Burning Question

How Can Sarasota Attract More Young People?

We take to the streets to find out.

By Katherine Flanders, Stephanie Hagan, and Rick Morgan September 27, 2017 Published in the October 2017 issue of Sarasota Magazine

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“As a musician and music producer, I see young artists who have no place here to express their talent. Our arts organizations focus on the formal arts—opera, orchestra, jazz—but not contemporary music. I’d like to see them cater to a more diverse musical landscape.” —Etienne “EJ” Porter, 38

“Make Siesta Village more targeted towards young people—more restaurants and bars could be placed in one centralized area.” —Kelly Tignor, 19, University of Florida student

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“Less expensive housing. It would be nice if they put something closer to downtown for young adults. Places [for those] 55-plus are affordable but [young people] can’t live there.” —Aubrey Hudson, 23, manager, Calini Beach Club.

“Things need to be more affordable. Even small apartments that aren’t renovated and might not even be in safer areas are close to $1,000 a month. More affordable options for shops and food would be nice. Food trucks would be amazing.” —Mackenzie Browning, 21, fourth-year New College student

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“Better public transportation and more activities besides nightlife focused on younger people.” —Jesse Sanazaro, 30, shift supervisor, Starbucks

“More events that target younger crowds, like music in the street. Things not just at night but in the day that you can plan around.” —Kevin Ingle, 22, student at Michigan State University who was a summer intern with DeAngelis Diamond.

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“A community culture like downtown St. Petersburg. They have great energy, an accepting atmosphere and cool shops, arts and events, with so many young people walking around. Here, just to put a mural up involves so much bureaucracy that no one wants to fight that battle.” —Tim Murphy, 32, national sales director, Offrs.com.

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