To kick off 2023 and the FINAL 12 months of the Venice Theatre Restoration Campaign, the Kathleen K. Catlin Foundation of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County is offering a $100,000 match capping grant for all gifts received from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, 2023, up to $100,000.
A letter from Producing Executive Director Murray Chase
There was a text from board member Doug Taylor: “Murray, what’s happened to the theatre?” Then a few minutes later: “We will find a way.”
Those ominous words came through as we were all hunkered in our homes at the height of Hurricane Ian. Winds over 115 mph rattled our windows. The rain sheets were so thick that visibility was down to less than 50 feet outside. Debris banged into houses. The power was out. It was dark by 5:00 (normally 7:30). This peak lasted for more than six hours. Then the photo came through, the dramatic one that everyone has seen of our fly loft and back wall collapsed.
The gut punch took our breath away the next day when we saw it live. There were sobs and tears, weariness, and a sense of futility…for about 15 minutes.
Then something happened. Someone laughed at the absurdity of the scenic chandelier from the set of “The Revolutionists,” still hanging over the stage, open to the sky. Someone else picked up a piece of aluminum sheeting. And the first planning began.
Within 72 hours, an engineer, architect, and contractor were on site, surveying damage. By Monday morning, ServPro had a 30-member crew working to remove moisture and fight mildew. More than 40 volunteers, some of whom still had no power at home, showed up to clear the grounds.
Our community’s response has been rapid, heartwarming, and invigorating. Local arts organizations, human services groups, foundations, businesses, and city officials have reached out, offering immediate help: classroom and office space, operating support, storage, and more. Our friends from around the nation—and the world—have reached out, asking how they can help and sending heartfelt wishes.
To all who have offered condolences and support, we send a huge “thank you.” We will need many things in the next several months to make a full comeback. Your encouragement is vital. And we will need funds, we know; even with good insurance, we will need several million dollars. If you can send help, please do so. We will be forever grateful.
Together, sooner rather than later, and stronger than ever, “we will find a way.”
Join the Club
The Presidents Club is an exclusive group for Venice Theatre’s most generous supporters. Donors at the $1,000+ level get special privileges like a reception preceding select performances of our MainStage Series. These receptions take place upstairs in our Presidents Club, and include a complimentary beverage.
Leave a Legacy
Venice Theatre has been making a dramatic impact on all stages of life since it was founded in 1950. You can help us continue this long-standing tradition through charitable bequests through your will or estate plan or by designating Venice Theatre as a beneficiary of your IRA or insurance policy. Gifts by Will and Trusts are among the easiest ways to make significant future gifts to the individuals and charities that matter most to you. Once you include a bequest provision in your will or trust for Venice Theatre you will be welcomed to our Legacy Circle and the benefits that accrue thereto:
- Invitation to our annual Legacy Circle luncheon.
- Special acknowledgment on our website and in our SHOWNOTES for MainStage Season productions.
- Special invitations to our Education & Outreach Department’s class showcase performances.
OUR GROWING LIST OF LEGACY CIRCLE MEMBERS INVITES YOU TO JOIN THEM!
- Daniel Cole
- Fran Costa
- James & Lynn Crandall
- Cara Herman & Chris Cole
- Bea Holt
- Laura Kopple
- Dennis & Ruthanne Neeser
- June Novak-Bock
- Darby Klein Park
- Carole Raymond
- Maggi Taylor
- Eric D. Watters
If you already qualify as a member of Venice Theatre’s Legacy Circle or would like to become a member, please email VT Director of Development, Eric Watters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsor a Show
Every show needs a sponsor. If you would like to make a significant contribution in order to become a co-sponsor, sponsor, co-producer, or producer on one or more of our upcoming productions, please email VT Director of Development, Eric Watters at email@example.com. Co-sponsors, sponsors, co-producers, and producers get special recognition on marketing materials for the productions they are supporting as well as their photo in a prominent location in our SHOWNOTES for Jervey MainStage Season productions.
CH-4124–Venice Theatre, Inc. meets all requirements specified by the Florida Solicitation of Contributions Acts. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.