Director, University of Florida Performing Arts
Came to Greater Gainesville in 2015
What about Greater Gainesville stood out when comparing it to your other options?
I tell anyone that will listen to me that,“Gainesville punches way above its weight when it comes to the arts.” And I mean it! I’ve lived in Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Columbus, and DC, all places with much higher population concentrations, and their culture scenes have nothing on Gainesville. In my line of business that is pretty important.
Further, the Florida Natural History Museum, the Harn Museum of Art, and UF College of Arts are all national leaders in their fields. Lest we forget about the excellent faculty and facilities that Santa Fe College offers North Central Florida. There’s the National Touring company DanceAlive and the Gainesville Orchestra that call our fair city home. Add in jazz night at Leonardo’s and Francesca’s, JestFest and the Spring and Fall Arts Festivals, the Bulla Cubana Arts Festival, and you see my point.
What is something you wish you knew before moving here?
Here is what you need to know before moving to Gainesville: purchase or rent close to campus and downtown. With so many arts and cultural offerings, not to mention the abundance of top-shelf, locally owned restaurants, you’ll have easy access to the creativity that makes this city so special. Patty and I have four children, and living close to town gives them a great experience as well. We are never bored!
What is your favorite local food?
Root & Pecker for healthy food and pizza. The Top to entertain artists after the show. Volcanic Sushi for, well, sushi. Fresco in Haile. And Antonio’s in Micanopy for a change of scenery. Oh yeah, Blue Water Bay in Melrose is the bomb, and lastly, Backstreet Blues for fresh oysters from both coasts.