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SRQ DAILY Aug 19, 2020

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"The arts have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 epidemic."

- Rebecca Hopkins, Florida Studio Theatre Managing Director

-Photo from SRQ Magazine's Summer 2020 UnMasked feature.
[Politics]  Robinson, Trace Upset in Primary Elections
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Eric Robinson lost his seat on the Sarasota County School Board to Tom Edwards. The upset was perhaps the biggest news to come out of an evening of close and closely watched races in Sarasota County. 

“I am honored that you have chosen me to serve as your Sarasota County School Board member,” Edwards wrote on Facebook. “Let’s Get to Work.”

Notably, Edwards had won support from the Sarasota Democratic Party, besting Robinson, a prominent Republican campaign treasurer, with almost 52% of the vote to the incumbent’s 48%. But in the other Sarasota School Board race, it was the GOP-backed Karen Rose who prevailed over David Graham, a Democrat, for an open seat being vacated by Caroline Zucker. For the next two years, Democrats control three of the five seats on the board, the same as before the election.

In the Sarasota city races, Terry Turner and Liz Alpert will advance to a Sarasota City Commission runoff in District 2, knocking out Joe Barbetta, Martin Hyde, Jerry Wells and Don Patterson. Dan Clermont and Erik Arroyo face off anew in District 3 after eliminating Rob Grant.

In state politics, Fiona McFarland won a close GOP primary in House District 72, a Democratic-controlled open seat Republicans hope to flip in November. McFarland won with 43.25% of the vote to Donna Barcomb’s 41.76%, a 266-vote margin out of 17,779 cast. Jason Miller also won 14.99% of the vote.

“The work is just beginning as we focus on the future for Sarasota, and I can’t wait to get started,” McFarland said. Democrat Drake Buckman, who faced no primary, congratulated her but made clear he plans to defend the seat. “I am a local Sarasota candidate and I will be here long after Fiona McFarland has moved on to another location,” Buckman said.

Ron Cutsinger dominated in a District 5 Sarasota County Commission Republican primary, taking nearly 65% of the vote to Chris Hank’s 35%, and will now face Democrat Alice White in November. Incumbent County Commissioner Mike Moran also held on in a GOP primary over Mike Hutchinson, but by a surprisingly close margin of 51.8% to 48.2%. He faces Democrat Mark Pienkos in November.

In Manatee County, Commissioner Priscilla Whisenant Trace lost to challenger James Satcher in District 1, who led with 55% to her 45%. And George Kruse won an open at-large seat over the better funded former County Administrator Ed Hunzeker by a margin of 57% to 43%. School Board member Gina Messenger held onto her seat, and fellow School Board Member Dave “Watchdog” Miner was a top vote-getter but heads to a runoff after leading with less than 29% of the vote to challenger Mary Foreman’s more than 26%. 

Photo: School Board Member elect Tom Edwards and outgoing School Board member Eric Robinson.

[History Buffs]  Historical Society of Sarasota County Gives a History Lesson to Shed Light on Today's Issues
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Conserving Sarasota’s rich and robust heritage is the Historical Society’s M.O. Time-traveling back to 1927, a citizens group began collecting historical materials, and in the early 1950s, the Office of County Historian formed. Eventually, the Sarasota County Historical Society (HSOSC) came to be in 1959. It reorganized in 1977 as a not-for-profit corporation and is still operating as a private nonprofit in order to showcase two of Sarasota’s oldest, most historical buildings in Pioneer Park. Today, the Historical Society of Sarasota County continues to foster public awareness of the rich heritage of Sarasota County and the state of Florida, encourage inquiry and research into its history, promote an archived collection and preservation of memorabilia, develop a broader appreciation of its communities, and protect its historic sites and structures. 

With so many political, societal and cultural issues coming in to play this year, the nonprofit has taken a mindful approach in simply bringing the nation’s milestone history markers to the forefront. For instance, to encourage more voters to register and place their votes this election season, they’ve used their social media platform to remind women of their 19th Amendment— linking to articles that share first-hand accounts from the day that will forever be in history books as the day women’s suffrage made a giant step towards equality: the day women gained the right to vote. Similarly, they posted about the first-ever U.S. post office to open in Sarasota in 1878—a time when it cost two cents to mail out a letter and delivered by horseback. Subtly, it had a way of shining a light on the historical significance the postal services have had on the country for well over a thousand years and are now in jeopardy.

For the real history buffs and chronicle-oriented curiosos, you may be interested to learn that the HSOSC recently launched a new Articles section on its website—a landing page where various historians, authors, and figureheads of the community will be contributing articles on various historical stories/topics related to Sarasota County. Author and historian Jeff LaHurd kicked it off with personal insights on the day Sarasota split off from Manatee in 1921, “after residents in South County grew disgruntled by terrible road conditions and the way tax dollars were being spent,” he writes. Attached is a photograph of the front-page newspaper featuring the headline, “Hurray for Sarasota County” printed in the rechristened Sarasota County Times, announcing the momentous news of the formation of Florida’s newest county.

With HSOSC’s Sunday Afternoon Socials, the Historic Downtown Sarasota Trolley Tours, Historical Society Bay Cruises, Conversations at the Crocker, and facility rentals for weddings and special events all put on hold till March 2021, membership and contributions are as important as ever to keeping this community fixture operating and preserving our past. You can join HSOSC’s email list to keep current with the Society and community updates here. And to learn more about the benefits of becoming a member, receive info on historical happenings and fun facts about the narrative of this area’s evolution, head here. 

Image courtesy of HSOSC.

1260 12th St. (In Pioneer Park) Sarasota, 941-364-9076, hsosc1@gmail.com.

[New Grant]  Healthy Start Obtains Critical Funding to Support Healthier Pregnancies in Newtown

The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, Inc. was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Bank of America Client Foundation, Virginia White Clark Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, to support its Save My Life Program, a culturally sensitive prenatal and postpartum support program targeting pregnant women and new parents the Newtown Community. Created in 2006 in response to the alarming racial disparities in maternal and infant health, the Save My Life program addresses poor birth and health outcomes, such as low birth weight, prematurity, and fetal and infant death, which are statistically more likely to be experienced by African-Americans. Classes are offered free-of-charge at various locations throughout the Newtown and North Sarasota areas and cover topics such as childbirth education, breastfeeding, nutrition, safe sleep, preconception and interconception health, smoking cessation, and more. The Program is led by Newtown resident and the Sarasota community’s first African-American Childbirth Educator, Beverly Phelps, CLC, who has over 25 years of experience working with pregnant women and new mothers. “I'm glad resources are available to new expecting parents so we are aware of some things to expect,” states a Save My Life Program Mom. “This is a truly special program, serving a unique and important need in our community,” states Shon Ewens, Healthy Start Coalition Executive Director. “We are so grateful to the Bank of America Client Foundation for continually seeing the value in supporting the Save My Life Program, and the health and well-being of the moms and babies in Newtown.” 


Click here for more information.

[New Grant]  Florida Studio Theatre Receives Grant from The Florida Division of Cultural Affairs

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is proud to announce that the nonprofit has received a grant for over $48,900 from the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. These funds will provide vital support for several of FST’s core programs: Mainstage, Cabaret, Education, and New Play Development. “In these challenging times, grant support from agencies like the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs is essential,” said Rebecca Hopkins, FST’s Managing Director. “The arts have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 epidemic. We went from a company of over 90 full-time staff, front-of-house employees, and artists, to a group of about 30. This grant will help us have a strong reopening with our Winter Season in early 2021.” With this funding from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Sarasota’s Contemporary Theatre can advance its mission to “make theatre accessible and affordable to as many people as possible.”  

Click here for more information.

[Construction ]  Nate's Animal Rescue Accepting Donations for New Building

Every day there is something new happening. Most recently, Nate's Honor Rescue said good bye to the Welcome Center, the only "people space" at the shelter. This small but mighty building represented the spirit of the mission, and the adaptability of the staff and volunteers very well over the years. As the shelter grew and evolved, so did the team and this building. It served as cat housing, laundry and kitchen, office space and finally the welcome center, where over 15,000 animals found their forever homes. They are truly grateful for all of the adopters, staff, and volunteers that have grown with them and made this transition possible for the animals in the community.  

Click here to donate.

[Hospital Construction]  SMH Hospital Board Approves Funding for New Behavioral Health Pavilion

The Sarasota County Public Hospital Board on Monday approved a $65 million plan to replace its aging behavioral health hospital with a new, state-of-the-art pavilion that centralizes and enhances care to people affected by mental and behavioral health challenges. Slated to begin design this year, preliminary plans call for the new 82-bed, 95,000-square-foot Behavioral Health Pavilion to be built on the northeast corner of the hospital’s main campus, at the corner of Osprey Avenue and Hawthorne Street. “Mental illness affects one in five Americans every year. Many in our community are struggling daily due to conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and PTSD. These are often treatable conditions, and with the right services, most people can recover and lead fulfilling lives,” Cassidy says. “Offering a full spectrum of services in one location allows for coordinated care and better outcomes for all our patients and our community.” 

[New Position ]  The Florida Center Board of Directors Promotes Dr. Kristie Skoglund to CEO

The Florida Center for Early Childhood’s Board of Directors has selected Dr. Kristie Skoglund, Chief Operating Officer of the organization, to lead the agency. She will replace longtime Chief Executive Officer Kathryn Shea next month. “There is no one more deserving of this position,” said Jeff Woodin, Board Chair. “Kristie has worked for The Florida Center for more than 20 years, climbing the ranks from counselor to early childhood expert.” The Board of Directors unanimously voted to promote Skoglund on August 13, after determining she was best suited for the position. “I truly love the work of The Florida Center and I am humbled and honored to be chosen as the next CEO,” Skoglund said. “I definitely have some big shoes to fill! Kathryn has been an amazing leader who always encouraged me to grow and learn.” 

For more information, call 941-371-8820 or visit www.thefloridacenter.org.

[New Hire]  Megan Kottemann Joins CryoXL Team

CryoXL, the local leader in whole-body cryotherapy and IV hydration wellness in Sarasota and Manatee counties, announces the addition of Megan Kottemann in the role of business development director. Kottemann is responsible for expanding existing partnerships and utilizing her prolific sports background to capture new opportunities. “We are thrilled to have Meg on the CryoXL team,” said CryoXL owner Fernando Vega. "Her experience and work ethic enhance our ability to build relationships with sports organizations and businesses throughout the Suncoast seeking high-quality, evidence-based treatments that promote wellness and recovery.” 

[Science Museum]  Small Wonders Exhibition Expands at Bishop Museum

Several new images are on view for the first time at The Bishop as part of our special exhibition Small Wonders: Insects in Focus. In addition to the photos that have been on display in the Museum’s second-floor galleries since Small Wonders opened in June, the expansion includes eight new images now on display in the West Hall, located on the Museum’s first floor just north of the Planetarium lobby.  In Small Wonders: Insects in Focus, photographer and artist Bob Sober used a process called photo stacking and custom methods to put tiny insects on a human scale, allowing visitors to see the patterns, textures, colors and details that have always been present in these animals, but often-times too small for us to appreciate.  Small Wonders: Insects in Focus is sponsored at the Museum by Dr. Chet and Elena Baran and will be open through Oct. 18. Visiting is included in the price of admission. Small Wonders: Insects in Focus is organized by ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. 

The Bishop Museum of Science, 201 10th St. West Bradenton

Click here for more information.

[In This Issue]  Roar of a Survivor

From hopeless to homeless, a young Sebrena Pawley would eventually come to learn that falling ill to a life-threatening virus is just another survival obstacle to overcome. 

Click here to read the full article from SRQ's Summer 2020 edition.

[COVID-19]  First Day of School Video: School District of Manatee County

The following video was filmed by Manatee Schools Television and School District of Manatee County Communications staff. The first video is from Braden River High School and the two videos separated by color bars are from Johnson K-8. 

Click here to watch the videos.

[Show Tickets]  One Sarasota Premiere and Two Returned Favorites on Sale for Van Wezel

The Van Wezel announces additional shows for 2021! PROUD Tina: The Ultimate Tribute to Tina Turner comes to the Van Wezel for its Sarasota debut. The Sweet Caroline tour returns to the Hall by popular demand, and single tickets for Neil Berg's 112 Years of Broadway will be available this week. 

Single tickets for the following performances go on sale Friday, August 21, 2020 at 10am.

  • Neil Berg’s 112 Years of Broadway – Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:30pm (Tickets $19.50-$64.50)
  • PROUD Tina: The Ultimate Tribute to Tina Turner – Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 8:00pm (Tickets $27-$72)
  • Sweet Caroline – Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 8:00pm (Tickets $22-$62)

Click here for more information.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Glass in the Gardens at Selby Gardens , August 8 – September 20

The third annual summer glass show, In Dialogue with Nature: Glass in the Gardens, opens Saturday, August 8 at the Downtown Sarasota campus. This year, nature-inspired glasswork, exclusively created by Duncan McClellan and his studio artists, will embellish the Tropical Conservatory and Koi Pond against a backdrop of lush flowers and plants. Many spectacular pieces will also be on view in the Museum of Botany & the Arts. The botanically-themed glassworks will be available for sale with a significant portion of the proceeds benefiting Selby Gardens’ mission.

Selby Gardens, 1534 Mound Street

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Yoga on Ca'd 'Zan Lawn , August 20 – September 17, 7:00pm

Yoga Instructor Ashley Stewart will lead a yoga session the front lawn of Ca' d'Zan. With your health and safety as a top priority, these classes are limited to 50 participants and at least 7 feet of distance will be maintained between people. Class size is limited, tickets must be purchased in advance

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Music Compound's Drive-In Concert at Fruitville Grove , August 21, 6:00pm-7:00pm

Join the members of Music Compound for their monthly concert this installment will be outdoors, live and loud. Music Compound students of all ages will showcase their talents for friends, family and new fans during the free show, which is open to the public (but registration required). Attendees are asked to stay in or near their cars (with social distancing recommended). Kona Ice will be on-site with cool treats. Takes place at Fruitville Grove (7410 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota) from 6:00-7:30pm; gates open at 5:30pm. Register to attend on the Music Compound’s Facebook page, “Events” tab.

Music Compound

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Virtual: KidSpace with The Bishop , August 22, 10:30am-11:30am

We unleash the awesome power of The Planetarium during KidSpace, where kids can become scientific masters of the universe. Join us as we take off from the Earth's surface and fly to places humans have never been: the Sun, planets, other moons in our solar system, newly discovered solar systems in our galaxy and beyond. KidSpace is designed for grades 1-5 and their grown-ups, but everyone is welcome.

[SOON]  FOOD: A Taste of Venice , August 26, 5:30pm-8pm

The 3rd Annual Event, Hosted by Hotel Venezia, will feature 15+ Local Eateries Serving Up Awesome Tastes. Early Bird Tickets are available for $15 until they’re Sold Out and General Admission is $20. Tickets include all Food Tastings and Beverages are available at the Cash Bar.

Hotel Venezia, 425 US 41 Bypass N Venice, Florida

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Online: A Killer Party - A Murder Mystery Digital Musical Series , August 5 – August 19, 10am

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall invites you to join A Killer Party - A Murder Mystery Musical - a brand-new musical starring Broadway theater favorites Jeremy Jordan (Supergirl, Bonnie & Clyde), Laura Osnes (Tony® nominee, Cinderella, Grease), Alex Newell (Glee, Once on This Island), Carolee Carmello (Tony® nominee, Scandalous, Parade), Miguel Cervantes (Hamilton), Drew Gehling (Waitress), Jarrod Spector (The Cher Show, Beautiful, Jersey Boys), Jessica Keenan Wynn (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Heathers), Michael James Scott (Aladdin, The Book of Mormon), Krystina Alabado (Mean Girls) and Jackie Burns (Wicked, If/Then). The entire 9-part musical series can be purchased for the single price of $12.99 through this link. You will receive the full 85-minute filmed episodic musical, plus bonus behind-the-scenes footage including cut material and more. A Killer Party will be available for streaming beginning August 5 at 10am ET and will be released three episodes at a time: Episodes 4-6 debut on August 12 and episodes 7-9 debut on August 19. A collaboration between more than 50 Broadway professionals all working together remotely, A Killer Party is not only a new musical, but represents a new type of musical. With a purchase of the series, you support these artists “on stage” and behind-the-scenes, while they provide laughter and levity during this time of new ways to create and support art. A portion of your purchase price will also support the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. When Varthur McArthur, the artistic director of a failing theater in Duluth, invites his troupe of disgruntled actors and collaborators to the first read of an “immersive murder mystery dinner party,” no one knew that he would be the victim. Or did they? Enter eager, determined, and untested Detective Case. After sequestering the guests into separate rooms (because, you know, social-distancing), she gets down to finding out whodunnit, uncovering secret affairs, life-long grudges, backstage drama and a lot of musical theater song and dance. This hilarious and irreverent send-up of the classic Murder Mystery features an all-star creative team that includes Jason Howland (Little Women, Music), Nathan Tysen (Amelie, Lyrics), Kait Kerrigan (Book), Marc Bruni (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Direction), Bobby Pearce (Taboo, Costume Design), Billy Jay Stein (Grammy® winner, Music Producer) and HMS Media (Video Post-Production).

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: Good Morning, Sarasota , August 20, 8:30am-9:30am

Join us for our "virtual" Good Morning, Sarasota. Stay connected with Chamber Members and update each other on your current business opportunities. If you like to submit an electronic or virtual door prize, please email cmcgonigal@sarasotachamber.com to let him know what it will be. We will have Trivia questions during the meeting for attendees to win the door prizes! Attendees are responsible for getting door prize to the winner.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Lakewood Ranch Yoga in The Park , July 26 – August 30, 9am-10am

Join us for free yoga on the second Sunday in the beautiful setting of Bob Gardner Community Park just off of White Eagle Blvd. The Yoga Shack Florida will host the morning flows starting at 9 am. Please bring your own mat and water bottle. Mats must be placed at least 6-feet apart from others and we ask all participants to closely follow all social-distancing guidelines. Thank you to the Brain Health Initiative for sponsoring this event. Learn more about BHI on their website.

Bob Gardner Community Park, 2710 White Eagle Blvd Bradenton FL 34211

[SOON]  MUSIC: The Academy A Homeschool Hub at Music Compound , August 3 – December 31, 8:30am-4pm

Music Compound is officially launching a new program,  The  Academy, for grades 3-8, that offers core curriculum through Florida Virtual School and then afternoon electives in the arts. The registration deadline is July 31. Education Session (Education Coordinator position) is offered daily from 8:30am to Noon Monday through Thursday. Students have the option to attend two, three or four days a week. This portion is being offered with Florida Virtual School. Deadline to register is July 31st. Lunch and relaxation time offered daily from Noon to 1:00pm and available to FULL day students only. Students will have time to enjoy lunch and outdoor play. The last 20 minutes will be reserved for quiet time. Our team will offer yoga or meditation sessions. Students can opt to read a book, nap, or check out in another capacity. Enrichment Session is arts related. (Elective and credit based) and offered daily from 1:00 to 4:00pm Monday through Thursday. The afternoon session will include a daily afternoon snack break for students. The afternoon sessions are based on interest. Afternoon classes sizes will range from 6-12 students per class. Classes that have more than 6 students will be hosted in our large 3,000 sq. ft. event venue. Electives are One hour and 20 minutes per session. Electives are offered quarterly, by semester, or yearly. Courses offered: Art, Dance, Drama, Music / Group Instruction / Music Theory / Music Appreciation, Musical theatre / Show Choir, Band program (Kidz Rock, Rising Stars, Youth Bands) and Career Exploration.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Young Concert Artists Presents Omer Quartet with Hanzhi Wang, Accordion , October 11, 3pm-6pm

From Young Concert Artists comes one of the most versatile string quartets in classical music today. The Omer Quartet is quickly gaining a reputation for “fearless renderings” (the New York Times) of the standard quartet repertoire as well as compelling performances of works by today’s composers. The ensemble burst onto the scene with top prizes at Borciani, Trondheim, and Bordeaux in Europe all in one year, having already captured the Fischoff National Competition Grand Prize. The quartet was awarded first prize in the 2017 Young Concert Artists (YCA) International Auditions and recently debuted at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. Joining the quartet from Young Concert Artists is accordion virtuoso Hanzhi Wang. Praised for her captivating stage presence and performances that are technically and musically masterful, this groundbreaking young musician is the only accordionist in 59 years to win a place on the YCA roster. 3pm Pre-Concert Wine Reception. Tickets are $42.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Myakka River: A Florida Treasure at The Bishop , February 7 – September 6, Museum hours.

Ultra-white sand beaches and magnificent sunsets have long defined our region, but just nine miles east of I-75 you’ll find an environment just as alluring, exotic and primal at the Myakka River State Park.  For more than 20 years, Clyde Butcher has explored the deeper regions of Myakka and spent seasons experiencing its changes and its diverse ecosystems. Designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic River, the tannic waters flow through bottomland swamp and freshwater marsh spilling into lakes and sinkholes. Alligators, turtles and cottonmouths swim in the river. Herons, cranes and limpkins strut through its shallows, feeding in the muck. In the rainy season, the river rises and floods. In the dry months, the river shrinks and wildlife once again lines the banks of the Myakka River.  Myakka River: A Florida Treasure features large-format, amazing photographs taken by world-renowned landscape photographer Clyde Butcher, known as the “Ansel Adams of Florida.”  The special exhibition will remain open through September 6, 2020. Visiting is included in the price of admission.

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. W, Bradenton

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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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