The Ringling, which has been embarked for seven years on a capital and endowment campaign with an ambitious goal of $100 million, announced Friday a new gift that brings the state museum of Florida closer to that achievement.
The gift of $5 million to The Ringling, by donors Keith D. and Linda L. Monda, brings the total amount raised by the campaign to $92 million. As leaders of the museum broke the news—first to the press and then at a black-tie gala for major donors—they also announced that the gift will endow a curator of modern and contemporary art at The Ringling, and that the Mondas will donate four works from their own collection of contemporary art that will be seen in upcoming exhibitions.
The Mondas, who were present at the announcement, have been longtime donors at The Ringling, previously establishing a gallery for contemporary art at the museum (named after them) and consistently providing support for the museum’s Art of Our Time programming. Executive director Steven High used the occasion to emphasize how the campaign brings the long-established museum well into the 21st century, and just “how far we have come,” as The Ringling has in the recent past also opened the Center for Asian Art, the David F. Bolger Playspace, the Monda galleries and the Kotler-Coville Pavilion housing glass art.
"The Ringling Inspires: Honoring the Legacy and Building for the Future" campaign has, as campaign chair Jeff Hotchkiss explained, been in a “quiet” mode of raising funds up until now, when the nearing of the $100 million goal means a more public effort to receive donations from the community at large begins. The schedule for reaching that goal: approximately 18 months.
Among the initiatives of the campaign will be a further renovation of the nearly 100-year-old John and Mable Ringling mansion Ca’ d’Zan, including a new roof, along with restoring its signature terra cotta tiles, a long-empty swimming pool, and an Aeolian organ (as well as building an endowment for the future care of the mansion and establishing a permanent “keeper” of the Italianate building).
Also on the agenda: the continuation of work in community engagement programs to reach every age and ethnicity of participant, and enhancing the global impact of the museum’s collections while also adding to them.
Chair of The Ringling foundation Paul Hudson, chief officer for advancement and external affairs Anna von Gehr, Mark Pritchett and Veronica Brady of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (which works with the Mondas in their philanthropy) and Florida State University provost Sally McRorie were also on hand for the announcement of the Monda gift. (The Ringling is administered by Florida State University.)
Keith Monda told those at the press conference that he was “especially interested in opening [The Ringling’s] doors to children,” as well as “stimulating people to think differently.”
The four works donated by the Mondas are bound to stimulate some thinking. Take a look.
Sarasota Magazine’s second annual GeneroCity brings together over 40 nonprofits under one roof for an evening to learn, celebrate, and engage with the organizations that make Sarasota-Manatee one the most giving areas in the country. Join us for this party with a purpose—tickets are available here.