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Cultural Fusion's inaugural local production was Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, about a pair of talkative centenarian sisters who reminisce about their lives. It featured Yolanda Cade (left) and Chrystol Ingram (right). while, though, he acted in an array of productions with the Youngstown Players. “My job in the steel industry paid the bills,” Brown said. “My work with the Youngstown Players fed my soul.” He eventually retired, and was able to devote more time to his creative endeavors. Based on the strength of his years in community theater, he was hired as the drama teacher at a charter school for grades K-10. However, Brown’s second career was interrupted when he moved to Los Angeles to become a fulltime caregiver for his nephew, Michael, who had become a quadriplegic and subsequently passed away. "I loved taking care of Michael," Brown says. Also while in Los Angeles, Brown met — and last year married — Bob Poe, who hailed from Orlando and was chair of the Florida Democratic Party from 2000 to 2003. Poe, who had business interests in Los Angeles, returned to Orlando in 2012 to chair the Central Florida fundraising effort for President Obama’s reelection campaign. Later, he launched his own campaign for U.S. Congress. (He’s a candidate for the Democratic nomination in Florida’s 10th Congressional District. The primary is August 30.) 30 artsLife | FALL 2016 Brown, meanwhile, began exploring the local arts landscape. Shortly after forming Cultural Fusion, he facilitated a one-day performing workshop with children from Washington Shores at the James R. Smith Neighborhood Center. “The level of enthusiasm was incredible,” says Brown. “There were a lot of kids there who had never seen a play before, but had this tremendous talent. That’s why children’s theater is a passion of mine.” Brown says he’d like to get back onstage — he may appear in Christmas is Comin’ Uptown — but for now he’s busy preparing his slate of offerings at the arts center and �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� of his organization. “We always use local talent,” Brown says, adding that actors, directors and anyone else interested in opportunities at Cultural Fusion can check out its website, culturalfusion. org. Overall, Brown says, life is good. He loves Orlando, loves the response to Cultural Fu- �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� for underrepresented audiences. “Sometimes,” he says, “God just orchestrates the right situation.” ��


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