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April 4-6, 2025

Word of South

Austin Bell

Austin Bell is an award-winning museum curator, author, and photographer. He has authored three books as Curator of Collections for the Marco Island Historical Society, including The Nine Lives of Florida’s Famous Key Marco Cat, winner of a 2021 Florida Book Award. Smithsonian curator Torben Rick calls the book “outstanding” and Laura Lott, president and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums, describes it as “painstakingly research and cleverly written.” Austin is also a consulting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and volunteers on several non-profit boards. He holds a B.A. in Anthropology and M.A. in Museum Studies from the University of Florida and is an alumnus of the Smithsonian Institution’s Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology. A Florida native, Austin resides in Marco Island with his wife Erin and daughter Chloe.