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Image: Jiha Moon’s exhibit, mennellomuseum.org
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Jiha Moon’s exhibit “Double Welcome” at the Mennello Museum of American Art


Atlanta-based Korean artist Jiha Moon’s new show at the Mennello Museum explores the complexities of cultural exchange. “Double Welcome” mashes up traditional folk art forms and pop-culture iconography from the East and West, combining media as disparate as Korean Hanji fabric and neon acrylic paint. Sometimes one symbol works double duty – like the peach, the official fruit of Moon’s adopted home state of Georgia and a potent symbol of prosperity in Korea. “Double Welcome” was brought to the Mennello by museum director Shannon Fitzgerald as part of a strategy to make the museum more inclusive. Although the official name of the institution is the Mennello Museum of American Art, Fitzgerald wants everyone to know it’s not just about mom …
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Image: David Begnaud/Twitter, border patrol @CBP showing the McAllen, Texas detention facility.
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

After Trump signed an executive order it’s still not clear how immigrant children will be reunited with their parents


Eli García traveled down to Homestead last weekend to turn fear into power. As one of hundreds of thousands of youth using the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), García innately understands the terror of being undocumented. That feeling was heightened as more details emerged about a Trump administration policy that separated about 2,300 undocumented children from their immigrant parents. Trump has since signed an executive order ending this policy, but it’s not clear yet how these children will be reunited with their parents. Although they were afraid, members of the Central Florida undocumented community and the Hope CommUnity Center drove down to a detention facility holding about 1,000 migrant children in Homestead to protest the conditions. Some people …
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Photo by Monivette Cordeiro, Betzy’s family, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

After surviving a hurricane, ‘Betzy’ Santiago Burgos strived to make it in Central Florida. Then she was murdered


In four days, Betzy Santiago Burgos and her two children would be homeless. That’s all the 43-year-old could think about after FEMA had given her the ultimatum that morning. In March, her case manager told her the federal agency was extending the hotel voucher program for Puerto Rican evacuees who fled the aftermath of Hurricane María until May 14. But now, on April 16, FEMA had reversed course. Santiago Burgos and about 40 other families staying at the Super 8 motel off Highway 192 in Kissimmee would be kicked out by April 20. In the parking lot of the Super 8 at a protest with other families, Santiago Burgos sobbed. She couldn’t find an apartment or cheap hotel she could …
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Photo by Robert Bartlett. Brandon Wolf, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Pulse Survivor Brandon Wolf and Multiple Community Groups to Rally at City Hall


On June 12, survivors of the mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse plan to grieve and remember the friends whose lives were stolen by a gunman. But on June 11, some of them plan to yell and chant at Orlando City Hall at a protest demanding an end to the epidemic of gun violence that cut short the hopes and dreams of 49 people two years ago. The rally organized by Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf and several community groups comes four months after a shooter killed 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Less than a month after the Parkland shooting, Gov. Rick Scott signed a $400 million measure that bans bump stocks, raises the minimum …
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Image: Orlando Weekly cover art, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

State of Florida has slashed Arts funding by 90 percent


Arts funding from the state of Florida has gone down in the past four years. In 2015, the Legislature earmarked $43 million for cultural grants. Just three years later, in 2018, funding slid to $24 million. And that decrease by almost half is alarming – until you look at the 2019 budget. Then you see that slow downward drift plummet off a cliff. The most recent state budget is the highest in Florida’s history. It’s $88.7 billion (with a B). And for the arts and cultural grants program, our lawmakers have set aside: $2.6 million. Not $26 million, which would be a small increase over last year. No, the state has slashed funding by 90 percent. Another way of putting …
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Image: Photo via Publix on Facebook
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Shoppers continue to boycott Publix for supporting Adam Putnam


Is there a more beloved brand in Florida other than Publix? Probably not. The Lakeland grocery store chain has been conquering hearts since 1930 with its free cookies, chicken tender Pub Subs and heartwarming holiday commercials. There is a limit, though, to some Floridians adoration, and its name is the National Rifle Association. Shoppers have been threatening to boycott Publix this Memorial Day Weekend over the company’s support of Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam. Over the years, Publix has donated about $670,000 to the Agriculture Commissioner’s campaigns, which is a record amount to a single candidate for the chain. By supporting Putnam, though, Publix is supporting a candidate who touts himself as a “proud NRA sellout.” The Bartow politician has …
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Image: Orlando Weekly Cover: Stranger Fringe, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Orlando Fringe takes a deep dive into superheroes and sci-fi


Every May, the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival takes over Loch Haven Park. This year’s celebration of performance kicked off Wednesday and runs through May 28. More than 50,000 people will show up to to enjoy 130 shows, ranging from short plays to dance performances to musicals, magic, comedy, cabaret and some work that’s just impossible to label. As wide-ranging as Fringe is, the festival does have a common thread this year: as on the big and small screens, suddenly nerd culture is dominant. There are shows based on Star Wars, Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, the Walking Dead, and even the Muppets. The fandom focus can be attributed to a few different things: for one, Fringe …
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Image: Valencia College, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Valencia and Seminole State College adjunct professors scramble to make a living wage and now, they want a union


Jennifer Copp is at the end of her rope. The 46-year-old has two degrees in photography. She’s taught college students as an adjunct professor for about 14 years, giving lectures at various institutions across Central Florida. And yet, Copp only earns $18,000 to $19,000 a year in a career that offers her no benefits. She teaches two to four classes every semester at Seminole State College – but to make ends meet, she also adjuncts at nearby colleges and universities. Copp drives around less now because she has to take care of her 7-year-old daughter, who has special needs. To help pay the bills, Copp’s 80-year-old mother also teaches part-time at Seminole State. Copp and other adjunct professors at Seminole …
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