Hannibal Square Heritage Center sheds light on Winter Park’s African American community

WINTER PARK, Fla. — As we head into Black History Month, one local center is making its mission to pay tribute to the past, present and future contributions of Winter Park’s African American community.

Since its creation in 1975, the Crealdé School of Art at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park has aimed to provide outreach and foster cultural diversity.

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The Heritage Center is home to the award-winning Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park.

The collection is an exhibition of more than 100 framed, archival pieces that capture the lives of Winter Park’s African American community.

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The Hannibal Square Timeline, part of the collection, documents significant local and national events in African American history since the Emancipation Proclamation.

The center also houses rotating exhibits, community created art and educational programs that explore the African American experience, Black heritage, cultural preservation and Southern folklore.

The Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park was brought to life in 2001 during an impromptu meeting in the Winter Park Community Center office.

“Our community’s history is stored in shoe boxes under our beds,” said Community Center Director Ron Moore.

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In March of 2002, the first of many heritage days was held. Over two dozen residents showed up with their treasured family photographs and histories. The resulting exhibition, The Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park, was displayed and temporarily housed at the Winter Park Community Center until it was expanded by additional heritage days and outgrew its space.

Finally, after many years of persistence working with community leaders, the City of Winter Park and Crealdé School of Art opened the new Hannibal Square Heritage Center on April 28, 2007.

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If you would like more information or to visit, click here: Hannibal Square Heritage Center.

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