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Faulkner, cultural center open to a sellout audience

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image Performance artist Leland Faulkner during his opening performance on Saturday. Mitch Traphagen Photo

Faulkner opens to a sell out and ends with a standing ovation.

By MITCH TRAPHAGEN

RUSKIN — When the lights were dimmed and the curtain rose, performance artist Leland Faulkner emerged to a sellout audience for the debut event of the Firehouse Cultural Center’s first-ever Artist-in-Residence program.

Faulkner’s hour-long performance was a brilliant combination of fables, magic and illusion, going far to prove the heart and mind of a talented artist trumps artificial special effects. The artist had the audience laughing throughout the show and received a standing ovation at the conclusion of the performance.

The theater is what were once large bays for fire trucks, transformed into the BlackBox Theater only days before Saturday night’s performance with the assistance of the Florida Home Partnership, Inc., Paintmore Corp., Sherwin Williams of Ruskin, Keith Arsenault of the International Arts & Entertainment Group, A&R Stucco of Ruskin, the StageWorks Theatre in Tampa, and numerous volunteers.

Faulkner’s Artist-in-Residency was made possible through the sponsorship of the SouthShore Arts Council, Target Stores, Walmart, the Community Foundation of Greater Sun City Center, and the hospitality of the Mary & Martha House.

Additional donations came from Home Depot, Traditional & Digital Arts, PRP Wines International, SouthShore Signs in Ruskin, and the Destiny Church, along with support from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County.

After conducting a week of workshops, Faulkner will conclude his residency with a final performance at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 2. The performance will include participants from the workshops, a talkback session and a post-residency celebration.

For more information, visit www.firehouseculturalcenter.org.

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