Art events in Sarasota County: August

Get a taste of the cultural activities that Sarasota County offers. Enjoy our August picks spanning theatre, music, modern dance, art galleries and more in this monthly round-up of events in the area. With so much to choose from, it’s no wonder that this destination is considered Florida’s Cultural Coast ™.

Stroll and enjoy: Art & Music Festivals

Lakewood Ranch Main Street

Enjoy music, food, shopping and family fun 6 to 9 p.m. during Music on Main in Lakewood Ranch Aug. 4 (the first Friday of every month.) This is a free concert series and block party with family friendly activities.

Palm Avenue District, Sarasota

First Friday Art Walk is 6-9 p.m. Aug. 4 (the first Friday of every month.) This is a great opportunity to view outstanding art and special artists’ openings. Galleries are open to the public and artists are often in attendance. Sip and savor tasty treats and wine in most of the galleries, while music fills all of Palm Avenue, the galleries, and part of Main Street as well. Make an evening of the event and enjoy great people-watching at this traditional Sarasota event every month.

The Historic Downtown Village of Sarasota

Celebrate the end of August in the Historic Downtown Village of Sarasota with “Fourth Friday at the Downtown Village” 5 to 9 p.m., Aug. 25. Located on the 1800 block of Fruitville Road (just northwest of the corner of Fruitville Road and Washington Boulevard), this event includes live music, food trucks, guest vendors and art demonstrations.

Towles Court Artist Colony, Sarasota

Enjoy “Third Friday Art Walk” at Towles Court with music and refreshments 6 to 10 p.m. August Walk is Friday Aug. 18. All the galleries are open in this truly festive atmosphere every month. Artists are often on hand to chat and lots of items are available to look at and purchase as well.


Sarasota Contemporary Dance

Subscriptions now on sale for their four performance season.

Sarasota Ballet

Get your subscriptions now for the full seven program season.

Sarasota Cuban Ballet School

Sarasota’s best kept dance secret! The Sarasota Cuban Ballet offers an internationally famous school for ballet instruction in the Cuban style as well as frequent performances during the season. Box office at 941-328-1300. 501 N. Beneva Rd. 941-365-8400 


The Ringling

Stroll through the newest exhibits at The Ringling, “Eternal Offerings: Chinese Ritual Bronzes” from the Minneapolis Institute of Art, “Skyway: A Contemporary Collaboration” and “Posed: Portrait Photography” from the Permanent Collection, 941-360-7399.

The Galleries of Ringling College of Art+Design

The paintings of Jeffery A. Cornwell will be on display in the Patricia Thompson Gallery until Sept. 22. Drawings by Claudia Ryan are displayed in the Lois and David Stulberg Gallery


Sarasota Opera

HD at the Opera House continues through August with the following presentations: Othello, Aug. 6, Swan Lake, August 13, Cavalleria Rusticana, Aug.20 and Faust, Aug. 27. All showings are on Sundays at 1:30 p.m. The Opera House changes itself in the summer into a venue for many other community arts programming events, featuring collaborative efforts with other Sarasota Arts organizations until La Traviata, by Giuseppe Verdi opens the Opera season on Nov. 3. Box Office at 941-328-1300.


Florida Studio Theatre

Theater stays strong through the summer with performances at Florida Studio Theatre. In Mainstage, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, through Aug. 6; Doublewide, Aug. 2-20. In the Court Cabaret, The Blue-Eyed Bettys, through Aug. 2 and Roar, The Music of the 1920’s and Beyond begins on Aug. 22. 941-366-9000.

FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training

Dog Days Theatre is the newest theatrical venture in Sarasota, presented in the Cook Theatre by the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Don’t miss “Double Indemnity” by James M. Cain, Aug. 10 through 27 with previews on Aug. 8 and 9. Catch some of the best plays ever written performed by future stars. These student productions are still my absolute favorite evenings of theatre all season, every season. Box office is 941-351-8000.

The Players Centre for Performing Arts (Players Theatre)

Summer Sizzlers! continues in August at The Players Centre for Performing Art. The Players New Play Festival, July 31-Aug. 4 and Mammoth Bones by Connie Schindewolf is playing Aug. 22-27. A special pre-season show, The Crucible will play Aug. 31-Sept. 10. Check out the Players Theatre Art Gallery in the lobby. 838 North Tamiami Trail Sarasota 34236. 941-365-2494,

Urbanite Theatre

Be sure to get your tickets for Pilgrims by Claire Kiechel, the last of summer series at the Urbanite Theatre. Performances run Aug. 4 to Sept. 10. 1487 Second Street. Box Office and information 941-321-1397.

Van Wezel

August is a little slow at The Van Wezel but try Jah Movement Reggae, on Friday, Aug. 25. Don’t forget Tony Bennett is coming back Sept. 8. 941- 953-3368. 

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

Shows resume in October but WBBT is in the midst of a fund-raising effort to renovate the theatre and add some amenities (like dressing rooms and restrooms for the cast) and educational space. 1646 10th Way. 941-366-1505.

Visual Arts

Art Center Sarasota

Enjoy a gallery of juried work from Florida residents titled “Florida’s Finest.” Exhibition, on view through Aug. 11. This is one of the best shows of the year at Art Center Sarasota. Don’t miss this one! 941-365-2032.

Art Uptown

Art Uptown features a new showing of art each month by its member artists. Monthly shows are also at Bird Key Yacht Club open to the public by invitation on opening nights. Enjoy Dog Days Juried Exhibit, July 29-Aug. 25, with an opening reception at the gallery on Main Street on Friday, Aug.4. You will have a great time at this show as well as enjoy some first class art. 1367 Main Street. 941-955-5409. 

Dabbert Gallery

The Dabbert Gallery Summer Showcase runs now through Sept. 30. This exhibit features 6 sculptors, a printmaker, 20 painters, 1 pastel artist and 1 photographer. Diverse award-winning group including 9 of Sarasota’s best. Make more than one visit to this gallery with diverse art offerings. This is a beautiful gallery with a wide variety of art work. 76 South Palm Avenue. 941-955-1315, .

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Selby is so much more than a botanical garden. Frequent art exhibits, theatrical presentations,

music and most of all, the breathtaking beauty of the gardens on the edge of the bay. Always beautiful and a not-to-be-forgotten art place in Sarasota. 941-366-5731.

Festival Alert!


Get your tickets now for the Ringling International Arts Festival (RIAF) Oct. 18-21. This festival of internationally-acclaimed musicians, actors and dancers sells out regularly.

Content subject to change, please call ahead before visiting for the latest information.