Here's a look at the A&E news of the week.
Several philanthropic organizations gave out grants last week. Gulf Coast Community Foundation kicked things off by issuing a $45,000 Arts Appreciation grant to Florida Studio Theatre. This gift will underwrite FST’s 2018-2019 Winter Mainstage and Cabaret seasons and sponsor the theater company’s annual fundraising event on Feb. 25.
Gulf Coast also awarded Asolo Repertory Theatre a $70,000 Arts Appreciation Grant at the beginning of this week, which will help underwrite the 2018-2019 season, especially the costs of the sets, costumes, props and hiring actors.
Second was the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, which awarded Asolo Repertory Theatre a $100,000 grant that will support the company’s 2018-2019 season as well as Access to the Arts Programs: Main Stages (providing area students the opportunity to see a show at no cost) and the annual fall Shakespeare tour.
Rounding out the week of giving was Junior League of Sarasota, which awarded Embracing Our Differences a $3,500 grant. This money will go toward the organization’s Classroom Art Integration Project, an extension of EOD’s high school docent program. This expanded program involves the docents visiting Sarasota County elementary schools and engaging more than 1,200 elementary students in conversations about the importance of diversity and inclusion.
The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art and Florida State University announced Oct. 29 that a new endowment gift was made to The Ringling from Stephen (Steve) and Dr. Judith (Judy) Shank. The gift will establish the Shank Curator of Performance Endowment, which will support the hiring and retention of a leader to maintain extraordinary performance programming.
“With the restoration and reopening of the Asolo Theater in 2006, we renewed and re-energized our commitment to a program of innovative and groundbreaking performance,” Executive Director Steven High says in a release. “Steve and Judy’s visionary gift will ensure that The Ringling remains a world-class center for performance programming.”
Sarasota Contemporary Dance welcomed area businessman Dan Barzel to its committee Oct. 29. Barzel has volunteered with the dance company for the past three years, playing a critical role in managing the buildout of SCD’s Rosemary District studio that opened March 11. Barzel has always had an interest in classical and modern dance, an SCD release said, and he was involved in the performing arts in Memphis for more than 10 years before moving to Sarasota with his wife, Lisa, three years ago.
Urbanite Theatre recently released the new title that will replace the play“Angel” during its 2018-2019 season.
On Sept. 21, the company announced on Facebook that it was removing the one-woman show by British playwright Henry Naylor (which followed the viral story of the “Angel of Kobane,” a Syrian woman who reportedly killed as many as 100 members of ISIS — a story later proven inaccurate by news outlets such as the BBC) from its season due to cultural misrepresentation.
“After connecting with many people, it has become clear to us that the play does not represent the Middle Eastern or Islamic communities in the way we hoped. We take full responsibility for the decision, and we’re very sorry for the pain it may have caused. We are removing it from our season,” the post read.
The Jan. 11 to Feb. 17 slot will be filled by Jennifer Fawcett’s “Apples in Winter,” a one-woman show in which the baking of an apple pie forces main character Miriam to make peace with a violent crime that took place 20 years ago.