by Jordan Faddis
On December 3, Florida Studio Theatre will hold a celebration honoring those who have made lifetime commitments to FST through planned giving. The event will include dedication ceremonies for both FST’s recently renovated artistic producing offices and its new costume studio.
Florida Studio Theatre received a generous Legacy gift from the Muriel O’Neil Fund for Performing Arts of Community Foundation of Sarasota County. With this planned gift, an endowed fund was established to help underwrite FST’s Winter Mainstage Series for many years to come. The Fund also supported important renovations to our artistic producing offices and the construction of a new costume studio.
Muriel’s sister, Dr. Gertrude Hight, established this gift through a relationship with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County in order to ensure Muriel’s Legacy would live on and support an area of the community she deeply cherished. “Through her [sister’s] gift, Muriel will continue to be a part of every production FST brings to the stage,” said Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins of longtime subscriber and volunteer usher, Muriel O’Neil.
FST has experienced a year of surprising growth. The demand for programming has allowed us to extend our seasons. Thanks to a portion of the gift, FST has been able to renovate and construct our workspace to meet the demand for growth.
In addition, FST received a meaningful planned gift from the late Dr. Morris E. Katz, to establish the Morris E. and Freda Hillson Katz Endowment Fund to help support continuous funding for FST’s general operations. A Mainstage Series subscriber for over a decade, Dr. Katz contributed to our Friends Membership campaign each and every year. Through his thoughtful planning, Dr. Katz will support the programming he valued for the next generation.
Planned gifts help grow FST’s Endowment and will ensure financial security and sustainability of Florida Studio Theatre for future seasons. FST will honor the lasting, meaningful impact of donors Mrs. O’Neil and Dr. Katz at the Dedication Ceremony on Monday, December 3, 2018.