Partnership to support the growth of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s education programs as well as a sustainable digital arts industry in Sarasota

SARASOTA, FL (Oct. 22, 2021) – Westcoast Black Theater Troupe has entered into a collaboration with Semkhor and FOUNDERS+ to support the high-level education of local artists and the production of digital arts projects. The effort will bring nationally-recognized artists and filmmakers to the area to provide master classes at the theater; these classes will be offered free to WBTT artists and the community and provide a wealth of knowledge on acting and content creation.

The collaboration will launch with an invitation-only master class presented by Golden Globe winner and Emmy Awards nominee Dylan McDermott (“Law & Order: Organized Crime,” “American Horror Story,” “The Practice,” “In the Line of Fire,” “Steel Magnolias”). McDermott, who has worked extensively in film, television and the theater, is scheduled to appear at WBTT (1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota) on Sunday, November 14.

The next master class will feature Golden Globe winner and Emmy Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards nominee Ving Rhames (“Pulp Fiction,” “Con Air,” “Dawn of the Dead,” HBO’s “Don King: Only in America” and a recurring role in the “Mission: Impossible” film series) in February 2022, date TBD.

Not only will these – and future – speakers provide expertise benefiting area artists, these engagements may offer the possibility of collaboration on projects that they would develop for Sarasota. As the program grows, additional classes will be provided to accelerate the skills of local content creators so that more projects might come to the area.

“WBTT truly embodies the spirit of artistic collaboration and has done so much to bolster the arts in Sarasota; we are honored to be working with the organization to reinforce its mission while helping attract and originate live and filmed productions in Sarasota County,” said David Shapiro, owner of Semkhor. “Both Dylan and Ving are aware of the great work WBTT is doing and are coming specifically to bring wider attention to its work and support its continued growth.”

Semkhor is dedicated to working with nonprofits, educational institutions and the local film community to create and present programs that provide in-depth training for content creators while developing projects that can be produced in Sarasota. The FOUNDERS+ and Semkhor are working together to provide assistance to individuals and groups that can help create a sustainable digital arts industry in the region.

“WBTT is proud to be at the forefront of bringing world-class projects to the community while providing meaningful work to a diverse range of artists,” said WBTT Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. “We are thrilled to be able to bring such well-known experts in the field to Sarasota to lift up area artists while working to attract projects that will benefit our local economy.”

For more information or to inquire about how to get involved in this exciting new collaboration, call Julie Leach at 941-404-7728.