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Twelve-year-old activist Genesis Butler
has invited Pope Francis to go vegan. Citing his encyclical letter, she
notes that he already acknowledges that we need to make lifestyle
changes for the future of the planet and that we should be kind to all
beings, not just humans. Completely congruant with this philosophy, it
is only natural then that the Pope go vegan for Lent or perhaps longer.
The Pope has responded to Genesis with a letter and it is the beginning
of a wonderful dialogue. For the full inspirational interview with
Genesis on Ep. 25 of Awesome Vegans, which originally aired on the
#JaneUnchained News Network and is now on WGN Radio, click here.
To know him is to love him! Actor, director, comedian-improviser, and meat-eater Joel Murray (Mad Men, God Bless America, Shameless)
comes over to talk about the Chicago Cubs, the new Caddyshack
Restaurant that he and brothers Bill and Brian have opened in
Chicagoland...and I make his favorite meal...meatless! (Thanks Beyond
Meat!) Tune in as Joel tries some delicious Pasta Bolognese and we laugh it up! Click here for the recipe and Go Cubs, Go!
is one of my very favorite people. It is always a treat to have him in
the house. Once a month, Jonny and I get together and juice it up!
Our own verson of Martha and Snoop, we sometimes show up in costume or
sometimes juice for a special theme. Be sure to check us later this
month on my instagram and ElysabethAlfano.com when it is a smoothie-versus-juice off!
much of an animal advocate as I am, when it comes to the most important
thing for animals, it isn’t the rescues. It is to get the laws changed
for animal protection. This is why Executive Director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Stephen Wells, is an incredible human and an incredible hero. Listen in to Ep 24 of Awesome Vegans
to get inspired and to learn what you can do to help Stephen help
animals. He is truly changing the world for the better. Originally
airing on the #JaneUnchained News Network and now on WGN Radio, you can
listen to the full interview here.
This yummy muffin recipe has no sugar, no flour and no butter...and it
is so delicious. It is perfect as a morning muffin or a healthy snack.
For more plant-based and healthy recipes, click here. And be on the look-out for more cooking demos on TV, on-line on the #JaneUnchained News Network and on ElysabethAlfano.com.
Was super fun to be back on the Movies Made Me Podcast, hosted by Cheryl Jones. This time I was on the fourth anniversary episode with actress Giovannie Espiritu (upcoming feature, D-Railed), comedian Eddie Furth (The Historical Roast), comedian Ron Placone (The Jimmy Dore Show, Get Your News on with Ron), and the founder of Dragon Wagon Radio, Jake Lloyd. Listen in...it get's inspirational!
The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, part of Florida International University, presents the national museum debut of Shtetl in the Sun: Andy Sweet’s South Beach 1977-1980.
The new museum exhibition celebrates the legendary photographer’s work
in the late 1970s capturing the colorful elderly Jewish community in
South Beach, before his death at a young age.
The photographer Andy Sweet (center), with some of his beloved subjects on South Beach
Taking a cue from the new book from Letter16 Press, edited by Brett Sokol, this is the first time a museum exhibits Sweet’s work, on view from March 19 until June. The exhibition's debut also coincides with the successful national release of The Last Resort, the new film directed by Dennis Scholl & Kareem Tabsch that also celebrates Andy Sweet's work.
landmark museum is located at 301 Washington Avenue in the heart of
South Beach’s historic Art Deco District, which was ground zero for Andy
Sweet (1953-1982). The museum will present an opening reception on Tuesday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m.
The cover of the new book, featuring this signature photograph by Andy Sweet
Sweet’s work was almost lost forever, and was rescued thanks to the work of his sister, Ellen Sweet Moss, and her husband Stan Hughes.
The exhibition will feature an intimate look inside the artist’s
working process, with more than 60 images, plus original photographs
that have never been shown, handpicked by Sweet’s family exclusively for
this museum show.
family is also providing a treasure trove of archival materials, shown
for the first time, including some of Sweet’s original Hasselblad
cameras, photo contact sheets hand-noted by Sweet, and more. The
museum's programming of events surrounding this exhibition includes an
evening with Ellen Sweet Moss and Brett Sokol, on April 9.
The first museum show of Sweet’s work
Photograph by Andy Sweet
Sweet was a true Miami Beach original. He possessed a talent and
creative vision that was intrinsically linked to the zeitgeist happening
here at that time,” said Susan Gladstone, the museum’s Executive Director.
“The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU is thrilled to create this first-ever
museum show about Sweet’s work, as our own South Beach history
resonates in the same radius where his creative lens took flight. There
was a magical quality in Andy Sweet’s photography that comes across
testament to the powerful way his images connect across generations and
cultures is evident in the early interest from other museums in the
U.S. and abroad, wanting to borrow this exhibition to show in their
Photograph by Andy Sweet
South Beach was predominantly a Jewish enclave in the late 1970s when Andy Sweet photographed the elderly population, and many of the residents were New York transplants and Holocaust survivors.
preservationists rescued the Art Deco buildings and designated the
district onto the National Register of Historic Places, before Miami
Vice transformed Miami’s image worldwide, and way before the hip and
trendy renaissance of the area, South Beach was home to the largest number of Jewish retirees in America. More than 20,000 elderly Jews lived in South Beach then, within a compressed area (like a modern-day shtetl).
banded together into a tight-knit community to help each other, often
converting the lobbies of these Art Deco buildings into makeshift
Gladstone, the museum’s Executive Director, was a young social worker
when Sweet was documenting this community with his camera. She was assigned to work with agencies in this neighborhood, to assist the aging population.
Thirty years later, Gladstone was tapped as a historian for the film The Last Resort,
the smash hit that won numerous awards in the film festival circuit and
that is getting rave reviews now during its national theatrical
exhibition is about more than just nostalgia, it’s about the life of a
young photographer destined to become an important artist were it not
for his sudden end at the age of 28.
Many of the people in Sweet’s photographs smiled back at his camera,”
adds Gladstone. “Many of his subjects exuded a sense of urgency to live
out their lives to the fullest on South Beach ─ some of them were still
laughing, dancing, and living before it was too late.”
Photograph by Andy Sweet
In the new photography book from Letter16 Press, Brett Sokol
states: “Forget those jokes about South Beach in the late 1970s being
the Yiddish-speaking section of God’s Waiting Room. Yes, upwards of
20,000 elderly Jews made up nearly half of the Beach’s population in
those days - all crammed into an area of barely two square miles like a
modern-day shtetl, the small, tightly knit Eastern European villages
that defined so much of pre-World War II Jewry . . . they all still had
plenty of living, laughing and loving to do. Sweet’s photos capture the
community’s daily rhythms in all their beach-strolling,
cafeteria-noshing, and klezmer-dancing glory.”
Also in the book, filmmaker Kelly Reichardt
says: "I can’t recall exactly where I first discovered Andy Sweet’s
photos but it wasn’t long after moving north . . . After you get some
distance from a place, you realize there were some things you liked
after all. And one of those things for me was the Miami Beach that is
represented in Sweet’s photography. If only, back when I was out there
on Ocean Drive, with my Pentax K-1000, if only I could have stumbled
into Andy Sweet’s photographs."
Photograph by Andy Sweet (Ocean Drive in South Beach, circa 1979)
Andy Sweet’s art was almost lost forever . . .
Andy Sweet died so young, and since his boxes of photos and negatives
were lost, his work was almost lost forever. Sweet’s life was cut
tragically short when he was murdered in 1982. Victim of a violent crime,
he was brutally stabbed to death in his Miami Beach apartment. Citizens
of Miami Beach and of Miami-Dade County were shocked and horrified by
Andy’s senseless murder.
This native son, affable and fun-loving, having just entered his artistic journey and becoming well known for establishing an important visual legacy, was abruptly gone.
family was so devastated, that for decades they could not face the
emotional ordeal of what to do with his boxes of photographs. His extensive body of work exhibited a level of creative maturity far beyond his years.
passed, but the Sweet family and their friends kept an emotional vigil.
Andy’s photographs, in boxes containing thousands of colorful prints
and original negatives, became their focal point. His extensive archive
would represent his richly-lived short life.
However, if there was any glory in their undertakings, there would be much more anguish -- the
family was heartbroken when in 2003 they were shocked to learn that a
storage facility lost all of these boxes, and they feared his legacy was
Andy Sweet with his legendary camera (South Beach, circa 1979)
Then, suddenly a stroke of good luck would change their lives! In 2006, Andy’s sister, Ellen Sweet Moss, and her husband Stan Hughes, miraculously discovered boxes of precious test-prints, contact sheets and work prints that no one knew existed. The couple then decided to dedicate the greater part of their lives to maintaining the memory of Sweet’s work.
these newly discovered boxes contained no color negatives, and because
the test-prints in these previously undiscovered boxes were faded after
so many years, the project would require extensive restoration.
decided to research into Sweet’s early work and his style of
photography, to be able to try to restore them to their original colors
with the guidance of Gary Monroe (Andy’s best friend and photographic
partner during their South Beach days).
years, Hughes spent over 12 hours a day painstakingly and tirelessly
restoring these new-found test-prints to their original colorful glory,
using new advances in digital photography. They made it their life
mission to ensure that Sweet’s work reaches as many people as possible
with the Andy Sweet Photo Legacy.
The family’s mission is now at a turning point, with the spectacular success of the film The Last Resort
by Dennis Scholl and Kareem Tabsch, the book by Brett Sokol, and the
museum exhibition by the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. All three current
manifestations of Sweet’s work are taking his creative vision to
Photograph by Andy Sweet (South Beach, circa 1979)
More about the artist . . .
he returned home to Miami Beach after receiving a Master’s degree in
Fine Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1977, Andy Sweet
was on a mission with his friend Gary Monroe to photograph the
Old-World Jewish culture that then distinguished South Beach.
in graduate school, Andy was part of a small faction of young
artist-photographers who were discovering the creative possibilities of
color imagery. His beach-ball hues perfectly described the vivid light and lively culture he explored and portrayed, a culture that many others found bleak and pedestrian.
Andy’s aesthetic was as fresh as his colors. He rejected formalist theory and idea-driven imagery in favor of immediate and unmediated responses, of living it up and aligning himself with the people he knew he was privileged to photograph.
admired the work of Diane Arbus, and like her he rejected the notion of
self-conscious art making. The pure and spirited photograph was what
mattered. He knew he was an artist but his aesthetic, his intellect, and
his ego required that he conceal this fact in service of achieving the
caliber of photograph he desired.
Intuitive, but certain, each click of his camera’s shutter release was an affirmation. He joyously photographed in this way until his death in 1982. He was only 28 years old.
Photographs by Andy Sweet (South Beach, circa 1979)
ABOUT THE JEWISH MUSEUM OF FLORIDA-FIU
Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU is located in the heart of Miami Beach’s
Art Deco District, at 301 Washington Avenue on South Beach. It serves as
a major cultural attraction and source of information for a wide
audience of residents, tourists, students and scholars of all ages and
backgrounds from throughout the state, nation, and the world.
in a former synagogue that housed Miami Beach's first Jewish
congregation, the museum's restored 1936 Art Deco building and 1929
original synagogue are both on the National Register of Historic Places.
The 301 building features nearly 80 stained glass windows, a copper
dome, marble bimah and many Art Deco features including chandeliers and
sconces. The Jewish Museum of Florida is accredited by the American
Alliance of Museums. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-5
p.m. Closed on Mondays and holidays. Admission: Adults $12; Seniors $8;
Families $24; Members and children under 6 always free; Saturdays-Free.
For more information, please call 305-786-972-3175 or visit
Museum is supported by individual contributions, foundations,
memberships and grants from the State of Florida, Department of State,
Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and
Culture, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, the Miami-Dade County
Tourist Development Council, the Miami-Dade County Department of
Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County
Mayor and Board of County Commissioners and the City of Miami Beach,
Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council, and the Funding Arts