Sarasota is a place unlike any other. If arts and cultural experiences are an important parts of your lifestyle, there isn't a better place to live than Sarasota Florida. Named the "#1 Small City in the Nation for the Arts," Sarasota is the center of Florida’s arts and cultural scene. With its performing arts theatres, the Sarasota Opera, the Sarasota Ballet, the Sarasota Orchestra and too many art galleries and museums to mention, Sarasota rivals the arts environments of many of the nation's biggest cities.
The city has had an enormous history of the arts—starting with John and Mable Ringling when, in 1924, their first Sarasota project was construction of their magnificent 56-room Venetian Gothic mansion, the Cà d’Zan.Mr. Ringling collected a significant number of European paintings and art objects which he housed in a 21 gallery Ringling Museum of Art he had built on his Sarasota property. The Cà d’Zan mansion and the museum, bequeathed to the people of Florida at his death in 1936, were subsequently opened to the public.
One of the most famous theatres in the country, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, hosts traveling shows ranging from musical acts to Broadway revivals while the Sarasota Orchestra, the oldest continuing orchestra in Florida entertains music lovers. The Sarasota Ballet will perform 8 different programs this year during its October through April, 2018 season. Several smaller theater companies perform comedies and dramas on a variety of stages like the Banyon Theater in Sarasota and the Venice Little Theater.
In addition to the Van Wezel, the Asolo Repertoire Theater is a full repertoire theater visited by over 100,000 people each season. Thanks to the Ringling College of Art & Design, Sarasota also hosts a thriving community of visual artists who display their craft at many school-sponsored exhibits. Numerous Sarasota galleries offer the works of both young artists and the works of more established artists.
Sarasota's rich artistic atmosphere has spawned a host of festivals. The Sarasota Film Festival in April and Sarasota Music Festival each June draw people from all over. Sarasota and Bradenton both offer Blues Festivals every year and live music from contemporary to jazz emanates from downtown pubs and clubs virtually every night.
Whether arts and culture have been mainstream to you lifestyle or just a passing fancy you've never had the time to pursue, Sarasota Florida will rekindle your artistic side. In short, if having access to the widest possible array of arts and cultural experiences in a smaller, warmer, and more inviting mid-size town are something you seek, there isn't a better place to live than Sarasota Florida.