(Sarasota County) Andy Sandberg, the artistic director and CEO of the Hermitage Artist Retreat, announced that the organization is cancelling this year’s Greenfield Prize Weekend, which was scheduled for April 18 and 19, 2020. This year’s celebration was scheduled to begin with a world premiere reading of a new play by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and 2018 recipient of the Greenfield Prize Martyna Majok (at the Asolo Rep). The weekend also included the “Artist Talk: The Work and Influences of Jennifer Packer” (at Sarasota Art Museum) with the 2020 Greenfield Prize recipient, visual artist Jennifer Packer. The organization’s signature fundraising event, the Greenfield Prize Dinner, scheduled for Sunday, April 19, is also cancelled, with plans to recognize Jennifer Packer at a future date to be determined. In addition, the organization is suspending its free community programs in April.
“In light of coronavirus concerns and in coordination with the Greenfield Foundation, we felt it was prudent to cancel all events pertaining to this year’s Greenfield Weekend, and move ahead with a scaled-back version of the award presentation in the months ahead when the situation has calmed down,” says Sandberg. “We have been in communication with this year’s Greenfield Prize winner, Jennifer Packer, who has been extremely gracious and understanding. We are also coordinating with the Asolo Rep to find a future date for Martyna Majok’s reading, and we look forward to welcoming both of these extraordinary artists back to Sarasota.”
Sandberg says that canceling one of the organization’s largest and most recognizable events could have a serious financial impact. “So many of our fellow arts leaders have had to make the same difficult decisions. In a time of crisis like this, non-profit arts organizations are often some of the hardest hit, and the support of our generous donors and patrons is more critical and meaningful than ever.”
Each year in April, the Hermitage Artist Retreat hosts the Greenfield Prize Weekend by celebrating the award of a new Greenfield Prize, premiering the Greenfield commission from two years prior, and presenting programs and panels that share these artists’ journeys, processes, and bodies of work with local audiences. The prize offers a $30,000 commission that rotates annually among playwrights, musician/composers and visual artists. For more information about the Hermitage, visit www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
About the Greenfield Prize:
The Greenfield Prize, presented by the Hermitage Artist Retreat, is a groundbreaking partnership between the Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Greenfield Foundation. Rotating between the fields of music, theater, and visual art, this prestigious national prize seeks to “bring into the world works of art that will have a significant impact on the broader or artistic culture.” The Greenfield Prize is awarded annually and includes a Hermitage fellowship, as well as a $30,000 commission for a new piece of work to be created within a two-year time frame. A residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat on Manasota Key in Englewood, Florida, ensures time and space in which to do the work. Former Greenfield Prize winners include Helga Davis, Music (2019); Martyna Majok, Drama (2018); David Burnett, Visual Photography (2017); Coco Fusco. Visual Art (2016); Bobby Previte, Music (2015); Nilo Cruz, Drama (2014); Trenton Doyle Hancock, Visual Art (2013); Vijay Iyer, Music (2012); John Guare, Drama (2011); Sanford Biggers, Visual Art (2010); Craig Lucas, Drama (2009) and Eve Beglarian, Music (2009).
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 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. 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 HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
Support for the Hermitage:
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).