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Focus on Manatee: Celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month around Bradenton

October is National Arts and Humanities Month, and the Bradenton area is one of the best places to spend the month celebrating our rich arts, culture and heritage community.

This month we have presentations, a juried art show, plays, musicals and more to make October the perfect time to experience the arts and culture of our area.

Some highlights include:

Warhol: Parallels and Dichotomies: On Oct. 25, Andy Warhol’s nephew Donald Warhola will present a 90-minute program about his famed uncle at the Manatee Performing Arts Center. The presentation explores the differences between Andy Warhol the artist and Andy Warhol the person, beginning at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Go Wild, Open Juried Show: Showing through Nov. 8, Go Wild is an open, all media juried exhibition featuring work reflecting artists’ interpretation of the word “wild” at ArtCenter Manatee in Bradenton. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Tuesdays with Morrie and Buddy — the Buddy Holly Story at the Manatee Performing Arts Center: The Manatee Players presents two spectacular shows as part of their Broadway Series in Stone Hall and Studio Series in the Bradenton Kiwanis Theater.

“Tuesdays with Morrie” presents the autobiographical story of an accomplished journalist who visits with his former college professor battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease before his death.

Elliott Falcione mug.jpg
Elliott Falcione is the executive director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“The Buddy Holly Story” tells of the three years in which Buddy Holly became the world’s top recording artist with a show that features over 20 of his greatest hits. Both shows have select dates in October.

Aside from the events taking place in October, there is always something to do in the Bradenton area when it comes to arts, culture and heritage, with businesses and groups that reach all four corners of the county as a vital component to our community and economic development.

At any given time you can visit the brightly colored cottages of Village of the Arts — Florida’s largest live-work artist community — or stroll the artist-run galleries spotted up and down Anna Maria Island.

Since 2017, the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has had a position within our department that is dedicated to connecting with and uplifting our members of the arts and culture community, connecting them with our visitors interested in the arts.

The position of cultural marketing executive is held by Aimee Blenker, who works closely with our industry members, especially those in the arts and culture community. She is a dedicated member of the Bradenton area who has lived here her entire life and works hard to share our rich culture with our feeder markets and markets of opportunity.

She can be reached at or 941-729-9177, ext. 3960.

As part of our commitment to the arts community, the BACVB holds “Artsversations” quarterly to connect the arts and culture community members with one another to align efforts of bringing awareness of the area’s arts and culture to our visitors and locals.

We also run a Facebook page called “Bradenton Area Arts & Culture” that is worth visiting and “liking” if you want to know more about the cultural offerings of our area.

More and more we are finding that there is a niche market for travelers interested in the arts and we’re happy to provide a destination that meets those visitors’ needs.

The arts, culture and heritage community continues to blossom in the Bradenton area, and with efforts that the BACVB is making along with local artists and community members, it will continue to shine.

Elliott Falcione is the executive director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and can be reached at or 941-729-9177, ext. 3940.

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