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Harvey Milk Festival: Celebrating diversity with a three-day party

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HMF HT 2013 STAGE

Harvey Milk Festival returns to Five Points Park with a free concert Saturday. HERALD-TRIBUNE ARCHIVE / 2013

One of the most exciting yearly events to take place in downtown Sarasota, the fifth annual Harvey Milk Festival honors the legacy of the LGBT icon in style, spotlighting local and national artists who support diversity and reject discrimination. Initially a single-day event in the Rosemary District organized by Shannon Fortner, the founder of the festival who shares Milk’s May 22 birthday, her Sarasota event has evolved into a three-day celebration of the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California.

Following a film screening Thursday at Burns Court Cinemas and an art exhibit Friday at Circus City Architectural Salvage, the festival culminates Saturday with a free, nine-hour concert at Five Points Park that will likely blossom into a big, beautiful dance party in the heart of downtown Sarasota. Here’s a guide to everything going on at the fifth annual Harvey Milk Festival.

Film: “The Dog”

Wojtowicz AP 1972

Alleged bank robber John Wojtowicz arrives at FBI headquarters in New York City, Aug. 23, 1972, after being captured at Kennedy Airport earlier in the morning. (AP Photo/Anthony Camerano)

Four decades after the botched Brooklyn bank robbery that inspired the 1975 film “Dog Day Afternoon” starring Al Pacino, John “The Dog” Wojtowicz discusses his real romantic reasons behind the crime to finance his lover’s sex change. “The Dog,” a feature-length documentary, earned a Grand Jury Prize nomination in March at the Miami International Film Festival. Sarasota-based author and indie filmmaker Anthony Paull will host the screening at Burns Court Cinemas, an event sponsored by Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida.

9:30 p.m. today; Burns Court Cinemas, 506 Burns Court, Sarasota; $10; 955-3456; filmsociety.org

Art: “Love without Limits”

The “Love without Limits” exhibit at Circus City Architectural Salvage features works by artists such as Ha Pham, who describes his “Free Yourself” as a painting that conveys “a message of unison.” Steve McAllister curated the collection, which will be exhibited with live music by Kristopher James and RaeF. Several art installations will also de on display in Five Points Park Saturday during the concert.

7-10 p.m. Friday; Circus City Architectural Salvage; 1001 Central Ave., Sarasota; free; 866-2500; facebook.com/circuscitysalvage.

Music: Concert in the Park

sonsofhippies

Sons of Hippies / COURTESY

Five Points Park, at the intersection of First Street and North Pineapple Avenue in downtown Sarasota, is where the Harvey Milk Festival will climax with a concert featuring Brooklyn electro-pop duo Ghost Beach (see accompanying interview), internationally-acclaimed turntablist Slow Magic and numerous, first-rate Sarasota-bands such as neo-psychedelic rockers Sons of Hippies and dance-y indie rock outfit MeteorEYES. Here’s the complete schedule:

2:30-2:40 p.m. Opening Ceremony featuring Sarasota City Commissioner Suzanne Atwell

2:40-3:10 p.m. Physical Plant

3:25-3:55 p.m. Ari and the Alibis

4:10-4:40 p.m. Humanliketoys

4:55-5:25 p.m. Seven Years Past

5:40-6:10 p.m. Hymn For Her

6:10-6:25 p.m. Keynote Speaker Gina Duncan, Equality Florida

6:25-6:55 p.m. Luxury Mane

7:10-7:40 p.m. Wolf-Face

7:55-8:25 p.m. Sunbears!

8:45-9:15 p.m. Sons of Hippies

9:15-9:30 p.m. Candlelight Vigil

9:30-10:10 p.m. Slow Magic

10:25-10:55 p.m. MeteorEYES

11:10-11:55 p.m. Ghost Beach (see accompanying interview)

11:55-Midnight: Closing Ceremony

After Party: Throb Nightclub

Show your HMF wristband and Throb will donate your $5 cover charge to Harvey Milk Festival.

Midnight-2 a.m. Saturday; Throb Nightclub; 2201 Industrial Blvd., Sarasota, $5; 358-6969; throb.me.

Harvey Milk Festival
Thursday (May 15) through Saturday (May 17), various venues throughout downtown Sarasota; harveymilkfestival.com.

Harvey Milk Festival
Thursday (May 15) through Saturday (May 17), various venues throughout downtown Sarasota; harveymilkfestival.com.

Wade_Tatangelo_by_Mike_Lang_HT_06212013
WADE TATANGELOis the editor of TICKET + and a contributor at TicketSarasota.com. He has been an entertainment editor, reporter, columnist and reviewer for more than a decade at publications nationwide. He is a Hershey, Pa., native who grew up in Tampa and graduated from the University of South Florida. Wade joined the Herald-Tribune in 2013 and writes the weekly Bar Tab column. He can be reached by email or call (941) 361-4955.
Last modified: May 22, 2014
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