Shaping the future through the Arts.
We are one of the largest providers of arts education and community engagement in the nation, and connect people with their passion for high-quality lifelong learning.
The faculty and staff are committed to providing professional guidance through exploration or mastery of the performing arts, ensuring accessibility and inclusiveness.
The Marcia P. Hoffman Performing Arts Institute encompasses three distinct arts education divisions: producing, presenting, and instruction classes. Each division extends beyond the walls of the Hoffman Institute into schools, community centers, hospitals, specialty residencies and other arts centers throughout Pinellas County, the State of Florida and the eastern United States.
History of the Hoffman Institute
October 1983 – Ruth Eckerd Hall opens. Programming includes presentations for youth and family and master classes with visiting artists. Community response was overwhelming and demonstrated a need for an arts education program in Pinellas County.
April 1986 – Ruth Eckerd Hall establishes a department of Education.
July 1987 – The board of directors purchase a 2,600 sq ft building adjacent to the Baumgardner Center to house education offices. Education committee chair, Marcia P. Hoffman proposes formal establishment of the institute which is overwhelming passed by the board of directors. The PACT Institute becomes the official educational arm of Ruth Eckerd Hall.
October 1988 – Eckerd Theater Company is created and the center begins to produce theater for young audiences. Statewide touring begins two years later and by 1998, Eckerd Theater Company is touring nationally.
October 1999 – The board of directors determines a larger facility is needed to respond to the community’s demand for arts education. Strong community, corporate and educational partnerships have continued to strengthen and grow the Institute.
December 2002 – Construction begins to expand the facilities, bringing more classrooms and rehearsal studios adjacent to Ruth Eckerd Hall, made possible in part through the generosity of the Hoffman family.
February 2003 – The new facility opens and the Institute is renamed in honor of Marcia P. Hoffman, a founder of Ruth Eckerd Hall and its education program.
Since Ruth Eckerd Hall’s inception, the leadership, with the assistance of generous supporters, has been committed to providing educational opportunities within and by means of the performing arts. This commitment and dedication continues today.
"As a child my mother instilled in me the importance of arts education. I have instilled that same appreciation for arts education in my own children. I hope that you will instill the importance of arts education in your children also." - Matthew Hoffman, Founding Family Member