YPG and the Arts: The Sarasota Young Professionals Group (YPG) is an organization of 21 to 40-year-old professionals from Sarasota. Part of the YPG’s goals, under current YPG Board Chair Frank Maggio, has been to bring together young professionals and the multitude of arts offerings that are available in Sarasota. In the past two years, YPG has focused on arts offerings for its members from discount ticket packages to mixers held at cultural venues. YPG programs such as The Culture Collective provide young professionals with the opportunity to experience local arts events at a reasonable price and provide a more extensive audience for local artistic performances. The latest YPG and Sarasota arts collaboration is between YPG and the Ringling International Arts Festival (RIAF). Involving an multimedia art contest in Five Points Park, the event is appropriately named Art in the Park.
Art in the Park: Any local creative professional or hobbyist between the ages of 21 and 40 is invited to submit their work to the Art in the Park event. YPG hopes to see work from traditional young professionals who have a creative hobby as well as young professionals who make their creative passion their profession. Monologues, original acoustic music, paintings, sculpture and other creative pursuits are all welcome for entry. The event is geared to be a fun and inclusive showcase of local creativity. With Art in the Park’s loose guidelines for entering and judging, Maggio hopes to see work from creative locals who might not normally show their work, as well as creative professionals looking for a new venue. As one of the event’s 10 judges, Maggio says he’ll likely be looking for creativity and the story behind the work as part of his judging decision. The event is being held at Five Points Park during the same time as the Farmer’s Market. The timing and location, Maggio says, will make it easy for people to move between the event and the market and should generate a lot of traffic and publicity for the participating artists.
The Prizes: YPG always looks for good values for their members, and for Art in the Park they are providing a good value for all participants. The convenient location and timing of the event will showcase a lot of creativity in a single spot for the public to enjoy which, in turn, will provide a large audience for the artists displaying their work. Cash prizes will be distributed to the top three creative works with first place receiving $500. The top three creative works and five honorable mentions will all receive tickets to the RIAF Opening Night Gala.
Art in the Park will be held Saturday, September 22 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Selby Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota. To apply as an artist, fill out the application found on the YPG website.