Arts and Entertainment

Ocala Pride Inc. leaders say Saturday’s return of Pride Fest is needed now more than ever

After two years of cancellations due to COVID-19, Ocala Pride Fest is back to celebrate LGBTQ culture with vendors, live music performances and an assortment of food. The Fest will take place at the downtown Ocala Square, 1 Northeast 1st Ave., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday The event organizers, Ocala Pride Inc., say that Pride Fest is needed now more than ever in light of the discourse around LGBTQ equality taking root in Florida and reverberating around the country. Coming after legislation like the Parental Rights in Education bill, or the “Don’t Say Gay” bill as its dubbed by critics, LGBTQ rights in Florida will take center stage in Ocala this weekend.

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National initiative turns to the arts in Gainesville to address youth gun violence

Gainesville and eight other U.S. cities have joined a national initiative called One Nation/One Project that uses the arts to improve community well-being. Each city selects an issue for the focus of the project. The Gainesville City Commission recognized youth gun violence as its local issue. The commission said it has allocated 2% – or $648,172 – of American Rescue Plan Act money to fund the project, which will address youth violence through arts and culture interventions.

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