Each year the Chalk Festival works with volunteer's who step forward to be leaders, affectionately called Captains. Our organization will have about 70 Captains for the 2017 Festival. These Captains work to insure the festival’s success by taking on a large amount of responsibility for particular areas of the festival. They generally work all year round trying to improve their area of the festivities and as the festival nears they may work full time ensuring its success. We have a few openings for Captains 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 for more information.

Denise Kowal

Chair, Founder

Carol Caryl

Captain, Staff Care

Kenyon Kowal

Chair, Website & Branding

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 a major sponsor for 4 years, since 2011. Kenyon Kowal is a front-end developer, designer and musician living in Portland, Oregon. He works remotely for Sarasota company atLarge.Inc as an Interactive Designer & Front-End Developer making things with Drupal and WordPress. He like to do fun side projects in his spare time like creating the branding for the Chalk Festival and designing the website.

Austin Kowal

Chair, Screen Printing

Lori Escalera

Technical Consultant

David Taylor

Chair, Archive

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.

David has volunteered with the Chalk Festival since 2010. He was born in Ohio raised around the Cleveland area and went to schools in Brecksville Broadview Heights area. In 1969 he served with the military through 1970 and was in the invasion in Cambodia (Vietnam war). On his return home he moved to Sarasota in 1976 and began his life working with the postal service where he completed a tenure of 32 years. He joined the Sarasota Chalk Festival in 2011 and has been photographing and archiving the chalk festival ever since. Dave met and married his wife Linda, at the Chalk Festival. They reside in Bradenton. Dave has two step-children Laura and Jason and a daughter, Davina and four grandkids!

Glen Caristinos


Donna Champion


Sarah Codran

Captain, Sustenance

Harvey Davis

Captain, Sponsor

Kristin Ellison

Captain, Signage

Ray Ellison

Captain, Signage

Carol Felton

Captain, Accountability Support

Pam Garlock

Captain, Merchandise

Linda Gesek


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 Hanrahan

Captain, Social Media

Annette Heaney

Artist Lodging

Jeff Jamison

5K Fun Run

Jeff Jamison is passionate about Art and Wildlife.  Jeff worked in the film business as a member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild for 2 decades before relocating to Sarasota, FL in 2016.  Jeff's most exciting job before the movie business was working on Japanese fishing boats in the Bering Sea for the US Government protecting our natural resources.

Alanna Kirt

Food Vendors

Manuel Lopez

Captain, Pavement Music Festival

Fran Lowry

Captain of Volunteers

Fran Lowry came to Venice from Denver 9 years ago and never looked back.  She loved Denver for 43 years but Venice immediately felt so right for the future.  Fran works part-time as a Voice Specialist/Speech Pathologist for 7 Ear Nose & Throat doctors, providing voice therapy to teachers, preachers, singers, and actors, as well as everyday folks who have hoarseness and voice problems.  She also treats throat cancer patients, helping them learn to speak.  Interests include swimming, indoor plants growing outdoors, reading, and Scuba diving, as well as enjoying Venice, it’s beaches, it’s birds, it’s fish, the Jetty, it’s clouds, and the incredible sunsets. Denver friends who have visited Fran are now beginning to move down here!

Mike Pachota


Suzanne Pardo

Captain, Opening & Closing Party

Kathleen Provost

Captain, Beverage

Sandra Sanchez

Family Fun Zone

Greg Schwartz


Sue Schwartz

Farmer's Market

Dawn Smith

Captain, Survey

Sandra Vecchione

Captain, Beverage

Pat Waguespack

Captain of Captains

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, the first year it was located in Venice. In 2015 I took on the role of Co-Captain for the Volunteers as well as Airport Transportation Coordinator for the artists. This year I have taken on the role of Lead Captain, working with approximately 35 team Captains who each have responsibility for the volunteers on their team.

Ziao Ping Zhang

Captain, Chinese Artists

Doug Henry

Co-Captain, Accountability

Richard Carter


Ed Rudd

Chair, National and International Travel

Russ Bullis

Ticket Sales

Joan Lucyk

Captain 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.