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SRQ DAILY Oct 17, 2015

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"In 2013, consumer spending on arts and culture in our Gulf Coast region averaged $350 per resident, well above the $290 for the state. In Sarasota County alone, it soared over $400. That’s impact. "

- Mark Pritchett, Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Gulf Coast]  Gulf Coast Arts Appreciation
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

View one of Frank Atura’s signature photos for the Sarasota Ballet and what do you see? Beauty, I expect. But in most any of those stunning images, I see three more things: leverage, partnership and impact.

There’s leverage in the sleek lines of one dancer lifting another skyward with (deceptive) ease. There’s intimate partnership, true collaboration, in their coordinated movements and earned trust. And there’s visual impact in the dancers’ poised power, whether they’re defying gravity or transforming several figures into a single, splendid form.

Those images—or, better yet, witnessing the real thing—help breathe life into the terms I used, which you might otherwise dismiss as nonprofit jargon. But whether it’s the ballet, or the orchestra, or the art museum, each of these institutions is also a nonprofit business and it takes the more prosaic realities of running one to ensure their art continues to shine.

Last week, Gulf Coast awarded “Arts Appreciation” grants to nine local organizations that our Board considers cornerstones of our cultural community. We did the same for eight last year, adding Venice Symphony to their company this time around. The big difference between these and grants of the past: streamlining the application process (there was none) and putting minimal conditions on how the groups could spend their money.

Our Arts Appreciation grants, $410,000 in all, recognize the multifaceted impact of the arts, and these arts leaders, in our community. There’s the quality of their artistic output, which has earned Sarasota County an international reputation for excellence. But there’s also a real economic impact.

In 2013, consumer spending on arts and culture in our Gulf Coast region averaged $350 per resident, well above the $290 for the state. In Sarasota County alone, it soared over $400. That’s impact. And with attendance trending upward at the region’s top cultural attractions, according to data on our Gulf Coast Community Indicators website, it’s positioned to grow in coming seasons.

The grants also provide valuable leverage to these groups. For some, the cash infusion becomes lead support for a larger initiative or campaign, enabling them to attract additional sponsors. For others, it foots fundraisers and other events to grow a broader donor base. For still more, it means bigger productions and new talent, which in turn grows attendance and revenue.

Which brings us to partners. Gulf Coast changed the format of its funding for these major arts groups because we wanted to be better ones, not funding taskmasters. Our relationships with these institutions are long and valued. We also know how much they mean to our community, by way of how many community members support them, including our own family of donors. In other words, when we invest together in these exceptional arts organizations, we reaffirm and strengthen a shared regional identity and cultural life.

Gulf Coast often uses this column space to promote ideas that can move our region toward a more diversified, innovation-based economy. This one is really no different. Our research shows that competitive, high-performing regions must offer lifestyle amenities and creative opportunities that welcome diverse populations. Younger and older generations alike are highly mobile and attracted to unique places. As a community, our collective investment in the arts is one that pays us back today and will appreciate for the future.

Mark Pritchett is president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. 

[Argus]  Argus Impact
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

Almost a decade ago, my son was the beneficiary of services provided by The Florida Center for Early Childhood. The nationally accredited nonprofit provides an array of comprehensive therapeutic services, clinical interventions, prevention and early education programming for children and families. It received its start in the late 1980s by generous donations from what is now called Suncoast Charities for Children. Dedicated community businessmen, including Ron Foxworthy, Hollis Tucker, John Stafford, Cal Erb and the late Gene Whipp, turned a passion for powerboat racing and helping children into more than $14 million and 73,000 square feet of donated facilities for similar services across Southwest Florida. The organization rents these spaces to area nonprofits for next to nothing, enabling precious programming dollars to be spent on children like my son. When we sought services for my son, there was a large void in the availability of children’s therapeutic services, particularly in South County, that was being filled by The Florida Center as a result of the work of Suncoast Charities.

Many of the original philanthropic founders of Suncoast Charities for Children are the same leaders who founded The Argus Foundation – an organization where I have the privilege of serving as its executive director. At the time I was seeking help for my son, I knew little about the life-changing assistance provided by the Florida Center and how Suncoast Charities supported them. These services came at a time when my family was in need. Who would have known that one day I would have the honor of working for an organization started by the original benefactors of Suncoast Charities for Children?

When Argus formed in 1983, its original mission was inspired by anti-business sentiment beginning to emerge from government in Sarasota. Despite the anti-business climate, the philanthropic spirit of our founders expanded along with the Argus membership. Most consider their philanthropic role in our community a responsibility. A responsibility that is directly related to our quality of life. Generations of children, like my son, would be left behind if it were not for this purposeful private sector investment in a public need.  

I am humbled every day by our members’ dedication to leaving a lasting legacy in our community—all based on a foundation of giving laid long ago. We are beginning to share some of those stories in our Argus Impact initiative through blogs, social media and online, but I think it is critical to consider how this legacy will carry on.

I am fortunate to work among some of the best, brightest and most successful business leaders in our region who understand that our quality of life here is directly related to our community’s spirit of giving.  As we begin to welcome a new generation of membership to our organization and to leadership roles throughout our community, I would encourage all to look to our successful and generous leaders who came before us, and their philanthropic commitment to quality of life, to carry us forward for the future. #ArgusImpact

Christine Robinson is the executive director of The Argus Foundation. 

[Higher Education]  Engaging The Future
Carol Probstfeld, presidentsoffice@scf.edu

Boldly engaging… these are the words that reflect how we will achieve the dynamic future we envision for the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, in 2020. We will boldly engage our community, students, donors and our faculty and staff to create a future for the next five years and beyond that allows us to grow, adapt and achieve our mission.

We officially launched our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan this week, and I invite you to take a look at www.scf/StrategicPlan to see how we plan to achieve that future for our community’s college.

Our four strategic priorities allow us to set bold goals that reflect the explosive growth of our community, the changing educational needs of our students and employers, and position the college as an essential asset in the economic, educational and cultural life of our community:

  • Strategic Priority 1: Ensure that SCF programs are available to students in all geographic locations of our service region.

  • Strategic Priority 2: Develop a concierge-style experience focused on enhancing student recruitment and performance outcomes.

  • Strategic Priority 3: Aggressively engage faculty/program managers/business and community leaders in collaborative curriculum development from start to implementation for programs that are rapidly responsive to workforce needs.

  • Strategic Priority 4: Establish SCF’s central role in the educational, cultural and workforce development of our service region.

Seven enabling strategies represent the foundational activities that we must accomplish to achieve our strategic priorities. Each enabling strategy contributes to multiple priorities and allows us to progressively accomplish our strategic plan and build a better, more impactful SCF.

SCF’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan is a melding of my vision for the college with the invaluable input from our community and our own students, faculty and staff. This plan is the result of multiple surveys, focus groups and feedback sessions. We are the Manatee-Sarasota community’s college and I believe this plan will take us into the future together with a shared vision.

College presidents don’t leave legacies and I am convinced that those who try are on a futile journey. College presidents have the privilege of helping guide a faculty, staff and a student body toward achieving their goals, ultimately enriching their lives, the lives of their families and our communities.  When that becomes the focus then the college president can encourage parents, alumni, community and business partners, donors and even our legislative leaders to join in that noble venture.

The plan and videos you can see at www.scf/StrategicPlan are the beginning of our venture, a road map to where we see the college going in the next five years. I need your help to reach these milestones. I encourage you to get involved in this plan and partner with me.  I know we share a passion for our community’s future.

I invite you to boldly engage with us as we turn our vision for SCF into reality.

Dr. Carol Probstfeld is president of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. 

[SCOOP]  Key To The Cure Success & Saks Shopping Weekend
Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation celebrated its 10th Anniversary Key To The Cure Event and partnership with with Saks Fifth Avenue with over 900 guests in a fabulous pink-infused fashionable evening to support women’s cancer programs at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Guests sipped bubbly and rosy hued cocktails while noshing on delectable lite bites from Michael’s On East and enjoyed the melodious sounds of strolling acoustic violinist and saxophonist  while sponsors in the Sophies VIP Area enjoyed the vocals of Christopher Eisenburg. Fashionistas for the cause posed in the Hello Gorgeous photo area and amped up their sparkle with Glitter Tattoo Artist, LJ Hanna. With the success of this event, the Foundation has added to the cumulative event proceeds from the last 10 years reaching well over $1.1million. The party continues through the weekend with Saks providing 25% off purchases and every purchase made benefits those fighting cancer.  Time to shop!


[SOON]  Extra November Concert Added to Garden Music Series.
Selby Gardens has added another live concert to its Fall Garden Music Series. From 1-3 pm on Sunday, November 1, the fun and funky ensemble band Swing Shift will perform on the Great Lawn featuring musicians Pete deLisser (saxophone), Tim Eaton (trumpet), Michael Hensley (Hammond B3 organ) and Shawn Doolittle (drums) playing jazz and blues standards with a funky, bluesy edge. This month, don’t miss Diego Figueiredo on October 18 and the Lauren Mitchell Band on October 25.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

[SOON]  Joanna Karpay: 'Reflections in Pastel' Demonstration

On October 18 from 1-4pm, join the Renaissance School of Art for “An Afternoon at Renaissance” and experience Tampa native award winning artist Joanna Karpay's art of “painting without a brush”. This exhibition of pastel paintings is a reflection of Karpay's Florida heritage and love of the natural beauty found in our state.  Inspired by tropical colors and shapes, she is known for bold brushwork, vibrant colors and strong compositions. Karpay will share the beauty of pastel painting and demonstrate the qualities that make this art form so unique and appealing. Demonstration fee is $15 in advance and $20 at the door and includes refreshments. To reserve please call Marina 941-330-6865  

Renaissance School of Art

[SCOOP]  "Buck Up" to Support Our Veterans

Through Veterans Day, November 11,  area businesses and restaurants will participate in the “Buck Up” program to benefit veterans. Participating businesses will invite patrons to contribute a dollar at the point of sale and proceeds from this initiative will benefit the Special Emergency Resources for Veterans (SERV) program, which is administered by Goodwill Manasota. The SERV program provides emergency assistance to veterans and their families for housing, education and food. “As veterans are discharged from the military, the demand for services designed to facilitate their reintegration into their communities, families and jobs is immense,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “The SERV initiative is a program that we are proud to offer to the veterans in our community who need it most. We are grateful to the community leaders and businesses that are participating to raise awareness and funds through the Buck Up effort. And we would like to assure community members who are considering a donation that every dollar is appreciated and makes a difference.” 

Goodwill Manasota

[SOON]  Siesta Key Crystal Classic Meet the Artists Kick Off Party

Head to Mattison's Forty-One on Thursday, November 12 for a party to kick off the return of the 6th Annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival.  Guests will meet all master sculptors and artist team sponsors and enjoy a scrumptious dinner, entertainment, libations and a Quick Sand show preview of this year's fabulous event. Tickets are still available for a limited time for $39.  Artists hailing from as far away as Russia will compete in this year’s Crystal Classic. Twelve teams of two will sculpt for four days, creating elaborate sculptures 8-10’ in height, vying for $15,000 in prize money. 


Siesta Key Crystal Classic

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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