In 2007, The Florida Humanities Council an independent,
non-profit organization that serves as our state's affiliate of the National
Endowment for the Humanities, funded a special program at The Emerson Center
to provide free, public programs that explore Florida's history, folklore,
environment, literature, music, and art. Today, relying solely on community
support, The Emerson Center continues to offer these informative programs
for our neighbors.
Now, you can
download an informative flier describing the 2011-2012 Florida
us in saying special thanks to Marine Bank & Trust, our sponsor for the 2011-2012 Florida
The capacity of the Emerson Center is more than 800. For our Florida
Humanities series, 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," Florida 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.
Once again in 2011-2012, The
Emerson Center at the Unitarian Universalist
Fellowship in Vero Beach will present the Florida
Humanities Series - our gift to the community.
Six acclaimed speakers will be presented at the Center between October 2011
and April 2012, with all presentations relating to Florida history, nature,
culture, and issues. Admission to each is complimentary and all performances
will begin at 7 p.m.
Coming up next on the Florida Humanities Series stage....
THE 2011-2012 HUMANITIES SERIES HAS ENDED.
Here are the Humanities Series events
which appeared this season.
Sorry, this event
October 27, 2011, 7pm
Paul Dosal, Ph.D.
Historian, Florida's Hispanic Heritage
Paul Dosal is Professor of Latin American History at the University
of South Florida, specializing in the modern history of Cuba and the
Caribbean region. He is the author of four books, including
Comandante Che, a study of the military career of the legendary
Latin American revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara, and Doing Business
with the Dictators, a history of the infamous United Fruit Company
in Guatemala in the early 20th century.
He will speak on "Florida’s Hispanic Heritage: Commemorating 500
Years of Florida’s Connections with Latin America and the Caribbean."
Born and raised in Tampa, he is a fourth-generation descendant of Cuban
immigrants who settled in Ybor City in 1889. A graduate of Hillsborough
High School in Tampa, he earned his B.A. in International Politics at
St. Andrews College in Laurinburg, North Carolina. He received his M.A.
in Latin American Studies and Ph.D. in History at Tulane University in
New Orleans. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of South
Florida, he taught for nine years at the University of Massachusetts at
Interestingly, Dosal also serves as Vice Provost for Student Success
and Professor of History at the University of South Florida. In that
position, he is responsible for enrollment planning and management,
Undergraduate Admissions, the University Registrar, and Financial Aid.
He also directs the student success initiative, a university-wide
movement to raise retention and graduation rates, boost student
satisfaction, minimize financial indebtedness, and prepare all students
for success in their careers or graduate and professional schools.
From 2007 to July, 2010, he served as the Executive Director of ENLACE
FLORIDA, a statewide network funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to
promote college readiness, access, and success for underrepresented
students through non-partisan research, communication, advocacy, and
support. He is also the Principal Investigator of the College Goal
Sunday project and the KnowHow2Go campaign in Florida, both funded by
Lumina Foundation for Education as part of a national effort to raise
the percentage of Americans with high quality postsecondary degrees
from 39% to 60% by 2025.
Sorry, this event
December 8, 2011, 7pm
The Ashley Gang
Florida Folk Musicians
The Ashley Gang has been performing together for more than a decade.
In the hectic music world, that's no small feat. The gang members are
scattered up and down the east coast of Florida from Jacksonville to
Sebastian. Learn more about this unique group at their
Known for their soaring harmonies, thought-provoking lyrics and witty
repartee on stage, the band consists of Al Scortino, Paul Garfinkel,
Michelle Lowe, Norm McDonald, Kay Garfinkel, and Bob Bronar. Al and
Paul, both award-winning song writers, keep the band stocked in fresh
material, Michelle plays bass and sings harmonies, Norm sings and plays
accordion and assorted kitchen utensils, Kay plays flute and djembe,
and Bob plays guitar and mandolin. They have individually and as a band
recorded six CDs, the latest "A Girl in Oklahoma".
The band plays regularly at most of Florida's folk and music festivals,
and was voted among the top ten favorites by the folk DJs at the
annual North American Folk Alliance Conference. Several of their tunes
have been featured on various compilation discs and covered by other
artists around the state.
Appearing at The Emerson Center, their concert is entitled "Telling
Tall Tales, Having Fun: With Florida Songs and Stories."
Sorry, this event
January 26, 2012, 7pm
Reporter & Editor
Florida's Water Supply
Cynthia Barnett, an award-winning reporter and editor at newspapers
and magazines for twenty-five years, will speak on "Blue is the New
Green: Water Sustainability and the Future of Florida."
She is senior writer at Florida Trend magazine, where she
covers investigative, environmental, public policy and business
stories. Her numerous awards include a national Sigma Delta Chi prize
for investigative magazine reporting; a gold medal for best nonfiction
in the Florida Book Awards; and eight Green Eyeshades, which recognize
outstanding journalism in 11 southeastern states.
Ms. Barnett earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master's in
American history with a specialization in environmental history, both
from the University of Florida. In 2004, she was awarded a
Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan, where she
spent a year studying freshwater supply.
Her first book, Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the
Eastern U.S., published in 2007 by the University of Michigan
Press, was named by The St. Petersburg Times as one of the top 10 books
that every Floridian should read. "In the days before the Internet,"
the Times said in a review, "books like Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring
and Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ River of Grass were groundbreaking calls
to action that made citizens and politicians take notice. Mirage
is such a book."
Her second book, Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis,
will be available from Beacon Press in September 2011.
Sorry, this event
February 16, 2012, 7pm
Dennis J. Stanford, Ph.D.
Smithsonian Institution's authority on earliest
settlers in America
World famous archaeologist and curator Dr. Dennis J. Stanford of
the Smithsonian Institution will speak for our Humanities Series AT
February 16, 2012. (Arrive early to review a lobby display of fossils
and other exhibits.)
Dr. Stanford is Curator of North and South American Paleolithic,
Asian Paleolithic and Western United States archaeological collections,
Director of the Smithsonian’s Paleoindian/Paleoecology Program and Head
of the Division of Archaeology. His speech will describe his theory and
work that challenges stories of how the Americas were populated. Dr.
Stanford’s presentation replaces the originally scheduled Dr. Alex
Steptick who for personal reasons is unable to attend.
Dr. Stanford’s theory posits that the first Americans crossed the
Atlantic by boat and arrived earlier than previously thought. He will
present archaeological and oceanographic evidence to support this
assertion, and persuasively link Clovis technology with the culture of
the Solutrean people who occupied France and Spain more than 20,000
years ago. His latest book, Across Atlantic Ice, co-authored
with Bruce Bradley, will be published during February. Dr. Stanford and
Smithsonian staff evaluated the engraved bone found in Vero Beach by
James Kennedy and corroborated its ancient age in the June 2011
Journal of Archaeological Science.
Download a flyer with complete information about about this event.
Seth Bramson is nationally known as America’s foremost authority on
the history of transportation to, from and within Florida. He is one of
only two people in the country who bears the official title of company
historian with an American railroad and his book, Speedway to
Sunshine: the Story of the Florida East Coast Railway is the official
history of that famous line.
His topic for the evening will be, "The Florida East Coast Railway:
For More Than 110 Years America's Speedway To Sunshine."
He is the senior collector of Florida East Coast Railway, Florida
transportation memorabilia, Miami memorabilia and Floridiana in
America; and his FEC Railway and Florida transportation memorabilia
collections are the largest in the world: they are larger than the
state museum’s collection and larger than the Flagler Museum’s
collection. The founder and current president of the Miami Memorabilia
Collectors Club, his collections of Miami memorabilia and Floridiana
are the largest in private hands in the country.
A graduate of Cornell University’s famed School of Hotel
Administration, he holds master's degrees from St. Thomas University and
Florida International University, both in Miami.
He is Adjunct Professor of History at Barry University, Florida
International University and Nova Southeastern University’s Lifelong
Learning Institute and he is Historian in Residence at both Barry and
FIU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
The author of 22 books on South Florida local and Florida
transportation history, he is the single most published South Florida
history book author in the country, with 16 of his 22 books
dealing directly with the villages, towns, cities, counties and people
of the Southeast Florida Gold Coast.
He is a consultant to the transportation, hospitality and health care
industries and is a sought-after speaker and presenter. He is
nationally known in the railroad industry as “Mister F.E.C.” and his
four books on that railroad are considered the authoritative references
on the history of the line.
Sorry, this event
April 19, 2012, 7pm
Carrie Sue Ayvar
Storyteller and Commentator on Florida Latin Experiences
Growing up surrounded by stories, Carrie Sue learned early about the
power of the oral tradition and its capacity for healing, inspiration,
education, and entertainment. When Carrie Sue discovered that there
were others out there who had not heard even the classic stories --
read a few maybe, but not experienced the rich oral practice of
storytelling -- she knew she had found her calling.
Growing up a descendant of Eastern European Jews in Pittsburgh, PA,
Carrie Sue never knew a life without stories. Her grandparents passed
down Old World tales as her father reminisced about fantastic show
business memories. As she explains in her story, "The Bullseye", her
grandfather, in typical Talmudic fashion, regularly used stories as
teaching tools. Using stories as a guide, he allowed Carrie Sue and her
siblings to arrive at their own conclusions and challenge their
perceptions of a situation, a technique Carrie Sue often uses today.
She moved to Mexico as a teenager, where she then met her husband and
discovered another world of stories among her newfound family and
friends. Combining her childhood stories with those she has gathered
during her time in Mexico and the U.S., Carrie Sue has developed an
impressive repertoire of bilingual, cultural, folk, and historical
Today, Carrie Sue is a nationally acclaimed storyteller dedicated to
preserving and promoting the art of storytelling. Sharing her stories
in both English and Spanish, she connects people, languages, and
cultures through her tales.
Her topic at The Emerson Center will be "Florida Stories with Latino
You can review programs from prior years by accessing our