Rebecca Renner’s “Gator Country” and Sara E. Echenique’s “Our Roof is Blue” Represent Florida at the 2024 National Book Festival

Florida Humanities Center for Book has selected one adult book and one youth book by Florida authors to represent the Sunshine State at the 2024 National Book Festival: “Gator Country: Deception, Danger, and Alligators in the Everglades” by Rebecca Renner (Flatiron Books, 2023) and  "Our Roof is Blue" by Sara E. Echenique (Charlesbridge, 2023).  Echenique’s children’s book tells the heartfelt story of the resilience of two siblings as they work

Dr. Jonathan Haidt on his new book “The Anxious Generation”

We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to talk with legendary moral psychologist Dr. Jonathan Haidt on his new book “The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness.” Dr. Haidt will delve into the devastating impact of a phone-based childhood on a generation of our children. After more than a decade of stability or improvement, the mental health of adolescents plunged in the early 2010s.

2024 April—Summer Reading Program Funding Opportunity Support

Florida Humanities provided $34,300 to 14 public libraries and library systems across the state for summer reading programming in 2024 for the second year of the Summer Reading Program Funding Opportunity. Funded programming complements the Collaborative Summer Library Program’s 2024 theme “Adventure Begins at Your Library”, encouraging readers of all ages to explore new stories and viewpoints with a curious and open mind through their local public library. Funded programming

Bob Graham: a Life Serving, Observing, this Changing State

The Senator, Governor, and native son reflects on the ‘Cincinnati Factor,’ and why his beloved Florida remains the state of imagination. By Ron Cunningham NOTE: Bob Graham passed away Tuesday, April 16, 2024. In tribute, we are sharing this profile from the FORUM magazine archives.  How Florida is Bob Graham? The only home he ever knew, from his birth in 1936 until he went off to get married in 1959,

One More Serve

After years of decline, the iconic Florida sport of jai alai gets another chance. By Francisco Alvarado A corridor away from the dizzy array of whirring slot machines and computerized card games, the revitalization of a forgotten game is in full swing. Roughly 50 spectators file into the jai alai fronton at Magic City Casino in Miami. The walls are adorned with black-and-white photos of a bygone era when the

Gridiron Glory

A cultural history of Florida’s fervor for football. By Gary R. Mormino A splendorous October afternoon blessed “a delightful high rolling country,” the Red Hills of La Florida between the Aucilla and Ochlocknee rivers. For days, opposing sides hyped the game to a religious pitch. Players drank hyper-caffeinated beverages to maintain a buzz. Spectators lined the bloodied field, screaming for divine intervention. Upon the game’s conclusion, contestants and spectators sang

Send in the Clowns

The not-so-funny story of baseball’s Miami Ethiopian Clowns. By Eric Barton The most successful pro sports team to have ever begun in Florida may have just one surviving video clip. Shot in 1947 in Cincinnati by an unknown person, it’s an eight-minute silent film—and it is not easy to watch. The star of the clip is Reece “Goose” Tatum, then a baseball player but later famous as the star of

Going the Distance

At 64, Diana Nyad made swimming history. Now a critically acclaimed film tells her story. By Susan Burns In October, on the 10th anniversary of her historic 110-mile nonstop swim from Cuba to Key West, Diana Nyad was once again on Smathers Beach in Key West, this time releasing a rehabilitated sea turtle named Rocky. At 74, she looks youthful, strong and energetic, far better than she did 10 years

Rachel Brown: The Roots of Belonging and the Risks of Othering

We can feel the tectonic shifts occurring in our country’s civic life—where the once unthinkable specter of political violence isn’t as unimaginable as it once was, where too many of us think of fellow citizens as direct threats to us, and where what were once durable institutional guardrails simply are not holding.  We’ll be joined by the extraordinary Rachel Brown, the Founder of Over Zero—named in reference to the “zero-sum

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