Arts & Culture

  • Main painting lions
  • Women using blow torch on stone
Longboat Key Education Center | (941) 388-4441
5370 Gulf of Mexico Dr # 212, Longboat Key, FL

For those who love learning new things, there is no better place to cultivate that love than at the Longboat Key Education Center.
The Longboat Key Education Center, a non-profit adult enrichment center, provides a wide range of education and recreation classes to residents and winter visitors to Longboat Key, as well as those who live in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Laura Taubes founded the Education Center in 1985 with the belief that continued learning keeps the mind active and the spirit young. Its mission is to serve “all adults regardless of residence or educational background.”

The Longboat Key Education Center is open from November to April and is divided into three terms: fall, winter and spring. There are more than 150 courses offered, ranging from yoga and tai chi to foreign affairs and book clubs that last from four to eight weeks. All courses are non-credit, and there are no prerequisites for admission. The center also offers lecture series, performing-arts series, one-day workshops and guided day-long trips to interesting places throughout Southwest Florida.

Performances such as live jazz combos, theater performances, piano recitals, movies and lectures from local and national speakers can be enjoyed throughout the season.

Besides the course offerings, performances and lectures held each term, the Education Center is open to the public and features exhibits by local artists and faculty members.

For more information about the classes offered and about the Education Center, visit or call 941-383-8811.

  • Ringling Museum of Art Sarasota
  • Production of Rossini the Barber of Seville
  • Chalk drawing in Sarasota
  • chariot piece at Ringling museum of art
  • Sarasota Opera House
  • Van Wezel
More Arts and Culture

Sarasota is one of the cultural centers, if not the cultural capital, of Florida. The city is home to some of the nation’s top performing arts and dance facilities, as evident by the 2.3 million total attendees to arts and cultural events in the city annually. These venues offer original programming year-round and are always on the cusp of emerging trends in the arts world.

The Ringling

5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, 359-5700 |

The Ringling offers 66 acres of beautiful grounds and family-friendly activities. In addition to the Museum of Art, there’s the Circus Museum, Cà d’Zan (Mediterranean Revival winter home of the late John and Mable Ringling) and Historic Asolo Theater.

Arts Center Sarasota

707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 365-2032 |

This member-based art organization opened in 1949. It promotes local arts and art appreciation through educational programs and diverse exhibits of local and international art.

Asolo Repertory Theatre and FSU/Asolo Conservatory

5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 351-9010 |

These two theater groups share a partnership but operate separately under the same roof. FSU/Asolo Conservatory is the three-year graduate degree program that offers a season of four productions; the third-year students act in Asolo Repertory Theatre productions. Asolo Repertory Theatre is the professional repertory theater offering a diverse repertoire featuring plays, new works and musicals.

Bradenton Village of the Arts

1113 12th St. W., Bradenton, 747-8056 |

Home to 42 acres of galleries and artist dwellings, this community of artists is famous for its small colorful cottages, restaurants and retail shops. The first weekend of every month, the Village of the Arts hosts its Monthly Art Walk.

Florida Studio Theatre

1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota, 366-9017 |

This professional theater company offers contemporary plays and has been in operation since 1973.

Island Players

1009 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria Island, 778-5755 •

This community theater venue operates on Anna Maria Island and offers a handful of live productions in an intimate setting.

Manatee Performing Arts Hall

502 Third Ave. W., Bradenton, 748-5875 •

This community theater in Bradenton features two theaters as well as rehearsal and classroom space in Bradenton.

Sarasota Opera

61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, 366-8450 |

Sarasota Opera showcases a full season of opera in the opera house it owns. It offers a diverse repertoire of classic and modern operas, but is most widely known for its ongoing Verdi cycle, in which the opera will play every note Giuseppe Verdi ever wrote.

Sarasota Orchestra

709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 953-3434 |

What started as a community orchestra in 1948 has grown into a full-fledged professional orchestra. It recently came under the new direction of Anu Tali.

South Florida Museum

201 10th St. W., Bradenton, 746-2556 •

Learn about prehistoric Florida at the museum, get nose to nose with Snooty, the oldest manatee on record, at the aquarium or head to the outer limits of the galaxy in the planetarium at the largest natural and cultural history museum on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

The Players Theatre

838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 365-2494 •

This Sarasota-based community theater opened in 1936. It offers musicals, plays and black-box style theater.

The Sarasota Ballet

5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 359-0099 •

The Sarasota Ballet is the only professional ballet company on the Gulf Coast. It was founded in 1987 and maintains a diverse repertoire of contemporary and classic ballets.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 1-800-826-9303 •

Van Wezel is the largest venue in Sarasota. It seats 1,736 people for a diverse array of music, dance, theater, comedic and Broadway productions.

Venice Theatre

140 Tampa Ave. W., Venice, 488-1115 •

Venice Theatre is the Venice-based community theater and one of the largest community theaters in the United States. It opened in 1950 and offers a variety of entertaining productions.

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

1646 10th Way, Sarasota, 366-1505 •

Established in 2000, this professional company presents world-premiere musicals and award-winning plays in an intimate theatre setting.

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Contact us to request a visitor guide which we’ll send to you in the mail. OR view our Interactive Visitor Guide through our website.

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