The LaBelle Heritage Museum would like to thank and acknowledge the Clewiston Museum and the Florida Humanities Council (FHC) for helping make these programs available through their Partnership Grant. The public is cordially invited to join us at LaBelle City Hall, 481 West Hickpochee Avenue (State Road 80) at 7 o’clock in the evening on the scheduled dates listed below. All programs are free.
1) Friday, Nov. 15, 2013: The African Presence in Spanish Florida: BlackSeminoles presented by Dr. Rosalyn Howard. 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 outlaws: the Seminoles. Dr. Howard will examine the African influence on Florida’s iconic tribe, as well as the related Caribbean diaspora.
Dr. Howard is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the North American Indian Studies Program at the University of Central Florida. She specializes in Cultural Anthropology and her primary area of research is ethnohistorical studies of the African Diaspora with a focus on the interrelationships formed by African and Indigenous peoples in the Americas and the Caribbean.
2) Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014: America at War:A reflection on U.S. involvement in World War I and II, from the perspectives of three authors who lived through both wars. We begin with Willa Cather, who wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about her cousin who died on a battlefield in France during May of 1918. Miss Cather will also share reflections about her Jewish friends who suffered under Nazi rule during World War II. Part Two of “America at War” brings a distinctly Florida viewpoint from Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, who served as an enemy plane spotter and also watched her husband go off to drive an ambulance on the Burma Road. Part Three takes the audience to war-torn Europe, where Gertrude Stein was in exile from Paris, hiding from the Gestapo near the Swiss border, for almost four years. We will spend approximately 20 minutes hearing from each author and then have an opportunity to ask questions of Betty Jean Steinshouer and discuss various topics at the end.
Jean Betty Jean Steinshouer has been doing public programs and teacher seminars for the Florida Humanities Council since 1989 and has toured 43 other states for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Big Read program of the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a Fellow in the Florida Studies program at the University of South Florida and portrays Marjory Stoneman Douglas in the “Dreamers and Schemers” trio that includes Henry Flagler and Gov. Napoleon Bonaparte Broward.
3) Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014: As You Are Now, So Once Was I. Presented by Melissa Timo. Florida’s cemeteries are not as quiet as one might think. Instead, these burial places are rich with hidden symbols, public proclamations, and old, sometimes odd, traditions. From public playgrounds to austere resting places to high-tech memory storage, studies of cemeteries can bring to life families, communities, and cultures long after they’ve left Florida far behind.
Miss Timo is the Florida Public Archeology Network (FPAN) Outreach Coordinator for the Southwest Region, which includes Lee, Collier, Glades, and HendryCounties. She has worked as an archeologist for thirteen years and done extensive research on the short – lived Spanish settlement that was established by Tristan de Luna at Pensacola Bay in 1559.
4) Wednesday, March 12, 2014: “Charla,” a Chat with Jose’ Marti. Presented by Chaz Mena. It is 1891 and José Martí (as portrayed by Chaz Mena) is preparing for his first trip to Tampa and YborCity. Time is running out for the Cuban independence movement and Martí must inspire and galvanize his people to join the revolution against Spain in order to achieve a just society in Cuba. As he readies himself for the journey, Martí reflects upon his childhood, his studies, his writings, and his loves. “Charla,” which in Spanish means “a chat,” allows us to appreciate the challenges Martí faced in jump-starting the Cuban Revolution.
Chaz Mena is an accomplished actor with an impressive resume of dramatic accomplishments off Broadway, in regional theaters, and in film and television. Chaz has just been selected to host The Quincentennial Minute, celebrating Florida’s 500-year anniversary; a timeline with 25, one-minute episodes in Florida history will be delivered by Chaz in both English and Spanish, then aired on all PBS stations in the state. He has also recently taped his one-person play Yo Solo…Bernardo de Galvez on the Stage of the American Revolution at WSRE in Pensacola, a PBS affiliate station. This performance will be distributed nationally by PBS in 2012-13.