Hermitage Artist Retreat Inc
6660 Manasota Key Road
Englewood FL 34223
The mission of the Hermitage Artist Retreat is to nurture creativity, preserve Florida history, protect native ecology, and serve our Gulf Coast communities.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Bruce E. Rodgers
Board Chair Mrs. Ilene Denton
Board Chair Company Affiliation Sarasota Magazine
History and Background
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Awarded a competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years?
Incorporation Year 2002
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $594,600.00
Projected Expenses $594,600.00
Additional Documents
IRS Letter of Determination
501 Determination
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
Permit? Yes Apr 2015
Registration Yes Apr 2015

Accomplishments 2012-2015:

1. Establishment endowments to support the care of the Hermitage property and to fund artist residencies. In 2015, established a third endowment to fund the Annette Dignam Hermitage/State College of Florida Residency in Literature. Combined with the endowed Greenfield Foundation contract, the Hermitage funds cover 24% of operating expenses. The Hermitage also has an irrevocable, $500,000 bequest designated for the operating endowment.
2. Expanded our Artist Days from 687 in 2010, to over 1,000 in 2014. Artist communities measure the use of their facilities in “artist days," i.e. five artists in residence for one day represents five artist days.
3.National Partnerships: We have a partnership with the Aspen Music Festival and School for the Hermitage Prize presented each year at the Festival. We have a partnership with the Florida Humanities Council to provide a residency to the annual recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award in Literature. In 2015 we are partnering with the American Opera Project in New York City to support the residencies of a composer and lyricist working together on a new creation.

4. Greenfield Prize: The 2013 Greenfield Prize winner is Trenton Doyle Hancock, whose art will be displayed at the Ringling Museum beginning in April 2015. The 2014 winner was Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Nilo Cruz and receiving the Greenfield Prize in 2015 is composer/percussionist Bobby Previte.
5. Saved the Cisterns: With grants and private donations, we restored the historic cisterns at the Hermitage in 2013.

Goals 2015:

In 2015 the Hermitage will expand its property lease with Sarasota County to include the newly acquired Davis Property to the south. The addition of this new property gives us space for indoor public programs, large-scale visual art studio, the potential for a dance space, and new administration offices. As part of upcoming strategic planning we will develop project phases to allow us to maximize the opportunity this property presents. An added benefit is that our current office space in the Tom Dignam Beach Cottage will become available for artist use.
The Hermitage began as the brainchild of Patricia Caswell, then Director of the Sarasota Arts Council in 1999.  She enlisted cultural philanthropist Syd Adler and it became an official Arts Council project.  A steering committee of community activists was formed to raise the funds to restore the five historic buildings on 8 1/2 acres of  county-owned property on Manasota Key.  The first building was completed in 2003 and our first artist, sculptor Malcolm Robinson came that year.
The organization received its 501(C)3 in 2002.  In 2005 Bruce Rodgers started as the first Executive Director and established the operating policies and procedures (including the "invitation only" policy for artist selection).  
The final building to be restored, the Tom Dignam Beach Cottage, was dedicated in February 2009.  The restoration of the five historic buildings was completed for approximately $1.2 million, almost all private funds, and without incurring any debt.
The property continues to be under long-term lease from Sarasota County however no County funds go toward operating the organization. 
The Hermitage is proud of its three major programs:
1. Core residency program. The Hermitage provides living space and studio space for mid-career writers, painters, composers, playwrights, writers, and other creative individuals. These national and international artists come to our beachfront campus and to our satellite space on the grounds of the Ringling Museum by invitation only from a highly prestigious national committee of experts from each of the artistic disciplines we support. All artists are offered a bank of six weeks and have two years to spend that time in weekly increments of their choosing. Plus, all artists are asked to perform two free community programs, which the Hermitage produces in collaboration with regional cultural organizations, libraries, and schools. Invitation acceptance rate has grown to near 100%.
2. The Greenfield Prize, a national prize awarded in drama, music, and visual art, is given in the form of a $30,000 commission for a new work and a Hermitage residency.
3. The STAR (State Teacher Artist Residencies) program is a four-week summer residency available to full-time Florida public school arts teachers. Over 100 applicants have competed in the past three years for residencies in visual arts, music, theater, and creative writing.  STAR participants also provide free community programming.
  1. Realignment of landscape and structure maintenance and repair operations to have a contract facilities manager available. This would add approximately $15,000 to the annual budget.
  2. A complete restructuring of all Information Technology hardware, software and networking infrastructure.  Over these early years, and through our exponential growth, we had added technology on an ad hoc basis.  It has gotten out of control.  It needs to be completely disassembled, and recreated from scratch so everything works seamlessly with everything else.  This is about a $20,000 project.
  3. Food for Artists.  Most artist communities have some kind of food program for their artists.  We would like to provide and cook 3-4 dinners, and the food for all meals for the resident artist program.  The would add approximately $30,000 to our annual budget.
  4. Additional Commissioning.  The Hermitage leads our field of approximately 500 artist communities in America with the commissioning we do through the Greenfield Prize.  We would like to add a second commission to build on the Greenfield model.  This would increase our annual operating budget by $60,000.
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

Sixty to 75 mid-career artists of all disciplines visit the Hermitage Artist Retreat each year to draw upon our unique natural setting for creative inspiration.  The quality of these artists has continued to escalate.  Art created at the Hermitage is displayed, played or performed all over the U.S. and all over the world. 

In addition, the Hermitage brings talented Florida public school teachers in the visual arts, music and creative writing to our campus in July and August each year. Here, they are able to step outside the confines of their busy school year to nurture the artist within, enjoying the same experiences as our resident artists.


“Community” is—along with creativity, ecology and history—a pillar of the Hermitage Artist Retreat’s mission. The whole board looks forward to welcoming the community to our authors’ beach readings; artists’ open studio tours; our annual plein air painting day; and lecture/demonstrations at the Historic Asolo, Art Center Sarasota and elsewhere around town. We seek donations in order for us to continue to offer them for free, or for a minimal $5 cost required by the Historic Asolo Theater.


Everything this coming year will be about successfully incorporating Sarasota County’s newly acquired Palm House, just south of the current campus, into the Hermitage master plan. Its high ceilings and big, open floor plan will allow the Hermitage to invite artists who create in large scale—sculptors, choreographers, composers—and that’s exciting. And who knows what else it means for our future?
Areas Served
Areas Served
State Wide
FL- Charlotte
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Environment
The Residency Program is the organization's core program. In a field of approximately 500 artist communities in the U.S., we are one of very few who curate all of their residencies. That is, our artists come to the Hermitage by invitation only. Artists are invited by a very prestigious national committee of directors and curators affiliated with America's most important cultural institutions such as the John F. Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the George Eastman House and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art among others.
 We support residencies in myriad visual arts, playwriting, prose and poetry, musical composition, choreography, performance art, and video.  Our artists are all mid-career creatives who are living by their artistic work.
Significantly ALL Hermitage artists are required to perform two free programs for the community during their residency period.  These programs include teacher and student workshops, readings by our authors, concerts, lectures, symposium, and serve all ages and areas of Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte Counties at no cost from the Hermitage to the individual, school or organization.
Budget $275,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Artists-in-Residence
Program linked to organizational strategy? Yes
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Short Term Success For the artist population we serve, artists accomplish more work at a higher quality than they would have accomplished without the residency.  This is why artists go to residencies.  For the community, they have access to artists creating the most significant work of our time - artists whose work they will buy in the bookstores, see on the stages, and experience in the museums they all love.  
Long Term Success
Like our other programs, artistic work does not lend itself well to quantifiable metrics.  We measure the intensity of our use of the facility through "artist days."  That means five artists in residence for one day equals five artist days.  As a result, we track our artist days over time to track our breadth of service to the national artist community.  
Work created at the Hermitage is being produced and exhibited throughout the world. The Hermitage facilitates the creative process, and the work created as a result is impacting people from around the world.  All artist communities are evaluated by this standard: the quality of the artists working at the facility, and the quality of the work created while in residence.  
How Program is Monitored We survey every Hermitage artist after their residency is complete.
Examples of Program Success

Artist communities are evaluated by the quality of their artists, and by what happens to the work created there. Composer Nico Muhly and librettist Craig Lucas wrote their opera, Two Boys while in residence at the Hermitage. It premiered in 2011 at the English National Opera and opened at the New York Metropolitan Opera in November 2013. Other examples: Playwright Craig Lucas’ Greenfield-commissioned play Ode To Joy, on stage at the Cherry Lane Theater, New York; Composer Bernard Rand’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Hermitage fellow Robert Spano; Sculptor Malcolm Robertson’s bronze tribute to jute mill workers unveiled in Dundee, Scotland; Filmmaker Bill Morrison’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

We share testimonials from our artists to demonstrate the impact of a Hermitage residency on their work. Brooklyn artist Will Villalongo noted after staying at the Hermitage: I contemplated immensities and clarified ideas. The Hermitage is a beautiful gift to the arts and the environment, reminding us that there is great value in both.

ETHEL’s cellist Dorothy Lawson wrote: It is impossible to overstate the impact The Hermitage is having on our working process, our vision, our career, and opportunities. We are ETERNALLY in your debt.

Visual artist and designer Anne Patterson noted, The project for the San Francisco Symphony, Debussy's "St. Sebastien" that I was working on while at the retreat opened this past weekend. It was a huge success! Standing ovations, great reviews, sold out crowds, talk of touring! It really could not have been better….So many thanks to you for giving me the time and space to create such a successful project. Both key ideas of the project were developed while I was at the Hermitage!"

The STAR (State Teacher/Artist Residencies) Program provides a four-week, summer residency for Florida public school teachers of visual arts, creative writing, and music. In partnership with the Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE), applications are accepted and evaluated by a jury for selection. The 2011 pilot program had 78 applicants vie for two visual arts residencies, two creative writing residencies, and one music residency. Each summer, the teachers participate in a free Beach program, just as other Hermitage artists do. We look forward to welcoming five more teacher/artists in 2015.

Budget $25,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Artists-in-Residence
Program linked to organizational strategy? Yes
Population Served Adults
Short Term Success
Short-term success is measured by the quantity and/or quality of the work accomplished during the residency.Artistic work is far from quantifiable - not all the work shows up in quantifiable form, or at the time you want it to.  So we look to artist satisfaction as expressed in reflection to guage our short term success.
Long Term Success STAR participants provide program evaluations and valuable feedback. This testimonial from Fred Rosa, a teacher in Miami-Dade County, is just one example of the impact of STAR. “ A one of a kind opportunity that I will always remember and treasure, the Hermitage Artist Retreat. It is a dream come true for me to be able to work in such a magical place. I was able to develop a substantial body of work within a month. I am a father of three and a full time art teacher. The STAR program gave me the opportunity to get away from the day-to-day worries and focus completely on my artwork. Waking up to that incredible view was a way for me to generate creativity. Thanks to this generous program, I was able to complete several paintings which will be in future art shows. I feel very proud to have been a part of this process. There was a special bond with the other artists. It was fun and stimulating to have shared ideas and feedback with the others.
How Program is Monitored We survey the artist/teachers at the end of the residency.  Plus, we know that these teachers tell others about the program which results in new applicants every year.
Examples of Program Success
"Never before have I had an opportunity to share a residency with other artists, which share their love of teaching, as well as the excitement of creative process.  The STAR residency has offered each one of us a motivational creative learning experience, a time to celebrate and share creativity with other arts educators having similar goals and aspirations.  Our productivity has blossomed as our friendships strengthened." - Patricia Cummins, Miami-Dade County
“My fellowship at the Hermitage has been a most generous gift of time to create and rejuvenate in a spectacular environment. I have been inspired to fill stacks of notebooks with words and stories; but to my surprise, I have realized my greatest gain from this experience has been a rekindling of respect and passion for myself, as an artist and a teacher." - Melissa Pranke, Orange County 
"The Hermitage has afforded us not only time and space but more importantlyinspiration." Andrea Huffman, Broward County 
Description In 2008, the Trustees of the Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Board of Directors of the Greenfield Foundation signed a contract for the Hermitage to create, administer, and promote a prize of national significance for playwrights, composers, and visual artists.  The prize includes a cash award of $30,000 in the form of a commission for a new work from a major American artist in one of the above three disciplines.  In addition, it includes a Hermitage residency to create the work, a partnership with a professional Sarasota arts organization to develop and premiere the work, and support for national awareness and performance/exhibition of the work once it is completed.  The contract with the Greenfield Foundation is in perpetuity.  It has already achieve national attention.  It is a growing, exciting Hermitage program that has put our organization squarely in the national spotlight and in the forefront of our field.  No other artist community is commissioning at this level.
Budget $136,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Artists-in-Residence
Program linked to organizational strategy? Yes
Population Served Adults
Short Term Success Short-term success will be measured by the commissioned work achieving its first production/performance/exhibition.
Long Term Success Long term success will be measured by the continued production/exhibition of work commissioned by the Greenfield Prize.  It is the goal of the prize to inspire significant works that will have an impact on the discipline itself and/or on society.  The full acceptance of the work into the cannon will signal our success.
How Program is Monitored Artists winning the Greenfield Prize are asked to fill surveys about their experience.  In addition, we continually improve the prize selection process by ending each 6-month selection process with a feedback session with the national jury that is assembled to select the prize winner. We monitor the subsequent life of the work with Google Alerts which inform us of other productions of the work, and by maintaining communications with the prize winners.
Examples of Program Success Because the prize is relatively new, there are only two examples of fully executed commissions; a play by Craig Lucas and a chamber music piece by Eve Beglarian.  Craig continues to develop his play amidst other writing work he is completing and it has grown from two related one-act plays, to three related independent, full-length plays.  A video with Craig speaking of the impact of this prize on him and his work has been uploaded with this profile.
Program Comments by Organization

From the Executive Director:  The Hermitage Artist Retreat is the only cultural organization of its kind in Sarasota County as it is not a performing arts organization and it’s not an exhibiting organization. Our unique mission serves individual artists, primary creators such as writers, composers, visual artists, playwrights, poets and the like, by providing them with a special environment bathed in history and nature in which to work. Since the first artist stayed here in 2003, we have gone from a fledgling start-up organization to a thriving, sustainable national and international institution that is, through residencies and partnerships, having local, state-wide, national and international impact.

Our commitment to serving our artists is only matched by our commitment to serve the regional community. Every Hermitage artist is required to perform two free programs for the community and every Greenfield Prize commission is premiered in partnership with a regional cultural institution. Plus, in partnership with Ms. Barbara Shepherd of the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, we host residencies for artists whose work is with young audiences and school arts integration. These artists, the best in the nation at what they do, perform their community programs in schools, working with our faculty or directly with our students.

We think of our work in concentric circles, beginning on our Manasota Key Campus where we host our artists, where we work every day to preserve the Florida history in our buildings, and where we host free public programs on our beach and in our studios. Other programs are conducted throughout Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte Counties. Our STAR program specifically tailored for Florida’s public school arts teachers in music, visual art, theater, and creative writing, impact school districts around the State of Florida. And the work our artists create are exhibited, performed, and published throughout the United States and around the world.

We are proud that we have achieved national and international stature in just a few short years, and that artists from around the world come here, to our beautiful shore, to be inspired and create work touching audiences everywhere.

CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Mr. Bruce E. Rodgers
CEO Term Start July 2005
Email director@HermitageArtistRetreat.org

Bruce Rodgers is a musician, writer, administrator, producer and playwright with meanderings into corporate consulting in creativity and computer software design.  He was a co-writer of Innovation Inc – A Guide to Creativity in the Workplace and has contributed several chapters to a nationally popular software book.  He received his undergraduate degree in Music Education from SUNY Postdam and his graduate degree in Creative Writing from Indiana University.  He served three years with the West Point Band and was a lyricist with the famed BMI Musical Theatre Workshop in New York under Lehman Engle. In the 1980s he was affiliated with the McCarter Theatre as resident playwright.  As an arts administrator he was Literary Manager of the GeVa Theatre in Rochester, NY, and from 1993 to 2004 the Associate Artistic Director of the Asolo Theatre Company in Sarasota, Florida. As a playwright, He first came to the Asolo in 1991 as a playwright when the Asolo produced his play,Lost Electra, winner of the Rosenthal New Play Prize at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.  In 1992, the Asolo commissioned him to write Centerburg Tales, an adaptation of short stories by Robert McCloskey.  In 1995 the Asolo produced The Gravity of Honeyin the Cook Theatre. His work has been produced at major regional professional theatres throughout the United States, at the Dublin International Theatre Festival, and as a reading in Paris, France.

He served on the board of the Florida Alliance for Arts Education. He also is a board member of the Alliance of Artist Communities and the advisory board for Community Haven and Adult Services.  He has received a special Renaissance Award from the Sarasota County Arts Council and an Ace of Hearts award from the Florida Alliance for Arts Education.   He is proud to be a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a Seaside Escape to Create Fellow, and is currently the founding Executive Director of the Hermitage Artist Retreat on the beach on Manasota Key, in Englewood, Florida. 

Full Time Staff 4
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 75
Contractors 2
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Management Reports to Board Yes
Organization Plans
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 3
Strategic Plan Adopted June 2010
Management Succession Plan Yes
Policies and Procedures No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Senior Staff
Ms. Patricia Caswell Co-Founder / Program Director
Mrs. Sharyn Lonsdale Campus Administrator
Mrs. Linda W. Mansperger Development Director
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes
We partner with the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Ringling College of Art and Design, New College, State College of Florida, Florida State University, Florida Studio Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, West Coast Black Theater Troupe, Sarasota Film Society, Venice Art Center, Englewood Art Center, Art Center Sarasota, Sarasota Orchestra, La Musica International Chamber Music Festival, Wellness Community of Southwest Florida, Florida Alliance for Arts Education, Charlotte County Public Schools, Sarasota County Public Schools and Sarasota County Public Libraries for outreach programming.
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Ilene Denton
Company Affiliation Sarasota Magazine
Term July 2014 to June 2015
Email ilened@sarasotamagazine.com
Board Members
Board Members
Mr. Steve Adler Murex Properties
Ms. Caroline Andrus Retired
Ms. Debbi Benedict Media columnist
Ms. Ellen Berman Non-Profit CEO
Mr. Lawrence Bold Retired Attorney/CPA
Ms. Ilene Denton Sarasota Magazine
Mr. Matt DePalma Florida Shores Bank
Ms. Rebecca Donelson Art Dealer
Mr. Bradley Goddard PNC Wealth Management
Ms. Laura Kaminsky Symphony Space
Mr. R. Andrew Maass Museum Consultant
Dr. George Pappas Artist and Art Professor
Ms. Michele Redwine Community Volunteer
Mr. Frank Reif Akerman, Senterfitt
Ms. Joy Rogers Community Volunteer
Mrs. Susie Samp Community Volunteer
Ms. Karen Solem Literary Agent
Ms Nelda Thompson Nelda Thomason Real Estate
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? No
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 17
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 11
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Orientation Yes
Board Meeting Attendance % 76
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 22
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 8
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization

One of the greatest governance challenges in the Sarasota community is ethnic diversity. We are extremely pleased that a very qualified person, Michele Redwine, was elected in June, 2014 for a three-year term. Michele is a Diversity Education Consultant / Sculptor and educator with 35 years of executive–leadership experience in not-for-profit organizations, public sectors, educational institutions and local government entities. She serves also on the board of the Ringling Museum.

Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year 2014
Projected Revenue $594,600.00
Projected Expenses $594,600.00
Endowment Value $228,912.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage (if selected) 4
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201320122011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$50,000
Individual Contributions$353,015$465,541$377,340
Investment Income, Net of Losses$4,751$2,151$86
Membership Dues$250$155$770
Special Events$32,434$45,054$54,098
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$368,242$272,671$260,693
Administration Expense$81,569$138,129$174,947
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.001.381.23
Program Expense/Total Expenses82%66%60%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$1,372,177$1,346,420$1,177,405
Current Assets$340,152$295,621$136,491
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$32,570$23,348$19,432
Total Net Assets$1,339,607$1,323,072$1,157,973
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201320122011
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $353,015Contributions, gifts, grants $465,541Contributions, gifts, grants $377,340
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGreenfield Prize $59,028Greenfield Prize $52,931Greenfield Prize $54,475
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $32,434Fundraising $45,054Fundraising $54,098
CEO Compensation
Co-CEO Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities10.4412.667.02
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization The Hermitage is financial sound, with a four-month operating reserve and no debt. 
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the 990 or audit.  Financial figures are taken from IRS Form 990.  2009, 2010 and 2011 990s reconcile with audit.
Nonprofit Hermitage Artist Retreat Inc
Address 6660 Manasota Key Road
Englewood, FL 34223
Primary Phone 941 475-2098
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Bruce E. Rodgers
Board Chair Mrs. Ilene Denton
Board Chair Company Affiliation Sarasota Magazine
Year of Incorporation 2002