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Performing Art
Arts and Entertainment Friday, Oct. 30, 2015 5 years ago

Florida Studio Theatre's education endowment reaches $1 million

Provided by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and a two to one matching gift from The Patterson Foundation, FST's endowment will further fund its award-winning educational programming.
by: Nick Reichert Arts & Entertainment Editor

Having celebrated early in the season the 25th anniversary of its Write A Play program, Florida Studio Theatre (FST) has reached another educational milestone that will insure its theatrical influence in area classrooms will continue for the next foreseeable 25 years. 

FST announced that its FST Schools Endowment Fund housed at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County reached its $1 million fundraising goal.

The fund will allow the regional theater to continue its heralded educational programming including: tickets for Sarasota County students to attend matinee performances; resources for the Write A Play program, which has exposed thousands of children around the world to the art of theater and playwriting; and the theater's in-school initiatives through the Sarasota County School District's EdExplore SRQ program, which allows theater artists to infuse elements of acting, writing and design into local schools' classroom curriculum. 

The $1 million goal was made possible by The Patterson Foundation's two to one donation match from FST's pool of private and foundation donors. Lead contributors include the Charles O. Wood III and the Miriam M. Wood Foundation, Dennis and Graci McGillicuddy, Georgia Court, Shelley and Sy Goldblatt, Thomas B. Wilson and Patrick J. Crimmings. The Patterson Foundation says its generous matching gift was all in an effort to foster more generosity toward education.

"“The Patterson Foundation's goal through our two to one match for donations made to the EdExplore SRQ Endowment Fund is to encourage generosity that ensures access to experiential learning opportunities in perpetuity," says Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of the foundation. "EdExplore SRQ has proven to spark engaged learning that deserves to live on, and we laud the donors who have stepped forward to help make that happen." 

And in a time when arts education funding in public schools is always at risk of being lowered, FST's education department is thrilled that it can continue its mission unabated and improve the lives of local students.

"“Now more than ever, the arts are critical to our young," says Kate Alexander, FST's associate director and founder of the theater's education program. "There is a blitzkrieg of information bombarding the young mind at astonishing rates. The arts do not feed information but actively engage us in a panoramic experience and bring us into an arena of  empathy, self-awareness, imagination, spontaneity, confidence and so much more. The theatre invigorates our soul, the fountainhead of our humanity, it’s now more important than ever.”

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