Sarasota, Florida weighs resolution supporting Sarasota Orchestra’s search for new hall within city limits

Posted on: January 6, 2020

“With the possibility of losing the Sarasota Orchestra looming, city commissioners are considering a resolution that would send a clear message to one of the area’s oldest cultural institutions: Don’t leave Sarasota,” writes Timothy Fanning in Tuesday’s (12/31) Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “City commissioners will consider a resolution on Jan. 6 that recognizes the orchestra’s long relationship with the city and ‘declares its continuing support and encouragement’ for keeping it in Sarasota. [City commissioners voted] against the orchestra’s proposal in May to build a … concert hall [in] Payne Park…. Joseph McKenna, president and CEO of the Sarasota Orchestra, said that he continues to work closely with city staff…. The orchestra pitched building a 2,500-seat concert hall on seven acres of the 39-acre Payne Park this spring … but that met with organized opposition…. City officials are especially sensitive to the possibility of losing the Sarasota Orchestra after the recent relocation of two other cultural institutions outside of the city…. In October, [City Commissioner Liz] Alpert urged fellow commissioners to codify their commitment to the orchestra and help find a home within city limits. The commission … [instructed] city attorney Robert Fournier to draft the resolution.”