Keep up with the Sarasota arts scene with new newsletter

Jay Handelman
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
The colorfully attired cast of “Head Over Heels” sings to the beat of The Go-Go’s at the Players Centre for Performing Arts shortly before the pandemic shut down performances in 2020.

I have been covering the arts scene in Sarasota for 35 years now and it has been a period of constant change in the kinds of stories I write about and how you receive and read them.

For years, the only option for finding out about the latest openings, profiles of local artists and breaking news developments was in the daily print edition of the Herald-Tribune. Today, you can keep up in print, online, on your phone and now in your e-mail.

We will soon be launching a new Herald-Tribune Arts newsletter, which will provide you with news, commentary and some perspective, plus easy access to all the stories you may have missed, every Monday.

Noah Racey, center, as Professor Harold Hill, and the cast of the Asolo Repertory Theatre’s 2019 production of “The Music Man.”

We all come to the news in different ways. I’m an old newspaper hand, so I still relish holding the print edition in my hand. But I’ve learned to frequently check our heraldtribune.com website to keep up with what’s happening during the day. Others find stories they’re interested in by searching online and then clicking on the links.

We’re making the process a little easier for you when it comes to our arts and entertainment coverage, as we have with other newsletters such as Inside Politics, Daily Briefing and Ticket. You can sign up for all of them at at profile.heraldtribune.com/newsletters/manage/

Jay Handelman, Arts Editor and theater critic, Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

The arts help distinguish the Sarasota area from all other beach communities. They also are a major economic driver. Combined they are one of the top five employers in Sarasota County. It’s news, business and culture all wrapped up in one.

With the help of colleagues and freelance writers, I keep busy reporting on all the area’s theaters, the Sarasota Orchestra, the Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera, the Circus Arts Conservatory, area museums and as many of the smaller arts organizations as we can include.

We want you to know what’s happening on stage and in museum exhibitions, to learn how arts organizations are working to keep you protected with their newly adopted #SafeArtsSarasota initiatives, and to know what your best options for entertainment are every week.

An aerial view of John and Mable Ringling’s mansion Ca’ d’Zan on the grounds of The Ringling.

After beginning my journalism career at United Press International as a reporter and editor in Washington, D.C., I joined the Herald-Tribune in 1984 as an assistant city editor. I let editors know of my interest in being a theater critic “some day,” not realizing they were already talking about creating a full-time position, which they offered me in 1986.

After all these years, I still love going to the theater and getting to write what I think about the shows I see. My role has expanded over the years. I had stints as the TV Editor and as a TV critic, and in 2016 I was appointed Arts Editor.

I haven’t lost my passion for the arts scene, and I know there are thousands of you out there who feel the same.

So I hope you’ll sign up for our new newsletter at this web address:  profile.heraldtribune.com/newsletters/arts-in-sarasota-manatee/. Soon, you’ll start getting the newsletter delivered directly to your inbox.

Please share the link with your arts-loving friends so they can discover all that we cover.

And please keep in mind that none of this is possible without Herald-Tribune subscribers. If you already subscribe to our print or online publications, thank you. And if you don’t, please consider how important your support is to ensure we can continue the kind of arts coverage you want and deserve. You can subscribe at heraldtribune.com/subscribenow.

Follow Jay Handelman on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Contact him at jay.handelman@heraldtribune.comAnd please support local journalism by subscribing to the Herald-Tribune.