Spotlight: Arts & Cultural Alliance

I recently embarked on a collaborative project with the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Sarasota to share our common love of Sarasota’s fine arts scene. I’m excited to share with you some information about this incredible organization who makes bringing the arts to Sarasotans their top priority.


The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County was founded in 1986 by State Senator, longtime Sarasotan, philanthropist and activist Bob Johnson and a group of committed citizens. Firm in the belief that arts and culture are essential to the continuing development of a vibrant, creative community, the Arts & Cultural Alliance has administered over $20 million in grants to support area artists and cultural organizations in Sarasota County.

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Executive Director Jim Shirley has recently noted the impact the arts has on our area: “They are a definite contributing factor not only to the well-being of our citizens, but the health of our economy.” And he is right. According to a Herald Tribune article from last year, the arts supports over 7,000 full-time jobs, brings in an estimated $295 million in revenue, and services an attendance of 2.5 million. Now that’s impact.

What They Do

The ACA has tasked itself with the full care of the arts in our community:

  • Arts Advocacy - Advocating for the arts in our county to state and local governments, raising awareness of the positive impact of the arts to the public, and bringing issues regarding arts & culture to the forefront

  • Artist Services - Including workshops and leadership opportunities

  • Culture Collective - A membership providing tickets for 7 seasonal shows for frequent receivers of the arts, as well as access to meet-up and social events

  • Grants - Providing artists and cultural amenities with funds to grow and support their programs

  • InspireSarasota! - A celebration of arts and culture in our area with the goal to connect artists and performers from all areas

  • Public Art - Just what it sounds like: making art accessible in public places, including our wonderful Embracing Our Differences exhibit each year on the bayfront.

Our Collaboration

Culture Coast Video Series with Kathryn Parks

Culture Coast with Kathryn Parks is a Facebook Live show on all types of art & artists in Sarasota that I sponsor for the Arts & Cultural Alliance.  Filmed twice a month, this talk show shares current events and introduces you to members of the arts and culture community. I am so pleased to be a part of this series, which will feature artists and important people to the arts with each airing. Take a look!

Aired on 10/11/18: Jennifer Rominiecki, President and CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Aired on 9/27/18: Nate Jacobs, Nate Jacobs, Founder and Artistic Director, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe