February 16, 2012
|The Animated Magazine grew steadily in size and fame over the years. At its peak in the ’30s, “Animag” attracted 8,000 to 10,000 people.|
It’s been 85 years since Rollins’ eighth president Hamilton Holt first brought his vision for the Animated Magazine to life. Back then, thousands of Central Floridians would crowd onto Mills Lawn to hear prominent visitors present their ideas under the warm Florida sun. The speaker’s series embodied the spirit of a slower, simpler time—which is why Billy Collins thinks Sunday’s Animated Magazine will have such a nostalgic appeal.
“It’s kind of a throwback,” said Collins, the senior distinguished fellow of the Winter Park Institute (WPI) and United States Poet Laureate 2001-2003. Collins believes that while people now go online for most of their information, they “have an appetite for face-to-face connection. They are thirsting for direct contact.”
Collins will act as the “editor” of the Animated Magazine. “I am the page turner and the one who’ll introduce everyone.” He also helped to curate the collection of speakers, alongside Gail Sinclair, director of WPI. Collins connected Sinclair with three of the events’ speakers: Janice Aria, director of Animal Stewardship for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus; Jim Evans, former Major League Baseball umpire; and Randall B. Robertson, founder and executive director of GladdeningLight, a spiritual arts non-profit based in Winter Park.
Rounding out the event is Christoph Wolff, preeminent J.S. Bach scholar, and Porter Goss, the former CIA director who will speak a second time on Monday, February 20, also as part of WPI. During his lecture, titled “Timely Intelligence Matters: Taking on National Security Challenges of the Global Century,” the former congressman will present his thoughts on current global affairs through the unique lens of his experience as an overseas agent handler, a legislator with primary oversight responsibility for Intelligence in the U.S. House of Representatives and the President's daily briefer as CIA director.
Collins sees an interesting similarity between the Animated Magazine of the 1920s and today’s TEDTalks. “Both offer live presentations with people representing the arts, sciences, design, technology,” said Collins, who has been invited to present his own TEDTalk next month in California. “This is information with personality. At the Animated Magazine, you get to experience the flesh and blood of the people up there.”
If the weather cooperates, the Animated Magazine will be presented, as it should be, at Mary-Jean Plaza. Collins loves that the outdoor element lends itself well to the low-tech vision of the magazine. “You can’t have a screen or do power point, and that’s a good thing. People will be outside enjoying the weather and the fact that the event doesn’t allow for high-tech devises goes very nicely with its old-fashioned nature.”
For more information, visit the Winter Park Institute.
By Kristen Manieri
Office of Marketing & Communications
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