The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art to celebrate completion of $100 million comprehensive campaign

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art has made great strides toward achieving its goals of inclusion, inspiration and excellence. (The Ringling Museum)
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art has made great strides toward achieving its goals of inclusion, inspiration and excellence. (The Ringling Museum)

The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the State Art Museum of Florida administered by Florida State University (FSU), is planning a community Free Day Saturday, April 6, to celebrate the completion of the $100 million The Ringling Inspires: Honoring the Legacy and Building for the Future campaign.

The campaign will be officially complete this spring and is an integral component of the recently completed Florida State University $1 Billion Raise the Torch campaign.

Through the comprehensive campaign, the permanent collection has nearly doubled through gifts of artwork and art acquisition funding. In addition, two curatorial positions have been endowed: The Shank Family Foundation endowed the position of curator of performance — named the Currie-Kohlmann Curator of Performance — and Keith and Linda Monda endowed the Keith D. and Linda L. Monda Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Ringling.

“This campaign has helped The Ringling create a long-term commitment to preserving the history on our campus, build the collection we care for and welcome a diverse audience representative of our Sarasota community,” said Steven High, executive director. “We extend our deepest thanks to our major donors and to our entire community.”

Major gifts from the campaign have led to the naming of multiple venues, including the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Center for Asian Art, the David F. Bolger Campiello and Promenade, the David F. Bolger Playspace, the Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion, the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation Grand Hall, the Charles and Charlotte Perret Family Performance Studio, the Nancy Ellis Tea House, the Keith D. and Linda L. Monda Gallery for Contemporary Art, the David W. and Mary S. Benfer Courtyard and the Willis Smith Ticket Booth.

The campaign supported significant restoration of the Ca’ d’Zan, including restoration of the glazed terra cotta on the mansion’s exterior, a project that was funded by the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources. Additional preservation projects funded by campaign supporters include the restoration of John Ringling’s balcony by J. Richard and Cornelia Matson and the newly restored Bolger Family Reflecting Pool in honor of Ron McCarty’s service to Ca’ d’Zan.

Support for performance and modern and contemporary art installations was provided by the Ellin Family Foundation with the naming of the Ellin Family Art of Our Time Endowment.

Support for The Ringling circus collection was provided by Howard and Janice Tibbals. Support from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County was integral to the success of the campaign.

Additionally, the campaign provided a formal program for funding and sponsoring exhibitions, significant household membership and legacy society growth, new research for at-risk families, a community engagement and access initiative and more. This included creation of the Where Everyone Belongs program (WEB) with a grant from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, and creation of a new position: the Barancik Community Engagement Fellow.

On Saturday, April 6, The Ringling welcomes the community to celebrate with a special Free Day in recognition of meeting the historic $100 million comprehensive campaign goal. The community is invited for a day of family-friendly activities to see how support of this campaign has transformed The Ringling, making it a top cultural destination and preserving its ability to serve generations to come.

“The Ringling is an integral part of the tradition of excellence in the arts at FSU,” said FSU President John Thrasher. “The Ringling Inspires campaign has helped create a farsighted plan for caring for, housing and building collections. It considers the rich history of the campus and looks to the future by serving the wide and diverse audience of the greater Sarasota area.”