The Democracy Issue

Page 8

FLORIDA Humanities Today

The projects and programs in FLORIDA Humanities Today are supported by Florida Humanities. More information on these projects and other funding opportunities can be found at FloridaHumanities.org

Telling our state’s real stories

KARA GOLD, LLC.

Florida Humanities Community Project Grants share rich history and diverse cultures

Dr. Lillian Dunlap, Your Real Stories director/co-founder, speaking with Andrea Hildebran and Nadine Smith.

By Tom Scherberger

In communities across Florida, humanities-rich programming is making a lasting impact on Sunshine State residents and visitors alike. Florida Humanities is a proud partner in supporting high-quality public programming, which celebrates the state we call home. The following programs represent nearly $120,000 awarded to 27 Florida organizations in summer 2019.

8

F O R U M

F L O R I D A

H U M A N I T I E S

L

illian Dunlap and Jaye Sheldon founded Your Real Stories in 2011 based on the concept of “theatrical journalism,” using actors to tell the real stories of real people. “We’re convinced that storytelling is the vehicle that can get past barriers,” says Dunlap, a former TV news journalist and former professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and resident faculty member at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg. Together they have written more than 70 theatrical productions based on extensive interviews of diverse subjects. In October 2019, Your Real Stories presented Marriage Stories, based on interviews with two same-sex couples. The performance, presented at the TulleyLevine Gallery at the ArtsXchange in St. Petersburg, was supported by a $5,000 Community Project Grant from Florida Humanities. The mission of Your Real Stories is to “create space for people to experience the compelling, authentic stories of real people and to find the common threads that tie us together as human beings.” Marriage Stories was part of the 6th Annual Story Days Tampa Bay festival presented by Your Real Stories. “It was quite successful and fun,” says Dunlap.