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

by Jacob Coakley
The Florida Studio Theatre will use the grant to underwrite their seasons.
The Florida Studio Theatre will use the grant to underwrite their seasons.

SARASOTA, FL—Florida Studio Theatre received a $45,000 “Arts Appreciation” grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. These funds will underwrite FST’s 2016/17 Winter Mainstage and Cabaret seasons and also sponsor FST’s Season Gala fundraiser in February. 

More info from Florida Studio Theatre

President and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Mark Pritchett, speaks to the importance of supporting the arts in the Sarasota community and at Florida Studio Theatre. “Our Board recognizes how much arts organizations like FST contribute to our quality of life and our regional economy. Many of our 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.”

Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins shared his appreciation for the continued support of FST. “FST’s upcoming Winter Season will be our biggest to date. We are growing again. This Winter, in addition to our Mainstage and Cabaret seasons, we will be adding a Children’s Series and an edgy Stage III Series. This expansion will increase our attendance to well over 200,000. Already this season both the Mainstage and Cabaret have both opened very strong with Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves and Million Dollar Quartet and both subscription audiences continue to grow. The support of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation makes our growth possible. It really does take a village.  And FST now provides ‘A Village of Theatres’ to fulfill our mission of making theatre accessible and affordable to as many people as possible.” 

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 concludes stating, “These community relationships are vital to FST and indeed to all of the arts.  I am happy to report that our partnership with Gulf Coast is one that continues to grow and evolve as we begin the most exciting and challenging Winter Season in our 43 year history.”

About Gulf Coast Community Foundation

Together with its donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation transforms 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 more than 650 families who have established charitable funds there and has invested over $234 million in grants in the areas of arts and culture, health and human services, civic and economic development, education, and the environment. Learn more at

About Florida Studio Theatre

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.