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SRQ DAILY Jun 12, 2020

Friday Weekend Edition

Friday Weekend Edition

"Sarasota needs to keep hearing diverse perspectives from people around the country. That's what we're dedicated to bringing. That's when your empathy grows. And if theater's not about exercising empathy, what is it for?"

- Brendan Ragan, Co-founder of Urbanite Theatre

[Song Release]  Local Singer-Songwriter Releases Song About Self-Empowerment
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

Multi-instrumentalist Paul Fournier played drums and guitar in his church’s band as a kid, worked as a music teacher, and gigged with bands around the US, but his work as principal songwriter and band leader of Wild Root is, for him, the pinnacle of his music endeavors. Years ago, before stepping away from music for a while to work in real estate, he wrote a song that captured what the success of Wild Root meant to him. “I had just succeeded in being able to play music full time,” he says, “and I was at this place in my life where I had life by the horns.” The song, “Say Oh,” was about self-empowerment and breaking free from self-imposed limits. It became a staple of the band’s Bay area live shows, floating around for a few years as an upbeat number whose message, though clear as day to Fournier, went largely unheeded and unheard by show-goers.

When the pandemic swept into Florida and brought with it its subsequent closure of music venues, the song took on new meaning for Fournier. Like most aspects of life during the social distancing protocols, self-empowerment became a more acute concern than a feel-good abstraction. So, Fournier, ever the community-minded artist, decided he wanted to help himself and others combat the anxieties of isolation through song, and he turned to “Say Oh” as his weapon of choice. “I just started thinking about what people need to hear,” he says, “and that song was my window back into music because it’s about keeping on and staying positive.” Reframed and rebranded in this way, Fournier set out to give the song a proper recording, something with which he could introduce listeners both old and new to the song’s original meaning while also coming clean about the struggles buried beneath his success.

The song opens with an anthemic drum line that evokes the binding power of a marching band. By the time Fournier begins the first verse, elements of jazz and indie have established the song as a seamless blend of styles unified by a pervasive sense of hope. If there is hope in the lyrics, however, it only comes after hints of those aforementioned struggles. Gigging bands spend an awful lot of time in bars, and Fournier frequently found himself around alcohol. “I was drinking every day and it was ruining relationships in my life,” he says, “it shows that even when you’re following your dreams, life can really get away from you.” When he sings, “we’re stuck inside our boxes waiting to be free,” he seems to be speaking as much to himself as he is to a listener struggling through isolation.

Now two-and-a-half years sober, Fournier wakes up grateful. His morning routine includes a tally of blessings—running water, a roof over his head, the freedom to pursue his music. He hopes his journey, crystallized in “Say Oh,” can help others remember that self-improvement is an uphill battle but one that, even in isolation and a state of uncertainty, is well worth the effort. “Say Oh” debuts today on all major music streaming platforms. 

Paul Fournier, Singer-songwriter, Wild Root, paul@snrgyproductions.com

Wild Root

[New Play]  Urbanite Addresses the Moment with New Play Commissions
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

Urbanite Theatre seeks to elevate the voices of playwrights of color through a pair of new annual play commissions, named in honor of one of the theater’s earliest and staunchest supporters, Charles Rowan Beye, who passed last month. And for this inaugural year, the theater has guaranteed that both commissions will be awarded to people of color and at least one will be a black playwright.

“Making a statement in solidarity is not enough right now,” says Brendan Ragan, co-founder of Urbanite Theatre. “It’s really easy to put together a statement and put it online and consider yourself a part of the solution, but let’s put our money where our mouth is.”

Currently accepting submissions, the Charles Rowan Beye New Play Commissions promise $2,000 for each of the two chosen playwrights, as well as access to Urbanite resources in developing their new play, including regular feedback and even readings with professional actors. Like all Urbanite commissions, submitted proposals must account for the theater’s blackbox style—such as utilizing only four actors or fewer and a set design compatible with blackbox theater—but further guidelines will be open to change each year, adapting to what voices or stories seem urgent or absent at the time, giving the yearly Beye Commissions the ability to be both responsive and proactive, according to the needs of the moment.

In this moment, Ragan says, that decision was an easy one. “As the world has turned,” he says, “it made perfect sense to dedicate this year’s commissions to lifting up playwrights of color. It’s our duty to tell those stories.”

And although Urbanite began by elevating the voices of women playwrights and although the theater has made a conscious effort to include playwrights of color in its season line-ups before this, Ragan freely admits that Urbanite can do more and is not free from criticism. “We’ve gotten better in the last few years and we’re not perfect,” he says, “but we’re striving to be as equitable as we can.” With the Beye Commissions, he hopes Urbanite can better live up to its own ideals.

“We’re always the theater that does the stories Sarasota needs more than doing the stories that Sarasota wants,” he says, “and Sarasota needs to keep hearing diverse perspectives from people around the country. That’s what we’re dedicated to bringing. That’s when your empathy grows.”

“And if theater’s not about exercising empathy, what is it for?” 

Pictured: DeAnna Wright and L. James in Ike Holter's Sender at Urbanite Theatre this year. Photo by Dylan Jon Wade Cox.

The deadline for submissions is July 14, 2020. For more details about submission guidelines, follow the link below.

[Politics]  City Candidates Debate Pandemic Response, Development
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Frustration about the Lido Beach extended closure, despair about the economic recovery and accusations about special interest loyalty came across during a videoconference debate. The six candidates running for Sarasota City Commission in District 2 discussed a range of current events and ongoing community discussions at an event organized by the Downtown Sarasota Condominium Association and the Downtown Sarasota Alliance.

City Commissioner Liz Alpert faces five challengers, but the earliest personal barbs were delivered at former Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta. Goldman Sachs veteran Jerry Wells suggested the economy was so hard the Benderson Corporation had to send Barbetta in as a city candidate, while city critic Martin Hyde called Barbetta “Joe Benderson” multiple times in his opening statement. “It does;t really matter which of the other five candidates win,” Hyde said.

That barb came as Hyde took decidedly different positions than he held a few years ago, now opposing administrative site plan approvals as one example. Alpert defended the approval process in general while saying there could be tweaks in certain situations, and Barbetta stressed the Downtown Master Plan developed by legendary planner Andres Duany depends partly on the process.

“Developers won’t invest the considerable time and money to build buildings if it takes years to get approvals,” he said.

Former City Commissioner Terry Turner in contrast said he pushed unsuccessfully to get rid of administrative review on South Palm while he served. Had that happened, new construction without proper setbacks would not have been built without community input or commission scrutiny. “Administrative site plan approval should be abolished throughout the city,” he said.

There seemed to be universal skepticism of requiring police body cameras, with candidates expressing concerns over privacy, cost and liability. “The biggest thing is we are not a city that has an issue,” said tech CEO Don Patterson, praising an existing city police culture to “serve and protect.”

The unpopular decision to leave Lido Beach closed weeks longer the Sarasota County or Manatee County shores stayed closed amid the COVID-19  pandemic found common ground. Alpert noted she voted against leaving the beach closed, and criticized those challenging her for the seat citing that issue. But Alpert was more optimistic than most about the city’s economic recovery looking forward. “I don’t think it will be as devastating as the 2008 recession and here’s why,” she said. “Property values did not drop. So we will have millions in losses but it will be a quicker recovery.”

But others said the incumbent didn’t account for many permanently closed businesses. Turner, a finance executive and economy, noted recent Federal Reserve projections that rattled investors; stock markets notably crashed the day of the debate. And Wells said city lockdowns made matters worse in Sarasota.

“I don’t think you understand the economic ramification of what just happened,” Wells told Alpert. “It’s not going to bounce back. The underlying issues are these businesses that were shut down and the revenue that was lost, When a hotel lost a night of revenue, they lost a night forever.” 

[ShopTalk]  Gift Your Little One a Relevant Toy
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

St. Armand Circle boutique, Just/Because, offers a trove of unique and personal gifts for everyone, including the youngsters in your life. For the child that has your heart, you can decorate their bedroom with adorable plush wall-hangings; encourage sustainability at a young age with super cute bamboo dish sets; have fun keeping teeth safe for the Tooth Fairy's visit with sweet, plush Tooth Fairy dolls; or teach proper hygiene with surprise toy soaps.   

The Soapen has been a particular hit for parents as a fun way to teach children the importance of hand-washing. Adults around the world struggle to make kids wash their hands, and with it being such an important lesson especially now. With this hand soap pen, kids can draw all over their playful palms with a berry scented soap that comes in three colored sticks (blue, pink, purple) that once rinsed away, leave their hands clean as day (and with no mess or stains). Each pen gives 100+ washes and is non-toxic with no sulfates, phthalates, parabens, EDTA or animal by-product. With a hyper-awareness centered around hygiene and spreading germs, children, caretakers and teachers can now easily carry their playful and portable soap pen with them everywhere.

All of the items Just/Because carries are specially-chosen "made in the US" products, ensuring no toxins and 100% safe to play. Whether you are shopping for your own kids, grandchildren, nieces/nephews or any other special little ones in your life, Just/Because storefront and online shop is an unexpected treasure for funky, fun finds. Free shipping and curbside pickup are currently available if you aren't ready to shop in store yet.  

Pictured: Photo courtesy of Kids Hand Soap Pen.

[New Hire]  Sarasota Military Academy Foundation Announces New Executive Director

Rafael E. Robles was recently appointed as the executive director of the Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) Foundation, the nonprofit behind the Sarasota Military Academy, a public charter middle and high school with a college preparatory focus. With more than 28 years of experience in the education and philanthropy sectors, Robles brings extensive leadership and business acumen along with knowledge of development initiatives, donor relations and fundraising to his new position.

SMA Foundation was created to support Sarasota Military Academy’s commitment to academic excellence and success. Funds raised by SMA Foundation will be invested in program and course development, innovative technology and equipment and professional development and coaching stipends at the Academy. In his new role, Robles will lead and manage all aspects of the SMA Foundation under the direction of its board of trustees. He will promote the philanthropic investment in and the strategic growth of the SMA Foundation by establishing a culture of philanthropy, observing fiscal accountability and transparency and raising awareness of the needs of the Sarasota Military Academy in the community. Talent management company MBJ Group led the nonprofit’s search for the position.

“Along with his experience and credentials, Rafael’s calm and professional demeanor is what made him really stand out,” said General Howard Crowell, board chair of the Sarasota Military Academy Foundation. “We are delighted to welcome him, and I look forward to enhancing the nonprofit’s future growth and bringing a greater focus to the Academy and who we are for the community.”

Prior to joining SMA Foundation, Robles led the philanthropic efforts at Loveland Center, Inc. as the chief philanthropy officer and directed the senior leadership transition team in 2017. During his tenure there, he grew the nonprofit’s endowment fund to more than $600,000, executed a comprehensive fund development strategy to increase annual contributed revenue to exceed $750,000 and initiated a restructuring of the annual giving and planned giving programs.

In addition, Robles’ first position upon his arrival to Sarasota from the University of Miami Office of Advancement was as the philanthropy officer at Tidewell Hospice. “Education is my passion and to have the opportunity to galvanize philanthropic support for our next generation of respectful citizens and decisive leaders is a privilege and a joy,” said Robles. “With a multicultural and diverse perspective, I hope to optimize the financial forecast of the SMA Foundation, and in turn, bolster support for the mission of our two campuses — not only today, but into tomorrow.”

An alumnus of Columbia University, Robles earned a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature. He also possesses a certificate in leadership from the University of Virginia and a certificate in French Studies from Dartmouth College. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Southwest Chapter and as vice president of the AFP Diversity and Inclusion Committee. 

Click for more info.

[Vendor Relationship]  The Ringling Names Metz Culinary Management as New On-Site Food Service Vendor

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is thrilled to announce Metz Culinary Management as their new on-site foodservice vendor. The Ringling’s premium dining restaurant will undergo a major facelift and revamping of the menu, with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Metz will also convert the existing coffee shop to a state of the art Starbucks, which will serve traditional favorite coffee drinks, snacks and grab and go specials. The Banyan Café will reopen as a deli-style, casual eating area that will feature Boar’s Head meats and cheeses. Steven High, The Ringling’s Executive Director said, “We are looking forward to the great energy and creativity that Metz will bring to The Ringling. Their reputation as a top-notch professional company will be a great asset and we know that our visitors will be pleased with the high quality of both the food and service that Metz will provide.” Metz Culinary Management was established in 1994 by entrepreneur John C. Metz as a custom dining management service company with a “Guest First” philosophy. MCM is an east coast based company that has a strong presence in Florida and locally; New College of Florida, Feld Entertainment, Feeding Tampa Bay and more. In addition, Metz Culinary has a state of the art Culinary Center located on Northgate Boulevard in Sarasota. MCM currently ranks #15 on Food Management Magazine’s list of the Top 50 Management Companies in the United States. "We have an unwavering commitment to provide restaurant-inspired hospitality for each and every guest. We will take the time to learn the needs of The Ringling and their visitors, and provide unsurpassed service that we believe exceeds the needs – and expectations – of everyone who visits. ," said Jeff Metz, MCM’s CEO. An opening is planned for later in 2020. 

[Request for Proposal]  Payne Park Skate Park Concession License

The City of Sarasota hereby notifies all interested proposers and the general public that the Evaluation Committee for the Payne Park Skate Park Concession License - Request For Proposal (RFP) will meet on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 1pm. Please note due to social distancing the max capacity for the SRQ Media Room at the City of Sarasota Annex building is 18 people. This number includes staff.

The Committee will review and discuss all proposals received for this Request For Proposal. Participation by phone is made available with appropriate instructions given below. At the conclusion of this meeting, the Evaluation Committee may either recommend an award for these services or it may decide to short list proposers to return for presentations/discussions, unless the RFP is CCNA. If the RFP is CCNA then a minimum of 3 interviews/presentations are required, if less than 3 proposals are received then those proposals will be considered.  

Committee discussion phase of the meeting is open to the public. However, shortlisted interview/ negotiation/ presentation meetings are exempt under Florida Statute 286.0113. Public comments are limited to 3 minutes for each person prior to final evaluation or selection of a proposer(s). Please direct any questions, in writing to David W. Boswell, CPPO, CPPB, SPSM at David.Boswell@sarasotagov.com or via fax at 941-954-4157. 

Interested parties may dial in by phone at 617-829-7333.

Click here to join the meeting online.

[New Communities]  The Lake Club Experiencing Record Year of Sales

Located within the #1 master-planned community, Lakewood Ranch, The Lake Club offers incomparable exclusivity, illustrious architecture, and breathtaking outdoor living spaces in distinctive enclaves. After the success the community has experienced so far in 2020, it’s becoming clearer why The Lake Club is the only choice for the most discerning homebuyers. Sales are off to a tremendous start in the community – 57 end-user home and builder lots have been sold already in 2020. February in particular was the biggest month in sales in The Lake Club’s history. Compared to 2019, unit sales had a 100% increase, revenue was up 200%, and the average sales price was 58% higher. The Lake Club was also highly recognized in the Manatee-Sarasota Building Industry Association’s Parade of Homes, securing the award for Best Community and 28 additional awards. 

Click for more info.

[Grants]  Children First was Awarded $27,500 in Community Grant Support

Children First was awarded $27,500 in community grant support from three local foundations to aid the agency in remaining operationally resilient. As the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services in Sarasota County, staff and supporters are coming together to advance its mission of strengthening children and families daily.

Vital support includes $15,000 from The Paddock Foundation for scholarship support, including early childhood education, nutrition, emotional & behavioral support, and family strengthening services, $10,000 from the Allen Wirtz Nobbe and Jo Bowen Nobbe Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County to help Children First staff assist families in navigating our partnership with Season of Sharing opportunities, and $2,500 from Florida Winefest & Auction for the Families First Institute, which has transitioned to a virtual platform for its award-winning classes.

Since March 16th, the agency has provided more than 746 supplemental food packages, 353 kits of diapers and wipes, and 33 car seats, as well as infant formula, hygiene products, face masks, paper products, and financial assistance to families.

“More than 70% of our families are seeking additional resources from us as those facing job loss and reduced work hours continues to rise. Support from the community and our local foundations allows us to keep moving our mission of strengthening children and families forward despite the adversity they continue to face,” says CEO Philip Tavill.

All children received virtual classroom support as well as at-home educational kits until the end of the school year. In the transition from the end of the academic 2019-2020 school year and the official start of summer services on June 2, all children with diagnosed disabilities saw no break in services with teachers continuing to offer lesson plans and outreach to families. 

Click for more.

[New Issue Arrives]  She Roars Goes Live, Shout -Out to Brianna Watkins for the Gorgeous Cover Shot of the Morgan Family

Leading local ladies share their stories in our annual "She Roars" magazine featuring the Women Who Roar special section—from moms balancing their work and family lives during the pandemic to an enduring story of Sabrena Pawley, this year's SMARTgirl Keynote Speaker.

A big shout-out to photographer Brianna Watkins whose wonderful portrait of Jovanna Morgan and her kids graced the front cover, as well as accompanying Jovanna's inspiring story that kicks off our feature, "Mom's World Mid-Pandemic" in which five amazing local women share how they balance life, work and crisis all while maintaining positivity, hope and love for their family.

You can see more of Brianna Watkins' wedding and portraiture work on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ibribriphotography/ 

Cover photo by Brianna Watkins Photography, courtesy of Jovanna Morgan.

Click to view the She Roars digital edition.

[WIB]  Now Online: Women Who Roar 2020

Now available to view and download, Women Who Roar recognizes Women Leaders in the Sarasota, Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch region who have made meaningful and significant contributions in the areas of business, health, education, entrepreneurship, science, sports, philanthropy and the arts. 

Click here to view the feature

[New Hire]  Berlin Patten Ebling Hires Christa L. Folkers, Esq.

Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC, is pleased to announce that Christa L. Folkers, Esq., has joined Berlin Patten Ebling, becoming the eighteenth attorney in the firm’s growing practice. Christa is a board certified real estate attorney. She concentrates her practice in commercial and residential real estate and handles all aspects of real estate transactions and development, including condominiums and planned developments. Christa represents developers, investors, builders, lenders, and individuals in connection with purchase and sale transactions. She has worked with numerous real estate developers and investors and has created governing documents for the development of subdivisions, condominiums, and real estate investments. Christa was born in St. Petersburg, Florida. She attended the University of Florida, where she received her bachelor's degree in Accounting, with honors. Go Gators! After graduating from the University of Florida in 1999, Christa worked as a Syndicate Analyst at Raymond James & Associates in St. Petersburg. Christa attended law school at Stetson University College of Law, where she graduated cum laude. After graduating from law school, Christa moved to the Lakewood Ranch area and joined Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen in 2004, where she worked until joining Berlin Patten Ebling. Christa works in our Lakewood Ranch office. Christa is a member of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance, past board member of the LWR Gymnastics Parents Club, Inc., and past co-chair of the Sarasota County Bar Association Real Estate Section. She participated in Leadership Manatee in 2010 and was named Rising Star for Florida Super Lawyers in 2010. Christa has an AV Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Christa and her husband, Brandon, have three children, Taylor, Brody, and Brianna. In Christa's free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and boating. 

[Job Positions]  PGT Innovations to Host Career Fair for Open Positions

PGT Innovations (NYSE: PGTI), a national leader in the premium window and door category, is holding a career fair on Saturday, June 13 from 9 a.m. to noon at its North Venice facility located at 104 Triple Diamond Blvd. The company is offering a $250 sign-on bonus to each candidate hired for over 100 open manufacturing and driver positions.

Available positions include manufacturing technicians, fabricators, machine operators, and industrial mechanics, as well as Class A CDL truck drivers. Interviews will be held on-site at the career fair for all of these roles, and the $250 sign-on bonus will be offered for anyone who is hired either at the event on Saturday or following the event through July 31, 2020.

Candidates with all types of work backgrounds and skill sets are encouraged to apply for the career opportunities available with the innovative team that manufactures impact-resistant window and door products.

In an effort to ensure the personal health and wellness of PGT Innovations team members staffing the career fair and individuals attending the event, everyone will be required to undergo a temperature check and complete a health questionnaire prior to entering the career fair, as well as wear a face mask and adhere to Center of Disease Control personal hygiene guidelines while on company property. Masks will be provided, if needed.

PGT Innovations employs more than 2,700 team members across its Florida facilities and is the largest private sector employer in Sarasota County. The company offers robust benefits packages with competitive wages and healthcare benefits, as well as up to 100-percent tuition reimbursement, paid time off, volunteer time off, profit sharing, and an employee stock purchase program. At the foundation of PGT Innovations is a culture of family and team member growth, and in support of those values, the company offers numerous non-traditional employee-focused benefits and programs, such as leadership development training, financial wellness classes, personal and professional skills certifications, their ‘Inspire the Future’ scholarship program for dependents of team members, personal wellness programs, and employee assistance programs. The company’s Venice campus also offers a full-service café, wellness center, fitness center, and child care center.

Interested candidates are asked to bring a completed application to the event. To learn more about PGT Innovations’ culture and to view and download forms, visit careers.pgtinnovations.com or call 941-480-1600.

About PGT Innovations, Inc.
PGT Innovations manufactures and supplies premium windows and doors. Their highly engineered and technically advanced products can withstand some of the toughest weather conditions on earth and are revolutionizing the way people live by unifying indoor and outdoor living spaces.

PGT Innovations creates value through deep customer relationships, understanding the unstated needs of the markets it serves, and a drive to develop category-defining products. PGT Innovations is also the nation’s largest manufacturer of impact-resistant windows and doors and holds the leadership position in its primary market. The PGT Innovations’ family of brands include CGI®, PGT® Custom Windows and Doors, WinDoor®, Western Window Systems, Eze-Breeze®, CGI Commercial, and NewSouth Window Solutions. The company’s brands, in their respective markets, are a preferred choice of architects, builders, and homeowners throughout North America and the Caribbean. Their high-quality products are available in custom and standard sizes with massive dimensions that allow for unlimited design possibilities in residential, multi-family, and commercial projects.  

Click for additional information.

[Goodwill]  Goodwill Manasota Receives Grant in Support of GoodPartner Coach Program

Goodwill Manasota recently received a grant of $60,000 from the Ralph S. French Charitable Foundation in support of the award-winning GoodPartner Coach program. This is the tenth year that Goodwill has received funding from the French Foundation for this purpose. The GoodPartner Coach program offers individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment – 60% of Goodwill’s workforce has a self-identified disability or disadvantage – with job training and case management services. Team members participate in a career needs assessment, the development of an individualized case management plan, and then go through training components to reach ultimate desired outcomes. Job performance and educational benchmarks are set, providing clear expectations for career advancement readiness. The goal of the program is to enable those who may have been overlooked elsewhere to gain positive personal and workplace behaviors and skills, feel the pride of earning a paycheck and move toward self-sufficiency, build a strong work history, and develop the experience and skills to position them for higher-paying jobs outside of Goodwill.  

[Motorworks Brewing]  Live Music and Monthly Events are Back at Motorworks Brewing

The delightful sounds of Live Music & Good Times have returned to the Beer Garden.

Every Friday, Saturday & Sunday enjoy live entertainment and join for monthly event lineup that is making its way back into normal rotation as well.

Starting  Sunday, June 21st, Yappy Hour Pet Extravaganza is back leading the way for the return of many more of your favorite events around the corner. 

Motorworks Brewing 1014 9th St W, Bradenton, FL 34205

Click here for more band lineup and event information.

[Library Reopen]  Sarasota Libraries Reopen

Sarasota County Public Libraries will reopen with modified services on June 15th. Operating hours will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday. The one exception is Osprey Public Library, which will open at a later date. 

Click here for more information.

[Summer Camp]  Art Center Sarasota Announces Virtual Summer Art Camp

Each week campers will be lead by the teacher in projects related to the theme of the week using various mediums including painting, drawing, sculpture and collage. Campers will learn and practice basic art skills such as color mixing, painting with paintbrushes and drawing with pencil, marker, pastel and more.

Creative Kids Camp is for younger campers (ages 6-9) of all skill levels and accomplishments. Our teachers are great at creatively adapting projects and working with variety of skill levels and dexterity.

Emerging Artists is a program for older campers (ages 10-13) to experiment with more complex art subjects and materials and create projects of their own design under the guidance of our skilled art teachers.

Contemporary Studies (ages 14-18) is a new camp group we have started with our teen teacher assistants in mind, who won’t be able to volunteer this summer, but are interested in art. It is also open to any other interested teens who would like to further their knowledge of art techniques and materials. These camp weeks will be led by teachers Jane Harris and Amy Karki. Participants will have the opportunity for in depth exploration of things such as Advanced Acrylic Painting Techniques, Pen & Ink, Paint Pouring and Photography. There will also be discussion of topics such as portfolio development and careers in art.

June 15 to August 7, 2020. Monday-Friday, 10am to 3pm. Registration now open. Art Center Members $75/week. Non-members $100/week. 

Art Center Sarasota, 707 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. 941-365-2032.

Click for more info.

[Giving Back]  JMX Brands Employees Give During Uncertain Times

In late April, JMX Brands’ CEO Jim Miller and Vice President Linse Miller, the husband and wife team that founded the niche internet retailer in 2003, watched as the unemployment rate skyrocketed across the country while the Sarasota-based small business unexpectedly experienced a record month. The Millers decided to express their gratitude by donating money to All Faiths Food Bank, the only food bank serving Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. They also decided to encourage employees to join them by establishing the “Giving During Uncertain Times Challenge.” Committing to personally match gifts up to $1,000 as well as offering a company match of up to $2,000, Miller decided to challenge employees to continue to live out one of the company’s core values – giving.

“The thing about core values is that they characterize who you are at a very basic level,” said Miller in a statement. “You don’t practice them when they are convenient or easy; they are lived out even when it is difficult or challenging to do so.” In a little over a week, 28 employees of the Sarasota-based small business contributed more than $1,500, leading the parent company of DutchCrafters Amish Furniture and Eco Friendly Digs to donate over $4,000 to the food bank. The business also sold facemasks made by one of its Amish furniture vendor partners on the DutchCrafters website with profits from each sale going to All Faiths Food Bank. 

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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