Hermitage Presents First “Cross Arts Collaborative” Program Nov. 30

The Hermitage Artist Retreat will present a showcase of new work created during the inaugural year of the Hermitage Cross Arts Collaborative. Made possible with generous support from the Koski Family Foundation, this new initiative is designed to give performers and company members from leading Sarasota arts organizations a chance to expand their artistic practice from ‘performer’ to ‘creator.’ The goal of the Cross Arts Collaborative is to inspire and encourage generative work created by some of the best and brightest performers in our vibrant performing arts community. Nominated by their respective ‘host’ organizations in collaboration with Emily Mann, long-tenured Artistic Director of the McCarter Theatre Center and Emeritus member of the Hermitage’s National Curatorial Council, Florida Studio Theatre’s Tsebiyah Mishael Derry and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s Derric Gobourne Jr. spent two weeks on the historic beachfront campus of the Hermitage Artist Retreat, developing their proposals to create new work. The resulting community program, “Cross Arts Collaborative: New Voices and New Work,” will be held on Wednesday November 30 at 5pm ET on the Rooftop Terrace at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s downtown Sarasota venue. The hour-long outdoor event will feature both of these remarkable performers and creators sharing excerpts from their original works-in-process.  

“We wanted to offer this one-of-a-kind opportunity to some of the leading artists in Sarasota, creating space for a talented performer to focus on being a generative artist,”said Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. “There are actors, dancers, musicians, and performing artists working amidst our circle of collaborators who have passion projects waiting in the wings. This could be an actor writing a play between productions, a cellist composing a symphony after rehearsals, a dancer yearning to expand into the choreographer’s space – or someone looking to work across an entirely new genre. This residency is designed for an artist who is hungry to expand their creative practice and explore a new ‘hat’ within the arts and entertainment space.” Sandberg added that this new Cross Arts Collaborative initiative would not be possible without the generous support of the Koski Family Foundation, longtime supporters and champions of the Hermitage.

“We are proud of our long history of collaboration with the Hermitage and the collective impact we have on the Sarasota community,” said Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. “The Cross Arts Collaborative is an exciting new way to gather resources in service of wonderful artists like Derric who consider Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe their creative home.” 

           “Every time we partner with the Hermitage, the result is a unique look into the creative process of making theater through the eyes of a leading artist in the field,” added Florida Studio Theatre Founder and Artistic Director Richard Hopkins. “I’m so pleased we are able to collaborate once more to provide this opportunity to Tsebiyah who is quickly making a name for herself as one of those leading artists. We are honored to call her an FST creative family member and cannot wait to see what this dedicated time and space to delve into her richly varied artistry has produced.” 

Nearly all Hermitage programs are free and open to the public (with a $5/person registration fee), offering Gulf Coast audiences a chance to engage and interact with some of the world’s leading talent. Due to capacity limitations and social distancing, registration for this event is required.