Elaine Keating Announces a Million Dollar Match Program for the Sarasota Museum of Art
Ringling College of Art and Design president Dr. Larry R. Thompson and Wendy G. Surkis, president of the Sarasota Museum of Art/SMOA, a division of Ringling College, today announced that Ringling College trustee and SMOA board member Elaine Keating has pledged one million dollars to match new contributions to the Sarasota Museum of Art to help propel it to its completion in a 'Million Dollar Match' program.
In the 'Million Dollar Match' program every donor dollar given will be matched up to one million dollars by Elaine Keating's gift. "Our community needs a world-class venue for contemporary art," said Mrs. Keating. "I am very excited by the Sarasota Museum of Art, what will take place in that building and I am extremely motivated to have it finished. The campaign is already 80 percent funded - if we close the funding out by May we can get started remodeling the building. It's been like waiting for a new baby to be born - the final success after so much effort and expectancy. I wish it had only taken nine months, but at this point we are so close I pledged this 'Million Dollar Match' to unite our community in finishing the campaign."
"Elaine has been an exemplary supporter of Ringling College and instrumental in driving our innovation and growth over the past two decades," said Dr. Thompson. "Her 'Million Dollar Match' pledge underlines the depth of her commitment to the creation of a contemporary art museum in Sarasota like no other in the world. We are awed and inspired with Elaine's drive to complete the funding and encourage arts supporters and believers in Sarasota's future as a creative nexus to join with her in giving to make SMOA a reality."
According to SMOA president Wendy Surkis, "Elaine is one of the founding SMOA members and has been unwavering in her enthusiasm and commitment to establishing a contemporary art museum in Sarasota. Her confidence in the great value SMOA will bring to children and adults is evidenced by her original seven-figure gift to get the funding campaign started. Now she is showing her continued generosity and motivation by stepping forward with this magnificent 'Million Dollar Match' so we can complete the fundraising and move on to renovation. I love her for that and am eternally grateful."
Mrs. Keating concluded, "The people that come to Sarasota could live anywhere in the world, but we chose Sarasota. It's the culture that brings us here. The Sarasota Museum of Art is the missing link in our community for being the center for the arts that we are. I was an artist as a youngster and an art major in college. I went into business but have always had a preference for the visual arts. Ringling College is a pioneer in educating contemporary visual artists. This museum is a way for Ringling to connect even more with the Sarasota community. After all, the College may not have a football team or field, but the renovated Sarasota High School will be our football field highlighting contemporary and modern art. We are so close and my intention for this gift is to help finish the campaign and get our team on the field. It gives me great joy to be at a point in life to be able to do this - all our people benefit from it."