comedian Conan O’Brien. “And there are two ways to go with that information,” he continues. “One is to be afraid, and the other is to be liberated, and I choose to be liberated by it.” Be inspired by O’Brien’s example in the coming weeks. Shed your worries, and you’ll trigger an influx of genius. Declaring your relaxed independence from the temptation to be a know-it-all will bless you with expansive new perspectives and freedom to move.

 

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Creativity expert Roger von Oech tells us, “Everyone has a ‘risk muscle.’ You keep it in shape by trying new things. If you don’t, it atrophies. Make a point of using it at least once a day.” The coming weeks will be an excellent time to whip your risk muscle into better shape. Start with small, modest risks, and gradually work your way up to bigger and braver ones.

 

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Many people engage in laughably feeble attempts to appear witty by being cynical—as if by exuding sardonic irony and sneering pessimism they could prove their mettle as brilliant observers of modern culture. I bring this to your attention in the hope of coaxing you to avoid indulging in gratuitous pessimism during the coming weeks. For the sake of your good health, it’s important for you to be as open-minded and generous-spirited as possible. And besides that, pessimism will be unwarranted.

 

CANCER (June 21-July 22): “You can shop online and find whatever you’re looking for,” writes pundit Paul Krugman, “but bookstores are where you find what you weren’t looking for.” That’s a good principle to apply in every area of your life. It’s always smart to know exactly what you need and want, but sometimes—like now—it’s important that you put yourself in position to encounter what you need and want but don’t realize that you need and want.

 

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Bachianas Brasileiras is a nine-part piece of music that blends Brazilian folk music with the compositional style of Johann Sebastian Bach. The poet Anne Sexton relied on it, letting it re-play ceaselessly during her long writing sessions. My painter friend Robin sometimes follows a similar method with Leonard Cohen’s album, Ten New Songs, allowing it to cycle for hours as she works on her latest masterpiece. I invite you to select a new theme song or collection of theme songs to inspire your intense efforts in behalf of your labors of love in the coming weeks. It’s a favorable time to explore the generative power of joyous, lyrical obsession.

 

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “I’ve spent my life butting my head against other people’s lack of imagination,” mourned musician Nick Cave. I suspect you will be endowed with an extra fertile imagination in the coming weeks, and I would hate for you to waste time and energy trying to make full use of it in the presence of influences that would resist and discourage you. Therefore, I’ll cheer you on as you seek out people and situations that enhance your freedom to express your imagination in its expansive glory.

 

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):A scholar counted up how often the Bible delivers the command “Fear not!” and “Don’t be afraid!” and similar advice. The number was 145. I don’t think that approach to regulating behavior works very well. I prefer author Elizabeth Gilbert’s strategy. She writes, “I don’t try to kill off my fear. I make all that space for it. Heaps of space. I allow my fear to live and breathe and stretch out its legs comfortably. It seems to me the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back.”

 

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Isaac Newton was one of history’s most influential scientists and a key contributor to physics, astronomy, mathematics and optics. His mastery of the nuances of human relationships was less developed, however. He had one close friendship with a Swiss mathematician, though he broke it off abruptly after four years. He even refused to even meet the brilliant French philosopher Voltaire. I trust you won’t do anything like that in the coming weeks. In fact, I urge you to be extra receptive to making new acquaintances, accepting invitations, and expanding your circle of influence.

 

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): How did humans figure out that a luxurious fabric could be made from the cocoons of insect larvae? Ancient Chinese sage Confucius told the following story. One day in 2460 B.C., 14-year-old Chinese princess Xi Ling Shi was sitting under a mulberry tree sipping tea. A silk worm’s cocoon fell off a branch and landed in her drink. She was curious, not bothered. She unrolled the delicate structure and got the idea of using the threads to weave a fabric. The rest is history. I foresee a silk-worm’s-cocoon-falling-in-your-cup-of-tea type of event in your future. Be alert for it.

 

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):“It is the soul’s duty to be loyal to its own desires,” wrote author Rebecca West. “It must abandon itself to its master passion.” That’s a high standard to live up to! But then you have the potential to do just that: become the champion of devoting practical commitment to righteous causes. How are you doing in your work to embody the ideal that Rebecca West articulated? Is your soul loyal to its deepest desires? Has it abandoned itself to its master passion? Take inventory—and make any corrections, if necessary.

 

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I would never try to talk you into downplaying or denying your suffering. I would never try to convince you that the pain you have experienced is mild or tolerable or eminently manageable. But in the coming months, I will ask you to consider the possibility that you have the power—perhaps more than you realize—to diminish your primal aches and angst. Dream of healing yourself in ways that you have previously imagined to be impossible.

 

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “You owe it to us all to get on with what you’re good at,” wrote poet W. H. Auden. In other words, you have a responsibility to develop your potential and figure out how to offer your best gifts. It’s not just a selfish act for you to fulfill your promise; it’s a generous act of service to your fellow humans. According to my analysis, you should be right in the middle of raising your efforts to a higher octave; you should be discovering the key to activating the next phase of your success—which also happens to be the next phase of your ability to bestow blessings on others.

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