845-252-6650 debra@debracortese.com

Another great Miami weekend filled with music, scandalous stories & art!


Many of you know that in addition to creating art, presenting art business workshops, and designing handbags,  I’ve also been working with Arts at St Johns on design and marketing projects. One in particular took on a life of its own, went through several incarnations and a year of intense work by teams of people. That project, “Miami Beach – the MUSICAL”, premieres this weekend at Arts at St Johns’ home theatre (also the sanctuary in St. John’s Methodist Church) at 4760 Pine Tree Drive, Miami Beach, FL . Performances start at 8 pm on Friday, Oct 1 and Saturday, Oct 2 and there’s a matinee on Sunday, Oct 3 at 3 pm. Tickets are $25  at the door, but I strongly suggest you order in advance to save $5 and to be sure you have a seat!
$20 tickets online at www.miamibeachthemusical.com

Also as I’m writing this, just listened to WLRN’s Under the Sun program as Alicia Zuckerman interiews Miami Beach – the MUSICAL Director, David Kingery, along with Wendy Unger and Leo Casino (both have stories & cameo appearances in the show).

This all original production is directed by David Kingery, who has incorporated historical research by Dr. Carol Hoffman-Guzman, dozens of real stories from WISH YOU WERE HERE – the history of Miami Beach Facebook pages and so much more  into an entertaining and poignant story, complete with original music by South Florida composers Andrew Sargent, David Cohen and lyricist,

On October 1, 2 & 3, 2010, the Arts at St Johns presents the World Premiere of this all-original musical production at their theater (also the sanctuary in St. John’s Methodist Church) at 4760 Pine Tree Drive, Miami Beach, FL .
Performances start at 8 pm on Friday and Saturday night and there is a matinee on Sunday at 3 pm.

Tickets are $25  at the door, and $20 online at www.miamibeachthemusical.com

and of course… the ART!

Time for me to get back to work!
Finishing a new series of mixed media paintings for my ‘wall’ as  GroveHouse Artist of the Month. Opening reception is Saturday night at 7pm (so I’ll be in Grove Sat. night to meet you and share the ‘blues’ – sneak peak of art progress posted below) and we also have a new ‘RED & GREEN’ grid show opening that night plus the fabulous art of dozens of GroveHouse Artists!

Hope to see you at GroveHouse Art on Saturday, or at Miami Beach – the MUSICAL on Fri or Sun!

Morning Glory Blues mixed media by Debra Cortese - still working on this!

The History of Miami Beach Project KICK-OFF Party April 22 at Art Deco Welcome Center

Did you get the tickets and the costumes? I can’t wait to see the live preview of
Miami Beach – the MUSICAL at the KICK-OFF Party for Arts at St Johns
History of Miami Beach Project.
There will be decadent delights from different decades
(made by Val of Sandbar Lounge with organic veggies from The Market Company)
plus drinks made with organic Prairie Vodka.
I can’t wait to play the Miami Beach Trivia games by Seth Bramson
(hope you’ve read his books about Miami Beach ;-), oh, and there’s
a Celebrity Look-alike contest and I heard something about Magic Sand Bag Treasures.
Wonder what they are?
A Silent Auction too with all kinds of art, vintage jewelry, Marlins tickets, super
Gold’s Gym memberships, Cortese Design Bags
(heard Debra created an Art Deco and Flamingos design  just for this event!),
Miami Food Tour, Art Deco Pillows by Dorit Norgaard, Paintings by Rosie Brown,
Pauline Goldsmith, Elizabet Chacon, an Arts & Business Council of Miami membership,
a Biscayne Nature Center membership, Jewelry by Deborah Ruggiero,
vintage pink glass bowl, vintage vase, incredible handcrafted masks by Barbara Donachy
and more items coming in every day!
Better get YOUR Tickets today!
TICKETS AVAILABLE AT: www.artsatstjohns.com or call 305.613.2325

You’re Invited to our Holiday Art Bazaar on Sat. Dec 5th

f<em>or more info and to see samples from all 15 artists, click the card image above</em>

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with so many events this week, but still want to get out, see fabulous art and maybe even do a little holiday shopping…you will definitely want to visit our One-Night-Only, Holiday Art Bazaar on Sat, Dec. 5th at the Mutiny Hotel in Coconut Grove, Florida.

The Bazaar starts at 6 and runs until 9 pm. Arrive early, enjoy complimentary champagne and chocolates, meet the artists, see original paintings and prints, sculpture, designer handbags, custom made jewelry, reiki demonstrations, and much more…all created by the following local and international artists:

Shari Beffingham, Leo Casino, Debra Cortese, Laura Cerwinske, Karen Deilke, Pauline Goldsmith, Carol Haggiag, Atena Komar, Monique Lassooij, Maria Napoles, Irina Patterson, Valentina Ramos, Maui Reple,  Fevi Reyes, Eileen Seitz, Harry van Gestel.

The Mutiny Hotel is presenting this event as part of their Pure Imagination program in conjunction with the monthly Coconut Grove Art Stroll. You can also enjoy poolside cocktails and even stay for dinner at Atchana’s East/West Kitchen, located right on the premises and just a few steps from the Holiday Art Bazaar!

To see samples from all of the artists visit this blog post and our Holiday Art Bazaar event page on Facebook.

Where else can you enjoy complimentary champagne and chocolates, hear great live jazz, wrap up your holiday shopping with delightfully unique art gifts and not have to pay an admission charge?

Mark you calendar right now for Saturday night, December 5th and join us at The Mutiny Hotel, 2951 S.Bayshore Dr, Coconut Grove, FL 33133.

Many of the artists will have special offers available only during this event!

For example: I’ll be showing my line of handbags and, for this event only, when you BUY ONE bag at the regular price of $130. you can get a 2nd bag at 50% off! Click here to preview Cortese Design Bags.

Holiday Art Bazaar: FREE Admission. Valet parking ($8.00 – a bargain most anywhere in Miami!)

Just posted Pauline’s Painting News in the comments below. Here’s an image from one of the cards Pauline will have at the show. Package of 4 amazing botanical images @10. Great Stocking Stuffers!

Tropical Botanic Art Greeting Cards - Goldsmith Galleries

Tropical Botanic Art Greeting Cards - Goldsmith Galleries

One Night ONLY, Holiday Art Bazaar at The Mutiny Hotel, Coconut Grove, FL

Today I’m confirming the artists (names and images further down in this post) who will be part of our Holiday ‘Art’ Bazaar at The Mutiny Hotel on December 5th in Coconut Grove, Florida.
For one-night-only, you can shop, enjoy complimentary champagne and chocolates, listen to live jazz by Leo Casino, and purchase unique, original art, jewelry, sculpture, fine art prints, cards, handbags, and more ‘art’ gifts created by professional artists, designers, and craftspeople of South Florida, Latin America, and the Netherlands – all in one place!

Leo Casino

Leo Casino


On the first Saturday of every month, Coconut Grove hosts an ever-changing, stimulating, and more often than not, surprising (I always love when the people of Hare Krishna parade through the galleries and share their joyful music and energy!) Art Stroll.

December promises to be one of the best ever because, after all, Art Basel Miami is in town and… ART IS EVERYWHERE!!! So much that it’s almost a bit overwhelming, especially if you try to see it all and attend every event.

This year, you’ll have the option of taking a leisurely Art Break. Join us at the Holiday Art Bazaar, sip complimentary champagne, enjoy luscious chocolates and get some (or all) of your holiday shopping done at the same time, in the same place!


The Arts continue to thrive in historic Coconut Grove, and the once-infamous (I’ve heard many eyebrow-raising stories!) Mutiny Hotel now draws a new kind of attention to itself, every first Saturday from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The bright swatch of coral that is The Mutiny Hotel and the intensely blue South Florida sky offer the perfect backdrop for the colorful and thought-provoking works of South Florida’s artists.

Join us on Dec. 5th, 2009 for an exclusive,
ONE-NIGHT-ONLY, Holiday Art Bazaar!

This is your chance to see some of the most creative works of this select group of artists in a casual setting, with complimentary hors d’oeuvres, wine pours, champagne and chocolates. Jazz musician, Leo Casino will be entertaining us in his impressive and incomparable style.

Enjoy Poolside Cocktails and Dinner… before or after Art!

Atchana’s East/West Kitchen is a sophisticated hideaway located on the ground level of The Mutiny Hotel. Open to the public and hotel guests, this unique dining establishment serves a sumptuous array of fresh, authentic Asian dishes, along with American Classics such as New York Strip Steak and Snapper Filets.
Enjoy dinner and/or cocktails in the intimate wood-paneled 45-seat indoor dining room, or outdoors, next to the poolside waterfall.

You can see many of the artists and their work here and,
on our HOLIDAY ART BAZAAR facebook event page at:


Monique Lassooij http://monique-lassooij.blogspot.com

Monique will be donating a percentage of her sales to Pelican Harbor Seabird Station

Laura Cerwinske

Eileen Seitz

Karen Deilke

Maui Reple
GAIA gallery of art – Amsterdam, Foundation Mercurius communication through Art

Pauline Goldsmith – Botanical Watercolor Paintings, Prints, Cards

Valentina Ramos

Shari Bellingham
Artisan Jewelry handcrafted with glass lampwork, pearls, sterling and semi-precious stones

Fevi Reyes- Jewelry

Debra Cortese – Cortese Design Bags

Paniram Wellness Institute Reiki Master, Maria Napoles

Check back here soon to see more of the art and artists that are participating in this exclusive, ONE NIGHT ONLY event and be sure to mark Saturday, December 5th on your calendar right now! The Mutiny Hotel has valet parking at a very reasonable $8,  and we’ll have more than a few surprises for ‘Holiday Art Bazaar’ guests! Admission is FREE!

Contact me at: debra@debracortese if you have any questions about Holiday Art Bazaar.

Arts At St Johns Season Showcase Oct 24th 7pm

An eclectic array of talent, refreshments, live performances, all genres of music and entertainment come together in celebration of 10 years of artistic excellence that Arts At St Johns has presented to the Miami communities!

photo: Nimby Cirque

Join us tomorrow night (Oct. 24th, 2009) at 7 pm at St. John’s on the Lake, 4760 Pinetree Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33140.
(Save $5.00 when you purchase your ticket online at http://www.artsatstjohns.com ) Tickets $20 at the door.

photo: Nydia Noriega

David Kingery, Artistic Director of ASJ, once again presents a fabulous lineup of Miami’s most talented performers, musicians, comedians, artists and a few surprises! There will be performances by: Raymond Yanez, Nydia Noriega, Kristen Long, Rachel Faro, Rachel Currea, Charmille Wlters, Geoffrey Philp, Mo Morgen, Madafo, Kiki Sanchez, Stuart King, Nimby Cirque, Deborah Weed, Paula Turk, Debra Cortese and more!

David Kingery, Artistic Director, Arts at St Johns

Join us tomorrow night (Oct. 24th, 2009) at 7 pm at St. John’s on the Lake, 4760 Pinetree Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33140.
(Save $5.00 when you purchase your ticket online at http://www.artsatstjohns.com ) Tickets $20 at the door.

In case you’re new to South Florida or have just missed some of the greatest art and entertainment in Miami, here’s a list the many talented artists, performers and events sponsored by Arts At St Johns over the past 10 years:


Charmille Walters
David Kingery
Dena Stewart
Margaret Ledford
Mindy Diamond
Michael Donnell
Susan Hamilton
Tiffany Madera

A.K. Khaw
Bach Society – Univ. of Miami Baroque Ensemble
Carl Landerman
Chung Park
David Hertzberg
Florida Grand Opera – Young artists
Greater Miami Youth Symphony
L’Opera Nostra
Maria Letona
Melissa Lesniak
New World Symphony – young artists
Paul Schwab, organist
Project Copernicus
Rachel Currea, Pianist
Ramos de Flores
South Beach Chamber Ensemble
Stephen Danyew
Vicki Richards
Walt Strony, organist

Aireen’s Oriental Dance Ensemble
Ana Miranda
Anais Alvarez
Ashley Herrera
Charmille Walters
Corina Fitch, Takada Womens Ensemble
Cristina Vidal
Dalia Carella Dance Collective
Dance Now!
Decipher Ancirema – Latin rock dancer
Dena Glazer
Elisa Silverstein & Brendon Russert
Habibi Project
Hanan Arts Cooperative
Harmonic Motion
Jorge Mendez
Kamaria Dailey
Lucky Bruno
Madhavi Menon & Meenakshi Menon
Nancy Andrade
Obini Odara – dance & drumming troupe
Paul Tei
Roxy’s Performing Arts Center Artists
Shirley Julien
Teo Castellanos -D Projects
Tiffany Madera
Unidos de Florida Samba School
Urban Disturbance

Griselle Gaudnik – “art to wear” fashion show
MarketPlace India

Giovanni Savino, Bachata La Musica del Pueblo
Joshua Bee Alafia – Beeloved Creations

Brimstone 127 and Supah Maaario
Coppa Kidd
DJ Madame Turk
DJ Majica
DJ Moses
DJ Mr. Cisum
Drejon from the Klown Fellas
Extravagant – beatbox artist
Kimani Kenyatta
Mecca aka Grimo
Mireya Alfonso – DJ
Speedy Legs – hiphop artist & breakdancer
Urban Art

Paul George – historical bike tour
Seth Bramson – book talk
Steve Woodmansee

David Kingery
Tom Calucci

Afro Polyphonic World Orchestra
Alan Renaglia’s Midnight Blue
Arthur Barron
Black Punjabi Music Ensemble
Bob Grabowski
Bob Rosati
Chassidic Jazz Project with Reuben Hoch
Clube De Choro
Duffy Jackson
Dennis Noday – 19-pc band
Ira Sullivan Quartet w/ Duffy Jackson
Jack Wilkins/Richie Perri Quartet
Jazz Survivors
Jean-Michel Daudier
Jesse Jones Jr. and Judi D
Joe Donato
Jonathan Gross
Jose Elias
Juan Turros
Julie Silvera
Ken Kay
Kiki Sanchez
Los Hermanos Vargas
MAC Steppers
MoJazz with Mo + Madafo
Oscar Salas, Latin Jazz Quintet
Philbert Armenteros & Aina
Rob “Wild Boar” Moore Blues Band
Sammy Figueroa
Sandy Bermudez
Sandy Poltarack Trio
Saul Gross
Saulo Ferreira Brazilian Jazz
Sonido Batido – Caribbean jazz
The Baboons
Way of the Groove

Debra Cortese
Dena Stewart
Elaine Lancaster
Mary Damiano
Paula Turk
Roger Abramson
Winsome Bolt

Angela Fischetti
Chogyal Namkhai Norbu
Deva Primal and Miten
Dr. Andrea Mantell-Seidel
Drepung Loseling Monks
Harvey Aronson
Laura Simms, Steve Gorn & Rachel Faro
Moti Deren – musician-composer
Mystical Arts of Tibet
Naqshbandi Sufi – talk
Rumi Night & Sufi Dancing
Shambhala teachngs
Eckhart Tolle’s teachings with Kim Eng
Susana Reyes- modern dancer-choreographer
Tibetan Drumming with Lama Khyimsar Riposee

Aqua Girls – comedy show
Conundrum Stages
Fantasy Theatre Factory
Ghost Light Series – Play Reading
Gold Coast Theatre, Jude Parry
Mystery on the Menu, Barbara Fox
Ralphy Love
Ruben Romeu

Amy Baez
Andrea Askowitz,
Dan Wakefield – “The Hijacking of Jesus”
Fantasy Theatre Factor
Fiorella Podesta
Geoffrey Philp – novelist, poet
Georgia Brown
Gina Montet
Katrina Mena “Beijinhos”
Lela Lombardo
Linda Spitzer – Storyteller
Malachi Smith
Norvell Holyfield
Rick Schweikert
Seth Bramson
Shamele Jenkins

Allan Taylor – folk Music
Amy Carol Webb
Carla Ulbrich
Grant Livingston
Hope Littwin
Jez Lowe – folk singer
Samantha Garcia

Aimee Ortiz
Aleks Rosenberg
Annette Mauricio
Barbara Frank, sculpture
Daniel Fila (Krave)
Danny Ramirez
Dava Lipsky Carson
Deborah M. Mitchell
Deborah O’Dwyer
Deborah Weed
Debra Cortese
Debra Holt, ABBA Gallery, sculpture
Dee Clark
Dena Stewart
Diego Romero
Dina Knapp
Dina Stewart, painter
Dinorah de Jesús Rodríguez
Ed King, painting
Elizabet Chacon
Eric Walton
Eurydice Kamvisseli
Eva Ruiz
Evelyn Mitchell
Giuliano Cavallo
Flex Maslan
Hannah Lasky
Ignacio Font
Irene Sperber
Jamie Crooke
Jean Villamizar – visual & graphic artist
John DeFaro
Juan Carlos Bravo
Keith Kimmel
Laura Cerwinske
Linda Apriletti
Louis “Junior” Vitale
Louis Ulman, drawing
Luis Valle
Margo Segal
Marian Wertalka
Marielle Gomez-Kaiser, sculpture
Marilyn Valiente
Mark Diamond
Mary Catello
Matt Stock
Miguel Paredes
Monica Eichmann
Natasha Duwin
Nelson Viera
Neysa Jin Felker
Olga Suarez
Pamela Palma, visual artist, weaver
Patricia Roldan
Patti Black
Paul Turk, photography, metal sculpture
Perri Cox
Robert Zurita
Rosa Gallardo
Rosie Brown
Ruben Martinez Chamizo
Sabrina P. Azadi – Photographer
Scott Hickey
Steve Forero-Paz
Stewart Stewart
Tammy Clammer
Terry Arroyo Mulrooney
Thomas Banks
Vanessa Garcia
Winsome Bolt
Xavier Cortada

Abdiel Vivancos
Angela Fischetti
Bill Feuer
Brazilian Voices choir
Cafidia Stuart
Cecilia Torres
Chris Kent
Cristina Martin
Georgia Brown
David Kingery
David Leddick
David Vance
Eileen Faxas
Elliot Pilshaw
Eric Miji
Florenza Campos
Geo Macia
Jade Whelans
Janelle Sanchez
Jesse Carlo
Jessica Slatkoff
Julie Silvera
Kelly Roberts
Kristen Long
Kyrah Arango
Mark Akens
Melissa Youngblood
Miami Gay Men’s Chorus
Michelle Gonzalez
Nicole Kidd
Nydia Noriega
Parker Cristan
Rachel Faro
Ray Melton
Ray Raymond
Ray Yanez
Reggie Whitehead
Renee Fallios
Roger Houdaille
R-yan White
Sam Hosking
Samantha Natalie
Sean Patrick Doyle
Steve Jenkins
Tennille Maisner
Teresa Bridges

Adore Miridia
BJ Experience
Caution Automatic
Jacob’s Ladder
Lasso the Moon
Lights Out
Never in Red
No Such Thing
Point of Origin
Tyranny of Shaw

ASJ BOARD MEMBERS – 1999-present
Bernie Mickley
Carol Haefner
Christine Pena
Clay Hamilton
Deborah Weed
Dennis Wilhelm
Dr. A.J. Khaw
Dr. Julie Weaver
Felice Lifshitz
Geoffrey Philp
Jean Villamizar
Ken Whiting
Lisa Koslow
Manuel Pila
Marc Thayer
Pamela Palma
Paul Schwab
Paula Turk
Rev. Dr. Annette Jones
Rev. Esther Robinson
Rev. Melissa Pisco
Robert Holcomb
Susan Hamilton
Sylvia Ospina
Valentine Dawlec

ASJ STAFF – 1999-present
Carol Hoffman-Guzman, Founding Director
David Kingery, Artistic Director
Tiffany Madera, Program Director
Mark Akens, Program Director
Jose Elias, Program Director
Charmille Walters, Program Director
Ken Whiting, Lighting

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Founder, Carol Hoffman-Guzman and everyone who has participated in making Arts At St Johns one of Miami’s most respected and outstanding community arts and cultural organizations.
Can’t wait to see what ASJ has in store for the next 10 years and I’m so looking forward to participating !!!

Join us tomorrow night (Oct. 24th, 2009) at 7 pm at St. John’s on the Lake, 4760 Pinetree Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33140.
(Save $5.00 when you purchase your ticket online at http://www.artsatstjohns.com ) Tickets $20 at the door.