Meet The Presenters
Evan P. Bennett, Ph.D. is a historian of the American South whose research focuses on the intersections of rural, environmental, and labor history. He has just completed writing a book on the environmental history of Tampa Bay. He is the author of “When Tobacco Was King: Families, Farm Labor, and Federal Policy in the Piedmont,” (University Press of Florida, 2014). He is also co-editor of “Beyond Forty Acres and a Mule: African American Landowning Families Since Reconstruction,” (University Press of Florida, 2012).
Chicago-born artist Frederic Clay Bartlett created Bonnet House in 1920 on South Florida oceanfront land given to him and his second wife, Helen Louise Birch, by her father, Hugh Taylor Birch, a prominent Chicago attorney, real estate investor, and naturalist. Tragedy struck in 1925 when Helen died from breast cancer and in 1931 Frederic married Evelyn Fortune Lilly. She spent winters at Bonnet House until 1995. Today, the estate is a preeminent house museum dedicated not only to historic and environmental preservation, but also to learning and creative expression – much like the Bartletts and Birches themselves. In both words and lush color photography, Bonnet House: A Legacy of Artistry and Elegance, tells the story of both Bonnet House Museum & Gardens and the creativity of these families. Click here to view sample pages. Bonnet House, Inc. is a nonprofit, 501c3, whose mission is to celebrate the story of Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett, we preserve the art, history and nature of Bonnet House, providing inspiration and respite for all.
Clarence Brooks, associate professor and director of dance, teaches ballet and modern and directs the Repertory Dance Theatre Ensemble, FAU's resident professional dance company. He has performed with 70+ dance companies and toured the USA, Europe, and Asia with Nikolais/Louis Dance Company, Marcus Schulkind Dance Company, Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians, Anna Sokolow’s Players’ Project, and the Ohio Ballet at internationally renowned venues such as Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Spoleto Festival/USA, Paris Opera, The Joyce Theater, and the American Dance Festival. Brooks can be seen in the video documentary "The World of Alwin Nikolais". His essay "Dancing With the Issues" was published in One Teacher in 10: LGBT Educators Share Their Stories (Alyson Books). The Library of Congress recently recorded his version of Talley Beatty's "Mourner's Bench" for the national archives. Past president of the Florida Dance Education Organization, he sits on the boards of Doris Humphrey Foundation Board and danceTactics as well as the advisory boards of Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble and FDEO. Honors include induction into the OCU Performance Hall of Honor, two Associate Artist-in-Residences at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and recipient of the Clyde Fyfe Award and the Frank Prize for Performing Arts. Brooks holds a MFA in dance, a certification in Laban Movement Analysis, a 200-hour yoga certification, and is certified to teach the Evans Method of Teaching Modern.