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First Coast Connect

10/26/2017: FEMA And SBA Hurricanes; 'The Florida Project; Holocaust Memorial; 'Grey Gardens'

Thursday on First Coast Connect, we spoke with Gerard Hammink from FEMA and Adrienne Laneave about what help is still available to those who suffered damage from Hurricane Irma (01:06).

We heard about the highly acclaimed movie “The Florida Project” with co-producer and Jacksonville native Kevin Chinoy (25:10).     

Jewish Family and Community Services Executive Director Colleen Rodriguez told us about a new Holocaust memorial to commemorate the organization’s 100th anniversary in Jacksonville (35:56).

Star Daniel Austin and choreographer Curtis Williams talked about the upcoming Theatre Jacksonville production of Grey Gardens (46:00). 



The deadline to file for help from FEMA due to Hurricane Irma is Nov. 9. You can apply onlineor call 800-621-FEMA. Before you try to contact FEMA make sure you have your social security number, address of the damaged home, business or apartment, a description of the damage, information about insurance coverage, a telephone number, mailing address and bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.   

‘The Florida Project’

It’s a buzzed-about new film portraying life on Florida’s economic fringe. ”The Florida Project”stars Willem Dafoe as a harried hotel manager on the outskirts of Disney World.

The people living in his hotel - the Magic Castle - are on society’s margins.

The story follows a single mom and her daughter, Moonee, who are both living at the Magic Castle.Like a lot of the kids at the hotel, Moonee isn’t always being properly supervised by her parents.

The movie is being talked about as one of the year’s best films. Seven-year-old Brooklynn Prince, who plays Moonee, is winning raves for one of the best child performances critics have seen in years.

Kevin Chinoy is one of the film’s producers. He’ll be in Jacksonville for a Friday screening of the film at Sun-Ray Cinema in 5 Points along with a question and answer session about the movie.

Holocaust Memorial

A new exhibit will open at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 29 at 8450 Baycenter Road.. It will serve as the only Holocaust memorial anywhere between Miami and Atlanta. It’s part of the 100th anniversary ofJewish Family and Community Services.

The ceremony will include a ribbon cutting, tours of the new building and the filling of a commemorative time capsule. Diverse community members, including a JFCS foster care child and a Holocaust survivor, will add mementos to the capsule to represent the nonprofit’s main areas of community service.

‘Grey Gardens’

It’s your chance to see live on stage, the hilarious and heartbreaking story of Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale, the eccentric aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

The Beales were once leading names in New York high society, but they became famous in another way when the cult classic documentary film “Grey Gardens” captured their lives in squalor in a decaying mansion in the Hamptons.

“Grey Gardens” has since been adapted into a musical. It debuts next weekend at Theatre Jacksonville.

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.