The Hermitage will support Sarasota’s thriving arts institutions by offering performing artists at collaborating institutions the gift of time and space to focus on generating new works of their own creation. The inaugural season of this initiative will see the honor awarded to artists from Florida Studio Theatre and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe.
June 29, 2022 (Sarasota County, Florida) — The Hermitage Artist Retreat is pleased to announce the launch of the new Sarasota Cross Arts Collaborative, made possiblewith generous support from the Koski Family Foundation. This new initiative is designed to give frequent performers and company members from leading Sarasota arts organizations a chance to expand their artistic practice from ‘performer’ to ‘creator.’
Each year, the Hermitage will award Cross Arts Collaborative residencies to artists from two selected partner institutions. This new program is designed to inspire and encourage generative work created by some of the best and brightest in our vibrant performing arts community. Artists are invited by their respective organizations to submit proposals for consideration; finalists are then submitted to the Hermitage for consideration, and recipients are selected in consultation with past and current members of the Hermitage’s National Curatorial Council. Recipients receive two weeks of uninterrupted time at the Hermitage Artist Retreat each summer to develop a new generative project, and the work is then shared with the Sarasota community in a free public program the following fall.
In the inaugural season of the Hermitage Cross Arts Collaborative, this distinguished honor has been awarded to Tsebiyah Mishael Derry, a frequent collaborator with Florida Studio Theatre, and Derric Gobourne, Jr, a performer with deep roots at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. Considering the initial season features partnerships with two theater organizations, the final selection of artists was overseen by Emily Mann, an Emeritus member of the Hermitage Curatorial Council and the Tony Award-winning longtime Artistic Director of the McCarter Theater (Princeton, New Jersey). Mann noted how engrossing the applications were and the worthiness of each reviewed by the Council. A free public program showcasing the work Derry and Gobourne is planned for the fall of 2022; details will be announced at a later time.
While the Hermitage’s nationally renowned residency program brings leading artists from across the country and around the world to create work on its beachfront Manasota Key campus, the Hermitage also seeks to enrich the incredible and growing arts scene in Sarasota, as showcased by performing arts institutions such as Florida Studio Theatre and Westcoast Back Theatre Troupe.
“We want to offer this one-of-a-kind opportunity to some of the leading artists in Sarasota, by creating space for a talented performer to focus on being a generative artist,”said Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. “We know there are actors, dancers, musicians, and performing artists working amidst our circle of frequent collaborators who have passion projects waiting in the wings. This could be an actor writing a play between production contracts, a cellist composing a symphony after rehearsals, a dancer yearning to expand into the choreographer’s space – or someone looking to work across an entirely new genre. This residency is designed for an artist who is hungry to expand their creative practice and explore a new ‘hat’ within the arts and entertainment space.” Sandberg added that this new Cross Arts Collaborative initiative would not be possible without the generous support of the Koski Family Foundation, longtime supporters and champions of the Hermitage.
“We are proud of our long history of collaboration with the Hermitage and the collective impact we have on the Sarasota community,” said Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. “The Cross Arts Collaborative is an exciting new way to gather resources in service of the artists who consider Westcoast Black Theater Troupe their creative home.” The selected artist from Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, Derric Gobourne Jr., plans to use the time to develop a new music short film. Of this opportunity, Jacobs added that “Derric has been a member of our creative family for many years and it has been a joy to witness his growth as an artist; I believe this residency will open up new creative possibilities for him and allow him to rise to the next level.”
Tsebiyah Mishael Derry, the selected artist from Florida Studio Theatre will use the time to create an experimental theatrical work weaving together her own poetry, songs, and more. “Every time we partner with the Hermitage, the result is a unique look into the creative process of making theater through the eyes of a leading artist in the field,” said Florida Studio Theatre Founder and Artistic Director Richard Hopkins. “I’m so pleased we are able to collaborate once more to provide this opportunity to Tsebiyah who is quickly making a name for herself as one of those leading artists. We are honored to call her an FST creative family member and cannot wait to see what this dedicated time and space to delve into her richly varied artistry will produce.”
After their time in residence, the Hermitage will collaborate with the selected partner institutions to bring a public program to the Sarasota community to highlight Derric and Tsebiyah’s work. Hermitage programs like these are free and open to the public with a $5/person registration fee. Due to capacity limitations, registration for all Hermitage programs is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
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.
For more information about the Hermitage and upcoming programs, visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
Tsebiyah Mishael Derry (Florida Studio Theatre) is an actor, singer, and poet from New York. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied devised theater, history, literature, and at the British American Drama Academy in London. Recently, Tsebiyah worked at Florida Studio Theatre on the development of “Carry Me,” a new play by Rachel Lynett. She also does yoga and sings in a rock band. In 2021, she received a NYC Artist Corps grant for her solo music. Favorite acting credits include SKiNFoLK: An American Show (The Bushwick Starr), which received a NY Times Critic’s Pick, Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties (Trinity Repertory Company), Nina Simone: Four Women (People’s Light), and Romeo & Juliet (Hypokrit Theatre Co). TV: Hit & Run (Netflix). Tsebiyah’s music, including “Coastline,” is available on all music platforms. Tsebiyah.com
Derric Gobourne Jr. (Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe) is a new jack swing artist from Sarasota, Florida. He has been a troupe member of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe for nine years, starting with starring as Young Stevie in the Best of Stevie Wonder. In 2018, Derric completed his fifteen-city Love is My Message tour and released his debut album Supremacy, with tracks “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” and “Call You Tonight” charting internationally. In 2019, Derric released his single “11:11 (sadboyhous),” which also hit No. 1 on the New Hot 941 Music Chart. 2020 saw Gobourne release a collaboration with DJ Nobody titled “Sweet Dreams,” which reached the iTunes charts in Germany and the release of a single called “Make Time from Love,” which featured over thirty artists from around the world. The single was released to raise money for organizations who help abused and neglected children. He released his sophomore album, Oh What Fun, a collaboration for Toys-for-Tots Sarasota in 2020, which garnered international attention in Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Taiwain, Germany, and Italy. He is currently working on his follow-up album, SH!NE.
Previously Announced Hermitage Programs:
- “2022 Hermitage STARs,” Friday July 15 @ 2pm: Five of Florida’s best and brightest arts educators are coming to the Hermitage Artist Retreat to zoom in on their own creative practice. Hailing from across the state, their artistic disciplines range as widely as their geographic homes with three focused on different fields of visual art including ceramics, collage, and painting, a musician and band leader, and for the first-time-ever, a dance instructor. These five artists will collaborate to present a hands-on ‘art’s buffet’ with a sampling from each of their artistic practices on offer for the Sarasota community. Presented in partnership with FAAE and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org.($5/person registration fee). Hermitage Great Lawn (entrance at 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood, FL 34223).
- “Citizen Arts: Music, Theater, and Dance” Friday, July 22 at 6:30pm: Art exists not only in the purpose-built spaces of theaters, museums, and concert halls, but also throughout our lives. In this interdisciplinary program, we hear from three accomplished artists in three different mediums sharing insight and discussing how their work interacts with the public. Brazilian-born composer Marcos Balter’s compositions have been described by The New York Times as “utterly lovely” in addition to having a focus on the hyper-dramatization of the performed work; theater-maker Sam Max’s work center’s the queer experience in poetic spaces; and dancer-choreographer Amanda Cantrell Roche combines her skill in dance education with a history in journalism and a passion for social justice. Presented in partnership with Sarasota Art Museum. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org ($5/person registration fee). Sarasota Art Museum, 1001 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida 34236.
About the Hermitage Artist Retreat:
The Hermitage is a non-profit 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 HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
The Hermitage is supported by:
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 State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture (Section 286.25 Florida Statutes), as well as the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.