Anna Maria – Taking place January 18th and 19th on Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria, the Anna Maria Chalk Festival is Manatee County’s first and only chalk festival. A partnership between the Pine Ave Restoration group, the Tourist and Development Council, the Historic Green Village, members of the Anna Maria Island’s artistic and cultural community and Sarasota Chalk Festival founder Denise Kowal, it is a truly community oriented event. A VIP dinner will be held the night before to help raise funds for the event and to give people a chance to meet the artists that will be pouring their souls onto the streets of Anna Maria.
With the theme “Historic Anna Maria: From Pirates to Present”, around 25 artists will inhabit three block of Pine Avenue over the course of two days. Street painters, also known as I Madonnari, will use chalk as their medium and the road surface of Pine Avenue as their canvas to create over-sized masterworks of art while the public becomes an integral part of the creative process as the viewer. Students in grades 7-12 can have their own spot to chalk and the younger children are invited to chalk in the Children’s Area. Participation is free to all and chalk is provided.
Being an event truly created for the community, the goal isn’t for humongous crowds to the flood the streets and advertisements to cover the media, it’s about creating a personal event.
When asked about the event, Micheal Coleman, one of the event chairs, was quoted as saying “I believe a successful event is not measured in numbers, but in the quality of the experience enjoyed by all. From the artists, to the volunteers, to the visitors and including, of course, impacted residents, the idea is to enjoy a couple of days expressing and appreciating art as its created.”
Musicians will be lining the streets and storefronts to provide a backdrop of music for the works of art being created. Musicians include locals such as Kristopher Byerly, Scott Blum, Trevor Bystrem, William Hellem-Brusso, Howie Banfield, Debbie Hood, Elephant in the Room, Savannah Brady, Can’t Turn Left, Bill Vinhage and more.
The Anna Maria Chalk Festival is taking place on Pine Ave, Anna Maria, The Greenest Little Main Street in America. Pine Avenue is a live and work paradise sprinkled with residential cottages, professional oﬃces and retail shops to serve the surrounding community. Its restoration project advanced the quality and sustainability of the overall area. Native plantings are a natural extension to the responsible development along the street. Rather than hardscapes and lawns which encourage runoﬀ into the precious Gulf and Bay, the street uses soft-scapes such as “native pathways” consisting of engineered sand wherever possible as part of systems for capture and re-use of rainwater. This has the practical eﬀect of meeting and exceeding the objectives of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD).
For more information head over to Facebook and find us at Facebook.com/AnnaMariaChalkFestival.