To engage visitors with our collections, exhibitions, cultural programs and the Ringling Estate.
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is the remarkable legacy of circus entrepreneur, collector of art and financier John Ringling and his wife, Mable. The 66-acre estate includes the Museum of Art; the Venetian-Gothic Cà d'Zan mansion, winter-residence of John and Mable Ringling; historic grounds and gardens; the 18th-century Historic Asolo Theater; and the Circus Museums, including the home of the world's largest miniature circus at the Tibbals Learning Center.
Handz On Family Programs
This family experience employs exciting art making activities to make the Museum's collections accessible and relevant to children and their families. The program is designed for children ages 5-10 and their adult partners. It is included with the price of admission and is offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-3 p.m., except for holidays.
Renaissance Kids! is an outreach program that targets children of low income families and at risk youth ages 3-14. The Ringling Museum After School Coordinator, visits select elementary schools in Sarasota and Manatee counties. This program introduces underserved youth to the legacy of John and Mable Ringling through the Museum of Art, The Cà d'Zan, The Circus Museum, The Historic Asolo Theater, Tibbals Learning Center and the Estate Grounds.
Cool Summer Investigations (CSI) for community youth groups and summer camps is a self-guided activity designed to make the Museum's collections accessible and relevant to youth. Community youth groups use activity booklets to guide themselves through galleries and venues. Each program takes one hour to complete and is recommended for youth age six and older. The activity is free to both Florida students and their chaperones.
The iPod custom audio tour of the Museum of Art's 21-gallery permanent collection and the Cà d'Zan incorporates sound and images to enhance the visitor's experience. The audio tours provide the visitor with a comprehensive overview of the Museum's best works. The state-of-the-art tours are set with period music, character voices, and high-resolution digital images of all of the included artworks.
School groups have a menu of tour options to choose from enabling Ringling Museum Docents to tailor each tour to a teacher's specifications. Free pre- and post-visit materials are also available according to the Sunshine State Standards for core subjects. School tours are provided free of charge for Florida students and teachers.
In the Classroom — Supporting Teachers
The Educator Institute is a multi-day summer session that showcases nationally recognized speakers, regional experts, and current strategies designed to place the arts at the center of learning and teaching. The session features National and Sunshine State Standards-based programming and curriculum; teachers receive in-service credit for attending.
Saturday for Educators is series of Sunshine State Standards-based workshops designed to serve K-12 classroom, specialists, administrators, arts teachers, and non-traditional educators. These innovative hands-on workshops include an introduction to an exhibition or area of the Ringling collection, a gallery talk or lecture, and a hands-on activity. We provide free classroom resource materials and a forum for discussion and reflection. Teachers receive in-service credit towards re-certification for participating in these workshops, which are free of charge to Florida educators.
The Ringling Museum Educator Open House is presented in the fall in time for back to school. This free program for Florida educators introduces new and returning educators to the treasures of the Museum complex and expedites field trip planning. The focus of the program is to highlight the upcoming year of exhibitions, promote all of the professional development programs and touring opportunities available to K-20 educators and administrators.
The Ringling Museum of Art is dedicated to sharing its resources and experience with future museum and non-profit organization professionals interested in a career in the museum field. The Museum Internship Program introduces interns to different departments of a major museum complex. It provides insight into museum careers through practical work experience not available in most academic settings. Each year the Museum selects a varied group of talented graduate students from a highly competitive national and international group of applicants.
The Ringling Museum of Art has established two fellowships to provide recent graduates with an opportunity to begin their career in museums. The two 12-month, post-graduate fellowships are designed to enable recent recipients of a master's or doctoral degree in the arts, arts administration, museum studies, or other related fields prepare for careers in museum management and administration, or museum education and curatorial careers. These one-year non-renewable positions will provide each fellow with a challenging and comprehensive work experience. Toward the end of the year, we assume an active role in helping each fellow find a permanent position.
Summer Practicum Course in Museum Administration
During the summer a course on Museum Administration that combines classroom instruction and hands-on experience is offered through Florida State University at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. This 8-week course offers graduate-level credit. Students are guaranteed exposure in all areas of Museum business.
The Ringling Museum/FSU Institute for Cultural Learning
University level, specialized seminars on a spectrum of broad cultural topics are available for life-long learners. The seminars are taught in small groups enhancing the personalized learning experience and creating ample opportunities for students to bond with fellow classmates with similar interests. The student does not sit behind a desk all day, he or she is actively involved in the learning process through a blend of lectures, field trips, films, and in-gallery study sessions. Although when needed, the Museum classrooms available in the new Education/Conservation building (opened in December 2006) will be used. The seminars are taught by recognized authorities, university professors, curators, artistic directors, performers, and historians.
The Ringling Spotlight Series provides a menu of enlightening learning opportunities. This series offers regularly scheduled interactive programs with Museum curators and specialists in art, the circus, historic homes and gardens. Spotlights explore special exhibitions at the Museum as well as the treasures in the Ringling permanent collection, including the Art Museum, The Historic Asolo Theater, Cà d'Zan Mansion and Circus Museum.
To support audience development, training programs for docents are made available at the Ringling Museum. The goal of the program is to have a corps of well-trained Docents who provide a daily menu of exemplary tour options for our visitors in all venues and to deliver those tours as scheduled. Additional specialty training is presented for Accessibility Docents who deliver targeted tours for the blind and visually impaired and for School Docents who focus on school and school age children.
Collaborations with Area Education Resources
Partner Programs is a collaborative project between the Ringling College of Art and Design and the Ringling Museum of Art to offer a comprehensive adult educational experience. Fiscal year 2007, Drawing with the Masters featured gallery presentations and lectures by Ringling Museum staff and drawing sessions taught by Ringling College of Art and Design faculty; two new offerings will be presented in FY2008.
The Historic Asolo Theater
Backstage Onstage is a new program offering 90-minute, thought-provoking and illuminating lecture/demonstrations and conversations that explore the frequently overlooked but always enlightening connections between the visual and the performing arts.
Monday Night Movies is a film series presented with Sarasota Film Festival.
brings prominent scholars, writers, critics, and journalists to lecture and converse on the arts, culture and history. This includes legendary artists, guests of the director and circus celebrities.
Collaborative programs with community organizations include Artist Series of Sarasota, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, Westcoast Gospel Chorus of Florida, Florida Voices, Gloria Musicæ, Asolo Repertory Theater, Banyan Theater Company and Fuzion Dance Artists.
Limited parking is available on the north end of the parking lot of the FSU/Asolo Center for the Performing Arts. A few spaces are available at the south end for evening events held in the Museum Courtyard such as weddings and concerts.
Wheelchairs are available at free of charge at the Visitors Pavilion, Museum of Art, Circus Museum Tibbals Learning Center and Cà d'Zan mansion, based on availability. Feel free to ride the tram from building to building and pick up and drop off a wheelchair at each destination.
Cà d'Zan mansion has limited accessibility. To access the mansion, guests must be able to transfer easily from a regular wheelchair to a more narrow wheelchair, which is utilized to accommodate the historic doorways. For those attending a Private Places Tour the guest must be able to ascend and descend several flights of stairs. No electric wheelchairs may be used inside the mansion.
The Museum of Art and Circus Museum are accessible. The Searing Wing of the Museum of Art may be accessed through Gallery 11 on the north side of the museum. Ramps are in the courtyard to provide access to the statuary.
Handicapped accessible restrooms are available at Visitors Pavilion near the Historic Asolo Theater, Cà d'Zan Mansion, Tibbals Learning Center and Museum of Art. When visiting the Circus Museum, please use the accessible restroom at the Banyan Cafe.
For additional information, please contact 941.359.5700 x3101.
The Ringling Museum of Art offers special group tours for blind and visually impaired visitors and their companions. These interactive tours, led by trained docents, include engaging verbal descriptions of the works of art on view; reproduction enhancements; tactile diagrams to help visitors feel the work of art; and touchable props.
To book an accessibility tour, please call the Advance Ticket Sales Office at 941-358-3180.
Visit www.ringling.org for a full list of upcoming and current special exhibitions.