Calendar of Events

2013-2014 Zora Fest! Schedule of Events

October 26, 2013 – Zora Recognition Luncheon / Noon – 2 p.m. / Granny’s Kitchen / Fort Pierce

Saturday, January 4, 2014 – Zora’s Birthday Party / Hurston Library / Fort Pierce

Saturday, February 8, 2014 – Hattitude Luncheon / Fort Pierce Yacht Club / Fort Pierce

Friday, February 28, 2014 – RENT Party / St. Lucie County Regional History Center / Fort Pierce

Saturday, March 8, 2014 – Zora Fest! / Lincoln Park Academy – Activities, including the festival day, Humanities presentations, performances, and Trolley Tours on the Dust Tracks Trail.

Sunday, March 9, 2014 – Authors Brunch –  Authors from the festival day and others discuss different aspects of Hurston’s life.  The luncheon is from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. / Location to be determined.

Other Zora activities will be announced in the next few months.


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Teachers From Around the Country Meet Zora Authors, Students in National Tour

For its sixth year, the Florida Humanities Council introduced nearly 100 teachers from around the country to friends, former students and authors on a tour of the Zora Neale Hurston Dust Tracks Heritage Trail in Fort Pierce.  The tour is part of two teacher groups participating in one of two week-long programs studying the late Harlem Renaissance author’s Florida years as part of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The initial program is coordinated at Rollins College in Winter Park, near Hurston’s childhood hometown of Eatonville.  Teachers, in the two different groups, visit Fort Pierce in a one-day tour on the Dust Tracks Trail to see her home, her gravesite and her work locations.

The Zora Neale Hurston Florida Education Foundation assists with the tours locally.  The teachers, authors and local guests meet at Granny’s Kitchen on Avenue D in Fort Pierce to discuss what the teachers have learned through the overall program and during their local tour in Fort Pierce.  Lynn Moylan, author of Zora Neale Hurston The Final Decade was a guest speaker and Florida International University professor Heather Russell conducted a wrap-up with the teachers.  During this year’s tours, the teachers came from as far away as California, Utah, Iowa, New York, Philadelphia, plus Florida and Zora’s final hometown of Fort Pierce.


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Florida Humanities Council Teacher Tours

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Zora Author Shares Florida Stories

Noted Harlem Renaissance author Zora Neale Hurston spent her final years in Florida, creating the first black baby doll, covering the Ruby McCollum murder trial as a reporter, writing the biography of a famous Dade County judge and writing columns for the local black newspaper in Fort Pierce.

These were just a few of the stories Hurston author Lynn Moylan shared with Vero Beach residents attending a Florida Humanities Council presentation at The Emerson Center. Moylan is the author of Zora Neale Hurston’s Final Decade, recognized by the Florida Book Awards with a Silver Medal for Nonfiction.

Moylan, a teacher in the Palm Beach County School District, spent nearly 10 years researching Hurston and her many activities throughout the state before she died on January 28, 1960 in Fort Pierce. She is buried in Sarah’s Memorial Garden on North 17th Street.

Hurston came to Fort Pierce in 1957 to work as a reporter / columnist at The Chronicle, the local black newspaper owned by publisher C.E. Bolen. He had known Hurston’s family from Eatonville, an all black community northeast of Orlando, and knew she was looking for a job. Her job consisted of stories from the community, but also her experiences collecting black cultural songs and oral histories while working for the Federal Writers Project and on various anthropological fellowships.

Hurston also taught 9th grade English at Lincoln Park Academy when it was an all-black school.

Moylan’s presentation at The Emerson explained Hurston’s final 10 years and her many friendships that were established as she came to appreciate her life in Fort Pierce. Among those friends were noted Florida landscape artist A.E. “Bean” Backus, Miami Herald reporter Anne Wilder and others.

Moylan was a guest speaker at the 2013 Zora Fest! in early March and a guest speaker for the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando following her Vero Beach program.

Pictured above at The Emerson Center are, from left, Center host Susan Granpierre, Marine Bank President and CEO and Humanities program sponsor Bill Penney, author Lynn Moylan and Zora Fest! committee member Adrienne Moore.

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Zora Fest! in Fort Pierce TODAY

Zora Scholars / Zora Fest!
Saturday, March 9 / Lincoln Park Academy
1806 Avenue I / Fort Pierce
Presentation at 1 p.m.

Lynn Moylan, author of Zora Neale Hurston’s Final Decade, will discuss the last 10 years of Hurston’s life in Florida, including her final years in Fort Pierce. This presentation will be part of the afternoon discussions at Lincoln Park Academy on Saturday, March 9.

Among the stories are Zora’s life in Eau Gallie before moving to Fort Pierce, her work as a maid in Miami Beach which led to her writing a biography of the late U.S. Senator George Smathers’s father, a long-time Dade County judge, and a black baby doll project that brought Zora and Sarah Creech in touch with former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

Lynn is a teacher in the Palm Beach County School District. Since her book was published, she is a recipient of the Florida Book Awards in Non-Fiction and a speaker at the annual Amelia Island Book Fair.

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Zora Featured in One-Woman Play

Loquacious and Bodacious / Starring Karen Stephens in a one-woman play
Presented by the Bob Carter’s Actors Workshop & Repertory Company
Friday, March 8 / 7 p.m. / Indian River State College Black Box Theatre
Admission is FREE / Seating is limited / RSVP at (772) 971-1744.

Karen Stephens, Actress, Performer, Writer, Director
Known for her portrayals of author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, Karen has performed as Zora in Loquacious and Bodacious, The Life and Times of Zora Neale Hurston on stage and the Actors Workshop and in the St. Lucie Film Society documentary “that’s livin’.”

A theatre graduate from the University of Florida, Karen has also appeared in the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s production of Doubt, and in the award-winning Carbonell Award ensembles in Chicago, Little Shop of Horrors and West Side Story. She was also a Carbonell Award nominee for her role in the Florida Stag’es production of Spunk, one of Zora’s popular plays. She has many other honors to her credit.

For three seasons, Karen has directed productions at The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts education department and has worked on several other teenage workshop projects through her acting talent. In 2004, she was honored with the Clyde Fyfe Award from the Palm Beach Cultural Council for artistic development and community service and Delta Sigma Theta’s 2009 Woman of Excellence in the Arts.

Loquacious and Bodacious was written by the late Bhetty Waldron of West Palm Beach.

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Meet the Authors at Zora Fest!

Authors Brunch / Sunday, March 10 / 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Granny’s Kitchen, 901 Avenue D / Fort Pierce
$35 per person / RSVP at (772) 971-1744

The Authors Brunch introduces two professors discussing Zora’s life and literary achievements and related student projects.

Marvin Hobson, the Zora Neale Hurston Endowed Chair at Indian River State College, will discuss the Endowed Teaching Chair projects, which will include writing programs and competitions, debates, an on-the-spot writing contest and more.

Rollins College professor Maurice O’Sullivan will discuss his research on Zora, including her relationship with Rollins College. O’Sullivan and other faculty are working on Project Mosaic, an African-American studies program, which related to Zora writings.

Please RSVP for the brunch by calling (772) 971-1744. Seating is limited to 60.


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The Collection:  Celebrating Zora's Writings

Zora Neale Hurston painting by Fort PIerce Mosaic Artist Anita Prentice

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Zora Fest! Activities

Zora Fest! Activities Bring Out
Authors, Artists, Performers and Books

She was known as the Queen of the Harlem Renaissance and one of the most prolific black female writers of the 20th century. She spent her final years in Fort Pierce and continues to be honored and recognized for her literary achievements.

She is the late author, anthropologist and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, known for her most famous book, Their Eyes Were Watching God and for her autobiography, Dust Tracks on the Road. Through several grants and the Federal Writers Project, Hurston captured oral histories of the black culture and even put songs on tape to make sure they were saved for future generations, and all stored in the Library of Congress.

To honor those traditions and keep the achievements going, the Zora Neale Hurston Florida Education Foundation will be hosting authors, actors, vendors, special guests and Zora’s niece, Lucy Anne Hurston for the annual Zora Fest! with the theme of The Collection: Celebrating Zora’s Writings.

Kicking off a variety of activities will be The RENT Party on Friday, March 1, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the St. Lucie County Regional History Center, 414 Seaway Drive on the east side of the South Bridge. Admission is FREE with donations accepted. A Southern dinner will be served.

On Friday, March 8, actress Karen Stephens will perform a one-woman show, Loquacious and Bodacious, the Life and Times of Zora Neale Hurston. Written by the late Bhetty Waldron of West Palm Beach, Stephens will perform the show at Indian River State College Black Box Theatre in Fort Pierce. Admission is FREE. Seating is limited. RSVP at (772) 971-1744.

Programs and student performance are available for all ages at the festival event – Zora Fest! – on Saturday, March 9 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Lincoln Park Academy, 1806 Avenue I in Fort Pierce. Vendors, performers, authors, and performers will be on hand throughout the day. The Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society will perform at 4 p.m.. Admission is FREE.

Among the activities, the Friends of the Library will distribute books to area children, while middle school and high school students will perform on an outside stage with music presentations, drum bands, steppers and more. The St. Lucie County Health Department will be available for health screenings and TDBank is presenting information for children about learning to save money. Throughout the afternoon, trolley tours will be provided on the Hurston Dust Tracks Trail, including a stop at her house and at the gravesite.

On Sunday, March 10, the Authors Brunch will feature Lucy Anne Hurston, Hurston’s niece. Two professors will discuss their work on Hurston from her early years to her more recent years in Fort Pierce. The brunch is $35 per person at Granny’s Kitchen, 901 Avenue D in Fort Pierce. Seating is limited and reservations should be made by calling (772) 971-1744.

Indian River State College English teacher Marvin Hobson will discuss the Zora Neale Hurston Endowed Chair and its related student programs for writing across the curriculum, which will encourage students to read about Hurston and write essays, poems and other literary formats.

Rollins College professor Maurice O’Sullivan will discuss his research on Hurston from the 1930s and the relationship between Hurston and Rollins College. He is an historian and literary scholar who specializes in the history of Florida. Professor O’Sullivan presented Zora’s life in Florida as part of an African-American studies program known as Project Mosaic.

Several authors will have books on hand for purchase and signed copies: Lynn Moylan, author of Zora Neale Hurston’s Final Decade and Lucy Anne Hurston, author of Speak, So You Can Speak Again.

For additional information, check out a rundown of activities at or call Foundation Chair Linda Henderson at (772) 971-1744 for reservations for the Authors Brunch and other activities.

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Zora Fest! Schedule

The Zora Neale Hurston Florida Education Foundation


Its Schedule of Upcoming Events for Zora Fest!

The RENT Party
Friday, March 1, 2013 / 5 to 7 p.m.
St. Lucie County Regional History Center
414 Seaway Drive / Fort Pierce
East on South Bridge
Turn north on East Side of the Bridge

Unveiling Official Theme Painting for Zora Fest!
Fort Pierce Mosaic Artist
Anita Prentice

The Collection: Celebrating Zora’s Writings

Dinner Available / Donations Accepted

Loquacious and Bodacious
A one-woman show depicting the life
of the late Harlem Renaissance Author
Zora Neale Hurston
Written by the late Bhetty Waldron
To be performed by West Palm Beach
Actress Karen Stephens

Friday, March 8, 2013 / 7 p.m.
Indian River State College
Black Box Theatre
3209 Virginia Avenue / Fort Pierce
on the East Side of Campus off South 30th St.

Seating will be limited
For information: (772) 971-1774

Zora Fest!
Saturday, March 9, 2013 / 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Lincoln Park Academy
1806 Avenue I / Fort Pierce

Admission is FREE

Student performances / Author presentations
Friends of the St. Lucie Library Book Distribution
St. Lucie County Health Department testing
Vendors and more

City of Fort Pierce
Friends of the Library
Public radio WQCS / 88.9 FM
Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers

Authors Brunch
Sunday, March 10, 2013 / 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Granny’s Kitchen / 901 Avenue D / Fort Pierce

Authors to be on hand
Lucy Anne Hurston, Manchester Community College
Speak, So You Can Speak Again

Marvin Hobson, Indian River State College
Zora Neale Hurston Endowed Chair

Maurice O’Sullivan, Rollins College
Noted author / researcher on Hurston / Project Mosaic

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