The Culture Coast Video Series

Art Is My Life.

As a 5th generation fine artist, creation has always been a strong part of my life. I’ve spent my years in many different disciplines of art, from theater to painting, as well as in the business of art acquisition in finance and marketing. Now as a Realtor, I focus on how to connect people with their passions here, helping them to find The Art of Living in Sarasota. One way I’ve recently been able to support this, as well as support the arts in Sarasota, is by underwriting an amazing initiative by the Arts & Cultural Alliance, The Culture Coast video series.

The Culture Coast Partnership

Designed to get the public up close and personal with many of our area’s artists, The Culture Coast is hosted by Kathryn Parks, a local thespian and personality. The bi-weekly Facebook Live (viewable at every other week on the Arts & Cultural Alliance’s Facebook page) & YouTube video series premiered in August of 2018 and so far 14 local artists, actors, and those in arts leadership have been interviewed. A few of our interviewees are:

  • Nate Jacobs from West Coast Black Theatre Troupe

  • Brendan Ragan from Urbanite Theatre

  • Leymis Bolaños Wilcott from Sarasota Contemporary Dance

  • Performing Artist Leah Verier Dunn from Moving Ethos

  • Filmmaker KT Curran

  • Photographer Andrea Hillebrand

  • even the singers from Christmas at the Crosley!

I was fortunate to be on the program myself, to discuss what our cultural landscape means to me as a lifelong artist and appreciator, and what our arts community means to Sarasota as a whole:

Elizabeth Van Riper Realtor of Michael Saunders & Company speaks to what makes Sarasota the Cultural Capital of Florida, from its history as "melting pot for artists" to its contemporary scene of theatre, music, dance, art, architecture, and beyond.

The Importance of the Arts

Believe it or not, many of our residents originally from the north chose Sarasota specifically for its unparalleled access to the arts for a city its size. The smaller-scale-with-nothing-lost attraction brings not only those who appreciate the scene, but artists themselves. Consequently, habitants of Sarasota might just find themselves living next door to a novelist (Stephen King calls Casey Key home), a member of a famous band (AC/DC’s Brian Johnson lives on Bird Key and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry snowbirds on Longboat Key), an award-winning actor (Jane Lynch spends part of her year here), or the lead cellist of the orchestra. The easy and seamless access to the arts Sarasota provides is a large reason why many wealthy people reside here, bringing necessary philanthropy that supports human services and community needs.

I’m a proud supporter of the Sarasota Arts & Cultural landscape. Take a look at some of my favorite interviews below, and subscribe to the ACA’s YouTube page to be notified of new videos!

Video Highlights

Kathryn Chats with Brendan Ragan, Co-Artistic Director of Urbanite Theatre and an accomplished actor and director
Culture Coast returns with Leymis Bolanos Wilmott, Founder and Artistic Director of Sarasota Contemporary Dance who shares her own personal journey and the evolution of SCD.
Kathryn interviews Andrea Hillebrand, art photographer.

I love sharing the lifestyle of Sarasota with my clients and sincerely hope the community gets to know our local artists a little better by this exciting video series.