Viva Florida E-Blast
Florida Department of State
Viva Florida End of Year Note

Throughout 2014, the Viva Florida platform has championed Florida's history, diverse heritage and culture. With the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, the 450th anniversary of the French in Florida, the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the many heritage events year round, 2014 saw a statewide sharing of wonderful events and powerful stories.


With more significant anniversaries on the horizon for 2015, Viva Florida will again elevate the statewide awareness of Florida's rich history and diverse cultural heritage.  With St. Augustine commemorating 450 years since the settlement by Pedro Menéndez, Florida will again be in the spotlight in 2015 as the state with the longest continuously occupied city in the United States.


Additionally, 2015 will mark 70 years since the ending of WWII and 50 years since the voting rights act was signed into law. These anniversaries will be at the center of Viva Florida activities next year as well as the continuous promotion and support of our state's cultural heritage. We look forward to your continued involvement with Viva Florida and encourage your participation in our next teleconference on January 13, 2015, at 10 a.m.


Wishing you a Happy Holiday season,

The Viva Florida Team

Victory Florida 


August 14, 2015, marks 70 years since the day World War II ended, known as V-Day (Victory Day). In 2015, a Viva Florida effort called Victory Florida will draw attention to the many organizations and sites around the state who share the history of the state's involvement in WWII. The Florida Department of State encourages all museums, destinations, parks, businesses, libraries and individuals throughout Florida to create special events and programming during 2015 that will honor and celebrate the heroes and heroines of WWII while educating Floridians about the important role our state played in attaining victory.


Victory Florida will use the Viva Florida platform to elevate the visibility of special events honoring this anniversary, offering additional opportunities to honor the surviving veterans of WWII and thank them for freedoms that endure today.


More information will be provided on the Tuesday, January 13, 2015, teleconference, scheduled for 10 a.m. To get involved with Victory Florida and to receive updates, please sign up at

St. Augustine: First City in the Eyes of the Masters

Plaza de la Constitición by Frank Henry Shapleigh


A new exhibition at the St. Augustine Visitor Center opened on November 15, 2014 and will continue through January 12, 2015.  Titled "The First City through the Eyes of Masters," this exhibition features St. Augustine-themed works from one of the best private collections of early Florida painters. Forty-five original paintings and works of art from the 19th and early 20th centuries portray early St. Augustine and many of its landmarks.


Works include several paintings of Frank Henry Shapleigh, who wintered at Henry Flagler's Hotel Ponce de Leon from 1886 to 1887 and was the hotel's resident artist from 1889 to 1892. Other artists featured include William Staples Drown, John James Audubon, Anthony Thieme and George Seavey. Many of the 19th century artists comprised the St. Augustine Art Colony at the hotel. Flagler invited some of the nation's finest artists to paint the Ancient City in his specially designed studios. Hotel guests regularly purchased art as souvenirs.


All works of art in this exhibition are from the collection of Cici and Hyatt Brown, the Museum of Arts & Sciences, Daytona Beach, Florida.


St. Augustine is America's most enduring city, a settlement that has been in continuous existence for 450 years since its founding in 1565. Join St. Augustine, America's first city, as it celebrates its 450th anniversary in 2015 with an action-packed, year-long schedule of events that commemorates its history and culture, including festivals, re-enactments, fireworks, exhibitions and music/dance performances. Learn more at

Civil Rights in the Sunshine State


The Museum of Florida History has produced a new temporary exhibition called Civil Rights in the Sunshine State, which opened on November 7, 2014. This exhibition, which runs until April 5, 2015, is a result of a collaboration with multiple universities, organizations and individuals. Many of the photographs on display are from the State Archives of Florida, and there are artifacts from across the state, loaned from organizations such as the Ritz Theatre and Museum in Jacksonville, HistoryMiami, Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Center, ACCORD Civil Rights Museum, Stetson Kennedy Foundation, and Meeks-Eaton Black Archives and Museum at Florida A&M University.


Among the items on display are a Bible of the Reverend Theodore Gibson, who was a leader of the civil rights movements in Miami, signed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a stool from Woolworths Department Store in Jacksonville, which was the site of a famous "sit-in" demonstration in 1960 that made national headlines. The exhibit is also highly interactive, featuring music, and videos of numerous civil rights leaders including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Patricia Stephens Due, Theodore Gibson, and Reverend C. K. Steele.


Civil rights activists from Tallahassee, Jacksonville and other cities served as advisors on the exhibit, along with historians from Florida State University, the University of Florida, Florida A&M University and the Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network (FAAHPN). 


The exhibit is one aspect of a number of initiatives by the Florida Department of State to commemorate the historic signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For more information about the 50 year anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in 2014 visit For more information about visiting the exhibit and the Museum of Florida History visit

Partner Event Spotlight: Hispanic Fest 2014

On September 21, 2014, a family-oriented cultural and educational festival called Hispanic Fest took place at the Emerald Coast  Convention Center at Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach.  This annual event was featured on as a signature event.

The festival showcased the very best of Hispanic folklore, music, and food. It was organized by United for a Good Cause Inc., a Florida not for profit organization with a mission to promote the spirit of  service, giving and unity among the youth of the Emerald Coast.


Over 1,200 attended this magnificent event that included a very popular Kids Zone and an art gallery with over 60 pieces from local artists.  More than 50 vendors participated and several area businesses sponsored the event.  Hispanic and non-Hispanic performers that support United for a Good Cause's  mission took part.


Funds raised during Hispanic Fest 2014 are going towards the 10th Annual Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Needy Children's Fiesta, taking place on December 20, 2014, in Fort Walton Beach. This charitable event offers everything for free to all who attend - bringing the magic of Christmas to all.


For more information about Hispanic Fest,  the Annual Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Needy Children's Fiesta and United for a Good Cause, visit 

Fall/Winter 2014 
Florida Department of State Secretary of State Ken Detzner
In This Issue
Victory Florida
St. Augustine: First City in the Eyes of the Masters
Civil Rights in the Sunshine State
Partner Event Spotlight: Hispanic Fest 2014


Viva Florida Partners' Teleconference


Tuesday, January 13 

at 10 a.m.



Grant Deadlines


The Florida Humanities Council has just announced new grant deadlines for community organizations. The application period for the Major Grant of up to $15,000 is now open. The Letter of Intent to Apply is due by January 15, 2015. For more information about this and other Florida Humanities Council grant opportunities visit



New Year's Eve Event


The Florida Department of State's Division of Cultural Affairs is working closely with the City of Miami to promote the New Year's Eve event, Pitbull's New Year's Revolution. This downtown Miami party will be broadcast nationwide on Fox network. The party kicks off at Bayfront Park, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami, at 5:30 p.m. 

Viva Florida


The events page continues to be one of the top visited pages on, so don't forget to post your cultural and heritage events on the calendar. Additionally, we regularly pull events from our calendar to be featured on the official Viva Florida Facebook and Twitter pages, spreading the word to thousands more. Share your events with us today by visiting


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This newsletter is funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Florida Department of State's Division of Library and Information Services.