The Harvey Milk Festival after serving our community for 12 years, is now known as the Fabulous Arts Foundation. Featuring a variety of attractions including live music, film, performing and visual artists, speakers, and vendors designed to engage a large and diverse audience. We are also growing to include more education and outreach initiatives to better engage local and regional communities. With our Diversity & Inclusion training and amplifying voices series we hope to truly have a diverse and inclusive community.
Fabulous Arts Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization and contributions are tax deductible.
Fabulous Arts Foundation fosters the arts as a catalyst for social and political change, while amplifying LGBTQ+ people.
We promote equality for LGBTQ+ people by fostering emerging artistic talent and supporting equal rights legislation. Creating safe spaces within our community, as well as a platform for our community to be heard.
Founder and Executive Director Shannon Fortner created the original concept for the Harvey Milk Festival in 2010 shortly after the announcement of Harvey Milk Day in California. Attending the 2009 Equality March inspired Fortner to merge her music career with activism. Fortner debuted the first annual Harvey Milk Festival in Sarasota, Florida later, drawing a crowd of over 1,200 people. The first Harvey Milk Festival was primarily a music and arts event. Each year, the Harvey Milk Festival has grown as an organization, obtaining a 501(c)(3) non-profit status in 2012. That year, HMF partnered with the Fabulous Independent Film Festival and eventually adopted it as Sarasota’s only LGBTQ+ film festival in 2016.
The HMF Youth Outreach Program began in 2014 with the launch of our youth scholarship program. The HMF Youth Outreach program offers youth the opportunity to get more involved with the organization through internship positions in graphic design, videography, community outreach, and nonprofit development.
Today, FabAF draws a crowd of nearly 7,000+ from across the country. Harvey Milk Festival recently celebrated 11 years of promoting equality through the arts. HMF successfully held its 11th Virtual annual event in May 2020, consisting of 5 days of emerging artists in advocacy, art, theatre, dance and music to honor our Queer+, Trans, and allies by holding space and giving a platform to share while amplify their voices.
FabAF programming empowers others to use their voices and contribute to the community as a whole. The festival allows us to share and honor the contributions of our LGBTQ+ pioneers.
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