Arts & Culture » Culture 2 Go

Orlando Phil's Christopher Barton resigns, United Arts CEO retires, plus more performing arts news



United Arts of Central Florida president and CEO Flora Maria Garcia has announced her intention to retire from her position at the end of January 2020. Garcia, who has led the cultural funding umbrella organization since 2012, says she plans to relocate to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. United Arts, which dispersed nearly $5 million in grants to arts organizations in 2018, has not yet formally announced a search for Garcia's successor.

Orlando's largest classical music organization also recently announced a big change in leadership. Christopher T. Barton, who joined the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra as executive director in 2016, has resigned, and Dr. Mary Palmer and Mark Fischer have been appointed as acting co-executive directors while a search is conducted for his replacement. "It has been both a joy and a great honor to work with Mr. Barton," says music director Eric Jacobsen, who will continue to conduct as the orchestra moves to the Dr. Phillips Center's new Steinmetz Hall next year.

Orlando Science Center is spending $75,000 on cultural programs to partner with Pompeii: The Immortal City, the blockbuster multimedia exhibit coming to Loch Haven Park in summer 2020. Artists with ideas for a performance or project inspired by the ancient volcanic tragedy have until April 30 to apply at

Winter Park Playhouse announced the winning selections of their third annual Florida Festival of New Musicals, which will be held June 20-23. Flaming Volcano Bed and Breakfast, by local musician Ned Wilkinson, is the lone Orlando-based show out of the six selected for concert-style stagings; it will be joined by new plays from New York, Chicago and Toronto. Tickets are on sale at

Now Playing

Mariana Pineda, through April 14 at Mad Cow ... The Wild Party, through April 14 at Theater West End ... King Lear, through April 14 at Valencia East ... Top Girls, through April 21 at Mad Cow ... The Little Merman From the Black Lagoon, through April 25 at Stonewall Bar ... Richard II, through April 28 at Orlando Shakes ... Greater Tuna, through April 28 at Bay Street Players ... Jack and the Beanstalk, through May 4 at Orlando Shakes ... The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, through May 5 at Theater on the Edge.


Other Desert Cities, April 11-15 at Penguin Point ... Seussical the Musical, April 8-May 12 at Orlando Rep ... Playwrights' Round Table presents Geist, April 12-21 at Orlando Shakes ... Dear Evan Hansen, April 16-21 at Dr. Phillips Center ... Sweet Charity, April 19-27 at Annie Russell Theatre, Rollins College ... Billy Elliot: The Musical, April 26-May 26 at Garden Theatre.

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