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Florida Humanities Speaker Series

by: Highlands Hammock State Park

Highlands Hammock to host Florida Humanities Speaker Series

Sebring:  Highlands Hammock State Park is celebrating Florida and its rich cultural heritage through a Florida Humanities speaker series that will examine keystones in Florida history, culture, folklore, and art from the 1900s to the present.  The three programs will be held on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in the park recreation hall during the months of January, February and March.  The lectures, which are free and open to the public, will be preceded by “Meet and Greet” informal discussions and book sales at 6:00 p.m.  

On January 7, Dr. Gary Mormino, Florida author and Professor Emeritus of History, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, will present the first program, “A New Florida Dream or Sunset?” Florida is a Sunbelt megastate, now the third most populous in the country. Dr. Mormino will examine the state’s meteoric rise encompassing revolutions in agriculture, technology, and demographics. The development of Florida as a retirement mecca and an international tourist destination resulting from the genius of Walt Disney and the lure of sun, sand and water known as “the beach” is revealed.  Explore the great social, cultural, and economic forces that transformed Florida into the “Sunshine State” and the impacts that followed.


Professional storyteller Dr. Caren Neile will present the second program, “Short Takes:  A Grab Bag of Old Florida Stories” on February 11.  David Schmidt, curator of the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum at Highlands Hammock State Park, will close the series with a program on “Charles R. Knight:  The Artist Who Saw Through Time” on March 3.

Funding for all programs is provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Highlands Hammock State Park. Highlands Hammock is located at 5931 Hammock Road in Sebring. Park entry fees of $6 per vehicle are waived after 6:00 p.m. For more information, call 863-386-6094, and visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the views, policy or position of


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