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2011 Press Releases

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December 6, 2012

Sam Lowry, Communications Officer
(941) 328-1322

  Sarasota Opera receives NEA grant to support  Of Mice and Men Education Events

Grant one of 832 Art Works grants totaling $23.3 million in funding nationwide

Sarasota, FL— National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced today that Sarasota Opera is one of 832 non-profit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. Sarasota Opera is recommended for a $30,000 grant to support to support performances of Carlisle Floyd's opera Of Mice and Men, as part of the third year of the "American Classics Series," accompanied by significant educational programming.

Sarasota Opera, in its third year of the American Classics Series, will stage six performances of Carlisle Floyd’s opera Of Mice and Men, based on John Steinbeck’s famous novel and play, as part of its 2013 Winter Festival.  In addition, Sarasota Opera has committed to providing a series of educational events in conjunction with the American Classics productions and in partnership with other local arts organizations.  The goal of these events is to increase our current audience’s knowledge of these great works and to attract new faces to the opera.  By presenting an opera with name recognition, Sarasota Opera believes this production of Of Mice and Men will continue to cement the popularity of the critically acclaimed American Classics Series, while drawing new audiences, perhaps not familiar with opera.

In 2011, the NEA awarded Sarasota Opera a $20,000 grant towards their 2011 production of Robert Ward’s The Crucible.

Of Mice and Men (sm)

The New Fence, 1945 (tempera on canvas laid down on plywood), Thomas Hart Benton, (1889-1975) / Private Collection / Photo © Christie’s Images / The Bridgeman Art Library

The education events for this season’s production of Of Mice and Men will include a screening of both the 1939 and 1992 versions of the movie, a “conversation” with composer Carlisle Floyd, and a repeat of the extremely popular “Spoken and Sung” in partnership with the Asolo Conservatory.  Check Sarasota Opera’s website at for more information on these events.       

"I'm proud to announce these 832 grants to the American public including the education events surrounding the performances of Floyd’s Of Mice and Men," said Chairman Rocco Landesman. "These projects offer extraordinary examples of creativity in our country, including the creation of new work, innovative ways of engaging audiences, and exemplary education programs."

“We are extremely grateful to the NEA for their continued support of the American Classics Series at Sarasota Opera,” says Executive Director Richard Russell.  “Through this grant, the NEA is helping us bring these great American works to the Sarasota.” 

In March 2012, the NEA received 1,509 eligible applications for Art Works requesting more than $74 million in funding.  The 832 recommended NEA grants total $22.3 million, span 13 artistic disciplines and fields, and focus primarily on the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing works for the benefit of American audiences. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at


Based in Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera will open its 54th consecutive season on February 9, 2012 with Puccini’s Turandot followed by Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, Verdi’s A King for a Day and Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men.  Subscriptions and single tickets for the 2012 – 2013 Winter Season are now on sale and available by calling (941) 328-1300 or visiting the Sarasota Opera Box Office at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue.

Sarasota Opera is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Programs are supported in part by an award the Tourist Development Tax through the Board of County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Council and the Sarasota County Arts Council. Additional funding is provided by the City of Sarasota and the County of Sarasota.


Sarasota Opera • 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236 • (941) 366-8450 •