June Happenings at the History Center

Bartow, Fla (May 28, 2019) -- Journey into Polk history this month at the Polk County History Center. The following programs and events are open to the public and free of charge:

  • June’s Family Program – Curators of Curiosity - All Month
    •  We are celebrating fathers this month at the History Center. Students will make photo frames to celebrate Father’s Day.
    • History Time Tots, a story and activity time, designed for ages five and younger, will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1 and 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 11. Cintia Ally, curator of education and programming, will read, “Dad by My Side,” by Soosh.

  • June 4, 5:30-7:30 p.m. – Race and Culture Lecture Series – “Stories of Florida—Con Sabor!” by Carrie Sue Ayvar
    •  Our stories have never been the same since Ponce De Leon first arrived on our shores in 1513. Flowing seamlessly between Spanish and English, Carrie Sue Ayvar chooses from her large repertoire of personal, historical and traditional Florida tales to connect the people and cultures of Florida, con un poquito de sabor Latino—with a little bit of Latino flavor.

A third generation, award-winning storyteller from Mexico who blends traditional, international and personal tales, Carrie Sue Ayvar takes her listeners on a journey into the imagination connecting people, languages and cultures through her stories. A recipient of the National Storytelling Network’s Oracle Award winner for Service and Leadership, Ayvar is a nationally acclaimed bilingual storyteller dedicated to preserving and promoting the art of storytelling. Her dramatic programs range from one-woman historical presentations to interactive folktales and stories in Spanish and English.

Funding for the Race and Culture Lecture Series is provided by a community project grant through the The Florida Humanities Council, an independent and nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The community project grant provides support for the planning and implementation of public humanities programs and resources that meet the needs and interests of local communities.

  • Book Club Recommended Reading is, “Risas Y Sonrisas - Laughter & Smiles,” by Carrie Sue Ayvar and Silvana Soriano
    • This book features traditional Latin American nursery rhymes selected and translated from the original Spanish into English by Carrie Sue Ayvar and illustrator Silvana Soriano. Children’s songs and rhymes are a fun and easy way to learn a new language, develop literacy skills and create memories that last.

  • June 7, 6-7:30 p.m. – Race and Culture Lecture Series – Special Event: “Conversations in Bed,” Stage Reading by Gretchen Suarez-Pena
    •  The Polk County History Center, in cooperation with local playwright Gretchen Suarez-Pena, concludes the lecture series on Race and Culture with a stage reading of Ms. Suarez-Pena’s piece, “Conversations in Bed.” The show follows four couples and the comical and universal conversations they have before going to sleep.
  • June 8, 10 a.m. – “Introduction to Nature Photography,” by Jeff Spence, former Director of Polk County Parks and Natural Resources
    • Jeff Spence and his wife, Lynette, have travelled around the globe photographing natural landscapes and wildlife. Join us as Spence teaches basic nature photography skills and shares examples of his photography from such far flung locales as Africa and New Zealand, and locally from the Polk County’s Circle B Bar Reserve.

  •  June 15, 11 a.m. – Architectural Tour
    • Join us for an architectural tour of the History Center and learn about neoclassical architecture, the construction of the building and the stories behind the iconic Old Polk County Courthouse. The architectural tour is at 11 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month.

  • June 18, 12:15-1 p.m. – Out of the Archives Speaker Series – “Household Gadgetry,” by Maria Trippe, Curator of Collections & Exhibitions, Polk County History Center
    • Maria Trippe will be showcasing household items from the archives. Some of the items featured include kitchen gadgets, appliances, lamps and a hair wave machine.

  • June 29, 10-11:30 a.m. - Genealogy Workshop – “Genealogy Research Using Court Records,” by Preston Petermeier, Research and Genealogy Historian
    • Learn about the unique resources available found in courthouses across the country through public and official records. These court records may help you find the missing link connecting your ancestors to other people and places. After the workshop, join us in the Historical & Genealogical Library where trained staff and volunteers will be there to help you with your research. Feel free to bring your laptops as we have a limited number of computers available on site. Call Preston Petermeier at the Polk County History Center at (863) 534-4604 to reserve your seat.

The Polk County History Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow. Visit or call (863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming. All programs and events are free and open to the public.




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