We're Not Just Beaches - Enriching Experiences in Sarasota

People may come for the weather, but they stay for the enriching lifestyle and vibrant cultural landscape. We talk a lot about the latter, as the Arts is one of my biggest passions, but I’m also passionate about the former and I’m so glad that Sarasota offers BOTH! Here are a few ways to learn, grow, and stay involved while living in Sarasota.

Continuing Education

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Long lost are the days of “Sarasota is just for retirees,” but the groundwork built by our snowbirds and retirees over the past few decades means we have a cache of great ways for people who enjoy lifelong learning.


Osher Lifetime Learning Institute (OLLI for short) offered at the Ringling College of Art & Design was born over 20 years ago with a mission of enriching the lives of mature adults in our area by providing great, yet affordable, educational programs that cover a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from how to use your iPhone to the history of the Great Depression. They even offer study abroad! This summer’s trips include cultural tours of Italy and Cuba. For more information and next semester’s course catalog, click here.

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The Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning (SILL) is a non-profit organization that offers an expert lecture series to provide information on and discussion of the arts and contemporary global issues. Offering Music Mondays, where music-lovers can watch performers then engage in discussion with them afterwards, and a series called Global Issues, which is a lecture series covering the complex issues facing our world today. The 2019 season has ended but stay tuned for next season!

Town Hall Series

2019 Town Hall Series Speaker Shaquille O’Neal

2019 Town Hall Series Speaker Shaquille O’Neal

The Ringling College Library Association brings influencers from all over the world to the stage right here in Sarasota in their Town Hall series. The 2020 schedule is impressive, with General John F. Kelly and Annie Leibovitz as two of the slated speakers. A great way to stay involved in current affairs, the Town Hall series has limited availability and tickets sell out quickly, so take a look at the 2020 schedule and make your plans now if you would like to attend.

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Tiger Bay Club

Stay engaged with non-partisan political events via the Tiger Bay Club. Their goal is simple: foster a better understanding of public issues by face-to-face exchanges with key policy makers. The group gathers once a month, and the next event is in June, a legislative update with local representatives Margaret Good, Newt Newton, Will Robinson, and Tommy Gregory, as well as Senator Joe Gruters. If politics interest you, and you enjoy the free exchange of ideas, then look up the Tiger Bay Club here.