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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

4/5/2018: Florida Immigrant Coalition; Art Attack; Noises Off; Kerry Speckman

Florida Immigrant Coalition

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Basma Alawee from the Florida Immigrant Coalition on recent national news regarding immigrants and what they are doing to help refugees in Florida (01:13).

Our latest edition of Art Attack featured:


Shawana Brooks with the Jacksonville Public Library

Adonnia Toler, Ritz Museum Administrator and Curator

Christa Sylla, director of Culture Moves101 Nan Nkama, Pan-African Drum and Dance Ensemble

Hope McMath, former Cummer Museum director and founder of Yellow House (30:53).   

Phase 8 Theatre Company founder JaMario Stills and actress Myles Para told us about their upcoming presentation of the play Noises Off (46:00).

Kerry Speckman told us about some of the upcoming events in Jacksonville (48:02).   




Florida Immigrant Coalition

Immigration activists here in Florida are speaking out after both state and federal actions emphasizing crackdowns and deportations.

The lack of an immigration solution by Congress has generated uncertainty among those with DACA, also known as “Dreamers,” as well as those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and those without legal status. As a result, many undocumented immigrants or those who could lose their legal protection, have started to move to other neighborhoods or cities, close bank accounts and register their vehicles, houses and even businesses in the names of others.

This is a big issue in Florida, with a large immigrant and refugee population.

Art Attack

It’s been a troubling trend in museums around the country recently.

Curators and directors of museums have been forced out for their positions. Critics say it’s because of artistic displays they presented that were deemed too controversial. The latest victim is Chief Curator Helen Molesworth of the MOMA, Museum of Modern Art, in Los Angeles.

In this month’s edition of Art Attack, our look what’s happening in Jacksonville’s art scene, our panel took a look at the issue and what needs to be done to preserve controversial art displays.   

Noises Off

The classic play Noises Off is being presented at WJCT Studios this month, the premiere is Friday night.

Noises Off is a comedy classic play-within-a-play. The director of a second-rate theater company is desperately trying to get a disastrous production of a British adult-farce on its feet. From final rehearsals, to opening night, and onto the tour, we follow the onstage and offstage personal dramas of the actors and crew as things fall apart. A hilarious send-up of a life in the theater.

Kerry Speckman

Kerry talked about the return of One Spark this weekend at Daily’s Place, Springing the Blues at Jacksonville Beach, the Maker Faire, Saturday at MOSH, and the home openers next week of the Jumbo Shrimp and the Sharks.  

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