4/4/2017: Federal Library And Museum Funding; Donate Life Month; Julie Brannon; Sharon Owens

Apr 4, 2017

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we discussed the proposal by President Donald Trump to eliminate federal funding for libraries, museums and artists with Jacksonville Public Library board member Brenda Simmons Hutchins. April is National Donate Life Month and we spoke about an upcoming encouraging becoming an organ donor with Mayo Clinic Department of Transplantation Dr. Katherine Oshel and David Caples, founder of the Katie Caples Foundation and Katie Ride for Life. ”Jeopardy!” winner Jacksonville University professor Julie Brannon joined the show to talk about her experience and we heard a live in-studio performance by Barbra Streisand tribute artist Sharon Owens.  

Library and Museum Funding

President Donald Trump has released his 2018 budget blueprint, and it eliminates four of America’s independent cultural agencies: the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The budget proposal is just a blueprint. Funding priorities will likely shift ahead of the more detailed draft, expected in May, and then again as the proposal is turned into appropriations bills this fall. Advocates for arts and culture institutions are sounding the alarm, as the nation’s librarians gear up for a marathon effort to preserve federal funding for libraries, along with research, the arts and the humanities.

National Donate Life Month

One organ donor can save up to eight lives. It’s a pretty powerful reason to consider registering as an organ donor. More than 119,000 men, women and children in the U.S. are on the national organ transplant waiting list awaiting a life-saving transplant. Every 10 minutes someone is added to the national transplant waiting list. On an average day, 77 people receive organ transplants in the U.S. But thousands more never get the call from their transplant center saying a suitable donor organ has been found. The 13th annual Katie Ride to raise funds and awareness of becoming an organ donor is April 22 at the Atlantic Recreation Center on Amelia Island. It includes bicycle rides of various length as well as a walk, a fun run and a triathlon. Check in begins at 6 a.m.     

Julie Brannon

It had been a lifelong dream for Jacksonville University english professor Julie Brannon to appear on the popular long running game show “Jeopardy!.” In December, her dream came true and last week the programs finally aired. Brannon was a two-day champion, winning $28,400 the first episode and $18,600 the second. Brannon said she and her husband will likely use the winning to make some home improvements.

Sharon Owens

She’s toured the world as a singer and dancer, opening for everyone from Willie Nelson to Loretta Lynn. But now, Barbra Streisand tribute artist Sharon Owens is on stage April 5-9 at the Alhambra Theatre. Owen’s career as a Streisand impersonator and tribute artist began in 1992, when Sharon moved to Los Angeles, where she began singing Streisand in dinner theaters and cabaret nightclubs. She recently won on the Fox television show “Performing As.”

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