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Singer/songwriter Mindy Simmons will perform at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 2. Courtesy photo.
East County Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 4 years ago

East County to celebrate arts

by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Singer/songwriter Mindy Simmons started her musical career in the genre of rhythm and blues.

But her musical efforts shifted 22 years ago, when she moved to Florida. Since then, she’s been focusing on folk music.

On Feb. 2, artists and musicians, including Simmons, will converge to share their passion for the arts during Ovation: A Day for the Arts. The annual event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lakewood Ranch Main Street, will feature live dance, music and drama performances, art demonstrations and more, as area artists gather to bring the arts to the East County community.

“We want to educate the public (about what’s out there),” said Simmons, president of the Sarasota Folk Club. “Traditional folk music is alive and well, and it’s about storytelling and history. At the same time, acoustic musicians are writing new folk music all the time.”

Attendees will also be able to see everything from local high school drama and dance team performances, to shows by the Sarasota Opera, Manatee Players, Sarasota Cuban Ballet and others.

“It’s to give people an idea of the different cultural assets that are in this region,” said Rachel Gray, events, promotions and website coordinator for Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch. “It’s a draw for people who would potentially (live here), and it’s a way for them to see what they might be interested in.”

Gray said this year’s event has been expanded to include a third stage, because so many groups wanted to participate.

For more info, visit

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 2
Where: Lakewood Ranch Main Street
What: Enjoy live musical, dance and other performances, as well as art demonstrations and more.
Cost: Free

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