Museum to host visiting speakers

CLEWISTON — Mark your calendars now to learn more about local history through the Florida Humanities Council Speaker Program series. The new year brings three programs to the Clewiston museum, 109 Central Avenue, Clewiston.

“Before the Pioneers: Connecting Ancient and Contemporary South Florida” will be presented Jan. 24, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Using the 4,000-year human history at the North Bank of the Miami River, this presentation explores how and why ancient and early modern peoples profoundly shaped the development of modern Florida. The presentation provides an overview of the distinctive eras that have occurred prior to the arrival of Miami’s city founders. This history includes the stories of Tequesta and Seminole Indians, Spanish missionaries, African slaves and white slaveholders, Bahamian wreckers, outlaws, runaways, American soldiers and others.

Andrew Frank

Andrew K. Frank is a specialist in the history of the Seminoles and other Indians of Florida. He is the Allen Morris Professor of History at Florida State University and an award-winning author and editor of many books and articles. His books include “Before the Pioneers: Indians, Settlers, Slaves,” and the “Founding of Miami” (2017) and “The Seminole (The History and Culture of Native Americans)” (2010). He is currently finishing “Those Who Camp at a Distance: The Seminoles and Indians of Florida” — a synthesis of the history of the Seminoles from their origin until the present.

Valentine’s Day brings a presentation of “The Sweetheart State: Great Romances in Florida Lore” by Carine Neile. The Feb. 14 program will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Who doesn’t like a good love story? Who couldn’t learn more about Florida lore? These entertaining and educational legends focus on couple’s criminal and heroic, familiar and exotic. Meet the Wakulla Pocahontas and the soldier she saved. Find out what a Pahokee housewife saw in a backwoods gangster. Learn the romance behind the Devil’s Millhopper. Sit back and savor the emotions behind the humanities — on Valentine’s Day or any other day.

Caren S. Neile

Caren S. Neile, Ph.D., MFA, teaches storytelling studies at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Neile has performed, lectured and published on storytelling and literature throughout the U.S. and abroad, including as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Jerusalem and Vienna. She is a co-founding editor of the academic journal “Storytelling, Self, Society” and former chairwoman of the National Storytelling Network, the professional organization of storytellers, which gave her an Oracle Award for Regional Leadership and Service in 2005. Dr. Neile co-produces and co-hosts The Public Storyteller, a weekly segment on Miami public radio, as well as numerous storytelling events throughout South Florida. “Patrick Smith’s Florida is a Land Remembered,” will be presented Thursday, March 21, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
“Patrick Smith’s Florida is a Land Remembered,” visual storytelling produced and presented by famed author Patrick Smith’s son, Rick, will visit the Clewiston museum in March.

This program isn’t a “book lecture” or a “talk”; it is visual storytelling produced and presented by famed author Patrick Smith’s son, Rick (Patrick Jr.), a professional media producer. Rick has created over 50 video clips, special visual and sound effects, music and more to bring his presentation to life. It has been shown over 240 times in venues all over Florida, to rave reviews. Rick will discuss his late father’s body of work and why he decided to write about society’s underdogs. Using video records of his father, you’ll learn how Patrick Smith researched “A Land Remembered” for over two years before he could write it, and he’ll share his thoughts about the “real” Florida. Rick Smith and his wife, Kim Miller, live in Cambria, Calif., where they own Panorama Studios, a video and media production company. Although Rick lives in California, he maintains close connections to Florida. His family lives in Florida and he spends several months each year visiting them and conducting business related to his late father. For the last two years Rick has gone on multi-month speaking tours centered on his father’s best-known novel, “A Land Remembered.”

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