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Choral Artists of Sarasota will perform at the Celebration of the Arts.

Image: Barbara Banks


Heads up, arts lovers: The Arts & Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County’s annual Celebration of the Arts evening is set for Monday, Oct. 23—and it’s free.

The evening, set to begin at 7 p.m. at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, is the kickoff for InspireSarasota!, a 12-day celebration of local arts and culture that features performances, exhibits and more, culminating in a festival at Five Points Park on Nov. 4. The Van Wezel event also serves to honor community arts leaders with awards in several categories, as well as to announce the recipients of the John Ringling Tower Grants and the Tourist Development Tax Grants.

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Sailor Circus performers

Image: Cliff Roles


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Nethaneel Williams as Dr. Frank 'N' Furter in Rocky Horror Show.

Image: Renee McVety


Each year, the evening includes performances by area artists. In the line-up this year: Choral Artists of Sarasota (featuring a “Hurray for Hollywood” theme); the Circus Arts Conservatory’s Sailor Circus; Venice Theatre actors offering selections from the upcoming production of Rocky Horror Show; and Michael Mendez, a Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe regular who will perform original songs that he was able to record thanks to receiving a John Ringling Tower Grant in 2014.

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Singer-actor Michael Mendez


For more information, call the Alliance at (941) 365-5118 or visit

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