(November 15, 2022) – The Hermitage Artist Retreat (Sarasota County, Florida) raised more than $265,000 at the 2022 Hermitage Artful Lobster luncheon on Saturday, November 12. Now in its fourteenth year and this year marking the 20th Anniversary Season of the organization, this annual event raises valuable funds for the Hermitage’s renowned artist residency program and expanded community programming initiatives. Proceeds from this year’s benefit will also be used to support campus repairs following the impact of Hurricane Ian. Over 200 guests attended the sold-out event, which took place outdoors beneath a large tent on the Hermitage’s historic beachfront campus and was co-chaired by Maryann Casey and Elizabeth Moore, with Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg as master of ceremonies. Michael’s On East served a plentiful barbeque and much-heralded lobster feast.
Hermitage Fellow and acclaimed musical composer Adam Gwon headlined the event. A recipient of the Kleban Award, the Fred Ebb Award, the Richard Rodgers Award, and the Frederick Loewe Award, among others, Adam Gwon’s work has been performed on six continents and across the United States at venues such as Roundabout Theatre, Signature Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and more. Gwon’s performance featured songs from his hit musical Scotland PA, which was written partly at the Hermitage, among other pieces. Gwon’s music was performed by the composer himself, along with accomplished vocalists Martina Long and Brandon Wardell. The event also featured an inspiring performance from Reggie Harris, a returning Hermitage alumnus, remarkably gifted musician and storyteller, and pillar of the international folk music scene for more than 40 years with his music regularly topping the folk charts. His skill and charm deliver a message of joy, unity, tolerance, and peace through the powerful medium of live music.
“Great music, great art, great theater, great literature, great dance, great television – none of this happens without great artists,” noted Andy Sandberg. “We are thankful to all who attended or supported this year’s festivities. The generous outpouring of support for the work we are doing at the Hermitage is a demonstration of our community’s extraordinary commitment to the arts and the creative process.” Sandberg added that the proceeds from this year’s Artful Lobster will also support vital repairs to the Hermitage buildings and grounds following the impact of Hurricane Ian.
Sponsors and partners for the 2022 Artful Lobster include Gulf Coast Community Foundation, CHUBB, Key Agency, Herald-Tribune/LOCALiQ, and Sarasota Magazine. A full list of this year’s sponsors, benefactors, and partners can be found at HermitageArtistRetreat.org/ArtfulLobster2022.
The Hermitage hosts artists on its Manasota Key campus for multi- week residencies, where diverse and accomplished artists from around the world and across multiple disciplines create and develop new works of theater, music, visual art, literature, dance, and more. As part of their residencies, Hermitage Fellows participate in free community programs, offering audiences in our 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 innovative programs include performances, lectures, readings, interactive experiences, open studios, school programs, teacher workshops, and more, serving thousands in our regional community each year. The Hermitage is a leading national arts incubator and the only major arts organization in Florida’s Gulf Coast exclusively committed to supporting the creation and development of new work across all artistic disciplines.
For more information about Hermitage artists, upcoming programs, and events, visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
The Hermitage Artist Retreat
Sarasota County, Florida
Artistic Director and CEO: Andy Sandberg
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, reaching thousands of Gulf Coast residents and visitors each year with unique and inspiring programs. Hermitage Fellows have included 15 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 recently 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.
Hermitage programs are supported, in part, by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts; as well as the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED HERMITAGE PROGRAMS:
Thursday, Nov 17 @ 6pm, “Keyed-In: A Piano Performance and Conversation” with Hermitage Fellow Conrad Tao (Live at Oak Street Stage, Sarasota) Presented in Partnership with Oak Street Stage
Friday, Nov 18 @ 2:30pm, “Radio Opera Workshop” with Hermitage Fellow Yvette Janine Jackson (Live at New College of Florida, Sarasota) Presented in Partnership with New College of Florida
Wednesday, Nov 30 @ 5pm, “Cross Arts Collaborative: New Voices and New Work”
with Tsebiyah Mishael Derry (FST) and Derric Gobourne Jr. (WBTT) (Live at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s Rooftop Terrace, Sarasota)
Presented in Partnership with Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and Florida Studio Theatre
*The Hermitage Cross Arts Collaborative is made possible with generous support from the Koski Family Foundation.
Friday, Dec 2 @ 5pm, “Multihyphenate Multimedia: Music, Visual Art, and Theater” with Hermitage Fellows Raquel Acevedo Klein and Guadalís Del Carmen (Live on Hermitage Beach, Manasota Key)
*Guadalís Del Carmen’s Hermitage Residency is generously sponsored by Michael and Carol Clark.
Friday, Dec 9 @ 5pm, “Angélica Negrón: Playing a Plant” with 2022 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Winner Angelica Negrón (Live on the Hermitage Lawn, Manasota Key)
Presented in Partnership with ensembleNEW SRQ, UnidosNOW, New Music New College, CreArte Latino, and Community Foundation of Sarasota County
*Angélica Negrón’s Hermitage Residency made possible by the Greenfield Foundation.
Thursday, Dec 15 @ 5pm, “Notes: On Writing and Music” with Hermitage Fellows Chigozie Obioma and Levy Lorenzo (Live on the Hermitage Beach, Manasota Key) Presented in partnership with the Johann Fust Library Foundation
Hermitage Fellow Adam Gwon is a musical theater writer named one of “50 to Watch” by The Dramatist magazine and hailed “a promising newcomer to our talent-hungry musical theater” whose songs are “funny, urbane, with a sweetness that doesn’t cloy” by The New York Times. His musicals have been produced on six continents, in more than half a dozen languages. Off- Broadway: Scotland, PA (Roundabout Theatre, Drama Desk Award nomination, NYT Critic’s Pick), Ordinary Days (Roundabout Theatre; Keen Company, Drama League Award nomination, Best Revival), Old Jews Telling Jokes (Westside Theatre, NYT Critic’s Pick); Regional: String (Village Theatre), Cake Off (Signature Theatre, Helen Hayes Award nomination; Bucks County Playhouse), Cloudlands (South Coast Repertory), The Boy Detective Fails (Signature Theatre), Bernice Bobs Her Hair (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma); West End: Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios). Other projects include The Waves in Quarantine (a film collaboration with Lisa Peterson and Raúl Esparza), songs as a staff writer on the hit web series Submissions Only, and for Stephen Schwartz and John Tartaglia’s The Secret Silk on Princess Cruise Lines. Adam is the proud recipient of the Kleban Award, the Fred Ebb Award, the Richard Rodgers Award, the Frederick Loewe Award, the Second Stage Theatre Donna Perret Rosen Award, the Weston Playhouse New Music Award, the ASCAP Harold Adamson Award, and the MAC John Wallowitch Award, as well as commissions from Roundabout Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, Keen Company, Signature Theatre, South Coast Repertory, the Kimmel Center, and Broadway Across America. His songs have been heard at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and more, performed by such luminaries as Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara, and Brian d’Arcy James. Recordings of Adam’s work include the cast album of Ordinary Days (Ghostlight Records), Audra McDonald’s Go Back Home (Nonesuch), Artists in Residence (Broadway Records), The Essential Liz Callaway (Working Girl Records), Tracy Lynn Olivera’s Because, and Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project (Entertainment One). Adam has been a Fellow at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, the O’Neill Music Theater Conference, MacDowell, and the Dramatists Guild. He is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild. He served on the Tony Awards Nominating Committee from 2015-2018, and currently sits on the Dramatists Guild Council and the Boards of Roundabout Theatre Company and Primary Stages.
Adam Gwon’s Hermitage residency was generously sponsored by the Huisking Family Foundation.
Hermitage Fellow Reggie Harris is a singer-songwriter, storyteller, and world-renowned song- leader who is a powerful interpreter of the global music narrative. A passionate, engaging, inspirational entertainer and concert artist, Harris is recognized for focusing new energy on the important role of music in the discourse for inclusion and the struggle for human rights using the lessons of history as a base. Considered by many to be an expert on the music of the Underground Railroad and the Modern Civil Rights Movement, he is at home on stage as performer, lecturer, or leading discussion in seminars or in the classroom. Known for over 40 years as one-half of the eminently prominent duo, Kim & Reggie Harris, Reggie continues to crisscross the country, carrying the message of joy, unity, tolerance, and peace through the powerful medium of live music. Harris remains in high demand for concerts, schools, university residencies, community-building, festivals, and teaching workshops. A 2021 winner of both the Spirit of Folk Award from Folk Alliance International and the W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Award, Harris is a charismatic community builder who was featured in 2020 on CNN’s “Silence is Not an Option with Don Lemon.” He was recently featured in The New York Times to discuss his familial connection as the descendant of slavery as a great-great-great grandson of confederate General Williams Carter Wickham and his slave Bibhanna Hewlett with his white cousins. A teaching artist in the Kennedy Center’s CETA program (Changing Education Through the Arts) and a fellow for the prestigious Council of Independent College lecture program, he also serves as Co-President and Director of Music Education for the Living Legacy Project, an advocacy group that sponsors Civil Rights pilgrimages throughout the South and online education seminars worldwide. His 2018 album Ready to Go ranked as #5 on the Folk DJ Charts and was in the top 30 on the US Folk DJ charts for much of 2018. The title cut was the #1 song for May 2018. In 2019, Reggie and Greg Greenway released Deeper Than the Skin in response to their challenging and insightful presentation of the same name. Reggie is currently a rotating DJ featured on Prisms: The Sound of Color on SiriusXM’s “The Village.” His April 2021 release On Solid Ground, the number one CD on the FolkDJ Charts for May 2021, is a collection of 13 songs compiled in response to the challenges and changes in American civic circles stirred by the COVID pandemic and years of racial and political unrest. Reggie’s leadership in racial and interfaith dialogue continues to open opportunities for dialogue and courageous conversation. He is a featured artist in the “Americans Who Tell the Truth” series by Maine artist Rob Shetterly and a recipient of the 2018 Magic Penny Award for Lifetime Achievement for his impact in music from the Children’s Music Network. His recordings and collaborative discography contribute to the national dialogue on history, wellness, and to opening a dialogue of courageous conversations.
Reggie Harris’ Hermitage residency was generously sponsored by Sondra and Gerald Biller.