Citizens’ Academy in City of Sarasota set for Jan. 24

With limited space for participants, interested persons encouraged to sign up as soon as possible

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City of Sarasota residents, property owners and business owners interested in learning more about their local government are encouraged to register and participate in the upcoming Citizens’ Academy, an interactive, eight-week educational course, the city has announced.

Most sessions will be held Thursday evenings, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., beginning Jan. 24, a news release says. Space is limited to 25 participants.

“The Citizens’ Academy shows participants how municipal government operates,” the release adds. The program provides “interesting, interactive learning sessions,” with a different city department featured each week, the release says. “Participants will get a chance to see how our Utilities Department treats and maintains healthy drinking water; visit the Robert L. Taylor Community Center and learn what it takes to operate city parks; step on stage at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and see how Broadway shows are brought to Sarasota; and get a hands-on demonstration of how the Sarasota Police Department protects our community,” the release points out.

“We are excited our Planning Department is once again able to offer this great course after a five-year hiatus,” said City Manager Tom Barwin in the release. “This is an excellent opportunity for our residents to become more engaged with their local government and experience all the ways the City of Sarasota is serving the community.”

The eight-week course is free, but participants are asked to commit to attending all eight sessions, the release notes. A graduation ceremony will be held during the March 18 City Commission meeting, the release says.

To view the full Citizens’ Academy schedule and complete an online application, visit