BY T MICHELE WALKER – Sarasota philanthropist Flora Major is funding a new award to promote the development of theatrical works through the Hermitage Artist retreat.
The Hermitage announced on Monday, June 21 the establishment of the Hermitage Major Theater Award, a new annual prize that will recognize a playwright or theater artist with a commission of $35,000 to create an original piece of theater.
In addition to the commission, the recipient will receive a residency at the Hermitage to develop the new work and will also receive a reading or workshop in a leading arts and cultural center such as New York, London, Chicago, or Los Angeles.
“This award will be transformational for its recipients – providing not only significant funds and recognition, but also invaluable time, space, and inspiration at the Hermitage, as well as an opportunity to showcase their work,” says Andy Sandberg, Artistic Director and CEO of the Hermitage.
“It is exciting to support an organization that is so deeply committed to supporting new and original work,” adds Flora Major. “Anyone who values and appreciates the arts, across all disciplines, needs to invest in artists in the earliest stages of their creative process – that is what The Hermitage does so well.”
The Hermitage, which has been open since 2001, hosts artists on their Gulf-front Manasota Key campus for curated residencies. Artists are given time to focus on new work and collaborate with other artists. Artists of all disciplines are referred to The Hermitage by the National Curatorial Council for their residency program, which serves mid-career artists who are already making an impact in their field and who may benefit from dedicated time in a retreat setting.
Additional residency programs are also offered to Sarasota County resident artists and Florida public school teachers and artists.