The first public library in the state was the Jacksonville Public Library, which was established in 1905. There are now 70 tax-supported public library systems. Each year the public libraries circulate an average of 5.4 books for every resident. Many libraries are maintained by colleges and universities, professional institutions, and historical and other associations. Noted collections on Florida history are held by the State Library of Florida, in Tallahassee; the P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, at the University of Florida; and the Saint Augustine Historical Society.
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, at Sarasota, has a noted collection of works by Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens and other European masters. It also houses a Museum of the Circus, in honor of John Ringling, the famous circus owner. There are also art galleries and art museums in West Palm Beach, Clearwater, Miami, and Saint Petersburg. The Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida, in Gainesville, has numerous historical and scientific exhibits and houses the noted Key Marco Collection of Native American artifacts.
A number of small museums throughout the state are devoted to special subjects, such as marine life, seashells, archaeology, and Native American artifacts. The Salvador Dalí Museum in Saint Petersburg exhibits works reflecting impressionist and cubist styles, Dalí’s transition period, the famous surrealist works for which he is best known, and his later “classic” works, which show his preoccupation with religion, history, and science.
Some 43 daily newspapers are published in Florida. The East Florida Gazette, founded at Saint Augustine in 1783, was Florida’s first newspaper. The Florida Union, founded at Jacksonville in 1864, is now the Jacksonville Florida Times-Union, and it is the oldest continuously published newspaper in the state. The Miami Herald, a nationally prominent newspaper, is known for its extensive coverage of the Caribbean.
Other major newspapers include the Sun-Sentinel, published in Fort Lauderdale; the Orlando Sentinel; the Saint Petersburg Times; the Tampa Tribune; and the Spanish-language Diario Las Américas, published in Miami.
The first radio station in Florida, WQAM, was established in Miami in 1921. The state’s first television station, WTVJ, began broadcasting in Miami in 1949. In 2002 there were 151 AM and 172 FM radio stations in the state and 66 television stations.
Several of the larger cities and most of the colleges and universities in Florida support symphony orchestras. Among the most popular music festivals held each year in the state are the Bach Festival, at Rollins College in Winter Park, and the Florida International Festival, in Daytona Beach, featuring the London Symphony Orchestra. Community theater groups are found in most of the state’s larger cities, and there are professional theaters in Miami, Daytona Beach, and Palm Beach. The Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts, in Sarasota, is home to the Asolo Theatre Company. "Florida" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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