The Cummer Museum of Art &Gardens has engaged WLA Studios of Athens, Ga., as a consultant on the reconstruction of its historic gardens, which were damaged during Hurricane Irma. WLA is the lead consultant for the National Park Service in the Southeast and led restoration efforts at the Reynolds House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, N.C., and master planning for the MeLeod Plantation in Charleston, S.C. WLA’s president, Keyes Williamson, held horticultural positions at Old Salem in Winston-Salem and at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, in Charlottesville, Va., and was executive director of the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum in Knoxville, Tenn.
To help pay for the reconstruction, the Cummer is holding a series of fundraising dinners. The first, La Dolce Vita: An Italian Dinner Party, which will take place Thursday, is already sold out. VIP tickets are also sold out for Feb. 15’s British Invasion: An English Dinner Party and March 15’s “South” Hampton: A New York Dinner Party. But General and Young Professional tickets remain available to both. Go to bit.ly/2Cydv5m to purchase tickets to either dinner or to purchase a two-ticket package for both dinners.
FLORIDA CHAMBER MUSIC PROJECT PERFORMS
The Florida Chamber Music Project will perform the second concert of its fifth season at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, 1050 A1A N., Ponte Vedra Beach. The concert will feature Italian music for string quartets by Boccherini, Puccini, Nino Rota and Wolf. Tickets, which are $25, can be purchased by going to www.pvconcerthall.com or calling (904) 209-0399.
Before the concert, at 2:30 p.m., Will Howery will talk about the Italian Renaissance influence on violin making. In 2008, Howery, after a 30-year career in the tech industry, began studying and training with master violin makers throughout the U.S. His studio is located in Fernandina Beach where he plays violin in the Amelia Island String Ensemble.
MOCA WILL HOST TWO RECEPTIONS THURSDAY
The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, 333 N. Laura St., will hold joint receptions Thursday for two new exhibits that showcase its relationship with the University of North Florida.
“Unverified,” which is curated by UNF professors of photograph Kally Malcom and Alexander Diaz, consists of works that question the idea of a photograph as an objective document. The reception, coordinated by UNF professor Jim Draper, will take in the UNF Gallery.
“Circumvolve: Narratives and Responses to Life Cycles” is a painting series by MOCA’s UNF artist-in-residence Rachel Huff Smith, who explores the experience of new motherhood coinciding with the deaths of her mother and grandmother.
Both receptions will be from 6-8 p.m. All museum galleries will be open until 9 p.m. Cocktails will be served at the museum’s bar and NOLA MOCA will be open for dining.
‘LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO’ AT THEATRE JAX
Alfred Uhry’s “The Last Night of Ballyhoo,” winner of the 1997 Tony Award for best play, opens Friday at Theatre Jacksonville, 2032 San Marco Blvd. It’s December of 1939, “Gone with the Wind” is opening, Hitler’s armies are overrunning Poland, but the Freitag family is far more focused on Ballyhoo, the social event of the season for Atlanta’s Jewish population.
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Jan. 27, with 2 p.m. matinees on Sunday, Jan. 21, and Sunday Jan. 28. Tickets are $26 with $21 tickets available to seniors, student and military on Thursdays and Sundays. They can be purchased at www.theatrejax.com or by calling (904) 396-4425.
‘THE PILLOWMAN’ AT AMELIA COMMUNITY THEATRE
Martin McDonagh’s dark thriller “The Pillowman” opens Friday at the Amelia Community Theatre, 209 Cedar St., Fernandina Beach. Shows are at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday through Jan. 20 with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Jan. 14. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students through college. They can be purchased at www.ameliacommunitytheatre.org or by calling (904) 261-6749.
5 &DIME PRESENTS EVENING OF SONG
The 5 &Dime Cabaret Series will present “The 5 &Dime LIVE! An Evening of Song — Modern Musicals” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14. Tickets to the event, which takes place at 112 Adams St., are $25. They can be purchased at bit.ly/2qeGNRq.
JACKSONVILLE SYMPHONY AT UNF
The Jacksonville Symphony will perform “Hooked on Classics” at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Lazzara Performance Hall in UNF’s Fine Arts Center, 1 UNF Drive. The symphony’s associate conductor Nathan Aspinall will lead the orchestra in performances of Dvorak’s Symphony N. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, better know as “From the New World;” Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain;” and Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.”
Tickets can be purchased by going to www.JaxSymphony.org or calling (904) 354-5547. UNF student, faculty and staff tickets are $15. General admission is $50. VIP tickets, which include an after-concert reception with members of the orchestra, is $75. The reception includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks.
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