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Live & online arts/entertainment events for the week of Aug. 16, 2020

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Live & online arts/entertainment events for the week of Aug. 16, 2020

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ANSONIA

Festivals

Maritime Festival and Open House, General David Humphreys House, Elm St. Aug. 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $5 per visitor. Music from Thyme Awaye. Also onsite: Big Bear Trading Company, the Crew of the Mermayde, Szabo’s Seafood. 203-735-1908, info@derbyhistorical.org, derbyhistorical.org

BRANFORD

Books

Blackstone Library Used Book Sale, River Run Business Park, 59 School Ground Road, Unit 6. Sales run Fri-Sun, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on the following dates: Aug 21-23, Adult Fiction, Mystery, Classics, Science Fiction; Aug 28-30, Art, Music, Biography, History; and Sept 11-13, Cookbooks, DVDs, CDs, Crafts, Audiobooks. Masks must be worn and social distances kept. Restricted number of shoppers will be admitted into the building at the same time. facebook.com/JBMLfriends. 203-488-1441, friends@blackstonelibrary.org



BRIDGEPORT

Comedy

Carlos Mencia Live, Bridgeport Stress Factory Comedy Club, 167 State St. Aug. 20, 7 p.m.; Aug. 21, 22, 7, 9:45 p.m. $45, $25. Safety restrictions in place. bridgeport.stressfactory.com

Specials

Downtown Bridgeport Farmers Market, McLevy Green, corner of State St. and Main St. Through Oct. 8, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Mask required. lauren.dssd@infobridgeport.com


Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave. Two daily sessions allowing up to 500 guests per session. Hours: 9 a.m.-noon, close for cleaning; re-open, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. close. Guests must wear a mask. New online ticketing system. $15 adult, $13-$10 child and seniors, children under 3 free. beardsleyzoo.org

Visual Arts

“Student Art Show,” hosted by Housatonic Community College, will be on view virtually, through Sept. 30. To view, visit housatonic.edu/studentgallery


Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo online Zoo Photography Exhibit, “Photography Goes Wild.” beardsleyzoo.org

EAST HADDAM

Music

Goodspeed by the River Outdoor Concerts: Bluegrass quartet The Playbillies, Goodspeed Opera House lawn. Aug. 20- Sept. 6, Thu, Fri, Sat and Sun. All performances 6 p.m. Weather permitting. $25 concert only, $49 outdoor dinner and concert package. Tickets available only by calling the Box Office at 860-873-8668. goodspeed.org

ESSEX

Specials

Rail-Bike Adventures, Essex Steam Train and River Boat, 1 Railroad Ave. Through Aug. 23. Fri-Sun only. $50-$95. Mask is mandatory while waiting in line and in areas where others are congregating, and practice social distancing. A face mask is not required while riding the bike. Rain or shine. 860-767-0103, essexsteamtrain.com


Connecticut River Museum, 67 Main St. Onrust, a re-creation of the vessel Adriaen Block built in 1614, hosts public cruises on the Connecticut River Thurs-Mon through mid-October, $33 sunset, $28 daytime. 860-767-8269, orgctrivermuseum.org

Visual Arts

Essex Art Association’s virtual exhibit, “Art in Isolation,” on view. Submissions on a rolling basis accepted. essexartassociation.com

Spectrum Art Gallery, 61 Main St. Summer show “Resurgence and Regrowth,” through Sept. 6. Thu-Sat noon-6 p.m.; Sun noon-5 p.m. 860-767-0742, spectrumartgallery.org

FAIRFIELD

Books

Meet the Authors virtual events hosted by Pequot Library on Zoom: Stephen Gray Wallace, author of “IMPACT-An Introduction to Counseling, Mentoring, and Youth Development” and “Reality Gap,” Aug. 20, 4-5 p.m.; Will McGough, author of “Swim, Bike, Bonk: Confessions of a Reluctant Triathlete,” Aug. 25, 4-5 p.m. pequotlibrary.org

Comedy

Fairfield Comedy Club hosts outdoor Comedy with Joe Gerics & Beecher, Circle Hotel backyard patio, Aug. 22, 7:30 p.m. $30. Masks and social distance required. fairfieldcomedyclub.com

Music

Summer concert series, Sherman Green Gazebo, 6:30-8 p.m. Yesteryear, Aug. 20; Silver Steel, Aug. 22. 203-256-3144, fairfieldct.org

Jazz Friday with Cookie Thomas, Museum & History Center, 370 Beach Road. Aug. 21, 6:30-8 p.m. Free performances held on the rear patio Fridays through Aug. 28. Chairs, blankets and picnicing allowed with social distancing. In case of inclement weather, visit fairfieldhistory.com or call 203-259-1598 for updates.

Specials

Fairfield Museum and the Fairfield Chapter of the National Charity League are accepting vendor sign-ups for the Holiday Pop-Up Market, that takes place at the Fairfield Museum and History Center, 370 Beach Road, Nov. 14, 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Space is limited and tables reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Call or visit the website to reserve space. 203-259-1598, fairfieldhistory.org

Visual arts

Fairfield University offers a virtual exhibit: “Howard Skrill: Monumental Follies,” through Sept. 12. 203-254-4046, fairfield.edu

HARTFORD

Music

Summer Splash! Series, live chamber ensemble concerts to be performed by Hartford Sympony Orchestra in and around Hartford. Concert locations and dates: Hill-Stead Museum, 35 Mountain Road, Farmington, Aug. 20; Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center, 22 Iron Horse Blvd. Aug. 25, 6:30 p.m. Rain date Aug. 26. Free. Advance register for tickets required. No walk-ups permitted. hartfordsymphony.org

Outdoor Pop-Up Concert with Nekita Waller and the NSoul, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and Main St. Aug. 26, 5-6 p.m. Free. thewadsworth.org.

Specials

Old State House Farmers Market, 800 Main St. Through Oct. 30. Tues, Fri, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Masks required to enter. Social distancing and one-way foot traffic will be followed. 860- 522-6766, cga.ct.gov/osh/farmersmkt.asp

Visual Arts

“Manufacturing Victory: The Arsenal of Democracy,” “Fighting on the Home Front: Propaganda Posters of WWII,” “A Vote of Her Own: The Long Fight for Woman Suffrage,” Connecticut Historical Society, 1 Elizabeth St. All In-person exhibits on view through Nov 30. Tue-Thu noon-5 p.m., Fri-Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free with museum admission. 860-236-5621, chs.org

“Sculpture in the City” a cityscape-focused program activating the works of sculpture and architectural design on the grounds of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and Main St. Related outdoor Art Talks: Abstract Nature, Aug. 20, noon; The Facades of the Wadsworth Atheneum, Sept. 9, noon; Conserving Bronze, Saturday, Sept. 19, noon. Advance registration required via thewadsworth.org.

IVORYTON

Ivoryton Playhouse announces its Ivoryton Women Playwrights Festival. Submissions of one-act plays by women playwrights accepted by e-mail only until Aug. 30. jhubbard@ivorytonplayhouse.org.

LYME

Visual Arts

“Point of View: The 99th Annual Elected Artist Exhibition,” and “Animal Kingdom,” Lyme Art Association, 90 Lyme St. Aug. 21-Oct. 1. Wed-Sun, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., or by appointment. 860-434-7802, lymeartassociation.org

MADISON

Books

RJ Julia Booksellers host author events via Zoom: Marc Brackett, author of “Permission to Feel: The Power of Emotional Intelligence to Achieve Well-Being and Success,” Aug. 26, 7 p.m. Register; 203-245-3959, rjjulia.com

Lectures

“An English Landscape Revealed: John Constable and the Poetry of Paint,” by Courtney Skipton Long, Ph.D, Acting Assistant Curator, Prints and Drawings at Yale Center for British Art, virtual art lecture hosted by Madison Art Society on Zoom, Aug. 21, 10 a.m. Register at Marianne@RTDTECH.com. To learn more about the free Zoom lecture and about upcoming Madison Art Society events, please visit madisonartsocietyct.gov

Visual Arts

Susan Powell Fine Art, 679 Boston Post Road. “Summer in New England,” through Sept. 26. 203-318-0616, susanpowellfineart.com

Young Adults

RJ Julia Booksellers host author events for young adults via Zoom: Mike Lupica, author of “Triple Threat,” Aug. 25, 7 p.m. Register; 203-245-3959, rjjulia.com

MERIDEN

Specials

Stanley’s Kitchen Series offers a Rouladen Dinner, hosted by Meriden Turner Society served under the Pavilion, Aug, 20, 7 p.m. $15. Seating will provide appropriate social distancing and carryout orders will be available. Reserve at reservations@meridenturnersociety.com or 260-341-2542, meridenturnersociety.com

MILFORD

Perform

“The MAC: Recreated,” a slate of online outdoor events. 203-878-6674, milfordarts.org

Specials

Sand Sculpture Contest, hosted by Milford Arts Council, will be virtual. Send a photo of your sand sculpture to info@milfordarts.org by Aug. 28. People’s choice voting begins Aug. 31. milfordarts.org

MYSTIC

Music

Summer Concert Series featuring HiJacked, The Irons at Hilton Mystic, 20 Coogan Blvd. Aug. 21, 7-9 p.m. Free. 860- 572-0731, hilton.com

Visual Arts

Fine Arts Exhibit, virtual show hosted by the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, online through Sept. 5, at ctacademy.org

NEW HAVEN

Films

New Haven Documentary Film Festival, through Aug. 23. Live and online screenings. For Line-up visit NHdocs.com. For tickets: nhdocs2020.eventive.org

Music

New Haven Symphony Orchestra presents Alternative Programming online and social media: NHSO @Home Series: NHSO musicians and guest artists perform music from home; Instrument Selection Resource Center; and Listen Up! Podcast Series. newhavensymphony.org

Specials

New Haven Museum: “Documenting the COVID-19 Crisis,” an effort to collect stories and photos of life in New Haven during the coronavirus quarantine. Also virtual offerings. newhavenmuseum.org

Beinecke Library at Yale University digital exhibits: “1917 Silent Protest Parade Fifth Avenue, New York City,” “Protest Culture in Peril: Frigidaire under Threat in Italy Today,” “Carl Van Vechten’s Harlem Renaissance Portraits,” “America and the Utopian Dream,” “Making the Medieval English M anuscript.” beinecke.library.yale.edu

Visual arts

“I Am …,” Juried Art Show, Kehler Liddell Gallery, 873 Whalley Ave. Through Aug. 30. Gallery hours by appointment. kehlerliddell@gmail.com, 203-389-9555, kehlerliddellgallery.com

“Seeing Nature Through Art,” exhibit features 30 works of art created by the instructors of Yale Peabody Museum’s Natural Science Illustration Program, now online. peabody.yale.edu

NORFOLK

Music

Norfolk Chamber Music Festival will stream via website, Facebook and YouTube, concerts performed at the historic shed. All concerts begin 7 p.m. norfolkmusic.org

NORWALK

Outdoors

Seaport Association dock, 4 N. Water St. Cruises through Sept. Sat, Sunday noon, 3 p.m.; sunset cruises Wed-Sun, 6 p.m. Weekday cruises Wed, 11:30 a.m.; Thur, Fri, 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. $30, $18 ages 12 and under, and $75 family pack. Sunset cruises are $30 per person. All ticketing “contactless.” 25 passengers limit, masks required. 203-838-9444, seaport.org

Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, 10 N Water St. Norwalk Islands Cruises, Tue-Sun, 1:15 p.m. and Thu, Fri, Sat, 6:30 p.m. through Sept. 5. $31.50, $26.50 members. Educators will discuss the histories of the islands and Norwalk’s three lighthouses, while also pointing out birds and other natural sights. Advance reservations required. 203-852-0700, ext. 2206; maritimeaquarium.org

Specials

“Living Lights,” Maritime Aquarium, 10 N. Water St. Exhibit features creatures that have the unique ability to glow in the dark, through fluorescence or a natural process called bioluminescence. Daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m., through Dec. Limited guest capacity, masks required, ticket sales online with timed entries. $26.95, $24.95 age 65+, $19.95 ages 3-12. Free with admission. 203-852-0700, maritimeaquarium.org

Stage

“Stage Fright: An Interactive Musical Thriller,” virtual play reading hosted by Music Theatre of Connecticut (MTC), Aug. 22, 8-9:30 p.m. $25. Tickets online or by phone. 203-454-3883, musictheatreofct.com

Visual Arts

“SoNo Art Cares,” ten local artists will paint live at the The SoNo Collection Mall, one artist featured per week at different locations around the Mall, Fri-Sun 1-4 p.m. Paintings will then be on display in the People’s United Magnificent Room through Oct. 3, then will be offered for bidding in a silent auction, and in a live online auction, Oct. 3. thesonocollection.com

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Ave. is open daily from noon-2 p.m. The exhibit, “About Women,” in collaboration with Silvermine Arts Center will mark the physical reopening of the galleries, and will run through Jan. 3. $10. 203-838-9799, lockwoodmathewsmansion.com

“Paint & Sip,” offered by Rowayton Arts Center, 145 Rowayton Ave. on Zoom, Aug. 20, 4:30-6 p.m. $30. Register at website. RAC has resumed Summer gallery hours: Sun 10 a,m.-1 p.m.; Tue.-Fri noon-5 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-1 p.m.Online submissions in an open call to artists for the juried “Photography and Sculpture” show through Sept. 6. Submit at website. 203-866-2744, ext. 2; rowaytonarts.org

OLD SAYBROOK

Films

“Thor: Ragnarok,” Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St. Aug. 22, 7 p.m. $8 adults, $3 children. Enjoy classic films on the Kate’s big screen, with surround sound, in a physically distanced and safe environment. 860-510-0453, thekate.org

ORANGE

Specials

Historical Society’s Academy Museum and Antique Shop, 605 Orange Center Road, Sat, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Masks required. 203-795-3106.

RIDGEFIELD

Films

Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 E. Ridge. Classic & Broadway Series: Met Opera in HD Summer Encore: “Rigoletto,” Aug. 23, 2 p.m. 203-438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org

Music

Outdoor concerts hosted by Ridgefield Playhouse. Double bill of Nick Fradiani and The Alternate Routes, Aug. 28, 7 p.m.; and Javier Colon, Aug. 29, 7 p.m. Both concerts take place on the field next to Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 E. Ridge. Purchase tickets on the website or call the box office. 203-438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org

Specials

Virtual Ink and Think, offered by Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Aug. 20, 4:30 p.m. Free. Registration required at shop.aldrichart.org

Visual arts

“Fresh Air,” Ridgefield Guild of Artists online exhibit, through Aug. 22. Submit work, any size, online through Entrythingy. Members: $15 first piece, $10 for each up to a total of 6 members; Non-members: $20 first piece, $15 for each up to a total of 6. 203-438-8863, rgoa.exhibitions@gmail.com

Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, 258 Main St. In-Person exhibits: “Rudy Shepherd: Somebody’s Child,” through Nov. 29. Timed-entry tickets or reservations required. “Twenty Twenty, “ exhibit through Jan. 3. aldrichart.org

SIMSBURY

Specials

Simsbury Art Trail is open to the public. The outdoor exhibit commemorates Simbury’s 350th Anniversary with bronze sculptures placed throughout town. On display through Sept. 29. simsburyarttrail.com

STRATFORD

Books

Books Over Coffee: “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins, virtual book discussion hosted by Stratford Public Library on Zoom, Aug. 26, noon-1 p.m. Register. 203-385-4162, stratfordlibrary.libcal.com

Music

Summer Concert Series, Paradise Green, DaBand, Aug. 21, 7 p.m. No rain date; The Cold Ones, Aug. 25. 7 p.m. Rain date: Aug. 27. townofstratford.com

Outdoor Concerts on the Patio at Outriggers Restaurant, 555 Broad St. Mark & Pat, Aug. 21, 5:30 p.m.; Dawn & Greg, Aug. 22, 5:30 p.m.; Henry’s Steel Drums, Aug. 23, 4:30 p.m. outriggersrestaurant.com

Specials

National Helicopter Museum at Railroad Station (east bound), 2480 Main St. By appointment only. Masks required. Free admission, parking. 203-375-8857, nationalhelicoptermuseum.org

TRUMBULL

Music

Summer Concert Series: Kathy Thompson Band, Aug. 25, (rain date Aug. 27), Town Hall Green Gazebo, 7-8:30 p.m. Social distancing and masks required. 203-452-5060, trumbull-ct.gov

UNCASVILLE

Comedy

Mike Feeney, Comix Roadhouse at Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd. Aug. 20, 8 p.m.; Aug. 21, 7:30 p.m.; Aug. 22, 7, 9:30 p.m. $45-$15. comixroadhouse.com mohegansun.com

WATERBURY

Visual arts

Mattatuck Museum exhibits “Edward Balthazar: Urban Artist;” and “Women’s Sphere: Selections from the Collection” online until the end of the year. mattmuseum.org

Entertainment

Capturing the entertainment proclivities of racing fans

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Simon Fraser, XB Net: Capturing the entertainment proclivities of racing fans

Simon Fraser, XB Net: Capturing the entertainment proclivities of racing fans
Image Source: XB Net

Simon fraser, Senior Vice President of International at XB Net, discusses how XB Net is taking the sting out of protracted integration processes for sportsbook operators.

Backed by 1/ST Technology, Fraser walks us through the ways that XB Net is helping bettors to engage in all aspects of horse racing, before explaining how the company plans to use the Breeders’ Cup to broaden North American racing’s international reach.

SBC Americas: For those that might not know, can you tell us a little bit about XB Net? What’s the story behind the company and which markets are you targeting?

SF: XB Net provides a comprehensive North American racing service to international gaming operators across both fixed-odds and pool betting. The service covers the popular codes of thoroughbred, quarter-horse, harness and greyhound racing. Our key markets currently include the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand.

We manage the rights and distribute this premium content (data, odds, live broadcast and video streaming) on behalf of a broad progressive portfolio of global partners, allowing them to deploy ground-breaking technologies to attract and educate new audiences.

We’re lucky enough to be backed by a true powerhouse in 1/ST Group, whose consumer-facing brand forms a world-class technology, entertainment, and real estate development company with thoroughbred horse racing wagering at its heart – anchored by best-in-breed horse racing operations at the company’s premier racetracks, including (to name but a few): Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park – home of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series; Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course – site of the legendary Preakness Stakes.

And now the stateside stage is set for this year’s flagship finale at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships (5-6 November) in Del Mar. It all represents 1/ST’s continued movement towards redefining thoroughbred horse racing for a modern audience, and optimizing the ecosystem that drives it.

As a result, we can draw from an unrivalled network of over 60 North American tracks which account for over 75% of U.S. racing, opening the door to many of the planet’s most prestigious horse races.

SBC Americas: How is XB Net ensuring that it stands out from the competition?

SF: That aforementioned deep well of resources and racetracks isn’t a bad place to start from when you’re trying to positively delineate XB Net from the competition. And as a basic premise, we are planning to work with our partners across the globe to increase the awareness of North American horse racing, both as an exciting sport and as a high-quality betting medium.

By harnessing low-latency feeds from more than 2,500 meetings, showcasing over 25,000 races per year, North American racing is steadily accruing more global viewers and bettors, especially after a spell in which the pandemic has badly disrupted, if not decimated, so many events on the typical sporting calendar. While many of those sports have since recovered from the treatment table, North American racing – which mostly continued unaffected during the outbreak – has largely retained its enlarged audience share.

In the UK, some of that success and enduring retention can be attributed to the popular nightly pictures on Sky Sports Racing, whose friendly, informative GFN was instructive in “home-schooling” many new viewers to North American racing during the lockdowns.

Accordingly, with many heads having been turned by North American racing, the sport is now pulling up a comfortable seat in their wider entertainment choices. Particularly considering the nature of its rapid-cycling events, which conveniently fill the recreational gaps for drop-in audiences who might like a bet. Providing the right content at the right time remains so important, wherever you stick your pin on the international map.

XB Net’s steady stream of short-form premium content captures eyeballs and improves digital hang-time, allowing our partners to engage untapped audiences, deliver 24/7 horse racing, and also guard against any unforeseen impediments to the global sporting calendar.

SBC Americas: Tell us about your EasyGate™ products. How are they eliminating the complexity of North American racing?

SF: EasyGate is a breakthrough multitote technology and software architecture, providing structured race content, betting pathways and secure track video streams to our partners. Long story short, EasyGate navigates an intuitive path through the complexity of North American racing (from streaming formats to different data sources and their multivariate components), and also simplifies access to other content from other countries.

We give operators everything they need to succeed and take the sting out of protracted integration processes – just plug in and go, whatever the channel.

SBC Americas: Tote betting, and arguably horse racing in general, across the UK has had a tricky few years. How is XB Net making sure that racing is still the ‘product of choice’ for your partners?

SF: Our ability to present North American racing as a fixed-odds product allows us to take advantage of the UK market where Tote betting will always be a marginal betting product. Elsewhere, innovation around in-running betting can really allow horse racing to catch-up on any lost ground and reconsolidate its market position.

The complex variables of horse racing have meant this sport, for so long the retention backbone of many operators, hadn’t previously been able to seize the opportunities that other sports have secured with in-play. After all, nowadays, betting products must smoothly transition from pre-play to in-play, which is why operators must employ the latest trading tools and reactive in-play odds to attract modern-day audiences.

XB Net has now successfully trialed a ground-breaking feed that couples the Starting Price with the best of automated trading via Total Performance Data’s (TPD) astonishing array of consequential in-running analytics, including stride length, stride frequency and sectional timings enabled by saddle-cloth GPS tracking. These variables are accordingly harvested in-play by TPD’s machine-learning trading tools whose algorithms train themselves on race pace for precise pricing that delivers a distinct step-change in live fixed-odds wagering.

SBC Americas: How does your company help bolster revenue and support sometimes struggling traditional racetracks?

SF: I’d take issue with the word struggling. On the US side of the pond, the prize money at most tracks is very positive and betting turnover is up significantly. As a core technology in the wider arsenal of 1/ST and 1/ST Technology, XB Net is part of a broader company wide goal to sustain a successful business model while ensuring all stakeholders who work in the industry are cared for and supported.

That means delivering a fresh and holistic racing experience for the fans which captures the entertainment proclivities of every age group at the racetrack, especially the younger generation that is coming through. We are embracing this challenge and opportunity (sometimes two sides of the same coin!) at every touchpoint we have with our customers.

Just take our recent efforts with Historical Horse Racing (HHR) and how these terminals can provide workarounds for their local racetracks, increasing revenues where slots aren’t legal. As a result, HHR games can bolster revenues at traditional racetracks through direct new gaming revenue for operators who are directly tied to horse racing.

We also pay back a percentage to each host racetrack for every single wager placed, using each respective track’s historical races. This is akin to the simulcast live horse racing host-fee structures, in addition to paying horse racing industry stakeholders for the requisite historical race information data (e.g. Equibase).

At the tracks, our teams are working to modernize the horse racing experience, leveraging technology to bring an on-demand, digital experience to our customers. Ultimately, we’re targeting a growing audience looking for quick-fire action and engaging gameplay experiences driven by end-user thinking and the best interfaces that support that. Providing opportunities for consumers to engage in all aspects of horse racing – from live racetrack visits to simulcast viewing, online wagering and mobile – is the best way to grow our sport in a modern world.

SBC Americas: XB Net holds the international distribution rights for the upcoming Breeders’ Cup. In what ways is this agreement helping to broaden North American racing’s international reach?

SF: Self-evidently, our three-year contract extension with the Breeders’ Cup was a welcome endorsement of our team’s efforts over the past few years. The agreement comprises worldwide broadcast and video-streaming distribution rights from the Breeders’ Cup whose 2021 renewal, consisting of 14 Championship races and over $31 million in prize money and awards, is fast-approaching (5-6 November) at Del Mar racetrack in California next month. Del Mar is one of my favourite venues in all of sport, and its most common epithet of “where the surf meets the turf” tells you what sets it apart.

When the standard-bearer for elite North American racing selects you to further broaden the international reach of its world-class festival, you must be doing something right, and I’m pleased to say that sports fans and bettors around the globe can look forward to even more coverage of the World Championships.

You’re even seeing a suite of domestic host broadcasters (for example Sky Sports Racing and ITV in the UK) broadcasting all 14 races this year, which is ideal for growing the sport. Of course, the increasingly international make-up of these fields, bringing the best horses together from all around the world, only adds to the allure and transcendent appeal of the Breeders’ Cup for global audiences.

SBC Americas: And how will you help optimise and increase the returns to North American racing following what has undoubtedly been a challenging economic period?

SF: For us, it’s all about expanding markets and coverage, coupled with enhancements to our cutting-edge technologies. We’ve already launched in India, while we also have new Tote and fixed-odds roll-outs set for Asia and Africa.

Regarding the race tracks themselves, the more we can add to the service, the better-value our proposition will inherently become through sheer economies of scale. Again, we can return these cost advantages to the tracks. That even applies in Australia, where we’ve recently agreed a deal to add thoroughbred racing from the principal racing state of Victoria to our service which runs off the same infrastructure. We’re thrilled to be able to add more world-class contests for our partners, with the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival already capturing players’ imaginations.

As for what’s under the hood, we’re always refining and fine-tuning, despite having some of the most durable and trusted tech around. For instance, we actually just classified our pari-mutuel totalisator and fixed-odds wagering platform as a “legacy” product.

Instead, we’re replacing it with a next-gen wagering platform that will play a key role as 1/ST Technology continues to deliver on our vision to build upon the strengths of our current gambling platform while also extending its capabilities (e.g. quickly adding new bet types) – increasing speed to market, enhanced support of our customers’ needs, and unlocking the ability to efficiently onboard new consumers via verticals such as sports betting, esports, and other emerging opportunities. In short, it will allow us to react to the market with peerless agility.

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Entertainment

Window on Arts & Entertainment: Oct. 14, 2021 | Diversions

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Window on Arts & Entertainment: Oct. 14, 2021 | Diversions

The Majesty of Rock set to perform at First Friday Seminole

SEMINOLE — The Majesty of Rock, one of Florida’s most prestigious bands, will salute the music of Journey and Styx at First Friday Seminole, on Friday, Nov. 5, 6 to 9 p.m., on the main street in front of Studio Movie Grill at Seminole City Center, 11201 Park Blvd. N., Seminole.

Sponsored by Seminole City Center and The Rotary Club of Seminole Lake, this will be the final First Friday Seminole of 2021. The event will feature a variety of Seminole City Center merchants, food, prizes, and games, as well as a special concert by The Majesty of Rock. Attendees are asked to bring their own chairs. Coolers are not allowed. Vendors other than Seminole City Center tenants are not permitted.

The Majesty of Rock features the voice of John D’Agostino, coupled with the exceptional musical talents of four equally sophisticated and experienced musicians. That combination soon propelled the group to become one of the premier Journey reverence bands of our time. The band strives to re-create the exact sounds and nuances of Journey. Their passion for authenticity and attention to detail go a long way toward ensuring that the audience feels like they’re at a real Journey concert.

While the band has enjoyed performing the music of Journey, front man John D’Agostino also loves another American super group: Styx. Turns out the rest of the band are huge Styx fans, too. So, they began adding some of Styx’s best tunes to their already expansive repertoire of Journey material.

CWP to stage ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’






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The cast and crew of the Carrollwood Players Theatre production of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” include, front row, from left, Kaedin Cammareri, stage manager; Jason Goetluck as Spike; and Pauline Lara as Nina; and, back row, Se’a Ryan as Sonia; Stephanie Russell Krebs as Cassandra; Kenneth Grace as Vanya; Kari Velguth as Masha; and Alicia Spiegel, director.




TAMPA — Carrollwood Players Theatre will present its production of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang, running Oct. 15-30, at the theater, 4333 Gunn Highway, Tampa.

Tickets are $24. Tickets now on sale at tinyurl.com/vanyacwp. Performances will be Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m.; and Sundays, 2 p.m. For information, call 813-265-4000 or visit carrollwoodplayers.org.

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play.

Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia share a home, where they bicker and complain about the circumstances of their lives. When Marsha, their movie-star sister, swoops in with her new boy toy, Spike, old resentments flare up, eventually leading to threats and chaos. Contributing to the excitement are a sassy maid who can predict the future, and a lovely young aspiring actress who can’t. Audiences will discover why Durang is lauded as the master of mining the absurdities of human folly.

Presented with the support of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, this production will be directed by Alicia Spiegel.

“‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ is not exactly a well-known show, and the title can be a bit hard to remember … but audiences won’t soon forget the hilarious storyline,” Spiegel said. “I think everyone will relate to the family/relationship dynamics in this modern comedy laced with emotional baggage and heartfelt moments.”

The cast features Kenneth Grace as Vanya, Se’a Ryan as Sonia, Kari Velguth as Marsha, Jason Goetluck as Spike, Pauline Lara as Nina, and Stephanie Russell Krebs as Cassandra.

“Our cast has been perfecting their characters for almost a year a half since we were supposed to put this show on in April 2020 before the world changed,” Spiegel continued. “Luckily, CWP has decided to put it on this season and we are very ready to entertain audiences. They will be treated to sibling rivalry, a sexy young man barely wearing anything, a clairvoyant housekeeper whose predictions can’t be trusted, and a sweet girl next door who doesn’t know what she’s in for.”

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service Inc., New York.

Carrollwood Players offers a limited number of free tickets to every performance for low-income families receiving Florida SNAP benefits. For more information, visit carrollwoodplayers.org/theatreforall/.

Syd Entel Galleries to present Borowski glass exhibition

SAFETY HARBOR — An opening reception for a new glass exhibition by the world-famous Glass Studio Borowski will take place Friday, Nov. 12, 4 to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 13, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass Etc., 247 Main St., Safety Harbor.

The Borowski’s “Odd Birds Walk of Fame,” a tribute to 20th century celebrities in glass, will run through Nov. 27. The show is open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For information, call 727-725-1808 or email linda@sydentelgalleries.com.

Borowski is one of the leading modern glass studios worldwide. Stani Jan Borowski transforms the iconic Fat Gonzo light object into the wildly successful Odd Bird Series. The Odd Bird series has continued to grow into a collection of 22 famous celebrities from the world of art, music, media and science. These hand-blown glass creations are a work of art, unique and distinctive. All are wildly imaginative with recognizable characteristics of the many famous characters, such as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Elton John, Micheal Jackson, and Marilyn Monroe.

In addition to the Odd Bird Series, the gallery will have on hand a huge selection of work from the Borowski art objects, studio line and outdoor collection.

Cool Art Shop presents artisan holiday ornament tree

DUNEDIN — The Professional Association of Visual Artists will celebrate the upcoming holiday season with the annual Holiday Ornament Tree featuring handcrafted artisan ornaments, holiday décor, small gift items, and holiday greeting cards by various PAVA fine art and fine craft artists.

The tree is on display at The Cool Art Shop, 1240 County Road 1, Dunedin, in the Independence Plaza Square, through Thursday, Dec. 23. An open house reception will take place Friday, Oct. 15, 6 to 8 p.m., at the shop.

In addition to the Holiday Ornament Tree, The Cool Art Shop also displays and sells PAVA’s artists’ artwork which is comprised of an impressive collection of both visual and functional art for sale in both 2D and 3D mediums including painting, ceramics, photography, mixed media, drawing, pastels, sculpture, and jewelry in all price points. The artwork is rotated on a 6- to 8-week basis to keep the artwork fresh and new. Shop hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

PAVA is a nonprofit organization run by volunteer artists to serve local artisans and support the arts community in the Tampa Bay area. It provides exhibition, education and grant opportunities for its members. Additionally, PAVA supports local art centers, and is a local sponsor of the Pinellas County Regional National Scholastic Art Awards where scholarships are provided to students for art instruction. Visit www.pava-artists.org.

Mat Kearney concert canceled

CLEARWATER — The Mat Kearney concert scheduled at the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre on Wednesday, Nov. 3, has been canceled.

Ticket holders will be contacted about refunds. For more information, visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

Creative Clay virtual exhibit opens

ST. PETERSBURG — Creative Clay presents “Celebrating Disability Employment Awareness,” October’s virtual exhibit, featuring artwork by Creative Clay’s member artists who actively create, market and sell their work. The exhitib opened Oct. 9.

This new exhibit coincides with National Disability Employment Awareness Month. According to the United States Department of Labor, the theme this year is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” which reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Creative Clay promotes inclusion by empowering its artists to create art that is exhibited in its Good Folk Gallery, exhibited throughout the community and online, and market themselves as working artists. Many of Creative Clay’s member artists engage in training for potential employment. Creative Clay’s artists receive commission on all works sold.

NDEAM is held each October to commemorate the many and varied contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy. Employers, community organizations, state and local governments, advocacy groups and schools participate in celebrating NDEAM through events and activities centered around the theme of America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.

Creative Clay’s Virtual Gallery also includes the artwork of many of Creative Clay’s member artists. All artwork is for sale through our online gallery at creativeclay.org.

St. Pete Arts Alliance awards to help young artists

ST. PETERSBURG — Awards received from the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s Funding Futures Program allowed 14 talented Pinellas County students to attend an arts camp this summer.

These students aspire to be musicians, actors, dancers, writers or visual artists. Creative Clay, American Stage, St. Pete MAD and others nominated creative, aspiring at-risk and/or low income students to attend their arts programs for the summer while parents of these students filled out applications showing artistic and financial need.

St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s Funding Futures programs are dedicated to helping students nurture their creative interests and develop their expressive talent by providing funding to eligible students and connecting them to local after school arts programs or summer arts camps.

“It’s not just about the art for these students,” said Tracy Kennard, associate director of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance. “It’s about gaining confidence, understanding collaboration and feeling compassionate towards others and how the simple act of learning new artistic traits, can teach skills that are the building blocks of a promising future in any industry.”

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s Funding Futures Student Award program is designed to identify and encourage talented at-risk and/or low income emerging artists, ages 10-17 in Pinellas County seeking St. Petersburg programs in the categories of dance, music, jazz, voice, theater, digital arts, photography, cinematic arts, literary or visual arts. Funding Futures is open to all talented artists regardless of ethnic, social or economic background, or ability/disability.

Major funding sources from Tampa Bay Times Employee Matching Gifts, Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, and the Jacarlene Family Foundation have helped build the Funding Futures Grant Program for the past six years. For information on supporting this program, visit stpeteartsalliance.org/donate.

Livingston Taylor, Tom Chapin concert rescheduled

CLEARWATER — Due to a scheduling conflict, Livingston Taylor and Tom Chapin have rescheduled their concert at the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre.

Tickets purchased for the concert on Friday, April 1, will be honored on the new date, Sunday, April 3, at 8 p.m. Tickets, starting at $29, are on sale now. Visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

Sinbad show postponed

CLEARWATER — The Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre recently announced stand-up comedian Sinbad has postponed his upcoming performance scheduled for Saturday, April 16, at 8 p.m.

Tickets will be honored on the new date to be announced soon. For more information, visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

Steep Canyon Rangers reschedule Capitol Theatre show

CLEARWATER — The Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre recently announced that the Steep Canyon Rangers concert originally scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m., has been rescheduled.

Tickets will be honored on the new date Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, at 8 p.m. Tickets, starting at $25, are on sale now. Visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

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Window on Arts & Entertainment: Oct. 7, 2021 | Diversions

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Window on Arts & Entertainment: Oct. 7, 2021 | Diversions

Dunedin Wines the Blues music lineup set

DUNEDIN — The Downtown Dunedin Merchants Association recently announced the lineup for this year’s Dunedin Wines the Blues event, set for Saturday, Nov. 13, noon to 11 p.m., on Main Street in downtown Dunedin.

The 30th annual Dunedin Wines the Blues will offer attendees an opportunity to walk around the downtown area businesses, shop, eat, and browse a selection of street vendors. This year’s festival will present three stages of nonstop blues, with live music performances beginning at 2 p.m.

VIP tickets are on sale and include unlimited drinks and food as well as access to the VIP lounge area with couches, tables, stage views, big screens and VIP-only desserts and signature drinks. The VIP tent is open from 5 to 11 p.m. VIP tickets cost $125. For tickets, visit www.winestheblues.com.

Following is the music lineup for this year’s Dunedin Wines the Blues event:

Main Stage

  • 2 to 3:15 p.m. — Selwyn Birchwood
  • 3:45 to 5 p.m. — Beth Mckee Funky Time Band
  • 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. — Johnny Rawls Band
  • 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. — Damon Fowler
  • 9:15 to 10:45 p.m. — Vanessa Collier

West Stage

  • 2 to 3:15 p.m. — Ellie Lee Band
  • 3:45 to 5 p.m. — Steve Arvey
  • 5:30 to 7 p.m. — Alex Lopez
  • 7:30 to 9 p.m. — Sarasota Slim

East SBS Stage

  • 2 to 3:15 p.m. — Trey Wanvig
  • 3:45 to 5 p.m. — T Bone Hamilton
  • 5:30 to 7 p.m. — Brian Leneschmidt Band
  • 7:30 to 9 p.m. — Dottie Kelly Band

Performers and show times are subject to change without notice. For information, visit www.winestheblues.com.

Author releases new book, announces book signings

Reedy Press recently announced the release of “Tampa Bay Scavenger,” by Joshua Ginsberg.

You might think you know Tampa Bay, maybe even the weird, wonderful, and obscure parts of it, but get ready to take your exploring in an innovative and interactive new direction. With “Tampa Bay Scavenger,” you’ll embark on a gamified experience in the Tampa Bay area, complete with over three hundred clues to solve spanning seven counties.

From museums to natural wonders, historical markers, bars and restaurants, sports stadiums, and public artworks, you’re bound to discover something new and unexpected. Be the first one to solve all the riddles, take the whole family out on an adventure, or just find a creative excursion for a few hours as you unlock the hidden face of the Tampa Bay area.

Ginsberg — an author and local explorer — brings years of research and a poet’s sensibility to each of his carefully outlined quests. Follow along with the website www.tbscavenger.com and the #TBScavenger Facebook group for a truly interactive experience. It just might be the most elaborate and ambitious scavenger hunt that Tampa Bay has ever seen.

“Tampa Bay Scavenger” is available wherever books are sold.

Ginsberg will host several book signing events in the coming weeks. Book signings are free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be available for purchase. The author will take part in the following book signings:

  • Saturday, Oct. 9, 2 to 5 p.m., at Cueni Brewing Company, 945 Huntley Ave., Dunedin
  • Saturday, Oct. 23, 5 to 8 p.m., at Bastet Brewing, 1951 E. Adamo Drive, Tampa
  • Saturday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Clearwater Historical Society, 610 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater

Studio 1212 to launch new exhibition

DUNEDIN — An opening reception for “What a Relief” will take place Sunday, Oct. 17, noon to 3 p.m., at Studio 1212 Art Gallery, 234 Monroe St., Dunedin.

Participating artists will be on hand. Light refreshments will be served. The exhibit will run through Nov. 28. Studio 1212 is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit the gallery’s online store at studio1212.org.

Gulfport venue to present Amazing Acro-cats show

GULFPORT — The Amazing Acro-cats will perform four shows, running Friday through Sunday, Oct. 22-24, at the Catherine A. Hickman Theatre, 5501 27th Ave. S., Gulfport.

Performance times will be Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 3 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m. Tickets start at $30. Visit www.rockcatsrescue.org or www.brownpapertickets.com/event/5233235.

The Amazing Acro-cats — featuring Tuna and the Rock Cats — are a troupe of rescued house cats. This one-of-a-kind, two-hour long “purrformance” features talented felines roll on balls, ride skateboards, jump through hoops, and more.

The finale is the only all-cat band in the entire world: Tuna and the Rock Cats. The current band lineup features St. Clawed on guitar, Bowie on drums, Nue on keyboard, Ahi on woodblocks, Albacore on cowbell, Roux on trumpet, and Oz on saxophone. There is even a chicken named Cluck Norris rockin’ the tambourine.

Featured on the Netflix docu-series “Cat People,” Tuna and the Rock Cats have also appeared alongside Stephen Colbert on his late night show, as well as PBS and Animal Planet.

Murals coming to two Pinellas Trail tunnels

LARGO — Creative Pinellas and Pinellas County Public Works have partnered to bring four new murals by Pinellas County artists to the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail tunnels at U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs and Alternate U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor.

The artists’ mural designs for each tunnel face have been inspired by public surveys and meetings that were part of the artist selection process that occurred this summer and revealed a community that enjoys the sunshine and outdoor life, and appreciates the scenic landscape filled with Florida native plants and wildlife. The locations for the murals were selected as part of the Pinellas County Public Works Graffiti Abatement Art Program.

“Creative Pinellas is proud to be part of this multi-mural project on the Pinellas Trail,” said Barbara St. Clair, CEO of Creative Pinellas. “It is an opportunity to not only assist in Pinellas County’s effort to combat graffiti, it also brings talented Pinellas County artists in to create pieces that will engage the trail users in a new way. The new murals will add to the identity of the Pinellas Trail as a destination location in Pinellas County.”

The Palm Harbor location, just north of Wall Springs Park, will feature Taylor Smith’s design “Wetland Herons” that includes two great blue herons with an organic color scheme meant to highlight the beauty of Florida’s coastal wetlands on the south tunnel face, while the north tunnel face design by Yhali Ilan, “Island People,” celebrates the coastal lifestyle in North Pinellas through the use of vibrant plant life, people enjoying the beaches, and water related activities.

The Tarpon Springs location, just north of Live Oak Street, will include the design “Sun Tribute” created by Daniel Barojas (a.k.a. R5, Rope5) on the west tunnel face. The design is a stylized representation of the sun, an essential part of Florida lifestyle. Ricardo Delgado’s (Reda3sb) design “Birds and Flowers” also incorporates the sun, setting into the sea, vibrant flowers and tropical birds, to celebrate nature and Florida life on the east tunnel face.

The Pinellas Trail Mural program is a partnership between Creative Pinellas and the County with goals of defeating graffiti, building excitement and interest, and fostering community beautification projects. Since the beginning of the program, local artists have completed two murals in Palm Harbor and one along the Pinellas Trail overpass in Largo.

“Extending the graffiti abatement program to the Pinellas Trail exemplifies the County’s strategic plan goals to invest in our transportation infrastructure, maximize partner relationships and support a vibrant community,” said Tom Washburn, Pinellas County Public Works Transportation Division Director. “We are pleased to partner with Creative Pinellas and the Florida Department of Transportation in this effort to improve the quality of life for our residents and visitors.”

Artists will be working over the coming weeks and through mid-October. Both locations will remain accessible for trail users while the artists work.

For information about the project, visit creativepinellas.org/opportunity/pinellas-trail-artworks/.

Cracker Country to presents annual Tall Tales of Old Florida

TAMPA — Tall Tales of Old Florida will be presented Saturday, Oct. 23, beginning at 6:45 p.m., at Cracker Country, a living history museum found at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. Hwy. 301 N., Tampa.

Each walking tour will last 60 minutes. This event is recommended for ages 6 and older. Admission is $14 per person and includes a snack. An advance purchase price of $12 per person is available through Oct. 17. Tickets are sold in time blocks. Tickets and more information available at www.crackercountry.org.

Attendees will explore Tampa’s 19th century living history museum by night. Along the way, they will meet storytellers who will spin wild yarns about a few of Florida’s unexplained oddities. A little scary, a little funny and always family friendly, the Tall Tales tour is a Florida history adventure by lantern light.

Cracker Country is a living history museum that represents aspects of home life, commerce and transportation as it was in many rural Florida communities at the end of the 19th century. During the Tall Tales of Old Florida tour, “tellers” will share uniquely Florida stories about skunk apes, misbehaving trains, cow hunting giants and other legendary creatures. Guests will also enjoy a magic lantern show, featuring a turn-of-the-20th-century projection technology that led to the birth of the film industry.

Guests are invited to come early and enjoy Victorian games and activities before their tour begins. Afterward, have a complimentary snack and do some holiday shopping in the General Store.

Chic Décor & Artisan Market set

SAFETY HARBOR — The Fall Chic Décor & Artisan Market will take place Sunday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 411 Main Street, Safety Harbor.

The Chic Décor & Artisan Market is returning to its home location in Safety Harbor.

This unique hybrid market highlights some of the best home décor artists, vintage pickers, and indie artisans in the Tampa Bay area. The Fall Chic Décor & Artisan Market will feature over 120 local décor artisans, vintage treasures, and furniture featuring assorted styles like coastal chic, farmhouse, shabby chic, cottage glam, and industrial. There also will be food vendors and live entertainment.

Parking and admission are free.

L.O.L. Surprise! Live show rescheduled

CLEARWATER — L.O.L. Surprise! Live scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 20, at Ruth Eckerd Hall, has been rescheduled.

L.O.L. Surprise! fans in Clearwater will be able to rock out in real life when the all-new hologram concert tour crisscrosses the United States and makes a stop at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Thursday, May 5, at 6 p.m. Tickets purchased for the Oct. 20 performance will be honored on the new date. Tickets, starting at $28.75, are on sale now. Visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

St. Pete Arts Alliance to present Second Saturday ArtWalk

ST. PETERSBURG — The Central Arts District, EDGE District, Grand Central District, Warehouse Arts District, Uptown Arts District and downtown Waterfront District will united to celebrate “ARTober” for the St. Petersburg Second Saturday ArtWalk, set for Saturday, Oct. 9, 5 to 9 p.m.

ArtWalk is opening night as some 40 galleries and studios premiere new works, with artists and demos on-site. It’s impossible to take in the entire ArtWalk in one night. Attendees should plan to drive, walk, or take the trolleys to visit the districts of their choice — or utilize the free Downtown Looper, which will run every 15 minutes.

To download the map and list of participants, visit www.stpeteartsalliance.org.

‘Legendz of the Streetz’ show rescheduled

TAMPA — Amalie Arena recently announced that the “Legendz of the Streetz” Tour has been rescheduled.

Originally set for Sunday, Oct. 17, the show will now be presented Friday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. All tickets bought will be honored for the rescheduled date. The tour will feature hip-hop heavyweights Rick Ross, Jeezy, Gucci Mane and 2 Chainz. Tickets, starting at $50, are on sale now. Visit Ticketmaster.com.

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