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FAU Receives Grant to Present Florida’s 80-year Surf History and Culture

BOCA RATON, FL (December 8, 2009) – The University Galleries in Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters has been awarded a $16,596 matching grant from the Florida Humanities Council to research and produce a traveling exhibition “The History and Culture of Surfing in Florida.” The grant also provides funding for public lectures and film programs at the time of the exhibition. The exhibition is being researched and designed by W. Rod Faulds, director of the University Galleries, and Paul Aho, adjunct professor of art and lifelong Florida surfer. The Florida Humanities Council aims to bring the humanities to public audiences and communities in Florida, and is affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency.

The proposed exhibition has been under development by Faulds and Aho for a year. The duo have made contacts throughout the state, and as a part of the grant, two outside organizations will co-sponsor the project through in-kind contributions. The Cocoa Beach Surf Museum will assist in research, while the history department at the University of Central Florida will provide graduate students to assist with oral histories. FAU’s history department is also assisting on oral histories for the project. Surf scholars from FAU, the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida are contributing to the research and will provide lectures at the time of the FAU exhibition. In addition, the advertising and design firm Crispin, Porter and Bogusky are serving as sponsors by providing conceptual design services.

The “Surfing Florida” exhibition will bring together humanities scholars and members of Florida’s sizeable surfing community to present and interpret the huge impact that surfing and surf culture has made on the Sunshine State. To continue exhibition research, community volunteers in seven regions of the state will assist the University Galleries in identifying and gathering collections of photographs and other materials, including surfboards and memorabilia, to include in the traveling exhibition.  The exhibition and public programs will open at FAU in the fall of 2011 and travel to other exhibition venues in 2012 and 2013.

The exhibition organizers welcome the participation of community members who are willing to aid the effort in a variety of ways, in particular in assisting to identify and contact collectors of surf photography, surfboards and memorabilia relevant to Florida surfing history. For more information about the project, contact Rod Faulds at 561-297-2661 or

- FAU –

About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College,  the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.  

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