May 2005 Archives

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Interested in Volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters? - May 26, 2005

Hundreds of children who would otherwise have a void in their lives are building meaningful relationships through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Think about those people who invested in you as a child. Maybe it was a neighbor, cousin or family friend. It was someone who listened to your dreams and encouraged you to reach for the stars! Big Brothers Big Sisters offers that to so many children, by seeking mentors for children who are simply in need of a friend. Someone who believes in their potential and can help lead them toward a bright future. It's not rocket science behind their principals, just a hundred years of success.

Justin Hollis is a Big Brother, and wanted to make a difference in the life of a child. At first, he thought he was too busy establishing himself professionally, but Big Brothers Big Sisters offers a simple program where he spends one hour a week with his Little Brother. They also have a need for office volunteers, or people to serve on event committees. If you have an interest in making an impact in the life of a children in Polk County by volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters, please contact Rebecca Gross Tieder at 863-682-5191 or via email at

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Posted by Kim McKeel

ReCap of May Event- The Salvation Army - May 18, 2005

Last night, we had a nice group visit the Salvation Army Center of Hope facility. A tour of the facility was given and then EMERGE members participated in serving the clients of the Salvation Army dinner. There was great discussion and questions asked by our group and we learned some of the needs of the Salvation Army.

They include volunteers, the adoption of an aparment in their transitional living facility, and the donation of playground equipment that meets their safety requirements. With the adoption of a transitional living apartment, you would basically furnish it with linens, towels, kitchen utensils, pretty things to make it feel like home, and cooking “stuff” for the new families who come in. The families can live there for 2 years, and are able take everything with them when they leave to help them get set up on their own.

One of the highlights of the evening came when we had a personal testimony from one of our EMERGE members who has a cousin who is living in the Salvation Army’s transitional living center, and how the experience had really been a blessing. It was great to hear a firsthand account of the impact that the Salvation Army has had on our community.

I know the Salvation Army was very appreciative of our coming to learn more about their organization and interacting with their clients. Thanks to everyone who attended the event!

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Posted by Angie Register

Volunteers Needed for a L.I.F.T. - May 17, 2005

The Girl Scouts Heart of Florida Council are in need of volunteers for their L.I.F.T (Lifestyle Investments for Tomorrow) program. The program teaches life skills. Along with sessions from banking, finance, shopping, etc.

Program coordinator Monica Campbell is focusing on Health and Wellness. She is in need of personal trainers, dieticians, nutritionist, fitness gurus, etc. that can give a little time in the summer and again in the fall. Probably no more than 3 times a month and about 45min - 1 hour.

If you are interested you may contact her at (863) 688-7648 ext 104 or

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Agenda for Salvation Army Meeting - May 4, 2005

Listed below is the agenda for the May 17th event at the Salvation Army Center for Hope Transitional Living Facility located at 830 N. Massachusetts Avenue. You may RSVP here.

5:00 - 5:10
Meet & Greet

5:15 - 5:30
Presentation of Salvation Army Staff
Susan Hurlburt, Business Administrator
Cauney Boydston, United Way of Central Florida Marketing Director

5:30 - 6:30
Serve dinner to residents


Due to limited parking we recommend car-pooling. Additional parking available on Kentucky Avenue/Plum Street & Michael Holley's KIA dealership on Massachusetts.

Please enter the facility thru the parking lot entrance, not the Massachusetts entrance.

Registration tables, sponsor tables, volunteer opportunity tables will be on site.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Guest Blogger: Daniel Stetson - May 2, 2005

Next up in our 'Guest Blogger' series is Daniel Stetson, executive director of the Polk Museum of Art.

When asked by Josh to write this "column" I had many thoughts about what to say or write about from advice about art collecting art to a discussion of the value of art as a tool for diverse cultural understanding and just good old fashion "fun". I wondered what you, the members of emerge, wanted to know, think about or discuss. When I was your age (not so very long ago) I was so very curious about the world but I was also concerned about career and family. My thoughts turned to the question of a quality of life and what that meant to me. I knew that a quality of life, of experience and friendships mattered to me. I've always liked crowds, fireworks, challenging architecture, beautiful things and the great outdoors. With all that in mind I want to tell you about a very interesting new report that I only yesterday began looking at.

Recently RAND Corporation published a monograph research finding entitled "Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the Debate About the Benefit of the Arts" (available at ). What has struck me most about this report is their emphasis on what they term "The Missing Link." After we consider the empirical data about economic benefits from the arts (Richard Florida has covered this very well in his book "The Rise of the Creative Class") and the cognitive benefits (increased SAT scores etc.) we might want to consider the "Aesthetic Experience and Its Intrinsic Benefits." Wow, a research institute saying art for arts sake is an important topic. If you've ever been moved by some form of art through making or experience - music, theater, dance, visual art - you know what this means. Remember when you made something you were proud of? Don't let age or "maturity" prevent you from seeking out an enjoying these private moments of growth and maybe even "epiphanies".

Putting this all together it is my suggestions to you that you find good friends through Emerge and without the all too easy excuses experience the arts in our community. You will grow from the experience of these intrinsic benefits - beauty and civilization are wonderful things - and you will have fun. If you care about education, economic development and quality of life you own it to yourself and no on else to enjoy, grow and experience the visual and artistic world in new ways. Consider the big picture. Keep curiosity and an openness to experiences alive inside you. Please stop by the Museum of Art, you might like it.

Maybe I'll write about some of the other topics another time. Have a great day - check out the RAND report - and I'll see you around town.

About Daniel Stetson
Daniel E. Stetson joined the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, FL as Executive Director, the Museum's CEO and Chief Curator, in 1996 with an extensive curatorial and museum operations background. His career has included working at Colgate University (1980-1981) and then the University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art (1981-1987), where he oversaw the construction of a new art gallery and a substantial increase in the permanent collection holdings. As Director of the Davenport Museum of Art (1987-1991) in Iowa, Daniel curated numerous exhibitions and increased the Museum's permanent endowment fund by more than one-half million dollars.

In 1991, he was named the Executive Director of Laguna Gloria Art Museum (1991-1996) in Texas, where he oversaw the renaming of the institution as the Austin Museum of Art and the development of a five-year strategic plan through an NEA Advancement Grant. He facilitated the opening of a major downtown gallery space for the Museum, a preservation study of the historic Laguna Gloria site, the rewriting of the vision and mission of the Museum to be based on the tenet of "intellectual and cultural diversity" and he increased the Museum's operational budget by 50 percent.

Daniel has evidenced strong community leadership involvement since arriving in Lakeland in 1996. He has served on the board of the Florida Art Museum Director's Association and is currently Secretary and is a founding member of the Cultural Arts Board (CAB) of Polk County and was President (2001 & 2002), and served as President of the Friends of the Lakeland Public Library. Today he serves as a founding member and as an Executive Committee member of the Polk Arts Alliance. He is currently Treasurer for the Florida Association of Museums. He is a member of the steering committees for Lakeland Vision and Polk Vision (25 year community-wide long-range vision plans). He serves on the Harrison Arts Center School Advisory Council and has served on the USF Community Advisory Board and the former Motion Pictures and Television Advisory Committee for Polk County. Currently he serves on the Marketing Committee of the Tourism & Sports Marketing Department of the Tourist Development Board.

Representing CAB, and armed with a grant and partnership from USF, he is one of the principal managers for the first economic impact of the arts study for Polk County (resulting in a measured impact exceeding $35 million). He is involved in a second study which is underway (2005). Daniel is active as an accreditation site reviewer for the American Association of Museums Accreditation Commission and has served on grant review panels for the States of Florida, Texas, Iowa and North Dakota.

The Polk Museum of Art has grown substantially under his direction with total operating expenses now exceeding $1.6 million yearly (up from less than $1 million when he started). Under his direction the Museum undertook its largest ever private fund raising drive for $3.7 million and surpassed that goal. Additionally, Daniel established the Museum's first planned giving program, the Cornerstone Society. Major, year long, downtown sculpture projects are now a part of our community landscape in cooperation with the City of Lakeland.

Daniel has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Art History from SUNY College at Potsdam and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Museology (Museum Studies) from Syracuse University. He is a 2003 recipient of the USF Lakeland Distinguished Service Award. He is married to Catherine, an artist and photographer, with whom they have three children

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Posted by Josh Hallett

*All blog posts and comments are the opinions of the blog author or comment poster and do not necessarily represent the views of EMERGE Lakeland.

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