As we wrap up this annual Season’s Preview issue, the economic news is grim, and we can’t help wondering how that might darken our cultural scene this year. Predictions are iffy (wasn’t someone just saying, “The fundamentals of our economy are strong”?), but there are some reasons to hope. Remember how Americans flocked to theaters during the Great Depression? (My sourpuss colleague points out they didn’t have big-screen TVs at home in those days.) A good sign: Sales for some
Under the leadership of new artistic director Iain Webb, for example, subscriptions for Sarasota Ballet have more than doubled, and the Sarasota Film Society “had a phenomenal summer” and expects a strong season, says executive director Barbara Caras
According to Reynold Levy, president of the
Let’s hope that proves true this year. Funding problems plagued some major players even before the latest round of bad economic news, bringing down Arts Day and the Reading Festival and shaking up the Sarasota Film Festival.
But others are prospering. As you’ll read in Leslie Glass’s “Social Detective” this month, the Hermitage artists’ colony on Manasota Key has just received a major grant that will result in annual Sarasota world premieres of new works, and the Sarasota Orchestra (formerly the Florida West Coast Symphony) is launching dynamic new programming aimed at younger audiences. And Sarasota Opera, after expanding its Opera House last year, is now expanding its season, presenting The Barber of Seville this month.
Our arts editor
Art doesn’t only happen on
Decorating Can Be Murder stars Mr. Timothy Spryke, a retired Wisconsin high school teacher who opens a decorating business in
But meet him yourself, on page 106.
We plan to run Bob’s series both in upcoming issues of the magazine and online, at sarasotamagazine.com, where Spryke and his firm, Casual Elegance, will soon have their own Web pages with everything from decorating advice (you can write in with your questions) to sketches, swatches and paint samples from his latest projects. (Look for some of those to become clues in his crime-solving endeavors.) We’re even hosting special events for his fans.
We’re welcoming another
And finally, our art director,
We love what she’s done and hope you do, too. As always, I welcome your letters and comments; you can reach me at email@example.com.