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The Hermitage Artist Retreat and Booker High School are teaming up to connect leading Hermitage scholars around the world with students and families, as well as members of the Sarasota community.

This new “Hermitage @ Booker” series, a collaboration between the Hermitage Artist Retreat and Booker High School’s Visual & Performing Arts (VPA) program, will launch with “The Edge of Music”, a public event on Friday, December 17th, with Hermitage Fellow, jazz bassist and composer Luke Stewart. The DC / NYC-based musician is known for his daring experiments at the cutting edge of musicianship. He will share an improvised selection of his work, host a “jam session” with local artists and students, discuss his creative process and talk about building a career in the music industry.

“The Edge of Music” begins at 5:30 p.m. ET in the outer courtyard of Booker High on Friday, December 17 (3201 North Orange Ave, Sarasota, FL 34234; free with a registration fee of $ 5 / person at Additional events in the “Hermitage @ Booker” series will be announced at a later date.

The Hermitage has shared the gift of education with students at Booker High School and Booker Middle School for many years, as well as with other schools in the area, bringing in leading artists from across the country. in classrooms, building bridges with students and teachers. As the Hermitage continues to expand its partnership with Booker High School, the organization will continue to deliver classroom programs and workshops for teachers, as well as introduce new mentoring opportunities connecting young, aspiring artists. with the extraordinary musicians, playwrights, visual artists, guest dancers of the Hermitage, and more. New support for this expanded community engagement is provided this season by the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, as well as additional support for artist-in-teaching residencies provided by the Koski Family Foundation.

Also in December, the Hermitage partners with Westcoast Black Theater Troupe and Resilient Retreat to present the “Connections” beach program on Friday, December 3 at 5 p.m. ET, featuring Hermitage scholars Lisa E. Harris and James Anthony Tyler, who will share the work and experiences that illuminate how we connect with the world around us. The evening will include an exploration of Harris’ songs and short stories, as well as a reading of Tyler’s quietly provocative play, Hop thA A (Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Rd., Englewood; free with an entry fee of 5 $ / person at HermitageArtistRetreat. org).

Lisa E. Harris is an opera and classical vocal singer who uses voice, movement, text, and new media to explore healing in performance. The Huffington Post named her “one of the fourteen artists transforming opera.” Harris performed at the 52nd Venice Biennale and is a featured singer on the Grammy-nominated album All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller. James Anthony Tyler received a Horton Foote Playwriting Award and a first commission as a playwright from Audible. He was the editor of Cherish the Day, a show created by Selma director Ava DuVernay for the OWN network.

“We are delighted to launch this expanded collaboration with Booker High School,” said Andy Sandberg, Artistic Director and CEO of Hermitage. “We are delighted to partner with Dr. Rachel Shelley and her extraordinary faculty to bring this new initiative to life and make meaningful connections between some of the country’s greatest artists and the innovative young minds of our community. We look forward to presenting. more students and area residents to the bold new works and creative journeys of famous Hermitage Fellows around the world. We are also delighted to continue our long-standing relationship with the Westcoast Black Theater Troupe and to forge a new partnership with our friends at Resilient Retreat.

“As we seek to encourage our students to reach new heights, we are delighted that the Hermitage Fellows are working with our students and presenting their process to the community,” said Rachel Shelley, Principal of Booker High School. “The Hermitage partnership is an extraordinary opportunity for Booker High School’s Magnet VPA program to connect student learning with the experiences of recognized professionals working in the visual and performing arts.