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Crearte Latino Cultural Center Receives Grant From Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation

The funds will help complete construction of the organization's new suite.

Crearte Latino Cultural Center Receives Grant From Gulf Coast Community Foundation and  Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation

Through their COVID-19 Response Initiative, Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation have awarded CreArte Latino Cultural Center a grant of $9,586. The funds will help complete construction of the organization's new suite at 8251 15th St. East in Sarasota and pay certain expenses incurred during the pandemic. When completed, CreArte's 4,500-square-foot space will feature a 100-seat theater, a classroom, and a lounge.

Since its founding in 2012, CreArte Latino has focused on establishing an exchange between Latinos/Hispanics and the regional population at large. Artistic Director and Board President Carolina Franco explains that CreArte Latino became a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2017 with the goal of producing four full-length plays annually along with a children's theater presentation and a Spanglish improvisational comedy show. By 2019, the theater was producing nine plays a year, scripted and improvisational, collaborating with artists from Sarasota and throughout Latin America.

"This grant is invaluable to us and will make our re-opening a reality," says Franco. "We are community connectors. The arts, in addition to our cultural and educational programs, bring us all together and allow our families to share challenges, identify solutions and build trust. We're eager to continue our work."

Franco explains that with shows, programs, and workshops cancelled during the pandemic, and virtually no income except for private donors, CreArte Latino has relied almost exclusively on volunteers for the construction of its new quarters.

"Thanks to Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, the grant will make finishing touches possible and allow our audiences and students to return in safety," Franco says. "It supports our survival and CreArte Latino's plans for the future that will serve both Sarasota and Manatee Counties. We are deeply grateful."

For more information about CreArte Latino Cultural Center, visit www.creartelatino.org or CreArte Latino on Facebook.


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