S a r a s ota with Pride
The Ringling combines the beauty of art, power of performance, and spectacle of the circus with the grandeur of a historic home, all set within the wonder of nature.
world class theatre
made in sarasota
“The loveliest musical imaginable.” — New York World-Telegram and Sun
Music by RICHARD RODGERS | Lyrics by OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II Book by HOWARD LINDSAY & RUSSEL CROUSE Directed & Choreographed by JOSH RHODES
NOV 16 – DEC 28 PREVIEWS: NOV. 13-15
Maddie Shea Baldwin. Photo by John Revisky. Show Sponsors:
Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation
Dec. 4-22, 2019 Jan. 15-Feb. 2, 2020 Feb. 19- Mar. 8, 2020 Mar. 25 â€“ Apr. 11, 2020
And so much more! Feb. 6-16, 2020 Mar. 12-2, 2020
S a r a sot a L i v i n g w i t h P r i d e
Top Row: (Left) City of Sarasota Logo • (Center) Photo by Dylan Todd • (Right) Photo courtesy of Laurie Ross Center Row: (Left) Photo courtesy of Petals and Sugar • (Center) Photo Courtesy of Ringling Underground• (Right) Photo courtesy of Manatee Performing arts Bottom Row: (Left) Photo by Russ Martin • (Center) Photo by Russ Martin • (Right) Photo courtesy Sarasota Opera
S a r a S ota with Pride
from the 7 Letter City of Sarasota
9 Introduction of Sarasota with 10 State Equality Florida
the Locals: 13 Ask Sarasota’s Dining
Ask the Locals: Sarasota’s Nightlife
the Locals: 20 Ask Sarasota’s Arts & Entertainment
365: Sarasota’s 25 Pride celebrations Care: 28 Community Sarasota’s support organizations
30 Business Directory
Watermark’s Sarasota Living with Pride 2019
A Progressive and Inclusive Expression of the Christian Faith. NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE OR WHERE YOU ARE ON LIFE’S JOURNEY, YOU’RE WELCOME HERE.
Sunday Worship: 10:30 AM
SarasotaUCC.org | 941-922-7595 6908 Beneva Rd., Sarasota /sarasotaucc
Live. Really live.
We can show you where. Preferred People. Preferred Places.
Phone: (941) 951-2580 www.PrefHomes.Net
Watermark’s Sarasota Living with Pride 2019
COMPOUNDING PHARMACY & WELLNESS CENTER
Pain Management • Wound Care Adrenal/Thyroid • Podiatry Dermatology • Dentistry • Pediatrics • Veterinary Sarasota Specialty Pharmacy specializes in Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy and other Hormone Compounding Therapies
• Private Consultations by Appointment • Pharmaceutical Grade Nutritional Supplements •Online Mobile App Rx Refills
Happy Hour Daily 3-6pm & 8-10pm
Lunch, Dinner, and Sunday Brunch
(featuring Bottomless drinks)
and can host large events
Trivia Thursday’s @8pm with prizes
We have items on our menu for all tastes and dietary needs! (gluten-free, vegan/vegetarian, low carb)
Gerry Letendre RPh, MBA, CHt
941.366.0880 / SarasotaRX.com 2075 Siesta Drive, Sarasota, FL 34239
941-388-7504 6727 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231
Right off the South Siesta Key Bridge
- LGBT owned and operated -
9 S a r a S ota with Pride
Cover photo by Dylan Todd
Sarasota Living With Pride is published by Watermark publishing Group Owner & Publisher
Rick Claggett Business Manager
Kathleen Sadler Tampa Bay Bureau Chief
Ryan Williams-Jent CFL Bureau Chief
Watermark is proud to welcome you to Sarasota Living with Pride, our second annual LGBTQ resource detailing the ever-inviting and all-inclusive city of Sarasota!
We’ve looked forward to sharing even more details about this cherished and world-class community since our inaugural
experience Sarasota’s thriving arts and entertainment scene. After that we grab a bite to eat with
issue last year. It’s the ideal place to live
Harvey Milk Festival founder and cover
authentically, one that showcases its
model Shannon Fortner. She shares some
diverse population from gorgeous sunrise
of her favorite dishes and details how to
to fabulous sunset.
dine with pride throughout Sarasota.
More than 50,000 Floridians call
Joshua Beadle subsequently leads us
Sarasota home. The southwestern coastal
into Sarasota’s nightlife, rounding out our
haven offers so many in our community
“Ask the Locals” section. The Gay Group
a safe place to live and love, which is why
Happy Hour (G2H2) and SarasotaOUT.com
we also proudly cover the area in our bi-
founder shares a few of his favorite LGBTQ
Senior Tampa Bay Account
weekly newspaper throughout the year.
and LGBTQ-friendly locales.
Dylan Todd Sales Director
Watermark has proudly served LGBTQ
We also highlight Sarasota’s wide
and ally readers for 25 years. We print
variety of annual celebrations honoring
up to 20,000 copies of our newspaper
the LGBTQ community’s fight for equality,
every other Thursday, distributing them
from the long-running Sarasota Pride to
in more than 500 locations throughout
Venice’s growing celebration. We detail
the Sunshine State—chief among them
Sarasota’s essential community and social
Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tampa and
groups serving the area as well, from
Orlando. We donate more than $300,000
its active adult gatherings to youth-
Contents of this Sarasota Living
annually in free and sponsor advertising
focused community organizations.
with Pride 2019 are protected by
to worthy LGBTQ non-profits, including
Sam Callahan Founder and Guiding Light
Surrounding each of those features
federal copyright law and may
The Harvey Milk Festival, Sarasota
are the advertisers reaching out to the
not be reproduced in whole or
Pride and more.
LGBTQ community. We urge you to
in part without the permission of the publishers. Publication of
As a multi-faceted media company,
familiarize yourself with each of them
the name or photograph of any
we use opportunity and innovation
and support those who support you. Our
person or organization in articles,
to communicate and advance LGBTQ
directory listing on page 30 is a fabulous
advertising, or listing is not to be
interests. That’s what led to the creation
place to do exactly that.
construed as any indication of the
of WatermarkOnline.com, updated daily,
Sarasota is the perfect place to live
and to Sarasota Living with Pride—where
openly and honestly. We’re happy you’ve
we detail resources for your LGBTQ life
joined us for the second annual Sarasota
Living with Pride.
sexual orientation of such persons or members or organizations. Watermark Publishing Group cannot accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers. © Watermark Publishing Group Phone:
ORL: 407-481-2243 TB: 813-655-9890
ORL: 407-481-224 TB: 813-849-2986
Equality Florida helps us do that this year. The political advocacy group is the state’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing LGBTQ equality. They proudly share the state of equality in Sarasota. We head to the stage and screen with Sarasota actor Brian Craft next. He guides us through some of his favorite places to
Ryan Williams-Jent Watermark Tampa Bay Bureau Chief
Sarasota The LGBTQ community is welcome, Equality Florida says
f you find yourself in the city of Sarasota—or in other areas including Bradenton, Venice and many others—you are in a welcoming community,” Equality Florida Sarasota Development Officer Jarred Wilson says.
He would know. Equality Florida
is the state’s largest civil rights
Florida board member for years. He remains politically active today.
He’s also organized a Diversity Public Art committee to create
organization dedicated to securing
“There’s such broad and
LGBTQ equality. Through coalition
deep support for these kinds of
Sarasota’s commitment to inclusivity.
building, educational outreach,
protections,” Shelin has shared
“The Sarasota City Commission has
grassroots organizing and lobbying,
with Watermark. “We don’t get
agreed to provide us a highly visible
the organization has fought
spot in our downtown Bayfront Park
since 1997 to protect Floridians
Equality Florida has continued to
a piece of public art celebrating
to place the artwork," he says.
bolster its presence in Sarasota by
cultivating support for its statewide
which works through their
The organization has been involved
“We have a vibrant arts community
initiatives like the Safe and Healthy
programing to bring exhibitions, plays
in the area for well over a decade.
Schools program. It aims to create a
and other offerings which focus on the
They began building a base of support
culture of inclusion while countering
LGBTQ community,” Wilson adds.
by connecting with local LGBTQ
the bullying, harassment, social
leaders who were hard at work on
isolation and bigotry that increase risk
LGBTQ community in Sarasota to
Sarasota’s human right’s ordinance,
factors for LGBTQ students.
join Equality Florida in their fight,
which passed in 2003. It only protected community
“We worked closely with the
He encourages members of the
to better the state for those living
Sarasota County School Board on the
inside of the city as well as outside
members based on sexual orientation
development of guidelines which
of it. “Get involved and become an
at the time, but it was amended
address the unique needs of LGBTQ
advocate,” he says.
to include gender identity and
students in the classroom,” Wilson
expression in 2014. “Sarasota has
says. The program transforms schools
Wilson concludes. “Whether you come
a reputation of being a welcoming
by ensuring that the districts take full
to Sarasota for a vacation, or you
place for the LGBTQ community,”
responsibility for meeting the needs
move here because of a professional
Wilson says. “That played a huge
of LGBTQ students.
relocation or retirement, you can take
part in bolstering its reputation as a safe place.” Fellow Sarasota resident Ken
Activists like Shelin are also
“Sarasota has so much to offer,”
advantage of this vibrant community.
working for the future of LGBTQ
You can get involved in its continued
equality in other ways. The Sarasota
growth and improvement.” For more information about Equality
Shelin helped fight for that change.
City Commission has formed
He’s served on multiple civic and
a committee regarding the 2020
Florida, visit EQFL.org. For more
government boards in the city and
census in which he will represent the
information about Ken Shelin’s equality
fought for change as an Equality
local LGBTQ community to ensure
efforts, email KShelin@aol.com.
as complete of a count as possible.
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Watermarkâ€™s Sarasota Living with Pride 2019
WEDDINGS EVENTS FAMILY PHOTOS
W G O IN N OK O
Favorite LGBTQ or LGBTQ-Friendly Restaurant: There are so many options. Leaf & Lentil, Simon’s Coffee House, The Rosemary, Sage SRQ to name a few.
Leaf & Lentil,
2801 N. Tamiami Trl., 941-413-5685, LeafAndLentil.com;
Simon’s Coffee House:
5900 S. Tamiami Trail,
411 N. Orange Ave., 941-955-7600; TheRosemarySarasota.com;
Dining with Pride
1216 1st St., 941-445-5660, SageSRQ.com.
Ask the Locals: Shannon Fortner
Favorite Place for Dinner and Drinks:
Pangea Alchemy Lab has the best old fashion and actually
hannon Fortner is a queer promoter and musician. A native of Covington, Ky., she’s proudly called Sarasota home for 25 years.
As the founder of the area’s annual Harvey
Milk Festival (HMF) and organizer of its annual Fabulous Independent Film Festival (IFF), Fortner is
some rather interesting cocktails to explore. The menu follows that direction with duck tacos and other unique dishes. 1564 Main St., 941-870-5555,
farmers markets to the finest experiences in multi-
course dining. Fortner says that her favorite thing about
well-versed in all things Sarasota. She understands
Sarasota’s LGBTQ community is that there’s always
the city’s strengths and what it takes to meet the
someone new to meet, noting that the local dining
Favorite Sweet Tooth Spot: Petals & Sugar. They
needs of its growing LGBTQ community.
scene is a wonderful place to do just that. “Often
offer beautiful macarons,
you can find a few spots with rooftop bars,” she
meringues, cakepops and more.
can read more about on page 25, Sarasota’s
says, “and there is always something new and fresh
Deliveries in and outside of
culinary scene is a staple that brings communities
Like each of Fortner’s festivals, which you
together. The destination has been ranked one
Fortner shares some of her favorite places to
of the Best Food Cities in the nation by Conde
dine in Sarasota below. Check them out and be
Nast Traveler, the luxury lifestyle magazine, and
sure to head to our Business Directory on page 30
the county boasts everything from the freshest
for even more places for you to dine with Pride!
Continued on pg. 14 | uu |
Favorite Dining Date Night: The sushi and Thai restaurant Spice Station. 1438 Blvd. of the Arts, 941-343-2574, SpiceStationSRQ.com
Favorite Unique Florida Menu: Starfish Company Dockside Restaurant. Talk about finding old Florida again. It’s something that can be hard to find and I embrace the chance to support and enjoy a spot like this. 12306 46th Ave. W., 941-794-1243, StarFishCompany.com.
»»Favorite Venue for
Fancy Dining: Sage SRQ, the new hotspot in Sarasota. You can get drinks on their rooftop and
roll with it: The Rosemary's Lobster Roll and french fries. Photo courtesy of the rosemary's facebook page
»»Favorite Small Plates:
the polenta fries. This is a must
The Social Eatery & Bar, a cool
visit spot if you are in Sarasota!
hip spot on the edge of downtown.
2801 N. Tamiami Trl., 941-413-5685,
The patio is a great spot to sip
on a cocktail and relax. 1219 1st St., 941-444-7072, SocialOnFirst.com
more in the gorgeous space below. The buffet at 1216 1st St., 941-445-5660,
Tropical Thai makes an amazing tofu pad Thai and of course, my
Photo courtesy of tandoor indian's facebook page
»»Favorite Local Joint:
99 Bottles. It’s a modern and classy spot to get almost any
beer you have ever wanted to try. I love the vibe and layout, it’s
»»Favorite Food Truck:
Hashtag Pizza was a big hit at
this year’s Harvey Milk Festival! Mobile throughout Sarasota, 941-483-0941, Facebook.com/HandTost
wrong with this spot! It’s n point
Favorite Coffee House: Varietal Coffee Bar and
and has been a staple in Sarasota
Project Coffee are my spots in
for quite some time now.
Sarasota! Varietal Coffee Bar:
1535 Main St., 941-364-5775,
1430 Blvd. of the Arts; Project Coffee:
538 S. Pineapple Ave., ProjectCoffee.Us
go to is hot sake. You can’t go
» »Favorite Spot for
1445 2nd St., 941-487-7874,
»»Favorite Seafood Dish/Restaurant:
Wine: Boca Sarasota on
say Owen’s Fish Camp’s
Thursday nights. They have
right in the heart of downtown.
The Rosemary, they have such an eclectic menu.
411 N. Orange Ave., 941-955-7600; TheRosemarySarasota.com
Favorite Dinner with a View: Any of the tables at any of these restaurants where I’m sitting with my girlfriend.
Naked Fish Grilled Grouper. 516 Burns Ct., 941-951-6936, OwensFishCamp.com
Favorite Vegetarian Dish/Restaurant: Leaf
“Girls’ Night Out!” specials. 19 S. Lemon Ave., 941-256-3565, BocaSarasota.com
& Lentil changes up their menu
Favorite Global Cuisine: Tandoor Fine Indian
often, but they keep a few staple
Cuisine has the best curry dishes
items that we can’t live without
and the best experience.
of course. One item in particular
8453 Cooper Creep Blvd.,
is the Fried Zucchini Po Boy and
Watermarkâ€™s Sarasota Living with Pride 2019
Have the time of your life!
OCT 25 - DEC 1
VeniceTheatre.org | 941.488.1115 | 140 Tampa Ave. W.
The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg is proud to support LGBTQIA+ rights, history and culture on the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, and every day.
Watermark’s Sarasota Living with Pride 2019
AMERICAN • P L AY L I ST • April 17 & 18 Van Wezel Sean O’Loughlin, conductor
Legendary saxophonist and NEA Jazz Master Branford Marsalis joins forces with vocal star Storm Large in a custom designed program with Sarasota Orchestra. Classic Hollywood, vintage Broadway and the Great American Songbook are all included in this American Playlist that will have audiences swaying in their seats.
STORM LARGE vocalist
12 South Palm Avenue 941-365-7900 ^ sarasotabooks.com Books Books Books
Books Travel Accessories Books Puppets Gifts Books Books Books Puzzles
Tickets from $37 941-953-3434 SarasotaOrchestra.org
Sarasota’s Independent Bookstore Where love of reading connects with love of community
Nightlife of Pride
Ask the Locals: Joshua Beadle
love our community,” Joshua Beadle says, “but what I love most is the setting in which we live. We live in paradise. My hope is that our community will grow and more and more LGBTQ people will move to Sarasota.”
They’ll find a vibrant and inclusive nightlife when they do, Beadle
“From the moment I arrived in Sarasota, I have been working
says, one the Pennsylvania native has gotten to know well since
on building our community,” Beadle says. “I’ve created LGBTQ-
relocating eight years ago. It’s one of the reasons he created G2H2,
friendly nights at local restaurants and bars, started the largest
or Gay Group Happy Hour, a networking social gathering that meets
LGBTQ monthly happy hour, hosted LGBTQ adult proms, LGBTQ
monthly throughout the city.
beach parties … and created SarasotaOUT.com to help elevate our
The gatherings are maintained by Beadle’s SarasotaOUT.com, an area directory of LGBTQ-friendly businesses and events. He maintains
entire community.” Beadle shares some of his favorite places to enjoy Sarasota’s
the website to connect members of the LGBTQ community with
nightlife below. Check them out and be sure to head to our Business
Directory on page 30 for even more options for you to show your Pride every night! Continued on pg. 18 | uu |
of a totem pole, just to name a few.
I live downtown, so I really enjoy being able
1564 Main St., 941-870-5555,
to walk to many places. Two of my favorites
are Sage SRQ and Smokin’ Joe’s.
Favorite LGBTQ or LGBTQFriendly Bar:
Pangea Alchemy Lab
1990 Main St., 941-953-2900,
1216 1st St., 941-445-5660, SageSRQ.com; Smokin’ Joe’s 1448 Main St., 941-921-5890,
»»Favorite dive bar:
Joe’s seems to be where everyone ends
»»Favorite Drag Show:
up at the end of the night. I enjoy running Purple
into a very friendly mixed crowd at Joe’s.
Rhino has great shows. They have a cast of
1448 Main St., 941-921-5890,
talent from Sarasota, St. Pete and Tampa that
performs and the show lasts up to two hours. Get there early to make sure you get a table.
»beer: »Favorite place to grab a Shop! 99 Bottles is located downtown.
They are very LGBTQ-friendly and support
I’m not a dancer, but
when I do partake in dancing it’s normally at Clasico Sarasota. The restaurant turns into a club on certain nights. Weekends
different beers and champagne. They also have a great weekend brunch with bagels shipped in from New York City. 1445 2nd St., 941-487-7874, 99Bottles.net
good. It’s a great place to go, get bottle service and to see and be seen.
Escape Reality VR Bar is a hidden gem
1341 Main St., 941-957-0700, BarClasico.com
that has great wine-based drinks. The
»»Favorite date night:
Some might find this silly, but
spicy margarita is strong, spicy and gets you in the mood to kill some VR zombies!
favorite date this year was watching the
1900 Main St., #104, 941-444-6766,
sunset from the Ringling Bridge/Sarasota
Pier. There’s a really adorable shop by the pier called Hart’s Landing where you can grab snacks, a beer or wine. 920 John Ringling Causeway, 941-330-0650, HartsLanding.net
Photo courtesy of the ritz carlton's website
the community. It’s a great place to try
»»Favorite place for a strong drink:
are wild and the DJ’s are always really
Jack Dusty offers dazzling dining and fabulous views with your creative cocktails.
99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle
2920 Beneva Rd., 941-735-6553,
»»Favorite place to dance the night away:
»»Favorite place for dinner and a show:
Florida Studio Theater
has a huge campus downtown. They also have the Greenroom Lounge attached
Favorite place to sit back and be entertained: One of my favorite things to do is people watch and two of the best places to do that are Clasico Sarasota or Cafe Epicure. Make sure to get an outside table and you’ll be entertained. Clasico Sarasota 1341 Main St., 941-957-0700, BarClasico.com; Café Epicure 1298 N. Palm Ave., 941-366-5648, CafeEpicure.com
»»Favorite place for live music:
to their theatre so it makes it very
at Jack Dusty. It comes in an oversized
convenient to catch dinner and a show.
wine glass. You can choose either gin or
The Gator Club, hands down. They always
1241 N. Palm Ave., 941-366-9000,
vodka and it’s filled with large ice cubes
have great live music and support a lot of
LGBTQ artists. Ringling Underground is another DO NOT MISS! The Gator Club
made from different juices. As the ice
melts your drink changes flavors.
standup comedian. To assist me with
Favorite live show venue:
One of my dreams is to become a
1111 Ritz Carlton Dr., 941-309-2266, RitzCarlton.com/En/Hotels/Florida/
»»Favorite place to meet locals:
1490 Main St., 941-366-5969,
my dream, my friends and I attend
McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre for Open
Mic Night and I take notes.
The rooftop bar at Art Ovation Hotel is a
5401 Bay Shore Rd., 941-359-5700, Ringling.
1923 Ringling Blvd., 941-925-3869,
great place to meet locals and tourists. It
»»Favorite fancy cocktail bar: »»Favorite bar with a view:
Pangea Alchemy Lab or Made Restaurant
Jack Dusty, located inside the Ritz Carlton.
both have interesting craft cocktails. I really
It has a spectacular view of the water.
enjoy a drink that is outside of the box. Made
1111 Ritz Carlton Dr., 941-309-2266,
offers “non-traditional glassware.” You can
enjoy a beverage from a mini bathtub or out
has a great view and is always packed. 1255 N. Palm Ave., 941-316-0808, Facebook.com/ArtOvationHotel
Watermark’s Sarasota Living with Pride 2019
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Pride in Arts
& Entertainment Ask the Locals: Brian Craft
s Director of Marketing and Communications for Realize Bradenton, the nonprofit which promotes redevelopment and growth through community engagement, Brian Craft understands the value of the arts. The organization
oversees events like the Bradenton Blues Festival, Music in the Park, Bradenton Farmers’ Market, ArtSlam and more. Craft, a Milwaukee, Wisc. native who’s lived in Sarasota
It was easy to do because Sarasota’s arts and
for five years, initially moved to the area on contract with
entertainment scene is full of inclusivity, unity and support,
the Florida Studio Theatre. “I knew absolutely no one,” the
he says, which only strengthens its quality. “I have heard
actor recalls. “I fell in love with Sarasota’s indisputable
time and time again that patrons can’t tell the difference
support and love for the arts and its infectiously engaging
in quality from the professional theaters to the community
and welcoming community of artists.”
theaters,” Craft explains. “Many theaters bring in
He channeled that love into work with community
performers and artistic teams from larger talent pools, and
theaters like the Manatee Performing Arts Center, Venice
Sarasota is also very unique in that local talent is made up of
Theatre and The Players Centre for the Performing Arts. He
many seasoned professionals.”
also produced performances to benefit organizations like
Craft shares some of his favorite Arts & Entertainment
the Trevor Project, which focuses on suicide prevention for
hotspots in Sarasota below. Check them out and be sure to
head to our Business Directory on page 30 for even more!
»»Favorite Fancy Night Out:
Florida Studio Theater has a great variety of offerings through their Mainstage, Cabaret and Improv series offerings, as well as their more obscure works presented in the Keating Theatre as their Stage III series. Whenever my husband and I get a chance to see a show there it turns into a fancy night supported by the location. We love meeting up with friends before or afterwards at great local spots like Social Eatery & Bar and Sage SRQ, both within walking distance—and of course, it’s always great to have an excuse to dust off the vintage bow ties and head downtown! 1241 N. Palm Ave., 941-366-9000, FloridaStudioTheatre.org
»»Favorite Place for a Laugh:
I’m a huge fan of McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre! I love entertainer Beneva
Fruitville’s Bingo, which I frequently forget is bingo because the production numbers are always jaw-dropping, to seeing top artists on tour like The Skivvies. McCurdy’s is always a good time and they never
Favorite Saturday Afternoon Cultural Activity:
disappoint with their top notch acts.
The Bazaar on Lime & Apricot always
1923 Ringling Blvd., 941-925-3869,
has something going on, from live music
to engaging events. At their core is an
»»Favorite Community Theater:
With the work and the variety of
programming that Manatee Performing Arts Center, Venice Theatre and The Players Centre for Performing Arts are consistently producing, a favorite is almost impossible choose. One thing that I learned while I was Director of Marketing and Outreach for the Manatee Performing Arts Center that I thought was a complete win-win—and is almost unheard of in other theaters that I›ve worked—is how open the communication is between the three theaters. They share stock
eclectic group of skilled local artisans and vendors that offer wonderful work at great prices. I always find something fun that inevitability becomes the conversation piece of the evening when my husband and I have guests over. They offer everything from reclaimed treasures and up-cycled goodies to scrumptious candles, stunning succulents and whimsical birdcages. 821 Apricot Ave., 941-343-2712, BazaarOnApricotAndLime.com
»»Favorite Outdoor Entertainment:
One of my favorite spots is Oleary’s Tiki
pieces such as costumes and set pieces
Bar & Grill, a Sarasota staple. I once found
to lift each other up, which enhances the
myself downtown with my pups in tow and
caliber of work all three are producing.
remembered that they are pet friendly and
Manatee Performing Arts Center:
have live music. They will not soon forget
502 3rd Ave., 941-748-5875,
their day in the sun enjoying the live music
and their beautiful view of the water.
Venice Theatre: 140 Tampa Ave. W., 941-488-1115, VeniceTheatre.org; The Players Centre for Performing Arts: 838 N. Tamiami Trl., 941-365-2494, ThePlayers.org
5 Bayfront Dr., 941-953-7505, OlearysTikiBar.com
»»Favorite venue for a movie:
When CinéBistro came to Sarasota it was
a complete game changer. If you add some cucumber slices over your eyes during Continued on pg. 22 | uu |
Above top left
Above top right
Selby Gardens offers lucious landscapes for your viewing pleasure.
The Sarasota Opera 's historic signage.
Photo courtesy selby gardens' facebook page
Photo courtesy of sarasota opera's facebook page
manatee men: Performers dazzle in "West Side Story" at the Manatee Performing Arts Center. Photo courtesy manatee performing arts' facebook page
the countdown to show time, you can count it as a full-fledged day at the spa! 3501 S. Tamiami Trl., Ste. 1100, 941-361-2456, CineBistro.com/Sarasota
Favorite venue for a live intimate performance: Each and every time I have been to Westcoast Black Theater Troupe I am absolutely blown away at how they utilize their space and how innovative they are with their set designs. It always feels like you are right there in the action. I unfortunately can’t give any opinion about the comfort of their seating because from the moment the performance begins, I am right on the edge of my seat. 1012 N. Orange Ave., 941-366-1505, WestcoastBlackTheatre.org
Favorite place for dinner and a show:
never what you expect and the creative
Seeing a show that is part of Florida
1487 2nd St., 941-321-1397, UraniteTheatre.com
Studio Theatre’s Cabaret series is one of my favorite things to do, partially
team always has tricks up its sleeves.
»»Favorite crazy night out:
because of their amazing food. What
It has to be Ringling Underground. It’s
more could you ask for than a fast moving
the perfect opportunity to see everyone,
show alongside a scrumptious meal?
enjoy incredible live music and take in the
1241 N. Palm Ave., 941-366-9000,
wonder of the Ringling at a new perspective.
5401 Bay Shore Rd., 941-359-5700, Ringling.
»»Favorite venue for live dance: »»Favorite hands-on art class: org/Events/Ringling-Underground-0
I am consistently blown away with
Booker High School’s performances,
I recently had the opportunity to take a clay
especially their dance concerts. From
making class at the Art Center Sarasota
start to finish you assume you are
and not only immensely enjoyed the class,
observing an acclaimed studios’ work
but my eyes were opened to the abundance
in their state-of-the-art facility.
of other offerings they have. I can’t wait
3201 N. Orange Ave., 941-355-2967,
to return and experience even more!
707 N. Tamiami Trl., 941-365-2032,
Favorite venue for classical music:
»»Favorite geek spot:
Sarasota Opera is a staple of the Sarasota
I could walk around Selby Gardens for
arts community. It paves the way for other
hours just take in all the beauty. You
theaters and creative and has put Sarasota
get in a little people watching, too.
on the map as a destination for arts and
900 S. Palm Ave., 941-366-5731, Selby.org
entertainment for more than 60 seasons! 61 N. Pineapple Ave., 941-328-1300, SarasotaOpera.org
Favorite venue for live art:
»»Favorite hidden A&E gem:
The Overton, one of Sarasota’s newest gems in the Rosemary District. They have made a consistent and very successful effort to bring in unique artistic events. The space
Urbanite has been the talk of the town
is incredibly versatile and the food and
since its inception in 2014, consistently
beverages are delectable, not to mention what
creating visceral, shared experiences by
you might find going on there at any given
fearlessly lifting up the boldest new voices
day. There’s always something to see and do!
in theatre. One thing that always stands
1420 Blvd. of the Arts, 941-500-9175,
out to me is their set design. They are
Above top left
lots of laughter: McCurdy's has brought big laughs to Sarasota for years. Photo courtesy mccurdy's facebook page
Above bottom left
sparrow song: Florida Studio Theatre presents "Ethel Waters: His Eye is on the Sparrow." Photo courtesy fST's facebook page
center stage: Entertainer Beneva Fruitville leads "Hairspray" for The Players Centre for Performing Arts
Photo courtesy the players' facebook page
Watermark’s Sarasota Living with Pride 2019
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Pride 365 Sarasota's LGBTQ community celebrates Pride year round
n estimated four million people filled the streets of Manhattan for WorldPride in June 2019, a diverse representation of the LGBTQ community’s international quest for equality. It was the first time in the global gathering’s 20-year history that it
had been held in the United States, and only the second time it had been held in North America at all. The celebration was held in New York City to commemorate
In its ninth year, Executive Director Shannon Fortner
the 50-year mark of the Stonewall riots, considered the
partnered with the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee
beginning of the modern fight for LGBTQ civil rights.
to host a special screening, something she called an exciting
Participants honored our collective community’s past and vowed
move. “They have supported us over the years and we look
to continue the fight for our future.
forward to bringing the community together to explore cinema,”
It’s a model the LGBTQ community in Sarasota has magnified for decades, from the long-running Sarasota Pride to the area’s newest celebration in Venice. Year-round, community leaders
she shared. “It has had such an impact in society offering a perspective and view through others eyes.” She hopes to expand even more community partnerships
and members gather to offer LGBTQ citizens and visitors a safe
in the future, something Diouri has always hoped for as well.
place to laugh and love—showcasing a wide variety of festivities
The Fabulous IFF “is for everyone,” Diouri told Watermark,
to highlight our shared LGBTQ experience.
FABULOUS INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL
he Fabulous Independent Film Festival (IFF)—presented by the Harvey Milk Festival (HMF)—celebrated its ninth year Sept.27-29, 2019. It screened the best of LGBTQ
cinema at Burns Court Cinema in Sarasota, pictured on the cover of this year’s Sarasota Living with Pride. The Fabulous IFF was previously gifted to the HMF by
founder Magida Diouri, who continues its annual programming. Attendance and support has grown every year since. Diouri shared with Watermark that the Fabulous IFF’s merger
Learn more about the next Fabulous Independent Film Festival by visiting WatermarkOnline.com and FabulousIFF.com.
» »HARVEY MILK FESTIVAL
he Harvey Milk Festival (HMF) celebrated a decade in Sarasota May 9-11 in 2019, honoring the life and legacy of politician Harvey Milk by fostering the arts
as a catalyst for change. “Starting the festival was an opportunity for me to combine
my music career with my activism,” HMF Executive Director Shannon Fortner recalls. “Our organization offers a political
with the HMF was the perfect marriage. It had previously served
platform for our community with plenty of chances for growth
as a beneficiary of funds raised from the film festival, and she’s
within the organization.”
continued to program each year because of its audience impact. “Respecting differences that no one chooses is so important
Entering the tenth year was empowering, Fortner shares, and notes that Milk’s legacy as California’s first openly gay
to me,” Diouri noted. “Being LGBTQ is not something you
elected official has endured long after his tragic assassination in
choose … it just happens, you’re born that way. LGBTQ films
1978. “I feel proud of our community that we’re able to sustain
have that wonderful thing about them. They bring a sense
festivities,” she notes. “The gathering exists to honor Harvey; it
of acceptance and it’s essential. It’s important to celebrate
really carries itself in and of itself. People are supportive and feel
differences and diversity.”
a connection to it.”
The annual celebration features a variety of attractions, including live music, film, performance art, speakers and vendors. New in 2019 was the inaugural “Fun-K” Run4Love at JD Hamel Park, where participants crossed the Ringling Bridge to illuminate it in rainbow colors. The run honored Stonewall’s 50th anniversary, a focus of Harvey Milk’s 10th celebration. “We wanted to be able to light up the bridge in honor of our LGBTQ pioneers, getting the community to come and celebrate diversity,” Fortner said. The festival also fosters emerging talent in artists who reject discrimination while promoting equality for the LGBTQ community by supporting equal rights legislation. It’s a perfect fit for Sarasota, one that’s naturally progressed into the organization’s #WeSupport campaign. “We are implementing more educational and outreach initiatives,” Fortner explains. “The
The event celebrated its sixth year at the Bradenton
campaign aims to educate local businesses about the
Riverwalk Pavilion in March 2019. “The Manatee Pride
unique diversity issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community
Festival has grown through the years,” the organization
and their families in our community.” To accomplish
shared. “This year, the event will have the largest
this, HMF received a Community Foundation of Sarasota
number of live entertainers, and more vendors than
County grant to provide businesses with educational
ever, providing fun for the whole family.”
materials and supplemental training. “The Harvey Milk Festival is working to bring the community together year-round,” Fortner says. Learn more about the Harvey Milk Festival’s
It did, something Prism Youth Initiative board president and Manatee Pride committee chair Valerie Fisher proudly shared with Watermark. “We’re so happy that we’re apparently well-received by not
next decade by visiting WatermarkOnline.com and
only the LGBTQ community,” she explained, “but our
straight allies and just the community in general.”
» »MANATEE PRIDE
anatee Pride is a program of Prism Youth Initiative, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to empowering LGBTQ youth. The
all-volunteer effort aims to uplift and empower members of the LGBTQ community who live, love and visit Bradenton and its nearby communities.
The six consecutive family-friendly events have also been embraced by the city. “We have been warmly welcomed by the community,” Fisher says. “It’s grown every year and we’re so thrilled. We very much appreciate the city’s approval of and support for this event.” The gatherings tout a growing number of sponsors and vendors each year, like recurring sponsor CAN Community Health which offers onsite health
Above top left
FABULOUS EVENING: Keo Sarang (R) and Karen Atwood enjoy the ninth annual Fabulous Independent Film Festival at Burns Court Cinema. Photo by russ martin
family friendly: Beneva Fruitville performs for the children at Manatee Pride 2019. Photo by russ martin
Continued on pg. 26 | uu |
26 screenings. Entertainment ranges from The Players Kids
The nonprofit’s mission is to defend human and
from The Players Centre for Performing Arts, popular live
civil rights secured by law while advocating for visibility
bands from throughout Sarasota and fan favorite drag
and self-esteem among the LGBTQ community. The
performers like Beneva Fruitville.
organization and its growing board will now do that as one
“We have food, music, drag queens and raffles,” Fisher says. “We’re celebrating our community and everyone is welcome.” Learn more about Manatee Pride’s next offering by visiting WatermarkOnline.com and ManateePride.com.
» »SARASOTA PRIDE
arasota’s longest-running LGBTQ celebration Sarasota Pride would have traditionally held its 30th annual festival in Oct. 2019 but announced in
Aug. that it would see festivalgoers in 2020. The organization exists to promote a positive image
of the first Pride celebrations of 2020. Learn more about Sarasota Pride’s 2020 vision by visiting WatermarkOnline.com and SarasotaPride.org.
» »VENICE PRIDE
enice Pride held its inaugural Pride celebration Nov. 3, 2019 on the five-acre campus of SunCoast Cathedral Metropolitan Community Church.
The location is described as a safe spiritual home for the LGBTQ community and its allies. Its theme was “We Are Here,” Senior Co-Pastor and Venice Pride co-organizer Rev. Vickie Miller told
in the Sarasota area and throughout Florida. It does so by
Watermark. “It was mostly to make a statement that the
participating in community activities and services while
LGBTQ community and our allies are present in Venice.”
promoting the elimination of prejudice and discrimination, culminating in its annual PrideFest at JD Hamel Park. Moving to 2020 seemed ideal, Sarasota Pride Chairman
The outing proved they were, as celebrants came from near and far to kick off the inaugural festival. A ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Venice Mayor John
Cindy Barnes told Watermark. She cited the fact that JD
Holic, Equality Florida’s Ken Shelin and Sarasota County
Hamel Park had been booked for another celebration and
Commission Chair Nancy C. Detert was held and festivities
noted that Charlotte County Pride, traditionally held in
included a pet blessing and exciting entertainment.
January, had dissolved in 2019. “Sarasota Pride moves into the Winter … WONDERLAND!” she mused.
Learn more about Venice Pride’s next festival at WatermarkOnline.com and VeniceFLPride.com.
fabulous firsts: Crowds gather for the inaugural Venice Pride in Nov. 2018. Photo by ryan williams-jent
Watermarkâ€™s Sarasota Living with Pride 2019
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Community Care Sarasota’s support for the LGBTQ community shines
GBTQ individuals and our allies have long understood the importance of community. In times of need and in
times of celebration, we have always leaned
transgender, intersex and questioning youth ages 13 to 21. It extends their programming to their families, their friends and the community at large. ALSO Youth does so to enhance self-esteem, promote healthy dialogue and increase awareness of sexual minority youth issues.
»»CAN Community Health 440 Fruitville Rd., 941-366-0134, CANCommunityHealth.org/Sarasota
CAN Community Health has served the
needs of the HIV community in Florida, and now the southern part of the nation, since 1992. The private, not-for-profit organization owns and operates 34 medical clinics, including two in Sarasota. The city is also the proud home of CAN’s national headquarters. CAN’s mission is to provide a continuum of medical, social and education services essential to the health and well-being
on one another to cultivate connection and
of those living with HIV, Hepatitis C,
rally our resources.
The organization’s clinics offer the finest
It’s certainly been true in Sarasota for years, where members of the LGBTQ frequently arrive and thrive. Sarasota is home to a diverse array of organizations small and large that focus on personal and community growth for all citizens and visitors. Advocates and allies have formed them to promote health, wellness and support of all types—learn more about some of the most inclusive organizations here.
1470 Blvd of the Arts., 941-951-2576, ALSOYouth.org Local leaders and advocates formed ALSO Youth in 1992 with organizations like PFLAG, Planned Parenthood and YMCA Youth and Family Services. Its founders were alarmed at statistics which documented high rates of suicide among gay and lesbian teens. It exists today to provide Advocacy, Leadership, Support and Outreach to LGBTQ+ youth and their allies. The nonprofit provides peer support services, educational programs, advocacy and referrals for gay, lesbian, bisexual,
sexually transmitted or other diseases. medical, dental, psychological care and lifestyle counseling to all patients, regardless of their financial situation, insurance status or ability to pay. The organization also seeks to enhance public awareness. CAN does so with a number of education and prevention initiatives while hosting annual events like its CAN Dance and Red Ribbon Gala to raise awareness and resources.
»»The Friendship Centers
1888 Brother Geenen Way, 941-955-2122, FriendshipCenters.org The Friendship Centers is a nonprofit network in Southwest Florida that aims to meet the needs of those 50 and older. Since the 1970s, the organization has developed innovative, cost-effective approaches to address the health and wellness of older adults. They have served more than 270,000 meals, assisted in more than 16,000 doctor visits and volunteered for more than 59,000 hours.
youth drive: ALSO Youth shares their mission during the inaugural Venice Pride in 2018. Photo by ryan williams-jent
The organization currently hosts multiple LGBTQ support groups in an effort to build community in a supportive setting. Participants determine topics based on current interests with a commitment to fostering greater understanding and fun.
»»Prime Timers Sarasota P.O. Box 1411, 941-556-1344, PrimeTimersWW.net/Sarasota
Prime Timers Sarasota is an active gay, bisexual and transgender social group for
United »Church »SaintofAndrew Christ 6908 Beneva Rd., 941-922-7595, SarasotaUCC.org The open and affirming Saint Andrew
men ages 21 and up. The worldwide group
United Church of Christ describes itself as
was founded in 1987 and has more than 80
“an extravagantly welcoming church that
chapters worldwide. Its Sarasota chapter
fully includes all people,” including members
Locations throughout Sarasota,
boasts over 140 members throughout
of the LGBTQ community. Their first service
Sarasota, Charlotte and Manatee counties.
was held in 1965 and their services attract
G2H2 Sarasota, or Gay Group Happy Hour, exists to spotlight LGBTQ-friendly businesses throughout Sarasota and is presented by SarsotaOUT.com. It celebrated 8 years in Sarasota in 2019 and meets monthly at a new location throughout the city to provide locals with an inclusive atmosphere to network. The gathering exists to showcase local businesses that open their doors and hearts to the LGBTQ community. With its monthly meetings, G2H2 Sarasota has donated thousands of dollars to local and national charities.
»»PFLAG Sarasota P.O. Box 671, PFLAGSarasota.org
PFLAG, formerly known as Parents,
Beginning more than 16 years ago, Prime Timers Sarasota advises that their group is
worship rich in modern and traditional music
hold more than 75 events throughout the
and customs, with a challenging message,
year, which are chosen to fit individual needs,
supportive prayer and more. “No matter who
priorities and affordability. In conjunction
you are or where you are on life’s journey,
with the worldwide chapter of Prime Timers,
you’re welcome here,” the church shares.
they also offer cruises to destinations like the Caribbean, Las Vegas and New Orleans. They stress that they are committed to the care and support of all members in need.
»»Prism Youth Initiative 501 5th St. E., Bradenton, FL 34208, www.prismyouth.org
The Prism Youth Initiative is dedicated to supporting, affirming, encouraging and empowering LGBTQ youth ages 13-23 in
Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, is the nation’s first and largest organization
doing so in a safe, hospitable welcoming
dedicated to uniting families and allies with
environment and meet regularly to
those in the LGBTQ community. Formed in
accomplish their goals. The initiative is a 501(c)(3) and was
celebrated, PFLAG currently boasts over 400
founded in Bradenton in 2010. They provide
chapters—chief among them Sarasota.
referrals for services and education about
The chapter offers education, resources
The congregation asserts that they offer
non-partisan and non-commercial. They
Manatee County. They’re committed to
1972 to create a world where differences are
members from throughout Sarasota.
bullying, suicide prevention and HIV
and support throughout Sarasota, Manatee
prevention. Prism’s center is staffed by
and its neighboring counties. The local
adults who are trained on LGBTQ issues with
chapter celebrated its first anniversary
the goal of creating a safe space for all. Youth
in 2018 , regularly holds meetings and
counselors are available by telephone for
participates in area events to advocate
youth in need and the group regularly attends
events to advocate for the community.
Metropolitan »Community »SuncoastChurch (MCC) 3276 E. Venice Ave., 941-484-7068, SuncoastMCC.com
The Metropolitan Community Church is a worldwide denomination that was the first Christian denomination with a primary ministry to the LGBTQ community and celebrated its 50th year in 2019. Suncoast MCC was founded in 1995 and proudly carries on MCC’s inclusive legacy as a welcoming, diverse and active spiritual community. It’s also home to Venice Pride, which you can read about in detail on page 26. “Our church and ministries are open to everyone,” leadership shares. “We care about our community and our world, in all its diversity.”
Photo by Dylan Todd
Business Directory ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Asolo Repertory Theatre 941-351-9010 AsoloRep.org
Saint Andrew United Church of Christ 941-922-7595 SarasotaUCC.org
Sarasota Orchestra 941-953-3434 SarasotaOrchestra.org The Players Centre for Performing Arts 941-365-2494 ThePlayers.ORG The Venice Symphony 941-207-8822 TheVeniceSymphony.org Venice Theatre 941-484-4033 VeniceStage.com
ATTORNEYS Blackburn Law Firm 727-826-0923 LifePlanLaw.com Boyer & Boyer, PA 941-365-2304 BoyerBoyer.com Cole & Cole Law, PA 941-365-4055 SarasotaDebtRelief.com Marc J Soss, Esq 941-928-0310 FL-EstatePlanning.com
BOOKSTORES BookStore1Sarasota 941-365-7900 SarasotaBooks.com
FOOD AND BEVERAGE Blue Rooster 941-388-7539 BlueRoosterSRQ.com Chef Rolf’s New Florida Kitchen 941-806-6820 ChefRolf.us JDub’s Brewing Company 941-955-2739 JDubsBrewing.com Mellow Mushroom 941-388-7504 MellowMushroom.com Tropicana 800-237-7799 Tropicana.com
Framing Tyrone Frame and Mirror 727-344-1000 TyroneFrame.com
GIFTS Elysian Fields 941-361-3006 ElysianFieldsOnline.com
HEALTH AND WELLNESS CAN Community Health 941-366-0134 CANCommunityHealth.org
Sarasota Specialty Pharmacy 941-366-0880 SarasotaRX.com
INSURANCE Richard Dean Insurance 941-999-3131 RichardDeanInsurance.com
MEDIA Watermark Publishing Group, Inc. 813-655-9890 WatermarkOnline.com
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES Chasen Galleries 941-260-5787 ChasenGalleries.com Museum of Fine Arts 727-896-2667 Fine-Arts.org The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art 941-359-5700 Ringling.org
PHOTOGRAPHY SERVICES Samantha Ponzillo Photography 813-906-8926 SamanthaPonzillo.photography Dylan Todd Photography 727-310-1212 DylanToddPhotography.com
REAL ESTATE SERVICES Preferred Properties of Sarasota 941-321-5638 PrefHomes.net
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Find all the greatest spots in Sarasota for arts and entertainment, dining, nightlife and much, much more!