A whirlwind tour of 500 years of Florida history and how it has changed the state, for better or worse,capped with a strong argument that Florida’s biggest challenge is encouraging its transplants to become Floridians and work to solve the state’s problems.

Eliot Kleinberg, born in South Florida, has spent nearly four decades as a reporter, including more than a quarter-century at The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach. In addition to covering local news, he also writes extensively about Florida and Florida history.

He has written 10 books, all focusing on Florida, including “Black Cloud”, on the great 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane; two “Weird Florida” books, and “Palm Beach Past” and “Wicked Palm Beach”, both of them collections of items from “Post Time,” his weekly local history column in the Post. His tenth, Peace River, is historical novel based at the end of the Civil War.

Talk by Prof. Kristin Congdon, University of Central Florida. Florida folk artists are perhaps more diverse and inventive than folk artists from other states. The Sunshine State attracts and encourages all kinds of people to use their imagination. They innovate, repurpose, and construct objects from ideas rooted in the landscape and influenced by resourcefulness and a unique way of seeing. This talk will explore the experiences of a variety of individuals’ dreams and attachments to Florida’s land and history. This talk is in conjunction with the exhibit, “Just Above the Water: Florida Folk Art,” which is in residence at Sulphur Springs Jan. 21-March 31.