Flower Power To Promote Downtown Bradenton

Downtown Bradenton is groovy. And it's going psychedelic to prove it.

From March 5 to April 16, downtown Bradenton will celebrate the '60s through art, fashion, literature and music during its SHOUT the 60s event.

"The 14 events offer something for everyone," says Johnette Isham, executive director of Realize Bradenton, the organization sponsoring the event. "Fashion, films, food, music, politics, performances, baseball, and demonstrations."

Isham says the idea for the '60s event was spurred by a performance taking place at the Manatee Players.

"About six months ago, we decided to expand upon the production that Manatee Players was doing called Shout!, about a girls' group in the '60s. The idea came out of the monthly meetings of our Cultural Partners Work Group."

Isham further explains that, like the spirit of the '60s, the event is all about collaboration.

"One of our key core values is collaboration, explains Isham. "The 60s promo grows out of and depends on our collaborative action. Whereas other groups say they are interested in collaboration, we 'walk the talk.' "

Partners for the event include ArtCenter Manatee, DeSoto Historical Society, Manatee County Cultural Alliance, the Manatee County Historical Commission, the Manatee Players, the Pittsburgh Pirates, South Florida Museum and the Village of the Arts.

Isham points out that while the event is fun, there is a serious component, too. On March 19 the Rowlett Magnet School's drama department will present a performance of Healing the Hurt that chronicles veterans' experiences of and healing from the Vietnam War. Flash Back, Flash Forward on April 4 will explore the role of government and conservative and liberal values at the Institute for Public Policy on the the USF campus.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Johnette Isham, Realize Bradenton

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