About Ruth Eckerd Hall
Ruth Eckerd Hall, located in Clearwater, FL, was founded in 1977 when a 38-acre parcel of land was donated to the City of Clearwater by June Baumgardner Gelbart in honor of Richard B. Baumgardner, Sr., with the condition that the land be used for a performing arts center. Local philanthropist Jack Eckerd donated to the cause and purchased naming rights for the venue for his beloved Ruth. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in 1979 and the Hall was completed in October 1983, opening on October 16, 1983, with the first official performance featuring the Suzuki Children of Japan. Designed by the prestigious Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Ruth Eckerd Hall is a 73,000 square-foot facility that features a 2,180 seat auditorium, the Margarete Heye Great Room Banquet facility, administration offices and the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts which includes: three studio classrooms, four private teaching studios, the Michael & Joan Kline Dance Studio, the Henrietta Campbell Rehearsal Studio, the Challener-Morrow Production Studios, a visual arts learning lab and the recently renovated 250-seat Murray Theatre.