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History Fort Lauderdale Celebrates 60th Anniversary with New Exhibits, Events and Experiences

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.  – History Fort Lauderdale, proud steward of our community’s past by making our heritage accessible and engaging to residents and visitors, will celebrate its 60th Anniversary in the South Florida community beginning February 23. As part of its diamond anniversary year, History Fort Lauderdale will present its second visual tribute to impactful female leaders in South Florida, a PRIDE month LGBT+ exhibit, an environmental artists showcase, an Hispanic heritage celebration and a narrative showcasing the rise of craft beer and breweries in Broward County. These events will add to the nonprofit organization’s annual celebration of Black History Month, Native American History Month and its signature History Makers Fundraiser.

“It has been an honor for History Fort Lauderdale to serve local and residents and visitors to the area since 1962 by providing historical contexts for development, housing archives, spearheading preservation initiatives, shining a spotlight on culture and offering fun, educational tours and outreach,” said Patricia Zeiler, executive director of History Fort Lauderdale. “We’re excited about our anniversary programming and we hope to reach larger and more diverse audiences by celebrating the significant and inspiring people, places and events that shaped our past and continue to influence the future of our vibrant city.”

60th Anniversary Celebration Exhibits and Events 

Currently on exhibit at History Fort Lauderdale’s New River Inn, in celebration of Black History Month (February), residents and visitor may explore “60 Years of Black Art,” a fine art exhibit featuring works for show and sale from Dillard Center for the Arts’ Advanced Placement (AP) students, through the newly extended date of April 10. The exhibit, curated by instructor Celestin Joseph, represents historical and contemporary themes of equality from the perspective of students at the very school that was instrumental in overturning segregation laws in the City of Fort Lauderdale 51 years ago.

Beginning March 10 at 5:30 p.m., kicking off with a special honoree reception, will be History Fort Lauderdale’s “Women Trailblazers: Champions of Change - Broward County” presented by Memorial Healthcare System at Galleria Fort Lauderdale (2414 East Sunrise Blvd). Six prominent women of today who are proponents of change - Sebrina María Alfonso, music director for South Florida Symphony Orchestra, Alexandra Anagnostis-Irons, founder and owner of Total Marine Solutions, Kathleen Cannon, president and CEO of United Way Broward County, Melanie Dickinson, president and publisher of South Florida Business Journal, Bertha Henry, county administrator for Broward County and Carolyn Michaels, executive vice president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce - along with their historical female predecessors who helped to pave the way for our community, will be honored during Women’s History Month. The reception, $35 per person with tickets available at https://bit.ly/HFLWomenTrailblazers2022, and a special Dillard’s pop-up shop will benefit History Fort Lauderdale. The free photo exhibition will run through March 31 at Galleria Fort Lauderdale.  “Women Trailblazers: Champions of Change - Broward County” is presented by Memorial Healthcare System and is sponsored by Galleria Fort Lauderdale, United Way of Broward County, South Florida Business Journal, City & Shore PRIME magazine, Dillard’s, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille and GPR | Goodman Public Relations.

From June 1 – 30, coinciding with PRIDE Month, History Fort Lauderdale will present “I Am What I Am: A Tribute to South Florida’s Drag Pioneers” at Galleria Fort Lauderdale. This interactive presentation will chronicle the rich history of the art of drag performance and will profile past and present South Florida performers who continue to elevate entertainment experiences locally and nationally. The exhibit will include an opening reception on May 31 and will contain video vignette interviews and perspectives, a photo wall, colorful costumes and more.

From July 10 – September 11, South Florida landscape artist Tim Forman returns with “Tranquil Tropics,” an all-new juried summer art exhibit featuring Forman’s award-winning work alongside lauded local artists including Dan Caldwell, Linda Apriletti, Hitomi Saito, Diane Deloray, Tammy Seymour, Danielle Perry and Connie Commette whose visions focus on Florida’s natural beauty and its conservation. The exhibit will open with an artists meet and greet reception.

For Hispanic Heritage Month, History Fort Lauderdale will focus on the vibrant and rhythmic spirit of South Florida with “Viva South Florida – A History of Latin Influence.” Launching September 15, this experience will feature art and photos that capture the lively and vibrant essence of our multicultural community. As part of this event. History Fort Lauderdale will host a live event with Latin food, music and more on Sunday, September 18.

Also, in September, Smithsonian Day returns on September 24 to History Fort Lauderdale joining other national museums, zoos and cultural centers from all 50 states to offer free admission. It represents a national commitment to access, equality and inclusion. Museum Day goes beyond getting visitors through museum doors — it acts as a springboard to empower and help advance the hopes and ambitions of the public, particularly school-aged children and those in underrepresented communities.

Drink-up as History Fort Lauderdale focuses on the “ale” in Lauderdale with “Top Hops – The Rise of Craft Breweries in Broward” that will kick-off Sunday, October 9, during its monthly New River Open Air Market. Learn about our local breweries via photos and recorded oral histories, participate in a beer-tasting and have your brewer’s passport stamped and more!

Additionally, in October, History Fort Lauderdale’s annual History Makers Celebration will return to honor The Drum Family of Broward Marine and 15th Street Fisheries at a date yet to be announced.  In November, as part of its commitment to arts and culture, History Fort Lauderdale will partner with Art Basel, once again, to showcase indigenous Seminole art during Native American History Month in November.

History Fort Lauderdale is proud to host a variety of engaging multicultural experiences, year-round. Permanent exhibits include “From Dugouts to Dream Yachts,” a visual narrative weaving the story of the ever-changing use of Fort Lauderdale’s waterways by following the strokes of the first people to today’s sightseers, “The Bryans of Fort Lauderdale” which allows visitors to experience the story of the City of Fort Lauderdale as told through the pioneer family that shaped its development from an agricultural outpost in 1896 to a bustling city in the 1920s to its current status as a leading Metropolis, “Juliette Lange: A Portrait of a Mezzo Soprano,” a fashion and lifestyle glimpse of the socially prominent Fort Lauderdale resident with a lauded career as a star vocalist of musical comedy, plus “Archaeology of the New River” and a multitude of stories and photos sharing the history of other founding families of Fort Lauderdale. The nonprofit museum also hosts an artists’ collective collaborative space.

History Fort Lauderdale is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. with docent guided tours, daily, at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Group walking tours are available upon special request. Admission is $15 for adults; $12 for seniors and $7 for students (through age 22 with a valid student ID). Admission is free for members, military and children ages six and under. Tickets are available online at HistoryFortLauderdaleTickets

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