Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Debutantes Hosted on Study Tour for Women's History Month. Trinidadian Artist led Curator's Tour of Solo Exhibition in Downtown Lake Worth Beach, Florida

The Taste History Art & Culture Study Tours held on Saturday, March 9, 2024 for Women’s History Month hosted the debutantes of the historic African American Frances J. Bright Woman’s Club (FJBWC). Throughout history, debutante programs have been and still are highly regarded by African Americans as excellent cultural experiences for high school girls.
The Osborne School hosted a raffle for a debutante to win a new backpack with school supplies
The Saturday, March 9, 2024 Taste History Art & Culture Study Tour traveled via minibus began with a multicourse lunch at Don Ramon Restaurante Cubano & Social Club in West Palm Beach. Thereafter, the debutantes and their mentors were taken by minibus to Downtown Lake Worth Beach for a walking tour of street murals that adorn the historic buildings. The debutantes then met Trinidadian artist Sonya Sanchez Arias who led them on a curator’s tour of her solo exhibition Then & Now. The study tour concluded with a visit to the historic 1948 Osborne Schoolhouse (former ‘colored’ school) in Lake Worth Beach,Florida in the Osborne neighborhood, a community established by Black Bahamian settlers in year 1917. To the educational delight and complete surprise of the tour group, the director of the school had arranged for the welcoming and meeting with the tour group some Black former students of the Osborne school from years ago. These former students are now retired from careers in education. For the debutante tour group, these Osborne School former students shared inspiring stories about the times when the Osborne school operated for Blacks-only during the Jim Crow era and later years after integration when they then went to the school with whites.
The study tour for the debutantes included a curriculum guide per the Benchmarks and Strands in Social Studies, Civics and Government, and Visual Arts per the Florida Department of Education. Click here to download study tour program outline and curriculum strands.
The historic African American Frances J. Bright Woman's Club (FJBWC) was established in Delray Beach, Florida in 1959 and its debutante program was started a few years later. The FJBWC is named in honor of Frances J. Bright, an African American educator who came to Delray Beach, Florida in year 1895 to teach at 'colored' school #4 located on historic 5th Avenue in Delray Beach. The school was a part of the Dade County School System at that time because Palm Beach County was not incorporated as a separate county until year 1909. The leaders of this prestigious organization of the FJBWC are esteemed African American educators, professionals, and business owners which are the same composition type as those who established the FJBWC organization. The mission of FJBWC debutante program is to provide mentorship and help provide etiquette training and cultural experiences for African American high school girls who are invited into the program based on their academics and good character status. The debutante program also raises educational scholarship monies for the young ladies to pursue career goals.
The late Iris Apfel was the inaugural sponsor of the Taste History Art & Culture Study Tours when it launched last year. The late Iris Apfel, who is nationally and internationally known, had a career in interior design for over 70 years beginning when she with her late husband Carl Apfel founded Old World Weavers in New York City. The year was 1950 and Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States when Carl and Iris Apfel started their company Old World Weavers which is a globally acclaimed textile design and manufacturing company. During Mrs. Apfel’s career at Old World Weavers, she was a part of many distinguished interior design restoration projects including work at the White House during the presidency of nine different U.S. Presidents. Iris Apfel is now-a-days sometimes referred to as a ‘geriatric starlet’. In the fashion world, Iris Apfel is still featured on magazine covers showcasing her iconic style. She was fashionably recognizable by the distinctive fashion style of clothing and that signature style of eyeglasses that she would wear. In addition to the debutante study tour receiving inaugural support from the late Iris Apfel, other support for the debutante study tour included Macy’s.
Macy's Skin Care kits gifted to the Debutantes on the Taste History Study Tour:
The mission of the non-profit 501c3 Taste History Art & Culture Study Tour is to offer educational, art, history and cultural study tours for students from first grade thru college highlighting multi-cultures, ethnic cuisines, art, architecture in Palm Beach County and the relevant/related historic information. The program is designed to be a curriculum-based live lab, out-of-classroom, on the road experience. The study tour is offered as a field trip of age sensitive amount of time of one day for grades first thru 12 or as a multi-days educational excursion for college students. “The study tour is a multi-sensory tangible experience designed for students to complement their classroom learning,” says Lori J. Durante who developed the program in a volunteer capacity and is the volunteer tour guide/narrator. The Taste History Culinary Tours were started in year 2011 as growth and expansion by popular requests of customers of the Narrated Bus Tours of Historic Palm Beach County which were started in year 2004 as a once-a-month trip. Both tours were originated and developed by Lori J. Durante as a 100% volunteer effort. The Narrated Bus Tours of Historic Delray Beach has hosted more than 8,000 tour passengers. In year 2011, the additional tour which was added was named the Taste History Culinary Tours of Historic Palm Beach County and it is a weekly tour due to popularity. Combining the attendance/passengers of both tours, more than 14,000 people have been hosted on these cultural weekly and monthly tours. The cultural tour programs have evolved and grown through the years. “A new season is being ushered in post-COVID19 pandemic, thereby the tours are adapting and evolving again”, says Lori J. Durante. Last year 2023 marked the after COVID19 re-launch of the Taste History Art & Culture Study Tours program. For more information, call 561-638-8277 or email