The Arts and Cultural Alliance Celebrates Local Arts Leaders at Celebration of the Arts

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The Arts and Cultural Alliance Celebrates Local Arts Leaders at Celebration of the Arts

Sarasota, FL – The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County (the Alliance) held its annual Celebration of the Arts event on Monday, October 24, 2016 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Hosted by Alliance Executive Director, Jim Shirley, the evening brought the community together to recognize grant recipients and leading advocates for arts and culture. Guests were also treated to special performances by Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, The Sarasota Cuban Ballet, and Sarasota Contemporary Dance. Following the on-stage ceremony, a complimentary wine and dessert reception was held in the grand foyer.

The Alliance presented the Arts Leadership Awards to the following: Arts in Healthcare – Venice Theatre; Volunteer – Edward Alley; Nancy Roucher Arts Education Award – Karen Bell and Robin Eurich, The Circus Arts Conservatory; Arts Management – Michelle Pingel, The Players Centre for Performing Arts; Philanthropy – Ernest Kretzmer; Artistic Achievement – Lee Dougherty Ross; and Cultural Champion – Victor DeRenzi, Sarasota Opera.

The Alliance recognized the winners of the State of the Arts Opportunity Grants: Diversity: The Voices of Sarasota; The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota; FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training; Hermitage Artist Retreat; North Port Chorale; North Port Concert Band; Venice Musicale; Urbanite Theatre; Peace Education and Action Center; and Venice Chorale. The funding for this grant is from the Florida State of the Arts License Plates in Sarasota County.

Also recognized were the winners of the John Ringling Tower Fund Grants: Literary Arts, Kaylene McCaw; Performing Arts, Terrance Jackson; and Visual Arts, Laine Nixon. The John Ringling Tower Fund was created to honor the spirit of the John Ringling Towers, where the visual, performing and applied arts were celebrated. The Alliance thanks the Hermitage Artist Retreat for their partnership in providing the grant recipients residencies.

This event was made possible through the sponsorship support of Woman’s Exchange, Ringling College of Art and Design, SARASOTA Magazine, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Boar’s Head, Southwest Florida Office Solutions, and the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs.

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The Arts and Cultural Alliance is a member-powered organization that serves as an advocate for arts and culture in Sarasota County.  Founded in 1986 by a group of committed citizens, the Alliance has administered more than $17 million in grants to area artists and arts organizations. The Alliance works to ensure arts and culture remain essential to the continuing development of a vibrant, creative community. This is achieved through arts advocacy, education and community outreach. For more information about how you can join the Arts and Cultural Alliance, please visit our website at www.sarasotaarts.org or call (941) 365-5118, extension 304.

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