On the Scene: Van Wezel Foundation’s 20th Annual Inspiration Gala

The Van Wezel Foundation held its 20th annual Inspiration Gala, raising more than $1.7 million. This level of funding makes the event the most successful fundraiser in the foundation’s history. During the gala, it was also announced that the first $20 million in private funding for the future Sarasota Performing Arts Center was committed by the foundation board.

The event honored local educators Maria Schaedler-Luera, the recipient of the 2022 Appleton Arts Integration Award, and Jillianne Abbott and Talia Casey, the recipients of the 2022 Van Wezel Foundation Merit Scholarships. The evening concluded with a performance from Grammy and Emmy Award-winner Harry Connick Jr., in the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

Susan Travers and Kathy Martella served as co-chairs for this year’s Inspiration Gala, alongside a host committee of dedicated benefactors.

Photos by Cliff Roles Photography

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