Muse Luncheon to Feature Bill T. Jones Award-Winning American Artistic Director, Choreographer and Dancer

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Muse Luncheon to Feature Bill T. Jones

Award-Winning American Artistic Director, Choreographer and Dancer

The Hermitage Artist Retreat is pleased to announce that the keynote speaker for this year’s Muse Luncheon will be acclaimed director, choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones. The date of the event is Tuesday, January 16, 2018, from 11:00 am – 1:30 pm at Michael’s On East, 1212 East Avenue, S., Sarasota. Begun in 2016 by Board President, Debbi Benedict, the Muse Luncheon features a well-known American artist as the keynote speaker whose career has served as an inspiration and beacon to others. All proceeds are contributed to the Hermitage’s Endowment. Ticket prices begin at. $125 and may be reserved by contacting Craig Badinger, Development Director, 941-475-2098, ext. 2 or [email protected].

“The only problem having esteemed Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis as our inaugural speaker last year is who can possibly come next,” remarked Executive Director Bruce E. Rodgers. “Believe it or not, we’ve got him! Bill T. Jones is one of the most exciting and inspiring performance professionals working today. We know he has been a muse to many and we look forward to being awed and enthused by all that he has to share with us on January 16.”

Bill T. Jones is a multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer. He has received many major honors ranging from the Human Rights Campaign’s 2016 Visibility Award, to the 2013 National Medal of Arts to a 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award and Kennedy Center Honors in 2010. Mr. Jones was honored with the 2014 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, recognized as Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2010, inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2009 and named “An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure” by the Dance Heritage Coalition in 2000. His ventures into Broadway theater resulted in a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography in the critically acclaimed FELA! ,a new musical co-conceived, co-written, directed and choreographed by Mr. Jones. He also earned a 2007 Tony Award for Best Choreography in Spring Awakening as well as an Obie Award for the show’s 2006 off-Broadway run. His choreography for the off-Broadway production of The Seven earned him a 2006 Lucille Lortel Award. He has received honorary doctorates from Yale University, Art Institute of Chicago, Bard College, Columbia College, Skidmore College, the Juilliard School, Swarthmore College and the State University of New York at Binghamton Distinguished Alumni Award, where he began his dance training with studies in classical ballet and modern dance. Bill T. Jones is presently Artistic Director/Co-Founder/Choreographer of the Bill T. Jones Arnie Zane Company.

The Hermitage is host to some of the most creative and exciting working artists in America,” continued Rodgers. “Having someone like Bill T. Jones join us to speak about his contributions to inspiring artistry, which is the mission of artist retreats, is a testament to the importance of what we do. We know we will inspire the Sarasota community on January 16th when we present Bill T. Jones, an artist who is admired around the world.”

The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artist retreat located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood, FL. It invites accomplished painters, sculptors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world for residencies on its beachfront historic campus. Many of these artists are Pulitzer Prize, Tony, Emmy, Grammy and MacArthur “Genius” Award winners. Artists are asked to interact with the community during their stay and as a result, Hermitage artists touch thousands of Gulf Coast community residents with unique and inspiring programs each year. Hermitage community programs are partially sponsored by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida (Section 286.25, Florida Statutes). In addition, the Hermitage awards and administers the prestigious Greenfield Prize, an annual $30,000 commission for a new work of art, rotating among visual art, music and drama. The Hermitage also partners with the Aspen Music Festival and School to award the annual Hermitage Prize to a composition student during the Festival. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 941-475-2098, ext. 5, or visit the website at

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