About Harvey Milk Festival

Who we are and what we're about


The Harvey Milk Festival features a variety of attractions including live music, film, performing and visual artists, speakers, and vendors designed to engage a large and diverse audience. Harvey Milk Festival, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization and contributions are tax deductible.


Our Mission

The mission of the Harvey Milk Festival is to honor the life of Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay Americans elected to public office, by fostering emerging talent in musicians and artists who support diversity and reject discrimination, and to promote equality for LGBTQ people through supporting equal rights legislation.

Our Programs:

Mid-May Arts Festival- Art, Theatre/Dance, Music

Fall- Fabulous Independent Film Festival

Outreach- Youth Scholarship Program, Panel discussions, and more

Performance Art + other events throughout the year.

Board of Directors:

Shannon Fortner, President (shannon@harveymilkfestival.com)
Lea Kulas, Secretary
Andrew Ensign, Board of Director (andrew@harveymilkfestival.com)

We Are Harvey Milk

The Harvey Milk Festival is supported entirely by volunteers, sponsors, donations, advertising, and concessions. We are growing every day. Please get involved and become part of the movement.

Admission is free on Saturday. Donations are welcomed and greatly appreciated.


Supporting Each Other

The Harvey Milk Festival supports the mission of ALSO Out Youth to end all forms of violence, harassment and discrimination based on real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. ALSO Out Youth’s mission is to enhance self-esteem, promote healthy dialogue, and increase awareness of sexual minority issues. For more information, visit www.ALSOYouth.org .


HMF Team:

Shannon Fortner, Executive Director & Founder

Shannon has always felt a special connection with political icon Harvey Milk, who has inspired her activism in the human & civil rights movement, and driven her to use her passion in the arts as a catalyst for change in her hometown community of Sarasota. In 2009, Shannon organized The Equal Civil Rights Rally and began to fight for equality both on a state and federal level. One year later she founded The Harvey Milk Festival after California announced the declaration of Harvey Milk Day in April of 2010 to honor one of  our country’s first openly gay politicians. Shannon has built The Harvey Milk Festival from the ground up and continues to diligently expand the organization’s impact  and community involvement every year. As Creative Director and President, Shannon develops and manages, along with the HMF Board of Directors, every facet of the festival with grace and vigor.

Anthony Paull, PR/Public Relations

Anthony Paull is a writer/journalist/filmmaker from Sarasota, Florida. His debut novel ‘Outtakes of a Walking Mistake’ was an NPR finalist for Best Young Adult Novel Ever. He’s written for several LGBTQ and alternative press news sources and is currently working on his third novel.

Turner C. Moore, Site Coordinator

Bailey Bee, Merchandise Committee

Claire Franklin, Stage Manager

Kat Derr, Stage Manager Asst.

Elisha Cash, Volunteer Coordinator

Andrew Ensign, Merchandise Committee

Amanda Farrell, Web


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