"The most amazing, life-altering, eye-opening, practice-evolving, friendliest
and generous of gifts"
- Margaret Stewart, Photographer

Every symphony you hear, every play you see, every dance you experience every painting and sculpture you see, and every book you read, begins its life with a person in a room with an idea and a passion. The Hermitage provides the room for accomplished creators in a spectacular, inspiring environment. Our artists bring their brilliant ideas. Together, with nature, we feed the passion, and we share it all with our community. This is the work of the Hermitage.

BE THE ONE – Support the Hermitage during the 24 hour GIVING CHALLENGE! Click HERE at 12 noon, Tuesday, September 20th!

Do you know that artists of all disciplines are invited to stay and work at our historic campus nestled among the sea grapes and mangroves of Manasota Key? Writers, composers, and painters connect with artistic passions within while strolling along our shoreline, transforming the time away from normal routines into what most claim to be their best productive time for creating.

Here’s what some tell us about being here:

Ellen Doré Watson: Once darkness fell, I walked out onto the beach as if by gravitational pull. No moon. No people. Pound and glow of surf. Slightly scary, but energizing. I felt myself opening up, anticipatory. I don’t think I ever before felt so primed. Back at the house, a new poem poured out, mysterious and different—a piece I hadn’t realized the manuscript needed. The first evening of my first stay at the Hermitage. What was it about this place?

Jonathan Garfinkel: In the upstairs room of the old Hermitage house, I stuck yellow post-it notes on the window that provided an expansive view of the Gulf. On them were a list of every aspect of my novel that I believed were problematic. There were quite a few of them. But I made sure there was enough room to see the ocean. To watch the sunset, every day, as I did while I worked. Somehow the beauty pushed me to work harder. Eventually, after one month at the Hermitage, the yellow post-it notes came down. I finished my novel. I’d been working on it for six years. I had no idea I could get so much done in a month.

Jacqueline Reingold: Every day I worked on my play. Some days I saw the gopher tortoise “Toulouse.” Some days my neck hurt. But every day I wrote my play. At dinner I talked to my fellow writers, composers, and painters about our struggles and triumphs. We all agreed it gets harder as we get older. And the exquisite treasure of the Hermitage is that it recognizes and serves this need.

Time at the Hermitage enjoyed by Ellen, Jonathan, Jacqueline, and other artists – more than 80 last year alone – is only possible because friends like you make it possible! Please mark your calendar NOW for the 24-hour Giving Challenge beginning at 12 noon on Tuesday, Sept. 20. You can be the one to make a difference for a future artist! Please click on the logo below:

The Patterson Foundation will provide a 2:1 match of donations up to $100 from new donors (those who did not contribute to the Hermitage during last year’s Giving Challenge), and will provide a 1:1 match of donations up to $100 from returning donors! You can be a philanthropist and watch your gift become twice or three times more!

The 2016 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation, as well as support from Manatee Community Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune Media Group.


We are proud to share our talented people with those in the region through our community programs. Check our calendar and blog for up-to-date information on Hermitage news and events. Interested in volunteering? Our Friends of the Hermitage organization offers many excellent opportunities.