VWF/Sarasota Performing Arts Center Launches Regional Survey for Public Feedback

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Van Wezel Foundation Launches Regional Survey for New Sarasota Performing Arts Center on the Bay
Anonymous survey being conducted by national scientific-based research firm

SARASOTA, October 5, 2020 – The Van Wezel Foundation is launching a regional, community-wide survey to obtain feedback for the planning of a new Sarasota Performing Arts Center located at the center of The Bay Park near downtown Sarasota. The Sarasota Performing Arts Center is at the heart of the city of Sarasota’s master plan to develop the Sarasota Bayfront into a cultural and economic legacy for the region.

The regional survey spans from Tampa to Port Charlotte and is being conducted by Alexander Babbage, a national scientific-based research firm specializing in cultural destination studies. All participant data will remain anonymous. Visit www.MySarasotaPerformingArtsCenter.org to take the survey.

The Van Wezel Foundation is leading the vision for the new performing arts center in a public-private partnership with the city of Sarasota. The goal for the Center is to operate 12-months out of the year and present relevant world-class programming for all audiences.

Preliminary planning calls for a state-of-the-art 230,000 sq. ft. multi-purpose facility that provides programming all year long, and includes various performance and civic spaces:

  • 2,250-seat main stage with universal accessibility
  • 400-seat flexible performance space
  • 10,000 sq. ft. education and lifelong learning center
  • Multiple outdoor public performance spaces
  • State-of-the-art technology and design advances

As one of the first performing arts centers to be built post-pandemic in the country, the Sarasota Performing Arts Center will be a national model for architecture, patron health and safety, and coastal resilience, playing a meaningful role to further promote the Gulf Coast region as a preeminent cultural destination. Obtaining feedback from the community is an essential first step to advance the project forward.

“For more than 30 years, the Van Wezel Foundation has partnered with the city of Sarasota to enhance the quality of life for our community,” noted Cheryl Mendelson, CEO of the Van Wezel Foundation. “With input from regional communities, we have a tremendous opportunity to make the Sarasota Performing Arts Center a place for ideas, a place for the arts, a place for you. The new performing arts center will serve as an iconic civic asset that meets the needs of everyone living in and visiting the entire Gulf Coast region.”

The 8 – 10-minute online survey will assist the Foundation as it plans to develop the new mission-based performing arts center. Public input is highly encouraged, and the community can access the survey by visiting MySarasotaPerformingArtsCenter.org.

The SPAC community engagement initiative is being supported through a grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and will be available to the public from October 5 through November 30, 2020.


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