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In many ways, the restaurant industry has come back to life, but it’s a new life. Many restaurants have been able to reinvent how they interact with and accommodate their customers, creating innovative ways to enjoy good food. The COVID-19 pandemic brought about some changes that will stay. In addition to rearranging indoor seating to allow for better spacing, we are seeing a marked shift toward increased outdoor dining options. We are very fortunate to live in an area that allows for this virtually year-round. In addition, many restaurants have kept their expanded takeout options in place, with an increased use of third-party food delivery services and curbside pickup.
Last year was, of course, marked by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which tasked schools with creating not only new campus-wide health and safety protocols, but entirely new guidelines for performing and visual arts programs. We profiled the creative and adaptive ways in which many area schools rose to this challenge, keeping art students inspired, creating, and even safely performing and exhibiting.
It may be coincidence that two Black female writers who are receiving recent national recognition for their books graduated from the same high school. However, it may be part of the school’s legacy, and it’s interesting to draw lines between the two writers.
It’s always a treat when an original show comes to town. This February, Theatre Jacksonville patrons will be only the second audience (the other being in New York in January) to see the debut of Mom Before Dad: A Young Woman of the Greatest Generation, a production written and performed by Theatre Jacksonville’s own Executive Director Sarah Boone. Inspired by a diary and letters found after her mother’s death, Mom Before Dad has been a highly personal and rewarding undertaking for Boone as she has developed a living story about the hopes, dreams, challenges, and heartbreaks of a young girl during WWII. We sat down with Boone to hear about the show and discuss her remarkable creative journey.
Shopping for gifts during this holiday season will likely feel more ‘normal’ this year, as retail is back in full swing. It remains crucial to our beloved independent local businesses that we give them support as they continue to rebound from the pandemic. In thinking of things to make your dearest people smile, let’s try to shop our values and make our community smile, too. Each year, Arbus Magazine presents our Shop Local Gift Guide so that you can see what locally owned businesses are offering and be inspired to enjoy gift shopping. Many businesses continue to offer various options such as online or telephone purchases, and the storefronts are looking festive. Enjoy browsing through the following pages and soak in the tradition and sparkle of the season.