The Heritage Center Permanent Collection
The Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park
The cornerstone of the Hannibal Square Heritage Center is The Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park--a unique approach to telling history modeled after similar efforts conducted by the Los Angeles County Library. It represents the first collection of its kind implemented in a Central Florida community, and depicts the hardships and the triumphs of Winter Park’s African-American community from 1900 to the present. These personal accounts of community life make history come alive and engage visitors young and old. This permanent exhibition is the result of six Community Heritage Days, begun in 2002, wherein a Crealdé team of historians, cultural anthropologists, and documentary photographers collaborated with intergenerational members of the historic Hannibal Square neighborhood who shared their family photographs and related personal stories during an interview session. New archival prints were made from the original (often deteriorating) photographs. A contemporary portrait was taken of the resident sharing the story, and text was created from the recorded oral history. These three elements were matted and framed together, making a strong visual presentation and an archival work of art that shares a piece of history as part of The Heritage Collection.
A Source for Building Community Pride
No one really knew how many stories were being lost until they were gathered into one place. From the beginning, the residents loved The Heritage Collection, and their contributions over the last five years have expanded the exhibition to over 100 archival, museum-quality pieces. In a climate of intense development throughout their home community, The Heritage Collection touched a chord and brought together the African- American residents in an unprecedented way. Residents and the city of Winter Park started paying attention. What was once a whisper became a full chorus tuned to preservation and celebration. The neighborhood continues to be developed—but with an eye on the history and heritage of this special place.
The Winter Park Timeline
Located in the gallery adjoining The Heritage Collection is The Hannibal Square Timeline, a wall-size timeline exhibit which juxtaposes significant events within west Winter Park with national events pertaining to African-Americans, from the Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement, giving a broader context for understanding. The timeline was inspired by a similar timeline in Evanston, Illinois. Shorefront, an organization committed to preserving the African-American heritage of Evanston was founded by Dino
Robinson. Mr. Robinson designed the timeline from historical information provided by members of The Heritage Collection team including Peter Schreyer, Executive Director and Founder of the Heritage Center, Fairolyn Livingston, Community Historian and Dr. Ron Habin, Anthropologist.
Public Works of Art
Public art extends the mission to make the arts available to everyone. Crealdé School of Art defines public art as a piece of art that is accessible to the general public at no cost, whose contents are about the community where it is displayed, and which is created by members of the community in collaboration with a professional artist.
Each year Crealdé engages a professional artist in a short-term residency at the Heritage Center, collaborating with community residents to create a permanent piece of public art, providing a focal point for history telling.
Through the Heritage Center, Crealde School of Art has produced
the following community projects in Hannibal Square: (They get their
own page, so click to see more!)
February 2008, Hannibal Square Memory Wall, A Collaboration with Mr. Imagination
April 2007, Community Picnic, A Collaboration with Ruby C. Williams
January 2007, Community Pride Mosaic Mural in Hannibal Square, A Collaboration
of over 300 students and community members with Crealde's Public
Art Coordinator, artist Lynn Tomlinson and Crealde artists Marie
Carrasquillo, Daryl Golden, Willie Maria Lopez, Virginia
Maxfield, and Jan May.