Governor Jeb Bush and First Lady Columba Bush Kickoff the Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month

By: Jeb Bush
By: Jeb Bush
Date: Sept. 14, 2005
Location: Tallahassee, FL


~~ ~Events planned to commemorate Florida's celebration of Hispanic culture~ ~~

Governor Jeb Bush and First Lady Columba Bush today encouraged Floridians to participate in the upcoming statewide Hispanic Heritage month, from September 15 to October 15. The Governor and First Lady announced a schedule of events designed to pay tribute to Florida's Hispanic culture. The theme for Florida's third annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration is, "Florida: Gateway of the Americas, Celebrating our Diverse Hispanic Heritage."

"Hispanic Heritage Month provides us the opportunity to pay tribute to the achievements and contributions of Florida's Spanish-speaking cultures and communities, while inspiring future generations of Floridians to honor and embrace our state's rich heritage," said Governor Bush. "Each year, Columba and I are proud to celebrate and express our appreciation of the culture and diversity Florida's Hispanic citizens bring to the state."

To provide an opportunity for Florida students to learn about the 'Spanish Colonization of Florida,' 50,000 Florida teachers and schools will receive the first-ever statewide Hispanic Heritage Month curriculum, which complements the Hispanic Heritage Month 'Spanish Colonization of Florida' exhibit. The exhibit is the result of a partnership effort between the Governor's Office, the Jay I. Kislak Foundation and the Historical Museum of Southern Florida and is on display at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida in Miami until January 2006.

"As we celebrate the many contributions Hispanics have made to history, arts and culture, I am pleased Florida students have an opportunity to learn about the many contributions early Spanish and Latin American pioneers made to our great state," said First Lady Bush.

Since 1974, Hispanic Heritage Month has been celebrated in the United States, when President Gerald Ford issued a Presidential Proclamation extending Hispanic Heritage Week into a month-long observation.

Hispanic Heritage Month activities for students, teachers and families include:

Ø Essay contest for K-12 students: For the third year, students from across Florida will participate in the Governor's Hispanic Heritage Month essay contest for Florida students grade K-12. A panel of educators, community and business leaders from around the state will served as contest judges and select the winning essays in each of the grade categories: Elementary (grades K-5), Middle (grades 6-8) and High school (grades 9-12). Winners will receive a full four-year tuition scholarship to a Florida college or university of their choice, provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation and a computer. The deadline for the essay contest has been extended to Friday, September 23, 2005.

Ø Hispanic Heritage Month Curriculum: To ensure all Florida students are given an opportunity to experience the 'Spanish Colonization of Florida' exhibit, the Governor's Office partnered with the Florida Department of Education to create a statewide curriculum that complements the Hispanic Heritage Month exhibit. 50,000 Florida teachers and schools will receive color copies of the curriculum, along with copies of the Spanish Galleon Trail educational booklet, created by the Florida Department of State's Division of Historical Resources to incorporate into their lesson plans and Hispanic Heritage Month activities.

Ø Wednesday After School at the Mission San Luis: In support of Mission San Luis Project, the Governor's office has partnered with the Mission San Luis and Volunteer Florida, to host a group of students each week for the Wednesday After School program. During the weekly events, students will receive a tour of the Mission and participate in archaeological digs with Mission archaeologists. Students will also hear from a special guest speaker from the Hispanic community.

Ø Hispanic Heritage Month Suggested Reading List: Just Read, Florida! has created the Hispanic Heritage Month suggested reading list. This booklist will serve as a resource parents and teachers can use during Hispanic Heritage month to further educate students on the contributions Hispanics have made to the state and nation. The booklist will be featured on and .

Ø Exhibition of Artwork in the Capitol Rotunda: During Hispanic Heritage Month, the artwork of Orlando artist and Puerto Rican native Amaury Diaz will be on display in the State Capitol Rotunda. Diaz's works are considered to be rich in contrast, emphasizing color over form. His energetic brushstrokes join lush darks with glowing bright hues. The Diaz exhibit was organized by the Department of State's Division of Cultural Affairs and is on display at the Plaza Level of the State Capitol.

Hispanic Heritage Month events include:

Ø Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-Off Reception Celebrating the Works of Artist Romero Britto-Thursday, September 15, 2005: Governor Jeb Bush and First Lady Columba Bush officially launch Hispanic Heritage Month with a reception honoring Romero Britto, featured artist in the Governor's Mansion for the month. Romero Britto is a world renowned pop artist whose works are featured and exhibited all over the world.

Ø 'Spanish Colonization Of Florida' Exhibit Opening Reception-Friday, September 16, 2005:

In partnership with the Jay I. Kislak Foundation and the Historical Museum of South Florida, First Lady Columba Bush will host the opening reception for the 'Colonization of Florida' exhibit in Miami.

Ø U.S. Attorney General to speak at Governor's Leadership Forum-Monday, September 26, 2005: United States Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales was sworn in as the nation's 80th Attorney General on February 3, 2005. His leadership and life story serves as an inspiration to all Americans who seek to live the American dream.

Ø Romero Britto to Host Hispanic Heritage Month Reception -Friday, September 30, 2005: Romero Britto, one of First Lady Columba Bush's International Arts Ambassadors, will host a reception and private concert featuring up-and-coming pianist ZANE at Britto Central, his gallery in Miami. Ten percent of the proceeds of all gallery sales during the reception will be donated to ACE/FAAE, the First Lady's arts scholarship program.

Ø Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration-Wednesday, October 12, 2005: For the third year, Hispanic community and business leaders from across the state will join the Governor and First Lady in celebrating the contributions of Florida's Hispanic community. During this hallmark event, the Governor will announce the winners of his annual Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest, awarding three full-tuition scholarships to the selected Florida students. The Governor and First Lady will be joined by special celebrity guests Andy Garcia and Arturo Sandoval.

Ø Hispanic Heritage Month Grand Finale, Screening of Andy Garcia's "The Lost City"-Saturday, October 15, 2005: Governor Bush and First Lady Columba Bush will be joined by actor/director Andy Garcia and supermodel actress Ines Sastre, final event culminating Hispanic Heritage Month. Set in Havana, Cuba, during the 50s, a club owner is caught in the turbulent transition from the oppressive regime of Batista to the government of Fidel Castro. Castro's regime ultimately leads the club owner to flee to New York. The screening will take place in Miami.

Ø Points of Light Foundation awardees: Hispanic Heritage Month will recognize Hispanic community service leaders and organizations throughout the months of September and October.

For more information on Florida Hispanic Heritage Month, visit or .