Picture Man

By staff January 1, 2006

When Steven Katzman started taking pictures in the predominantly black neighborhood of Newtown, he admits there was fear on his part and suspicion on the part of his subjects. Now, two years later, he's well known to many Newtown residents, who call him the "Picture Man" and sometimes allow him to share their most personal moments. Newtown, he says, is "an island unto itself, always forgotten by the rest of Sarasota." Through his photographic journey, "I wanted to create a bridge, because I believe Sarasota could benefit from the history Newtown offers." Still, he maintains, all is not bleak in this economically struggling pocket of our town. "The resource they have is the human resource, defined by extended family," he says. "They know what the phrase 'It takes a village' really means."Katzman's images of Newtown go on display in the North Sarasota Library on Newtown Boulevard this month to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and will remain on view (with alternating selections) permanently.


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