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Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Selby Gardens Receives $60,000 Arts Appreciation Grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation


Gulf Coast Community Foundation has awarded Marie Selby Botanical Gardens a $60,000 Arts Appreciation Grant. The grant is funded in part by the Mildred and Garrett Eelman Charitable Fund at Gulf Coast.

The grant will provide vital support for two key exhibitions in 2022-23 that are part of Selby Gardens’ rotating schedule of shows as The Living Museum®. The funding also enables Selby Gardens to continue engaging underserved families in the Sarasota region through its My Garden program.

“Gulf Coast Community Foundation supports Selby Gardens in so many ways, and we are grateful for this endorsement of our leadership in the local arts and cultural community,” said Jennifer O. Rominiecki, President & CEO of Selby Gardens. “Gulf Coast’s Arts Appreciation funding means we can connect more people to art and nature in innovative ways and we can welcome more families to our bayfront sanctuaries who might not otherwise be able to visit.”

The Arts Appreciation Grant will help underwrite Selby Gardens’ 2023 Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition, Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature. The first exhibition of its kind to be presented in a botanical garden, the show will highlight the creativity and innovation of American artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany by exploring his work and its inspiration in nature. Gulf Coast is a Lead Sponsor of the exhibition, which opens at Selby Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus next February.

Gulf Coast also continues its Lead Sponsorship of another innovative exhibition, Seeing the Invisible, which is on view daily at the Historic Spanish Point campus in Osprey. This contemporary-art exhibition showcases 13 works by internationally renowned artists that were created using augmented-reality technology. The show has been on view since the fall of 2021 and continues through September 2023.

The Arts Appreciation Grant also extends Gulf Coast’s partnership with Selby Gardens to broaden access to its two campuses and educational programming to more diverse audiences in the community. The funding will support yearlong household memberships for underserved youth and their families through the My Garden program, which was launched in 2019 with a grant from the foundation. Currently, more than 300 households participate.

“With greatly expanded capacity coming soon thanks to our Master Plan project, the My Garden program will only grow,” said Rominiecki. “Gulf Coast has been with us from the start, and on behalf of hundreds of My Gardens members, we thank the foundation for its investment in inclusiveness.”

“Gulf Coast values our longstanding relationship with Selby Gardens,” said Mark Pritchett, President/CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “We are proud to invest in this cultural institution that continuously brings innovation to our region. Working together with exceptional arts organizations reaffirms and strengthens a shared regional identity and cultural life.”

Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Arts Appreciation Grants provide unrestricted funding to cornerstone arts and cultural organizations that are leading contributors to the regional economy and cultural reputation of Sarasota County. This marks the first year the foundation has funded Selby Gardens through this initiative, reflecting the impact of The Living Museum operating model employed by Selby Gardens. In all, the foundation awarded $710,000 in Arts Appreciation Grants to 13 nonprofit organizations this year.