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Gallery Night Schedule 2023

Written By Kathlene Rushing
Posted on
Categories: Community

Gallery Night includes more than 35 fine artists, and craftsmen, five food trucks, kids’ activities in the new family-friendly zone within Jefferson and Intendencia streets, and live music venues. The Gallery Night Pensacola footprint includes Palafox street (from Garden Street to Main Street), Jefferson Street to Intendencia, and connecting blocks in between. Artistic mediums include glass, paint, woodworking, jewelry, mixed media, and more. In addition to arts, music, and activities, downtown restaurants, galleries, and shops will be open for extended hours encouraging patrons to come and explore our award-winning downtown. Gallery Night is almost always held on the third Friday of each month from 5–10 p.m. (Schedule Below)

Participating Downtown Pensacola merchants and businesses: Al Fresco, Badlands, Artel Gallery, Blend Lounge, Blue Morning Gallery, Bluejay’s Bakery, Dog House Deli, CoWork @nnex, Urban Swinery, Hopjacks, Pot Roast & Pinot, Intermission, Jackson’s Steakhouse, Play, O’Riley’s Irish Pub, Seville Quarter, Shux Oyster Bar, Jeweler’s Trade Shop, The Tin Cow, V Paul’s, Wild Greg’s Saloon, World of Beer, Jordan Valley Restaurant, Legal Graffiti sponsored by Zarzaur Law, P.A., Cigar Factory Pensacola, Belle Ame’, The Wine Bar, Casks and Flights Wine Tasting Room, Cactus Cantina, Travel Leaders Pensacola, Nom Sushi Izakaya, Angelena’s Ristorante Italiano, SaBai on Jefferson, Disko Lemonade, Stay the Spa, The Blowout Bar, Old City Market, Properly Posh Baby, Bodacious Bookstore & Cafe, Clark Partington, Bear Levin Studer Family YMCA, Vinyl Music Hall, Global Grill and Southtowne Apartments.

For more information visit
Gallery Night Email: [email protected]

Gallery Night Schedule 2020

  • January 20 – Lunar New Year
    February 24 – STEAMpunk!
    March 17 – Celebrate the Written Word
    April 21 – Dancing in the Streets
    May 19 – Prismatic
    June 16 – Juneteenth
    July 21 – Sustainable Summer
    August 18 – Wonder Years
    September 15 – Fashion Week
    October 20 – Trick-or-Treat
    November 17 – Give the Gift of Art
    December 15 – Miracle on Palafox Street
gallery night schedule 2023
gallery night schedule 2023

Soweto Academy

Written By Garrett Gerona
Posted on
Categories: Blog Posts, Community, UWF Student Authors

Where would you be without an education? Could you imagine your life without schooling? Without the opportunities your education provides? The struggles you’d face? The limitations?

Soweto Academy asks this question because education is vital to success and fulfillment, and some children find themselves unable to receive theirs. Circumstances limit funds. Limited funds mean limited services. Limited services mean children with zero control over their birthplace never have the opportunity to learn and grow.

Soweto Academy, an education nonprofit based in Nairobi, works to bring education and opportunities to children who would otherwise be forced to live without them.

Many Kenyan children grow up in slums without access to basic utilities, much less education. Soweto Academy has worked for thirty years to mend these issues. Chris Okumu, the director of Soweto Academy, established this nonprofit to bring children opportunities as well as help them become independent and self-sustaining members of society.

Soweto Academy teaches children about mathematics, science, and reading, but it also teaches valuable real-life skills its graduates can use to support themselves—and their communities—in the future. These skills include gardening and animal husbandry. Soweto Academy’s students learn to feed and sustain themselves while working to support others.

Soweto Academy’s support for these children goes beyond education, too. Students are fed. They’re clothed. They’re protected and nurtured. Kenya’s slums contain struggles that the rest of the world may never learn of or experience for themselves. Sewage and trash present health risks. Dense populations mean food can be scarce—before Soweto Academy, many children were forced to pick through trash just to scrape together enough nutrition to survive. Many children still do. Soweto Academy works to shield children from these harsh circumstances while teaching them how to overcome them.

Soweto Academy works to sustain itself by following the same values and skills it teaches its students. Operating an independent water-bottling facility, Soweto Academy uses its own well to supply water and its employees bottle and label that water for sale. Funds secured from this practice go toward feeding and clothing the children it protects as well as supporting the teachers who dedicate their lives to educating students.

Soweto Academy’s farms function similarly. These farms grow a variety of crops, and agricultural instructors teach students how to plant and sustain these crops to maturity. Students learn to farm, and Soweto Academy uses proceeds gained from these farms to support its students further beyond.

COVID-19 presented an intense and unique struggle for Soweto Academy and everyone living in Nairobi. Because Kenya’s slums are so densely packed, the coronavirus could spread like wildfire through the population. Limited utilities and funds meant healthcare and health-safety materials available to the rest of the world weren’t available to Kenyans.

Soweto Academy stood in the face of COVID-19 and protected its community with all its might. Their water-bottling facility provided clean and fresh water to countless lives. When trade shut down, Soweto Academy was there to feed everyone it could with its crops. Soweto Academy’s employees and students became some of Nairobi’s greatest shields and most stalwart frontline workers.

Without Soweto Academy’s help, there’s no telling how many in Nairobi may have suffered more than they already did. When the world shut down, Soweto Academy stood up. This defense of Nairobi would seem obvious to anyone familiar with the nonprofit’s practices and mission statement, but it demonstrates the resolve of Soweto Academy to support its community and raise everyone up together.

Soweto Academy has garnered attention from philanthropists the world over thanks to its mission and dedication to helping its students escape the limitations of their circumstances.

Partnering with BLU University and renowned speaker and philanthropist Dan Vega, Soweto Academy now spreads the message of unity and education online and across the world. Soweto Academy’s students and others now have the opportunity to access higher education courses, and these students and supporters are taking learning to the next level. They’re learning about economics, politics, business, international negotiations, and more! These courses teach students skills that allow them to succeed as well as bring their communities success on the world stage.

The director of Soweto Academy, Chris Okumu, intends to lead his students into even greater success in the future. He works tirelessly to support anyone and everyone in need of aid, and he has the progressive and pragmatic mindset required to accomplish these goals.

Soweto Academy alone can reach only so far, however. The nonprofit’s resources have been stretched thin. COVID-19 traumatized the world, and it stretched Soweto Academy’s resources particularly thin.

Soweto Academy Needs Your Help

Nothing is free, unfortunately, and Soweto Academy finds itself struggling to keep its doors open, to keep the children fed and clothed, to keep its teachers paid, and even to keep its back taxes settled.

Projects as ambitious as Soweto Academy incur deep expenses in the Kenyan economy. Thankfully, there is an answer—international support. Donations from everyday patrons like you can keep children fed and educated.

Fifteen thousand dollars is steep, but imagine how steep that cost is in the Kenyan economy. If fifteen hundred individuals donated just ten dollars, Soweto Academy could feed, clothe, and educate the children it protects for over a month. A little goes a long way, and many hands make light work.

Soweto Academy values independence and self-sufficiency—this nonprofit has sustained itself for over thirty years through dedication and hard work alone. COVID-19 put an unexpected and heavy strain on Soweto Academy, but it refuses to give up. Supporting Soweto Academy supports Kenya’s children, and these children will grow to support their communities, their country, and even the world.

Soweto Academy has helped children in need for years. Now, those children need you. Your support could mean the difference between generations of struggle and stagnation or education and accomplishment.

Where would you be without an education? Without clothes? Without food? Without hope?

Make a difference today. Visit Soweto Academy’s website and donate. Save a life. Support a community. Become the pillar Kenya’s children need.

Why Keeping A Graduate Journal Will Help You

Written By Jack Hindle
Posted on
Categories: Blog Posts, Community, UWF Student Authors

There is this transformation of worldly understanding when you see the world through the eyes of others.

Somewhere in my whirling mind, I feel as if I have heard the phrase “gratitude is hard to come by”. However, after consulting my mom and google, it seems that what I thought was a phrase is not a phrase at all; the phrase is “good help is hard to come by”, which I feel that phrase and its origins can and should be cross-examined to death. Still, this part in my brain keeps coming back to gratitude being hard to come by.

The reason I feel this way is because gratitude is hard to come by. I am not focusing on those around me when I say this, although I am sure everyone feels somewhere inside of them that they would like to be thanked more for the efforts they put in on a daily level. Instead, gratitude is so hard to come by within ourselves. It’s hard to put oneself out of their own bubble. To see life in this way where we are not in the center. I mean it when I say it’s hard. It doesn’t help that the reason behind it being so hard is difficult in itself to swallow. There are different hardships that different people don’t have to face. There are people who have to deal with a more complicated life than you and I. I think that can be hard for many people to accept, especially when they themselves don’t see their life being lived in some ivory tower. Yet, even though life is not always the best, it can be good to see a little light in the dark. All of this is why I feel that everyone should write a journal for moments when they feel gratitude, a gratitude journal, if you will.

So if you do want to start a gratitude journal, then here is what I would envision it looking like, but you can do with it what you will. At the beginning of the day, I would write down something that you are thankful for. It can be shelter, a good meal last night, or that you have the ability to go surfing. This starts the day off with gratitude. From there, you can take the journal wherever you go throughout the day and if something stands out to you, write it down. Now it can be easy to go overboard and underboard with this process. You could fill an entire journal out before a day is down, or you take years to fill one out. If you are the type to go overboard, limit yourself to three to five entries a day, and if you are the type that doesn’t write a lot or struggle to see gratitude in their world, then try your best to get to three entries a day. At the end of the day, think about your favorite moment that happened. It doesn’t have to be solely based on gratitude, but if you keep doing the entries, then you might discover that your favorite moment of the day has to deal with bringing goodness to others or goodness being given to you. It can cause that shift in seeing the world outside your bubble. Also, this is not to say that you can’t have bad days, and sometimes it might be hard to be thankful for anything at all. In those moments, it’s up to you how you want to go about it, and either way is understandable, yet if you decide to keep writing about things you are grateful for, it could make your day better. This is not to say that it will, but it very much could.

I want to point out that being focused on moments of grace and gratitude doesn’t mean that you should not like change or that life’s status quo shouldn’t change just because there are things that people should operate. You can have gratitude and still advocate for change. I also want to mention that seeing life in this way can also be hard on your heart. It can be hard to step back and see where there is suffering around you. It’s hard and may even make you feel guilty. With this stated, just because something is hard on your heart does not mean it’s terrible; it opens up empathy. We most certainly need more empathy in the world. As far as feeling guilty goes, it’s not that feeling guilty is inherently good or bad, but it’s what you do with that potential guilt. Hopefully, it’s to make the world a better place because you can stand not trying.

I think the goal of such a journal is to open up to a more worldly understanding of the goodness and hardships of life.

Keeping a gratitude journal is going to change how one may see the world, and it may give you hope for a better future. When you see moments of goodness and kindness in others, when you see families grow and change, when you feel laughter from within, you get to feel more enriched and more full. The world is this messy, shifting amalgamation of the worst and the best of humanity, and it’s easy to let nothing positive come by, but when you are trying to make a change, and you are fighting for something better, seeing good moments that you are thankful for will only make you stronger.

An Open Letter About Kindness

Written By Kathlene Rushing
Posted on
Categories: Community

By Jack Hindle

Kindness day is November 13th, and with it comes a reflection of the past and thoughts for the future.


Kindness is this ethereal quality or trait that brings some of the best experiences to the human condition. To me, kindness is linked to memory and hope. When we remember the moments when people were kind to us, it romanticizes and recolors our lens of the past. It’s in those moments that we look back on with the most sentiment and joy. When we feel connected to those moments of kindness, it makes the future feel a little less opaque and a little less heartless. If we can find moments and memories that tie us to some sort of optimism, it leads us to believe that there is hope for tomorrow.


This is where kindness holds its power; it can give us glimpses of good moments, creating hope for more of those moments to come. Kindness creates uncontainable smiles and joy-filled tears. Kindness can be so strong in moments that it doesn’t have to be a massive act to change a person’s life. It can be as simple as a conversation or an understanding nod.


I don’t want this open letter to be just preaching kindness, though. I believe that most people know that they should be kind, and most people want to be kind and try to bring kindness into their world. However, I do think a more interesting question and examination would be what kindness looked like in the past compared to how kindness is experienced and looks like today.


I am a younger individual, but from asking older relatives and people I know, they seem to suggest that in the past, kindness dealt more with being patient and staying in a role where there was a common type of kindness. Twenty to forty years ago, the world was slower, and communities were tighter. World affairs were not as known or easy to access. Kindness moved through a projection of mellow movements. People stopped quicker to talk, and those talks would take their time. The same older generations see today’s kindness move quicker and is more worldly. Being kind to others has changed in that people are more aware of societal issues; thus, there is a stronger pessimism that one person’s actions wouldn’t fix much of anything.


I can see where they are coming from; when one has a deeper understanding of political and cultural institutions, it tends to create more cynicism about those institutions. I also believe that our cultural interactions with kindness have shifted, but not exactly how the older people in my life see it. I think there is a more concentrated level of wanting kindness to be spread to all facets of life beyond that of the individual. Not to say that an entire generation thinks the same way, for they definitely don’t, but I think that is where the shift has been. Younger people want kindness at all levels of society. Before you read on, I want to state that the younger generations are not a monolith, just like older generations are not a monolith. I think that young people see older people’s rose-tinted visions of the past as, at best, naive and at worst deceitful, but that also isn’t the whole story. When someone older remembers good moments in their lives, including moments of kindness, it’s not like those moments or feelings didn’t happen. There might have been something else going on in the background, but there might not have been. It is always case to case, and most importantly, those moments of kindness affected their lives. They made lasting memories, and they feel better about their lives because of it.


Kindness in corporations, governmental systems, and individual actions would be incredible, even if it is quixotic or lofty in hopes. Just trying to bring kindness to your life at all times becomes complicated and muddy the more you think about it. Being completely kind is itself lofty; for example, say you like avocados, but you learn that some avocados are farmed using modern-day slavery. You could think, “Well, supporting this with my money is not kind to those who are enslaved, so I am not going to eat any avocados without knowing one hundred percent where they come from.” If it were just avocados, then that wouldn’t be the hardest thing to manage, but it’s not just avocados, it’s chocolate, tomatoes, clothes, and the list just keeps going on. The more a person understands the world, the harder it is to be entirely kind. To top it off, just being kind in a day-to-day setting where you aren’t focused on where your products come from is already incredibly hard. After all, we are all human and to err is human. We can get frustrated and angry. Life is hard. Dealing with life is complicated and dealing with oneself is hard.


None of this is to say that it is pointless to be kind; it is the opposite. When kindness feels out of reach, it makes it all the more important to strive for it. This includes kindness to yourself. It is knowing that you’re not going to get it right one hundred percent of the time. I know that’s hard as well, but knowing and accepting future mistakes will let you move through life easier. When you know a mistake will happen in the future, you can get a leg up on working through it and fixing it. Again, this is easier said than done, and I also struggle with this all the time, but trying is always better than not trying at all.


Today is national kindness day, and for the most part, most people will not know that today is a celebration of kindness. Most people will go about their day no differently than before. However, if you do know that today is national kindness day, try your best, do what you can, that’s all anyone can ask for, and that’s all you can do.


Important Phone Numbers For Pensacola Florida

Written By Kathlene Rushing
Posted on
Categories: Community, Guides, Pensacola

Emergency Phone Numbers

All Emergencies – Call 911


Report Price Gouging 866-966-7226

Insurance Consumer Helpline 1-877-693-5236

For evacuation and shelter information, please refer to:

Escambia County EMA: 850-471-6400 or


For storm surge threat graphics and other storm impacts:
NWS Mobile:


District 1: 850-595-4910
District 2:.850-595-4920
District 3: 850-595-4930
District 4: 850-595-4940
District 5: 850-595-4950


County Administrator: 850-595-4947

Animal Control: 850-595-0097

Animal Shelter: 850-595-3075

Code Compliance: 850-595-1820

Extension Service: 850-475-5230

Emergency Management: 850-471-6400

Environmental: 850-595-3623

Fraud, Waste & Abuse Hotline: 844-640-0008

Housing Information: 850-458-0466

Parks and Recreation: 850-475-5220

Planning and Zoning: 850-595-3475

Purchasing: 850-595-4980

Public Works: 850-595-3451

Recycling: 850-937-2160

Waste Services: 850-937-2160

Clerk of Court: 850-595-4310

Property Appraiser: 850-434-2735

City of Pensacola: 850-435-1603

Town of Century: 850-256-3208

Tax Collector: 850-438-6500

Information Referral: 211

Everyone Against Racism

Written By Kathlene Rushing
Posted on
Categories: Blog Posts, Community

The movement we are seeing in the U.S. was inspired by the unfortunate stories of many people – Black, White, Hispanic, Native American, LGBTQ, police officers, women, children, and well everyone. This movement is not just about one man or one race. This is about racism – getting rid of racism.

This is a time to come together – to focus on the things that we have in common. All of us want respect, love, opportunity, and a peaceful life.
We are all ONE RACE – the HUMAN RACE. Let’s come together in cooperation and respect to solve the problems of our world.
Let’s all stand together to end RACISM. Stop the Hate and Spread the Love!
#EAR, #EveryoneAgainstRacism

Stand With Us To Stop Racism

  1. Put our Twibbon Ring around your profile picture on Facebook.
  2. Use one of our FaceBook covers for your FaceBook page.
  3. Educate By Watching The Videos Below

Systemic Racism

System Racism And Black Women

Discussion: The Path To Ending System Racism In The US

Emergency Preparation

Written By Kathlene Rushing
Posted on
Categories: Community, Guides, Pensacola

What Is A Hurricane Watch?

A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds in an area.

What Is A Hurricane Warning?

An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

How To Prepare And Stay Safe During A Hurricane

During A Hurricane

  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
    • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Be extra careful when walking outside.
    • Storm damage such as downed power lines and fallen debris could injure you.

6 Hours Before The Arrival Of A Hurricane

  • Close storm shutters if possible and stay away from windows.
    • Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary.
    • If you lose power, food will last longer.

6 To 12 Hours Before The Arrival Of A Hurricane

  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your local government’s website frequently.
    • You’ll get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Charge your phone.
    • You’ll have a full battery if you lose power.

12 To 36 Hours Before The Arrival Of A Hurricane

  • Bring in outdoor furniture and other items that could blow away.
    • These may become a safety hazard.
  • Bookmark your local government’s website.
    • This gives you quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.

36 To 48 Hours Before The Arrival Of A Hurricane

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit.
    • Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power.
    • For example, you can use phone, text, social media, or email.
  • Create an evacuation plan with your family.
    • You may have to leave quickly.