The fund will match all donations made before the end of the year.
Sarasota philanthropists Ed and Susan Maier have pledged a matching gift challenge of $500,000 toward the Florida Studio Theatre Kretzmer Artist Housing Project. The gift will be a one-to-one matching fund for all donations received between June 1 and Dec. 31.
Since the match challenge gift was announced in June, FST has raised an additional $190,000 toward the project and will need to raise an additional $310,000 to receive the full amount of the gift.
The Maiers say the fund will allow the theater company to complete the project debt-free and establish a reserve fund for the future.
“FST hopes to raise the value of art in our society," said Richard Hopkins, producing artistic director, in a release. "One way to raise the value of art is by raising the ways we value our artists. And providing them with an excellent artistic home is a good first step."
Following a lead gift by philanthropist Ernie Kretzmer in the memory of his late wife Alisa, and funding through a Cultural Facilities Grant from the state of Florida, construction on the project began in October 2016.
The Kretzmer Artist Residence, located on Cohen Way in the Rosemary District, will comprise five townhomes to house actors in residence, who will live in the space for three to six months, as well as directors, designers, teaching artists and interns and apprentices, who require housing for nine months to a year at a time.
“Susan and I feel that Florida Studio Theater is a cultural jewel in our community," said Ed Maier, in a release. "We want to help its board of directors and friends expedite paying for the Kretzmer Artist Housing Project before the end of this year. It will help to draw the most talented actors, who will continue to inspire audiences of all ages year round."