Baryshnikov Arts Center in Association with The Ringling Museum of Art Announce the Inaugural Ringling International Arts Festival
New York, NY, October 5, 2008 – New York’s Baryshnikov Arts Center and The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, are pleased to announce the launch of the Ringling International Arts Festival – a new biennial performing and visual arts festival to take place one year from now at the Ringling Museum of Art on the Florida State University cultural campus in Sarasota, FL, October 7-11, 2009.
The multidisciplinary festival will kick-off the Florida Gulf Coast 2009-10 cultural season with special art exhibitions and over 30 performances in dance, music, and theater over a five-day period. With artistic direction provided by the Baryshnikov Arts Center and event management by the Ringling, the innovative partnership will present the event throughout the sprawling, 66-acre waterfront cultural campus on Sarasota Bay. The campus, with over 300,000 square feet of museum exhibition space and three fully-equipped theaters, is the legacy of the legendary “Circus King,” John Ringling. In the later years of his life, Ringling dedicated his great resources and talents in a quest to bring the fine arts to people in all walks of life. The new festival is appropriately named to honor his generous bequest of the Ringling estate to the State of Florida.
The festival opens on October 7 with a gala evening featuring the Festival Orchestra led by renowned Atlanta Symphony music director, Robert Spano and featuring New York-based pianist Pedja Muzijevic, in a program of Liszt and Beethoven. Other performances, including world premieres of newly-commissioned works, will be staged in the Ringling’s 275-seat Historic Asolo Theater as well as in the 500-seat Mertz Theatre and 161-seat Cook Theatre, both in the adjacent Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts. Exhibitions will be mounted in the recently-expanded Ringling Museum of Art, where the multi-tiered, Italianate courtyard will also serve as 1,000-seat amphitheater for outdoor events.
Throughout the galleries and gardens of the Ringling estate, festival goers will also discover an array of street theater, lunchtime concerts, lectures, films, workshops, and artist discussions presented by Florida State University, parent organization for the Ringling Museum. Artisans and food vendors will also be featured, including the Festival Café where artists and audience may gather to dine and discuss each day’s events.
The complete performance schedule and festival hotel packages will be available mid-January 2009. For more information about the Baryshnikov Arts Center, please visit: www.bacnyc.org. For more information about the Ringling Museum of Art, please visit: www.ringling.org.