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SRQ DAILY Apr 25, 2018

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"We need to be constantly reminded of the importance of kindness and respect, and the value of differences."

- Sarah Wertheimer, Embracing Our Differences

[Exhibition]  Embracing Our Differences Brings Inspiration to Island Park
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

For 15 years, Embracing Our Differences has championed acceptance and promoted the power of diversity through art and community events, the most prominent being its annual Bayfront exhibition. With the 2018 exhibition currently on display in Island Park, 45 billboard-sized works of art from students around the globe, along with accompanying inspirational quotes, broadcast a mighty message of peace, transforming the idyllic to the downright inspirational. On display through June 1, this 15th anniversary edition also revives 15 past favorites for a mini-retrospective.

Entering the park, “Invitation to the Conversation” greets visitors first—serving double-duty as the name of student-artist Zach Timmons’ artwork and introduction to the exhibition—with an image of a ring of seats of all sorts, and a wheelchair joining the circle. The quote below, paired with Timmons’ image, reads, “Speaking about things with no action is like a dull pencil; there’s no point.” Traversing the park, zig-zagging from one tri-panel installation to the next, the exhibition offers a cross-section of the hopes and fears of a young community, largely students, as they take stock of a world that doesn’t always embrace its differences, but maybe could, with just a little more effort. In one, the Earth is a demon, offered a flower by a young girl; in another, the Earth floats in space, a hemisphere-sized band-aid slapped across its continents.

Racism, religious prejudice, body image issues, refugee crises and bullying all feature heavily, making the message all too clear that the youngest have not been blind to the social ills of the day. Still somehow, hope, not despair, rings loudest. Some look to the past, when soldiers of all faiths sacrificed together in World War II, and others look to the future, when humanity may one day overcome its baser instincts—but all point to the potential waiting to be unlocked by this coming together. Here, a new American Gothic reimagines the iconic portrait as people of color, one with a headscarf, while the Best-in-Show award-winning The New Rosie the Riveter depicts the feminist symbol as a multi-racial woman, with Asian, African, South American and Caucasian influences. “My new Rosie represents the strength of many races,” said the artist, Elisa Uzcategui, an 8th-grade student at Sarasota Military Academy Prep.

“We need this now more than ever,” says Sarah Wertheimer, associate executive director for Embracing Our Differences. Over the years, she’s watched the messages evolve at the annual exhibition, and while some remain constant—anti-racism, pro-love—others, such as agism and cyber-bullying, indicate growing awareness of other issues as well. And awareness is what it’s all about, and why Wertheimer says it’s important that the annual Embracing Our Differences exhibition remain large-than-life, outdoors and free and open to the public, year after year. “We need to be constantly reminded of the importance of kindness and respect, and the value of differences,” she says. “It’s an extremely important message in today’s climate.”

Currentlyon display in Island Park, the Embracing Our Differences 15th annual outdoor art exhibit runs through June 1. 

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

[Community Foundation]  Challenge Accepted
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

It’s that time of year again! No, not Christmas—but close! The Community Foundation of Sarasota County presents The Giving Challenge—an exciting 24-hour interactive giving event supporting more than 630 nonprofits serving Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties. Each one of these nonprofits have shown a commitment to transparency by having profiles in The Giving Partner. The Giving Challenge has enabled donors from throughout our region to show their love for local nonprofit organizations in a friendly competitive donation event. Since its inception, it has provided over $28 million in unrestricted funding to benefit countless philanthropic missions over the years. The 2016 Giving Challenge set an all-time high/new standard, when $13.4 million was raised in just a day. Can 2018 be the year we beat that number? We think so—community solidarity and generosity have been more apparent than ever before—and a lot can happen in 24 hours.

More incentivizing this year, The Patterson Foundation will provide “a 1:1 match for all unique donations, up to $100 per donor, per organization.” Best of all, there is no limit to the number of individual matches a nonprofit can receive during the 24-hour time period. This opportunity should encourage organizations to engage new online donors, as well as loyal returning supporters during this year’s event. The Patterson Foundation will also be awarding $51,000 in various prizes to organizations that have a fundraising plan uploaded to The Giving Partner and have cultivated the highest number of donors during the 2018 Giving Challenge. 

So if there’s a cause in our community that really hits home with you, there is no better opportunity to make a direct impact with a secure donation—helping your favorite local organizations receive special matching dollars and grant incentives. With your gift of $25-$100 matched, thanks to the support of The Patterson Foundation, the spirit of giving will be more alive than any other time of year! Be sure to visit GivingPartnerChallenge.org from May 1st at noon—May 2nd at noon to become apart of the challenge! #BeTheOne

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 

Image provided by The Community Foundation of Sarasota County

The 2018 Giving Challenge

[SRQ Story Project Partner Spotlight ]  Tragically Beautiful, Hauntingly Delicate

The Sarasota Ballet performs Sir Frederick Ashton’s iconic Marguerite and Armand April 27-28. First created on dance legends Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, the ballet’s intense and mesmerizing choreography was noted by Fonteyn as “a passion more real than life itself.” Portraying the tragic love story of by Alexandre Dumas, La Dame aux Camélias, Marguerite and Armand has enchanted audiences across the world with its beauty and heartbreaking story. The Sarasota Ballet still remains the only American Ballet Company to be given permission to perform this iconic work and will be performed alongside Antony Tudor’s The Leaves are Fading and George Balanchine’s Bugaku during the April production of Great Masters of Dance at the Sarasota Opera House. Accompanying these performances will be the Sarasota Orchestra, who will be conducted by one of the world’s greatest ballet conductors Barry Wordsworth. Wordsworth was a former Music Director for The Royal Ballet and has conducted for major ballet companies and orchestras across the globe, currently he is the Principal Guest Conductor for The Royal Ballet. April 27 – 28, tickets available at 941.359.0099 and www.SarasotaBallet.org. 

Sarasota Ballet

[Recognition]  CareerEdge Evaluation Reveals Record Workforce Investment

In 2017, CareerEdge saw the largest workforce development investment by employers in its history for employee trainings and programs. CareerEdge invested over $320,000 in incumbent worker, job seeker and internship training programs, while organizations financed almost $1,300,000. This increase illustrates a major cultural shift by these companies and their acknowledgment of the need to fill skills-gaps by training and supporting credential attainment in the workplace. These findings can be seen in the 2017 CareerEdge Evaluator Report, which was completed by a third-party evaluator, Shelley Robertson of Robertson Consulting Group Inc., to share with funders, workforce partners and the community. A noteworthy component in the report are the raises and career-laddering opportunities that employers are giving to their staff members after they complete their trainings. This past year, 404 employees were trained through CareerEdge incumbent worker training grants, of which 39% had participated in prior trainings. On average, individuals earned an 8% wage increase within two years of training, and 195 received promotions. The evaluator also highlighted some transformations within CareerEdge programs, such as a shift to serving the young adult sector.  This was seen in the development of a pilot program called Career Quest, which focuses on connecting low income high school juniors to career exploration opportunities and an introduction to savings and financial management. The organization will also be bringing these techniques and practices to a new partnership with the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce in June 2018. 

CareerEdge Evaluator Report

[Education]  Sarasota County School District Tops FAFSA Completion

The Talent4Tomorrow Partnership, a collective impact team of local organizations focused on increasing college and credential attainment in Sarasota County, has announced that the Sarasota County School District has been recognized as having the highest FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) completion rate in the state, according to the Florida College Access Network (FCAN). This is the third year in a row that Sarasota County has been named number one in the state for “Large Districts” in FCAN’s annual Florida FAFSA Challenge. Completing the FAFSA is the first step to accessing financial aid for college, as well as a leading indicator of college attendance. But research indicates that Florida high school graduates leave behind over $100 million in federal Pell Grants alone by not completing the form. Through targeted efforts developed by Talent4Tomorrow in partnership with the school district, 47.8% of Sarasota County high school seniors completed the FAFSA as of March 31, 2018. According to FCAN, the incremental increase in FAFSA completion over the last two years has resulted in approximately $800,000 in additional Pell grants available for Sarasota County graduates to pursue their higher-education goals, with the average student award approximately $4,000. 

Talent4Tomorrow Partnership

[Recognition]  Local Hospitals Receive "A" Rating from Leapfrog

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota and Sarasota Memorial Hospital have both received an “A” for protecting patients from preventable injuries and harm and for meeting the highest safety standards in the U.S., the Leapfrog Group announced. Leapfrog issues nationwide hospital safety grades twice each year and assigns an A, B, C, D or F grade based on individual hospital performance in preventing harm and death, such as medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections among patients in their care. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assess more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals. The grades are calculated by top patient safety experts, peer reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. Doctors Hospital and SMH rank among 750 hospitals nationwide that received Leapfrog’s highest mark this grading period. This is the fourth consecutive “A” that SMH has earned for its performance since the hospital began participating in Leapfrog’s survey in 2016, and the eighth consecutive “A” rating for Doctors Hospital. 

The Leapfrog Group

[TODAY]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Environmental Summit in Sarasota , April 25 – April 27

Don’t miss this community-wide environmental event that happens only once every five years. Expert panel discussions, viewpoints from local thought leaders, and provocative lightning talks will weave connections between our environmental heritage and a resilient future for healthy natural habitats.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Mummenschanz You & Me , April 26, 8pm

This Swiss-based theater troupe has been dazzling worldwide audiences for more than 45 years with inventive uses of shadow, light, and creative manipulation of objects. “you & me” focuses on the love and mutual joy the audiences and performers experience in Mummenschanz’s one of a kind theatrical performances, hence the title “you & me”. As musicians of silence, their soundtrack is the awe, joy, and laughter expressed by audiences in response to their pioneered form of visual theater.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Tr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: Nice Work If You Can Get It , April 26 – May 13, 2pm, 7:30pm or 8pm depending on day

A play written in the spirit of Gatsby, Nice Work tells the riveting story of a wealthy bachelor in search of meaning. Jimmy Winter is marrying just to appease his mother and retain his inheritance, but when he drunkenly stumbles into a team of bootleggers, his life unwittingly takes a turn for the new. 

Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 3rd Ave. W., Bradenton

[SOON]  BUSINESS: SRQ Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon , April 26, 10:30am-1pm

SRQ | The Magazine hosts the fourth annual Women in Business Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at The Francis in downtown Sarasota. We will recognize this year's nominees and winners who are inducted into the esteemed 2018 WIB Leadership Circle during the awards ceremony. Keynote Speaker Cricket Burns of CricketsCrush.com is known for her renowed personal style and for having her finger on the pulse of collective fashion trends. She became an esteemed fashion editor and stylist in New York City where for three decadres, she held masthead positions at numerous publications including posts as fashion editor at Harper's Buzaar and Seventeen magazines. Now she focuses her laser-chic styling on the world of home decor. This year's Trailblazer Awards honoree Patti Cazzato was appointed CEO of Timbuk2 in 2014 to helm the company in its 25th anniversary year. She spent nearly three decades in global retail expansion, creative merchandising, product innovation and sustainable manufacturing with high-profile, multi-billion dollar global brands. Pop Up Boutiques and Registration: 10:30am, now expanded to Louies Modern. Luncheon program: 11:30am to 1pm. And, new this year, a post-event Roar Social takes place at Louies Modern from 1-3pm. Tickets: $75/person and $850/table. Click here for tickets.

The Francis, Downtown Sarasota, 1289 N. Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Great Masters of Dance , April 27 – April 28, 2pm and 7:30pm

Closing the season with two company premieres and one of the sexiest shows in ballet, the night begins with Antony Tudor’s The Leaves Are Fading. A company premiere, this epic romance celebrates pure dance with unfettered passion. Following Leaves, the company premiere of George Balanchine’s Bugaku illustrates the choreographer’s genius, and concludes with another production of company favorite Sir Frederic Ashton.

Sarasota Opera House, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: James Bond in Cello Case , April 28 – April 29, Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 3pm

Putting the debonaire and danger back into the cello, the Rastrelli Cello Quartet thrills and entertains with nontraditional programming and performance leading back to a single source—MI6 superspy James Bond. The quartet brings iconic Bond songs to new life, ranging from the days of Sean Connery and From Russia with Love to Daniel Craig’s modern incarnation.

Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALA: Blossoms and Brunch , April 28, 10:30am

Share the legacy of Mable’s beloved rose garden while you enjoy a beautiful brunch surrounded by blooming roses. Blossoms & Brunch will begin with a mimosa reception complete with entertainment and silent auction. A seated brunch will begin at 11:30am. Following brunch, return to the rose garden to discover a variety of sweets at our dessert buffet. $120.

Bayfront Gardens Mable's Rose Garden, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  MUSIC: Yanni 25 Live At The Acropolis Anniversary Concert Tour , April 29, 7pm

Live at the Acropolis was released in 1994 and is the first ever live album and concert video from the maestro. Recorded at the Herodes Atticus Theatre in Athens with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra from London, the concert took a year and a half to complete. Live at the Acropolis became an incredible success and is the second best selling music video of all time.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Tr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: SRQ Vets: Vietnam Remembrance Day , April 29, 3:30pm

Join SRQ Vets in honoring all who served during the Vietnam Conflict at JDub's Brewing Company. Family activities such as a bounce house and games will be available, as well as adult activities such as drinking, dancing and an auction. Time was served and now is the time to honor service.

JDub's Brewing Company, 1215 Mango Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSIC: A Tribute to Music in Cinema , May 4 – May 5

We will end our Finding Maestro Season in spectacular fashion as acclaimed violin soloist and former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, Glenn Dicterow, performs John Williamsʼ themes from Far and Away and Schindlerʼs List. The program also features classics from Oscar-winners Henry Mancini, Jerry Goldsmith and Ennio Morricone.

Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Sarasota Veg Fest , May 5

Featuring nationally renowned and local speakers, food preparation demonstrations, plant-based food, live music from a variety of talented musicians, dance performances, eco-friendly vendors & exhibitors, humane education, a veggie kids zone, yoga classes, film discussions, a veg parade, and more, the event is fun for all ages, genders, and species. 

Sarasota Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: SRQ Magazine Salsa de Mayo Festival , May 5, 10:30am-1pm

Join us for SRQ Magazine's SALSA DE MAYO FESTIVAL on Saturday, May 5, 2018 from 10:30-1pm outside at Morton’s Market in Southside Village, Sarasota. Local chefs are invitied to create an interpretive gourmet salsa to compete for the title of Best Handcrafted Salsa. Attended by food enthusiasts, families and neighbors, Salsa de Mayo showcases innovative creations from fire-roasted poblano salsas to shrimp salsa ceviches! Join us to celebrate the magazine's 20th Anniversary as we turn up the heat!

Morton's Gourmet Market, Outside, 1924 S Osprey Ave, Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: City Sounds , May 5, 7:30pm

In aconcert that is sure to capture the essence of bustling city life, some of the world's greatest cities provide the backdrop for this Discoveries program. Beethoven's mighty music speaks of the Parthenon's destruction in his Overture to The Ruins of Athens. Night music creeps through sultry Madrid streets in Boccherini's highly evocative Quintet in C Major. See the Big Apple through the lens of dance in excerpts from Leonard Bernstein's ballet Fancy Free and and Gruber's lively swing-style Manhattan Broadcasts. Copland's Quiet City casts the bustling metropolis in subdued and achingly beautiful colors.

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

[SOON]  SPORTS: 88th Annual Sarasota Tarpon Tournament , May 9 – June 17

A party at White Buffalo Saloon will kick off this year's 5 week Tarpon Tournament. This tournament is historic and has taken place in Sarasota anually since 1930. If you’re looking to make new friends, have some fun and test your angling skills, come fish with us and yours could be the next name on that trophy. Tarpon are world-class game fish and are easy to access directly off Sarasota’s beautiful beaches. Described as one of the most exciting fish to catch, tarpon are known for spectacular leaps and determined fights. For more information, click the following website: http://www.sarasotatarpontournament.net/.

White Buffalo Saloon, 5377 McIntosh Rd., Sarasota.

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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