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The Florida Humanities Series is our gift to the community.
 

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 2014-2015 Florida Humanities Series.


Join us in saying special thanks to Marine Bank & Trust, our sponsor for the 2014-2015 Florida Humanities Series.


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 2014-2015, The Emerson Center at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Vero Beach will present the Florida Humanities Series - our gift to the community. Seven acclaimed programs will be presented at the Center between October 2014 and April 2015, 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...


January 29, 2015, 7pm
Andy Hemmings
Update: Old Vero Ice Age Site

 

His presentation entitled "Old Vero Ice Age Site and the
Pleistocene People Who Lived There 15,000 Years Ago," is an up-to-date report on the work Dr. Hemmings has been doing as he supervises the archeological dig near the airport for the Old Vero Ice Age Sites Committee. What has he learned about the creatures who walked the earth around here many thousands of years ago? What were they like – animals? humans? What was the land itself like then? What did the archaeological experts know a few years ago? What now?
 

General admission seating is available FREE of charge for this performance thanks to the generous support of the Florida Humanities Council and our sponsor, Marine Bank & Trust.


 

 


February 19, 2015, 7pm
Sean Sexton
Florida Cattle Culture

 

Cattle were introduced to the Americas in 1521 by Juan Ponce de León, who brought them to Florida. The Sexton family has been raising cattle for four generations in Indian River County. Sean Sexton divides his time between taking care of a 600- acre cow-calf and seed stock cattle operation, painting and writing. He has prepared, through word and image, an overview of his life as a cattleman and this historic industry of Florida.

General admission seating is available FREE of charge for this performance thanks to the generous support of the Florida Humanities Council and our sponsor, Marine Bank & Trust.

 

 


March 19, 2015, 7pm
Roger Smith, Ph.D.
Spies, Schemes, and the Sons of Liberty
 

 

"Spies, Schemes, and the Sons of Liberty: The Shadier Side of East and West Florida during the American Revolution" is the title of a presentation about how, during the American Revolution, the British put plans in motion to literally steal the Mississippi River, according to a compelling story presented by historian Roger Smith. These and other wild escapades of treason, spies, and espionage fill the annals of East and West Florida history throughout the Revolutionary War period. Learn how they impacted the nation's fight for independence.


 

General admission seating is available FREE of charge for this performance thanks to the generous support of the Florida Humanities Council and our sponsor, Marine Bank & Trust.

 

 


April 16, 2015, 7pm
Rosalyn Howard, Ph.D.
Black Seminoles

 

African slaves have often risked life and limb to escape southern slavery, but their options for sanctuary were extremely limited. Some fled to the Caribbean, while others fled south and joined forces with another group of freedom-seekers: the Seminoles. Dr. Howard, cultural anthropologist, will examine the African influence on Florida's iconic tribe, as well as the related Caribbean diaspora in her presentation entitled "The African Presence in Spanish Florida: Black Seminoles."
 

General admission seating is available FREE of charge for this performance thanks to the generous support of the Florida Humanities Council and our sponsor, Marine Bank & Trust.

 

 



TAKE A LOOK AT THE PRIOR PROGRAMS
FROM OUR 2014-2015 HUMANITIES SERIES.

 


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October 23, 2014, 7pm
Caren Neile, Ph.D.
Our Veterans;
Our Selves

 

Based on her extensive work with veterans of the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf, Caren Neile shares a deeply moving story of transformation, love and loss that may change your mind – and your life. Dr. Neile is former chair of the National Storytelling Network, founder of the Palm Beach County Storytelling Guild, and co-founding editor of the academic journal Storytelling, Self, Society.
 

General admission seating is available FREE of charge for this performance thanks to the generous support of the Florida Humanities Council and our sponsor, Marine Bank & Trust.

 


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Nov. 13, 2014, 7pm
Dreamers & Schemers
Legendary Floridians "come alive" on our stage.

 

The Florida Humanities Council, partnering with the Emerson Center and supported by Marine Bank and Trust, is presenting a portrayal of three historic Floridians in a new “Dreamers & Schemers” production, the third show in this series to appear on our stage. “D&S” programs staged at Emerson in November 2013 and April 2014 garnered numerous audience requests for more of these Chautauqua-style historic portrayals.

The November presentation will feature a troupe of three professional actors who will portray educator Mary McLeod Bethune, Cracker king Jacob Summerlin, and military leader Francisco Menéndez, depicting who they were and how they impacted the state.

Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) is played by Ersula Knox Odom. Born to former slaves in South Carolina, Bethune was quick to realize the value of education and devoted her life to it. She went on to found Bethune-Cookman University and advise multiple presidents on issues of race and education. Odom is an author, essayist, motivational speaker, workshop leader, and a Chautauquan who has many times portrayed Mary McLeod Bethune for the Florida Humanities Council. A graduate of Eckerd College in St Petersburg, Odom is a business owner and a former manager with GTE Data Services.

Jacob Summerlin (1820-1893) is played by Brian Shea. Summerlin, known as “King of the Crackers,” was the first child born in Florida after the second Spanish occupation. He learned to ride a horse and crack a whip by the age of seven. By age 40, he had amassed a herd of over 15,000 cattle, becoming one of the richest men in Florida and influencing events in the young territory and state. Shea, a graduate of the University of South Florida in Theater Performance, has been a professional actor for 20 years. He has performed throughout the Tampa Bay area at American Stage, Jobsite Theatre, Stageworks, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Straz Center, and Florida Studio Theater. He was named “Best Actor” three times in the “Best of the Bay” competition sponsored by Creative Loafing newspaper.

Francisco Menéndez (early 1700s to mid-1700s) is played by Bob Devin Jones. Slave turned military leader turned privateer, Menéndez escaped enslavement in South Carolina and fled to Spanish Florida and the promise of freedom. He took command of the fledgling free black community of Fort Mose, north of St. Augustine, and helped defend the city from British invasion. A veteran dramatist, Jones is a native of Los Angeles. He began as an actor performing in Shakespeare festivals. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, he also attended the American Conservatory in San Francisco and had a one-year tutorial at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He is co-Founder and Artistic Director of The Studio@620 in St. Petersburg.

The Humanities Council has conducted this series of statewide programs called “Dreamers & Schemers” in connection with the 500th anniversary of the landing in Florida of Ponce de Léon. The programs are designed to engage the audience in thoughtful reflection and dialogue about our state's rich history.
 

General admission seating is available FREE of charge for this performance thanks to the generous support of the Florida Humanities Council and our sponsor, Marine Bank & Trust.

 

 


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December 11, 2014, 7pm
Avenue D Choir
A Joyful Holiday Concert

 

The excitement, discipline and joy of making music together brought success and applause for a group of young St. Lucie County boys. Choices were made not only to sing but to live a better life. Now including girls, and with many former members off to college, the choir will bring holiday music to entertain. Choir director Mary Hendricks recently celebrated ten years of leading the Avenue D young people.
 

Holiday refreshments will be served following the presentation.
 

General admission seating is available FREE of charge for this performance thanks to the generous support of the Florida Humanities Council and our sponsor, Marine Bank & Trust.


 

 


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