Ringling College of Art and Design is pleased to announce that Sara Curtis Robinson, current Executive Director of Advancement for The Van Wezel Foundation/Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation, will be joining Ringling College as Vice President for Advancement beginning May 15, 2023. Her appointment follows a comprehensive and extensive national search supported by search firm WittKieffer.
“We are thrilled to welcome Sara to Ringling College’s creative community and believe her background and experiences as a leader, fundraiser, and lover of visual and performing arts will continue the excellence of our advancement program,” said Dr. Larry R. Thompson, president of Ringling College of Art and Design. “Her leadership and skills will be essential as we move into the next phase of philanthropy to support Ringling College’s many aspirations, including our vision of becoming the preeminent art and design college worldwide.”
Robinson will be working across all areas of the Ringling College community, including the College’s senior officers, faculty, staff, Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Ringling College, and Englewood Art Center.
“I look forward to joining the talented administrative team at Ringling College of Art and Design,” said Robinson. “This is an exciting time for Sarasota with great opportunity to grow our creative community. I am honored to support the mission and vision of this outstanding college that is leading the way in art and design education.”
A Certified Fundraising Executive, Robinson’s career spans a number of prestigious organizations and a variety of fundraising roles in Massachusetts and Florida. Since 2019, she has resided in Sarasota, first taking on the role of Chief Advancement Officer at The Sarasota Ballet and then being recruited in 2022 to lead the private philanthropy campaign for The Van Wezel Foundation/Sarasota Performing Arts Center.
Robinson has led numerous boards of directors, leadership teams, and advancement staff through the multi-year strategy of planning, executing and achieving comprehensive fundraising campaigns that serve to grow donor bases, expand fundraising support, and achieve organization goals. She has personally secured significant support to advance the missions of the organizations she has served.
“We thank Sara for furthering the vision of a new Sarasota Performing Arts Center as a member of the team led by Mark Cole, chief advancement and marketing officer,” said Jim Travers, board chair of The Van Wezel Foundation/Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation. “Sara’s appointment to Ringling College of Art and Design strengthens our shared mission of arts education, and we look forward to even greater collaboration with the nation’s preeminent college of art and design.”
“During this period of transition, my sincere thanks to Ringling College faculty and staff for participating in the search process and especially to our search committee members who worked diligently with our national search firm to find such outstanding candidates resulting in this excellent appointment,” said Dr. Thompson. “I especially want to thank Lora Wey who admirably served as Interim Vice President for Advancement since September 2022, as well as the entire Advancement team for their support during this time.”
Robinson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in visual arts from Pine Manor College in Boston and certificates in Professional Fundraising and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace. Her career began and has been shaped in the visual and performing arts since her first position with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, supporting the Asiatic Art Curator. Robinson and her husband, Benjamin Robinson, live in Lakewood Ranch and are the parents of three sons who live in Washington D.C., Brooklyn, and Los Angeles.