David Schmidt shares the legacy of Florida WPA projects at The Emerson Center


David Schmidt

Historian David Schmidt brings Florida’s colorful The Works Progress Administration projects to life in a free presentation Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 7:00 pm at The Emerson Center in Vero Beach. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was one of President Roosevelt’s wide-ranging, yet controversial programs. Many saw it as a “make work” program which did not accomplish its goals-the acronym was derided as “We Piddle Around.” The evidence indicates that the program was far more successful and, even today, Floridians enjoy the art, buildings and constructions created by the WPA. These awe-inspiring works punctuate our state’s unique history.

David Schmidt, curator of the Florida Civilian Conservation Corps Museum at Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring, Florida, taught for 37 years focusing on United States History, geography, and special education. Mr. Schmidt holds two masters’ degrees from Ball State University and did additional study at Michigan State University, Indiana University, and Bowling Green State University.

The Florida Humanities Series is presented by The Emerson Center at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Vero Beach. Five acclaimed speakers and performers appear at the Center through March 2019, with all presentations relating to Florida history, people, and culture. Admission and parking at each event is free and all performances begin at 7 p.m. Performance dates: The Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society performs “Christmas and All That Jazz” on December 13, 2018; Indian River State College astronomy professor Jon Bell shows us what lies “Under the Florida Skies” on January 10,  2019; Master Chief Rick Kaiser takes us behind-the-scenes with “The Navy Seal Museum: History Unfolds On Our Beach” on February 7,  2019; and historian Peggy Macdonald shows an interesting look at gubernatorial history with “Florida’s First Ladies” on March 14, 2019.

This series is sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council (www.FloridaHumanities.org) with funds from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs. Marine Bank and Trust Company provides additional funding.

Free admission and free parking offered on a first-come first-served basis. The Emerson Center is an accessible facility and is conveniently located at 1590 27th Avenue, on the SE corner of 16th Street and 27th Avenue in Vero Beach. For more information, visit www.theemersoncenter.org or contact the Emerson box office at 772-778-5249.

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