The Longboat Key Town Commission has been negotiating with the Ringling College of Art and Design on a partnership to develop a new Longboat Key Arts, Culture and Education Center on the former site of the Amore Restaurant near the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center and Chase Bank.

Initial ideas included developing a center that, in addition to featuring facilities for community gatherings, would contain a black-box theater for small, live performances. Commissioners and Ringling officials recently deleted the theater from the concept.

More recent discussions estimate an arts, culture and education center would cost around $11 million, and that most, if not all, of that money would be raised from private sources. Previous commission discussions have stipulated no tax dollars would be spent on the center.

With town commissioners working toward revising again a memorandum of understanding with Ringling College, there appears no clear path for bringing the center to fruition.

Here’s where you — Longboat Observer readers and Longboat Key citizens and taxpayers — come in: What do you think? What do you want?

We’re conducting a reader survey to take the public temperature. Please go to: and answer the following questions.

Your answers will be anonymous, and the results will be published in the April 25 Longboat Observer.

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* 1. Do you agree that Longboat Key needs an arts, culture and education center for Longboat Key?

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* 2. If yes to question 1, should the center have a “black-box” theater for live performances?

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* 3. Do you believe the center can be developed 100% with private funds?

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* 4. If yes to question 3, are you willing to contribute to a fundraising campaign?

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* 5. If taxpayer funding is necessary to construct a center, are you willing to fund its construction via the issuance of bonds that would be repaid by a town-wide increase in property taxes?

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* 6. If you support the development of a center, where should it be developed: