Florida’s 4th annual Harvey Milk Festival seeking funds


Nearly 35 years after Harvey Milk’s death, his legacy lives on, and the Harvey Milk Festival in Sarasota, Florida is seeking donations for its upcoming 4th annual celebration.

The Kickstarter project is aiming for a fairly modest $2,500, but it only has 7 more days to reach that goal and has raised just under half that amount.

“The festival itself is to unite the community as Harvey Milk worked to raise awareness through action and inspiration,” the festival’s President and Founder Shannon Fortner told 429Magazine.

“We hold a free festival with an all volunteer staff and depend on financial help from the community.”

Scheduled for May 16-18, the website for the festival describes it as featuring “a variety of attractions including live music, film, performing and visual artists, speakers, and vendors,” to celebrate and honor Harvey Milk and what he stood for by showcasing artists across multiple genres, who reject discrimination, support diversity, and promote equality for the LGBT community via support of equality legislation.

The festival strives to offer something for everyone. The movie lineup, first added last year, has at least one must-see picture; this year’s feature film is I Am Divine, a biography of the drag queen superstar Divine. The art gallery, which has previously had themes such as equality and transgender issues, is this year focused on pieces about bullying. There is also a live art installation scheduled, with a theme of change and equality. Information on the music section of the festival is pending.

The festival offers multiple ways to get involved. Donations can be made through Kickstarter or the official Harvey Milk Festival site, in any amount; individuals or businesses can also become official sponsors, with packages starting at $250. Artists who would like to contribute to the event’s ArtFest can submit pieces regardless of their own location; for those who can attend the festival, slots for live art pieces (scheduled to be shown on May 18) are also open. Admission to everything but the feature film is free.


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