Each year the Chalk Festival works with roughly 40 volunteers who step forward to be chairmen and chairwomen. These volunteers, many that have been with the organization since 2007, work to insure the festival’s success by taking on a large amount of responsibility for a specific aspect of the festival. They generally work all year round and as the festival nears they may work full time ensuring its success. We have a few openings for leaders, so if you love the cultural arts and have some management abilities or patience, time, passion and dedication, please reach out and see if there is a position you would enjoy. Contact participate@ChalkFestival.org for more information.
Denise KowalChair, Founder
Carol CarylCaptain, Staff Care
Kenyon KowalChair, Website & Branding
Denise Kowal Founded the Chalk Festival in 2007. For the past ten years she has dedicated over 1000 volunteer hours each year to ensure the festival's success. A staunch believer that we are all in this together, she garners over 2 million dollars a year of in-kind support and has kept the nonprofit 100% volunteer-run (including herself). She has created a chalk family and their collective love of the art form - artists, volunteers, donors and visitors - have together made the Chalk Festival the most important pavement event in the world. When not working on the festival, Denise runs a charming vacation rental service in Sarasota.
Carole is a founding board member with the Chalk Festival since incorporating as a 501c3 in 2010. She has been working on the Festival's success since 2009. She travels with her husband Doug each year to dedicate weeks onsite during the Festival to ensure its success. She is an multidisciplinary artist from Massachusetts, a mother of three girls and six grown grandchildren. She loves hiking and the outdoors.
Kenyon has volunteered with the Chalk Festival since 2007 and has been a major sponsor since 2011. Kenyon is a front-end developer, designer and musician living in St. Petersburg, Florida. He works remotely as a Front-End Developer for digital design agency Paper Tiger. He enjoys working on the Chalk Festival and other fun side-projects in his spare time.
Austin KowalChair, Screen Printing
Lori EscaleraTechnical Consultant
Carol FeltonCaptain, Accountability Support
Austin has volunteered with the Chalk Festival since 2007, co-chaired the Going Vertical for 4 years, since 2011, and a major sponsor for 6 years, since 2009. He is the founder and owner of Clothesline, a creative and printing business in Sarasota. He sponsored the 2014 Student T-Shirt Contest and provided live screen printing of 12 student designs during the festival.
The “Go to person” for technical questions of art materials, color mixing and mediums. Lori is an authority on art materials and their use for over 40 years. Lori has been a street painter since 1994 and was the initial consultant and featured artist for the inaugural Sarasota “Avenida de Colores” Chalk Festival in 2007. She participated as an artist every year since. She has been a featured artist working on Kurt Wenner's 2012 “Circus Parade” group project as well as the world record projects--2014 Guinness World Record for the Extinct and Endangered Species as well as 2015 Eat Drink and Be Merry theme.
Pam GarlockCaptain, Merchandise
Christine HanrahanCaptain, Social Media
Pam joined the Chalk Festival as a volunteer in 2014 where she co-captained the Entrance gate. Beginning in 2015 has co-captained Merchandise.
Pam feels volunteering at the festival has given her the opportunity to meeting fantastic people,see awesome artwork being created by such talented artist.and being a part of a wonderful, tremendous endeavor!
Hello everyone, My name is Linda Gesek and I am the Captain of the Storytellers/Docents for the 2016 Chalk Festival. I spent 34 years in a high school setting as both teacher and department supervisor. My husband of 48 years and I have two grown sons and 5 grandchildren - up north. I love to learn, to teach and to travel so the Chalk Festival addresses all of my passions! The artists amaze me, their drawings are truly incredible and I am committed to telling their stories. We truly can soar high and achieve great things - they are proof positive. Enjoy this wonderful festival and all the good things that it brings to Venice!
Christine (Chris) Hanrahan hails from Massachusetts but moved to Florida twenty-four years ago. Her passions are music, photography, videography, travelling, gardening and anything computer related. This is her fourth year volunteering for the Chalk Festival and finds the experience educational and rewarding. Starting out as a storyteller the first year she enjoyed meeting the artists and working with the volunteers. Currently, Chris contributes her social media expertise as well as her graphic/print talents to the festival.
Annette HeaneyArtist Lodging
Manuel LopezCaptain, Pavement Music Festival
Annette has been involved with Sarasota Chalk Festival since 2015.
I was drafted into organizing the accommodations for the artists while reporting for my first day of office duty😁 I live in Sarasota, am English by birth, and adopted the U.S.A 33 years ago. I LOVE the art, admire the artists....especially the older ones, I know what their knees and backs feel like.....and enjoy working with the other volunteers to make this fabulous festival a reality.
Manny Lopez hails from Key West, Florida and is a fourth generation ”Conch”. This is his fourth year with the Chalk Festival, serving as the Music Captain for three years. He is a disabled veteran and a current realtor. He has been a resident of Sarasota County for 14 years. He has an enormous passion for music and the arts
Suzanne PardoCaptain of Captains
Sue SchwartzFarmer's Market
Suzanne has been a volunteer for the Chalk Festival since 2012. From 2012-2016 she has been Captain of Special Events. Originally from Detroit, Michigan she has owned a home in Sarasota since 1979 and became a permanent resident in 2003. Suzanne is President/Owner of Final Tribute, Inc. She has volunteered for many organization in the community. The Chalk Festival has been the most rewarding. Being a part of an all volunteer organization and seeing how hard the volunteers and artists work to make this such a success is truly amazing. Most of all watching the Artist create their beautiful Evanescent pieces.
Greg has been associated with the Chalk Festival since 2014. He has been the Captain for the Entrance Ticket Sales and the Greeter volunteers since 2016.
I looking forward to our 10###sup/sup### Year anniversary celebration. This position allows me to interact with all the guests who will visit this wonderful event and to answer many Chalk Festival questions.
My wife and I have lived in Venice full time for nearly three years and are formerly from New York, where we were born and raised.
Originally from Cohoes, New York. I now live in Venice, Florida with my husband Greg and our Irish Terrier Kassie. I have been a volunteer for the since 2014. In 2016 I was Farmers Market Captain and worked with the Greeters. This year are greeters have been changed to Ambassadors.
I enjoy doing machine embroidery and helping animal organizations. This year I organized and embroidered all the captains T-shirts. Being a part of this festival I have had the opportunity to meet and work with many incredible and talented artists from all over the world
Sandra VecchioneCaptain, Beverage
Pat WaguespackCaptain of Captains
Doug HenryCo-Captain, Accountability
I joined the the Chalk Festival in 2014. I have been Captain of Beverages since 2015.
I am a retired teacher from New Jersey. I vacationed in Venice for over 30 years before moving to Venice in 2012. I am the proud mother of 2 children and has 6 wonderful grandchildren.
Sandy also volunteers at The Italian American Club of Venice and KVB (Keeping Venice Beautiful).
Hope to see you all at the Chalk Festival.
I have lived in Englewood for almost 20 years, having also resided in New Orleans, LA and Denver, CO. I am originally from Louisville, KY and, yes, I have been to the Kentucky Derby a few times! I became involved with the Chalk Festival in 2014 as an Office Assistant and Runner. In 2015 I took on the role of Co-Captain for the Volunteers as well as Airport Transportation Coordinator for the artists. In 2016 I took on the role of Lead Captain, working with approximately 35 team Captains who each have responsibility for the volunteers on their team.
Russ BullisTicket Sales
Joan LucykCaptain Artists Assistants/Runners
Russ is originally from Grand Rapids, MI, but Noblesville, IN has been his home for over 35 years. He has two children and three grandchildren.
He started coming to the Venice area in 1993 to visit friends, and purchased a condo here in 2010. Russ now spends 6 - 7 months in sunny Florida.
Russ started volunteering with the Chalk Festival in 2013 and really enjoys it.
My husband George, our two children and I moved to Wisconsin from Canada in the early 60's. We have been very involved with many volunteer activities. Youth and adult groups from Little League, Red Cross, Symphony Orchestra and Fairs often received our support. We moved to Maui in the 90’s, but after a few years we wanted to be back close to our family. Our grandson played on the USA Hockey team and I traveled to Europe to watch them bring back the gold. We are now in Venice with our three dogs enjoying the beaches and strolling downtown Venice. Kenna my Irish Wolfhound puts smiles on many faces.
Mary ConwayVendor Captain
Laura HesterCaptain of Volunteers
Kay Ann KropacFood Vendors
2017 is my first year volunteering and being a Captain. I took on the task of recruiting and organize all our Craft and Business Vendors.
Throughout my life I have always had an appreciation for the performing and visual arts. During my early life, dance spoke to my heart and led me to the stage. As a parent, it has been a delight to watch my children pursue their artistic abilities through a variety of mediums. For years as an educator, I understood the importance of tapping into children's inner creativity. Today, participating in the International Chalk Festival, gives me the opportunity to observe each artist's vision manifested in the form of magnificent sidewalk chalk art
I’m Laura Hester, the 2017 Volunteer Captain. This is my second year working with the Chalk Festival. Last year I dipped my toe in a variety of jobs over the course of the festival; Artist Runner, Office Staff, Food Prep, Beverage Ticket Sales, whatever. I don’t have an extensive artistic background but I do have a small studio separate from my house where I can do whatever I like which is primarily mosaics. I work with stained glass, painted paper, rocks, shells, buttons, hardware, and my favorite or what I call “crash glass”. This is tempered safety glass that has shattered. Ask me about my shower door next time you see me. And I have a couple of snowbird friends that, during the season, meet at each other’s houses every Monday to do art in some form or other.
This year I don’t know what I was thinking!!!! What a job! I started keeping track of my hours in August although we had already started getting organized before that. Cold calling is not a favorite thing of mine to do but that’s what our office volunteers and I do to get folks to help us. So far, we’ve done a pretty good job.
I’m really looking forward to this special 10###sup/sup### year at the festival. I think it will be totally wicked!
Cheryl RenshawCaptain, Survey
Tonya YoungbergCaptain, Artist Liaison
Cheryl Renshaw is a Landscape Design Professional and 3D Chalk Artist from Santa Clara, California. Cheryl, together with her husband Wayne Renshaw apply their technical, design, and CAD skills to surveying, organizing and laying out the of the artist’s work areas. 2017 will be Cheryl’s seventh year at the Chalk Festival.
"Janet Tombros in addition to participating in the Chalk Festival since 2010, has been assisting as an artists liason the past several years.
This year, she is pulling together the 10 Year Museum to illustrate the hard work and devotion contributed by everyone involved."
Holly AdamsArtist Supply
Lynn HollandChair, Archive
Wayne RenshawCaptain, Survey
Originally from the Midwest, lives in Jacksonville FL and has been volunteering with the Chalk festival since 2013. Has helped with special events and is volunteering as Captain of artist supplies this year. Enjoys all types of art expression produced by talented artists at these festivals.
I live in Napoleon Michigan. 2017 is my first volunteering for the Chalk Festival.
Photography is my passion. I have had a camera in hand since I was a teenager and love capturing images and making time stand still. I have recently retired from the University of Michigan and I'm grateful and honored to have been asked to participate in this years festival.
Wayne Renshaw is an Architect and 3D Chalk Artist from Santa Clara, California. Wayne, together with his wife Cheryl Renshaw apply their technical, design, and CAD skills to surveying, organizing and laying out the of the artist’s work areas. 2017 will be Wayne’s seventh year at the Chalk Festival.
Cass WomackTechnology AR
Ann GouldCaptain, Merchandise
I currently live Tampa,but originally Philadelphia. I have been an Artist and volunteer since 2014. This year I a helping with Transporting Artists from Airport to Site and once on site help artists run errands personal needs, things like that. Also this year I am Co-Captain on the Museum project.
Joined the Chalk Festival as a volunteer in 2014 where I co-captained the Entrance gate. Beginning in 2015 co-captained Merchandise.
Volunteering at the festival meeting fantastic people,seeing awesome artwork being created by such talented artist.and giving our time to a wonderful, tremendous endeavor!
Julie is originally from Hamilton, Ohio, but has lived in Venice, Florida for over 45 years. Julie has worked with the Chalk Festival since 2014. She has been a dedicated volunteer. In 2017 she became part of the Captain team. Being part of the team and working with the volunteers and talented artist's has been an amazing experience.
Bridget LyonsArtist Fundraising
Alice MazzoliniYoung & Young at Heart
Bridget "BK" Lyons is a Florida Artist who focuses on colors and contrast in her paintings. That love of color has become a staple in her choices for street painting, although, in the recent past, she has pushed her range and begun to explore black and white images. Over the years, she has moved on from flat, bright images to develop her passion for colors and just how far she can push the limits. Her style continues to evolve in street painting, by her mixed use of carefully selected reproductions and inspired original pieces. Aside from street painting, BK also enjoys photography and painting in acrylics
Alice is originally from Massachusetts, but has been living in Sarasota for 45 years. Alice works with the Sarasota Public Schools. This is her first as a captain and we couldn't be happier, as she is a dedicated volunteer. Alice has volunteered with the festival for many years both in Sarasota and Venice. What I enjoy the most is meeting and working with all the talented artists from around the world.
San Dee PhillipsCaptain, Sustenance
Emer KellyCaptain, Marketing Design
I have lived in Venice for 4 years, after working 20 years in publishing in Indianapolis, IN, and owning a cheese shop in Steamboat Springs, CO. I currently own Apostrophe Editing Services
.I joined the chalk festival as captain for food preparation for the artists in 2016. This year I have worked very hard at getting 30 restaurants,to provide in-kind donations in food to help feed the artists.
I currently work as a realtor for RE/MAX Platinum Reality. I have been in real estate for 21+ years, Volunteering in the community, for incredible events such as the Annual Chalk Festival is a small way of "paying it forward".
2017 is my first volunteering and I helped to bring for the first time a Hot Air Balloon for the festival. My job is to work to bring on sponsor's for the festival. I look forward to continuing with this effort in 2018'
Luci GroverArtist Social
2017 is my first year volunteering for the Chalk Festival. I just recently move to the Venice community in June of 2017. In the past I have volunteered in the communities I have lived in and when I learned about the need for volunteers for the Chalk Festival I naturally wanted to be part of this wonderful event.
Luci hails from Connecticut and resides in Venice for seven months of the year. She is a retired Biology and Forensic Science Teacher. Currently she is a mentor at Venice High School, a volunteer at VPAC and a painter for the Venice Little Theater. Lucy became a Chalk Festival volunteer in 2014 as a Story Teller and with Events. This is her first year as Social Artist Captain. Luci really enjoys meeting and working with the many talented artists/people from all walks of life.