"Cultural Connections' mission is to promote Anna Maria Island as a cultural destination."
Is Anna Maria Island a beautiful beach? Most definitely, but we are so much more. Come experience Anna Maria Island's great
art and cultural features on the Sun Coast of Florida. Anna Maria Island as an arts destination proudly supports more
than seven art galleries and studios, a nationally recognized historical society,
the County’s first live community theatre, a renowned orchestra and chorus, and a published writers' group.
Cultural Connections of Anna Maria Island established 2008, promotes, supports and acts as advocate for art and culture on the Island, providing guidance and
counsel to cultural related businesses and organizations. Cultural Connections' annual November event ArtsHOP,
celebrates the island arts and culture.
Held from Friday afternoon to Sunday sunset, the events include the Gallery Walks, with galleries, studios and businesses featuring local
artists and musicians, two special performances by the Island Players, the Butterfly Garden Arts and Crafts Festival, and the very
special performance of Symphony on the Sand by the Anna Maria Island Chorus & Orchestra. Click HERE for more information.
The Holmes Beach Art District will again feature its annual town-wide ArtWalks from 5:30-7:30 PM on the second Friday of the month from January through April. Participating art galleries and retail businesses include Island Gallery West, Artists’ Guild Gallery, Art League of Anna Maria Island, SteamDesign, Arts for the Earth, Fukinsei Art Lab, The Islander Sidebar Gallery, Restless Natives, Libby’s Jewelry, Island Tattoo and Beach Life. These locations will feature special exhibits, free refreshments, music and fun for all those who enjoy strolling through downtown Holmes Beach.
The Anna Maria Island Art League was founded in 1989 by a
group of artists and art lovers with a desire to bring art to
the island community. In June 1993, the Art League opened
the island's first art center at 5312 Holmes Boulevard,
Holmes Beach. The art center includes a large exhibit/
classroom, membership gallery/conference room, photo lab,
art library and picnic grounds. The Art League also offers a
broad range of classes at the center, and a scholarship
program for children and adults.
New exhibits are hung every month, starting in October.
Some exhibits feature members, faculty, students or regional
artists. Exhibit artwork is original and most is available for
sale by the artists. Opening receptions are on Friday, the first
evening of the exhibit, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; these events
are always open and free to the public.
The Island Art League's two annual juried fine art
festivals, Springfest (March) and Winterfest
(December), provide award-winning
artists to display and sell their work on Anna Maria
Island. Over 100 local, regional and national artists are
selected to participate in each of these highly regarded
shows. Both festivals
are held at Holmes Beach City Hall Park, located at 5801
Marina Drive and support the Anna Maria Island Art
League, a not-for-profit arts organization that offers diverse
arts programming to the island community and beyond.
See more at www.islandartleague.org.
The Studio at Gulf and Pine, offers an eclectic array of
exhibits, instructional classes, USF lectures and discussion
groups (by reservation only), and serves as a salon where
artists and art aficionados interact.
Operated by Rhea Chiles, former First Lady of Florida, The
Studio at Gulf and Pine is Anna Maria Island's premier
cultural facility. Equipped with a theater film projection room,
and spanning nearly 4,000 square feet, The Studio welcomes artists,
poets, musicians, performers and writers to exhibit their talents and
The Studio hosts fine art exhibits, drama workshops,
meetings, lectures, music and literary events and is available for catered events.
Also offered are classes, seminars and group discussions on topics as varied as art, science, politics and spirituality. The Studio sponsors
the Lifelong Learning Academy of the University of South Florida and hosts its Einstein Circle Discussion groups. The Studio is located at
10101 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, FL. For more information on exhibits, events and classes, please see our website at www.studioatgulfandpine.com
or call 941-778-1906.
Founded in 1992, the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus &
Orchestra (AMICCO) celebrates 20 years of bringing beautiful music to our community. Known informally as "the gem of the Island," AMICCO is unique in its
organizational structure, combining both a chorus and orchestra under one umbrella; a feature not commonly found among performing groups. Both orchestral and
choral works are offered at every performance.
Maestro Alfred Gershfeld has been Artistic Director and principal conductor since 1993. Because of this continuity of leadership, and the Maestro's outstanding
talent and reputation in the field of conducting, more and more professional artists are drawn to AMICCO, enhancing the high quality of performances and the size
of audiences. Equally significant, retired musicians residing in the community provide a valuable, additional source of continuity and excellence.
Concerts are given four times a year, November through March, and take place at the CrossPointe Fellowship Church, 8605 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria Island.
For more information, concert schedule and ticket sales see www.amicco.org.
Here you can experience a trip back in history. The Anna Maria Island Historical Society's [AMIHS]
beautifully restored complex interprets the Island's history through its museum.
Presently housed in the museum are rare, old photographs, maps, records from the early 1900s,
clippings from newspapers and videos of times past. Recently, a library was created where people can
peruse archival records as well as beautifully bound copies of the original "Islander" newspapers
dating from 1954 to 1990. Displays change frequently and encourage visitors old and new.
The complex includes the Island Historical Museum, the Old City Jail, Belle Haven Cottage and the Historical Park. The museum in the city’s old icehouse, circa1920, includes displays, artifacts and themed vignettes.
Browse in the gift shop for two volumes of Island history and other gifts. Visit the Old City Jail, circa 1926; Belle Haven, circa 1920; and stroll through the park
lush with native vegetation.
Admission is free; donations are welcome. AMIHS, 402 Pine Ave., Anna Maria, FL., 941-778-0492. For
more, see www.amihs.net
Anna Maria's Wellness & Behavior Center for Dogs, supported in part by Arts For The Earth is an Eco Friendly Positive Impact Art Gallery,
representing artists from all over America. The moment you visit, you feel the difference!
If art is an expression of emotions, add a little happiness to your life. Whether adding to your own collection, buying a gift or just
sitting & relaxing – you’ll find it in our ever-changing eclectic array of Eco Friendly Positive Impact Art. (Paintings, Photography, Ceramics,
Woodwork, Jewelry, Furniture, Garden Items and more!)
5345 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, 941-243-3818, www.ArtsForTheEarth.com, https://www.facebook.com/ArtsForTheEarth, www.DogsForTheEarth.com https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dogs-For-The-Earth
Two Art and Gift Shops on Anna Maria
Island feature over 85 Island Artists - perfect for that unique gift.
RESTLESS NATIVES ~ Holmes Beach
Unique Art & Gift Shop
Something New & Different Each Time You Visit!
Local Art by Local Artists.
5316 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach
BACK ALLEY - Bradenton Beach
Wild Treasures for Funky Souls
& a Delightful Café.
Back Alley is a great spot to chill out, offering a variety of drinks (best Espresso ever!) Beer, Wine and a Fab Food Menu!
108 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach
Back Alley Gifts
The Artists' Guild Gallery is a unique art gallery featuring the
work of local artists who are members of the Artists' Guild of
Anna Maria Island, the gallery host. These artists collectively
show, sell and run the non-profit gallery. One of these
artists will welcome you while you are shopping and be
happy to help answer any questions about art work or
Original paintings in a variety of media including watercolor,
oils, pastels, acrylic, photography, mixed media, pottery,
jewelry and wood carvings delight the eyes. In contrast,
other popular purchases when you are looking for that "right
piece of art, that special gift or vacation souvenir" may
include our artist's special cards, available only here, as well
as prints of local landscapes and landmarks and Florida's
unique flora and fauna.
The Artists' Guild Gallery has been a shopping destination on
the island for twenty years and is one of the first galleries on
the Island. During season, free monthly demonstrations by
a local artist are presented in a variety of media and topics.
Every second Friday during season, the public is invited to a
free reception to view the works of the featured artist from
5:30 - 7:30 PM. If you are interested in the social or
educational aspect of the Guild you may attend a monthly
meeting held the first Monday of the month all year.
In addition, the Guild, with over 100 members, supports arts
education with educational grants, scholarships and monthly
displays of high school students' artwork. Each year a
scholarship is given by the Guild to a graduating Manatee
County senior. The Guild funds these activities by donations
from members and visiting friends of the arts. The
education committee works with local schools in supporting
arts education and provides a field trip for a local elementary
grade to the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. These activities
help promote the organization's primary objective: "to
educate, promote and encourage artistic endeavors of its
members and the community."
The Artists Guild Gallery, 5414 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach,
FL 34217; Island Shopping Center; 941.778.6694;
Island Gallery West sells affordable, original, local fine art including oils, acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, photography,
ceramics, stained glass, jewelry, and basketry.
Thirty local artist members show their art and share staffing responsibilities, so a knowledgeable artist is available to assist you
Monday through Saturday, 10 am-5 pm.
Monthly public receptions are hosted throughout the season honoring the featured artist of the month. Free art demonstrations are
offered Saturday mornings during season.
Island Gallery West, 5368 Gulf Dr. (S & S Shopping Plaza, Trolley Stop 15), Holmes Beach, FL, 941-778-6648. Further information at www.islandgallerywest.com
and on Facebook.
Celebrating its 66st anniversary season in 2014-2015, Island
Players is the oldest community theater in Manatee County.
The playhouse, a building of great historical Island
significance, was originally the home of the William H. Gillett
family of Parrish and was floated down the Manatee River by
barge in the early 1900's to Anna Maria Island.
structure was first known as the Anna Maria Tourist Center;
which greeted day-trippers who came from Tampa and St.
Petersburg on excursion steamboats while heading west on
Pine Avenue to the Gulf of Mexico waters. In 1923 when
the City of Anna Maria incorporated, it soon became a
center of activity as all city business was conducted from
there. It also functioned as a community hall and was used
for social gatherings, club meetings, church services, a
schoolroom and eventually an Island community theater.
In the early 1970s the playhouse underwent major renovations. The
stage was raised, 137 seats were installed in seven tiered rows and it
was carpeted. The ticket sales operation moved
to the theater from volunteer's homes when a small booth
was constructed on the west side of the auditorium with a
swing-up window opening to the porch where customers
could purchase tickets. Preservation of the theater has been
maintained throughout the years by the Island Players. In
April of 2009, the Anna Maria Island Historical Society
awarded the theater with a preservation plaque of
distinction and thanked the Island Players for maintaining
such an important Island landmark.
Five live stage shows are presented each year, October
through May. Tickets can be purchased for individual plays
or for the whole season. The box office is open from 9 AM
until 1 PM during their season. For more information, please
visit our website: www.theislandplayers.org
While seated in our wonderful historic theater perusing
the program before the play begins, you might notice the
many people listed in connection with the production of
The nice person who took your reservation was an Off
Stage Lady. An Off Stage Lady showed you to your seat.
Off Stage Ladies worked on the costumes, in the makeup
room, painted the set, ran the light board or sound
system, found the props, and fed the hungry cast and
crew during the all-day rehearsal before the play opened.
Some helped put together the program.
If you're very lucky, some of the actresses on stage will
be Off Stage Ladies.
Off-Stage Ladies is an auxiliary group of the Island Players who meet monthly (second Wednesday of each month),
October thru May, 11:30 a.m. and guests and visitors are always welcome. If you love community theatre, and
like to meet interesting people, consider joining the Off-Stage Ladies and open the door to an exciting new adventure.
Call Nancy Ambrose at 941-518-4431 for how to join.
The Gulf Coast Writers was formed in
1993 by four women who met at a
writing class and resolved to form a
writers' association on the Island of Anna
Maria. They set as their primary purpose
the encouragement of sharing their writings
within the group.
The Gulf Coast Writers, a group whose purpose is to encourage both new and seasoned writers,
meets at 1:15 on the first Wednesday of each month at the Island Library. During season, they
sponsor guest speakers whose topics are of interest to writers. For information, please call 941-778-3209.
AMI ART LEAGUE
5312 Holmes Blvd, HB, FL, 941-778-2099
AMI CONCERT CHORUS & ORCHESTRA
CrossPointe Fellowship Church, AM, FL, 941-778-1880
AMI HISTORICAL SOCIETY
402 Pine Ave., AM, FL, 941-778-0492
ARTISTS' GUILD GALLERY
5414 Marina Drive, HB, FL, 941-778-6694
ARTS FOR THE EARTH
5345 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, 941-243-3818
GULF COAST WRITERS
Library, 5701 Marina Dr., HB, FL, 941-778-7631
ISLAND GALLERY WEST
5368 Gulf Dr., HB, FL, 941-778-6648
10009 Gulf Dr., AM, FL, 941-778-5755
OFF STAGE LADIES
10009 Gulf Dr., AM, FL, 941-761-7374
RESTLESS NATIVES AND BACK ALLEY
Holmes Beach 941.779.2624
Bradenton Beach 941.778.1800
THE STUDIO AT GULF AND PINE
10101 Gulf Dr., AM, FL, 941-778-1906
Sponsored by Cultural Connections
of Anna Maria Island