'Patron saints' give ample support to performing arts




Sarasota is an arts community. The arts is a top reason why most people settle here and is a boon for tourism. Sarasota has its own ballet, opera, professional theaters, an MFA graduate theater program, community theaters, an all-black theater group — and the list of performing venues continues. And, it is thanks, in part, to a special group of people.

Every performing-arts venue executive featured in our video series, “Patron Saints,” has agreed these venues would be nowhere without the financial support patrons give them. For instance, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs says only 35% of its budget comes from ticket sales, and the rest is from patrons. The Players’ Artistic Director Jeffery Kin says the same thing before every production, “We couldn’t make it on ticket sales alone!”

Each episode in The Observer’s weekly series features a patron, or a couple, who donates to a performing-arts venue, and an executive at that venue who discusses the impact the donations make.

There are still a few weeks left of new videos featured in this online series. Either click on the Black Tie tab on YourObserver.com and click the pop-up link to the series, or enter yourobserver.com/content/Patron-Saints-378.html into your browser.

Be sure to stay tuned for future videos featuring Venice Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Sailor Circus/Circus Sarasota and more.


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