Things to Do

What to Do in Sarasota This Weekend

Don't miss the new SarasotaCon comic book convention, Friday Fest at the Van Wezel, and the final shows of the Summer Circus Spectacular.

By Kay Kipling

Carnivale Drummer by Romare Bearden, 1986, Gift of Warren and Margot Coville, part of the world is just so small, now exhibit at The Ringling.

The Sarasota area boasts a wide and intriguing number of arts, cultural, sports and food events throughout the year, from museum exhibits and concerts to plays, ballet and choral performances, craft shows, films and more. Keep up to date on what's happening here, and check in regularly. 

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

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Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

 Flora Imaginaria: The Flower in Contemporary Photography, featuring more than 70 diverse images of flowers created by nearly 50 international photographers, continues here through Sept. 25. Displays both inside and outside. (941) 366-5731;

Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College

On view here: State of the Art 2020: Constructs (organized by the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas), through Sept. 11; and Katrina Coombs I M(O)ther: Threads of the Maternal Figure, through Oct. 2. (941) 309-4300;

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Several exhibits to catch here as well. Among them: Eleanor Merritt: Remembrance (through Aug. 21); Metadata: Rethinking Photography from the 21st Century (through Aug. 28); Ballroom Florida: Deco & Desire in Japan's Jazz Age (through Sept. 25); and as long as there is sun, as long as there is light: Selections from the Bring Gift and The Ringling Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art (through Aug. 13, 2023). And, through Oct. 23, the world is just so small, now: Works on Paper from the Ringling's Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art, featuring works by such artists as Romare Bearden, Francesco Clemente and Howie Tsui. BTW, admission is FREE to currently serving U.S. military personnel and their families through Sept. 5, as part of the Blue Star Museums initiative. (941) 359-5700;

Creative Liberties

The artist studios and gallery presents a Summer Saturday Open Studio in collaboration with SPAACES, Princeton Street Arts and Define Gallery, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 13. The studios' artists will also be in residence Aug. 16-21 at downtown's Art Ovation Hotel, with a reception at 6 p.m. Aug. 19. For more info, call (941) 799-6634 or go to


McCurdy's Comedy Theatre

On the schedule at the downtown club: Jeff Shaw, Aug. 11-14; Derek Richards, Aug. 17-21; and Al Ernst, Aug. 24-28. Tickets and info, (941) 925-3869;


Movies at the Sarasota Opera House

Onscreen this month: Teatro Real of Madrid's Rusalka, Aug. 21, at 1:30 p.m. Also, in the classic movie lineup, Double Indemnity, Aug. 19, at 7:30 p.m. (941) 328-1300;

Music's Masterpieces

The Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Sarasota Opera team to present filmmaker Hilan Warshaw, who will share excerpts from his works on great composers and discuss the relationship between cinema and music. At 6 p.m. Aug. 26 at the opera house; registration at

Chris Allison performs during the Summer Circus Spectacular.

Chris Allison performs during the Summer Circus Spectacular.



SarasotaCon Annual Comic Book Convention & Pop Culture Event Editor's Pick

This new event, set for Aug. 13 at the Carlisle Conference Center, promises more than 100 vendors catering to lovers of comic books, magazines, toys, games, movies, television, anime, manga and much more, along with a roster of comic industry pros and fandom-related celebs. (We're talking a Yellow Power Ranger actor, a huge Pokemon card tournament, a cosplay contest and lots more.) General admission is $20, with kids under 11 admitted free. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; tickets at the door or online at

Summer Circus Spectacular

The lineup for this show, a longtime partnership of the Circus Arts Academy and The Ringling, includes a range of acts: duo lyra, adagio, hand balancing/contortion, rolla bolla and more. Performances through Aug. 13 at the Historic Asolo Theater. (941) 360-7399;

Family Day at the Opera

The Sarasota Opera welcomes the whole family from noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 20, to hear the Youth Opera sing, attend a "Find Your Own Opera Voice" singing session, join in acting games, and more; and best of all, it's FREE. To find out more, visit

Englewood Pioneer Days

After a hiatus due to Covid, this celebration of Englewood's history returns with "Back to the Future," including a Little Miss/Mr. Englewood Pageant Aug. 20, cardboard boat races Aug. 27, and Chalkfest 11.0 (at Ann & Chuck Dever Regional Park, Aug. 28; FREE and chalk provided). There's more coming up in September; stay tuned at

Arts Advocates' Art Talk

Curator Mark Ormond is up next in this new series, held at the group's gallery at The Crossings at Siesta Key mall, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail. He'll talk about "A Week in the Life of a Curator"....everything involved in creating a successful show. From 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 18; register at

Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby Gardens

Catch up on "The Latest from Terry Guest," a playwright and Hermitage Fellow, who will discuss one of his new projects, Pageant on White American Memory. (His play At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen was seen recently at Urbanite Theatre, which is partnering on this appearance.) At 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19, behind Payne Mansion at Selby Gardens' downtown Sarasota campus. Admission is free, but registration is required at

Big Night Out entertains at this month's Friday Fest.

Big Night Out entertains at this month's Friday Fest.



Jazz Thursday

Each second Thursday of the month features a different style off jazz at the Sarasota Art Museum (in partnership with Jazz Club of Sarasota). On Aug. 11, that means Barcelona-born performer Ona Kirei, starting at 5:30 p.m. on the Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza. Free for members; $20 otherwise. Check it out at

Friday Fest Editor's Pick

The free outdoor music series on the Van Wezel Hall's bayfront continues with the lively dance music of Big Night Out, from 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 12.

Free Music Friday Night Concerts

There are two this month at downtown Venice's Centennial Park, and both are free. The first features Dean Johanesen, Aug. 12; the second Clover's Revenge, Aug. 26. From 7 to 9 p.m.; brings chairs or blankets.

St. Armands Circle Concert

Join the crowd for a concert from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 13 on the Circle, featuring JAC of All Trades, with front man (and former American Idol finalist) Jonathan Cortez.

Ben Cherry, Jack Gerhard and Alberto Bonilla in FST's Smoke and Mirrors.

Ben Cherry, Jack Gerhard and Alberto Bonilla in FST's Smoke and Mirrors.

Image: John Jones


The Jersey Tenors: Part II

A follow-up to an earlier production at FST, blending opera classics with rock 'n’ roll from the likes of Queen, Journey and New Jersey-born Frankie Valli and Bon Jovi. Through Sept. 11 at the Goldstein Cabaret. (941) 366-9000;

Smoke and Mirrors

A top Hollywood director will stop at nothing to get what he wants in this mystery/comedy, onstage through the month of August at FST’s Gompertz Theatre. (941) 366-9000;

New York State of Mind

This music revue features three actors ("The Uptown Boys") rendering the songs of Billy Joel, with stories of struggles making it in the Big Apple and more; it runs through August at FST's Court Cabaret. (941) 366-9000;

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Frank Loesser's musical comedy about a young window washer on the way up in more ways than one opens the season at the Manatee Performing Arts Center, Aug. 11-21. Call (941) 748-5875 or go to for tickets.

Let It Be

Have you ever turned to the songs of the Beatles for comfort during a bad time? Two families do just that in this show set during the turbulent 1960s, at the Players Centre for Performing Arts' Studio 1130, Aug. 17-28. Learn more and get tickets by calling (941) 365-2494 or visiting