Fine Arts Society of Sarasota Celebrates 50 Years
Anniversary theme is Explore the Arts, Support the Arts
SARASOTA, FL – The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota, founded in 1969, will celebrate its 50th anniversary year in 2019. The group was organized with the mission of supporting and stimulating the arts in Sarasota County.
As part of the celebration, the Fine Arts Society will be holding a cocktail reception for members and their guests at the Hyatt Regency on March 3, 2019. Additionally, a piece of art will be acquired for the collection to honor the 50th year, and a there will be a Celebrate the Arts Luncheon where a Luminaire Award will be presented. To learn more about the Fine Arts Society or to become a member, visit fineartssociety.org <https://fineartssarasota.org/>;.
Board president Vern Livingston Weitz says the 50th anniversary theme is Explore the Arts, Support the Arts. She states, “While we are celebrating the past 50 years, we are focusing on the future and raising our profile in the community. We will continue to fulfill our mission, expand and refine our permanent art collection, and collaborate on projects with other arts and education organizations.”
The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota pursues its mission in three ways:
Art Collection on Display at the Van Wezel
Since 1970, the Fine Arts Society has been acquiring works of art which are on display at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The collection represents a wide range of media and styles dating from the 1930s to the present. The Fine Arts Society’s docent-led art tours are offered at the Van Wezel at 10:00 a.m. every first Tuesday from October to May. The tour fee is being waived during the 50th anniversary celebration.
Since 1969, the Fine Arts Society scholarship program has awarded over $1,000,000 to students whose studies include visual and related arts, dance, writing, music, theater and architecture.
Costume designer and artist Amanda Kai Newman, a multi-year scholarship recipient (2008-2010), attended Booker High School, earned her B.A. in art and theater from Cornell College in Iowa, and her M.F.A. in costume design from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. In 2010, Newman interned for six-time Tony Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long. Productions of note include the 2017 film “The Greatest Showman” starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum; the 2016 television series “Crisis in Six Scenes” written/directed by and starring Woody Allen; and milliner work for Asolo Rep’s production of “The Music Man.”
Said Newman, “With the help of my scholarship from the Fine Arts Society of Sarasota, I was able to pursue my passion in the arts. I know that without this scholarship, I could not have gotten to where I am today, living in New York City and working in the costume design field in theater, film and television. The scholarship program helps students learn and live a fuller life in the arts, not just in Sarasota but around the country. I am very grateful for the assistance they were able to give me in my process.”
Since 2007, the Fine Arts Society has awarded over $100,000 in grants to help support arts organizations, schools and children’s programs. The Hermitage Artist Retreat has received several grants, including the 2017-2018 grant period. Bruce Rodgers, executive director of the Hermitage, stated, “The Fine Arts Society has supported the Hermitage and our mission in many ways throughout our history for which we are so grateful. Congratulations to the Society for their 50 years of positive impact on our community, and on the artists who live and work here. Art makes our lives better, and so does the Fine Arts Society.”
The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota, founded in 1969, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. It provides cultural and educational opportunities for its members and the Sarasota community through activities; supports local visual and performing arts programs and individuals through grants and scholarship programs; and maintains and exhibits a permanent collection of works by accomplished artists associated with Florida and Sarasota. To learn more, visit fineartssarasota.org <http://www.fineartssarasota.org/>.