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Florida Travel Tips: Village of the Arts in Bradenton, Florida

Written By: Tonya - Apr• 27•13
Village of the Arts House

I love discovering new areas around places I am familiar with. It always amazes me how it is possible to find hidden gems in our local surroundings we thought we knew every corner of.  Last week when I was back in my hometown of Bradenton, Florida I found one of these great hidden spots (hidden to me at least!) and was totally surprised at what I found. An Artsy little village, filled with small galleries and cafes…Village of the Arts.

My hometown, lovingly called Braden-tucky by quite a few of it’s locals, isn’t exactly known for it’s arty-ness. People usually associate cafes, art, and cute little downtown areas with our so called upper class neighbor to the South, Sarasota. I am proud to say Bradenton is making big efforts to make the city more appealing to younger and creative folks and with it’s program “Realize Bradenton” you really get a sense that things are changing for the better in this area. (Take that Sarasota) ;)

Village of the Arts Bradenton

Back to the subject though, The Village of the Arts isn’t exactly new to the area though. The area has been around now for 15 years and is currently Florida’s  largest art community. The brightly colored, 1920’s and 1930’s homes make up the area’s adorable cafes, galleries, and healing centers. The galleries are not always open, but if you really want to be sure to catch all the action make sure and visit the area on the first Friday evening and Saturday of the month when they have the Village Art Walk. There is live music, great food, and tons of art to browse through.

Village of the Arts Florida

Unfortunately we missed out on the chance to go this month but we were able to chat with one of the local artists who invited us into her home to tell us about the area. In fact we met a few people while walking around, all of which were extremely friendly and very open to telling us about their little piece of paradise.

Village of the Arts Yoga

I am looking forward to getting back there soon and enjoying an evening Artwalk in the Village. With it’s colorful houses and friendly vibes, it’s hard not to love this charming little piece of Bradenton!

A couple more of my favorite Florida spots:

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  1. Annie Russini says:

    As founding Executive Director of the Village of The Arts (Artists Guild of Manatee, Inc. 501 c-3) I remember well the initial stages of creating this unique place in paradise. We have just begun OUR 15th YEAR this April 2013. There were just a handful of us artist / activists at the time, so it’s understandable that folks have no idea how long we’ve been committed to this project. We continue our work with the addition of many new friends, artists, and activists. With 220 properties, we still have a long way to go, and we’re always happy to be “discovered” by new folks. Thanks for the write-up!

    • Tonya says:

      Hi Annie!
      Thanks so much for stopping by :) Wow, 15 years! I will definitely fix that! Love the area and happy you and everyone are making Bradenton more creative!

  2. Annie Russini says:

    It’s been a great joy!

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