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First Coast Connect

4/6/2017: Duval Health Numbers; Janet Echelman; The Grass Is Dead

Thursday on “First Coast Connect” we talked about a recent report about Duval County’s health ranking drop in Florida with Duval County Medical Society CEO Bryan Campbell. Artist Janet Echelman joined the show to talk about her work being highlighted by the Jacksonville Cultural Council and he heard a live in-studio performance by bluegrass musicians The Grass is Dead.  

Duval Health Numbers

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released its annual county health rankings. The bad news for Jacksonville is Duval County has dropped to 55 on the list of 67 Florida counties. There are many reasons why Duval is not a healthy county but there’s a movement afoot to change that. Last year the Duval County Medical Society Foundation launched the 904 Mission One Million program encouraging Duval County residents to lose a collective one million pounds.   

Janet Echelman

Artist Janet Echelman said she found her true voice when her paints went missing. She had flown to India to teach painting when her materials were lost. It forced her to look to an unorthodox new art material. Now she makes building-sized sculptures that respond to environmental forces, including wind, water, and sunlight. Echelman is in town as part of Public Art Week. She gave a seminar Wednesday at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The Grass is Dead

The Grass is Dead have been adapting Grateful Dead songs in its own bluegrass style since 1998. Billy Gilmore, the last remaining founding member of the Grass is Dead has cultivated a dedicated fan base for many years throughout Florida.

They’re in town for a concert Saturday night at 1904 Music Hall.

Producer Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.