As many of our patrons already know, The Players is in the process of negotiating terms for a lease agreement at Municipal Auditorium. The proposal is set to be discussed at the City Commission meeting taking place on the morning of Monday, October 3 at City Hall on First Street in downtown Sarasota.
Our proposal includes over $6 million in upgrades to the Municipal Auditorium that include collapsible theater seating, updated lighting and sound, new office spaces, acoustics enhancements, HVAC improvements, IT systems upgrades, two-thirds coverage of the operating costs, and a commitment to making the space available for other events and arts organizations. Notably, our proposal would see us share management of the space with The Bay Park Conservancy, with The Players managing the space September through April and The Bay managing the space May through August.
While our proposal’s benefits to the community speak for themselves, our proposal has run into some opposition from stakeholders who feel it will interfere with their own vision for the space—visions that have not been outlined and for which no funding appears to exist.
We are asking our patrons to join our “Bring The Players Home” campaign, whose goal is to show the city commission and our region’s residents that there is broad public support for The Players to invest in and steward the Municipal Auditorium. As part of that campaign, here is how you can help us ensure our value to the community is communicated loudly and clearly.
We’ve drafted two variations of a support letter that you can use to make your opinion heard. Download one of the two versions and fill in the fields for name and number of years you’ve been a resident. Feel free to add your own messages as you see fit. Then, send your personalized letter of support to the city’s leadership listed below.
Letter of Support #1
Letter of Support #2
Mayor Erik Arroyo — Erik.Arroyo@sarasotafl.gov
Vice Mayor Kyle Battie — Kyle.Battie@sarasotafl.gov
Commissioner Jen Ahearn Koch — Jen.Ahearn-Koch@sarasotafl.gov
Commissioner Liz Alpert — Liz.Alpert@sarasotafl.gov
Commissioner Hagen Brody — Hagen.Brody@sarasotafl.gov
In addition to the written letter of support, we invite all our patrons to join us at City Hall on Monday, 10/3. City Commission meetings begin at 9am and the Municipal Auditorium agenda item will appear in Unfinished Business. You can visit here for agendas of city meetings. Beyond a show of support for The Players, we hope you’ll consider making your voice heard during the public comment period leading up to a vote on our proposal. We want to try and fill the public comment period with supporters of The Players who can make the case in their own words for why they think The Players belongs at Municipal Auditorium.
As we execute our campaign, we invite all of our patrons to engage with us on social media, particularly when we publish posts specific to the campaign. While clicking the “like” button on Facebook or the “heart” button on Instagram seems like a small act, it’s yet another way for us to show how much community support there is for our proposal. Look for our campaign’s social posts in the coming days.