Cousin Thelma Boltin
Thelma Ann Boltin
Cousin Thelma Ann Boltin, was director and emcee of the Florida Folk Festival for 30 years, an institution that she helped found in 1952. Boltin was actively involved in the field of folklore for over 40 years, helping start smaller festivals like the Heart of Florida Folk Festival, held in Dade City. She served as the chairman of folk music for the Florida and National Federation of Music Clubs and was the recipient of a national award from the American Association for State and Local History for "contributions to preservation and popularization of Florida folkways, folklore, and folk music."
Born in Beaufort, South Carolina in 1904, she moved with her family to Gainesville in 1907. After a stint at Emerson College in Boston, Boltin began teaching high school speech and drama. From 1954 through the 1980s, Boltin was actively involved with the Florida Folk Festival, as co-founder, performer, promoter, director, and emcee.