Brooke and Mickey Callanen

Brooke and Mickey Callanen believe that philanthropy can make a meaningful difference in the world. They seek out organizations and projects that have credibility, a compelling mission, and that can truly benefit from their investment of time and treasure. Ringling College of Art and Design and Sarasota Museum of Art (SMOA) are lucky to be among the organizations they have chosen to support. 

The Callanens first learned about SMOA from board member Linda Dickinson. At a small gathering for interested community members, they heard Ringling College President Larry R. Thompson and SMOA President Wendy Surkis describe the plan to create a modern and contemporary art museum in the historic Sarasota High School building. The idea captivated them. 

“We were taken with the concept of utilizing the high school building in a way that combined education and art,” says Brooke, who is a former teacher and who, along with Mickey, has a great appreciation for art. Mickey remembered the high school from his childhood growing up in Sarasota and Venice. Both Mickey and Brooke appreciated the effort to save a Sarasota landmark and make it available to the community. 

They made a generous donation to the project, but did not stop there. Brooke accepted an invitation to join the SMOA board so that she could help with the plans and share her enthusiasm for SMOA with others. “We like to stay involved and see results,” she says. 

As plans for the museum took shape and momentum began to build, Brooke and Mickey decided to make a second, generous contribution bringing their total giving in support of SMOA to $250,000. 

As the Callanens look forward to seeing SMOA become a reality, they will have the satisfaction of knowing their philanthropy has indeed made a meaningful difference for their community. 


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