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SRQ DAILY Mar 20, 2020

Friday Weekend Edition

Friday Weekend Edition

"At first I just thought it was an interesting storytelling medium."

- Tim Conway, Founder of Three Six and Zero
 

[Technology]  Local Outfit Employs Virtual Reality for Therapeutic Ends
Andrew Fabian

To most, virtual reality technology operates on the fringe of mainstream consciousness, an expensive novelty reserved for the most tech-savvy early adopters, hardcore gamers and screen addicts looking for a more far-out buzz. What many do not know is that VR platforms and the visceral, immersive experiences they facilitate have the power to go well beyond the realm of entertainment and into the fields of medicine and education—even therapy. And in the virtual frontier of the technology’s therapeutic applications, Tim Conway, founder of Three Six and Zero, and his partner, Alex Guerra, are building an outpost that he hopes will become a full-blown city.

For 20 years, Conway worked in visual effects on films like Titanic and the Transformers series. Eventually, he stumbled across a 360-degree camera lens that helped him in the realm of on-set data gathering. With his new ability to scan and capture real city blocks, Conway helped teams of CGI animators construct digital sets that look and feel real to the naked eye. This same immersive reality led him further into the wild west of virtual reality design. Initially, he produced VR media for entertainment—films, music videos, etc. “At first I just thought it was an interesting storytelling medium,” says Conway. But, when T.S. and Z. was contracted by Dr. Oz to create a series of educational videos that combined green-screen and VR, he saw a limitless market where none had previously existed.

That experience stuck with Conway even as he and his business partner, Alex Guerra, relocated their business, Three Six and Zero, to Sarasota in hopes of capturing the real estate and tourism market with their VR work. After creating VR content for Selby Garden’s Andy Warhol exhibition and a heartfelt VR video for Moffitt Cancer Center aimed at alleviating the stress of an initial diagnosis, they landed a contract with Easterseals of Southwest Florida. Funded by a federal grant, Easterseals commissioned them to create an entire VR training curriculum to put adults with autism and other cognitive disabilities behind the counter of a coffee shop in VR. The series of instructional and diagnostic modules walks students through common coffee shop duties like weighing and grinding beans, preparing lattes, and will eventually cover handling irate customers. “These are people that just need a little extra help,” says Conway, and the application will help prepare them in a controlled environment where they can learn to use the equipment on virtual versions. “It’s an incredible experience seeing their faces light up when they complete a job,” he says.

Should the program, which is still in its early stages, lead to the kinds of outcomes Conway, Guerra and the Easterseals staff hope, the possibilities for future special needs job training curricula are limitless. “Something like 80% of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are unemployed,” says Conway, “and we can help change that.” 

Photo by Andrew Fabian. The real Tim Conway points at an object in a virtual lobby.

More info.

[Season Cancelled]  Asolo Repertory Theatre Cancels Remainder of the 2019-20 Season

Asolo Rep announced today that it is suspending all public performances and related events for the remainder of the 2019-20 season due to growing global concern around the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally scheduled to run through June 28th, the canceled productions include The Great Leap, Knoxville, Hood and Snow White. 

“The safety and well-being of our audience, artists and staff will always be of the highest importance to us,” said producing artistic director Michael Donald Edwards. In canceling performances, the theatre is following the guidelines of public health officials and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

“It is absolutely heartbreaking that the companies of these shows, which have done some of the most remarkable work I have seen in my 14 years in this position, will not have the opportunity to perform this season on our stage,” said Edwards. “These decisions were not made lightly, but we deem them necessary to support our community’s and the world’s efforts to respond to the spread of the virus.”

The theatre is urging current ticket holders to convert their ticket purchase into a full tax-deductible donation. Patron generosity at this time will help insure the theatre’s future by offsetting some of the lost revenue incurred from having to cancel nearly one-third of its season.

Patrons also have the opportunity to apply the cost of their tickets toward single tickets or a subscription package for the 2020-21 season. This will help the theatre to remain financially stable as they plan for the new season scheduled to open this fall.

Patrons who have not already been contacted by the theatre may contact the box office via email at boxoffice@asolo.org. 

[Market News]  Sarasota Farmers Market Pre-Orders and Vendor Locations

With many vendors wanting to help serve their customers, the Sarasota Farmers Market is sharing their locations below. They are strongly advising that these are for pre-orders as not to create any gatherings of more than ten people. Any vendor not on this list can be found on their website.

Canopy Road Market will be doing pre-order pickups (with a 24-48 hour advanced notice) at 1979 Northgate Blvd. Sarasota 34324.

The Empanada Girl empanadas can still be found seven days a week at 4141 S. Tamiami Trail by Trader Joe's! M-f 10am-6pm, Sat AND Sun 10am-4pm!! 941-870-2729. They will also offer home delivery services from their storefront. Call for more details or to place an order!

Fermentlicious and Homestead Hydroponic Farm will be set up at Indigenous on Wednesday and Saturday 9:00-11:00am. Address is 239 Links Ave 34326.

You can find out more about Grove Ladder Farm's options via their website: www.groveladderfarm.com

Perry's Barbecue has a take-out location at 936 42nd St in Sarasota. They will be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 AM – 6 PM until further notice. They would like to encourage their customers to pre-order for pick-up by calling (941) 351-1445. They are also offering free delivery of orders of $25 or more with a 24 hour notice. They thank you for the opportunity to serve you! 

Sarafresh Juice would like you to text the word “JUICE” to 313131 for details on how to get your no contact pick up or delivery of precious immune boosting SaraFresh cold pressed juices. Or text Lynn directly at 941.914.5515 for details.

Sift Bakehouse and Five-O Donut Co goods can be found at the Ringling location (2241 Ringling Blvd). They will have Sift items on Saturdays and Sundays until they are ordered to close by the state. The shop can be reached at 941-960-1370 to place pick up orders.

Katherine of Simply Organix will deliver microgreens, wheatgrass, and frozen wheatgrass shots from Englewood to Sarasota on Fridays. Minimum order is $25. If you are interested, please TEXT her (no calls please) at 941-544-4249. Don't forget, you can freeze microgreens for use in smoothies, and you can juice and freeze wheatgrass for later use. Katherine recommends that you leave out a cooler with an ice pack and she can leave the items there. To your health!

Wild Side Farms is having a pick up this Saturday at Towels Court 1938 Adams Lane. 

More vendors.

[Transformation]  The Bazaar Creates Shopping Network

The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime, a popular indoor indie market filled with more than 30 local vendors selling clothing, art, collectibles, girls, plants and so much more has created their own shopping network. Bazaar Shopping Network (BSN) can be found daily on The Bazaar’s Facebook page. Kim Livengood, APR, CPRC plans to feature ten items daily at 2pm. They will ship or deliver depending on item and location. Livengood said her experience as ABC7’s Suncoast View “Gift Girl” gave her the inspiration.   “While it’s not the same experience as actually visiting and interacting with The Bazaar family, we are thinking outside the box to sustain,” Livengood said. “It’s now more important than ever to support small local businesses.” 

The Bazaar Facebook Page

[New Development]  Kolter Urban Offers Exclusive Preview of Newest Development: Bayso, Sarasota

Kolter Urban, a Delray Beach, Florida-based real estate development and investment firm, is offering an exclusive preview of upcoming development,  Bayso, Sarasota. The luxury condominium development will be located within Quay Sarasota, a 15-acre waterfront district that will offer a blend of luxury residential, upscale retail, boutique hotel, and state-of-the-art office space in a scenic waterfront setting, immediately adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton and the Westin hotels. Condominiums will be priced from the $800,000s, and construction will begin in late 2020 with expected completion by early 2023.

“We are excited to soon bring Bayso to GreenPointe Communities’ incredible Quay district,” said Brian Van Slyke, regional president of Kolter Urban. “This development will give residents a unique opportunity to live in a vibrant waterfront district, with proximity to a walkable, downtown lifestyle and the best Sarasota has to offer in terms of dining, entertainment and the arts.”  

The 18-level development will offer 149 luxury residences in the heart of Sarasota’s Downtown Bayfront District. Bayso will offer 11 innovative two- to three-bedroom plus den floor plans ranging from 1,600 to over 2,600 square feet and seven luxurious penthouses floor plans ranging from 2,500 to almost 4,000 square feet.

Each unique residence has a spacious, open floorplan design, with chef-inspired European kitchens and large social island, while expansive terraces with glass balcony railings extend living areas outdoors. Owner’s suites feature walk-in closets and luxurious spa-like bath retreats, with Grohe® features. All appointed with a generous selection of designer-coordinated finishes, features, and appliances allowing homeowners to personalize their residence.  Amenities and services include an elevated resort-style pool and spa deck with inviting cabanas, entertainment areas and outdoor kitchen; a state-of-the-art Fitness Center and glass-enclosed Personal Training and Flex Studio; a Residents’ Club Room with catering kitchen and club bar for entertaining; a private dog park with dog wash;  individual, lockable climate-controlled storage areas; and a private Resident Board Room. Bayso will also have a dedicated lobby staff to service residents, 24/7 security and access-controlled entry points at all elevators, lobbies, parking garage and resident amenities. 

More info.



[Woodwork]  Tree Whisperer

For Celeste Gruenstein of Decor Direct, it's all about the wood. 

Click here to read the full story in our March 2020 Home Edition of SRQ Magazine!

[Closure]  Manatee County Public Beaches to Close Today, March 20 at 6 am

County and municipal officials have announced that the beaches of Anna Maria Island will close todayMarch 20 at 6 am. Beach closure signs and barricades will alert drivers to the closure. "Each day as our local situation has changed and new advisories have been sent, Manatee County residents have heeded warnings and taken official advice seriously," said County Administrator Cheri Coryea. "We're hoping for more of the same with our beach announcement. Parking lots will be closed and signs placed to alert drivers and we expect that most people will heed that advice."  Manatee County lifeguards will remain on duty from 9 am to 5 pm daily, to ensure the safety of those who disregard the closure. A double red flag, indicating no swimming, will fly from lifeguard stands.  

[Healthcare Services]  Tidewell to Present Facebook Live Music Therapy Session Today

Along with the fear and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, social isolation has been identified as a growing threat to the well-being of patients, families and loved ones in the communities Tidewell Hospice serves. Visitation restrictions at the area’s long-term care and assisted-living facilities have separated many seniors from the people closest to them. Tidewell is finding ways to help both patients, their loved ones and community members make the best of the new normal until the outbreak subsides. The first of these efforts offers relief from the stress of the outbreak and promises a sense of community. Tidewell Music Therapist Michael Russo will present a Facebook Live music therapy session at 1:30 p.m. EDT today, Friday. Just visit the Tidewell Facebook page to interact, request meaningful songs and experience one of the complementary services Tidewell is proud to offer patients and their loved ones. Viewers are encouraged to engage with patients in long-term care and assisted-living facilities, family members and friends. Everyone is invited. Russo and several committed volunteer musicians make regular visits to Tidewell hospice houses and other facilities as requested. Volunteers and staff are trained in the use of music for relaxation and reminiscence.   

More info.

[Closures]  Lido Beach to Close–City of Sarasota Restricts On-Premises Alcohol Sales

The City of Sarasota on Thursday temporarily ceased the sale of beer, wine and alcohol at restaurants each day after 9 p.m. as part of emergency orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order applies to all restaurants, clubs and business establishments that serve food for consumption on premises within City limits. It is effective beginning 9 p.m. Saturday, March 21, and will last through March 27 but may be extended if warranted. 

The regulation comes in light of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ previous order closing bars and nightclubs throughout the state. It was also made following Sarasota County’s closure of all county beaches, including Lido Beach, beginning at 6 am Saturday.

“This additional measure is being taken to maximize Sarasota’s compliance with directives from national and state health officials discouraging social gatherings and promoting social distancing,” City Manager Tom Barwin said. “As we are in the height of tourist and spring break season, this directive will help ensure the health of all of our citizens.”

Barwin, in consultation with Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch, has already extended the local public health emergency through Friday, March 27, as outlined by City Charter. The emergency declaration protects the health and safety of the community and positions the City to qualify for possible state or federal funds for losses associated with COVID-19.  

More on small business resources,

[Closure]  Art Center Sarasota Closes

Art Center Sarasota announced they will be closing until the end of April. All classes, workshops, opening receptions, events and gallery viewings have been cancelled. Staff will be working from home beginning on March 23 and available via email. Artists in the juried show are working on a virtual tour of the gallery to add to other online assets of virtual tours of curated shows and interviews with artists. They will also be making videos to stimulate creativity for those who are sheltering at home. The postcard art from the Off the Wall event (not held) will be avaialble to purchase for $50 each on ARTISITE next week. 

More on Off the Wall Art

[Beach Closures]  Sarasota County Beaches to Close Saturday

In continued efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, Sarasota County will close county operated public beaches at 6 am. Saturday, March 21. Lifeguards will remain on duty at the beaches between 10 am and 4:45 p.m. daily in order to ensure the safety of those who continue to visit the beaches. A double red flag, indicating no swimming, will be flying from lifeguard stands. As a reminder, all Sarasota County libraries will remain closed through April 12 and indoor facilities operated by Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources have been closed to the public. 

County Updates on COVID-19

[Virtual Services]  CareerSource Suncoast Closes Offices and Moves to Virtual Services for Job Seekers and Employers.

In light of the ongoing concerns posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19), CareerSource Suncoast announces that its career centers in Manatee and Sarasota counties are closed. All in-person events – including job fairs, network meetings, training and workshops – have been postponed until further notice. Workshops, job search and one-on-one career coaching are now available in an online virtual environment and over the phone. Job seekers and employers are asked to call CareerSource Suncoast at (941) 358-4200 to review available options. “We’re open for business, just open differently,” says CareerSource Suncoast President and CEO, Ted Ehrlichman. “It’s our commitment to the community to help flatten the curve and prevent our healthcare system from being overrun while maintaining continuity of business operations and serving our clients the best we can under these conditions.” 

More on CareerSource

[Access]  Suncoast Science Center Faulhaber Fab Lab Announces New COVID-19 Measures

The Suncoast Science Center Faulhaber Fab Lab has announced it will be taking the following measures to minimize risk to the community based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Contol and Prevention and World Health Organization. To support the recommendation of social distancing, FabLab is temporarily canceling all in-lab gatherings of over 10 people and limiting lab access to 10 visitors at a time until further notice. To further minimize crowds, FabLab is are implementing a call-ahead policy effective immediately until further notice. If you plan to visit the lab, please call ahead at 941-840-4394 to check that the lab isn’t currently at capacity. The 2020 summer camps are continuing full steam ahead! Please register with confidence. FabLab will be waiving cancellation fees should this issue eventually impact the summer programming. Click here to learn about the different offerings, view the camp schedule and meet the FABulous instructors! 

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. 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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