(Bradenton, FL) Every cup of coffee we buy and drink connects us with a web of hidden stories around the world. In this global age, a new exhibit at the South Florida Museum explores the important question: What is the true story behind one of the world’s most widely traded commodities? Coffee: The World in Your Cup is a nationally touring exhibition now on view in Bradenton. The exhibition provides a broad overview of the powerful influence of coffee on environments, human cultures, and economies worldwide.On exhibit in the Museum’s East Gallery through August 29, 2014, the exhibition is included in Museum daily admission. General admission prices are: Adults – $18, Seniors (65+) – $16, Children (4-12) – $14, Children under 3 are free when accompanied by a paying adult. (Museum members are also free.)
The South Florida Museum will host an Exhibition Reception on Thursday, May 29 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. The Reception will include a free coffee tasting, the DaVinci’s Gelato food truck featuring a selection of gelato varieties including a scrumptious espresso flavor (for purchase) and live music in a delightful coffee house / bistro setting. Visitors will be welcome to browse the exhibition and speak with Museum staff about the exhibition and related upcoming programs. Light refreshments will be provided in addition to a cash bar. The Reception is free to Museum Members and $5 admission for the general public. For information and reservations for the Coffee: The World in Your Cup Reception, please contact Laurie Voight at LVoight@SouthFloridaMuseum.org or 941.746.4131 ext. 17.
Highlights of Coffee: The World in Your Cup include:
- Color photographs of farms from South America to Africa to the Pacific Islands that tell the global story of coffee cultivation and trade.
- Four short videos featuring different aspects of the coffee industry, including a look at migratory birds in shade grown coffee regions.
- Interpretive displays of traditional Turkish and Ethiopian coffee sets, picking baskets, and more than 40 coffee sacks from around the world.
Sorting coffee beans (Papua New Guinea), photograph by Aarlie Hull, New Guinea Traders.
Looking to become a responsible sipper? Coffee explores the environmental and social impacts of the coffee industry and recommends ways for consumers to make socially and environmentally responsible coffee purchases at the grocery store or in a coffee shop. Concerned about how coffee affects human health? Learn about the impacts of caffeine, the world’s most commonly-used drug, on your body. Curious about how coffee became so popular? Discover its early controversial reputation as a “revolutionary drink,” and consider the culture that surrounds coffee in the twenty-first century.
The Museum’s Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator Matthew Woodside thinks the exhibition will provide a wonderful opportunity for the public to learn about coffee culture, the history of coffee consumption and coffee as a global commercial agriculture product. “This exhibition should start some important conversations about our daily impact on the environment. We want our visitors to think about – and discuss – topics like the history of commercial agriculture in third world countries and global multinational structures of production and shipping and marketing. These innovations in agricultural production and transport allow us to buy varied food products all year long, but what are the environmental costs of that and how are the people employed in those industries being treated and compensated?” He continues that they are also aspects of the exhibition that are just plain cool, “I’ve loved exploring the different and varied pieces of this exhibition – and I think our visitors will too. I’ve learned the differences between City Roast, Vienna Roast, French Roast, and what it takes to make a really good tasting cup of coffee.”
Coffee: The World in Your Cup has been organized by the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington, Seattle. Major sponsorship has been provided by The Boeing Company, Microsoft Corporation, Starbucks Coffee Company, and the University of Washington. The exhibition will be available for viewing at the South Florida Museum from May 27 – August 29, 2014. All Museum exhibitions are included in Museum daily admission. Please contact Jessica Schubick with any inquiries or requests – 941-746-4131, ext. 14 / JSchubick@SouthFloridaMuseum.org.
About the South Florida Museum
The largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the South Florida Museum offers engaging exhibits as well as educational programs which interpret the scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world and our universe. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the Museum features a constantly changing lineup of temporary exhibitions – offering something new to discover with each visit. The facility also includes both the all-digital Bishop Planetarium Theater and the Parker Manatee Aquarium. Outfitted with a brand new, state-of-the-art Planetarium and projection system in October of 2013, the NEW Bishop Planetarium is the region’s premier astronomy education facility with stunning new multimedia capabilities. The Parker Manatee Aquarium is home to Snooty™, Manatee County’s official mascot and the oldest known manatee in the world. Snooty shares his Aquarium pool with young manatees from the Manatee Rehabilitation and Release Partnership. These injured or orphaned animals are taken care of by the Parker Aquarium staff until they are ready to be released into the wild. For more information about current exhibitions and special programs, membership, hours, or admission prices please call 941-746-4131 or visit SouthFloridaMuseum.org.