Brian’s Beat February 2024

What an exhilarating time to be part of our vibrant community filled with Arts & Culture! There is much activity around us, and I am excited to share some highlights with you. 

On Tuesday, the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the FY25 guidelines for the TDC/A Program. That means the Alliance’s contract will be extended, and we will start the grant cycle immediately for our area arts and cultural organizations. We are grateful for the County Staff’s determination and collaborative spirit, to provide comprehensive information to the BCC about the TDC/A Program. For information about the upcoming information sessions, please see below.  

Brian Hersh with State Representative Fiona McFarland.

Last week, I had the privilege of attending Arts & Culture Advocacy Day in Tallahassee and met with all eight of our area Representatives, Senators, and their staff. I am thrilled to report that they were overwhelmingly supportive and receptive to arts and culture in our community. Our discussions were fruitful, and we are optimistic about the future of Arts and Culture funding in our region. Even amidst the challenges of statewide budgeting, there is a powerful sense of commitment to our cultural endeavors. 

The recent State of the Community hosted by the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce showcased iconic projects like Selby Gardens, MOTE SEA, Sarasota Performing Arts Center, The Stage at Payne Park (The Players), and The Bay. The sold-out event underscored the significant interest from the business community in supporting arts & culture initiatives, which is truly encouraging. 

Looking ahead, I am gearing up for the Any Given Child Annual Exchange, an initiative of the Kennedy Center, in DC. At the conference, we have a chance to connect and network with other communities across the country regarding access and equity for arts education. In addition to the Exchange, we will have the opportunity to go to Captial Hill and advocate for the importance of arts education and the need to support it.  

The Sarasota Ballet’s 2023 – 2024 season continued with Program 4, Graziano Celebrated, January 26 – 29. Photo Courtesy.

Meanwhile, our dedicated Alliance Staff has been actively engaging with performances, exhibitions, and special events, visiting over 30 organizations since November to witness firsthand the remarkable projects funded by TDC/A. Their dedication is truly commendable and instrumental in propelling us forward. 

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each one of you for your unwavering support and commitment to Arts & Culture in Sarasota County. Together, we are shaping a future where creativity thrives, and our community flourishes. 

With Gratitude,

Brian Hersh

CEO, Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County


Tourist Development Cultural/Arts Grant Program
FY25 Grant Cycle – Important Upcoming Dates

The Tourist Development Cultural/Arts (TDC/A) program offers competitive funding to arts and cultural organizations for the production and marketing of performances, exhibitions and events that attract tourists to Sarasota County. Funding for the TDC/A program comes from the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collected on room rentals for a term of six months or less in Sarasota County. 

February 2024

Monday, February 5 – Application Opens 

Wednesday, February 7 & Friday, February 9 
Applicant Information Sessions (Registration Required)

For more information about the FY25 grant cycle, guideline changes and timeline, visit: 
SarasotaArts.org/tourist-development-tax-grants