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The Sarasota Orchestra has found a location to build its new home

Orchestra members playing violins
Daniel Perales Photography
Courtesy: Sarasota Orchestra
The Sarasota Orchestra says the identified location provides ample space to serve more than just its needs and plans to engage other community organizations in the development of the land.

After an eight-year process to find a new home, the Sarasota Orchestra has identified a new location that will accommodate the growing program and community.

After many previous attempts to claim land throughout the Sarasota area, including at Payne Park and Sarasota’s Bayfront, the Sarasota Orchestra has entered into a purchase agreement for a 32-acre site.

Located at 5701 Fruitville Road, between Honore Avenue and Cattlemen Road, the orchestra estimates that seven acres of the site will be dedicated to a permanent home for the orchestra and the Sarasota Music Festival. It will include a 1,800-seat concert hall and a 700-seat recital hall for chamber music.

Leaders of the 70-year-old organization say plans to build a new home not only support its needs, but also support creating increased space for the community. The organization anticipates the site may include walking trails, playgrounds, and water features, along with the region’s first state-of-the-art concert hall.

“Our plans for this dynamic musical destination will bring to the community something it’s never had — a concert hall with outstanding acoustics that will transform the experience for patrons of our orchestra and the many local performing arts groups that will share our stage," Sarasota Orchestra President and CEO Joseph McKenna said in a press release. "This treasured asset will expand our region’s cultural capacity for the next century.”

Sarasota Orchestra
The Orchestra says the chosen location will serve as a gateway to the nearby, vibrant downtown Sarasota area.

McKenna said the site’s proximity to Interstate 75 increases its accessibility to arts and cultural experiences for residents and visitors across the region.

“We’re honored to be part of the growing momentum to elevate the area’s artistic and musical experiences, and to play an even greater role in contributing to the cultural, economic, educational and quality of life conditions of the greater Sarasota-Manatee area,” McKenna said.

The land is currently undeveloped and will be purchased through private philanthropy that has already been fully raised by the Sarasota Orchestra.

Officials say they are committed to working with the community to develop a master plan for the full 32-acre site that serves more than just the orchestra’s needs.

Bramwell Tovey, Sarasota Orchestra’s music director, said the orchestra wants to ensure that everyone in the community has access to the benefits of cultural expression.

“Music is not only a source of inspiration and beauty, but also fundamental to health, wellbeing and to enriching quality of life. This music hub will offer an ideal combination of both natural and artistic beauty,” Trovey said in the release.

I am the WUSF Rush Family Social Media Intern for spring 2022.
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