The Humanities Series at The Emerson Center
Our Gift to the Community.

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The Emerson Center, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Vero Beach, will introduce a new Emerson Humanities Series 2007-2008 in partnership with the Florida Humanities Council.  Six acclaimed speakers and performers will be presented at the Center between October 2007 and April 2008, with all presentations relating to Florida history and issues.  Admission to each is complimentary and all performances will begin at 7 p.m.
 


The series launches on Thursday, October 18, during National Humanities Month, with "Voice of the Everglades: Marjory Stoneman Douglas."  Audiences will follow the matriarch of Miami, portrayed in a one-woman show by independent scholar and performer Betty Jean Steinshouer, as Douglas begins her crusade to restore the Everglades.

 

 


"Orange Blossom Memories: Songs of Florida" will be the series focus on Thursday, December 6. Merritt Island singer/songwriter Chris Kahl takes a musical journey through Florida, weaving original songs and stories about the history, folklore and characters of the Sunshine State. Holiday refreshments will follow.
 


 



In January, well-known writer/photographer Gary Monroe tells the story of Harold Newton and the Highwaymen he led, providing an overview of some of Newton's finest creations. The Highwaymen were a group of self-taught African American artists from Fort Pierce who painted their way out of poverty in the 1950s. "Harold Newton: The Original Highwayman" will be offered on Thursday, January 24.

 

On Thursday, February 28, during Black History Month, audiences will be treated to a one-man show, "America's First Civil Rights Martyr: Harry T. Moore."  Before civil rights marches and bus boycotts, Moore worked in Jim Crow Florida to organize the NAACP and the Progressive Voters League. In 1951, in Mims, Florida, a bomb placed under his bed ended Moore's life. Meet this early pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement on Christmas Eve 1951, the night before his tragic death, in a portrayal by writer/director/ performer Bob Devin Jones.  Jones is a writer, director and performer in St. Petersburg, where he is artistic director of The Studio @ 620.
 



 


"Past Visions, Future Solutions: Solving the Conundrum of Suburban Sprawl" is the subject of the Humanities event scheduled for Thursday, March 20.  Suburban sprawl has become a pejorative in our everyday language as gridlocked traffic, threatened resources, and an increasingly gaudy landscape strip away Florida's quality of life. Bruce Stephenson will trace the origins of Florida's growth problems and historic remedies.  He is director of the Environmental & Growth Management Studies program at Rollins College, as well as a professional planner, consultant and professor.
 


 


Concluding the six-performance series is David Colburn, provost emeritus and professor of history at the University of Florida, and senior adviser to the chancellor of the State University System.  On Thursday, April 24, Colburn will share the story of the political, demographic, and social transformation of the Sunshine State since 1940 in a lecture entitled, "From Yellow Dog Democrats to Red State Republicans: Florida and Its Politics since 1940."
 


 


The capacity of the Emerson Center is more than 800; free admission will be offered on a first-come first-served basis.  There will be a selection of V.I.P. seats reserved for season ticket holders of the "Celebrated Speakers Series," Humanities Series Sponsors, and Friends of the Emerson Center. The Emerson Center is handicapped accessible and is conveniently located at 1590 27th Avenue, on the SE corner of 16th Street and 27th Avenue in Vero Beach. For more information, contact 778-5249.