Harvey Milk Festival receives $5K grant

By : Valentina Bore
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The Harvey Milk Festival is the recipient of a $5,000 grant, which will take a chunk out of the $40,000 required to put on the festival every year.

In its sixth year, the three-day festival honors Harvey Milk, his legacy, and awareness of any legislation important to the LGBT+ community, according to Shannon Fortner, Harvey Milk Festival founder and president.

The grant is from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, a public charity founded in 1979, in conjunction with the McCauley-Brown Fund.

“The festival is a $40,000 festival that we throw every year and it’s free [admission],” says Fortner. “We rely on donations, sponsorships, concession sales the day of the festival to help cover all the costs, and this year we had a big incident with rain for the first time out of six years, so we had a lag financially.”

A big amount of their finances come from donations specifically, which is why the Harvey Milk Festival is participating in the Giving Partner for the second year in a row. The Giving Partner is a 24-hour giving challenge through the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, taking place from noon on Sept. 1 until noon on Sept. 2.

“They have matching donations, like you get someone from 50 states to donate 50 dollars, you get a bonus of $1,000 dollars or something. So they do all these incentives,” said Fortner.

During the 24-hour giving challenge, there will be a donation link live at HarveyMilkFestival.org. Additional donations can be made via the website any time.

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