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50 Stories for 50 Years


In 1969, the Florida Legislature created the Division of Cultural Affairs under the Department of State. Since then, the division’s mission to advance, support and promote arts and culture to strengthen the economy and quality of life for all Floridians has guided us in everything that we do. 

This publication, 50 Stories for 50 Years, tells the stories of arts and culture organizations and artists across Florida and over the past five decades. While the anniversary of the Division of Cultural Affairs is worth noting, what is more remarkable is the work of Florida’s vibrant arts and culture community. Grand opera lives side by side with experimental soundscapes; world-renowned paintings by Great Masters share the spotlight with children picking up their first paintbrushes; the great traditions of classical ballet and tango mingle in Florida’s performance spaces. The breadth and diversity of arts and culture in Florida cannot be overstated, and 50 Stories for 50 Years aims to celebrate some of the organizations and artists the division has been fortunate enough to call our partners.

50 Stories for 50 Years would not have been possible without the support and leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee, the Florida Legislature the members of the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division of Cultural Affairs is also grateful to the organizations and individuals who took the time to contribute to 50 Stories by putting into words how funding from the Division of Cultural Affairs has impacted their own work and communities. Thanks as well to all our partners and grantees over the years and to the staff of the Division, both past and present, for their dedication to supporting Florida’s arts and culture.

As you read, we hope that you will be inspired to see the difference that arts and culture have made in your own life. Arts and culture are the heart and soul of a community. 50 Stories for 50 Years shows just how exciting and innovative Florida’s heart and soul have always been.

Here’s to another 50 years!


Read 50 Stories for 50 Years below, or download a PDF.