The first time I ever heard of Harvey Milk, I was at a Radical Faerie commune in the middle of the Tennessee hills. One of the residents performed a 45 minute long one man show about the first gay politician. As Anne Kronenberg said, “he was a visionary. He imagined a righteous world inside his head and then he set about to create it for real, for all of us.”
Though I’m not running for public office, as a man creating a community space, I am rather inspired by people who have done it before me. Regardless of his sexual orientation, Harvey Milk was a man who helped direct the flow of our civilization toward greater tolerance and understanding before our insanities kicked in and ended his too-short life. I think that his victory in teaching us to participate in life and break down antiquated conventions should be celebrated with music, hugs, and community celebration.
Last year, I had Shannon Fortner, President of the Harvey Milk Festival, on as a guest of my short lived web series “Dare To Be Different.” I talked her into letting me install The Labyrinth of the Unbroken Path at the festival, but fell ill and wasn’t quite up to doing it. This year, it will be installed in conjunction with flow artists and aerial yoga.
I’ve gotten involved with the planning committee for this year’s Harvey Milk Festival, which will take place from May 16-18. We’re most of the way toward our financial goal, and have a Kickstarter campaign to help us make it the rest of the way. If you want to have a vibrant music festival at Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota, please invest in the cause.
This year, the Harvey Milk Festival will include an intertwined music, art, and film festival, starting out the three day celebration with a screening of I Am Divine at Burns Court Cinema and culminating in the gathering at Five Points Park. With the quality of bands submitting their applications to play at the festival, musically, itś going to be a transcendent experience. I look forward to seeing how Sarasota embraces live music downtime this time around.