Gardens Conservancy Honors Sally Soter With Ann Norton Award for Philanthropy

In the midst of monumental sculptures and soaring rare palms, more than 100 of Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens’ highest level donors recently toasted a very special “Evening in the Gardens – Celebrating 40 Years of Art and Nature.” The Gardens Conservancy’s cocktail reception provides an annual platform to present the Ann Norton Award for Philanthropy, extended to an individual who advances the ideals Ann Norton set forth with her vision for the Gardens to serve as her legacy to the community. The 2017 award was presented to the organization’s Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Art Committee, Sally Soter.


Photo courtesy of CAPEHART

Photo courtesy of CAPEHART

“It is with deep appreciation and admiration that the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens Board of Trustees extends the Ann Norton Award for Philanthropy to Sarah Ross Soter,” said Frances Fisher, ANSG Board Chairman and Founder of the Gardens Conservancy. “We are grateful for Sally’s outstanding leadership and commitment to ANSG, and the manner in which she creatively applies her passion for the arts and cultural community to enrich the experiences offered at the Gardens.  Ann Norton devoted her life to creating art.  Sally Soter has devoted much of hers to bringing art to life.”


A multi-category membership and stewardship program, the Gardens Conservancy supports the preservation and restoration of Ann Norton’s art and archives, her home and studio, and horticultural initiatives. Of particular interest, the Conservancy is engaged in projects that raise awareness of Ann Norton’s art and gardens through ongoing cultural and horticultural education via school and community enrichment programs and partnerships. Annual Gardens Conservancy membership is available starting at a $500 donation, and donors receive complimentary admission to the Gardens, art openings, an invitation to the Conservancy’s annual event, and discounted tickets to special events.


Gardens Conservancy Founder’s Circle members include Chairman, Frances Fisher, James Borynack, Peggy Dean, Lourdes Fanjul, Becky Gochman, Susan Keenan, Karyn Lamb, Dede Merck, Anne Messer, Patricia and Edward McLaughlin, David Miller, Leslie Rose, Edwina Sandys, Amanda Schumacher, Sally Soter and Cynthia Sulzberger.


The annual event was chaired by Amanda and Charles Schumacher, and Karyn Lamb served as Honorary Chair. The reception included cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment and a raffle drawing to win one of exhibiting artist Sophie Ryder’s mystical sculptures.


Tonight is the Gardens Conservancy’s fourth annual event to honor the legacy of Ann Norton and to further her vision – that her home and gardens could serve as an urban oasis for discovering the magical combination of art and nature,” said Roger Ward, president and CEO of ANSG. “And with great thanks to many of you here tonight, memberships in the Gardens Conservancy and overall memberships have seen a dramatic increase and our general revenues for the Gardens are up. All those statistics translate into more people learning about Ann Weaver Norton and helping us bring her to life.”


Located at 2051 South Flagler Drive in the historic El Cid neighborhood of West Palm Beach, the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens are open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entrance fees are free for members, $15 for non-member adults, $10 for seniors (age 65 and older), $7 for students, and children under five are free. Gallery and garden exhibition talks are available on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The Gardens are also available for private events and are closed on major holidays. For Conservancy membership information or general information at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, please visit or call 561-832-5328.