Things to Do

What to Do in Sarasota: Jan. 14-20

Embracing Our Differences kicks off at Bayfront Park, concerts outdoors and in, Urbanite Theatre returns with a play reading and more.

By Kay Kipling January 14, 2021

Liberty Enlightening the World, by Arya Badiyan of Lake Oswego, Oregon, won the Best in Show for Adults artwork award at this year's Embracing Our Differences.

Editor’s note: In-person events are subject to change. Please check before venturing out.

Embracing Our Differences

Jan. 20-April 1

Sarasota’s Bayfront Park is once more the outdoor setting for this exhibition devoted to diversity and inclusion, featuring 50 billboard-sized pieces, each accompanied by an inspirational quote. Entries came from across the country and around the world. Learn more at, or simply head to the park anytime and take in the art.

Cabaret by the Bay

Jan. 15 and 16

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall continues its series of live music with jazz from the Michael Ross Quartet, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights. The hall’s Grand Foyer is the spot; doors open at 7 p.m. and food and beverages are available for purchase. Double bassist Ross is joined by vocalist Fred Johnson, keyboardist Ron Reinhardt and drummer Walt Hubbard. Tickets, (941) 263-6799 or

Party on the Plaza

Jan. 16

Venice’s CoolToday Stadium welcomes musician Derek Lersch in this outdoor performance, with spaced groups of four for the audience. Lawn chairs or blankets are suggested. Gates open at 6 p.m.; the music starts at 7:30 p.m. Get your tickets at

Sarasota Orchestra: Inspirations

Jan. 14-17

Orchestra musicians offer performances of Caroline Shaw’s Entr’Acte, Dvorak’s Nocturne, and Josef Suk’s Serenade for Strings, with socially distanced seating at Holley Hall. Find out more at

Urbanite Theatre: Thirst

Jan. 14-16

This company known for presenting new and intimate works debuts its outdoor staged play reading series with a work by playwright Ronan Noone. It takes place in the kitchen of the Tyrone family of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, and it centers on two Irish immigrant serving girls and their dreams for the future. At 6 p.m. each evening at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens; sign up by emailing [email protected].

Manatee Players: Nunsense

Jan. 14-31

How long has it been since you’ve been entertained by those singing, dancing, clowning Little Sisters of Hoboken? Now’s your chance to meet them again; you can catch up inside the Manatee Performing Arts Center’s Stone Hall, through outdoor screenings, or online. Tickets here.


Jan. 18

“Solitude and Suffrage,” a concert available by livestream only, highlights the movement for women’s right to vote with compositions by Mark Anthony Turnage and Quinn Mason (The 19th Amendment), among others. Starts at 8 p.m.; visit to sign up.

FST Forum: Discovering Heritage

Jan. 14

Playwrights (and spouses) Jason Odell Williams and Charlotte Cohn (familiar from Florida Studio Theatre’s Handle with Care) share the latest on their new work, a musical about a family trying to escape the Nazis by fishing boat in the fall of 1943. It’s inspired by Cohn’s Jewish heritage. At 11 am., virtually; it’s free, but registration is required at

Designing Sarasota: An Architectural History

Through April 17

Take a journey through the history of our area's built environment, from archaeological evidence to architectural trends of today, in this exhibit at The Center for Architecture Sarasota's gallery at 265 S. Orange Ave. A partnership between CFAS, Sarasota Architectural Foundation, Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation and the American Institute of Architects Gulf Coast Chapter, the exhibit will be on view to only 10 people at a time, with masks required. Register for a time slot at

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