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Historical Society to honor Fairolyn Livingston

Historian of Westside Winter Park to Receive 2019 Donald Cheney Award

The Historical Society of Central Florida will present its 2019 Donald A. Cheney Award to Fairolyn H. Livingston, chief historian of the Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park. The presentation is slated for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 5, at the Orange County Regional History Center.

Livingston was born on the west side of Winter Park. She graduated from Hungerford High School in Eatonville and received a Bachelor of Arts from Rollins College. As the Heritage Center’s chief historian, she uses her extensive research to enhance the permanent collection, conducting interviews and writing text for current and past exhibits, including the center’s unique timeline installation, which juxtaposes significant events in local and national African American history.

She also is a founding member of the Heritage Collection Team, a small group of documentarians, scholars, and residents who in 2002 established The Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park, a museum-quality, award-winning documentary about the residents and history of Hannibal Square that has been on permanent display at the center since its establishment in 2007.

After serving as one of the Heritage Center’s first managers, Fairolyn now devotes her time to the ongoing expansion of the Hannibal Square Heritage Center’s permanent collection, which recently included The Heritage Collection Phase IX: Hannibal Square Heroes (2017) and two phases of The Sage Project: Hannibal Square Elders Tell Their Stories (2012, 2019).

She has received numerous awards and has shared the community’s rich vibrant history with numerous audiences. In 2018 Winter Park magazine featured Livingston as one of the city’s “Ten Most influential” for her contributions to preserving and understanding Central Florida’s history.

“Fairolyn Livingston’s invaluable research and outreach work have filled in many once-overlooked and underappreciated chapters about a vital, important community centered around Hannibal Square in Winter Park,” said the Historical Society’s executive director, Michael Perkins. “We’re honored to present her with this award for her many contributions.”

First presented in 1992, the Donald A. Cheney Award honors community champions who embody dedication to Central Florida’s heritage and to civic engagement. The award carries on the legacy of its namesake, Judge Donald A. Cheney (1889-1983), founder of the Orange County Historical Society and the Orange County Historical Museum, the predecessors of the current Historical Society and History Center.