Rather than ask for gifts specifically for me, I thought I’d ask for some things my adopted city of almost eight years needs really, really badly. Ready?
1. We need a centralized ticket center.
You see, Sarasota is a cultural kingdom. We have so many arts organizations here, it’s hard to keep track. And we need a place where the smaller ensembles can sell tickets from one central office — sort of like Ticketmaster, but not so expensive. Someone tried to start a place like that a few years ago, but it was by Internet access only. And, as you know, not everyone in Sarasota is computer literate.
2. We need a centralized arts calendar.
This could be started on the Internet and then printed in a free calendar — as a handout — with changes made each month. Those of us in smaller arts organizations need to have a place where we can post all of our events for everyone to see what we’re doing. And we need to have links to our own Web sites and links to our ticket office. (Editor’s note: Visit YourObserver.com for a comprehensive Arts and Entertainment calendar. Also, see SEASON magazine in the Jan. 7 issue of The Observers.)
3. We need an Arts Center.
Something patterned along the lines of Lincoln Center or the Kennedy Center would be nice — with a concert hall specifically for our wonderful orchestra and visiting classical ensembles; a smaller recital/chamber music theater for the Sarasota Music Festival, La Musica, Perlman Music Program and the myriad choral and chamber ensembles visiting and residing in this cultural paradise; and a black-box theater that could be used by small-theater companies such as The Banyan, as well as lectures series like SILL.
I hope you don’t think I’m asking too much, Santa. I know these things don’t happen magically, and, perhaps, a whole music center is a bit too big to fit into your sack this year. But maybe some of your elves could get together to do something. I’d be glad to help.
And, let me take this opportunity to wish you a happy, healthy and musical Christmas. Meanwhile, thanks for all you do.