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SRQ DAILY Feb 7, 2019

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"It's harder and harder for cities and counties to build parks and maintain them as well."

- Bill Waddill, The Bay

[Government]  Sarasota Ironing Out Details for Bay Conservancy
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

A new conservancy remains in the works for a 53-acre cultural destination on the Sarasota Bayfront. 

Bill Waddill, managing director for The Bay, says the goal right now is to establish a nonprofit organization to provide outside financial support for the long-planned Bayfront redevelopment project. “It’s harder and harder for cities and counties to build parks and maintain them as well,” he says. The conservancy model has been used in some 130 major parks nationwide. 

The Bay Park Conservancy, a nonprofit organization, will allow philanthropic and other dollars to support the destination, which will include expanded piers, new performance venues and public access to the waterfront. 

The funding model originated in New York City, where a conservancy to this day supports Central Park. But that agreement dates back to the 1930s and deals with a huge asset in the middle of America’s biggest metropolis. Waddill says more comparable conservancy models can be found with the Waller Creek Conservancy in Austin, Texas or at the Piedmont Park Conservancy in Atlanta, Georgia.

Waddill says the model isn’t in use at any major Florida parks and will work differently than relationships that exist now between Sarasota governments and certain high-profile facilities. Watchdog groups this week raised concerns the model could face some of the same criticisms and scrutiny as contracts with Major League Baseball clubs about publicly owned stadiums, or an agreement for an outside group operating Nathan Benderson Park.

Waddill doesn't want to speak to particulars about any of those agreements as he doesn’t know inner workings. But he says the Sarasota Bay Planning Organization remained cognizant of public concerns. While there have been questions whether enough private dollars supported those venues, he says the conservancy should guarantee support here. In the early phases, he expects at least 50 percent of funding to come from the conservancy, not a public source. With this project, some of the public funding mechanisms, like a tax increment financing district, have yet to be established and won’t produce major funding for years.

Notably, the Barancik Foundation last week announced $940,000 in grant funding for the still-pending conservancy. That will go toward environmental protections for mangroves. One environmental benefit to the redevelopment will be a reduction in stormwater pouring into Sarasota Bay. As other phases of the project move forward, there could be opportunites for nonprofit and private investment.

City officials this week did promise to take their time on defining the contractual agreement between the government body that owned The Bay property and the conservancy that will help provide financial support to the community resource. Commissioners said they want a term sheet and contract to come before the board on March 18, which will allow more time to publicly vet the deal and still allow a final vote on the contract on April 1. “These are the building blocks for the final memorandum of understanding,” said Commissioner Jennifer Ahearn-Koch. 

[Theater]  Asolo Rep Announces the World Premiere of "Knoxville" in Spring 2020
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

Ushered into the semi-darkness of the Mertz Theater yesterday morning, friends and patrons of the Asolo Repertory Theatre knew they were in for big news, but perhaps not quite as big as they got, as Michael Donald Edwards revealed the world premiere of a new musical set for the Asolo stage—and one created by titans of the craft.

Entitled Knoxville, and adapted from James Agee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, A Death in the Family, the production reunites the acclaimed and Tony Award-winning creative team behind Broadway’s Ragtime in director Frank Galati—an Asolo regular and Tony Award-winner in his own right, who also penned the adaptation—and the celebrated musical pairing of Lynn Ahrens (lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (music), also Olivier Award-winners for Once Upon This Island and currently represented on Broadway with Anastasia. A “rare and thrilling” opportunity, says Edwards, “This is what we love to do.”

Set in Knoxville, TN, in the year 1915, the autobiographical story revolves around young Rufus Follett, who finds his idyllic family life rocked by tragedy, his mind wracked with questions of faith, death and doubt. “Like James Joyce, James Agee created a portrait of the artist as a young man in his novel,” says Galati. “But in this story, the artist is an American and his story goes to the core of the American soul, where faith abides as well as doubt.” Joined onstage by Ahrens and Flaherty, the trio discussed finding common inspiration in Agee’s words and the process of building a musical around Galati’s script. At the end, the audience was treated to a special preview of what Knoxville has in store, with a performance of the song “Outside of Your Window,” sang by Claybourne Elder and accompanied by Flaherty on piano.

Fielding questions from the audience, the name Knoxville came to the fore. Why not stick with a Pulitzer Prize-winning title? It’s about creating  “sense of place,” says Galati, with Flaherty agreeing, in part. The name gives prospective audiences a “taste” of the musical flavor to come, he says, as he composed his “casual” score around the sounds and soul of the setting. But for Ahrens, it conveys, first and foremost, a “sense of community.” Whatever the reason, Edwards seemed to joke, Knoxville might be an easier musical to sell than A Death in the Family.

With a 12-person cast of actor/musicians, Knoxville will premiere at Asolo Repertory Theatre in the spring of 2020, following a workshop session this June. 

[ShopTalk]  941-VIN-TAGE
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Seek shelter in the colorful neighborhood on Fruitville Road for the brand new Vintage Sarasota Gift Shop experience inside the Discover Sarasota ToursTrolley Cottage. Apart from its entertaining, interactive and informative guided tours throughout our culturally rich metropolis—full of photogenic landscapes and stories of history, Founder and CEO Tammy Hauser wished to launch a coinciding retail outlet for locals and tourists alike to shop unique souvenir items and SRQ-inspired trinkets. Tour-goers and the general public can now browse “a curious compendium of collectibles and memorabilia curated to complement Discover Sarasota Tours’ interesting tour themes”. The quaint dwelling carries an array of cultural keepsakes from Ringling Brothers Circus, Ghost, Amish, Psychic, Sports, and Public Arts items. Additionally, you’ll find a bevy of Old Florida/Old Sarasota books, cards, t-shirts, magnets, flamingos, pins, art boards, drinkware, candles, vintage Florida tablecloths and tea towels, soaps, nostalgic food items and other vintage relics, “evoking Florida souvenir shops of days gone by,” says Hauser.

“Discover Sarasota Tours is my gift to Sarasota—I want to share my love of my new hometown with everyone who visits, as well as residents who may not know about her fascinating past.”

In addition to daily city sightseeing jaunts, Discover Sarasota Tours also offers special weekly tours, like Circus History tours, Ghost Tours of Sarasota, Psychic Sundays, Public Art Tours, Sarasota Sports History, The Amish Experience and an evening cruise called Happy Hour “Infamous Sarasota” tour, which includes complimentary beer/wine in the trolley cottage tiki bar. And currently, seasonal tours for the holidays are going on like the Love Stories of Sarasota tour for Valentine’s Week. The 90-minute tours are led by trained tour guides, most of whom have acting or entertainment backgrounds. Tour guide for Love Stories, Kathryn Chesley shares, “I will be telling stories of eight couples who have had a significant impact in the community. For each one of them I will be telling the story from the woman's point of view—dressed in character with a hat to go with each personality—like a personal tour given by eight different women from the community.” 

Photos courtesy of Discover Sarasota Tours, 1836 4th St., Sarasota, 941-260-9818.

Tour tickets & information found here.

[Government]  Manatee Commissioners Appointed to FAC Policy Committees

Four Manatee County Commissioners have been appointed to Florida Association of Counties (FAC) policy committees that form and shape FAC’s Legislative priorities for the year. Commissioner Priscilla Whisenant Trace will serve on the Growth, Agriculture, Transportation & Environment (GATE) Policy Committee. Commissioner Vanessa Baugh will serve on the Federal Policy Committee and on the newly created Water Policy Committee tasked with making policy recommendations on Florida’s vulnerable coastline and natural resources. Commissioner Carol Whitmore will serve on the Health and Safety Policy Committee. Commission Chairman Stephen Jonsson will serve on FAC’s Executive Board of Directors.

The new Water Policy Committee is comprised of 37 county commissioners from across the state. The committee will serve as the Association’s voice when addressing water-related policy concerns and provide a structure for the organization to recommend solutions. 

Florida Association of Counties

[Philanthropy]  Mote Marine Announces Piekarz as Director of Development

Mote Marine Laboratory has announced that Andria Piekarz accepted the position of Director of Development, effective February 1, 2019. Piekarz will apply her philanthropic leadership experience to Mote’s mission of marine science, conservation and public education. Most recently the Director of Philanthropy for the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, Piekarz will lead major growth in fundraising efforts for Mote across its diverse array of more than 20 marine science programs, along with its education and outreach programs that translate scientific discoveries to benefit marine ecosystems and the public. Philanthropic giving is essential to Mote’s success, accounting for 40 percent of the funding for Mote’s Research Division in the past year and complementing the array of competitive government grants and agreements secured by Mote scientists. 

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

[Education]  NewGate Announces Ryskind as Associate Head of School

NewGate Montessori School has announced that Tanya Ryskind, J.D. will be joining the school in July as the new Associate Head of School. An internationally known leader in the Montessori school community, Ryskind currently serves on the board of the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), the agency recognized by the United States Department of Education to accredit Montessori Teacher Education programs. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and holds elementary Montessori certification from both the American Montessori Society and the International Montessori Council. Ryskind also has experience as a Montessori teacher trainer, an International Montessori consultant, motivational speaker, author and frequent presenter at Montessori conferences around the world. 

NewGate Montessori School

[Business]  Siesta Key Chamber Announces Officers and Awards

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce has announced its 2019 Board of Directors and bestowed its 2018 Awards.

The following have been named as the 2019 Board of Directors and Officers: Eric Fleming, Board Chair; Wendall Jacobsen, Immediate Past Chair; Mason Tush, Chair-Elect; Maria Bankemper, Treasurer; Stephanie Brown, Secretary; Steve Cavanaugh, Kara Altice-Montes, Joye Argo, Kathy Elliott, Mike Gatz, Gabe Hartmann, Helene Hyland, Josh Ladwig, Al Maio, and Mark Smith.

Among the awards, The Law Offices of Eric C. Fleming was named Small Business of the Year, Siesta Key Oyster Bar was named Large Business of the Year and Mason Tush, III, of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters was named Business Person of the Year. Board of Director Service Awards were given to the following: Wendall Jacobsen, 2018 Board Chair; Mark Smith, 2018 Immediate Past Chair; Nikki Logan Curran 2016-2018; and Debbie Szczesny 2013-2018. 

Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce

[Travel]  TSA PreCheck Enrollment Event Soon at SRQ Airport

The Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) is inviting community members and passengers to enroll in the popular TSA PreCheck expedited screening program. This temporary enrollment event will take place at SRQ from February 25 through March 8. TSA PreCheck is an expedited screening program that enables identified low-risk air travelers to enjoy a smart and more efficient screening experience. For TSA PreCheck travelers, there is no need to remove shoes, 3-1-1 liquids, laptops, light outerwear or belts. Today, TSA PreCheck has more than 450 lanes at 200+ U.S. airports. The total cost to enjoy five years of TSA PreCheck in all participating U.S. airports is $85 per person.

To applying for TSA PreCheck through this local enrollment event, it is encouraged that applicants pre-enroll ahead of time online at the website below. To complete the application process, applicants will need to bring proof of identity and U.S. citizen documentation. The application process is completed on site; including fingerprints for background check and collection of the $85 application fee. 

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport

[Women In Business Initiative]  Keynote Speaker and Trailblazer Honoree Announced for the SRQ MEDIA Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon | Thursday, May 2, 2019,

Join SRQ MEDIA for the fifth annual Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota on Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 10:30am-3pm. Powered by the Women In Business Initiative, the program will celebrate the2019 Women In Business Award finalists and winners who will be inducted into the esteemed WIB Leadership Circle. The awards luncheon will begin with an engaging Keynote Speaker who will share their inspiring story of success. SRQ MEDIA will also honor this year’s recipient of the prestigious Trailblazer Award to recognize a luminary who has made a significant impact in their field. SRQ Media is delighted to announce best-selling author Geralyn Lucas as this year’s Hear Me Roar Keynote Speaker and legendary journalist Dorothy Butler Gilliam as the recipient of the 2019 Hear Me Roar Trailblazer Award. Tickets can be purchased HERE 

More info.

[TODAY]  FILM: African Diaspora Film Festival – ‘The Feminist on Cell Block Y’ , February 7

A convicted felon builds a feminist movement from behind bars at an all – male prison. The movie is followed by presentation about the Innocence Project of Florida by Harriet Hendel. 

Academic Center – ACE 115, 5800 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[TODAY]  THEATER: Burn This , February 7 – February 17

A shared tragedy—the death of a young gay dancer—sets the stage for a quartet of friends to reconsider their identities, their loves and relationships. A powerful, electrifying work by the playwright whom many regard as our theatre’s finest living writer.

The Player Centre For Performing Arts, 838 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[TODAY]  GALA: 2019 Lemur Gala: Red Ruffs & Roses , February 7

The 2019 Lemur Gala, Red Ruffs & Roses, is a captivating and inspiring evening to celebrate lemurs and join to help save them from extinction in the wild. World-renowned conservationist Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, world-renowned conservationist who coined the term "biological diversity is the distinguished speaker at the event.

Michael's On East, 1212 South East Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Sweat , February 8 – April 13

Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Lynn Nottage’s play looks at life of working America. It’s the year 2000 in Reading, Pennsylvania, and friends Tracey and Cynthia only need their factory jobs and their favorite bar. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to be limited, the friends are pitted against each other. This new play confronts issues of race, class, family and friendship—and the tragic community without opportunity.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Bradenton Area River Regatta , February 9

The fifth annual Bradenton Area River Regatta oozes over–the–top exhilaration coupled with all the traditional festival favorites—music, food, fun things to do—in one awe-gasping extravaganza that will fascinate spectators of all ages long after the day is done. 

It all starts with the fastest inland boats on water and the largest tunnel boat race on tour—Powerboat Superleague Formula-2—splitting the surf at speeds over 120/mph. And to make sure you get all the speed you need, we’ve added Formula-3 racing this year…nimble, agile and nearly as fast—at speeds hitting 100/mph!

With music that will make your feet move and body groove all day long on two main stage venues! National recording artists and Bradenton natives: We The Kings and headliners on Palmetto's main stage from Arcadia, FL, country music group: The Andy Pursell Band.

Watch as world fly-boarding Champion Kristen Smoyer skies 80 feet into the air on an elevator of water in one somersaulting sequence of acrobatic moves. Then marvel at all the fun four-legs can conjure up in the Frisbee® flying, canine trick antics of Team Zoom and Daredevil Dogs. Plus cool kids zones on both shores of the river and enough food and drinks to satisfy appetites large and small.

And, the after-dark delights are spectacular, too, as the nation’s “First Family of Fireworks,” Zambelli Internationale, paints the sky with pyrotechnic wizardry to end the day in one rousing blast of kaleidoscopic beauty.

The all FREE, fifth annual Bradenton Area River Regatta, Saturday, February 9, 2019. Save the date then savor the excitement!

Bradenton Riverwalk

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Turandot , February 9 – March 22

Although unfinished at the time of his death, this opera remains one of Italian composer Giacomo Puccini’s most loved works, known for being his most musically adventurous. The story opens with exiled Prince Calaf, wandering outside of the Chinese Imperial Palace, where he falls in love with the cold and distant Princess Turandot. To obtain her hand in marriage, a suitor must answer three riddles—but if they fail, they face execution. Prince Calaf declares his intention to complete the challenge and win the Princess’ heart, but a surprise test follows.

Sarasota Opera House , 61 North Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The 4th Black Mental Health and Wellness Symposium , February 9

The 4th annual Black History Month academic symposium will feature a panel discussion and two healing justice workshops. Concluded with a keynote presentation on the use of West African drumming for mental health interventions by Dr. Kyaien Conner of University of South Florida, Tampa. 

NCF College Hall, 5800 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALA: Party Under the Stars , February 9, 6:00PM - 10:00PM

Party Under the Stars in the Grove is a festive evening “under the stars,” featuring music, dancing, dining and a silent and live auction with fabulous prizes. All event proceeds provide non-medical, financial assistance to cancer patients and their families.

Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota

[SOON]  GALA: Live, Laugh, Love Extravaganza , February 9

Benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Live Laugh Love Extravaganza will take place at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota on February 9th. Guests will shop at a variety of Boutique vendors selling their wares, and peruse the fabulous treasures at the silent & live auction along with fun and exciting raffles items. The program kicks off with a delicious lunch, and guests will be treated to a fashion show featuring fabulous Bigs and their Littles as they model fashions by Panache, Tommy Bahama, Gap Kids, Debbie Dannheisser Threads and jewelry designed by Contessa Jewels.

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, 1111 Ritz Carlton Dr, Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Jersey Boys, California Girls , February 10 – February 11

AJ Cali and Alex Zickafoose will bring back the 1960s and the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons as they present many of the great songs from the Tony Award-winning jukebox musical Jersey Boys. And the California Girls—the Stiletto Brass Quintet—are sure to knock your socks off.

Sunday- Riverview Performing Arts Center Monday- Neel Performing Art Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota 5840 26th St. W, Bradenton

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Gauguin's Voyage to Paradise , February 10 – June 30

Just as Paul Gauguin left an indelible mark on the post-Impressionist art world, the deep impact of botanical imagery on his work cannot be denied. This exhibition will highlight the essential role of botanicals in achieving the artist’s vision of the savage, primitive and exotic. Together with lush displays of tropical plants in the conservatory and gardens, the show will feature dramatic woodcuts and rarely seen works in other mediums by the artist.

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

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Keynote Lecture: Gauguin’s Voyage to Paradise with Dr. Carol Ockman , February 12

Dr. Carol Ockman, curator-at-large for Selby Gardens, presents an engaging talk about the featured artist, Paul Gauguin, whose work inspires and is displayed in the annual Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series.

Selby House Cafe, 811 South Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Mary Poppins , February 14 – March 3

Set in London, 1910, Bert, a jack-of-all-trades, guides audiences into the dysfunctional home of the Banks family, where the children have gone through numerous nannies. Mary Poppins magically flies into their lives bringing whimsy, magic and commonsense discipline for both the children and grown-ups, and everyone learns that “anything can happen if you let it.”

Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W, Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Staged Reading of "The (M)others" , February 15

“The (M)others” is a collection of excerpts from interviews conducted by Dr. Nikki Yeboah with Bay-area mothers who have lost loved ones at the hands of police. Through their stories, there is a closer to understanding of the toll police violence takes on families. The folllowing day the locations will be moved, Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center at 525 Kumquat Ct., Sarasota

USF - Sarasota Manatee, 8350 North Tamiami Trail., Sarasota, FL

[SOON]  DANCE: Martha Graham Dance Company , February 15 – February 17

In its long-held tradition of featuring a visiting company each season, to provide audiences a different insight to the art of dance, the Sarasota Ballet presents the Martha Graham Dance Company, the oldest dance company in the States, founded by contemporary dance legend Martha Graham and called “one of the great dance companies of the world” by the New York Times.

FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival , February 15 – February 17

The 21st Annual Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival is a three day event held at the Sarasota Fairground to benefit Suncoast Charities for Children. Bring you lawn chair and enjoy continuous live music featuring rock, blue, and country featuring national recording artist StealHeart performing Saturday, February 16th. This year's Festival includes a Sunday charity ride (open to all vehicles), vendors, freestyle acts, a motorcycle & truck show, burnout competition, great food, and much more! Admission is $5, children 12 and under free. $10 three day passes and VIP tickets may be purchased online in advance at thunderbythebay.org.

Sarasota Fairgrounds

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Night for the Agricultural Museum , February 16

The Manatee County Agricultural Museum presents Night for the Museum. The evening will feature a live and silent auction, a cash bar, and barbecue dinner. Dress is jean casual.

Woman's Club of Pametto, 910 6th Street W., Palmetto

[SOON]  GALLERY: Fine Arts Festival of Manatee County , February 23

This annual festival celebrates its 18th annual Festival featuring local and regional artists. All media. Held at Bradenton Rivewalk in the pavilion area.

[SOON]  GALA: Starry Night Soiree , February 23, 6:00PM

Celebrate the wonder and magic of the cosmos, accompanied by a gourmet dinner, live auctions, dancing and more!

Funds raised at this special event help make a local impact and support essential American Cancer Society programs, services and extensive research for all cancers in all stages of life. The American Cancer Society’s Starry Night Soiree will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. Festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. with a pre-event reception which includes a silent auction followed by an elegant dinner, a live auction, and incredible entertainment. 

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, 1111 Ritz Carlton Dr, 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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