Sarasota Could Become Hollywood of Southeast?


Ringling College of Art and Design took on a major expansion project, to open up a state of the art sound stage/production facility here in Sarasota. The City of Sarasota has approved a land transfer deal that will give Ringling some of the remaining property it needs to build a new sound stage. "It's to not only provide space for students to shoot their films and do the work that they need done but more importantly bringing in commercial productions to Sarasota," added Thompson. Thompson believes the goal is achievable to make Sarasota a hub of the film arts and this is one of the first steps. The soundstage opens up opportunities for many people from students to professional film makers alike along with providing a great economic boost for the city. Film productions offer a wide expanse of jobs especially for the creative sector and Sarasota thrives off of its unique artistic community. "This positive response can be an engine of economic growth through increasing the number of projects, the purchase of second homes, and the opening of production offices," Shapiro said. The Ringling Soundstage is a unique cooperative arrangement between not-for-profit Ringling College, for-profit Semkhor Productions and Sarasota County government. Sarasota County provided a $1.75 million grant for the $18 million project. The soundstage is expected to open this month and is exciting news for the city of Sarasota!

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