Bayfront Visioning Goes Social



A new social media campaign seeks to let residents envision the Sarasota Bayfront's future. Using the hashtag "#CanYouSeeIt", Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 will solicit input as part of an ogling visioning process over social media networks like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The media campaign, launched Friday, is just the most recent part of an information-gathering exercise for the organization to shape a cultural district in the area of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Municipal Auditorium and surrounding regional assets. Fifteen organizations, most recently the Sarasota Opera, have signed onto the effort. “There are so many organizations looking toward the future with a vested interest in how this initiative progresses that there is tremendous opportunity to work together and hear the voice of the community,” said Michael Klauber, chairman of the Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 coalition.

The social media effort encourages interested individuals to share their ideas for the Bayfront and to share pictures of public images shared from around the world. The effort will be carefully targeted on residents of the Greater Sarasota area, said spokeswoman Candice McElyea. On Facebook, where in less than two days the project garnered 600 likes, ads are specifically directed toward users who live within 50 miles of the city.

Of course, the effort is continuing with traditional public meetings as well, including public forums on Oct. 27, 6-7:30pm, and Oct. 28, 9-10:30am, at the Sarasota Garden Club. Organizers say information is being gathered through a multi-pronged approach so that all demographics of area residents are represented.

Organizations signed onto the effort at this point include the Coalition of City Neighborhoods Association, Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Visit Sarasota County, Rosemary Association, Sarasota Garden Club, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, North Trail Redevelopment Partnership, Sarasota Orchestra, Van Wezel Foundation, The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, The Players Theatre, Tahiti Park Neighborhood Association and most recently the Sarasota Opera.

“Like many of the other arts organizations, we are bursting at the seams and looking to grow over the next few years,” said Monica Slater Van Buskirk, president and CEO of the Van Wezel Foundation. “While none of us know the outcome this process will produce, we know we want to be part of it in a positive, forward-thinking way."

Sarasota Bayfront 20:20

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