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Sundial

Britto's Art And Business, Smoking Age Bill, Teacher Appreciation

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Courtesy of Britto Central, Inc.
Romero Britto is the most licensed artist on the planet. He has redefined pop art with his vibrant colors and bold styles.

World-renowned artist and creator Romero Britto talks about the art world’s emergence post-pandemic. A new proposed tobacco law could raise the smoking age in Florida from 18 to 21. Plus, we hear from Palm Beach County's teacher of the year.

On this Monday, May 3, episode of Sundial,

Britto's Art And Business

Anyone who’s spent time in South Florida will recognize a Britto artwork when they see one. Whether you’re at museums, airports, or schools, his explosive bright colors and Cubist-inspired configurations are seen anywhere and everywhere.

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“It's so important to be surrounded by things that can remind you that there is hope. That there is a positive image, a positive color that can make you feel this vibration that you don't usually see when you see black and white. That’s my hope,” said Romero Britto.

Britto is the most licensed artist in history. His partnerships with Coca-Cola, Disney and Mattel mean generations of children have grown up playing with Britto-inspired gadgets and toys.

“What fun would something be if you only would have it in your house and just belong to one person. So, the idea is [to] multiply this image and let the world know joy," Britto said.

He’ll be speaking this week at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Economic Summit about the intersection of art and business.

Britto's Art And Business
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Smoking Age Bill

A new bill awaiting the governor’s signature would raise the smoking age in Florida from 18 to 21. It would also change the ability of local governments to regulate tobacco products.

“It's not a local problem. It's a statewide problem. The epidemic is not going to go away. So, we need to be able to enforce compliance checks, which is what this bill will do. We need to create some regulatory framework so that the DBPR [Department of Business and Professional Regulation] can start to make sure that all these vape shops are complying with the law,” said Republican State Rep. Jackie Toledo.

She’s the bill’s sponsor and represents the Tampa area.

Toledo argues the legislation is necessary to slow the explosion of teen vaping. However, advocates from the American Cancer Society argue that the legislation would actually be harmful by taking away local power.

“We understand the urgency behind the situation at hand, but we really feel that having it at a local level is more effective. Why not allow a local level to have stricter standards? At this point, we don’t feel that the state has anything in place that can accurately check on everything that's happening or will happen at a local level,” said Gloria Garcia, the lead ambassador in Florida for the American Cancer Society Action Network.

Smoking Age Bill
A woman smokes an electronic cigarette at a store in Miami.

Palm Beach County’s Teacher of the Year

For the past 14 years, Toshimi Abe-Janiga — who is originally from Japan — has taught English, Black history, and Holocaust studies to predominately Black students at Riviera Beach Preparatory and Achievement Academy.

She says Holocaust education and Black history help broaden her students' perspectives about the world.

Read the full story, on Palm Beach County's 2021 teacher of the year, here.

Palm Beach County’s Teacher Of The Year
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Suria is Sundial's fall 2020 high school intern and a production assistant.
Leslie Ovalle produces WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.