Celebrate the Season of Giving with Multiple Black-Tie Events Benefiting Sarasota’s Arts and Culture

Sarasota is celebrated for its arts and culture displayed through award-winning performance companies, museums, historical landmarks, and conservatories. Area residents can show their support for their favorites by attending one of this season’s highly anticipated black-tie galas and events. Here are some of the sophisticated and spectacular fund-raising soirees planned for the coming months:

Starry Night Gala Fundraiser – November 23

This unique gala event will be an evening under the stars, held to benefit the Crowley Museum & Nature Center Inc. Pre-registered guests can arrive early for colorful libations and passed hors d’oeuvres catered by Mattison’s, as well as live musical performances by The Billy Rice Band. There will be both a silent and live auction with many unique items and exciting experiences. After indulging in a delightful dinner followed by dessert, guests will be invited to observe the night sky with the Local Group of Deep Sky Observers.

Sarasota Art Museum

Sarasota Art Museum Grand Opening Gala – December 7

The new Sarasota Art Museum came to life through the renovation of the old Sarasota High School. The $27 million project has transformed the historic Sarasota High School building on U.S. 41 south of downtown Sarasota, making way for a revitalized space that will bring the community together. The familiar original high school entrance was preserved in its original design, paying homage to the past.

Be the first to see Sarasota’s newest cultural institution at this black-tie gala event. Sponsorships, individual seats, after-party tickets and combined packages are available.

New Year's Eve Gala

New Year’s Eve Gala – December 31

Don’t miss Sarasota’s most sophisticated and entertaining New Year’s Eve event at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. The annual black-tie gala will include a private journey through tropical holiday light displays, passed hors d’oeuvres, a seated four-course dinner, special performances by The Sarasota Ballet Studio Company and dancing at Michael’s on The Bay. Guests will enjoy a countdown to the New Year paired with a champagne toast and a display of fireworks overlooking Sarasota Bay.

New Year’s Eve Speakeasy Gala – December 31

The highly anticipated New Year’s Eve Speakeasy Gala will return once again at the Powel Crosley Estate Foundation. Guests are invited to come dressed in styles from the roaring 20s for a lively evening of dancing and Casino games. A portion of the New Year’s Eve proceeds go to the Powel Crosley Foundation.

Sarasota Ballet ballerina

The Sarasota Ballet 29th Season Gala Performance and Dinner – January 5

Join The Sarasota Ballet Dancers along with special guest performers for an extraordinary evening. The annual gala will be held at the remarkable Sarasota Opera House. Attendees will enjoy pre-performance champagne and hors d’oeuvres before memorable performances by The Sarasota Ballet Company and soon-to-be-announced special guests.

Following the performance, guests will enter an elegant tent in front of the Opera House for a chance to meet all of the evening’s performers and Ballet aficionados with an exquisite dinner catered by Michael’s on East.

Read more about The Sarasota Ballet.

circus arts performer

2020 Circus Arts Gala – January 31

The Circus Arts Conservatory Sarasota will be holding its perennial gala this coming January under the Big Top. The event begins with a cocktail hour followed by world-class performances. The gala will also include a paddle raise benefiting the conservatory’s outreach programs in Healthcare, Education and Sailor Circus Programs.

2020 Opera Gala – February 1

The Sarasota Opera invites you to come and raise a glass to the start of the 2020 Winter Season at their annual gala, held this year at the Ritz-Carlton. The event starts with a cocktail reception and silent auction followed by an unmatched dining experience. Guests can look forward to performances by Sarasota Opera principal artists, a live band for dancing, and a few more surprises along the way.

Read more about the Sarasota Opera.

palm ball dining

Palm Ball 2020 – February 1

The 2020 Palm Ball – Forever Green, Forever Blue – has paid homage to Florida’s Gulf Coast for the past 13 years. The gala event is held annually to promote conservation of the Gulf’s land and sea.

Guests can expect an elegant evening at the breathtaking Bay Preserve at Osprey. Enjoy a night celebrating the natural beauty of the Gulf that we cherish so much.


2020 Orchid Ball: Expect the Unexpected — February 8

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will transform into an art-inspired wonderland celebrating the opening of the Salvador Dalí: Gardens of the Mind exhibition. Come prepared to “expect the unexpected” at this unique gala event.

Proceeds support Selby Gardens’ community education programs, international research, conversation and renowned horticulture displays.

Asolo Repertory Theatre Annual Gala – March 7

Asolo Repertory Theatre’s Annual Gala will begin with a cocktail reception and auction, followed by a seated dinner, paddle raise, live music and dancing. This year’s theme is inspired by Bollywood – the Indian film industry “known for its melodramatic plots, colorful scenery, lively music, dance and romance,” (Asolo Repertory Theatre).

The gala features a Bollywood-inspired show. Highlights include Broadway performers and an Atlanta-based 5-piece Indian band, Jashn. All proceeds from the gala will benefit Asolo Rep’s 2019-2020 season and provide financial aid to the theatre’s award-winning programs in Education and Engagement.

In the Heart of Downtown’s New Walkable Waterfront Cultural District

Centrally located on The Boulevard of Arts, Auteur joins a community enthralled in arts and culture. Residents can look forward to annual philanthropic events like these and many more, just moments from their address. A limited collection of 56 grand residences in downtown Sarasota overlooking the bay are available from the low $2 millions. Additional information is available at the tower’s state-of-the-art sales gallery at 1297 N. Palm Ave. or by phone: 941-218-2855.