Cortez museum preserves the past and looks toward the future – Bradenton Herald
There’s little that Dick Estabrook likes better than his volunteer work.
“I love it when people walk through the door,” Estabrook said. “Their eyes light up. They say ‘I never knew this existed.’ You get people coming in from out of the area, even from other countries, and you get to share with them the history of Cortez.”
Estabrook has been a volunteer docent at the Florida Maritime Museum in Cortez since it opened. That was almost exactly 10 years ago, on Dec. 8, 2007.
The museum, on 119th Street in Cortez, is devoted to celebrating and preserving Florida’s maritime heritage. Permanent exhibits include an expansive collection of shells from the Gulf of Mexico, scale models of ships that played a role in Florida’s history and a library of books on maritime topics.
For its anniversary celebration, the museum is inviting the public to create pieces for a new exhibit.
The idea, supervisor Kristin Sweeting said, is to encourage people to come to the museum and craft a personal piece of art that evokes what the word “maritime” means to them. The museum provides 3-by-3-inch canvas boards, plus some art materials — glue sticks, markers and the like — and invites visitors to express their thoughts on the subject in pretty much any way they think best. Some use words, some use drawing, some use photographs.
You get people coming in from out of the area, even from other countries, and you get to share with them the history of Cortez.
Florida Maritime Museum volunteer Dick Estabrook
The first few creations already showed a lot of variety.
“There’s one about sustainable seafood, there’s one about family and fishing,” Sweeting said. “Someone brought in a photograph of his son fishing. Maybe it’s himself fishing when he was a boy fishing, I