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SRQ DAILY Mar 7, 2018

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"We're just celebrating that we're here another year and that we've got big plans."

- Brendan Ragan, Urbanite Theatre

[Philanthropy]  Urbanite Rebrands Giving with The Black Party
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

In a town full of galas and fundraisers (especially at peak season), standing out as something different from the pack can mean the difference between success and defeat. This counts double if the organization behind the event doesn’t have decades of community entrenchment to fall back on. So when the folks behind the Urbanite revived their (mostly) annual Black Party fundraiser gala for this weekend, they drew the line—no emcees, no auctions, no ceremonies and no sign-up forms, emotional speeches or pleas for money. “We’re just celebrating,” says Urbanite Cofounder Brendan Ragan, “that we’re here another year and that we’ve got big plans.”

Kicking off this Saturday, 7pm, at Aloft Sarasota, the plan calls for largely uninterrupted revelry into the wee hours of the morning, with minimal interference from hosts to spoil the good time. A ticket price of $150 covers the entrance fee and drink tickets—with all proceeds going towards supporting next season’s productions—but after that it’s all about having a good time, with DJ Joey D bringing the music and dance floor as the centerpiece. Once guests are through the door, the fundraising is over and the fun begins, as a thank you for a year of support. “And the best way to do that,” says Ragan, who likens the event more to a happening New Year’s Eve Party than a fundraiser, “is to celebrate how much we’ve done together.” Throughout the night, images from past productions will be projected on the walls of the Aloft courtyard as a visible reminder.

The dress code is all-black, both an homage to the black box theater and its mysterious and modern sensibilities, but also a practical choice that keeps it fun but easy for the guest list. Near everyone has a black outfit, and if they don’t, one is easy to find (and easier to keep clean than all white). Featuring food from Modern Events, Saturday’s Black Party also marks the return of The Bourbonite—a craft cocktail created in collaboration with State Street Eating House, and a favorite for Urbanite staff and supporters, like a boozy mascot. Made with bourbon, grapefruit, ginger beer and Hellfire bitters, it’s smoky and citrusy with a bit of a zip at the end.

In the absence of a silent auction, awards ceremony or sit-down dinner, Urbanite will host a minimally invasive 50/50 raffle. With four body paint models—two men and two women—circulating through the party selling tickets (and therefore building the pot), at the end of the night a winner is drawn to split the pot with The Urbanite.

Though perhaps the end result is not the sit-down affair with paddled auctions and speeches that Sarasota socialites and philanthropists may be accustomed too, Ragan remains confident that the Black Party carries its own cross-sectional appeal. For the young and energetic folks looking for a night on the town, Aloft stays open late and once the party nominally ends, it really just migrates inside to the Aloft bar. And for those looking to pop in and out to show their support but avoid a late night, drink service and food service starts right away, with plenty of room to hobnob and chit chat. “It’s all the reasons you go to a party,” says Ragan.

The Black Party begins Saturday, March 10, at 7pm at Aloft Sarasota. Tickets are $150 and go toward Urbanite Theatre’s 2018-19 programming. 

Pictured: Good cheer at the Urbanite Theatre Black Party. Photo courtesy of Urbanite Theatre.

[Community Foundation]  When the Giving gets Tough
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

With day to day decision-making on so many little things that life requires you to face, giving to a cause should be a simple quest. Determining which charity to fund can be as easy as deciding which latte to order on the way to work or where to venture to the beach this weekend. Being a donor becomes even easier and more fulfilling when you’re creating good for the causes you deeply care about. Our community in particular offers so many choices, reaping with positive outcomes for the people, places and animals on this Giving Coast we call home. With independent philanthropy growing significantly in recent decades, people of every age and income level are actively participating in giving their money to the organizations they strongly believe in. In an era where money gets thrown around so frivolously, it’s comforting to know your hard earned dollars align with your values and that your investment is moving the needle for significant change, whether you have $50 or $500,000.

But how do you ensure your donations are going to the right nonprofit and into the right hands? People often ask how to determine whether or not a nonprofit organization is a good investment or not. We are fortunate enough as a community that something like The Giving Partner exists to help donors be proactive, open up dialogue and ask questions. Launched in 2012 from a collaborative effort by Community Foundation of Sarasota County, with support from The Patterson Foundation, The Giving Partner was created as an online tool to do all the vital groundwork for you. It provides in-depth information about more than 600 nonprofits that serve the Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties. Each of these nonprofits have made a commitment to transparency by filling out a profile sharing verified, detailed information on programmatic results, governance and financial history. This is then verified by foundation staff members, who also confirm profiles are updated at least once a year to retain the "Reviewed by Your Community Foundation" icon on the site. So after an intensive vetting process of reviewing the charities on accountability, efficiency, financials and overhead, The Giving Partner inevitably alleviates the investigation necessary to fund an impactful program. Murray Devine, Communications and Marketing Manager of The Community Foundation shares his view, "Beyond just an online resource for donors and funders to learn more about local choices in Giving, The Giving Partner has also allowed The Community Foundation to keep a pulse on the nonprofit community. We can learn about what areas in management, governance, finance, communications, and other fields they may need help in, and our Community Investment team can build nonprofit capacity by tailoring our own nonprofit services, workshops, and consultant program around what they need. The transparency is mutually beneficial to all involved.”

What you can do to ensure that you're not just another name on a mailing list, The Giving Partner recommends thinking yourself not as just a donor, but a partner– express to the organization what your aspirations and expectations for your charitable dollars are. The information provided in their profile will allow you to decipher how strong, committed and ethical is their leadership, how diverse is their sourcing, and how is their ability to articulate goals. As a preliminary intro to finding one that best suits your interests and values, they provide some powerful questions you can ask when considering who/what to support– How are your programs and services impacting people in the short-term? In the long-term, how will my dollars create positive change? How do you monitor and report on success? What are some specific examples of success stories?

Thankfully, making an informed decision as meaningful as this now comes as easy as choosing the Matcha Tea Latte tomorrow morning and South Lido beach park this weekend. Except, this decisive resolution packs a lot more punch. Cheers to local donors and citizen philanthropists alike making a difference in the community we live and thrive in.

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is proud to partner with SRQ Media Group to highlight stories about community impact powered by philanthropy in our region, thanks to the support of donors and our local nonprofit partners. The Community Foundation is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. For more information, visit www.CFSarasota.org 

The Giving Partner

[Exec Moves]  Gulfcoast South AHEC Welcomes New Board Members

Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center has welcomed four new board members. New directors include Matt Bowman, College Advisor/Instructor, SCF Collegiate School; Lori Colucci, Director of Nursing, Education & Patient Safety Officer, DeSoto Memorial Hospital; Amie J. Miller, Lung Cancer Screening Program, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System; and Nancy Page, Vice President of Clinical Services, First Step of Sarasota. These new members now join in helping GSAHEC fulfill its mission of providing health education that improves the wellbeing of the communities we serve. 

Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center

[Synergy]  FST Receives $500,000 Legacy Gift from Muriel O'Neil Fund

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) has announced a generous gift of $500,000 from the Muriel O’Neil Fund for the Performing Arts of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. With this gift, an endowed fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County was established to underwrite the Mainstage Series. The Fund will also support renovation of producing offices and construction of a new costume studio. The amount of $200,000 will be used for the renovation of and improvements to the Arnold Simonsen and Ronda Montminy Theatre Wing and the Roberta Leventhal Sudakoff Theatre Wing. The remaining $300,000 will be used as an endowment fund to underwrite FST’s Winter Mainstage Series into perpetuity. Work has already begun on FST’s Costume Studio, which is housed in the Arnold Simonsen and Ronda Montminy Theatre Wing, with a projected completion in the spring of 2018. Renovations of FST’s producing offices in the Sudakoff Theatre Wing are scheduled to begin this upcoming fall. 

Florida Studio Theatre

[Travel]  GATES Construction Renovating SRQ Welcome and Info Center

GATES Construction has begun work on an interior renovation at the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, located at 6000 Airport Circle in Sarasota. The newly reconfigured Welcome and Information Center will allow airport patrons to access pertinent information about local activities, attractions and amenities. A large interactive touch screen will elevate the user’s experience even further. Display cases will feature information from various restaurants, cultural experiences, nature exhibits and boutique shopping throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Designed by Gresham, Smith and Partners, the project is scheduled for completion spring 2018. 

GATES Construction

[Real Estate]  London Bay Homes Unveils Mandeville Model on Siesta Key

London Bay Homes has completed a luxury single-family custom estate model in the waterfront neighborhood of Spice Bay on Siesta Key. Located on Sarasota Bay in a gated community of just 14 homesites, the Mandeville was designed to maximize water views from every room and offers a private dock on the Intracoastal Waterway. The home was recently honored with the Best Overall Award by the Manatee-Sarasota Builder Industry Association at the Parade of Homes awards ceremony, where it also picked up honors for Best Curb Appeal, Best Kitchen, Best Master Suite, Best Floor Plan and Best Architectural Detail. With 5,010 square feet of living space within two stories, the Mandeville’s open concept combines great room, parlor, kitchen and dining room. Along with an expansive first-floor master suite, the home features a temperature-controlled wine cellar and study. An elevator affords easy access to a large second floor featuring three en-suite bedrooms with walk-in closets and a loft with the home’s second powder bath and a wet bar. The fully furnished Mandeville model features a transitional interior design by Melissa Allen of Romanza Interior Design that blends classic and modern style. The Mandeville is priced at $5,925,000, fully furnished. A second model in Spice Bay, the three-bedroom, four-bath Somerset is scheduled completion in the spring. 

London Bay Homes

[TODAY]  SEMINAR: SRQ Magazine's Where the Votes Are—School Referendum , March 7, 7:30-9:00am

Join us for SRQ Magazine's Where the Votes Are presentation on the School Referendum on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 from 7:30am to 9:00am at the SRQ Studios. The program includes: Senior Editor Jacob Ogles' analysis of the recent School Referendum by the votes and special guests Pam Truitt and Dan DeLeo of the Citizens for Better Schools. Click here to RSVP or call Madeline Crotts at 941-365-7702 x221. Registration at 7:30am and presentation from 8am to 9am.

SRQ Studios, 331 S. Pineapple Avenue Sarasota, FL 34236

[TODAY]  GALLERY: Warhol: Flowers In the Factory , February 11 – June 30

This exhibition showcases the surprising and little examined, role of nature in Warhol’s art and life. The spectacular 15-acre tropical setting of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on Sarasota Bay will provide a matchless context for examining Warhol’s fascination with the natural world in this focused, immersive exhibition. It is curated by Carol Ockman, Ph.D., curator-at-large of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and the Robert Sterling Clark Professor of Art History at Williams College

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[TODAY]  THEATER: Constellations , February 21 – March 16

Can one word alter the course of your life? A simple encounter between a man and a woman leads to a spellbinding journey across time and space. Science and romance collide in this unusual love story of infinite possibilities and the difference between choice and destiny.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: 2018 Jewish Film Festival , March 8 – March 18, 10:30am to 9pm

The ninth annual event will feature films that "explore, record, and celebrate Jewish life and experience" from both the past and present. Films vary in genres from exciting fast-paced features to more serious and somber films. Enjoy great cinema for only $15.

Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, 580 McIntosh Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Striking Strings , March 8 – March 11

This concert features the striking work of Bartók and Schumann. Bartók's final string quartet is a curious and powerful work, ranging from playfulness to melancholy. As the music succumbs to the impending end, it transforms into something majestic in its resignation. Schumann's String Quartet No. 3 features a Clara motif, as he wrote it during his first marital crisis, a domestic issue with a modern ring to it. Typical for Schumann, the finale sweeps away all that has gone before in a surge of energy with a grand conclusion. 

Holley Hall, Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 North Tamiami Tr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALA: Cat Tails | A Night in the Garden , March 9, 6:30-9:30pm

Change the destiny of the 30,000 homeless cats and kittens in Sarasota County by joining Cat Depot for an enchanting celebration under the stars at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Guests will enjoy live entertainment, hand-crafted cocktails, delectable bites and delicious desserts prepared by award-winning Michael’s on East and Cat Depot’s best silent auction to date. Every ticket sold will provide much needed support and medical care for the homeless, abandoned, and injured cats and kittens the organization rescues each year.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  MUSIC: Best of Broadway , March 9 – March 10

Headlining a program of Broadway favorites is Tony-nominated actor Norm Lewis, recognized for his roles in Phantom of the OperaPorgy and Bess and Showboat at Lincoln Center. Also on the program is Sierra Boggess, who starred in Phantom with Lewis. The program includes music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jerome Kern, Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein.

Van Wezel, 777 North Tamiami Tr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALA: SARTQ 10th Annual Print Party , March 10, 11am

This event gives the public a chance to interact with both art and artists. This year’s party will serve as an opportunity for the public to purchase a print created right before their eyes while meeting the members of SARTQ and enjoying music, food and craft brewing culture of Mandeville Beer Garden.  Each of the 12 participating artists have created original designs as well as a special Mandeville silkscreen just for the event. Attendees may bring their own clothing items such as t-shirts, pants, scarfs etc., though any item that can lie flat under the screen and will accept ink can be printed on. Each print is just $5 

Mandeville Beer Garden, 428 North Lemon Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Tiefland , March 10 – March 25

Marta is the unwilling mistress of awealthy landowner, Sebastiano. To ensure the poor girl will remain close, Sebastiano marries Marta off to Pedro, a shepherd on his land. Pedro falls in love with Marta. Eventually, the awful secret comes to light, but the shepherd is still willing to do whatever it takes to free his beloved from her warden.Performed by the likes of Maria Callas and Montserrat Caballé, this extraordinary example of early 20th century verismo opera is seen regularly in Germany and Austria, but there has only been one other U.S. production in a century.

Sarasota Opera House, 61 North Pineapple Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Jeepin’ For Face Autism , March 11, 12:00pm-3:00pm

Face Autism, Inc. is teaming up with the Sarasota Jeep Club and Firkins Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram by rasing funds to continue to serve the local Bradenton, Sarasota, and Venice autism communities. The event will include live music, food and performances from Dynasty Dance and Face Autism clients. All event proceeds will go directly to Face Autism.

Firkins Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, 2700 1st Street Bradenton, FL 34208

[SOON]  THEATER: The Kingston Trio , March 11 – March 12

Year after year of sold-out performances at VT prove that these Grammy winning legends of folk music just get better with time! The Kingston Trio always provides a wonderful trip through a musical genre that is adored by millions. You'll be sure to enjoy their beautiful harmonies, simple-yet-meaningful songs, and top-notch musicianship. The Kingston Trio: George Grove, Bill Zorn and Rick Dougherty

Venice Theatre, 140 Tampa Ave W., Venice,

[SOON]  THEATER: Roe , March 14 – April 15

Roe takes the viewer inside the personal and public battles of the two women at the heart of the landmark Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade. Recreating the case itself, with the help of actual audio recording from the justices of the time Loomer gives nuanced and surprisingly humorous life to both sides of the contentious debate.

Asolo Repertory Theatre, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Lift Off , March 15 – March 18

No piece of classical music may be better at taking our imagination on a breathtaking journey toward outer space than Holst's The Planets. Performances at the Van Wezel will include projections of NASA images that make this experience a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. Roger Zare's Lift-Off is a celebration of human space exploration.With a sound that some have described as out-of-this-world, soprano Pureum Jo will join Sarasota Orchestra to sing a variety of Mozart's best and most beautiful concert arias.

Van Wezel, 777 North Tamiami Tr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: The Price , March 15 – March 25

The Price is a 1968 play by Arthur Miller. It is about family dynamics, the price of furniture and the price of one's decisions. The play premired on Broadway in 1968 and has been revived on Broadway four times since. 

The Players Centre of Performing Arts, 838 North Tamiami Tr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The Curatorial Program: Vision, Strategy, Criteria , March 15, 6pm

There are many aspects to building a new art museum, but the most visible, of course is the curatorial program. In addition to the 15,000 sq ft of dedicated exhibition space, there are numerous Curatorial Zones on the Museum Campus where visitors will experience and engage with art. Join us for a presentation and interactive discussion about the formation of our communities' new art museum.

The Works, 891 South Tamiami Tr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSIC: The Resonant Rogues , March 15, 7pm

The Resonant Rogues is the songwriting soul child of partners Sparrow and Keith Smith. Since meeting in 2012, they have dedicated their lives to crafting and sharing their music with the world, touring extensively across the US and Europe. The Resonant Rogues are difficult to define, but easy to enjoy.

Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Ct., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Mike Solomon: Native Shore , March 15 – April 14

Mike Solomon's exhibition "Native Shore" focuses on the artist's return to his native shore and hometown of Sarasota after 40 years of living away. His work is inspired by Sarasota's shoreline.  The resplendent light of the neotropics radiates from the paintings and editions, drawing viewers into vibrant aqueous colors and translucent depths, the rhythmic rise and fall of the horizon. 

Alfstad& Contemporary, 1419 5th St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: A Midsummer Night's Dream , March 15 – April 8

Shakespeare's comedy brings together a group of star-crossed lovers, an inept band of actors led by the pompous Nick Bottom, and the king and queen of the fairies and their impish henchman Puck, who creates romantic and comic havoc for all.

Venice Theatre, 140 Tampa Ave W., Venice

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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