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SRQ DAILY May 17, 2019

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"It's a testament to what can happen when a community comes together."

- Nate Jacobs, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

[Theater]  WBTT Sets the Stage for Continued Success with Groundbreaking
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

A vision nearly 20 years in the making took a major step this week, with Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe breaking ground on a large-scale theater renovation set to transform the WBTT experience for both performers and audiences. “It’s a day that, at one time in my journey, I thought would never happen,” says Nate Jacobs, WBTT artistic director and the man who founded the enterprise two decades ago. “It’s been a long time coming,” he says. “I am floating on a cloud.”

WBTT purchased the warehouse space in 2013, converting it to theater use and staging its shows there to sell-out crowds and increasing acclaim, but this new extensive renovation will upgrade the facilities and turn the space into something tailor-made for theater at a more fundamental level. A redesigned MainStage will receive new lighting and sound systems, as well as upgraded dressing rooms and dedicated areas for props and costuming, while a second stage will be available for rehearsals and educational opportunities. Patrons will enjoy more and comfier seating, in addition to a larger lobby space for pre- and post-show mingling and much larger restrooms to accommodate those lengthening lines during intermission.

The second and final phase of WBTT’s ongoing “Heart and Soul” capital campaign (currently sitting at $7.2 million of its $8-million goal), the construction comes on the heels of the newly renovated WBTT Education & Outreach Building. And with Willis A Smith Construction executing the project, plans are for the performers to be back in the building by December, ready to begin the belated season in January 2020 with a production of Caroline, or Change.

In the meantime, educational programs such as WBTT’s Stage of Discovery summer theater intensive will find space elsewhere on the WBTT campus, and hold its performance at State College of Florida. It was important to Jacobs that these programs, which bring artistic opportunities to underserved youth, largely African-American, continue uninterrupted. “We’re that net,” he says, “launched out to capture these artists and give them a chance to shine.” Once completed, the new theater will boost these programs as well. “That building means that this will continue,” Jacobs says.

But none of it would be possible without dedicated support from friends and patrons. “It’s a testament to what can happen when a community comes together,” says Jacobs.

The new theater will be called the Gerri Aaron and the Aaron Family Foundation Theatre Building. 

Pictured (from left): WBTT Executive Director Julie Leach, WBTT Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs and WBTT Board Chair Marian Moss breaking ground on the Gerri Aaron and the Aaron Family Foundation Theatre Building. Photo by Sorcha Augustine.

[ShopTalk]  Sunkissed, Not Sunburned
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Sunday, May 26 marks National ‘Don’t Fry’ Day. According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer estimates in the United States for 2019 so far report 5.4 million new cases (non-melanoma) and 96,480 (melanoma). That’s a whole lot of people getting fried from UVA and UVB radiation. Beyond the precautions to wear brimmed hats and polarized sunglasses to shield us from the sun, incorporating a quality, non-chemical sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher in our everyday, puts us on the front lines with the appropriate arsenal to battle skin damaging rays. With summer right around the bend, and Memorial Day weekend even closer, get ahead of the blazing sphere increasingly heating up our thermostats and flirting with 3 digit temperatures on our car’s dashboard by having a bottle of KLĒNSKIN in your bag of tricks at all times. The revolutionary, dermatologist formulated line of sunscreens is paraben- and cruelty- free and includes SPF50 lotions, a sunscreen stick, ‘Sunbar’ soap, lip balms, and the first and only ‘Wash On’ sunscreen.

Founded by Laura E. Cohen, M.D., and Lisa LeBlanc, the mother-daughter team makes up CoLabs Intl. Corp, which now has labs/research facilities in sunny destinations including Huntington Beach, Sarasota and Las Vegas. Cohen’s 30+ years in dermatology has seen innumerable cases of unprotected sun exposure including skin cancer, pre-cancer, premature aging, sunburn and melasma, to name a few. Cohen and LeBlanc made it their mission to create a user-friendly and cosmetically-elegant line of in-shower sunscreens that everyone could conveniently use on a daily basis while already getting squeaky clean. “We believed that if people could apply sunscreen without having to change their daily habits, we could decrease the dangerous effects of the sun in these individuals,” said Cohen. “Knowing the tremendously positive impact adding fluoride to toothpaste made on the reduction in tooth decay, we knew that piggybacking on soap with the addition of effective sunscreen to soap/body wash could have a similar positive influence on skin health.”

Add KLĒNSKIN to your daily routine as a shampoo, face and body cleanser to cover your hair/skin with a layer of sunscreen for the day’s outing—eliminating the extra step of applying greasy lotions and creams that are often thick and leave a film of residue. Infused with CoLabs’ patented QuantaSphere® Encapsulated Technology infuses all the active ingredients of broad spectrum 30 SPF, and throws in some conditioning emollients and antioxidants to sweeten the deal. KLĒNSKIN is clinically proven, safety-tested and is water resistant for up to 80 minutes.

To celebrate Skin Cancer Awareness Month, KLĒNSKIN is offering a free SPF stick and free shipping on all orders of $60, through May 31. 

Photo courtesy of @klenskin_spf

Learn more about 'Being Safe in the Sun' by the American Cancer Society.

[Theater]  Sarasota Opera Receives NEA Grant for "Brundibar" Revival

National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $20,000 to the Sarasota Youth Opera program to support its 2019 revival of Brundibár by Hans Krása.

Written before World War II, Brundibár was performed over 55 times in the Theresienstadt Jewish ghetto and is considered one of the most performed youth operas, receiving hundreds of performances each year around the globe. The allegorical tale has three heroes—a sparrow, a cat and a very wise dog—who help Annette and Little Joe raise the money needed to save their ailing mother, despite the evil organ grinder Brundibár. This production will incorporate a revised and enhanced prologue crafted by Sarasota Youth Opera music director Jesse Martins and stage director Martha Collins containing quotes from children throughout history, from the Holocaust to present day, that address the larger social message of Brundibár. The prologue also includes several “original musical selections” with music by Dvořák and Puccini set to the words of Malala Yousafzai and the Declaration of Independence.

This production will be presented November 15–16, with a school matinee performance on November 15th in partnership with Embracing Our Differences. Tickets are currently available for purchase by 2019/20 Sarasota Opera subscribers. Single tickets will be available exclusively online August 1 and at the Sarasota Opera box office September 3. 

Sarasota Opera

[Science & Nature]  Mote Marine Selects Willis A. Smith and Whiting-Turner for Mote SEA Construction

Mote Marine Laboratory leadership has announced the selection of a partnership between a local construction management company and an international firm for the construction of Mote Science Education Aquarium (Mote SEA): Willis A. Smith Construction, Inc., and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.

This milestone results from many months of assessment by a committee of Mote Trustees and senior staff, which scored three finalists on numerous criteria, including the qualifications and experience of their respective staff members assigned to the project, the companies’ success with similar projects, detailed proposals and projected costs, metrics related to safety, insurance applicability and financial health and more. Ultimately, Mote’s committee recognized Whiting-Turner’s significant experience constructing large, scientific and public-aquarium facilities nationwide, paired with Willis Smith’s demonstrated proficiency with major projects in southwest Florida, including eco-friendly construction.
Fundraising for the project continues, and the $130-million campaign to create Mote SEA, Oceans for All: Improving Access to Marine Science & Technology, has already attained $34 million in commitments from philanthropic donors, including $2 million in the past 31 days. 

Mote SEA

[Arts and Culture]  Van Wezel Receives NEA Grant for Artworks for Schooltime Initiative

National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $10,000 to The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Education Department for the Artworks for Schooltime initiative, an extension of the School Partnership Program.

This project will allow for the growth of the Art Works for Schooltime Initiative to include a School Partnership model. At least four partner schools will work with the Van Wezel to develop a yearly plan featuring two Art Works learning modules along with desired outcomes. Pre–K to Grade 3 students will be targeted for participation. Partner schools will receive teacher training, in-classroom workshops, attendance at Schooltime Performances and 2Gen Family programs. Project activities will be around Art Works for Schooltime arts integration modules and will connect drama and visual arts to language arts and science learning. The partnerships will be developed to have unique learning objectives and goals that reflect the individual school’s character and academic needs. Additional teachers and students will have access to Art Works for Schooltime learning modules.  

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

[TODAY]  THEATER: Honk! A Musical Tale of "The Ugly Duckling" , May 10 – May 19

Enjoy a musical spin on a story based on Hans Christian Anderson's "The Ugly Duckling." Ugly looks quite different from his duckling brothers and sisters, and the other animals on the farm are quick to point this out. Feeling rather insecure about himself, Ugly embarks on an adventure of self-discovery. Along the way, he even encounters a flock of characters who are unique like him and discovers that being different is not so bad after all.

Venice Theatre, 140 West Tampa Ave., Venice.

[TODAY]  BUSINESS: Introduction to Ikebana , May 17, 10am-2pm

Discover the pleasures of this ancient Zen art and learn to create spontaneous, understated and decorative flower arrangements using branches, flowers and leaves easily found around the home and garden. No experience necessary. Instructor will furnish materials. Bring garden scissors, paper towels and a creative spirit. Registration is $50 for members/$65 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[TODAY]  THEATER: Wednesday's Child , April 3 – May 24

A world premiere from Mark St Germain, when a young surrogate mother is found dead, a police investigation explodes the lives of everyone who knew her. As Detective aleece Valez and Walt Dixon begin to put the pieces together, secrets surface, alibis weaken, and lies are uncovered. This dramatic new play explores motherhood, passion, and the thin line between right and wrong.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  HEALTH: Relay for Life Sarasota , May 18

The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is the world’s largest movement to end cancer. Money raised from Relay For Life helps the American Cancer Society save lives by funding ground breaking research to discover cancer’s causes and cures and help people facing cancer today with free programs and services. People form teams and raise money together leading up to the event. Then, everyone comes together for a night of fun that celebrates cancer survivors, remembers loved ones lost to cancer, and unites us in our commitment to fight back against the disease.

Van Wezel , 777 N Tamiami Trl, Sarasota, FL

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Sarasota Craft Festival , May 18 – May 19

Take a stroll downtown to enjoy the weekend at the Sarasota Craft Festival, featuring a variety of jewelry, pottery, ceramics, photography, painting, clothing and much more - all handmade in America.

Five Points Park , 61 North Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Morton's Market 50th Anniversary Party , May 19

Join Morton's Market to celebrate their 50 Year Anniversary. Food & Fun! Live music & raffle prizes! All proceeds to benefits the Morton Culinary Education Fund.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Dancin' 2019 (Art & Soul) , May 19, 12:30pm 5:00pm

 Art & Soul Dance Company is proud to present our second annual Recital, Dancin’ 2019, featuring amazing performances from dancers aged 3 to Adult! Award-winning Choreography, fabulous technique and stunning costumes are sure to please every audience member. Each Show is different and will highlight our phenomenal dancers presenting the most current Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Ballet, Acro and Contemporary Dance routines around.


Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Avenue West, Bradenton.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Fur, Feather, Flora & Fauna , May 21 – June 21

An all media, open exhibition throughout all galleries. Includes Art & Animals on June 1—a fun family day with animals and art, nonprofit organizations, information, activities and photo opportunities. Guests are invited to bring their leashed, well behaved pets.

ArtCenter Manatee, 209 9th St W., Bradenton

[SOON]  FOOD: Sip and Savor , May 22, 5:30pm

Enjoy an extravagant wine tasting and food pairing where dress code is Field Club Casual (dress shorts acceptable, no jeans please). There will be a silent auction featuring wines from Argus member wine cellars!

Field Club, 1400 Field Road, Sarasota.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kokedama - A Different Bonsai , May 22, 10am-12pm

Kokedama is a style of bonsai in Japanese culture. In this class you will take a fresh plant (epiphyte) and wrap it in a peat-based soil recipe that is designed to hold its spherical shape; then you will fasten moss around it to make a gorgeous little green orb. You will make two of these plants to take home and display. Registration is $35 for members/$50 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Still Life & Flat Lay Photography , May 23, 10am-1pm

Learn how to photograph “top down” from above. Create vignettes, explore props to use, minimalist styles, what to use for backgrounds and how to create backgrounds. Hands on play and photographing. Focus on mobile photography but all cameras welcome. Open to all levels. Registration is $60 for members/$75 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Warrior Pose For Warriors: A Yoga Fundraiser Supporting Veterans at the Sarasota Opera House , May 23

An evening with Operation Warrior Resolution (OWR) supporting military servicemembers with yoga, breath and body work and sound immersions on the stage of the legendary Sarasota Opera House. The event will be led by popular yogi master and Lululemon ambassador, Ms. Ashley Stewart. All proceeds will support OWR’s mission of providing immediate and effective mental health care at no cost for all U.S. military veterans and family members. Operation Warrior Resolution is a locally-based military nonprofit celebrating its first year as an officially recognized 501 c3 with a warrior pose for warriors – doing a downward dog on the same very stage a young Elvis Presley once shook his hips and sang “Hound Dog” at the Sarasota Opera House.


A variety of small eats and juices will be provided by local vendors in the courtyard immediately afterwards. Spots are limited, so get your ticket today and support our country’s warriors with a warrior pose yourself at the Sarasota Opera House!

Sarasota Opera House

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Gelli Plate Printing a la Gauguin , May 24, 10am-3pm

Experience the joy of mono-printing without a press thanks to the gelli plate, a product that looks and feels like gelatin and can be used again and again. In recognition of the Gauguin exhibit, special emphasis will be placed on printing leaves and flowers from Selby Gardens Botanical Paradise. Create one-of-a-kind prints using textures, stencils, household items and acrylic paint. Registration is $50 for members/$60 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: SRQ Margarita Festival , May 25, 2:00PM - 10:00PM

Join us for the inaugural SRQ Margarita Festival, the perfect combination of live music and margaritas. Enjoy a variety of margarita flavors, 5 great bands, the areas best food trucks, games, anda spectacular firework display to end the night. Tickets are limited and are on sale now. Proceeds from event will benefit Turning Points, Barking Out Loud Rescue, and Farm Dog Fosters. #SRQritafest

Van Wezel, 777 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Venice Brew Bash , May 25, 3:00pm-7:00pm

Sample over 60 different craft and import brews while enjoying great music. This event is the perfect opportunity for beer aficionados, beer lovers or just the casual beer drinker!


Centennial Park, 200 West Venice Avenue, Venice.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Annual Myakka River Blues Festival , May 27, 11am-6pm

Tune in for a great lineup of artists this Memorial Day, including The Kat Crosby Band, The Collaboration Band, Sarasota Slim, Ghost Mountain Revival Band and Ben Prestage. Snook Haven is located in a sedate area near the riverbed in a natural cove that holds the true old Florida ambiance. Enjoy two stages with non-stop music with styles from the Chicago blues scene to southern style blues. Tickets are $15 pre-sale and $25 at the door. 

Snook Haven, 5000 East Venice Avenue, Venice.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Cycle 5 , May 30 – July 5

In Gallery 1, Monumental, a group show, features small-scale sculptures. Next door, local artist Keith Crowley will exhibit a recent series of his meticulously layered photographically-based oil and watercolor paintings in his first solo exhibition at Art Center Sarasota. In Gallery 3, and featuring incisive and satirical investigations of the ego, sexuality, and competitiveness found on full display at gyms, Caitlin Albritton’s paintings and drawings of contorted figures address questions of gender issues and body politics.

Art Center Sarasota, 707 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: The Niceties , May 31 – June 30

Zoe is called into her professor's office to discuss her paper about slavery's effect on the American Revolution. What begins as a polite clash in perspectives explodes into an urgent debate about race, history and power.

Urbanite Theatre, 1487 2nd St., Sarasota

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Annual St. Armand's Seafood and Music Festival , May 24 – May 26

Take advantage of yummy seafood prepared fresh on site along with drinks. Enjoy your foodie experience while jamming to live musical performances on stage by some of Florida’s and the region’s top musical talents. Music will be from such genres as R&B, jazz, classical, calypso, reggae and more. General admission is free, VIP tent admission is $130.


St. Armand's Circle Park

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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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