On April 4, 2022, we met a historic milestone when the Sarasota City Commission approved a partnership agreement with the Van Wezel Foundation for the planning, financing, design and construction of the new Sarasota Performing Arts Center at the heart of the Bay Park master plan.

Our goal is to keep you, our stakeholders, and supporters informed of the facts and to answer your questions with full transparency.

I am pleased to share a recent front-page article from the Herald Tribune, “Van Wezel leaders answer your questions about the new Sarasota Performing Arts Center project.”

Mary Bensel, the Executive Director of the Van Wezel Hall, and I were interviewed to set the record straight on inaccuracies and misinformation about the planning for the new Sarasota Performing Arts Center and the current Van Wezel Hall.

Read the article which provides fact-based answers to community questions.

Don’t have a subscription to the
Herald Tribune? Read a PDF version here.

The Foundation has assembled a team of global theater experts to bring the new performing arts center to life. The Architectural selection planning is underway and we look forward to ongoing community engagement and feedback throughout the process.

Additionally, as a public-private investment, funding is one of our top priorities. We are grateful for the early philanthropic commitments totaling over $20 million from community members who believe deeply in this vision to build a world-class performing arts center—a place for ideas, a place for the arts, a place for you.

Also, we appreciate the State of Florida appropriations of $1.2 million to help launch project planning. This allocation of funds is an endorsement that a new performing arts center will have a significant economic impact on the region.

Join us in realizing the promise of a preeminent performing arts center dedicated to extraordinary cultural and educational experiences that enrich the community, support arts education and inspire young minds.

The time is now to get involved as a community ambassador and supporter.