Hermitage Announces a Full Slate of 2022 Programs Throughout Sarasota County

The Hermitage Artist Retreat announced today a full slate of early 2022 programs featuring new and returning Hermitage Fellows, from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel and Avery Fisher Prize-winning flutist Claire Chase to Beyonce collaborator and soloing band member Lady Jess and interdisciplinary artist Ni’Ja Whitson. The program lineup – presented at outdoor venues throughout Sarasota County including the Hermitage Beach and Selby Gardens Downtown – also includes “Say Their Names,” a partnership with Manasota ASALH to present selections from composer-saxophonist Matthew Evan Taylor, inspired by the fight against anti-Black racism. These new programs add to the Hermitage’s previously announced January programs with Tony Award-winning Broadway star Gavin Creel on January 14th and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical theater playwright-composer Michael R. Jackson on January 21st.

“We are thrilled to launch 2022 with an exciting slate of programming that introduces our Gulf Coast community to some of the most extraordinary talents and performers working today,” said Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. “We are grateful to continue our collaboration with Selby Gardens to present a new program with Lady Jess, a brilliant violinist who has frequently shared the stage with Beyoncé, as well as returning Hermitage Fellow Michael R. Jackson, who won the Pulitzer Prize last year for his musical A Strange Loop. We’re also looking forward to new partnerships with Manasota ASALH (featuring Matthew Evan Taylor) and the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast (featuring Claire Chase and Ni’Ja Whitson), among other leading arts and cultural institutions in our region. Where else can audiences experience – in the span of a few weeks – works in progress from so many of the world’s greatest artists, alongside theater legends like Paula Vogel and Gavin Creel?!”

In addition, the Hermitage has announced that the January 14th public program on the Hermitage Beach with Gavin Creel will now be presented in partnership with all of the leading theaters in Sarasota County, exemplifying our community’s spirit of collaboration. Creel’s Hermitage residency will be sponsored by Charlie Huisking.

All of these outdoor programs are free and open to the public with a $5/person registration fee. Due to capacity limitations and social distancing, registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.

All of the Hermitage’s scheduled programming through the end of 2021 and into early 2022 will continue outdoors unless otherwise indicated, all with socially distanced seating.

See below for complete program details and artist bios.

The Hermitage hosts artists on its Gulf Coast Manasota Key campus for multi-week residencies, where diverse artists from around the world and across multiple disciplines create and develop new works of theater, music, visual art, literature, and more. As part of their residencies, Hermitage Fellows participate in free community programs, offering audiences in the region a unique opportunity to engage with some of the world’s leading artists and to get an authentic “sneak peek” into extraordinary projects and artistic minds before their works go on to major galleries, concert halls, theaters, and museums around the world. These free and innovative programs include performances, lectures, readings, interactive experiences, open studios, school programs, teacher workshops, and more, serving thousands in our regional community each year.

The newly announced programs include:

Hermitage Poetry
  • “Journeys of Identity in Poetry & Music,” Friday, January 7th, 5pm: Winner of the James Laughlin Award from The Academy of American Poets, Chet’la Sebree’s poetry is unflinchingly personal and remarkably beautiful. Wang Lu, pianist and composer, adds her cosmopolitan and stylistically wide-ranging perspective, which earned her the Berlin Prize in 2019 as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship. Come see what happens when these incredible artists sit side-by-side to share their latest works. Wang Lu’s Hermitage Residency generously sponsored by Ina Schnell in memory of Susan Brainerd. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat ($5/person registration fee). The Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Rd., Englewood 34223
  • “Walk on Through,” Friday, January 14th, 5pm: Tony and Olivier Award winner Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly!, The Book of Mormon, Hair) has a new passion project in development. Spurred by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to create a piece inspired by their vast collection, he has spent countless hours absorbing the sights, sounds, and lessons of this self-contained universe. The working result, Walk on Through, captures the sense of wonder and impossible connection museums offer to humanity. Be among the first to hear selections of this work in progress, performed by Hermitage Fellow Gavin Creel himself, as he continues this new journey of creation. Gavin Creel’s Hermitage Residency is generously sponsored by Charlie Huisking. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat ($5/person registration fee). The Hermitage Beach (6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood, Florida 34223)
  • Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby Gardens: “The Work,” Friday, January 21st, 5:30pm: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and composer Michael R. Jackson returns to the Hermitage following his popular beachfront program last season. Since his critically acclaimed musical, A Strange Loop, premiered at Playwrights Horizons, the theater-maker has continued the work with projects such as White Girl in Danger and Accounts Payable, a commission from Lincoln Center. Join Jackson as part of the “Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby Gardens” series and hear from the writer-composer whose work has been described by The New York Times as being driven by “curiosity, positivity, and humor – but also an irrepressible appetite for the possible.” This event is presented in partnership with Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat ($5/person registration fee). Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Downtown Sarasota), 1534 Mound Street, Sarasota, FL 34236)
  • “Natural Inspiration,” Friday, January 28th, 5pm ET: Two celebrated Hermitage Fellows return to the beach, exploring a theme familiar to artists and nature-lovers alike – moments of inspiration. Claire Chase, a MacArthur Fellow and Avery Fisher Prize-winning musician and composer, will share music and examine the creative inspiration offered by the natural world. Ni’Ja Whitson explores how nature and the environment influence their practice, sharing excerpts of works-in-progress inspired by the Hermitage’s Manasota Key campus and Florida wildlife. This event is presented in partnership with Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat ($5/person registration fee). The Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Rd., Englewood 34223
  • “Pen to Paper with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Paula Vogel,” Friday, February 11th, 5pm ET: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, American Theater Hall of Fame Honoree, and Hermitage Fellow Paula Vogel offers an exploration of playwriting in which Paula and members of the audience will write a short play and work on writing exercises together. Culminating in an event Vogel lovingly calls a “bake-off” in which writers create and design a short play, there are no critiques during the workshop; rather, all writing prompts are seen as gifts to everyone in the room. No knowledge of theater or playwriting required – just an open mind and a willingness to explore the theatrical voice. This event will take place in Sarasota, with additional details and location specifics to be announced. Registration will be open for this event in the coming weeks.
  • “Say Their Names,” Friday, February 18th @ 5:30pm ET: The Hermitage Artist Retreat is pleased to partner with Manasota ASALH in presenting saxophonist and composer Matthew Evan Taylor. Hailed as a “risk taker” (Huffington Post) whose music is “insistent and defiant” (Lucid Culture), Matthew is a leading voice at the intersection of musical virtuosity and social justice. Join us to hear selections from Taylor’s solo concert Say Their Names, inspired by the fight against anti-Black racism and police brutality. This event is presented in partnership with Manasota ASALH. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat ($5/person registration fee). The Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Rd., Englewood 34223
  • Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby Gardens “Violin: Dope, Honest, & Evolved,” Thursday, February 24th, 6pm ET: A soloing member of pop superstar Beyoncé’s band and Artistic Director of New York’s Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra, violinist Lady Jess offers an informal concert of music composed for acoustic violin and electronics. Exploring the stages of hope, mania, and revelation borne of an isolated lockdown experience as a Black Woman in 2020-21, including her ‘break-up’ with classical music, the program concludes with a deep dive into the artist’s work and process. This event is presented in partnership with Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat ($5/person registration fee). Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Downtown Campus, 1534 Mound St., Sarasota, FL 34236

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, reaching thousands of Gulf Coast residents and visitors each year with unique and inspiring programs. Hermitage Fellows have included 14 Pulitzer Prize winners, Poets Laureate, MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellows, and multiple Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar winners and nominees. Works created at this beachside retreat by a diverse group of Hermitage alumni have gone on to renowned theaters, concert halls, and galleries throughout the world. Each year, the Hermitage awards the $30,000 Hermitage Greenfield Prize for a new work of art, the newly announced $35,000 Hermitage Major Theater Award for an original theater commission, and the Aspen Music Festival’s Hermitage Prize in Composition.

For more information, visit the website.

Photos from the Hermitage

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