A place for ideas. A place for the arts. A place for you.

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COMmunity FEEDBACK from
18,000+ people across our region

  • You want the new Performing Arts Center to be an iconic symbol for the pride of Sarasota 
  • You want a contemporary venue, built to be environmentally sustainable,  resilient, and designed to meet future sea rise
  • You want state-of-the-art patron amenities – including center aisles – and technological advances that enhance the audience experience
  • You want dynamic connectivity between the performing arts center and the blue and green spaces in the Bay Park
  • You want diverse, year-long programming, that is accessible and open to all 
  •  You want a place where Sarasota’s local performing arts and cultural organizations can invest in artistic exploration
  • You want to compete for first-run national Broadway tours, and internationally renowned artists
  • You want cultural opportunities for children, and their families 
0 %

agreed that the performing arts are important to the economic development and well-being of the Gulf Coast community, contributing to jobs, tourism, and retail operations.

0 %

would attend the Performing Arts Center more often if there were more programming options.

0 %

believe that it is important for communities to provide cultural learning opportunities for children and families.

0 %

say that the performing arts should be open and accessible to all people regardless of socioeconomic status, and it is important that underserved communities gain access to the performing arts.


The Sarasota Performing Arts Center will be a gateway to connect community and culture.


To fulfill this mission, the project will…

  • Nurture excellence in artists
  • Inspire wonder in audiences
  • Spark curiosity in learners
Venn Diagram


  • 200,000 sq. ft. venue

  • 2,200 seat main stage

  • flexible performance space 

  • Integrated education & lifelong learning programming

  • Multiple outdoor public performance spaces 

  • Parking & transportation options

Building a Mission-Based Civic Asset

Nestled along The Bay, the Sarasota Performing Arts Center will become an iconic, mission-based civic asset serving our entire region for generations to come.

A Place for Ideas

Expand educational programming to serve more students, teachers and families, and cultivate lifelong learning opportunities.

A Place for the Arts

Design a state-of-the-art performance center to recognize Sarasota as a first-choice destination for the most celebrated and acclaimed performers, artists, dancers and musicians.

A Place for You

Enhance the patron experience through contemporary facilities, advanced technology and universal accessibility to support a broad variety of performances and outdoor programming experiences.

Sarasota Performing Arts Center History

The Journey

From first conception to community approval, so much has been accomplished on our journey. Here is a glimpse into the milestone moments on the quest to bring the Sarasota Performing Arts Center to life.

As our history grows, so does the Foundation vision.

Bayfront 20:20 leads vision to reimagine Sarasota's bayfront
Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization formed
City commission approves master plan with new Sarasota Performing Arts Center
Global theater planning and engineering experts assembled
City and County approve tax-increment funding estimated at $100 million for master plan
Positive community feedback from 18,000+ respondents
City Commission approves vision for Sarasota Performing Arts Center
 $284,000 state appropriation for planning
Siting and resiliency study by Studio Gang completed
VW Foundation Board commits first $20M in private philanthropy
Launch fundraising capital campaign
City & Foundation begin to develop co-funding model
City commission unanimously votes to move forward with partnership agreement
Architect selection process begins


Sarasota Performing Arts Center Endorsers

The following organizations have signed a declaration of support to endorse the vision of Sarasota Performing Arts Center, to create a state-of-the-art performing arts center that will be a cultural icon, a civic asset, and a preeminent destination for the performing arts in the nation by offering extraordinary cultural and educational experiences that open a world of new possibilities for all.

Thank you for connecting culture and community, together.

Arts Advocates
Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County
The Bay Park Conservancy
Brain Health Initiative
Choral Artists of Sarasota
Community Foundation of Sarasota County
CreArte Latino
Downtown Sarasota Condominium Association
Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota
Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota
Education Foundation of Sarasota County
Embracing Our Differences
The Festival
Girls, Inc
The Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center
The Haven
Key Choral

Laurel Civic Association
Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce
Manatee County Schools
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Newtown Nation
Parenting Matters
Perlman Music Program
PLANit Sarasota
Resilient Retreat
Ring Sarasota
The Ringling
Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative
Urbanite Theatre
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe


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