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Richard Florida, Boogie Freaks, fire-dancers, aerialists and more join JU’s Urban-Chic “CFA Soiree” Nov. 16

By Phillip Milano

Get ready for everything from boogie to bawdy to best-selling urban author as Jacksonville University’s College of Fine Arts holds its 50th anniversary “CFA Soiree” Friday, Nov. 16, at The Museum at 160 Boulevard Center Drive.

The event, co-chaired by Irene Lazzara and JU alum Linda Berry Stein, will showcase a comprehensive display of arts with special guest, renowned urban studies theorist Richard Florida (http://www.richardflorida.com). Dress for the event is billed as “Urban Chic.”

“So amid the evening of art, drinking and dancing, Richard will deliver his message on the creative class and its connection to urban/economic development, which we hope can be leverage to advance our whole city,” said CFA Dean Bill Hill. “As a Jacksonville native and resident who returned here to raise a family, I am committed to support our city as a vibrant attraction to economic talent. Ten years ago, Richard Florida outlined a powerful framework for contemporary cities. I share his vision and am thrilled he will be here.” 


Richard Florida

In Richard Florida’s outlook, the factory is no longer necessarily the driver of an area’s economy. Instead, in a global economy, the key is a region’s creative capital. Cities thrive when they have this core asset. His three Ts (technology, talent and tolerance) only scratch the surface. 

“Jacksonville University is committed to elevating the ability of local talent through comprehensive academic programs,” Hill said. “We believe Jacksonville needs to attract, retain and grow its creative

capital through stronger education systems, respectful legislation and a strong quality of life.”

Along with celebrating the 50 years of the college, the event will recognize Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne, JU Past President and Chancellor Emeritus, who founded the College of Fine Arts and served as its Dean for 18 years and celebrates her 54th year in association with the university.

The event will feature live music from classical to jazz to disco, as well as electronic dance music under the stars. Its gallery will showcase 10 area visual arts, with a number of special performances throughout the evening. The soiree will offer valet parking, as well as several specialty bars and food stations by local restaurants. Maximum capacity for the event is 1,000, with a base ticket price of $100. Funds raised will be directed toward projects to enhance student learning. For more on the event, tickets, photos and artist bios, visit http://cfasoiree.ju.edu.

“This is really a chance to celebrate the rich history of the college founded by Dr. Kinne, which has brought so much culture to the community,” Hill said. “It’s impressive with the size of JU to have a College of Fine Arts that is so comprehensive and thriving in its art, music, dance and other programs.”

Starting with Kinne and continuing through to Hill, the college has hosted numerous notaries such as Duke Ellington, Linus Pauling and Bob Hope in the ‘70s, and more recently choreographer David Parsons, called “one of the great movers of modern dance” by The New York Times.

Continuing the celebration into next year, a collaborative student project is being planned for the downtown area March 6-8, 2013, in which an “immersive” production of opera, theater, dance and more will allow audience members to interact within the setting of the performance, Hill added.

“Fine arts has evolved from an emphasis on mainly technical performance into social engagement, in which the arts build the participation, dialogue and expression of the community,” he said. “So this will be a peek into a process in which audience members can see themselves in the work. They aren’t just digesting the performance, they take part in it.”

Wrapping up the events March 9 will be a performance by Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist Chris Potter, whose 1998 CD “Vertigo” was named one of the year’s top 10 jazz CDs by The New York Times. Potter will play in Terry Theater at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts.


Schedule of Events

Outer Deck

7:00 – 8:00 Charlie Walker

8:00 – 8:30 Molotov Cocktail

8:30 – 9:00 Richard Florida

9:00 -10:45 Boogie Freaks

10:45 – 12:00 DJ Malea

VARIOUS Elevated Aerial 

Naked Dolphin Lounge

6:50 – 7:00 Billie Marquee

7:00 – 7:25 JU Jazz Ensemble

7:25 – 7:40 Living Arts

7:45 – 7:55 Billie Marquee

8:00 – 8:25 JU Jazz Ensemble

8:25 – 8:40 Living Arts

9:00 – 9:20 JU Jazz Ensemble

9:20 – 9:30 Billie Marquee

10:00 – 11:00 Professor Whiskey 

Ink Parlor

6:30 – 10:30 Tattooing

9:15 – 9:45 Book Signing (Richard Florida) 


6:30 – 8:00 Cocktail Reception

9:45 – 10:00 Becca Levy 

Times Subject to Change 



Selected Performer Promotional Materials


Richard Florida

Florida is a Professor, University of Toronto and NYU; Senior Editor, The Atlantic. The Economist recently said that Richard Florida was “as close to a household name as it is possible for an urban theorist to be in America,” Esquire has included him on its annual list of “The Best and the Brightest,” and Fast Company dubbed him an “intellectual rock star.” He is author of several influential global best sellers, including the award-winning The Rise of the Creative Class, which 800-CEO-Read singled out as “one of the best business books of all time.” His latest book, The Great Reset, argues that long-term economic recovery turns on reinventing the way we live and work. A senior editor for The Atlantic, he writes frequently for major newspapers and appears regularly on CNN and other news broadcasts. TIME magazine recognized his twitter feed as one of the 140 most influential in the world. He is founder of the Creative Class Group, which works closely with cities, nations and companies worldwide. Florida is Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. He has taught at Carnegie Mellon University, and been a visiting professor at Harvard and MIT. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers College and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. 

Charlie Walker

With the passion of Damien Rice and the tranquil energy of Jack Johnson, Charlie Walker’s soulful ballads take you to a place that most artists never go. He has blended elements of blues soul and acoustic pop that keeps your ears open and your toes tapping. From childhood to now, Walker has never forgotten that making music comes from the heart. His passion and soulfulness are evident, as he will inevitably leave you wanting more. Walker’s sound brings back a taste of folk that is intertwined with the soulfulness and honesty of Sinatra. It’d be like mixing Cat Power and Ben Harper. Blending elements of blues, soul, organic simplicity, and a heartfelt connection with his audience, Charlie Walker’s energy/charisma will undoubtedly touch you. 

The Boogie Freaks

This is a full-blown “Vegas” style Disco show band that incorporates unique costuming, choreography, and character play. The Boogie Freaks are the life of every party and will keep the crowds up and dancing all night long! Sponsored by Jagermeister, the group has been seen at hundreds of club openings, festivals, corporate, and sporting events in many major cities around the United States. Take a trip back to the ‘70’s and experience the ultimate disco show band. 

DJ Malea

DJ/Aspiring Producer, Executive Assistant at Modern Media Collective, A&R at C.O.N. Records, Creator at Electric Pharmacy. 

Elevated Aerial

The product of a collaboration of two strong, determined women who share a love of alternative fitness styles and performing arts. Lynn Maxey, the pole pioneer and creator of the Mavens performance troupe, was the first to bring the art of pole dance fitness and professional pole performance to Jacksonville, FL. Her passion, hard work, and generous love tore down the walls of ignorance and created something so powerful and inspiring for women all over. She is a rock star and her legend with reign forever and continue! Brande Lee, the up and coming aerial artist, following in Lynn’s most inspirational footsteps, brings the added elements of aerial silks and hoop to the performance line up. She has trained across the nation and wishes to share her love for aerial arts and performance with others. Lynn Maxey and Brande Lee are ready to take fitness and performing arts to a whole new level! Elevated® is an aerial/dance performance troupe based in Jacksonville. We have performed at several locations across the state and are ready and willing to take on the world! We are a strong and dedicated group of women who want to share our love of dance and aerial arts with the community. We have experience in aerial silk, hoop/lyra, pole, and other different styles of dance. We perform for various venues and events. 

Molotov Cocktail Party

This is Jacksonville’s only professional fire performance group. We started in the Riverside area back in 2009. Fire Art is the essence of what we do. You will see an amazing mix of fire eating, fire breathing and fire dancing. Our fire performance uses many skill toys like poi, fire fans, batons, and fire hula hoop.  Our members have great skills and different styles of dancing that they bring together for an interesting program for people to enjoy. For us fire is a way of living, while enjoying life to the extreme. 

Living Art Performers Company

We are dedicated to providing professionally trained artists and enjoyable entertainment for any Corporate event, Parties and Special Occasion. Our Mime Artists, Living Statues, Human Mannequins deliver a performance you will not forget. 

Professor Whiskey’s Traveling Bizarre Bazaar

This is a vaudeville and burlesque troupe based in Jacksonville. Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of variety entertainment in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. Burlesque refers to performances in a variety show format. These were popular from the 1860s to the 1940s, often in cabarets and clubs, as well as theaters, and featured bawdy comedy and female striptease.