The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, by John Trumbull, 1832. Yale University Art Gallery.

Letter from the Director

My family’s Florida story begins in 1957. Dad got a job working in the space industry, so we moved from Minnesota to a then-small town called Largo. In July of this year, the nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of the incredible human achievement of placing a man on the moon. The hard and creative work of my dad and countless other men and women made the space mission possible. And they proved that Florida, a state where innovation is both possible and honored, can provide the elements to realize amazing dreams.

This current issue of FORUM considers who we are as Floridians, and what our state will look like in the future. In this edition, Dr. Gary Mormino provides a brilliant snapshot of the last 100 years and ponders this question:

In a state where almost everyone comes from someplace else, how do we develop a sense of unity and cohesion, where immigrants and natives, retirees and transplants, think of Florida as something bigger than our own group or ourselves?

The humanities provide a deeper appreciation for the state’s history and complexity and continue to uncover new wrinkles in Florida’s culture that are surprising and inspiring. Because of the work of the people of Florida, humanity gained the ability to explore other worlds. As more inspired minds call our state home, we eagerly await the new innovation that will emerge.

In the previous issue of FORUM, I wrote about the changing fiscal situation for the Florida Humanities Council. We received an incredible outpouring of phone calls, emails, and letters of Humanities Champions across our state. The Board and staff are deeply moved by your support, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

We have made several changes to our program offerings, and we suspect more will need to be made in the coming months. At the same time, the Florida Humanities Council is looking toward future programs. We are excited to announce that a new Museum on Main Street exhibition is coming to five locations in Florida, starting in April 2020. With an emphasis on democracy and voting, this exhibit considers the challenges our system of government has faced, and the resiliency of our institutions.

As we continue to move forward, we need to move forward with you. We ask that you consider contacting your elected officials about our organization and the importance of the humanities in general. After all, mathematics and physics can give us the ability to reach the stars, but the humanities form the only force capable of giving that awesome power meaning.

Steve Seibert, Executive Director

Steve Seibert
Executive Director
Florida Humanities Council
727-873-2007
sseibert@flahum.org

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