Compared to some of the more exclusive keys along the Gulf Coast, Anna Maria Island is often referred to as the friendly island, where visitors are welcomed to join locals in relaxed enjoyment of this wonderful Florida season. There is no better way to do this than at the festivals that support the Anna Maria Island Art League. There is no admission charge for festival visitors, even though these festivals raise most of the funds that keep the Art League in operation.
The Art League is a modest, but charming, art center in downtown Holmes Beach, where a wide variety of art by island and area artists is presented throughout the year. Classes are taught there, too. Most of the funding for this special island facility and organization comes from two festivals held every year: Winterfest, in December, and Springfest, which is coming up this weekend, on March 14 and 15.
Dedicated volunteers and sunshine brought in about 28,000 people. Proceeds far exceeded expectations and almost doubled last year’s $60,000.
The first festival initiated to purchase 95 acres of historic waterfront raised $98,000.
The funds created the Florida Institute of Saltwater Heritage (FISH) Preserve, dedicated to retaining the character and heritage of one of Florida’s last traditional waterfront communities within a natural environment. More privately owned land may be added to the preserve as it becomes available. The old wharves, fish houses, 1912 schoolhouse and 1896 Burton’s Store are in the process of restoration. Continue reading “Purpose and Place” »
Anna Maria Island Community Center raised more than $180,000 from its fund raising dinner February 23rd.
The “Affair to Remember” has become a highly anticipated formal attire event with auctioned luxury items and services that are donated by local businesses and philanthropists.
The evening began with champagne and open bar provided by Anna Maria Oyster Bar, hors d’oeuvre from Chiles Restaurant Group (Sandbar, Beach House, Mar Vista), followed by dinner from Harry’s Continental Kitchen.
A silent and live auction bid on various items, such as a golf cart, 50″ HDTV, and diamond and gold necklace.