Arts Night, Oliver, shop re-opening and wreaths welcome holidays

By Gloria Burns….

Nancy Martini displays one of her recycled art pieces at the First National Bank of South Miami and is pictured her with the Bank’s Vice President, Rene Aldonza.

On November 12, South Miami’s Art Night, second of the season, brought a crowd to the courtyard of the First National Bank of South Miami, event headquarters where participants picked up their maps for the walk that included touring downtown shops and viewing displayed art… At the same time, sponsors and assorted VIPs gathered for a reception at the Bank to celebrate the “Unveiling of the Manatee” to kick off the upcoming Manatee Fest, a public art display in South Miami (patterned after the flamingos, cows and assorted other animals decorated by artists in other cities). The Manatee unveiled was unadorned and will be one of many painted by local artists and later installed on private properties and public sidewalks for all to enjoy. Among the artists at the reception was Nancy Martini whose beautiful art collection made entirely from recycled and up-cycled materials is an inspiration to all. Martini hopes sponsors will enable her to take her art on tour, demonstrating how recycling has many forms and advantages.

“Oliver,” another smash hit for Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre opened last week with preview shows, opening night party and performance on Friday, November 19t with several VIPs and sponsors on hand to enjoy the show. Cruz Santiago, student at St Peter & Paul Catholic School who took the role of Oliver on opening night is a young talent with a voice that will break your heart for clarity and beauty. Many may remember his part in “Les Miserables” last season. Santiago shares the lead role during the run with firsttime Actors’ performer, Sam Schechter, who attends Beth Am, another hidden talent sure to delight audiences. David Arisco and Barbara Stein continue to uncover major talent in South Florida and “Oliver” will thrill audiences with its cast of Actors’ favorites including Gary Marachek, Ken Clement, Shane Tanner, Amy Miller Brennan, and Elizabeth Dimon. This is a magical cast, all of whom can bring belly laughs and tears and everything in between with their shear talent.

Tickets are $42 for week nights and matinees. Friday and Saturday night tickets are $50. Ask about special prices for students, seniors and groups. For more information or tickets, call 305 444-9293 or go online to

Congratulations to Joan Reitsma who recently reopened The Giving Tree at 248 Giralda in Coral Gables after flooding forced her to close for one year. A retired school teacher, Reitsma is well known for her support of a variety of local non-profits including the Junior Orange Bowl Committee, May Van Sickle Dental Clinic, and Rotary Club. She recently held a grand re-opening party attended by local dignitaries and plans several more receptions to welcome back customers who have shopped there for yarns, collectibles and gifts for literally any occasion.

Finally, the holiday season has come and once again the Adrianne Arsht Performing Arts Center kicks off the season with four magnificent Christmas wreaths at the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House. The wreaths, a gift from Rick, Margarita and Steven Tonkinson, bring a certain festive air to the Opera House from a family that has a history of supporting the performing arts.

Until next time, keep making each day count. If you would like to submit information for this column, please send your news via e-mail to

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About the Author

Gloria Burns
A graduate of the University of Florida with a major in Spanish, Burns has an extensive background in advertising, marketing and reciprocal trade, travel as well as non profit consulting and management. Burns' volunteer activities led her to become a columnist writing Gloria’s Gab, a column that focuses on the non-profit activity. Burns was Executive Director of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee for 6 years and then served as the first Executive Director of Coral Gables Community Foundation for 14 years after which she helped the emerging Community Foundation of Pinecrest. Active in many non profits, she received the 2015-16 President's Best Member Award from the GFWC Coral Gables Woman's Club, 2012-13 CGWC Leadership Award, 2012-2013 Rotarian of the Year Award as RCCG Public Relations Chair and Fund raising Co-Chair, 2011 Florida Federation of Women’s Club Volunteer of the Year for the District 11 and honored by the City of Doral as one of their first recipients for the Doralian Women's Award. Among her list of current responsibilities, Burns co-chairs two annual student recognition breakfasts for the Coral Gables Friends of Education; helps coordinate charity partners for the Westin Colonnade's Annual Give Kids the World Breakfast; serves on the board of directors of Doral Business Council; is Parliamentarian and serves on the board of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club; serves the board of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables and is Publicity Chair; and is a member of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee. Gloria is also an active member of the Music Ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church where sings sings in the choir. She can be reached at

1 Comment on "Arts Night, Oliver, shop re-opening and wreaths welcome holidays"

  1. Not only does Art in Public bring art to people who might not go to an art gallery or art museum, especially students, it gives us a venue to unite as a community. I hope that through this project more people learn and understand the benefits and importance of public art.Thank you for posting this article and the awareness it will bring.

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