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Director's Welcome

Welcome to The Ringling

As the largest museum in Florida, The Ringling is woven into the fabric of this community in countless ways. While our approximately 425,000 annual visitors come from every state in the US and many countries around the globe, the bulk of our visitors are Florida residents. In the last five years, as our overall attendance has doubled, we have tripled the percentage of visitors from our immediate community of Sarasota and Manatee Counties—now more than 34% of annual visitorship—and our membership has grown to over 9,000 households. 

Guided by the concept of The Ringling as the community’s living room, we have worked diligently on a variety of outreach efforts to make The Ringling an accessible and enjoyable experience for all. Our success in building local audiences has been driven by numerous factors, including broadening relationships with key community groups, significantly expanding our teaching and learning programs, and enhancing social opportunities around art.

Among these important initiatives is The Ringling’s active school tours program, which includes fully subsidized bus transportation and welcomes more than 11,000 school-age students to The Ringling every year. Our Summer Learning Academy hosts elementary-age children from area schools to prevent summer learning loss among at-risk students. The Ringling’s partnership with Forty Carrots provides free art classes to young children onsite and at local libraries. And Artful Families provides free admission to underserved families and encourages two-generation learning at The Ringling.

For adults, The Ringling offers 10,000 tours every year on a range of interpretive topics. Ringling Underground presents a community-curated evening of area musicians and visual art. FSU and The Ringling are also members of a consortium of local colleges and universities dedicated to sharing resources and promoting the Sarasota region as an educational, creative, and professional destination.

On the exhibitions front, Skyway: A Contemporary Collaboration, jointly organized by The Ringling, Tampa Museum of Art, and St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, will feature recent work by a juried selection of local and regional artists this summer

I look forward to seeing you at The Ringling, your community museum, very soon.

Steven High
Executive Director

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