Sarasota is known for its cultural art and architecture contributions as well as outdoor amenities. This includes world-class beaches, resorts, connections to the Ringling family, an Amish community and the Sarasota School of Architecture. The city is located at the southern end of the Tampa Bay Area, north of Fort Myers and Punta Gorda.
The region includes Sarasota Bay and several barrier islands between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The islands, known as keys, include Longboat Key, Lido Key and Siesta Key. They are famous worldwide for the quality of their sandy beaches.
The area is known for its contributions to the world of art and culture. It is the home of the Sarasota Orchestra. The region holds a three-week Sarasota Music Festival that is recognized internationally and boasts that it attracts renowned teachers and the finest students of chamber music. The area houses several performance venues including the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The hall was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s successor firm, Taliesin Associated Architects team. Other cultural attractions include the Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, the Sarasota Players, the Banyan Theater Company, and many other musical, dance, artistic, and theatrical venues.
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is the state art museum of Florida. It was established in 1927 as the legacy of Mable and John Ringling for the people of Florida. Florida State University assumed governance of the Museum in 2000. which includes the art museum, circus museum, and Cà d’Zan, the Ringlings’ mansion. The home has been restored, along with the historic Asolo Theater. The Cà d’Zan or “House of John” celebrates the “Roaring Twenties” with it’s Italian architecture of a five storiy tall and mansion. Constructed from terra cotta “T” blocks, concrete and brick, it is covered with stucco and terra cotta and embellished with glazed tile. Decorative tile medallions, balustrades and ornamental cresting. Colors like soft red, yellow, green, blue and ivory highlight the pink patina of the stucco and terra cotta exterior
The Sarasota Chalk Festival, celebrating the sixteenth century performance art of Italian street painting, became the first international street painting festival in the United States of America. It is held yearly in the historic area of Burns Square
The Sarasota School of Architecture developed as a variant of mid-century modernist architecture. It incorporates elements of both the Bauhaus and Frank Lloyd Wright’s “organic” architecture. Organic architecture developed as an adaptation to the area’s sub-tropical climate and used newly emerging materials manufactured or implemented following World War II. Sarasota also has an extensive program to restore and preserve all of its historical architecture.
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