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Contact: Sarah Revell
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Folk Heritage Award Recipients David Peñaflor & Lilly Carrasquillo to be Honored at Ceremony in Winter Park


The Florida Folklife Program will recognize 2017 Florida Folk Heritage Award recipients David Peñaflor and Lilly Carrasquillo in a special ceremony hosted at Crealdé School of Art in Winter Park on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. This ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will recognize the couple’s contributions as advocates of Latin American culture and will include a video presentation, a performance by Mr. Peñaflor and refreshments.             

“We invite the community to celebrate Mr. Peñaflor’s and Ms. Carrasquillo’s contributions to promoting Florida’s diverse cultural heritage,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “Their work in arts education has provided valuable educational opportunities for children and families throughout the state.”

 Marilia (Lilly) Carrasquillo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. At age 18, she began making papier-mâché vejigante dolls and masks, and since arriving in Florida, her vejigante masks have been featured in several exhibits. Ms. Carrasquillo has been a folk artist and arts educator for more than 40 years. Since 1987, Carrasquillo has worked with Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) Migrant Education Program and the Farmworker Association of Florida building traditional arts into curriculum and using folk arts to engage migrant children and families with their own cultural heritage. She participated in the 2005 Folklife Apprenticeship Program to teach vejigante mask making and is dedicated to creating, teaching and inspiring others.

Rey David Peñaflor Valdez grew up in Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico, where he completed his business and identity & culture studies. He began his artistic career in 1977 as director of Huitzilin, a group that presented regional folk music and dances. From 2002 through 2008, he served as Coordinator of Cultural and Educational Programs at the Mexican Consulate, where he met Lilly Carrasquillo. The couple married, and together have presented at festivals, led workshops for children and teachers and created a folk arts curriculum as part of the Viva Florida 500 statewide initiative. With unwavering enthusiasm, Lilly and David have made tremendous contributions to preserving traditional culture from Pre-Hispanic Mexico to Puerto Rico.



David Peñaflor and Lilly Carrasquillo. Photo by Amanda Hardeman.

The Florida Department of State presents Florida Folk Heritage Awards annually to citizens who have made long-standing contributions to Florida’s cultural heritage by perpetuating community traditions. Like the National Heritage Awards, the Florida Folk Heritage Awards honor the state’s most influential tradition bearers for excellence, significance, and authenticity as folk artists or folklife advocates. Information on how to make a nomination is available here and additional information regarding past recipients, including photos and bios, is available here.

The Florida Folklife Program is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Folk and Traditional Arts Program. For further information about the Florida Folklife Program, contact State Folklorist Amanda Hardeman at 850.245.6427 or visit




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, the program is one of the oldest state folk arts programs in the nation.