Andy Warrener comes from a film and theatre background before branching into print journalism. He has 10 feature-length screenplays to his credit, having sold one in 2006, won numerous awards for others and in 2018, his co-written story 'The Black String' was made into a feature film, premiering at the Austin Film Festival and screening in 5 countries before being distributed by Lionsgate. He has and still works in journalism as a photographer and writer but is now the historical research specialist and event coordinator at the Pioneer Museum & Village in Dade City, Florida.
( https://www.pioneerfloridamuseum.org/ )
1. How and/or when did you get you hooked on history?
I have been a Civil War buff since I was in high school. I was captivated at the nature of that type of combat and what it must have took for men to walk into a cannon's mouth.
2. What role does history play or has it played in your personal life?
As I progressed from a "buff" to an historian, I started genealogy research and found that I had ancestors that served in the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry and the 88th Pennsylvania Infantry. As you might imagine, that electrified my already burning interest. From there, I began to expand my research into Florida-specific history, how colorful and dynamic it is. I devour history books, perform in and organize living history events across a range of time periods. I have accepted it as a personal mission to shine a light into the darkness, into the lesser known and seldom told aspects of Florida and Native American history.
3. How is/How was history a part of your professional life/career?
I worked as a journalist for 10 years, oftentimes covering stories that had a historical element to them. Now I work in a museum where I develop displays and historical context for artifacts we have here. It's truly a dream job.
4. Why is studying/knowing history important?
It is exceedingly difficult to shape the future or understand the present without a details and broad understanding of history.
5. What is your favorite period or aspect of history to learn about and why?
For many years, it was the American Civil War but my passion now leans toward the string of history from the War of 1812 - to the Creek War - to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Seminole Wars. I am also very interested in pre-Columbian history in Florida.
6. What is the mission of the Pioneer Florida Museum?
To teach Florida history from an interactive approach using living history, interpretive tours, interactive displays and public events.
7. Why is the Pioneer Florida Museum important ?
It is located in an area of the state just teeming with history. We cover a time period unique among other museums and parks. We also salvage historical buildings. We now have 10 buildings from 1860 to 1940 that we have not just preserved but dressed and detailed as they would have been in their time.