It doesn’t feel like all that long ago everyone was cooped up in their homes. Now, every major cultural institution seems ready to build a new destination to visit. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens has more public spaces and a new master plan in motion. The Asolo Repertory Theater is opening the Koski Center. “On June 23, we celebrated the opening of the first phase of the Robert and Beverly Koski Center expansion, including the primary Margot and Warren Coville Rehearsal Hall,” said Asolo Rep Managing Director Linda DiGabriele. “As we look forward to the completion of phase two fundraising, which will include necessary production and education auxiliary spaces, we were delighted to hear Asolo Rep would be the recipient of a $500,000 Florida Department of State Cultural Facilities grant. This will give us positive momentum as we look towards the fall and the 2022-2023 performance season.”

Meanwhile, Selby Gardens this year executed a $31-million bond sale to launch a major renovation of the Downtown campus. That means come August 2023, Phase 1 should be ready to open to the public. “It’s so rewarding to see the Master Plan coming to life,” said Selby Gardens President and CEO Jennifer Rominiecki. “Selby Gardens’ Master Plan is full speed ahead, thanks to the significant support we’ve received from donors and bond investors.” Growth in the region and philanthropic enthusiasm for projects has sparked one of the greatest physical expansions in assets in the region in decades. That has extended from Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where a new oncology tower opened this year, to Mote Science and Education Aquarium, where a capital campaign has raised upward of $90 million and construction has entered phase 2 at Nathan Benderson Park.