Art events in Sarasota County: September

Get a taste of the cultural activities that Sarasota County offers. Enjoy our September 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

Palm Avenue District, Sarasota

First Friday Art Walk is 6-9 p.m. Sept. 1 (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 Sarasota tradition every month.

The Historic Downtown Village of Sarasota

Celebrate the end of September in the Historic Downtown Village of Sarasota with “Fourth Friday at the Downtown Village” 5 to 9 p.m., Sept. 22. 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.  September’s walk is Friday the 15th.  All the galleries are open in this truly festive atmosphere every month. Artists are often on hand to chat, lots of items to check out and purchase as well.


Sarasota Contemporary Dance

Subscriptions are now on sale for their four performance season in its 12th year. All performances in the Jane B. Cook Theater at the FSU Center for The Performing Arts


Sarasota Ballet

Explore the Sarasota Ballet’s The Secret Garden on Oct, 27-29. They are performing at the Guggenheim Museum on Nov. 19. More about that later. Get your subscriptions now for the full seven program season. 941 359-0099, [email protected].

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 [email protected] 


The Ringling

Stroll through the exhibits at The Ringling: “Eternal Offerings: Chinese Ritual Bronzes” from the Minneapolis Institute of Art; Circle of Animals, bronze heads by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei; “Skyway: A Contemporary Collaboration” open through Oct. 15;  and “Posed:  Portrait Photography” from the Permanent Collection through Oct. 29. 941-360-7399.



The Sarasota Orchestra

The Sarasota Orchestra season opens with the first Chamber Soiree, Tango Time, which features the Sarasota Brass Quintet. Concert is Thursday, Sept. 28 at 5:30 p.m. at Holley Hall. The Sarasota Orchestra Gallery opens Sept. 5, featuring artist Laura C. Baran. The reception will be Oct. 18 and the exhibit continues through Oct. 31. All receptions take place at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center from 5-6:30 p.m. Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m., Monday through Friday and whenever the building is open to the public. 941-953-3434

Sarasota Opera

The Sarasota Opera House transforms in the summer and off-season 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, catch Doublewide, which opened on Aug. 2 and will run through September. In the Court Cabaret, Roar, The Music of the 1920’s and Beyond began on Aug. 22 and runs well into September, the more demand, the longer it will run. 941-366-9000.

FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training

Starting soon, catch some of the best plays ever written performed by future stars, at FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. These student productions are still my absolute favorite evenings of theatre all season, every season. There will be more Shakespeare at Selby this season. Box office is 941-351-8000.

The Players Centre for Performing Arts (Players Theatre)

A special pre-season show, The Crucible will play through Sept. 10. The Tony Award winning musical, The Will Rogers Follies, will run Sept. 28 – Oct. 15.   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 Urbanite Theatre. Performances run through Sept. 10. 1487 Second Street. Box Office and information 941-321-1397,

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Don’t forget! Tony Bennett is coming back Sept. 8. The show starts at 8 p.m. His last trip through was on a Valentine’s Day I was there and got to meet him backstage. He was incredible. The voice is still like butter and the personality is genuine charm! Don’t miss the opportunity to see and hear a legend in person at The Van Wezel.  Friday Fest on Sept. 15 features Reverend Barry and the Funktastic Soul. 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

Four new exhibitions, all which will have their reception on Aug. 31, 5-7 p.m. include the following: Line, Form & Color, an open, all-media, peer-juried exhibit from Aug. 24-Sept. 29; Thin Spaces, featuring large-scale silverpoint drawings on objects by Carol Prusa, Aug. 31-Oct. 6; World Without Men, by Lowell Gilbertson featuring familiar biblical stories with a cast of all female characters; Every Subject a New Obsession-The Avid Lens of Giovanni Lunardi, featuring black and white photographs.

Art Center Sarasota presents the second annual “iconcept jr”, an unconventional fashion show on Sunday, September 24 at the Art Center, Noon to 2 p.m. This event features a runway fashion show of outfits and accessories created from unconventional materials by artists and designers, ages 8-16. For tickets to this event only, visit or call the number listed below for information and prices which include a buffet lunch. 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 also at Bird Key Yacht Club, 301 Bird Key Dr., are open to the public by invitation on opening nights. Cloud’s Illusions by Evelyn McCorristin Peters opens at Bird Key Yacht Club on September 6, on display through October 2. The opening reception will be Thursday, September 7, at 6 p.m.  Art Center address is 1367 Main Street.  941-955-5409. 

Dabbert Gallery

The Dabbert Gallery Summer Showcase runs through Sept. 30.  “Transitions” opens September 1 and will run through September 30.  Opening reception with artists is September 1, 6 to 9 p.m. The title is appropriate because the Gallery is moving to its new space at 46 S. Palm Avenue on October 1. Visit this current, beautiful gallery with a wide variety of art work. The new gallery is even more spacious and closer to Main Street.76 South Palm Avenue until October 1.


The Galleries of Ringling College of Art+Design

The paintings of Jeffery A. Cornwell will be on display in the Patricia Thompson Gallery at Ringling College until Sept. 22. 941-359-7563, [email protected]

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. This event is a must-see for Sarasota and visitors come from all over the world for this festival.  Learn more here.

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