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Arts organizations benefit from Barancik Foundation grants

The Sarasota Orchestra and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe received a combined $220,000 in grants from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation this week.

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  • | 1:37 p.m. December 10, 2021
The Sarasota Orchestra is returning to performances with series like Great Escapes.
The Sarasota Orchestra is returning to performances with series like Great Escapes.
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Two local arts organizations announced this week that they will be able to expand existing programs due to two grants they recently secured. The Sarasota Orchestra announced receiving a $120,000 grant from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation on Thursday, and the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe detailed a $100,000 grant from the same organization on Friday.

The Sarasota Orchestra will earmark the money received from the grant to support the upcoming 2021-2022 season and also to expand its education programs. The orchestra is anticipating a full return to performances ranging from Masterworks to Pops to Discoveries and Great Escapes, as well as the Orchestra’s Outdoor Pops at Ed Smith Stadium. 

“We are grateful for the tremendous support from Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, which ensures a bright future for Sarasota Orchestra and sustains the music for our entire community,” says Sarasota Orchestra President and CEO Joseph McKenna in an official statement.

The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will use the grant to support programs such as Jazzlinks, Stage of Discovery, Rhythm & Tales and the WBTT Voices free community programs.

Jazzlinks brings history lessons to life for local high school students, and Stage of Discovery is a free musical theater camp serving minority students. Nate Jacobs, the founder and artistic director of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, said recently that the summer camps can serve as many as 35 kids right now, and they want to double their capacity over time.

The WBTT announced that the grant effectively doubles the budget for educational programs while covering guest artists’ fees for new after-school programming.

“We are so grateful to the Barancik Foundation for this investment, which will enable us to increase our reach, capacity and impact,” says Julie Leach, executive director of WBTT, as part of an official statement. “Not only does this grant affirm our place in and objectives with regard to the local arts education realm, it also ensures the continued growth and stability of our education programs, so that we can better serve the community for years to come.”

The Barancik Foundation’s grants database also details contributions to the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition and Ringling College of Art and Design in November, and the Sarasota Ballet, the Asolo Repertory Theatre and the Urbanite Theatre in August.


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