SPAC Van Wezel Foundation The Future Is Now Logo

Sarasota Performing arts center (spac)

After six years of planning and collaboration with our civic and public partners, the city of Sarasota approved a master plan initiative. Throughout this process, there was one vision that remained steadfast — the need to build a new state-of-the-art performing arts center.

Sarasota’s new performing arts center will be a place for ideas, a place for the arts, a place for you.

Click here to see our recent update given at the City Commission meeting on
December 2, 2019

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.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to attend events for updates on the status of the performing arts center and to let your voice be heard. Use #SarasotaSPAC to share, tag and comment.

The Sarasota Performing Arts Center will provide a plethora of new opportunities to better serve our community, including:

  • A larger, 2,250-seat venue to become more competitive and attract larger touring productions
  • A robust education center, expanding programs with a focus on Sarasota youth and life-long learners
  • State-of-the-art systems for an enhanced theatre experience
  • Improved acoustics and performance technology, allowing for more sophisticated productions
  • New event spaces to better support venue activity and provide greater rental opportunities
  • A multi-venue facility taking better advantage of The Bay views, outdoor space, and other amenities
  • A facility that would stand as an iconic structure on The Bay for generations to come

Creating Impact and Support

“It’s what draws the impact and the infrastructure to help us support our specialty areas like ballet, opera, and theatre. It’s an integral part of the whole community.”

– Jim Shirley
Arts & Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County

Expanding Education

“What if every child in the region has the opportunity to visit the new performing arts center, the added educational experiences, and the performances.”

– Brigid Kolworth,
Early Childhood Learning Specialist

A Community that Believes in the Arts

“A new performing arts center has to be at the forefront of what we want to do to accomplish our community goals.”

– Cedric Hameed, Arts Coordinator
Visible Men Academy

World-Class Performing Arts Centers

“If we’re going to get the community to the same level of recognition in the past for its cultural offerings, it has to have a world-class performing arts center.”

– Darrell Ayers, former VP for Education
John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts

Providing Access

“This is a place children can come express themselves, demonstrate their skills, and connect and engage with the arts.”

– Faith Nawara
Early Learning Professional

Arts Education for Every Child

“The arts have an experiential nature, a hands-on learning, which is the key that unlocks passageways for learning students.”

– Nancy Roucher
Chair, Arts & Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County

An Enriched Cultural Opportunity

“The transformation of our Bayfront really preserves the essence of Sarasota, where culture and natural beauty were important”

– Michael Saunders
Michael Saunders & Company

“Through forward-thinking partnerships and a passionate commitment to respond to the needs of our community, now is the time to move forward and fulfill the master plan’s promise.”

– Cheryl Mendelson
CEO Van Wezel Foundation

“The Foundation is committed to helping the community realize its vision for a venue that attracts the most celebrated and acclaimed performers, enhances the patron experience, expands educational programming, creates jobs and adds economic value to the entire region.”

– Jim Travers
Chairman of Van Wezel Foundation Board of Directors