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For Immediate Release
Images Available Upon Request
Media Contact: Sherry Meadows Lewis / (407) 836-8595 / Sherry.Lewis@ocfl.net

ORANGE COUNTY REGIONAL HISTORY CENTER
ANNOUNCES 2008-2009 SEASON:

"In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits" and
"Jim Henson's Fantastic World"
from the Smithsonian Institution,
Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration & more

ORLANDO, Fla. (August 6, 2008) - The Orange County Regional History Center announces its 2008-2009 season including two major exhibitions, In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits and Jim Henson's Fantastic World, both from the Smithsonian Institution, in addition to a Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration and full calendar of exciting community events.

Friday, September 19, 2008
Retro Game Night
Old-fashioned fun with an array of classic board and video games throughout the museum! Free nostalgic treats and cash bar. 7 p.m. - Midnight. $5 cash at door, Members free. Ages 18 and up. Retro attire encouraged.

Saturday, September 27, 2008
History Center Anniversary Celebration
Celebrate the museum's eighth anniversary in the historic courthouse downtown with the Florida Highwaymen, who will show and sell their work. Free all day to the public as the museum's gift to the community and in celebration of "Smithsonian Museum Day," when cultural institutions nationwide open their doors free of charge to Smithsonian magazine readers and Smithsonian.com visitors. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

October 13 - 15, 2008
Culture Quest - Rogues and Rascals, Arts and Artists, Aberrant Architecture: Orlando Style
Three-day immersion experience for curious adults reveals the rich history of Central Florida. Exciting things were happening long before Disney arrived in 1971. Orlando was a "wild west town" before the Western U.S. was settled! Discover local rogues and rascals (and a few genteel folk), view the structures that housed them, and mix in the animals and insects they encountered. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. $75. Call (407) 836-8580 for reservations.

Saturday, October 25, 2008
History Center Trick or Treat Safe Zone
A safe, fun trick or treat adventure for children. Ghouls and Goblins enjoy three floors of trick or treating with creepy crafts, revolting refreshments, and a not-so-scary Mystery House. Be part of a hair-raising costume contest! Children ages 12 and under are welcome. 6 - 8 p.m. Free. Call (407) 836-8580 for more information.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Turner Golf Classic
Turner Construction hosts the 11th Annual Turner Classic at Grand Cypress to benefit the Historical Society of Central Florida and its programs for underserved school children. Call (407) 836-8546 for information.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Brown Bag Lunch & Learn - Veteran's Day with Chief Master Sgt. Richard Ortega
Chief Master Sgt. Richard Ortega (U.S.A.F. Ret.), highly decorated veteran of three wars and retired educator, discusses landing on Omaha Beach during D-Day, his role as a bombardier pilot during the Korean War, and his special ops work during the Vietnam War. Noon - 1 p.m. Free. Lunch can be pre-ordered for a small charge, or bring your own. Call (407) 836-8580 to R.S.V.P.

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Grand Opening - In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits
A Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition
Celebrate the opening of In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits with an evening of international food and music, and featuring special guest speaker His Excellency Said T. Jawad, Afghanistan's Ambassador to the United States. 6:30 p.m. $25, Members free. Call (407) 836-8580 to R.S.V.P.

November 21, 2008 - January 18, 2009 - Limited-run exhibition!
In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits
A Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition - Sponsored locally by Carlton Fields
For more than 100 years, the name National Geographic has been synonymous with compelling photography. From fascinating archival images of tribal leaders, fishermen, and American workers, to riveting modern pictures of refugees, city dwellers, and urban laborers, In Focus brings together a collection of more than 50 iconic photographs from around the world. Experience the heights and depths of human emotion through the eyes of the world's greatest photographers. Included with general admission.

Created by National Geographic and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits was organized for travel and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). Sponsored locally by Carlton Fields.

November 21, 2008 - January 18, 2009 - Limited-run photographic exhibit!
Trailer City: Portrait of a Community
Internationally exhibited photographer and Crealdé School of Art Executive Director Peter Schreyer explores disappearing Florida through photographs of a 70-year-old community of trailer homes on public land in Winter Garden, Fla. The landscapes and portraits serve as a tribute to the heritage and history of rural communities and diverse neighborhoods. Included with general admission.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008
History Center Holiday at Heritage Square
A festive holiday celebration featuring a special holiday window and the lighting of Heritage Square - explore the museum, enjoy musical performances, visit with Santa, create holiday crafts, and more. Canned goods and new toys will be collected for local charities. 6 - 9 p.m. Free and open to the public.

January Date to be Announced
An Evening with Colonel Joe Kittinger
One of the most distinguished and honored aviators, Col. Joe Kittenger holds numerous records, including the highest parachute jump and longest free fall, lauded by ABC News as the "most daring individual feat of the space age." Recently, the U.S. Air Force Vietnam veteran and POW was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. Kittinger joins us for an evening to discuss his fascinating exploits. Hors d'oeuvres, beer, wine included. Call (407) 836-8580 to R.S.V.P. 6:30 p.m. $25, $10 Members.

Thursday, January 15, 2009
Brown Bag Lunch & Learn - Underwater Photo Pioneer and Silver Springs Photographer Bruce Mozert
Bruce Mozert pioneered underwater photography and created the quirky images that helped Silver Springs remain a top attraction from the 1940s through the 70s. Mozert joins us for lunch to discuss the creative images he used to show off the clear waters of the spring. Noon - 1 p.m. Free. Lunch can be pre-ordered for a small charge, or bring your own. Call (407) 836-8580 to R.S.V.P.

January 23, 2009 - March 8, 2009 - Limited-run exhibit!
Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration Exhibit
A special exhibit commemorating the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth featuring rare artifacts such as an 1865 letter from Frederick Douglass to Mary Todd Lincoln following Lincoln's assassination; a letter from Abraham Lincoln to Ulysses S. Grant, dated June 15, 1864, prophesying Grant's victory during the Civil War; a published copy of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates; and more. Included with general admission.

Saturday, January 24, 2009
Great Toy Build Off
Compete in a "Build Off" using Erector Sets, Legos, Lincoln Logs, or Tinker Toys. Teams are randomly assigned a "building material," then design and create an architectural structure. Judges award one winning team in each toy category. 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Non-member teams $20 per team of four, or $6 per person; minimum of two people per team. Members participate for free. Call (407) 836-8580 to register.

January 30, 2009
Retro Game Night
Old-fashioned fun with an array of classic board and video games throughout the museum! Free nostalgic treats and cash bar. 7 p.m. - Midnight. $5 cash at door, Members free. Ages 18 and up. Retro attire encouraged.

Thursday, February 5, 2009
Grand Opening - Jim Henson's Fantastic World
A Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition
The History Center celebrates the opening of Jim Henson's Fantastic World with a cocktail reception and first-look at the acclaimed exhibition. Heather Henson, local puppeteer and daughter of the late Jim Henson, will be the evening's guest speaker. 6:30 p.m. $25, Members free. Call (407) 836-8580 to R.S.V.P.

February 6 - May 3, 2009 - Limited-run exhibition!
Jim Henson's Fantastic World
A Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition
Multitalented innovator Jim Henson (1936-1990)-artist, puppeteer, film director, and producer-created stories filled with unique characters, objects, environments, languages, and cultures. Peek into the imagination of the creator of Kermit the Frog, Big Bird, and other beloved characters in an exhibition featuring more than 100 works of art, photographs, documents, puppets, and movie props, as well as original video productions including excerpts from Henson's early career and experimental films. Step inside "Sesame Street," "Fraggle Rock," "The Muppet Show," and other elaborate imaginary worlds, and explore the "visual thinking" process of a visionary storyteller. $12, $9 seniors (60+); $7 children (5-12), children 4 and under free.

Jim Henson's Fantastic World is organized by The Jim Henson Legacy and SITES, in cooperation with the Henson Family; The Jim Henson Company; The Muppets Studio, LLC; and Sesame Workshop. The exhibition is made possible by The Biography Channel. Additional support has been provided by The Jane Henson Foundation and Cheryl Henson. Presented locally by Dr. Phillips Charities.

March 14 - May 10, 2009 - Limited-run exhibit!
Puppetry in Central Florida
The History Center takes a look at Central Florida's incredible puppetry community. From individual artists, including Heather Henson, daughter of Jim Henson, and many of his colleagues, to the hundreds of puppeteers drawn to or trained by our world-famous theme parks - discover the many accomplishments of the players in this unique art form right in our own backyard. Included with museum admission.

Thursday, February 12, 2009
Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration - Lincoln Birthday Party
Full day of festivities with a Lincoln look-alike contest and more. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. The five dollar bill and penny feature Lincoln, so, adults enjoy $5 admission and children ages 5-12 enjoy $0.01 admission. Ages 4 and under free.

February 26, 2009
Artists & Authors Series - Civil War Scholar George Rable
Join us for dinner with Civil War Scholar and University of Alabama Professor George Rable, author of Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!, winner of the Lincoln Prize, Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award in American Military History, the Jefferson Davis Award, and the Douglas Southall Freeman Southern History Award. 6:30 p.m. $60, $45 Members. Call (407) 836-8580 for reservations.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration - Civil War Fashion Show
Civil War Era runway show including men's, women's, and children's 1860s fashions will feature civilian and military, North and South, Black and White, and young to old - don't miss the children! Hors d'oeuvres and cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. Fashion show at 7 p.m. $10, Members free.

March 6 - April 5, 2009, Weekends
Muppets, Music, & Magic
See rare and popular works including feature films, TV shows, archival footage, and experimental work by Jim Henson in this series co-created by Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Jim Henson Legacy Foundation. Festival screenings may include The Dark Crystal, The Muppet Movie, and Labyrinth, as well as programs featuring Henson's early television appearances, documenting the history of the Muppets; experimental puppetry and animation work; rare commercials and behind-the-scenes footage; and special guest speakers. Individual tickets and festival packages will be available. Schedule to be confirmed and is subject to change.

Tentative screening schedule: Saturday, March 7 1, 3, and 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 14, 21, & 28 3 and 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 8, 15, 22, & 29 2 p.m.
Saturday, April 4 & Sunday, April 5 Screenings begin at 1 p.m. and run into the evening

Friday, March 6, 2009, 7 p.m.
Muppets, Music, & Magic Kick-off - "Muppets 101" with guest speaker Michael K. Frith
Muppet history! See material you won't see anywhere else: early TV appearances, commercials, guest spots on the Dick Cavett Show, and the rarely seen pilot for "The Muppet Show." $25, Members free.

Thursday, March 19, 2009
Women's History Month - It's Not Your Mother's Tea
The fourth annual "It's Not Your Mother's Tea" continues to recognize influential women in Central Florida. Enjoy a light reception with tea and champagne and an opportunity to meet other influential leaders prior to the program. 5 - 6 p.m. reception, 6 - 7 p.m. program. $25, Members free. Call (407) 836-8580 to R.S.V.P.

Friday, June 12, 2009
Retro Game Night
Old-fashioned fun with an array of classic board and video games throughout the museum! Free nostalgic treats and cash bar. 7 p.m. - Midnight. $5 cash at door, Members free. Ages 18 and up. Retro attire encouraged.

July 20 - 22, 2009
Culture Quest - From Chickees to Cottages: Architecture in Florida
Three-day immersion experiences for curious adults reveal the rich history of Central Florida. Starting with chickees, pioneer cabins, and the History Center's building, multiple sessions will explore architecture in Florida. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. $75. Call (407) 836-8580 for reservations.

The Orange County Regional History Center, housed in a restored historic five-story 1927 courthouse in downtown Orlando, showcases the vast collections of the Historical Society of Central Florida, Inc. The museum features three floors of permanent exhibitions and also presents nationally important limited-run exhibitions. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums, and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

The History Center (65 East Central Blvd., downtown Orlando) is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. General admission is $9*, seniors (60+) are $7, and children ages 5-12 are $6. Historical Society Members, Orange County employees, and children ages 4 and under are free. *Special admission prices may apply for limited-run exhibitions. Visitors receive two hours of free parking at the Orlando Public Library garage with paid admission. Guided tours are offered on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and are included in the price of general admission. For general information, call (407) 836-8500 or visit www.thehistorycenter.org.

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The Orange County Regional History Center is financed in part by Orange County Government through the Department of Health & Family Services under Orange County Mayor Richard T. Crotty and the Board of County Commissioners, The Historical Society of Central Florida, Inc., United Arts of Central Florida with funds from the United Arts Campaign and by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts: Division of Historic Resources and Bureau of Historical Museums.