‘I’m Florida, Need I Say More?’

Now turning 70, a White Springs Festival celebrates the elusive, eclectic music that is Florida Folk. By Peter B. Gallagher An attendee at the 70-year-old Florida Folk Festival, May 27-29, may well be confused, not just by the Cracker accent prevalent along these parts of the Suwannee River, but also by the diverse sights and sounds of the nation’s longest continuous state folk festival.  Over here sits a bluesman rhyming

Traveling Down the Chitlin’ Circuit

Ocala blues musician Rev. Billy C. Wirtz explores the Florida clubs and artists that defined Black music during the days of Jim Crow. Muddy Waters stepped up to the mic and spit out the words, “You can’t lose what you ain’t never had.” Otis Spann hit a C major trill on the piano and somewhere deep inside me, a switch was thrown. It wasn’t just the music but the look

The Hitmaker

For 63 years, Miami’s Criteria Studios has recorded some of the country’s most popular albums and artists. By Janet Scherberger In 1977, “Hotel California,” the Eagles classic recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami, received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. The album had topped the charts for eight weeks and would go on to be the third-best-selling album of all time. But the band lost the honor to

Florida offers a Wealth of Resources to Embrace and Enjoy our Rich Musical Heritage

Florida can proudly boast a diverse musical identity. Every new group that has set roots in Florida has shared its unique rhythm and sound, creating a harmonious blend of musical expression. From opera to gospel, Latin and bluegrass, we celebrate music as a bridge connecting our state’s unique cultures. At the Florida Department of State, we are excited to help you cultivate those connections by offering plenty of resources for

Sound Check

There may be a better job for a Florida-fanatic journalist than editing this magazine, but after five months on the job, I can’t think of one. Published by Florida Humanities, the council that helps support legions of deserving organizations across the state, FORUM has been the voice of the humanities in Florida for three decades. Along the way, it’s racked up numerous awards and attracted an exceptional audience of intellectually

Join Us on a Journey, Become a Florida Humanities Member

How often do you strike out, alone or with another, to ponder and explore the humanity of Florida? The many twists and turns, waterways, trails and roads contribute to the unique beauty of the daily life of a Floridian. What is much more intriguing are the stories behind the aesthetic. The literature, history, politics and cuisines tucked away beneath the surface of the roads we travel daily. Inside this magazine,

In praise of newspapers and other rare gifts

One day soon, I’m going to drive over to Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Gainesville, the city where I live, and find the grave of Matthew Lewey. Somehow, if belatedly, I’d like to connect with him. Lewey was founder and editor of one of Florida’s first Black newspapers, the Gainesville Sentinel, launched in 1887 as Reconstruction ended. He renamed it the Florida Sentinel in 1894, moving the growing enterprise to Pensacola,

As Newspapers Reinvent….

Are nonprofits key to keeping Florida informed? By Ron Cunningham Two reports of Florida marine entrepreneurism, separated by a century and a half: “The wrecking vessels are usually small schooners. They anchor within sight of each other along the Reef, and readily exchange signals when a wreck is seen. So promptly do these vessels come to the rescue they are likened to the condor that swoops down upon its prey.”

Lessons of the seashells

Weaving history, science, and culture, Cynthia Barnett’s new book unlocks what we’ve missed about these ocean gems By Ron Cunningham | Photos by Betsy Hanson Featured image above: Environmental author Cynthia Barnett in the light-filled office where she wrote The Sound of the Sea, her arm resting on the four books she has authored. The first three dealt with fresh water issues; this one  “really completes the hydrologic cycle for

Florida Newspaper History Timeline 1783–2021

Our state’s evolving life has been mirrored in the pages of our newspapers, even as the landscape of Florida journalism grew, flourished, contracted, changed, and continues to transform. This excerpt is from a chronology that is part of the University of South Florida library’s digital collection. You can also download it here. By David Shedden 1783 - 19001783 The Treaty of Paris between Great Britain and the United States ends
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