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Pulse, One Year Later: Turning To Art In Times Of Tragedy

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The Angels reprised their roles one year after the shooting at Pulse, protecting the club during an early morning vigil. Photo: Joey Roullette

Innumerable works of art in virtually all of its many forms were created in the aftermath of the Pulse shooting. There were – and are – projects and performances of all sizes and scales.

In the face of incomprehensible tragedy, people often look for answers, for some way to help, or at least for solace, in art.

That’s according to Jim Helsinger, Artistic Director of the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and the man behind perhaps the most visible symbol of artistic community response: the Angel Action Wings. Ten-foot wingspan, made of white fabric and PVC piping.

Helsinger and an army of volunteers first created and wore the wings to protect mourners at a Pulse victim’s funeral from protesters who’d flown in from Kansas to picket across the downtown Orlando street.

Helsinger talks about what he saw when he put on a pair of wings for the first time and walked toward the church.

The music featured in the special program “Pulse: One Year Later” was composed in response to the tragic shooting, by artists with ties to Orlando.

“Pulse” by Eli Lieb & Brandon Skeie


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Nicole Darden Creston

About Nicole Darden Creston

All Things Considered Host and Reporter

Nicole came to Central Florida to attend Rollins College and started working for Orlando’s ABC News Radio affiliate shortly after graduation. She joined WMFE in 2010. As a field reporter, news anchor and radio show host in the City Beautiful, she has covered everything from local arts to national elections, from ... Read Full Bio »