For decades downtown Sarasota has been “ground zero” for the city’s arts and cultural organizations – a clustering that distinguished the area from other Florida coastal communities. Now, however, The Players Theater is moving from its North Trail location to Lakewood Ranch; Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is planning to leave the city in favor of Nathan Benderson Park, off 17th Street in Sarasota County; and, as of this writing, the future of the Sarasota Orchestra is unknown. City officials recently bowed to a vocal minority and nixed the idea of relocating the orchestra to a site at Payne Park that would have positively altered the character of the municipally-owned property and brought a cultural anchor to another part of the city. While the city is still home to many important arts groups – The Ringling, Sarasota Opera, Florida Studio Theater, The Asolo Theatre, Selby Gardens, The Sarasota Ballet and the West Coast Black Theater Troupe, to name but a few – losing the orchestra would cause irreparable damage to our city’s culture and reputation. Cultural organizations helped build Sarasota into what it is today, and they continue to be an integral and important component of our unique community. Perhaps the City Commission should revisit the orchestra’s Payne Park plan with an aim of making it work for all stakeholders.