Don’t Miss the 12th Annual “artsHOP” on Anna Maria Island-The Celebration Starts This Weekend!!

Don’t Miss the 12th Annual “artsHOP” on Anna Maria Island-The Celebration Starts This Weekend!!

Now in its 12th year, “artsHOP” is the premier event of Cultural Connections of AMI. This event which takes place every November – celebrates local, visual and musical arts as well as island culture and heritage. The 2018 event will take place over 2 weekends – November 2nd-4th and 9th-11th. You don’t want to miss all the fun as visitors and locals celebrate 3 art walks in 3 cities, live music, Symphony on the Sand, Island Players premier play “Baggage”, Coquina Beach Markets, Sand Sculpture contests, “Follow the Flock”, prize baskets, and much more. Many participating venues will be providing snacks and beverages. Ask about “Skimmer Sippers” that are being offered in each city on Anna Maria Island to create awareness for this year’s mascot – the Skimmer shorebird, on Nov. 2nd, 3rd & 9th.

This year Cultural Connections of AMI wanted to create awareness for beach shorebird conservation. As part of our commitment to this important cause, all art walks will feature opportunities to purchase “Follow the Flock” birds that were hand painted by local artists and residents. Carved wooden Skimmer birds were donated to “artsHOP” by AMI Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring (AMITW) and then creatively hand painted and decorated by locals and local artists. This “Follow the Flock” campaign will travel to all 3 cities and will be featured at a participating “artsHOP” venue. Visitors will have an opportunity to purchase these beautiful birds and all proceeds from the purchase will be donated to AMITW.

People come from all over to celebrate this event that is supported and sponsored by local businesses and the Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as live music provided in all 3 cities provided by The Ugly Grouper. Trifolds and passports will be provided in local shops prior to and during “artsHOP” to help guide people through the 2-weekend artistic event. In addition, there will be opportunities to purchase drawing tickets to win amazing prize baskets filled with donations from local businesses including 2 baskets featuring a weekend on Anna Maria Island – complete with accommodations, dining, recreational activities and gifts. We also have a fabulous Keeton’s Office & Art Supplies basket full of art supplies, baskets featuring local artwork from featured artists and more. All proceeds from our prize basket raffles will also benefit our island shorebirds and will be donated to Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring at a separate event in November.

Art demo from artsHOP 2017Details of “artsHOP” Double-Weekend Events:

Friday, November 2nd: City of Bradenton Beach art walk from 5:30-8pm. Travel to local stores along historic Bridge Street to see beautiful local artist productions including photography, painting, hand made jewelry, sculpture, live music and more.

Saturday, November 3rd: America Recycles Day at Sandblast brought to you by Keep Manatee Beautiful, starts at 9am and is an event that draws attention to our beautiful Anna Maria Island Beaches as local schools, students and artists create dramatic sand sculptures. Come early and start the day on the beach and then travel to the City of Anna Maria for the art-walk beginning at 1pm.

Saturday, November 3rd: City of Anna Maria art walk from 1-4pm. Visit many local shops, galleries and our very own Anna Maria Historic Society museum on historic Pine Avenue. Live music will be featured as you meet with local artists and shop owners to learn about the local artwork and heritage of AMI.

Sunday, November 4th: Coquina Beach Market on Coquina Beach from 10am-4pm featuring arts and crafts, live music and much more.

Friday, November 9th: City of Holmes Beach art walk from 5:30-8pm. Shops, galleries throughout Holmes Beach and Waterline Marina Resort will be featuring local art demonstrations, local art, live music and more. Basket ticket prize drawings will be held at the Ugly Grouper starting at 8:30pm.

Anna Maria Island's annual "Symphony on the Sand"Saturday, November 10th: Anna Maria Island’s annual “Symphony on the Sand” (from 4:30-7:30pm) brought to you by Anna Maria Island Community Chorus and Orchestra. Join them as they present their musical symphony on the beach with music provided by Anna Maria Island’s own 45-piece orchestra. This event also features fine dining on the beach prepared by local restaurants and chefs. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at

Sunday, November 11th: Coquina Beach Market on Coquina Beach continues.

Anna Maria Island's Island Players present "Baggage".November 8th-18th: Island Players of Anna Maria Island presents its theatrical production, “Baggage”. Information about this fabulous play, (as well as future Island Player’s productions), and how to acquire tickets can be found at

For more information on “artsHOP” and its sponsors including event details visit our Facebook page by clicking here or our website at . Our Facebook page will feature daily short videos of local shop owners, galleries and more leading up to and beyond this event as part of a SHOP LOCAL island campaign to support local business owners.

Cultural Connections of Anna Maria Island is a 501(c)3/non-profit, all volunteer organization, established in 2008. whose mission is “To advocate for and celebrate the arts, culture and heritage of Anna Maria Island for the benefit of residents and visitors.”

Cultural Connections would like to thank the following sponsors who have donated generously to help advertise this event: Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, The Ugly Grouper, Cannabis Training University, Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Personal Injury Attorneys, LaPensee Plumbing – Pools – Air, Three Island Monkeys, Sato Real Estate, AIB Advanced Insurance Brokerage, Mike Norman Realty, Anna Maria Oyster Bar, Keeton’s Office & Art Supply, Harrington House Beachfront Bed & Breakfast, Slim’s Place, Waterline Marina Resort & Beachclub, BridgeWalk, Egmont Key Adventures.

Photos Provided by: Kathy Storm – Photographer (the Skimmer photo) as well as Cultural Connections Board of Directors and volunteers.


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America Recycles Dan at Sandblast, art walk, Bridge Street, Coquina Beach Market, Cultural Connections of AMI, Deborah Wing, Island Players of Anna Maria Island, Keep Manatee Beautiful

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