The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society and the Venetian Arts Society Celebrate Seminole Culture

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., May 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The contribution of the Seminole Indians to Florida is something William Riddle thinks has been long overlooked.

To correct that oversight, Riddle, the director of the Venetian Arts Society, in partnership with the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, will host two events: an exhibition on June 5, 2014 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Stranahan Landing and a lecture on June 9, 2014 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the New River Inn (231 SW 2nd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL).

"It's time to start giving credit where credit is due and highlight the historical significance of the Seminole nation in establishing the State of Florida," said Riddle.

The June 5, 2014 exhibit will feature traditional Seminole Indian cuisine and Mike Osceola, a descendant of Chief Osceola, who led the Seminoles against the United States during the Seminole Wars. As a permanent tribute, Stranahan Landing will soon be home to an 8 ft. tall bronze statue of a Seminole girl, designed by sculptor Nilda Comas, named "Florida" which is being cast right now.

To raise money for "Florida," approximately 500 tiles will be sold for $100 each and installed around the statue. "The tiles will be painted by Seminole Indian children with the names of people, businesses, loved ones or whatever the purchaser wants," said Riddle. The Seminole Tribe has already donated $50,000 for the pedestal and the City of Fort Lauderdale donated the land where the statue will stand.

The statue will also have an interactive feature: "You can swipe your smart phone on it and it will play Seminole Indian children singing in Mikasuki, the language of the tribe.  The elders of the tribe will talk to you as well, telling the stories of the various Seminole traditions and folklore," said Riddle.

Stranahan Landing is located at 500 S. New River Drive in Fort Lauderdale. The New River Inn is located at 231 SW 2nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale, part of the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society's Historic Campus.

To RSVP for the free lecture on June 9, 2014 CLICK HERE or call (954) 463-4431 ext 16. To buy a brick, visit

About the Ft. Lauderdale Historical Society
The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society (FLHS) brings the history of greater Fort Lauderdale to life through education, research and preservation for the enrichment of present and future generations. Believing that a sense of history is fundamental to understanding human experience, the FLHS collects, preserves and shares material from our community's past, so that present and future generations can comprehend more fully their predecessors, their community and themselves.

With education as the primary focus FLHS offers public lectures and workshops; publish teacher resource materials; arrange school and general group tours and activities; support scholarly research through significant research assistance; maintain a 1907 house museum and three other 1905 historic structures, and a museum of changing and permanent exhibitions, and operate a research center that has functioned uninterrupted for more than 50 years.

About the Venetian Arts Society
The Venetian Arts Society is a not-for-profit cultural arts organization that highlights the multi-cultural diversity of our community through the visual and performing arts in an intimate and interactive Art Salon atmosphere.

CONTACT: Laurie Menekou, (954) 271-4666 (or)

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SOURCE Fort Lauderdale Historical Society


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