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SRQ DAILY Aug 28, 2020

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"Keeping a sense of community, in a time when we're being asked to isolate, is a challenge, but projects like this bring people together and remind us all how important music is in our lives."

- Maestro Caulkins of Key Chorale

-Photo from SRQ Magazine's Summer 2020 Feature Pets We Love
[New Exhibit ]  Nostalgicon Exhibition Tells a Millennial Toy Story
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

As Toy Story so aptly demonstrated, the lifecycle of toys forms a complex, living web of connections forged in four dimensions. As children, our toys come and go with the seasons, the objects of intense admiration for a couple of years before being discarded and forgotten. But the objects leave an indelible mark on our psyches like the plastic molds used to construct them, and with Nostalgicons, the newest exhibition at Ringling College’s Patricia Thompson Gallery, artist and Ringling alum Ian Dean shows just how much weight is carried by the pocket-sized toys of the 80s and 90s.

Dean is intimately acquainted with the weight of those objects. Of the thousands included in the exhibition’s three installations, most are his. “I’d say about 97 percent of them are mine,” he says, “there are a few things in there I had to find on eBay, but I interacted with most of it in my childhood.” From action figures that came with Happy Meals to cartridges for Nintendo’s original Game Boy, Dean’s propensity for holding onto childhood toys has yielded a remarkable trove of items that reads like an epitaph for a whole generation’s artifacts. One particularly unique find was the mint condition, Styrofoam Big Mac container from the 80s, its tab still intact.

But even if the collection says much about Dean—meticulous, exacting, playful, self-aware—the overarching impression of the exhibition brings into question the way these objects interacted with the world at large. “Some of the stuff is precious to me,” says Dean, “but it’s more about how this incredible amount of stuff comes in and out of our lives.” When seen through this lens, it’s hard not to consider what the installations and printed collages say about consumerism. As Dean writes in his artist statement, “Nostalgia can be a powerful trigger, . . . Nostalgia also sells.” Most of the items were cheaply made to maximize profits for global toy corporations, intended to give temporary joy before ending up in a landfill.

“All of this stuff brings up so many memories for me,” says Tim Jaeger, Chief Curator of Galleries for Ringling College. He points to a Hot Wheels car encased in one of the installations and remembers how he always seemed to find one beneath the driver’s seat of his mother’s car. “There’s just so much meaning in this stuff for me,” he says, “but it’s also just so much stuff when you see it all together; it almost makes me feel guilty.” It seems for Dean, that broad and complex web of emotions is part of what he hoped would inspire conversation and some bittersweet nostalgia.

The exhibition runs through October 2 and is open for viewing by appointment Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm. Appointments can be made by emailing galleries@ringling.edu. 

Ringling College of Art and Design

Click here for more photos.

[Schedule Update]  Sarasota Concert Association's 2021 Great Performers Series Season Update

Joy McIntyre, the president of Sarasota Concert Association’s board of directors, today announced a revision to the 2021 Great Performers Series season. The season originally featured six concerts, from January 14 through March 16; it will now begin in February with three concerts. “The first three groups we scheduled made the difficult decision to cancel their Sarasota concerts,” says McIntyre. She notes that these included the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra on January 14; The Cleveland Orchestra on January 24; and Bach Collegium Japan on January 28. “These ensembles made these cancellations to ensure the safety of their musicians,” McIntyre adds. “It’s a prudent decision, which we certainly understand and support.” 

Click here for more information.

[Extension]  The FST School Extends and Expands Scholarship Program for Frontline Workers and Families

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is pleased to announce that it will extend its FST School scholarship program, providing full and partial scholarships to front line workers (police, firefighters, EMTs, and hospital workers) and their families. Now, as local schools reopen, FST is adding teachers and their families to the list of those who qualify for these special FST School scholarships. A brand new theatre school session for students ages 7-17 kicks off the week of August 31, and classes for students age 18+ begin the week of September 28. Those interested and who qualify are invited to call FST’s Education Office at 941-366-1350 for eligibility. “It is important that we continue to offer scholarships to front line workers and their families,” said Josh Ford, FST’s Director of Education. “These are people who are making sacrifices and taking risks in a very real and concrete manner to better our community." 

Pictured: Students perform in a showcase at the end of each class. Photo Courtesy of FST.

Click here for more information.

[New Show]  Key Chorale Launches Second Installment of Come Together Choir

 In a time when many choirs have gone silent, Key Chorale has found ways to continue making music by incorporating safety protocols such as disinfectant fogging before each rehearsal, masks for all singers, temperature checks, and social distancing before, during, and after rehearsals. Beginning Thursday, September 24th at 2pm, Key Chorale will launch their 2nd installment of Come Together Choir - Online Choral Rehearsals, Volume 2. New episodes will premiere each Thursday at 2pm, and then will be available afterwards on the Key Chorale YouTube channel to watch over and over again. “The human spirit has an amazing way of finding the good, even when times are as challenging as these,” said Maestro Caulkins. “Keeping a sense of community, in a time when we’re being asked to isolate, is a challenge, but projects like this bring people together and remind us all how important music is in our lives.”  

Click here for more information.

[Local News]  Ringling Official Sues Graduate; College Contradicts Claim
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

The Associate Dean of Students for Residence Life at Ringling College of Art and Design, Christopher Shaffer, has sued recent Ringling College graduate, Megan Ruiz, for defamation, libel, slander, civil conspiracy and more, but the college itself has already disputed Shaffer’s version of events.

This past June, Ruiz publicly named Shaffer during a national social media conversation about “dangerous men in art communities,” warning women to “stay the **** away” and “Don’t go into a space alone with him.” The message was shared and retweeted thousands of times, and within two days Ruiz and another student had compiled accounts from as many as 40 students and alumni alleging a pattern of intimidation, emotional abuse, violation of student privacy and HIPAA laws, and improperly handling reports of sexual assault and stalking. They presented the allegations to the college alongside an open letter calling for Shaffer’s firing.

The college opened an investigation into the allegations, while issuing multiple statements to students about the importance of following the proper process when reporting improper behavior and emphasizing that every report is taken seriously. The story made the papers shortly after.

Now, with students possibly returning to campus soon, Shaffer has filed suit against Ruiz, the complaint stating Shaffer was “terrorized” by the course of events and “suffered severe emotional distress” and was seeking “civil action for greater than thirty thousand dollars”. The complaint stated that Shaffer was an “exemplary employee with no blemishes on his record” and that “on or about July 30, 2020 Ringling College concluded their investigation into the allegations by Ruiz and found no wrongdoing by Plaintiff.”

The reaction from students and alumni online has been swift and angry. “Students should have whistle blower immunity for reporting any behavior of the faculty or administration,” said one. “Where is the defense for students?” asked another. But the reaction from the college was even more striking.

“The inquiry in 2020 was not concluded,” said Raelyn Lincoln, Ringling College’s Special Assistant to the President, in response to a query via email. “It continues.”

Beyond that, the college had no comment on the ongoing investigation or the lawsuit between a member of its administration and a former student.

“It may have been a miscommunication between parties,” says Derek Bernstein, the lawyer representing Shaffer, continuing to say that the discrepancy does not affect the strength of his client’s case or the decision to move forward with it. “These types of allegations should be taken seriously and we’re glad that the school is doing their due diligence with these very serious but unfounded allegations. We are confident that they will find no misconduct on the part of my client.”

Ruiz has secured legal representation as well and says she stands by her allegations. “Being served with this lawsuit was terrifying and unexpected,” she says. “This is not a fight that I chose, but I will not be intimidated or bullied by Chris’ attempts to silence me. His lawsuit is completely without merit.” 

[Shopping]  Italian Idea Releases New G3 Bag Collection
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

You've likely window shopped, or shelf shopped, one of the three luxury bag retailers on Pineapple Ave., St. Armands Circle and/or The Mall at Sundial. And while the Italian leather company is focusing more on e-shopping these days, you can still get yourself a piece of their newly-released G3 Collection. The selection of genuine leather handbags and accessories are always everchanging in styles and patterns, and always showcase Italian luxury at its finest. This August, they launched a new collection of vivid colors and mod accents. Over the last few weeks the Italian Idea social media pages have been introducing new color reveals one by one--from Sky Blue and Peony to Lemon, Orchid and Powder. 

The medium-sized, convertible flat bag is made of matte calf leather with a full-zip closure, a small notebook compartment, cotton lining and internal pockets both open and zipped with a leather insert that helps maintain the shape of the bag. Each comes with a foldable nylon shopping bag inside as well. Meanwhile, the G3 PLUS is an even newer version of G3 with more opportunities for transformation. Featuring a system made of hooks, the handles can be detached and then reattached to the sides, thus turning the bag into a shoulder bag. G3 Plus is also equipped with two adjustable and removable nylon shoulder straps which can be hooked on the back, thus converting the handbag into a stylish backpack.

Shop the G3 and G3 Plus Collection here. 

Photo courtesy of Italian Idea Instagram

[New Flights]  Allegiant Announces New Nonstop Service from Boston to SRQ

Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT) today announces a new nonstop route to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) in Massachusetts from Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) beginning November 19, 2020. To celebrate, the company is offering one-way fares on the new route as low as $39. “We are excited to see that Allegiant is adding nonstop service between Boston and the Sarasota-Bradenton area," says Rick Piccolo, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport president, chief executive officer. "With Allegiant’s ultra-low-cost fares and nonstop flights, travelers will now have a quick, convenient, and inexpensive way to travel between these high-demand destinations. We look forward to welcoming this new route just before the holiday season." 

Click here for more information.

[In This Issue]  Foragers Ahead

Local farms and food vendors prove tenaciously nimble as farmers markets are forced to pull the plug. 

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

[Support]  JFCS of the Suncoast Provides Nearly $500,000 in COVID-19 Emergency Hardship Assistance

JFCS of the Suncoast has disbursed $475,727 since April to families in Sarasota and Manatee counties experiencing financial hardship resulting from COVID-19. JFCS established the JFCS COVID-19 Emergency Hardship Fund in late March as the pandemic began to impact the community. A $250,000 lead gift from the Louis & Gloria Flanzer Philanthropic Trust initially funded the program.

“During their lifetimes, Gloria and Lou Flanzer strongly believed in JFCS’ mission to support people in need. JFCS has shown leadership during this unprecedented time and, as members of our community, we are grateful that their efforts have offered critical support to so many,” said Eric Kaplan, Flanzer Trust co-trustee.

The JFCS COVID-19 Emergency Hardship Fund has provided direct assistance to more than 350 families for rent, utilities, transportation, food and other basic needs. In addition to the lead gift, many other JFCS donors made significant contributions to this effort. To help support the emergency hardship fund, JFCS also dedicated funding received through The 2020 Giving Challenge, presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation.

“COVID-19 has caused unprecedented hardship,” said Toby Deutsch, a JFCS partner. “The stories of families in our community unable to pay rent and utilities, repair their vehicles, put gas in their cars, or buy food have inspired my support of JFCS’ efforts.”

“We established the emergency fund to prepare for the COVID-related need that we knew was coming,” said Arthur Lerman, JFCS CEO. “The response to the announcement of available funding was overwhelming operationally and emotionally. The actual need exceeded our expectations, and the stories we have heard are heartbreaking. JFCS greatly appreciates the partnership we have with our funders that allowed us to make this program possible.”

With 100 percent of the available funds disbursed to families in need, JFCS will direct any new inquiries for support to other community resources. 

To learn more about JFCS programs and how you can help, contact Arthur Lerman or Karen Zelden at 941 366-2224.

Click for more info.

[School Readiness]  Step Up Suncoast Expands Program to Provide Parent Educator Toolkits for Families

In response to heightened need during the coronavirus pandemic, Step Up Suncoast has partnered with the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to support parent educators and children for the upcoming school year. The bank’s $25,000 grant will enable the organization’s Parents as Teachers (PAT) program to provide families with toolkits containing essential materials and supplies that enrich interactions with their children and create developmental opportunities that are critical during their child’s early years.

"Many of our families benefit greatly from the support PAT provides in learning how to be their child’s first teacher,” said Barbara Patten, president and CEO of Step Up Suncoast. “Bank of America’s support will help our organization overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic and allow us to continue providing children with the fun, educational and engaging activities they need most during this time.”

Parents as Teachers is an evidence-based home-visiting program serving prenatal to five-year-old children in low income households. Because Step Up Suncoast is no longer able to conduct in-person visits during COVID-19, the organization needs to provide each family with individual toolkits for them to effectively participate in its newly created virtual sessions. The contents of these toolkits vary based on every child’s needs and can include a range of interactive items, such as books, puzzles and crayons. In addition, the nonprofit will continue its ongoing service of delivering food, diapers, formula, cleaning supplies and other necessary essentials to the homes it serves.

With a focus on improving lives and strengthening communities, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation earlier this year announced $100 million to support communities around the world during this time of need. As part of this effort, the bank is working with local nonprofits that are providing assistance to those in urgent need amid the pandemic.

“For years, we have been a partner of Step Up Suncoast and seen their positive impact of empowering children to succeed through education, support services and more,” said Mike McCoy, Sarasota-Manatee market president for Bank of America. “With this partnership, we are investing in our future by giving children valuable resources and the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

This Parents as Teachers program is available to families living in DeSoto, Hardee and Manatee counties. 

[Job Opportunity ]  Manatee County Accepting Applications for Historic Preservation Board

Manatee County is accepting applications for two vacancies on the Historic Preservation Board, a citizen’s advisory committee that makes decisions regarding Manatee County’s archaeologically, historically and aesthetically significant sites, districts and zones. Applications are due September 25 and may be found online at www.mymanatee.org/advisoryboards

Click here for more information.

[Live Music]  Jazz Around Town

This week catch Debbie Keeton at Mattison's Forty-One at 5pm on Saturday, August 29. As well as The Island Swing Band from 5:30-7:30pm  featuring John Brewer, Vibraphone, John Young, Keyboard, Dale McGrew, Drums, Chris Cheshire, Bass and guest artist Dan Dodds, Trombone at Scarpino's Italian Restaurant in Bradenton.
Also playing is The Ron Kraemer Trio at 7pm at Blase' Cafe. Sunday, August 30th look out for Le Jazz Trio with Mark Moultrup from 11am- 2pm at Boulevard Burgers. In addition Debbie Keeton will be at Mattison's City Grille starting at 7pm. 

Click here for more information.

[COVID-19]  Rent Assistance Available for Residents Impacted by COVID-19

The Sarasota Consortium, a joint administration of Sarasota County and the City of Sarasota through the Office of Housing and Community Development, will be making rental assistance available for those affected by COVID-19. The Consortium has received a distribution of $695,069 in Coronavirus Relief Funds from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. Residents of Sarasota County who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and have experienced unemployment or underemployment may apply for rental assistance to prevent eviction. The funds can cover rental arrears dating back to March 1, as well as current rent due. Assistance may not exceed five months’ worth of rent and $9,000 in total. Applications will be accepted starting September 8, and the application period will end September 30, or when all funds are expended, whichever occurs first. Links for applications will be available on the Office of Housing and Community Development pages on the City of Sarasota website. 

For questions, contact the Office of Housing and Community Development at CRFRentAssistance@sarasotafl.gov or 941-263-6423.

Click here for more information.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Online: STEMventures with Mote , July 6 – August 31, 8am-9pm

Looking for fun and engaging programs that you and your child can do at home? Try these pre-packaged STEMventures. These themed packets delivered via email will include education materials and links to videos of our early childhood educators introducing topics and activities. Follow along with us from the comfort of your own home, pause when you need to and complete at your own pace. The Coast Counts: Join us to learn how humans and animals alike count on our coasts. Roleplay as a Mote scientist while learning how to monitor the health of Florida's coastal habitats and the inhabitants found there. Hide and SEAk: Ready or not, here we come: to learn all about how animals hide from predators and "SEAk" out their prey. Investigate the adaptations ocean animals have at their disposal like patterns, textures, bioluminescence, and more. Sea Shapes and Sizes: From the smallest plankton to the biggest blue whale; round pufferfish to arrow shaped barracuda; the ocean is filled with all shapes and sizes. Join Mote Educators to learn what this variety does for ocean animals then explore the shape of the ocean floor. Each Pre-Packaged STEMventure Theme: $45 for members, $50 for non-members. Upon registering for any OSM program, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to your weekly Guide to help prepare for a virtual week with us. Supplies for all of our OSM programs should be easily found around the home. The guide you receive in your confirmation email will detail what you need so you can prepare for your OSM week.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Yoga at The Ringling , July 16 – September 17, 7pm-8pm

Join Yoga Instructor Ashley Stewart on July 16, August 20 and September 17 for a yoga session the front lawn of Ca' d'Zan. Participants can begin entering at 6:30pm. Yoga will begin at 7:00pm and will last for an hour. Participants should bring a yoga mat and water or drink as desired. Participation is limited to 50 to help maintain proper social distancing. Tickets are $15, $13.50 for members and must be purchased online, in advance of the event.

The Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  GALLERY: Art Uptown Gallery Presents Summer Sojourn Artists' Showcase , August 4 – August 29, 11am-5pm

Art Uptown's regionally acclaimed artists offer passage to worlds unseen and under explored through the upcoming Summer Sojourn showcase on view from Tuesday, August 4 through Saturday, August 29. The exhibit features a wide array of media: photography, jewelry, fabric, glass, ceramic, sculpture and painting. Hungering for a reminder of Provence? Take in Jill Krasner's Yellow Daffodils (top left) or Jana Millstone's Tulip Trip (lower left). Seeking a little Zen-like serenity? Pause at Joan Libby Hawk's ceramic vessel, Elegy (top right). Marlane Wurzbach's Egret's Buffet (lower right), Bill Swanson's Juvenile Angelfish and Maro Lorimer's Haze take you right to the water's edge of your choice. Elijah (below left) by Janet Mishner invites the viewer to a more spiritual place and Liz Cole's abstract Bring on the Sun (below right) pushes the darks to brights. More than twenty other accomplished artists' work fills the Summer Sojourn showcase with unexpected, art-inspired journeys. The gallery continues its commitment to visitor and staff safety by the use of masks, sanitizer, frequent cleaning and social distancing.

Art Uptown Gallery, 1367 Main St, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Homeschool Third Thursday + ROAR , August 20 – August 31

Join a museum educator for a live virtual tour (rec. ages 8+), and a virtual Roar storytime for our littlest learners (rec. ages 2-8), on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Each month will feature a new theme, with rotating arts resources that you can use all month long.Beginning August 20th with the exhibition Being Seen, each month will feature a new theme, with rotating arts resources that you can use all month long. Tickets are required, space is limited.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[SOON]  GALLERY: Virtual: Celebrate Selby Gardens: 40th Annual Juried Photographic Exhibition , August 27 – September 20, 10am-4:30pm

We are excited to announce that Selby Gardens will celebrate 40 years of the annual juried photographic exhibition and sale with a virtual edition hosted in partnership with The Observer Group! The virtual exhibition will be viewable August 27 to September 20 on Selby.org and YourObserver.com. As we pivoted to the virtual photographic exhibition format, we adjusted the photo submission deadlines and details as well as the dates of the exhibition. Please review and mark your calendar with the new dates below: Online Photo Submissions: Sunday, August 9 to Friday, August 14. Winners Announced: Thursday, August 27. Virtual Exhibition: Thursday, August 27 to Sunday, September 20. To minimize person-to-person contact, photos must be submitted digitally. Please stay tuned for more step-by-step details on how to submit your photos. Entry is open to all amateurs, but photos must have been taken at either Selby Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota or Historic Spanish Point campuses. Please refer to the entry details below for more information.

Selby's Museum of Botany & the Arts, 900 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

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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