Sarasota County Arts Council

Arts & Cultural Alliance Arts Leadership Program


Performing arts organizations across the country are vitally important to the communities they serve. Sarasota is fortunate to have one of the most robust offerings of any city its size in the country. Many of these organizations share a concern about the aging of their audiences and their donor bases.

The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, in conjunction with Sarasota Magazine, developed the Arts Leadership Program during the 2012-2013 season to address this concern. The program’s goal is to ensure that the “next generation” of business professionals has an appreciation and understanding of the arts while providing them with insight that will help them to develop and grow their relationships with clients who patronize the arts in Sarasota.

How it Works

20 of Sarasota’s finest businesses and firms will send a business leader to participate in the seasonal program, November - May. The participants’ commitment will be to attend a series of educational programs, each focusing on a particular arts and cultural organization and art form. The program includes an introduction to the art form, an in-depth education about an upcoming performance, behind-the-scenes tours, and more. The participants interact with patrons and members of the organization’s boards of directors to hear firsthand about their passion and commitment to the art form. For the 2013-14 season, there are seven participating organizations: Sarasota Orchestra, Sarasota Opera, The Sarasota Ballet, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, The Ringling, and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe.

What’s in it for THE PARTICIPANT?
• An exclusive Leadership program that will help them better understand their current and future customers who love the performing arts
• Recognition that their employer wants to invest in their future
• Exposure to high-net-worth arts patrons

What’s in it for THE BUSINESS?
• Time and cost-efficient training program that will help employees to better understand and relate to clients who are arts patrons
• Assistance in preparing select employees for future leadership roles
• Exposure to high-net-worth arts patrons

Each business will be asked to pay $500 “tuition” per participant. This includes all classes and performance tickets. This fee also allows the student to bring a guest to each performance.

The Arts Council - Sarasota's Source for the Arts