See Me Hear Me


The #SeeMeHearMe public art series showcased 23 Millennials and their ideas for our community’s future.

FOR TWO YEARS, THE PORTRAITS BELOW WERE DISPLAYED AT FOUR PROMINENT DOWNTOWN BRADENTON LOCATIONS:

Read Their Answers:

Click on the questions below to reveal the Millennials' answers.

Read The Complete Questionnaire:

Want to know everything the Millenials had to say? Check out the complete transcript.

see-me-hear-me.gif

tania.jpgTania Anaya

32, Probation Officer

What is your connection to Bradenton?

I have lived here since I was 12 when I moved from Puerto Rico. My family, friends, and career, keep me here. I stay because Bradenton is my home.

What is important to you when moving somewhere new?

Location, price, and close to family.

I felt the closest to my community when...

When I started working for the County, and being a part of M3, the Manatee Millennial Movement.

patrick.jpgPatrick Bedell

25, Facilities Manager

What is your connection to Bradenton?

I was born in New York, and my family moved to Sarasota in 2003. I moved to Bradenton to be closer to work in 2014. My job, the beach, friends and family keep me here.

What is important to you when moving somewhere new?

A job in my field, a short commute, and plenty of things to do after work.

What is your favorite place to take visitors?

The Riverwalk, Pier 22, Manatee Performing Arts Center, and the beaches.

richie.jpgRichie Brasil

27, Artist

What is your connection to Bradenton?

Bradenton is my home. I moved to Florida when I was 21 to pursue my dream of being an artist. My career keeps me here. I have built relationships that I am very proud of.

I felt the closest to my community when...

I feel like I am closest to my community right now.

I lose track of time when...

When I meditate.

annie.jpgAnnie Breitinger

29, Attorney

What is your connection to Bradenton?

I was offered a job at Blalock Walters after graduating law school, took the risk and moved here. My husband moved here sight unseen. We love the life we've made here. We have great friends and great jobs. Plus it’s paradise!

What is important to you when moving somewhere new?

(1) Bikeable, (2) Local brewery/restaurant scene, (3) Good schools

What is your favorite place to take visitors?

Robinson Preserve, Motorworks and Darwin’s, a ballgame at McKechknie Field, Bean Pointe, Sign of the Mermaid, Riverwalk.

nestor.jpgNestor Castañeda

27, Server/Student

What is your connection to Bradenton?

I was not born in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. I was born in Mexico and was brought over to the states by my parents at the age of three, and I have been here ever since. The weather, beaches, atmosphere, and the people are what keep me here. If I want to go to the beach, I go to the beach. I don't need a vacation for that, it's in my backyard.

I felt the closest to my community when...

I really enjoy the downtown area. I could be having lunch or dinner, or even a couple of cold ones at a bar with some friends. Festivals, events or even the farmers' market is a community I like to be a part of.

I lose track of time when...

When going to a Pirates games in March. I would do that every day if I could. The beautiful thing about the game of baseball is there is no time limit, and it's the game is not over until the last out.

amaris.jpgAmaris Castillo

28, Journalist

What is your connection to Bradenton?

A job at the Bradenton Herald brought me to this area. Before that, I was living in New York City. My job keeps me here. I love reporting in Manatee County and getting to know the people here, as well as learning about issues that are important to them.

What would be your perfect day in Bradenton?

A perfect day would be going to Anna Maria Island or Robinson Preserve and relaxing and truly enjoying the natural beauty Manatee County has to offer.

What is important to you when moving somewhere new?

I would like diversity in restaurants, cultural activities, and film festivals.

irving.jpgIrving Chavez

31, Bank Teller

What is your connection to Bradenton?

I moved to Bradenton in 1999 from Palmetto, my family moved to be closer to employment and better housing. Everything was closer. I graduated Manatee High School, and I have been in Manatee county since I was seven years old. I emigrated from Mexico and have since been a part of this community. Family, employment, and a sense of belonging keep me here.

I felt the closest to my community when...

When helping out at local events and giving back to the community.

What is important to you when moving somewhere new?

Cost of living, employment, and stability.

harumi.jpgHarumi Gunn

34, Stay-At-Home Mom

What is your connection to Bradenton?

We just moved to Parrish last September. My husband is in the U.S. Coast Guard, which brought us here and we hope to be here for at least another couple of years.

I felt the closest to my community when...

I actually feel most like part of the community here in Florida. We have lived in Alaska, Washington, Northern California, Philadelphia, Cape Cod, and now here. I have to say that Floridians have been the most welcoming.

What would be your perfect day in Bradenton?

We had a great day in Bradenton with another mom and her three kids. She introduced us to the Riverwalk where I brought my two kids and let them run crazy through the splash pad and all over the playground. They absolutely loved it, we have never been to anything like it.

cedric.jpgCedric Hameed

36, Teacher/Poet

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully in a nice house in Bradenton.

I lose track of time when...

Listening to live music, talking with good people and friends, and writing and performing poetry.

What is your favorite place to take visitors?

I love food, so restaurants and live-music venues.

wade.jpgWade Hamilton

35, Marketing

What is your connection to Bradenton?

Born and raised! What keeps me here? I believe that Bradenton has the potential to be a very cool place to live, and I want to help it reach that potential.

How do you typically commute?

Sometimes my car, other times my bike (some of which with my two year-old son in the bike trailer behind me).

What is your favorite place to take visitors?

Bradenton Riverwalk, Robinson Preserve, and the future home of Independent Jones.

ty.jpgTy Harris

34, Small Business Owner

What is your connection to Bradenton?

My car died here. I’m originally from Tennessee. I was passing through in 2002 when my Dodge Daytona gave out on Bradenton Beach. I got a job, found a place to live and decided to stay. What keeps me here? My family, my daughter (who’s eight years old), and my great friends who are like my adopted family.

I felt the closest to my community when...

When I'm at the Bradenton Farmers’ Market on Old Main Street every Saturday. There’s such a good cross-section of people. It’s different every week, but always diverse, if that makes sense.

What is important to you when moving somewhere new?

I’m staying in Bradenton! But in the future I would like to purchase my own place in a good neighborhood near my daughter’s school.

jordan.jpgJordan Hoopingarner

25, Marketing

I felt the closest to my community when...

Right now.

What would be your perfect day in Bradenton?

Sleep in, have breakfast, go to the Bradenton Farmers' Market, hang out with friends or family, and then go to an event around town in the evening.

What is important to you when moving somewhere new?

Walking distance to Downtown Bradenton, fixer upper, and things to do.

alex.jpgAlexander John

26, Attorney

What is your connection to Bradenton?

My family moved to this area before I started law school. When I finished law school, I moved down here to be closer to them. I stay down here because it's great to be close to my family and I have a good job in this area.

I felt the closest to my community when...

I grew up in Irvine, California, which was a very tight-knit and active community. There were lots of public parks, shopping plazas, malls, theme parks, and other fun activities. There was a lot to do, but at the same time, everything felt like it was close in proximity.

What is important to you when moving somewhere new?

1. Proximity to fun social spots in the area, 2. Safety, 3. Weather

cierra.jpgCierra Kelly

28, Student

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I am graduating in December 2016 with my Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Healthcare Administration from State College of Florida. Hopefully in five years I will be well-established in my job and we have purchased a home. We want to stay in Florida, we don’t want to leave.

I felt the closest to my community when...

On Saturday mornings. Every Saturday morning, me and my family meet up with members of our church in Pride Park. We prepare food and go door-to-door and pass it out. Seeing the people smile and thank us, even though there is sometimes a language barrier, makes me feel good. A smile is universal.

What is your favorite place to take visitors?

Ever since I tried it once, I have to take people to the Donut Experiment; I take everyone there, it’s just awesome!

rich.jpgRich Knowles

30, Restaurateur

What is your connection to Bradenton?

Born and raised, but my business, my family, and my friends keep me here.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Owning another restaurant (or two)!

How do you typically commute?

In a Chevrolet.

natalia.jpgNatalia Ovalles

32, Mechanical Engineer

What is your connection to Bradenton?

I came to Bradenton two years ago from Caracas, Venezuela, when my father passed away. My mother and her family are from Bradenton so I came to be closer to family. I also liked the challenge of validating my degree further by practicing my profession in a new place and learning a new language.

I lose track of time when...

When I'm reading. That and spending time with family, particularly going to my daughter’s ballet performances or having long talks with my mom and aunt.

What is important to you when moving somewhere new?

I would like to have my own house one day, in an area that is safe and close to everything.

amy.jpgAmy Phillips

31, Marketing

I felt the closest to my community when...

There would be two specific times when I felt most part of my community: One would be in my life growing up in church. I had a solid group of individuals that I allowed to influence me and as a result I felt very much a part of a community. However, I would say currently my involvement with my local community here in Bradenton makes me feel so connected to where I live, work, and play. Through the various organizations that I volunteer for I have multiple individuals that also share like-viewpoints and desire to make Manatee County the best it can be, and that in itself makes me feel part of community.

I lose track of time when...

Singing, reading, and spending time with my friends and family.

What do you like about where you live?

I LOVE where I live. I live off the Riverwalk in downtown Bradenton. I am able to take my little yorkie for walks and enjoy the Florida sunshine.

janel.jpgJanel Shinn

29, Registerd Nurse

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In the next five years I see myself expanding my family, further developing my nursing career, and going back to school for my Doctorate in Nursing.

I felt the closest to my community when...

Currently, I live in the Lakewood Ranch area and the sense of community is enhanced by its dedication to philanthropy. My friends and I started a Women's Giving Circle, and through this we have been able to give back to our community. When you contribute to your community is when you feel most part of the community.

What do you like about where you live?

I love the convenience of our area, everything you could ever want to do is within 20 minutes.

undine.jpgUndine Shorey

29, Musician

What is your connection to Bradenton?

I was born in London, England and raised in Bradenton. We moved here when I was a one-year old. My family and friends are what keep me here.

I felt the closest to my community when...

I feel connected with the community when I'm interacting with other artistic and creative people.

What would be your perfect day in Bradenton?

The perfect day for me would have to involve something creative, such as performing or attending a concert. I love live music, so any music venue in Bradenton or the Mosaic Amphitheatre on the Riverwalk would be nice, and afterwards, dinner with friends.

eleni.jpgEleni Sokos

27, Small Business Owner

What is your connection to Bradenton?

I was born and raised in Bradenton, so was my mother. My dad was born in Greece and came here as a teenager when his family opened their restaurant on Cortez Road. Our entire family lives here, and I love this community.

I felt the closest to my community when...

Honestly, at the Shuffleboard PopUps for a Purpose event.

How do you typically commute?

I try to bike as much as possible, but usually have to use a car.

ryan.jpgRyan Thomas

24, Computer Technician

What is your connection to Bradenton?

I have lived in Bradenton long enough to say that I’m from here. My family moved here, so naturally, I came with them. Being near my parents keeps me in this area.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years I plan to be a network administrator.

What would be your perfect day in Bradenton?

A perfect day in Bradenton would start in the morning and there would be no traffic on Manatee Avenue. It would be just my car on the road and I would arrive at work on time.

amanda.jpgAmanda Tullidge

27, Attorney

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I feel like I have achieved a lot of my goals by graduating law school, establishing myself in the Bradenton legal community, and getting married to my law school sweetheart, Daniel. In the next few years, we are excited to start our family and put down roots here in town.

What would be your perfect day in Bradenton?

One of my favorite days was when I got to show off Bradenton to my friends from law school. They came from all around Florida and out of state to stay at my house for our Christmas party. We celebrated by going out to Motorworks Brewery and watching the Gators in the SEC Championship with the rest of the Manatee County Gator Club. They loved the local brews, and playing cornhole and bocce ball in the beer garden.

How do you typically commute?

I have to drive everywhere. We live out in Lakewood Ranch, but I work in downtown Bradenton and my husband works in downtown Sarasota. Unfortunately, this means we each commute about an hour to an hour-and-a-half each day. I'd love if we could live closer to our work, but it's tough finding affordable and safe housing near the downtown areas.

phillip.jpgPhillip Waller

33, Police Officer

What is your connection to Bradenton?

I moved to Bradenton in 2003 when I was hired by the Bradenton Police Department. Before then, I came to town to go to the beaches. Work, family, and friends keep me here. After nearly thirteen years of being in the City and county, I've become attached to it.

What is your favorite place to take visitors?

Mainly the beaches and the Riverwalk.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I still see myself employed with the Bradenton Police Department. Over the years I've seen the impact that the City has had on different areas and citizens in a positive way and I would like to still be a part of that.

Read The Complete Questionnaire:

Want to know everything the Millenials had to say? Check out the complete transcript..

Longtable PopUp

Our Long Table event convened 43 Millennials to talk about downtown Bradenton: