Venetian Arts Events

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Singer Jackie Ryan led off an exciting program of 2015 events for The Venetian Arts Society during a recent concert at Ft. Lauderdale’s Museum of Art.

“I was always singing, but I never took lessons,” Ryan told the audience. “My mother sang in a theatre in Guadalajara- everytime I do a Spanish song I think of my mother.”

She performed the classic 1929 Cuban song Siboney for the first time at the Ft. Lauderdale event, but the vocal tour de force of the evening was her closing number, Red Top, first recorded by Lionel Hampton in 1947. She was accompanied on some numbers by a pair of professional dancers, who are shown in the photo with Ms. Ryan on stage.

Along with other jazz hits like It’s Just the Gypsy in My Soul, What A Difference A Day Makes, and You Is My Woman Now from Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, Ryan captivated the audience with her vocal mastery. It was also educational, as she introduced the famous song Accentuate The Positive with an historical anecdote.

“I recently heard the song performed by Johnny Mercer, who wrote the lyrics, but it had an introduction I had not known before. With it, the song made more sense. Mercer wrote the lyrics after hearing a sermon by Rev. Divine, all about the New Thought Movement, now known as positive thinking.”

Positive thinking is also behind the new way forward for the Venetian Arts Society. Founder William Riddle told the audience the organization is expanding its mission to “nourish the soul and spirit of Broward County” with a fundraising program to benefit cancer research. This will be explored further in another article for the Sun News Miami.

Upcoming events that should not be missed begin on Feb. 26 when famed opera star Virginia Zeani presents two Romanian opera stars. This will also be held at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale.

An Art Salon Social will be held Mar. 12 at the Woman’s Club on Andrew Avenue, featuring Gail Smith on piano.

And on Apr. 23 R&B artist Alfreda Gerald will perform at the Museum of Art.

For further information on all these events, visit the website:

Clifford Cunningham

Dr. Clifford Cunningham is a planetary scientist. He earned his PhD in the history of astronomy at the University of Southern Queensland, and has undergraduate degrees in science and ancient history from the University of Waterloo. In 2014 he was named a contributor to Encyclopedia Britannica. He is the author of 14 books on asteroids and the history of science. In 1999 he appeared on the TV show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Asteroid 4276 was named in his honor in 1990 by the International Astronomical Union based on the recommendation of its bureau located at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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