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:
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
Craig PittmanJournalist, Author
About the speaker
Craig Pittman is a native Floridian and an award-winning journalist and author. He spent 30 years working for the Tampa Bay Times and now writes a weekly column on environmental issues for the Florida Phoenix. He is the author of five books, including the New York Times bestseller Oh, Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, which won a gold medal from the Florida Book Awards. His most recent book is Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther. His sixth book, The State You’re In: Florida Men, Florida Women, and Other Wildlife, will be published in July 2021. He is also the co-host of the weekly podcast “Welcome to Florida;” In 2020, the Florida Heritage Book Festival named him a Florida Literary Legend. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and children.
Florida is known as the Sunshine State, but lately, it’s gotten the reputation of being the Punchline State. Amid all the mockery that comes with the Florida Man and Florida Woman stories, though, people forget just how important and influential Florida has been. Everything from NASCAR to Native American casinos got started here, and major events such as the Rev. Martin Luther King’s arrest in St. Augustine changed life across the country. This talk also delves into why Florida produces so much weird news.
CAT TALE: How the panther became Florida’s official state animal — and nearly went extinct
In 1981, Florida’s schoolchildren voted to make the Florida panther the state’s official state animal. But by 1995, the state animal was in dire need of help. The panther population had dwindled down to fewer than 30, and some scientists thought it had fallen into single digits. Saving the panther required pulling off an unprecedented experiment, aided by a grizzled tracker, an outspoken veterinarian, and a handful of biologists who sometimes had to defy their own agencies to do what was right.
Program format(s) available: