Agreement for technical services between the school board of hillsborough county, Florida and Arts Council of Hillsborough county


Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 3:00 PM

The Hillsborough County Public School Board held a meeting to discuss many new agendas as well as old agendas that need to be renewed. One of the agenda items being reviewed for renewal is Agenda Item 6.05, otherwise known as “Approve the Renewal Agreement for Technical Services with the Arts Council of Hillsborough County for the 2017/2018 Artists-in-the-Schools (AIS) Program (Office of Teaching and Learning).”

Lynn Grey from District 7 speaks about the importance of the Arts in schools. She claims that art acts as an equalizer to “all demographics, age groups, learning levels.” Grey then goes on to say, “They [the students] begin instantly having the equity among the arts. The arts require a higher level of thinking.” Grey points out that there are polls and studies that show that students who are involved in the arts will achieve at a higher level. An example being dancers having to think through precise movements and timing in order to perform a routine in sync with music. Another example is a pianist, or any other musician, who has to learn how to read music notes and remember them as they play the instrument. Both require a type of critical thinking that is not taught in regular public-school classes. Even though the Arts have many positive qualities, the downside is the cost of funding these programs. Grey’s tone changes as she enters the “but” part of her statement. She says, “Tampa arts has a meager budget. They are looking into more partnerships to be able to fund the art programs in Hillsborough.”

Agenda Item 6.05 requests that The Arts Council of Hillsborough County will supply the artistic personnel and related administrative supervision for the Arts in Education Program. This program includes the Artists-in-the-Schools (AIS) and Performing Arts Field Trip (PAFT). The AIS Program hires and provides training for professional artists and touring companies. Upon employment, their job entails providing curriculum connected performances and workshops on site for schools in the district. The Performing Arts Field Trip program lists performances that take place in all Hillsborough County venues for all grade levels. They also facilitate the reservation process for all district teachers. The Art Counsel education staff designed both programs in order to provide guidance and maintain a high level of artistic quality in Hillsborough County schools.

Susan L. Valdes from District 1 also voices her support on this agenda item, as do most of the other district representatives. Valdes recognizes the program founders as doing something great for students. The only issue that stands is how to get the proper funding to support the renewal of the Agreement for Technical Services Between The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida and Arts Council of Hillsborough County. This year’s suggested budget is $180,000, which is $18,000 more than last year. So not only are the programs having a difficult time finding funding, they have to find more than they did last year. Other than working out those details, all districts are in support of renewing Agenda Item 6.05.




Self Help fest: September 2017

It’s fall now, but the Florida heat still makes it feel like mid-summer outside. Despite the sweat running down backs and makeup running off faces, everyone still pushes closer together as they move towards the stages. It’s Sept. 30 in Orlando and, at this very moment, all that matters is music. Race, gender, sexual orientation and age are all looked past as people come together to watch twelve bands play on two different stages throughout the entire day. Not even rain deterred fans from staying all the way through the headliner band’s set, where they finished the night by playing “All signs point to Lauderdale” as their third encore song.

The headliner band, A Day to Remember (ADTR), originated the Self Help Festival in 2014. At that time, the show only took place in San Bernardino, California. Their goal was to showcase bands who had a positive message in their music. Jeremy McKinnon, vocalist of ADTR, talks about the meaning of Self Help Fest, “It was just a festival we kind of put together based around the bands that we have toured with over the years, that we support or just bands in general that we love. It’s really just based around the fan base and what the music means to them. We are just trying to have a home base for all of those things under one festival—and that is Self-Help.” He goes on to say, “I just think it’s an escape from everything that’s going on in the world. That’s what music is to me, at least. [Self Help is] just a place where you can go and enjoy music that talks about real world problems that actually affect you. It’s a community.”

This event exists for both the musicians and the fans, as do most concerts, but it is not for bands who are greedy about money or fame. “It’s a big thing for us. We’ve always been a production band, or a band that wants to put on more of a show than just getting up there with a backdrop and collecting a check. We’re going to try to convince bands, as this continues to go, that the headliner needs to put on a show. Since we’re the headliners this year, we will be doing that,” says McKinnon. All of the bands on this lineup have lyrics that relate to real world struggles. They encourage their audience to help themselves and help others; that life is worth living. It is more than just music, it is a form of expression for the musicians who create the music and the people who listen to it.

“We build it around exactly what we want as [fans],” McKinnon says. “We always have a hand-picked dream list [for the lineup]. Honestly, that’s all it is. A few of us get together and put together the lineup that we think would be the coolest lineup of the year — people that we want to see.” Some of the headlining bands are bands that they listened to before they were even ADTR. Underøath and Less Than Jake are two bands that inspired ADTR to play shows. “Those are the bands we grew up listening to, the bands that inspired us. We’re always trying to bring in the stuff that inspired us [and] the things that we think are actually quality music from all of those past years that matter to us. We try to bring a super package. We have been trying to get Less Than Jake to play a show with us for years.”

This year, the event has expanded to Philadelphia, Orlando, Florida and Detroit. Each location has a slight variation of the bands on the line-up. Orlando’s line up this year consists of A Day To Remember, Underøath, The Story So Far, State Champs, Less Than Jake, Streetlight Manifesto, Moose Blood, Real Friends, Dance Gavin Dance, Attila, Wage War, The Plot In You and Bad Omens.

The Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando is not far from A Day To Remember’s hometown of Ocala. This makes the first year of the event being in Florida more meaningful to the band. ADTR’s guitarist, Neil Westfall, states, “We are from here. We had to bring it home. A lot of times in Florida, tours tend to skip it over because it’s hard to get down here. We wanted to make it a point to bring something that we are really involved with down here.” Each year, the event has expanded more than the year before. With the rate that it is growing, who knows, it might become the next Warped Tour.IMG_8913

Nomadic Seasons


The Nomadic Seasons visual art exhibition opened November 9 at the HCC Ybor City art gallery. This exhibit will be open to the public until December 7. Nomadic Seasons is a mixed-media exhibition created by Barton LaTeer Gilmore.

Students from HCC and SPC, along with other patrons, linger through the exhibit. Hailey, one of Gilmore’s digital photography students, admires each piece of art as she says, “I like how there’s 3-D and then 2-D of the art, so you get a little taste of everything… he’s [Gilmore] just really talent!”

Gilmore is the professor/faculty in charge of the photography department at St. Petersburg College in Clearwater. When he is not teaching, he spends the remainder of his time working on his art. Gilmore never works on just one piece at a time; he bounces around from piece to piece to avoid conceptional blocks. Each individual art piece takes him anywhere from eight months to a year and a half to complete.

Each piece that Gilmore creates is unique and something that viewers have to look at for more than just a few seconds to figure out everything that is going on. One piece is a replica of his property, using random scrap objects that he found on his property in Lutz. Another two-piece set is about relationships, team work and non-teamwork. These pieces are renditions of mixed media pieces. They were lit with color gels and lights from behind the piece before he assembled the piece. The piece was hanging as he was behind it, illuminating it with color lights and acetates. He then photographed that in front of the piece and put the photographs together. In his “Early Signs” series, Gilmore has pieces such as “Organic Facade” and “Tree Houses” which represent the organic relationship between resources that are both artificially manifested and indigenous to the environment. They remind the viewers to cherish and nurture not only their relationship with the environment, but also with the present moment and other people.

While talking about his art work and inspirations for them, Gilmore says, “I like working with my hands and the ideas that these pieces revolve around are conceptional ideas about the environment, about my life long lessons, about my personal observations to the environment around me, to the relationships I have. I do have opinions and I’m trying to make statements about how I feel about my life.” He then goes on to describe his work as a professor and how art was not the path his parents wanted him to take because they did not deem it lucrative. Although, Gilmore’s outlook on money is, “Doing what you love is of much more value than huge incomes with a job that you’re not happy with. Going into art, I wasn’t interested in making a lot of money.” Life should be about doing what you love, and everything else will fall into place along with it.


Woman for president 2020


It is about time that the United States elects a female as president. It was a close call in 2016 with Hilary Clinton, but 2020 is the year for a new female candidate. There are more than 50 percent of American women in the work force. Though, at the same time, there are continuing efforts to restrict women’s control over their own bodies and the attempts to roll back their rights. This is the time more than ever to push forward an make a change. All the other issues, including national defense and the economy, are handled by women all over the world. Every other major country in the world has had female leadership.

Pros and cons of Kratom

A Southeast Asian plant called Kratom has become a threat to Americans seeking a cure for opioid addiction. Kratom has been used in America to treat pain, anxiety, depression and the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. With that being said, the Food and Drug Administration has also stated that there have been 36 deaths linked to kratom, as well as a tenfold increase in calls to U.S. poison control centers about the substance between 2010 and 2015. It is considered a controlled substance in many countries around the world and has been banned in several states in the U.S. The Drug Enforcement Administration planned on moving Kratom to the schedule 1 drug list, but decided not to. This list includes other substances that have high potential for abuse and lack medical use. Even though there are still arguments that Kratom has medical benefits and should be studied further for such purposes, the Food and Drug Administration is pushing for a ban on the medication.

The Food and Drug Administration put out a press release stating, “evidence shows that kratom has similar effects to narcotics like opioids, and carries similar risks of abuse, addiction and in some cases, death. Thus, it’s not surprising that often kratom is taken recreationally by users for its euphoric effects. At a time when we have hit a critical point in the opioid epidemic, the increasing use of kratom as an alternative or adjunct to opioid use is extremely concerning.”

After the announcement made by the Food and Drug Administration and the possible ban of Kratom by the DEA, more than 50 U.S. representatives wrote a letter criticizing the decision. The idea of a ban on Kratom was referred to as a “disservice to science.” This caused the DEA to withdraw their motion to ban. Now the agency is letting the Food and Drug Administration weigh in on the decision, although the Food and Drug Administration already treats kratom as an unapproved drug, and the agency has taken action against dietary substances that have it. A public comment period will also be open until December 1. The ultimate decision will be left up to the DEA who could still decide to move the drug to Schedule I, enforce a temporary ban or could leave kratom unregulated like it was before.

If a temporary ban is chosen, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) would be in charge of a temporary scheduling provision. This would put into motion the DEA Administrator temporarily placing a substance in schedule I where he finds that doing so is “necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety.” This provision of the CSA requires the DEA to publish a notice in the Federal Register stating the intent to issue a temporary scheduling order at least 30 days before issuing any such order.kratom

FDA warns about ‘deadly risks’ of taking Kratom for opioid addiction

This article peaked my interest more than others because the opioid addiction has become an epidemic in America. If medication meant to help prevent opioid addiction actually makes it worse or has the risk of death, it should be banned. My article will begin with the following:

A Southeast Asian plant has become a threat to Americans seeking a cure for opioid addiction. Kratom has been used in America to treat pain, anxiety, depression and the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. It is considered a controlled substance in many countries around the world and has been banned in several states in the U.S. The Drug Enforcement Administration planned on moving Kratom to the schedule 1 drug list, but decided not to. This list includes other substances that have high potential for abuse and lack medical use. Even though there are still arguments that Kratom has medical benefits and should be studied further for such purposes, the FDA is pushing for a ban on the medication.


There are so many media platforms that share news in different ways. is one of many news websites that shares the current top stories. There are short video clip that last roughly one to two minutes for each story. Below the videos are the transcripts with links that take you to the resources that support each story. Personally, I think that having such short videos benefits the site because most people seem to prefer obtaining information in ways that require short attention spans.

There are six major categories for the different stories on Newsy: U.S News, Politics, World, Science/Health, Tech, Entertainment, Sports and Business. They could do a better job at separating and organizing the categories. Although, the categories as they are efficiently allow users to learn about the stories that they would be most interested in. Entertainment and tech stories interest me most because I aspire to work in the entertainment industry. Some of the major stories right now that peaked my interest most were Taylor Swift’s Lawyers And The ACLU Face Off Over Blog Post, Niall Horan Helped One Direction Tie A Record The Beatles Set and New Details Show How Russia Used Social Media To Divide Americans.

I have never heard of Newsy before now, but I highly recommend it to people who are pressed on time but still want to be up to date on what is going on in the news.