Guess who’s back….

My goodness, it feels good to be back on megkhyde.com!   It has been a little time indeed so I am thrilled to get back to it.  Since I developed this site while attending graduate school, I look back with happy pride at the exciting projects held here.  Some of my all-time favorite work is featured in this location. As I reflect, I feel the evolution I experienced while earning my masters and showcasing my growth, week after week, for 12 straight months, all over again.  And I’m reminded of the exhilaration and ready for more.

Megkhyde.com quickly became a home for innovation and growth once before and I aim to get things back to that around these parts.  The growth has only begun and the innovation is just taking shape.  Thank you for the continued support.  Please stay tuned for some exciting updates for the direction of megkhyde.com.

Always evolving,

Megan

Winter Garden Heritage Center Embracing New Year with New Center Construction

Downtown Winter Garden (Photo by: Megan K Hyde/Full Sail University)

Downtown Winter Garden (Photo by: Megan K Hyde/Full Sail University)

As previously reported by megkhyde.com, historic preservation consists of numerous community members and organizations in the Central Florida area.  One of which is the Winter Garden region.  Specifically, the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation focuses on providing several education opportunities to the public.

The center’s Education Director Kay Cappleman advises, “Our exhibitions, events, historic preservation efforts, and historic collection very much promote community identity, preserve traditions and institutions, and represent and embrace all ages, abilities, races, cultures, and socioeconomic levels, building social capital, neighborhood stability, and economic vitality among the west-end communities.”

Kay Cappleman, Education Director of the WGHF discussed historic preservation with megkhyde.com in October, 2013 (Photo by Megan K Hyde/Full Sail University)

Kay Cappleman, Education Director of the WGHF discussed historic preservation with megkhyde.com in October, 2013 (Photo by Megan K Hyde/Full Sail University)

2013 provided exciting developments for the Heritage Foundation.  The plans to grow and create a bigger, better space, that can truly house all the wheels turning within the establishment, are in motion and ground has been broken for the new construction to begin.  Cappleman attributes this as “one of the biggest successes of 2013” for the center and says, “the groundbreaking event was huge.”

Moving forward, Cappleman says, “In 2014, we’ll be working really hard to prepare for the new building… designing the landscape and some other outdoor features. We’re currently working on getting all of our objects and documents into archival safe containers. We’re working with Walt Disney World and other businesses to get donated carpet, vinyl tiles, furniture and fixtures. We’ll be raising the rest of the capital campaign (money). We’re designing some new events and tours to increase revenue.”

To get this far, Cappleman states, “155 donors have contributed cash, multi-year pledges, and in-kind donations totaling close to $800,000. The organization also received $250,000 from a 2013 Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs grant request, bringing us closer to the $1.275 million goal. Donations are still being solicited to complete the campaign.  We are also writing a second Orange County grant for $250,000.”

Cappleman and her team strive daily to ensure both their direct and surrounding communities continuously have the chance to learn about life before them while also creating memories that will be added to the archives.

Historic charm displayed along some of the main streets (Photo by: Megan Hyde/Full Sail University)

Historic charm displayed along some of the main streets (Photo by: Megan Hyde/Full Sail University)

To learn more about the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation please visit: http://www.wghf.org/

Annual Harvest Festival Promotes Health, Wellness, and Education For All

Fourth Annual Winter Park Harvest Festival from Megan Hyde on Vimeo.

The Winter Park Harvest Festival was held on a day of sunshine, a light breeze, and tons of opportunity to explore any interest one may have for a healthier lifestyle.  Vendors with products from organic sugar cane, to homemade bath salts, to fresh baked bread and desserts all gathered to share their take on healthful options for the items.

This being the Fourth Annual Harvest Festival, there was a great size crowd full of kids running and getting exercise; college aged students dancing to the live music; and many others invested in learning and living a wholesome life.  The atmosphere was full of wonderful food aromas and a spirit of dedication to the cause.  Watch the video above for more direct coverage.

Refer to this simple guide to learn of helpful tips for wellness also:

Created by Megan Hyde

Created by Megan Hyde

A Hand Up Helps Many: Community Food and Outreach Center Provides Hope, Seeks Volunteers

From a young age, children learn in school about food, water, shelter and space being the top essential items of survival.  How is it that we aim to instill something like this in youth yet hunger is one of the worlds leading causes of trouble?  How is it that many people do not know where their next meal may come from?  Living paycheck to paycheck is not just any expression but rather a very real reality for many.

Some of the statistics in regards to our hungry loved ones, friends, and neighbors are is downright frightening.  There are many people in trouble and yes, we constantly hear about the woes of the economy and yes people are quick to jump to their political party affiliations as a means of justifying “their side.”

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The truth is the real issue lies within each of us, not from how you register to vote.  What happened to the concept of loving thy neighbor, brother, person in line next to you?  Religion has nothing to do with honoring certain notions.  It would do every one a bit of good to investigate ways to A) give back if you find yourself on the fortunate “I have dinner every night” side of the fence or B) learn of ways to seek assistance if you have fallen on hard times.

Recently, Megkhyde.com spoke with Mark Perez, who serves within the Community Relations division of the Orlando based organization Community Food and Outreach (CFOC).  This establishment’s mission is clear as they aim “to provide a hand up for those in need, helping them to break free from poverty by offering hunger relief, crisis care, transformative education, and employment training opportunities.”

Offering further insight Perez states, “We all need to come together as a community. This is where we live, work and play. This is where we raise our children. We have a vested interested in Central Florida being as inclusive and prosperous as possible.”

Perez, who found himself “drawn to nonprofit sectors”, shares how he was immediately motivated by the CFOC saying, “I did a tour of the campus and was really inspired by the message of a hand-up, not a hand out. CFOC is not here to be just another food pantry.”

Perez shared the entire vision of the CFOC, saying the “CFOC and its leaders saw a need to move beyond giving out free food. They saw a need to get at the causes of poverty and hunger in a person’s life. Poverty or hunger are just symptoms of a larger disease. What causes someone to end up in these situations, and how can we, as an organization, help them realize their full potential as people? So, we strive to provide holistic services: educational and employment opportunities, housing, food assistance, medical care, substance abuse counseling, domestic violence counseling…you name it.”

With a rise in crisis, on many fronts, there is a need to either get or give help so please look to organizations such as the Community Food and Outreach Center.  If you can lend your time to assist someone striving for hope that they can achieve a better way of life, then contact the CFOC to learn further about volunteer opportunities.  Perez advised how important volunteerism is to the ambitions of the center.

“We all need to do more to support the local organizations who are on the front lines fighting the tough battles that every major metropolitan area faces.  We’d love to see people get involved with us through volunteerism food drives, monetary donations, etc. Speaking of volunteering, we need to fill over 100 shifts a day to keep our huge operation running effectively. So, volunteers are an absolute necessity for CFOC.”

Stand up today and remember the need to help those in need.  Whether you can offer five hours, five months, or five dollars to this fight, all is appreciated.  If you need a hand up from hard times, then reach.  There are people ready to reach back with various forms of help.

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Learn more about Volunteer opportunities and the Community Food and Outreach Center today.

 

 

Study of Florida History: The Journey Continues

As research and investigation is under way for Megkhyde.com regarding Florida History and its significance, it’s relevance, and the understanding of it, much of the response that has been is received can be surmised in one key word: intrigue. From study and exploration this far, it has been discovered that the general audience for this subject are curious already and many also have specific areas they feel connected to. There are quite a few who wish to venture to more places and learn about their “Sunshine State” of residence as well.

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The feedback from a survey this website implemented one week ago consistently shows there is an interest to learn more about Florida history. Whether by visiting an organization ready to educate, such as historic centers, or a dedicated approach to visiting places before they are gone, as seen in a previous posting here, people desire to learn more. Some specific examples of cities in the Central Florida region, which will be explored further by Megkhyde.com, are the areas of Winter Garden and Winter Park. Further to come is various interview segments with persons connected to preservation, specific affiliations to historic research, and those with various levels of community involvement.

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The Winter Park Historic Museum features several exhibits related to preservation. (Photo by: Megan K Hyde/Full Sail University; October 2013)

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Winter Garden has many areas dedicated to sharing the story of this city’s history. (Photo by: Megan K Hyde/Full Sail University; September 2013)

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Edgewater Hotel in Winter Garden Florida. (Photo by: Megan K Hyde/Full Sail University; September 2013 )

One other aspect learned through surveying and discussion, is a want to be provided more direct insight and examples on specific “Historic Florida” places to visit. This will be determined in a unique way and the development of this segment will aim to offer thorough ideas on learning more about the past while living in the present. Megkhyde.com will continue to hit the pavement to offer more direct reports on places to visit and learn about. To help get a road map planned, please participate in the newest survey below. Learning about history happens jointly so let’s keep studying together:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

A Survey for Goodness and History Sake

Two recent articles in the Orlando Sentinel offer reports related to both historic preservation and extinction. One story covers a recent gathering in Mount Dora to commemorate “the 90th anniversary of Mount Dora’s first fire station.” At this event, “several fire trucks from the 1920s to the present day lined Royellou Lane, outside the Mount Dora Historical Museum.”

The second story shares details behind a cherished city of Maitland landmark being destroyed when a motorist, with a trailer attached to his vehicle, hit the covering above a bridge and it collapsed. “Covered Bridge Park in Maitland has lost an essential landmark: its covered bridge.” The intentions of the city in regards to what may come for the area are unknown. The hope is that “the bridge will be rebuilt — and maybe even improved.”

Both of these examples serve as an opportunity to “check in” on these deep-rooted historical places and things. Whether it’s something tangible like a fire truck that can be preserved to transition through multiple generations or something where an accident “deletes” something, questions remain. How do residents feel? City officials? What opportunities are there to add input? Also, if an accident is the cause for a historical landmark disappearing, is there a higher chance it will be replaced or repaired?

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

The questions in the survey above allow for a chance to learn more about the thought process of any resident with any amount of interest, or lack of, on these scenarios. The survey helps to provide insight on what a person notices in relation to their city’s history. Your participation is greatly appreciated and tremendously important to research.

Florida Photographer Racing to Capture History

Old Florida Travels with Harriet Duncan from Megan Hyde on Vimeo.

 

Signage, buildings, and old Florida businesses are some of the work that Harriet Duncan, a local artist and photographer, seeks out.  Duncan, who has photography and Graphic Design specializations, has found herself exploring her interest in traveling to find old Florida locations since 2011.  That year, as Duncan transitioned to new career opportunities from Interior Design, she returned to an interest in art from a photographic standpoint.

 

Duncan looks for moments to venture out and capture shots that will speak to many generations.  Personally, she continues to see these places before they disappear, because as she says, “once these spots are gone, that’s it.”  As Duncan tells a story of her adventures, she offers dedicated insight and a thoroughness that allows one to feel as though they were in the moment with her.  Duncan radiates excitement and her passion for this work is incredibly apparent.

 

When it comes to finding any historical adventure, Duncan has a process she follows.  Once she hears about a particular spot, she looks it up, learns what’s interesting about it, checks the historic list of monuments she utilizes, and then makes her route.  There are not many journeys that involve big highways and interstates though; back roads filled with potential mini stops speak right to this artist.  Harriet believes this makes what she is doing so worth; the idea of what she may find along the way completely intrigues her.

 

When Duncan first began her explorations, she borrowed a camera from a friend while she looked for images.  Fast-forward, Duncan now not only has her own camera, but a travel companion so that she can ride along and focus on her craft.  She explains how it is important to zone in on the moment and just look.  If something speaks to you, she says, “then you stop.”  So far, some of her voyages have led to Vero Beach; Cocoa Beach; Fort Myers, and Lake Wales, just to name a few.  Her photo journal shows her travels and the work, which comes to fruition from her old Florida interests.

 

Duncan surmises Henri Cartier-Bresson’s quote to be most fitting to her goals and her motivation to do what she is doing every chance she gets: “Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing & when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.”