(SARASOTA, August 14, 2015) — The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training will participate in the Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s 2015 Giving Challenge on September 1 at noon through September 2 at noon. Donations made on behalf of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory during the Challenge will benefit a remodel of the Jane B. Cook Theatre, the main performance space for the program.
The FSU/Asolo Conservatory will partner with Asolo Repertory Theatre for a launch party at Burns Court Cinema in downtown Sarasota on Tuesday, September 1. Following a light reception, a free screening of the Academy Award®-winning film West Side Story will be shown to celebrate Asolo Rep’s upcoming November 2015 production of the iconic musical. The event starts at 11:30am and the screening begins at 12:15pm. Voluntary online contributions of $25 or more to the Giving Challenge for Asolo Rep or the FSU/Asolo Conservatory will be accepted via credit card at the event. This event is free and open to the public but reservations are required by Tuesday, August 25. RSVP to [email protected] or 941.351.9010, ext. 4702.
The Cook Theatre’s long-overdue freshening and refurbishment, which was made possible through a recent grant from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, includes a newly renovated proscenium arch, refinished floors and new paint throughout the facility.
“We are right now in the process of upgrading the Cook Theatre, something that hasn’t been done since it first opened,” said Greg Leaming, Director of the Conservatory and Associate Artistic Director of Asolo Rep. “The final step in this process will be replacing the carpeting in the theatre, a job which will cost us approximately $5,000. We look to the Giving Challenge to meet this expense.”
This year, the Patterson Foundation of Sarasota will generously match all new contributions of up to $250 from individuals who did not give to the Conservatory in last year’s challenge. There is no limit to the matching funds this year. And a generous anonymous donor will leverage up to $3,000 to match all donations to the Conservatory. This gives donations benefitting the Conservatory triple the impact.
Since its inception in 2012, the Giving Challenge has raised more than $8 million to support Sarasota’s nonprofit organizations. The 2015 Giving Challenge is made possible by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and The Patterson Foundation with support from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune Media Group.
The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training is a three-year graduate program dedicated to the development of the future artists of the American Theatre. Since its inception in 1968, the program has grown to become one of the most important conservatory training programs in the country, cited by The New York Times as one of the top 10 programs nationwide and by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the top programs worldwide. Twelve students are chosen each year from nearly 1,200 applicants who audition nationwide to work in a program that combines rigorous classroom training with guest artist workshops and professional production experience.
To donate on behalf of the Conservatory on September 1, beginning at noon, visit www.givingpartnerchallenge.org and search for “FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training.” Visit the Conservatory’s Facebook page to follow the Conservatory’s progress during the Giving Challenge and visit http://thegivingpartner.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1127328 to view the Conservatory’s Giving Partner Profile. For details, rules and regulations about the Giving Challenge, visit https://www.givingpartnerchallenge.org/#rules-faq.