Cultural arts centers, museums and libraries situated in the heart of African American neighborhoods add texture, vibrancy and richness to a community. The facilities bring diverse people together and invite residents, visitors and guests to venture into underrepresented communities. Welcome doors swing open both ways for an understanding and exploration of the unknown and unfamiliar.

Beauty can be found in places considered dangerous and mysterious. Important connections can be made between institutions — arts, cultural, historical and educational — and students, researchers and residents.

So imagine if there were a place in Sarasota’s Newtown where our well-known institutions could make guest artists, collections, exhibitions and lecturers available to local audiences.

Issues of race, identity, class, social justice, history and culture could be explored at this community gathering spot. Programmers could organize interactions with underserved communities.

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