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The Hermitage Artist Retreat Announces Full Line-Up of Events for 2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Weekend

| Suncoast Post Staff |

The Hermitage Artist Retreat (Andy Sandberg, Artistic Director and CEO) in collaboration with the Greenfield Foundation, presents the 15th year of the Hermitage Greenfield Prize Weekend, April 14-16, 2023, culminating with the Hermitage Greenfield Prize Dinner on Sunday, April 16. This event – celebrating 2023 HGP winners Lorenzo ‘Rennie’ Harris (Dance & Choreography) and Sandy Rodriguez (Visual Art) – will also feature musical performances, including a selection from last year’s HGP recipient Angélica Negrón. Additional performers and guests will be announced at a later date. Tom and Sherry Koski serve as Co-Chairs for this year’s gala dinner, with Honorary Co-Chairs Steven High (Executive Director, The Ringling Museum of Art), Nate Jacobs (Founding Artistic Director, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe), Virginia Shearer (Executive Director, Sarasota Art Museum), and Iain Webb (Director, Sarasota Ballet). For information regarding tables and sponsorships, visit Hermitage Artist Retreat, or contact Development Director Amy Wallace at or (941) 475-2098, Ext. 2.

This year’s weekend of events begins on Friday, April 14th at 5:30pm at the Asolo’s Cook Theater in the FSU Center for Performing Arts with “Aleshea Harris Presents,” featuring newly commissioned work from playwright, theater maker, and 2021 Hermitage Greenfield Prize winner Aleshea Harris. Her critically acclaimed plays include Is God Is, What to Send Up When It Goes Down, On Sugarland, and Brother, Brother. Described by The New York Times as “a rarefied theatrical intelligence,” Harris’ work seeks to honor the tragedies of the past and present while allowing for a potential hope to come.


Then, on Saturday, April 15th, the Hermitage presents two events on its Manasota Key campus honoring the distinguished recipients of this year’s prize. Both artists will receive six weeks of residency time as Hermitage Fellows to develop their projects, as well as a $30,000 prize to support the work. “Sandy Rodriguez: Putting Sarasota on the Map,” begins at 2pm in the Hermitage Palm House (indoors) and showcases the work of this year’s visual art recipient, Sandy Rodriguez. She will be joined by two jurors from this year’s selection process, renowned multidisciplinary artist and Hermitage alumna Anne Patterson and Creative Capital President Christine Kuan, Rodriguez will show examples of her work which often use topographical representations to merge societal issues past and present and discuss her process, including using hand-processed, locally sourced materials for pigments.

The celebration continues on the Hermitage Beach at 6pm with “Rennie Harris: Street Dance Pioneer,” a conversation with the first-ever Hermitage Greenfield Prize recipient in dance and choreography, Lorenzo ‘Rennie’ Harris, alongside jurors Joseph V. Melillo (Executive Director Emeritus, Brooklyn Academy of Music) and Charmaine Warren (founder of “Black Dance Stories”). Melillo has been a longtime friend of the Hermitage and was the first member of the Hermitage’s esteemed National Curatorial Council, and Warren is a celebrated dance writer and historian. Rennie Harris has dedicated his life and his company, Rennie Harris Puremovement, to preserving and celebrating hip-hop culture through workshops, demonstrations, and public performances and has revolutionized the relationship of this quintessentially American art form’s relationship to the broader dance community in the process.

“One of the most thrilling aspects of the Hermitage Greenfield Prize is bringing three cycles of winners to Sarasota in one exciting weekend of events and programming,” said Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. “Considering we awarded two prizes this year to celebrate a milestone season, this means we have four unique disciplines of HGP recipients represented at once with the brilliant talents of Aleshea Harris in theater, Angélica Negrón in music, Sandy Rodriguez in visual art, and Rennie Harris in dance.”

Full program details and artist bios below. With the exception of the Hermitage Greenfield Dinner on April 16th, the events on April 14th and 15th – like all Hermitage community programs – are free and open to the members of the public (with a $5/person registration fee). Registration is required for all events at Hermitage Artist Retreat.

The Hermitage Greenfield Prize – now celebrating its 15th year and rotating annually between music, theater, and visual art — includes a six-week Hermitage residency and a $30,000 commission to create and develop a new work, which culminates with a public presentation in Sarasota. The Hermitage Greenfield Prize Weekend is presented in partnership with the Greenfield Foundation, with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County serving as Lead Community Sponsor.

For more information, to register for one of the weekend programs, or to learn more about the Hermitage Greenfield Prize Dinner, visit Hermitage Artist Retreat.

Photos from The Hermitage Art Retreat

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