Culture

Ringling Museum

Blessed with natural beauty, cosmopolitan amenities and Old World charm, Sarasota is an exceptional place to live and visit. Our lively cultural scene is a large reason why so many visitors return year after year to Sarasota, and why many eventually come here to live. No other similarly sized city can boast its own opera, theater and ballet companies, two symphonies, an acclaimed state museum, an award-winning circus, an internationally renowned botanical garden, a treas­ure trove of galleries and artist communities, and a host of cultural events and festivals that draw thousands every year. Sarasota’s well-deserved and sparkling reputation as the cultural gem of Florida is one with many facets.

THEATER

Sarasota County is home to an eclectic assortment of theater companies, offering a range of repertoires. The nationally acclaimed Asolo Theatre Company presents classics and new works in repertory. One of the nation’s premier small theaters, Florida Studio Theatre, offers contemporary American plays on its main stage and musical revues in its intimate cabaret theater. Two other exceptional small theaters call Sarasota home: Venice Little Theatre and Theatre Works. One of Sarasota’s most venerable theater institutions is The Players, a community theater featuring Broadway musicals, concerts and play readings throughout the year. The Golden Apple Dinner Theatre serves up Broadway musicals year-round. And two new theaters recently made their debuts here–the Banyan Theater Company, offering classic and contemporary drama during the summer months, and The West Coast Black Theater Troupe, featuring classics by contemporary African-American playwrights. The acclaimed Sarasota Ballet of Florida stages classic and contemporary works, and the landmark Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall presents world-class music, dance and Broadway touring productions year-round.

MUSIC

Our community comes alive with the sounds of music–from classical to blues to jazz, pop, rock and more. The celebrated Florida West Coast Symphony provides a range of orchestral and chamber music concerts, and hosts the illustrious Sarasota Music Festival each summer. The renowned Sarasota Opera pres­ents four operas each season and year-round concerts in the his­toric Sarasota Opera House. The Venice Symphony features full symphony orchestras and pop concerts. The Jazz Club of Sarasota offers over 100 performances a year and also presents the annual Sarasota Jazz Festival. The esteemed chamber music festival, La Musica, features outstanding musicians from around the world for five concerts each April. A host of musical ensembles, from chamber choruses to vocal groups, including Key Chorale, Sarasota’s symphonic chorus, Gloria Musicae, Symposium Singers, Florida Voices, among others, thrives in Sarasota.

THE VISUAL ARTS

Sarasota has a long tradition as a vibrant visual arts community. The landmark John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art presents major international exhibitions and houses the world’s most extensive collection of Baroque art. Art Center Sarasota is a community-based art center featuring exhibits, classes and workshops. The Towles Court Artists’ Colony is home to over 30 artists’ studios and galleries. Selby Gallery at Ringling School of Art and Design offers exhibitions of contemporary artists and designers. In addition, numerous artists’ advocacy groups flourish here.

FESTIVALS AND MORE

Our festivals run throughout the year, and include two award-winning film festivals, Cine-World Film Festival and the Sarasota Film Festival; the Sarasota County Arts Council’s acclaimed Arts Day; and a lively assortment of music and comedy festivals, arts and cultural showcases, and literary and theatrical events.

SARASOTA’S CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

CIRCUS ARTS
Circus Sarasota

DANCE
Sarasota Ballet of Florida

FILM
Sarasota Film Festival
Sarasota Film Society-Burns Court Cinema

MUSIC
Concerts at Ringling
Florida West Coast Symphony
Gloria Musicae
Gulf Coast Men’s Chorus
Jazz Club of Sarasota
Key Chorale
La Musica International Chamber Music Festival
Sarasota Concert Band
Sarasota Folk Club
Sarasota Jewish Chorale
Sarasota Pops Orchestra
Suncoast Chorale
The Venice Symphony

MUSEUMS
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Museum of Asian Art

NATURE, SCIENCE, HISTORY
Crowley Museum and Nature Center
G. WIZ-Gulfcoast Wonder & Imagination Zone
Historic Spanish Point
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Sarasota Jungle Gardens

OPERA
Opera For Animals
Sarasota Opera

PERFORMING ARTS HALLS
Van Vezel Performing Arts Hall

POETRY
Soulspeak

THEATER
Asolo Theatre Company
Banyan Theater Company
Florida Studio Theatre
Golden Apple Dinner Theatre
Lemon Bay Playhouse
The Players of Sarasota
Venice Little Theatre
Westcoast Black Theater Troupe

VISUAL ART
Arts and Culture Alliance
Art Center Sarasota
ARTarget
Bispham-Wilson Arts and Historic District
Englewood Art Center
Fine Arts Society of Sarasota
Longboat Key Center for the Arts
Selby Gallery at Ringling School of Art and Design
Sarasota Season of Sculpture
Towles Court Artist Colony
Venice Art Center
Women Contemporary Artists

This information about the arts was prepared by The Sarasota County Arts Council.

For more information about  Sarasota culture contact me at 941.376.2688, email me or use the short form below.

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