Jun 272018

Key West Art & Historical Society partners with the Waterfront Brewery over the summer with a monthly series of fun historical lectures paired with craft beer tastings, entitled “Happy Hour with the Historian.” Historic photo of the inside of the Cabana Bar at 605 Duval Street C 1950, from the Ida Woodward Barron Collection. (Photo courtesy Key West Art & Historical Society)

Raise a toast to Key West history with Curator Cori Convertito, Ph.D., in Key West Art & Historical Society’s new program “Happy Hour with the Historian,” a monthly series of fun, historical lectures held from 4:30pm to 5:30pm on select dates at the Waterfront Brewery located at 201 William St in Key West,featuring topics sure to get attendees thinking while drinking.

“On the heels of the wildly successful Distinguished Speaker Series, I wanted to create a similar program with a more relaxed approach and focusing on lighthearted subjects,” says Convertito. “We are, after all, a ‘party town’, so it made sense to blend history with libations.”

Join Convertito as she shares her vast knowledge of Key West history while the Waterfront Brewery showcases their selection of craft beers.  Attendees will be led by Waterfront Brewery staff on a brief tour of the brew room then receive two 4oz. samples before the program’s topic is offered.  The first in the series is, naturally, “The History of Drinking in Key West,” on Tuesday, July 3, which illuminates the island’s penchant and places for imbibing and carousing while explaining the reasons why.  It also explores the island’s association with gambling, prohibition, rum-running, and the military.

Tuesday, August 7 features a spotlight on Commodore David Porter and his success at purging pirates from the region. “Porter and the Pirates” examines how, under the Commodore’s leadership and his insistence on fleet size, tactical skills, and navigation know-how, the Navy triumphed.

The September 18 session spotlights the development of the “Industries of Key West.”

“Despite Key West’s relatively young age, the island has enjoyed several unique industrial endeavors,” says Convertito. “Even before Florida’s establishment as a U.S. territory in 1821, many of Key West’s residents were actively involved in various trades including wrecking and salvaging.”

Attend this session to find out how these industries, along with sponging, turtle fishing and cigar manufacturing, helped make Key West the richest city per capita in the United States during the 1880s.

Each session is limited to 25 attendees; reserve your spot now by purchasing your ticket at kwahs.org, click ‘tickets’— $8 for KWAHS members, $10 for non-members.  Sponsored in part by The Waterfront Brewery.  For more information,contact Cori Convertito, Ph.D. at 305.295.6616 x112. Your Museums.  Your Community.  It takes an Island.

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