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Art In The Dark Returns After Pandemic Pause

For Immediate Release

September 12, 2022

Contact: Francine Diemer, Director of Development 

Sarasota, FL - After a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the “Art in the Dark” fundraiser for Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center returns on September 24, 2022, at Michael’s On East starting at 6pm. 

This signature event from Lighthouse illuminates the experience of art using senses beyond sight and will also feature a gourmet menu, dancing, and a silent and exciting live auction of fabulous items. Bob Harrigan, Chief Meteorologist for ABC 7, will emcee the evening. Funds raised from the event will support the organization’s mission of providing hope and empowerment to people experiencing vision loss. 

With the guidance of The Ringling's Education Department, guests will experience art as those with vision loss do: by using their other senses. The event’s signature piece of artwork is Drawing of the Lottery in the Piazza delle Erbe in Turin, Giovanni Michele Graneri, c. 1756. Bequest of John Ringling, 1936. During this multisensory experience, The Ringling experts will bring attendees back to a marketplace centuries ago to witness everyday life among the peasants and gentry in this Italian city.

“The training and support Lighthouse provides to clients offer alternative approaches to everyday tasks so our clients may continue to do the things they enjoy,” said Lisa Howard, CEO of Lighthouse. “When you are blind or visually impaired and live in such a culturally-rich community, finding another way to 'see' the art is crucial. Using tactile items and a unique, creative description, our clients can develop a masterpiece in their own minds by using senses other than sight."

“Art In The Dark is a very unique event benefiting The Lighthouse’s many free services to our community. We partner with Ringling Museum and feature a piece of their artwork offering a tactile experience, allowing all guests to discover the artwork without using sight,” said event committee chairperson Cathi Clark Bell. “Art In The Dark is not your typical dinner auction; it is so much more!”

Sponsors for the event include Tom and Sherry Koski; Bell Engineering & Consulting, LLC; MedOne; Kitchner Benefits; Publix Super Market Charities; Retina Associates of Sarasota; Mr. and Mrs. David Cruikshank; Martin Rometsch and Wilhelmine Wiese-Rometsch, MD, FACP; Worthington-Keating Family Foundation; Coastal Properties & Management - Gail Welch, Realtor; and Jeff and Cindy Kaiser. Underwriters for the event include Cavanaugh & Co, LLP; Newsom Eye; E-Bikes and Cycles; Quigley Eye; Jon F. Swift Construction; Tervis; Gulf Coast Community Foundation; and The Ringling Museum.

Tickets are available now at 

About Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center: Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center is the only nationally accredited, private, non-profit agency providing rehabilitation training to blind and visually impaired individuals of all ages residing in a five county region that includes Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, Charlotte and Highlands. The Lighthouse offers training and rehabilitation to foster independence, productivity, and improved quality of life. For more information, please visit


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