The Hermitage Artist Retreat (Sarasota County, Florida) today announced new programs throughout the months of July and August. Continuing its commitment to innovative year-round arts programming, these events will be presented all across Sarasota County, from the Hermitage’s beautiful beachfront campus on Manasota Key to the heart of Sarasota’s vibrant downtown arts scene in collaboration with Sarasota Opera and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. Hermitage programs introduce world-renowned artists to Florida’s Gulf Coast community and audiences across the country for candid and engaging conversations, open rehearsals, play readings, and film screenings.
Newly announced summer programs include partnerships with the Florida Alliance for Arts Education (F.A.A.E.) and the Englewood YMCA in a family-friendly program with five gifted arts educators from across disciplines and across the state of Florida. Featured Hermitage Fellows in July include Hermitage Greenfield Prize finalist Christopher Williams, who the New York Times calls “one of the most exciting choreographic voices out there.” Williams is joined by his frequent dance collaborator Caitlin Scranton. August programs will spotlight the powerful storytelling of John Murillo (National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and 2021 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award winner) and Nicole Sealey (PEN Open Book Award and Rome Prize winner). Programs in August continue with celebrated playwright Dave Harris, who comes to the Hermitage as part of the recently announced partnership with New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company and their Underground Series, focused on producing some of the most exciting voices writing for the theater today; and returning Hermitage Fellow Hilan Warshaw whose films about music and opera have been seen around the world.
On Friday, July 14 at 1pm, the Hermitage partners with the Englewood YMCA to present the “2023 Hermitage STARs.” Selected by F.A.A.E., these exceptional teachers apply for two weeks of residency on the Hermitage Beach to focus on their own artistry. This year’s teaching artists include Jeffrey Brown (Music, Orange County), James Finch (Painting, Brevard County), Omar Otero (Photography and Painting, Seminole County), Rachael Pongetti (Visual Art, Escambia County), and Katherine Gebhart (Writing and Illustration, Palm Beach County). The 2023 STARs program culminates in a family and student friendly program on Friday, July 14 at 1pm on the Hermitage campus.
On Friday, July 28 at 6:30pm, the Hermitage’s commitment to championing dance takes center stage with celebrated dancer-choreographer and 2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize finalist Christopher Williams and his frequent dance collaborator Caitlin Scranton. Recognized as a pioneering choreographer interrogating the traditional dance canon with a focus on queer representation and perspectives, Williams offers an open rehearsal of his latest work on the Hermitage campus in the Hermitage Palm House Studio. “Folktale and Movement: The Ballet Russes Through A Modern Lens,” combines a selection of work-in-process with conversation and images from Williams’ previous work for an exciting and engaging dance-focused program.
Hermitage programming continues into August with “Poetry Today: Undeniable Storytelling,” on Friday, August 4 at 6:30pm on the Hermitage Beach with two incredible wordsmiths. John Murillo, whose published works include Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry and Up Jump the Boogie amongst other critically acclaimed articles and Nicole Sealey, author of the award-winning work Ordinary Beast as well as publications in The Best American Poetry 2018 and 2021, The New Yorker, and the Paris Review among others, bring poetic perspective to the program. Hear from these writers united by undeniable talent.
On Friday, August 18 at 6:30pm, the Hermitage presents “From the Heart of Philly: The Works of Dave Harris,” the first public program as part of the Hermitage’s new collaboration with one of the country’s most lauded not-for-profit institutions – Roundabout Theatre Company – and presented in partnership with Sarasota’s own Westcoast Black Theater Troupe. Presented at WBTT, “From the Heart of Philly” will be an hour-long examination of playwright and poet Dave Harris’ work, which often focuses on themes of Black masculinity and spans poetry through his recently published collection Patricide, as well as theater with works such as Tambo and Bones, headed for a London premiere later this year. Hear selections of Harris’ work and get insight from one of the most inventive writers working in the theater today.
The Hermitage is pleased to once again partner with the Sarasota Opera to present the return of Hermitage Fellow Hilan Warshaw on Wednesday, August 23 at 6pm. Warshaw, who utilizes his knowledge as a musician to inform his filmmaking work, takes a deep dive into the mysterious and scintillating history of one of the most celebrated lyric suites of the 20th century. Last year, Warshaw shared short selections of a variety of his internationally screened works, but this year’s presentation will take one complete film – Secret Song – from start to finish, followed by a Q&A with the creator in “Secret Song: Unraveling the Mystery of Berg’s Lyric Suite.”
All of these Hermitage programs are free and open to the public (with a $5/person registration fee), offering Gulf Coast audiences a rare chance to engage and interact with some of the world’s leading talent. Due to capacity limitations, registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org.