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Secretary Detzner Seeks Nominations for Florida Folk Heritage Awards

Secretary of State Ken Detzner today announced that the Florida Department of State is seeking nominations for the 2016 Florida Folk Heritage Awards. The annual awards recognize individuals who have made exemplary contributions to Florida’s traditional culture.

“The Folk Heritage Awards acknowledge the contributions of outstanding traditional artists and folklife advocates who are promoting the importance of folklife in Florida,” said Secretary Detzner. “By recognizing these individuals for their tireless efforts, we are supporting the continuation of folk and traditional arts and culture statewide.”

Folklife includes a wide range of creative forms such as art, crafts, dance, language, music, and ritual. These cultural traditions are transmitted by word of mouth and demonstration, and 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.

 2015 Florida Folk Heritage Award recipient and traditional whip maker, Calvin Mills of Okeechobee. Photo by Robert Stone.

2015 Florida Folk Heritage Award recipient and traditional whip maker, Calvin Mills of Okeechobee. Photo by Robert Stone.

How to Submit a Nomination:

Nominations 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 video samples, and letters will assist the state’s Florida Folklife Council in evaluating nominees. Each nomination also requires at least two letters of support from community members, colleagues, peers, cultural specialists, or any other individuals who can confirm the details of the nomination and attest to the nominee's qualifications.


Nominations must be postmarked no later than October 1, 2015, and mailed to: Florida Folklife Program, Division of Historical Resources, R.A. Gray Building – 4th Floor, 500 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0250. For more information about the Florida Folk Heritage Awards, or the Florida Folklife Program, contact State Folklorist Amanda Hardeman at 850.245.6427 or 800.847.PAST. For additional information, visit

2015 Awardees

The 2015 Florida Folk Heritage Awards honored three individuals who have made significant contributions to Florida’s folk cultural heritage. The awardees included folklife advocate of Seminole language and culture Lorene Gopher of Glades County; traditional buckskin whip-maker Calvin “Buddy” Mills of Okeechobee County; and culinary demonstrator of North Florida foodways Ruby Shaw of Hamilton County.


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About the Florida Folklife Program

The Florida Folklife Program, a component of the Florida Department of State's Division of Historical Resources, documents and presents Florida’s folklife, folklore and folk arts. The program coordinates a wide range of activities and projects designed to increase the awareness of Floridians and visitors alike about Florida’s traditional culture. Established in 1979 by the legislature to document and present Florida folklife, this program is one of the oldest state folk arts programs in the nation. The Florida Folklife Program is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Folk and Traditional Arts Program. For more information about Florida folklife, visit