Dreamers & Schemers Statewide Roadshow

Produced for the Florida Humanities Council by Bill Dudley.

This year, Florida will celebrate its 500th anniversary, marked from the day in 1513 when Spanish explorer Ponce de León landed on Florida’s east coast. To help commemorate this event, the Florida Humanities Council is conducting a statewide series of programs designed to engage audiences in thoughtful reflection and dialogue about our state’s rich history.

Florida has always meant different things to different people. For some, it means wide-open spaces, freedom, opportunity and adventure. For others, it means white-sand beaches, palm trees, and Mickey Mouse.

Audiences will hear what Florida meant to some of those who helped shape its destiny. Some are native sons & daughters who strove to protect their beloved home. Others came here looking for their freedom or fortune. While their motivations varied, each left their indelible mark on this great state.

The Balancing Act: Industry, Tourism, and Preservation

With its pristine beaches, fertile farm land, and vast Everglades, the lure of tourism and industry has always been at odds with preserving Florida’s natural beauty and unique ecosystems. Henry Flagler, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas each had a very different vision of what the future Florida should look like and who should control its natural resources.

Florida: The Land of Freedom, Opportunity, and New Beginnings

For much of its history, Florida was a wild frontier—the perfect place for someone to disappear or start over. Displaced Native Americans and runaway slaves both made Florida their home for just this reason. Osceola, Francisco Menéndez, and Mary McLeod Bethune each knew that Florida offered them a fresh start and the hope of a brighter future.

Finding Yourself and Making Your Own Way

Florida is known for its wide-open spaces and has attracted its share of wayward adventurers looking for their own piece of paradise. Pedro Menéndez, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jacob Summerlin each had a personal stake in Florida and made it their own.

Event Schedule

More dates coming soon.

For more information:

Alex Buell, Program Coordinator
Florida Humanities Council