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The Hermitage Artist Retreat Receives $100,000 Matching Pledge in Response to COVID-19 Crisis


The Manasota-based Cook family rises to the challenge of
these critical times with a matching pledge that lasts through June 30.

(April 6, 2020) Andy Sandberg, the
artistic director and CEO of the Hermitage Artist Retreat, today announced a
generous dollar-for-dollar pledge from the Manasota Key-based Cook family. According
to Sandberg, the Cooks have committed to matching every donation the
organization receives up to $100,000 until June 30.

“Amidst challenging
times, it is wonderful to have champions,” says Sandberg. “We are delighted and
heartened by the Cook family’s extraordinary support, and all of us at the
Hermitage are truly grateful.” Through this match, the Cooks
are doubling the impact of every gift in this critical time.

 “We are sensitive to the fact that the work
that we and our artistic colleagues do, however vital and impactful, may seem
less urgent when compared to matters of life and death amidst this horrible
pandemic,” Sandberg adds. “Still,the arts and the creative spirit are
part of what make our lives so meaningful and special. We are fortunate to be part of a community
in which the arts are such an important player, and we look forward to rolling
out our plans for the upcoming season.

“We are hopeful the
Cooks’ overwhelming generosity will inspire others to show their support for
the Hermitage, as we rally behind the artists and the creative process that
fill the stages, the museums, and the concert halls that we all know and love. In addition, as you
open your hearts to make a difference in our community, we hope you will
consider not only the Hermitage, but also our fellow arts organizations who are
struggling in this difficult time.”

A number
of celebrated Hermitage Fellows, including Pulitzer Prize winners and past
winners of the prestigious Hermitage Greenfield Prize, have been speaking out
about the importance and meaning of the
organization in this critical time, noting the
transformative and inspirational nature of this unique program and environment.
These alumni have shared statements and videos raising their voices in support
of the organization. These can be viewed at https://HermitageArtistRetreat.org/Hermitage-Fellows-Responses/

The Hermitage will also be participating in the
Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s 24-hour Giving Challenge (April
28-29), in which the first $100 of every gift will be matched by the Patterson
Foundation. Those who participate in the Giving Challenge will see their
contributions matched by both
the Cook family (dollar-for-dollar) and the Patterson Foundation (the first
$100 of every gift).

            To make a contribution to the Hermitage Artist Retreat, please visit www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org
or call 941-475-2098, Ext. 2.

Hear from Two Hermitage Artists…

“At
the Hermitage, I was afforded solace, hospitality, and natural beauty to write.
I was able to sit with my thoughts and forge them like raw clay into something
approximating art – that’s the great gift of the Hermitage. It gives the
necessary time and solitude for artists to do their best work. The Hermitage is
reliant on its supporters to stay in operation and continue to contribute to
the American cannon. These are difficult times. The future of art is uncertain
at the moment, and institutions like the Hermitage – which are so vital – are
questioning their futures in profound ways. I beg you to support the Hermitage.
Artist like me all over this country and beyond will be lastingly grateful.”

Doug
Wright
, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright

President, Dramatists Guild of America.

“The
quiet of this stretch of coast and the long hours of self-directed time were
phenomenal. Dreamy and productive, it was the perfect balance of interaction
with the other artists and time to write and think. It was like a little window
of heaven had opened up for a brief time. I came here not sure I had been
particularly productive for the last few years. My time at the Hermitage gave
me an opportunity to look carefully and collectively at my work. I completed my
next book of poetry, started on my next major project, and even dabbled in a
few creative endeavors I would never have the time or liberty to undertake at
home. I worked for hours every day and still had time for long walks on the
beach at sunrise and sunset. This residency was an amazing gift.”

Camille
T. Dungy
, Author, Poet, American Book Award Recepient.

Additional Artist Testimonials at: HermitageArtistRetreat.org

About the Hermitage Artist Retreat:

The Hermitage is a nonprofit artist retreat located in Manasota Key,
Florida, inviting accomplished artists across multiple disciplines for
residencies on its beachfront campus, which is on the National Register of
Historic Places. Hermitage artists are invited to interact with the local
community, touching thousands of Gulf Coast residents and visitors each year
with unique and inspiring programs. Hermitage fellows have included nine
Pulitzer Prize winners, along with multiple Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and
MacArthur Fellowship award winners. Works created at this beachside retreat by
a diverse group of Hermitage alumni have gone on to renowned theatres, concert
halls, and galleries throughout the world. Each year, the Hermitage awards the
$30,000 Greenfield Prize for a new work of art, and the Aspen Music Festival
awards the annual Hermitage Prize in Composition. For more information about
The Hermitage Artist Retreat, visit www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

The Hermitage is supported by:

Hermitage programs are supported, in part, by an award from the National
Endowment for the Arts; by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues;
and by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida
Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida (Section 286.25 Florida
Statutes).





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