Gulf Coast Community Foundation Awards $45,000 Arts Appreciation Grant To FST

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Gulf Coast Community Foundation Awards $45,000 Arts Appreciation Grant To FST

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is delighted to announce that Gulf Coast Community Foundation has issued a $45,000 "Arts Appreciation" grant to FST. These funds will underwrite FST's 2019/20 Winter Mainstage and Cabaret seasons and also sponsor FST's annual fundraising event on February 24, 2020.

Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins shared his appreciation for the continued support of FST. "Florida Studio Theatre has produced high-quality contemporary theatre for over 45 years, and with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation's generosity, we will be able to continue to generate top-notch work for a vast audience at a fraction of the standard price," shared Hopkins. "This year, we are producing two critically-acclaimed Broadway shows and two regional theatre favorites, all of which are focused on the things that connect rather than divide us. Gulf Coast Community Foundation recognizes the importance of art that unites the community. This grant will also allow us to continue to produce challenging and entertaining original music revues in our ever-expanding Cabaret program. Without our partnership with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, we would not be able to reach over 225,000 attendees every year."

President and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation Mark S. Pritchett spoke to the important contributions Florida Studio Theatre and other arts organizations make to the Sarasota community. "Gulf Coast has been supporting the arts in our community for 25 years, and we appreciate how much organizations like Florida Studio Theatre add to our quality of life and our regional economy," said Pritchett. "Many Gulf Coast donors also invest in FST, so this grant leverages community support for a cornerstone cultural group. We can't wait to see what artistic innovations Richard Hopkins and his team bring to our community this season."

This year, the "Arts Appreciation" grant will underwrite FST's 2019/20 Winter Mainstage and Cabaret seasons, and FST's annual fundraising event, the Dangerous Ladies Shindig, taking place on February 24, 2020.

The contributions of Gulf Coast Community Foundation have played an integral role in the growth of FST, fostering theatre that speaks to a living, evolving, and dynamically changing world. Hopkins added, "Our relationships in the community are vital and indeed to all of the arts. I am thrilled that our partnership with Gulf Coast Community Foundation continues to grow and evolve as we begin another exciting and challenging season of first-rate contemporary theatre."

For 25 years, together with its donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation has transformed our region through bold and proactive philanthropy. Gulf Coast is a public charity that was created in 1995 through the sale of the Venice Hospital. Since then, it has become the philanthropic home of nearly 1,000 families, individuals, organizations, and businesses that have established charitable funds there, and has invested over $340 million in grants in the areas of health and human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture, and the environment. Learn more at

Known as Sarasota's Contemporary Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre was founded in 1973 by Artist Jon Spelman. Starting out as a small touring company, FST traveled to places such as migrant camps and prisons. The company then acquired the former Woman's Club building, becoming the first permanent venue. Shortly after Producing Artistic Director, Richard Hopkins arrived, the building was purchased and renamed The Keating Theatre. In the years that followed, Florida Studio Theatre established itself as a major force in American Theatre, presenting contemporary theatre in its five theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Gompertz Theatre, the Parisian style Goldstein Cabaret and John C. Court Cabaret, and Bowne's Lab Theatre.

Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience. As FST grows and expands, it continues to provide audiences with challenging, contemporary drama and innovative programs.

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