Florida Humanities Speakers Directory

2021 Florida Humanities Speakers Directory

Engaging Speakers, Compelling Topics, and Thought-provoking Discussions

Welcome to the Florida Humanities’ Speakers Directory, a curated collection of the Sunshine State’s best and brightest experts, scholars, journalists, folklorists and more, poised to bring engaging presentations and conversations right to your local community.

Florida Humanities is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Partnering with nonprofit organizations across the state, Florida Humanities funds a wide variety of grants and public programming that explores Florida’s rich history and culture.

How to use this directory:

Using this directory, organizations can connect with these experts to bring a wide variety of compelling humanities programming to their community.  Speakers can engage the public is several ways:

Florida Talks

Speakers may be asked to give a program for one of our Florida Talks partners. Florida Talks offers nonprofit organizations an easy, inexpensive way to host informative and thought-provoking presentations across the state.

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Community Project Grants

Speakers may be contacted to participate as a scholar, presenter, or panelist for a Florida Humanities-funded Community Project Grant. These grants support a variety of humanities programming based on the specific needs of a community.

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Museum on Main Street

Speakers may be asked to give a program that complements the theme of one of our Museum on Main Street exhibits. These exhibits travel to small and underserved communities and explore a variety of humanities topics.

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Please Note: Speakers on this directory have agreed to a capped speaking fee of no more than $300 for a Florida Humanities-funded event. This fee does not include travel, so be sure to discuss those details as you plan your event.

2021 Speakers Directory

Back to all programs » Storytelling
Photo of Carrie Sue Ayvar Carrie Sue Ayvar Storyteller

Contact the Speaker

Contact Number:
305-778-7998

Notes

Program format(s) available:

  • In-person
  • Virtual

Download Speaker Listing

About the speaker

An internationally celebrated Storyteller and Teaching Artist, Carrie Sue Ayvar is the recipient of multiple awards recognizing her service and leadership and her dedication to the art of storytelling and education. She learned her love of history and the art of storytelling from her grandparents here in Florida before moving to Mexico as a teenager. As a Chautauqua Scholar, she intensely researched first-person historical portrayals present compelling and exciting opportunities to “meet” some extraordinary women who impacted their communities and the history of Florida. Returning to Florida in 1979, she now lives in the very same house where she first learned to tell stories. Her bilingual blend of traditional, historical & personal tales connect the people, languages, and cultures of Florida. She still believes, just as her grandfather told her, “If you don’t know the trees you may be lost in the forest, but if you don’t know the stories you may be lost in life.”

Programs Available

Doc Anna: Swamp Doctor of Florida

Currently celebrating 25 years as a Chautauqua Scholar and Portrayal Artist, tonight, in costume and in character, Carrie Sue Ayvar (Eye-bar) will “become” Dr. Anna Darrow, a pioneering female physician on the Florida frontier. In 1909, she became only the 2nd woman doctor licensed in the state. Sometimes called the Petticoat Doctor of the Everglades, she often traveled alone braving swampland, alligators, venomous snakes, and dangerous outlaw gangs in order to heal the sick, nurse the wounded and deliver babies. There will be a Q & A near the end of the program. Meanwhile, come join us, as we pretend to go back in time, and visit with the doctor herself. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Dr. Anna Darrow, Swamp Doctor of Florida.

Rose Weiss: Mother of Miami Beach

Miami Beach is now world-renowned but in 1919, Miami Beach was not much more than a sparsely populated sandbar. Women did not yet have the right to vote and Jews like herself were not welcome in most of Miami Beach when Rose Weiss first arrived. With persistence and a smile, this feisty, compassionate Jewish mother began at once to transform it and along the way created jobs, fought prejudice, helped the needy, gave the city its motto, and even designed the city’s flag. A first-person historical portrayal.

Stories of Florida—Con Sabor!

Our stories have never been the same since Ponce De Leon first arrived on our shores in 1513. Flowing seamlessly between Spanish and English, these personal, historical and traditional Florida tales takes the audience on a journey into the imagination that connects the people and cultures of Florida, con un poco de sabor Latino—with a bit of Latino flavor!

Photo of Ersula Knox-Odom Ersula Knox-Odom Actress, Storyteller, Motivational Speaker

Contact the Speaker

Contact Number:
813-368-1628

Notes

Program format(s) available:

  • In-person
  • Virtual

Download Speaker Listing

About the speaker

Ersula K. Odom is CEO of Sula Too LLC, a legacy writer, the author and co-author of several books including African Americans of Tampa and her poetic memoir – At Sula’s Feet. She is a motivational speaker, creates legacy walls, and portrays Mary McLeod Bethune as a one-person show. As founder of Sula Too, LLC she has published books for clients from Georgia to California. She was raised in Georgia, graduated from Eckerd College and is deeply rooted in Tampa with business, family, and friends.

Recent commendations: Signed copy of Congressional Record of Dr. Bethune’s decision to place her statue in Statuary Hall in DC presented to her by U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. Performance written about in the Wall Street Journal. She received separate commendations from Tampa City Council Commendation for her roles as co-founder of Fortune Friends and as member of the Citizens Advisory Committee on the Economic Impact of Cultural Arts.

As a motivational speaker, Ms. Odom has the uncommon ability to relate to multi-generational and multi-cultural audiences by sharing experiences from such areas as rural living, college life, Fortune 500 corporate management, spirituality, being a mother, entrepreneurship, sales, and genealogy to publishing books.

Programs Available

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Comes to Life

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune (1875–1955) was the founder of Bethune-Cookman University. She served as a New Deal government official—in one of the 20 highest-level offices held by women in the administration, and the highest held by an African American woman; was founder of FDR’s “black cabinet;” served as president of the National Association of Colored Women; and founded and served as president of the National Council of Negro Women. After telling the story of Dr. Bethune, Ersula will come out of character and answer questions regarding her research and personal journey.

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Local Color event, Tallahassee, 2018
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