Arts Growing Presence in Lakewood Ranch


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, June 13, 2018 – Arts and culture in Lakewood Ranch looks well on its way of matching such delights found in downtown Sarasota. One by one, platforms are being established for cultural events and venues in this master-planned development which has also continued to add choices on Bradenton and Sarasota homes for sale.

Music on Main and Ovation are two of the major events that have grown to be a part of the attractions not only for those living in Lakewood Ranch but also for residents of its neighboring communities.

Shows for Local Talents

Annual Ovation LWR

Music on Main is a free concert series as well as a block party open for free to the public. The Main Street downtown of Lakewood Ranch hosts this event each first Friday of the month from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Main Street is likewise the venue for the annual Ovation, which had its 11th edition in February this year. This family-friendly event is also free to the public and features live stage performances starring local talents including drama troupes, musicians, singers, and dancers.

New Art Gallery and Festival

Lakewood Ranch is also now culturally richer with the grand opening of J&J Gallery Collective Art and Gifts at Main Street in September last year. This gallery features the artworks of more than 50 local artists, so of which delight Main Street shoppers with their on-the-spot painting skills on the sidewalks of Main Street.

Additionally, throngs of visual artists are also featured in the Lakewood Ranch Fine Art Festival which is set for its second run on April 27‒28, 2019. It will showcase at Main Street local, regional and national artisans’ works in various forms including painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry, fiber and wearable art, glass, ceramics, mixed-media, and woodworking.

Theatre at a Park

Players Theatre

One new cultural platform which opened very recently in Lakewood Ranch is the Theatre in the Field, an events venue in the James L. Patton Park south of the Bridgewater neighborhood off of White Eagle Boulevard. The Players Centre for Performing Arts staged a 60-minute adaptation of Mark Twain’s “Huck Finn” as an inaugural presentation in this outdoor theater on May 3‒5 this year.

Even more color is expected to be added to the arts and culture dimension in Lakewood Ranch in the much-anticipated relocation of The Players Centre for Performing Arts theater in Sarasota’s Rosemary District to the Waterside development. Schroeder Manatee Ranch, the master developer of Waterside project of Lakewood Ranch, has donated a prime 4.5-acre site for the Players Centre, and groundbreaking for the new theater complex is expected in early 2019.

What Art Brings

The new Players Centre’s complex will be built at a cost of $30 million. Its plans calls for the construction of a 480-seater main stage auditorium with balcony, a black box theatre with 125 seats, and a 100-seat cabaret stage with food service. The main campus of the education arm of the Players Centre, Arnold Simonsen Players Studio, will also be accommodated in the Waterside cultural hub. Spaces in this complex are also allotted for galleries of local artists.

The robust growth of its cultural scene would definitely be a plus for Lakewood Ranch and its residents, realtors and art patrons agree. The arts, they said, promote well-rounded communities where residents can live, work and play, thus raising the quality of life available to them.

As art speaks to the quality of a place, the presence of galleries and theaters in neighborhoods likewise add value to the local properties and attract business, industry observers noted. Amongst the young, appreciation of the arts helps in promoting a healthy, positive wellbeing and has also shown to improve education and test scores.