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Secretary Browning Requests Nominations for Florida Folk Heritage Awards

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Florida Department of State
Kurt S. Browning
Secretary of State

For Immediate Release
July 30, 2008

Tina Bucuvalas

Secretary Browning Requests Nominations for Florida Folk Heritage Awards

Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning announced that the Florida Department of State seeks nominations for the 2009 Florida Folk Heritage Awards.  The annual awards recognize individuals who have made exemplary contributions to Florida’s traditional culture. “The Florida Folk Heritage Awards recognize authenticity, excellence and talent within the traditional arts and honor our most significant and influential traditional artists,” Secretary Browning said. “I am pleased to present these annual awards honoring some of our state’s living cultural treasures.”

Folklife includes a wide range of creative forms in art, crafts, dance, language, music and ritual. These cultural traditions are transmitted by word of mouth and demonstration. They are shared within community, ethnic, occupational, religious and regional groups. Nominees should be individuals whose art or advocacy has embodied the best of traditional culture in their communities.

Nominations for the award should describe the accomplishments and background of the nominee and explain why he or she deserves statewide recognition for preserving a significant facet of the state’s cultural heritage.  Support materials such as photographs, slides, audio and videotapes and letters will assist the state’s Florida Folklife Council in evaluating each nominee.  Each nomination letter should include at least two references.

The 2008 Florida Folk Heritage Awards honored four outstanding folk artists.  Joseph Johnson (Cottondale) is an African American funeral band leader and gospel singer, Luis Ezequiel Torres (Miami) is a Cuban batá drum maker and musician, Nicholas Toth (Tarpon Springs) creates diving helmets, and Mike Wilder (Kenansville) is a master saddle maker.

Nominations must be postmarked no later than October 1, 2008 and mailed to Florida Folklife Program, Bureau of Historic Preservation, R.A. Gray Building - 4th Floor, 500 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0250.  Florida Folk Heritage Award policies can be viewed at: www.flheritage.com/preservation/folklife/policies.cfm . For additional information, contact Tina Bucuvalas at 850. 245.6333 or 1-800-847-PAST.

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