Planet Picks


Voices, Amplified For a community its size, the Bay area is blessed with a relatively large number of independent media, from punk-culture 'zines to online cyberhoods to a healthy, venerable, homegrown FM radio station. But are our highest-profile local news- and issue-oriented alternative outlets doing everything they should to represent as many of the region's disparate voices as possible? It's a question that's being asked more frequently, and more loudly, as mistrust of traditional mainstream (read: corporate) news sources continues to grow. The African People's Solidarity Committee — an activist group whose main role is to provide a liaison between the African-American Uhuru Movement and the white community — wants to know what you think. The committee has organized a town-hall meeting for 6:30 tonight in the John F. Germany Public Library's auditorium, including a panel discussion featuring representatives of media outlets from Uhuru newspaper The Burning Spear, worldwide grassroots news co-op IndyMedia, and WMNF. Following the panel's presentation, the floor will be opened for public discussion. The library is located at 900 N. Ashley Drive, downtown Tampa. For more information, contact the African People's Solidarity Committee at 727-894-6997.


Before Steroids, Satan The Salerno Theatre Company continues its inaugural season of Broadway hits with a production of the Tony award-winning musical Damn Yankees. The classic tale follows middle-aged baseball fanatic Joe Boyd, who trades his soul to the Devil for a chance to lead his favorite team to victory against the New York Yankees. As young baseball sensation Joe Hardy, he transforms the hapless Washington Senators into a winning team, only to realize the true worth of the life (and wife) he's left behind. The production includes well-known tunes like "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets" and "You Gotta Have Heart," as well as a special audience participation rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Directed by Michael Stramiello, Damn Yankees is the third endeavor by the new professional theater company and it promises to be oodles of fun. In keeping with Salerno's tradition of raising money for a different charity with each production, $1 from each ticket purchased will be donated to the Children's Make-A-Wish Foundation to help grant the final wishes of terminally ill children in the Tampa Bay area. The production runs for two weekends, 8 p.m. on Fri. and Sat. and 2 p.m. on Sun., Aug. 27 through Sep. 5. Tickets are $21 general admission, $18 for seniors (65 and over) and children 12 and under. For more information, visit or call 813-631-9430. Friday Morning Musicale Theatre, 809 W. Horatio St., Old Hyde Park Village, Tampa.

Card Sharks and Minnows Come check out the Florida Aquarium and place your bets on a fun evening as Ad 2 Tampa Bay transforms the place for an exciting Vegas-style Casino Night from 7 to 11 p.m. Get to know other students and young professionals while enjoying complimentary hors d'oeuvres, mingle at the cash bar (one free drink is included with admission), win prize giveaways and test your luck in a kickin' casino complete with genuine game tables and professional dealers. Lose your shirt? Take a break from the tables and cruise the beautiful underwater world of the aquarium. Don't forget to bring your poker face because this year, Casino Night features a No Limit Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament. Watch or compete as 70 contestants bluff their way to the $500 grand prize. (The top five players will also receive prizes.) Tickets for complimentary casino play (craps, black jack, roulette) are $20. If you wish to compete in the poker tournament, tickets are $75. Ad 2 Tampa Bay, Inc., an affiliate of the American Advertising Federation, is a nonprofit organization of advertising and marketing professionals under the age of 32. The organization provides both members and the community with quality educational programs, national award-winning public service campaigns, professional interaction, member employment services, fun-filled social events and much more. For more info, e-mail [email protected]. The Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813-273-4000.

Party (for) Animals V.M. Ferguson is a woman whose waking hours seem pretty much spoken for: When not working as an entomologist, cheerleading and fundraising for various conservation groups, attending various regional folk-art fairs, or shuttling back and forth between lives in Florida and North Carolina, she's busy creating realistic, largely wildlife-inspired drawings and etchings. Kind of makes your plan to clean out the magazine rack in your bathroom seem a little tame, doesn't it? The award-winning Ferguson regularly donates a portion of the proceeds of her showings' sales to various nonprofits, and her latest show is no exception. She's opening a new exhibition at Ruskin's Blue Ibis Art Gallery this evening from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m., and a percentage of the take is earmarked for the area's Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort. C.A.R.E. is the only shelter for abandoned and abused animals in Hillsborough County with a no-kill policy as part of its mandate. The collection at the Blue Ibis will remain in place until Sept. 17. In addition to the opening party and fundraiser, the artist will be on hand the following day, Saturday, Aug. 28, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The gallery's at 205 U.S. 41 S., Ruskin (813-645-2906).

Wet Subjects The USF Contemporary Art Museum presents two brand new exhibits: Burt Barr's Solid Water and Janaina Tschape's Blood, Sea. Barr, a New York-based artist, creates striking black-and-white video pieces out of common objects and everyday situations. At CAM, he exhibits a series of video projections with a water theme, produced from 1999 to 2004. In addition, he also features a new work, "Vee-Formation," constructed in response to the design of the gallery. New York- and Brazil-based artist Janaina Tschape works in a variety of media, including drawing, photography, film and installation. She utilizes the female body, transformed by her sculptural costumes and nature, to "explore the space between dreams and reality." For CAM, Tschape developed a new high-definition video installation filmed at Weeki Wachee Springs. The exhibition, curated by Jade Dellinger, includes related photographs, drawings and a series of new prints published by Graphicstudio. In addition, the two artists, along with writer and media specialist Michael Rush, speak at a symposium that features presentations and a discussion about the history of video medium seen from multiple perspectives, from its early practitioners to the present revolution of digital technology (6:30 p.m., USF Music Recital Hall [FAH 101]). The opening reception for the exhibit takes place this evening from 7 to 9 p.m. Continues through Oct. 9. USF Contemporary Art Museum (CAM 101), Tampa campus, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa. Call 813-974-4133 for directions.

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