Historic Cortez fishing village works with Manatee School of the Arts



Special to the Herald May 4, 2015


Students from Manatee School for the Arts perform on a dock at the historic Cortez Fishing Village. GABRIELLE JARMOSZKO/Special to the Bradenton Herald.

MANATEE — Manatee County residents flocked to the historic Cortez Fishing Village to watch Manatee School for the Arts students perform recently on a dock.

Coupled with an art gallery in a smelly fish house, it was not your run-of-the-mill art presentation.

The annual event organized by Manatee School for the Arts features students performing for Cortez residents and creating art to submit for display in the gallery. Several faculty members are involved and some perform with students.

High school senior Gabrielle Jarmoszko showcased a selection of her photography pieces. Having been involved with the presentation for the past three years, she is familiar with Cortez residents and their unique culture.

"I am very happy to have my artwork published in this community event. It’s rewarding to see people appreciate your art," Jarmoszko said.

With a couple hundred dollars raked in as profit from student artwork, Cortez residents showed their appreciation. Sales from the art gallery go toward funding the event next year.

Steven Marshall, a social studies teacher at Manatee School for the Arts, helps organize the annual event. He stresses the importance of student involvement with events such as the Cortez presentation.

"One of the things that is part of the mission at Manatee School for the Arts is the integration of the arts and the use of the multiple intelligences," Marshall said. "There are a lot of talented students at MSA, and it’s just another opportunity for students to use their art skills in a different way."

In many ways, Marshall said his Florida history students benefit from the experience of being involved in the community.

Junior Emily Parks, a student in Marshall’s class, participated in the performance by reading various quotes from interviews with Cortez residents. "To me, performing for Cortez residents was a lot of fun," Parks said. "Just getting to see the real Cortez families, their hearts and their heritage was really interesting."

The presentation unfortunately came on the heels of Cortez pioneer Thomas "Blue" Fulford’s recent death, whose legacy and life was reflected on throughout the day.

"At the presentation, a lot of his family members were there, and they were very pleased that we provided a nice little tribute to him," Marshall said.

The famed historic Cortez Fishing Village is a prime example of the living history still present in Manatee County, Marshall said. He highlights the importance of getting involved in the community and learning history, as well as having fun in the process.

"We are continuing to learn about these types of individuals and to help the community of Cortez remember their history by what we do, and for the hopes of the future generation to preserve history," Marshall said. "In general, it reinforces the importance of historical preservation for everyone even within our own families."

With high spirits and hopes for the future, Marshall and others involved with the Cortez presentation already have changes in mind for the coming year. The new projects filtering in from the community, and current projects that continue to grow, are designed to ensure the Cortez Fishing Village will be preserved for many generations to come.

Published in: on May 4, 2015 at 8:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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