SOS Children's Villages - Florida nurtures youth in foster care through a neighborhood built exclusively for them. The street's 12 houses buzz with the activity of the 75 resident boys and girls, who were removed from their homes due to abandonment, abuse, and neglect. They spend their childhood with foster families selected by a caseworker and have access to an array of social and mental-health services. Most children stay at the Village for about two years until they are found a permanent adoptive home or reunited with their biological families. The Village places a high priority on maintaining family connections among siblings, generally placing them in the same house.
SOS Children’s Villages sustains a connection with all its youth after they turn 18 through the After Care program, which helps them transition into adulthood and self-sufficiency. SOS boasts incredible success with this program: 83% of its alumni have graduated high school—33% higher than the national average for foster children—and 47% have gone on to pursue higher education.
A nationally sourced all-star roster of professional singers, Seraphic Fire weaves complex vocals and dynamic performance into a shimmering audio-visual tapestry. Their popular Christmas program features English, Spanish, and American carols, sung with classical poise and seasonally appropriate gusto. Patrons can fill their ears amidst flickering candlelight, and enjoy sweeter sounds than those produced by well-intentioned but atonal door-to-door carolers and traveling reindeer choirs.
Within Art Connection's 45,000-square-foot factory, showroom, and production facility, patrons can sift through a vast collection of decorative prints and posters that include both classic and contemporary art. Enlist a 30"x24" print of Monet's Impression, Sunrise ($16.99) or Picasso's Violin and Guitar ($17.99) to teach dry wall about Impressionism, Cubism, and cultural elitism. A 35"x35" museum-quality print of Tuscan Summer ($60.99) can help to gussy up a drab cubicle, whereas a 22"x34" poster featuring The Office characters ($9.99) can bring workday doldrums into a painstakingly pleasant living room. Attract two-dimensional bees with a poster from Art Connection's extensive floral collection, then peruse the vast collection of frames for a portrait protector to keep it safe from roaming dust mites and ice-cream-wielding 4-year-olds.
The humor ambassadors of the Fort Lauderdale Comedy Club stock their Oakland Park stage with snickers and snorts as audiences savor the jokes of headlining local and national comedians. Shirking the detached feel of stuffy theaters, smoky halls, and abandoned wells, Fort Lauderdale Comedy Club grants audiences an intimate standup comedy experience as fans catch every punch line and smell every punch breath. The ever-changing calendar features a solid crew of human antidepressants, such as funnyman and Comedy Central Laugh Riots semifinalist Danny Johnson (January 27–28), who cooks up buffets of hee-haws with his observational humor and everyman appeal. Funny bones flee their ligaments as Shawn Banks (February 10–11) deposits hefty loads of family-fun humor and impressions into his engaging live-wire act. Groups of two or four can chase down meaty laughs with wine and beer or a refreshing, alcohol-free soda. Dress codes are comfortable and casual, and all hecklers will be shunned and turned into chum.