Under Bucuvalas' direction, Tarpon Springs received a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts grant this summer. Bucuvalas, curator of arts and historical resources for the city, is using the $35,000 for the Greek Arts Initiative, which includes Greek folklife workshops and the Night in the Islands entertainment series, as well as the Gulf Maritime Festival scheduled for March 5. Before coming to Tarpon Springs, she served as co-author of South Florida Folklife, published in 1994. She has worked for the Florida Folklife Program, where she served as Florida folklorist from 2000 to 2009. Bucuvalas is currently working on another collection of essays on Florida's folklife, which will be published by University Press of Mississippi.
What is on your nightstand?
The Sponge Divers by Charmian Clift and George Johnson. The book was published in 1955. I picked it up when I was in Australia over the winter holidays. It's now out of print.
How did you come across it?
I had gone to Darwin, Australia, to see family. That part of the family who had gone to Australia were Greek, but not for sponging. They went for the pearl industry. I picked it up in an antiquarian bookstore. I knew about The Sponge Divers through a colleague who had given me a short bibliography of Australian literature. He knew I'd be interested in this because it's set in Kalymnos, Greece. It's great for me to read books like this, to check things and compare things for my own work.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer