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SRQ DAILY Jun 18, 2021

Friday Weekend Edition

Friday Weekend Edition

" In 2021, so many conversations have been started about the history of African Americans and I think more people are finally starting to understand what the day means to us."

- Badu Mays, Local Poet

-Guitar Hero Tinkerer, as seen in SRQ's May/June 2021 edition. Click photo for the full article.
[Performances]  Poet Badu Mays Dishes on the Power of Words
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

At 10 years old, Badu Mays already knew she wanted to be a poet. That she made her decision fresh off of a victory in her elementary school’s poetry competition certainly helped sway her decision, but it was about more than just a trophy. “The poem was about love, which of course I knew nothing about at that age,” she says, “but when I saw the way people reacted to me on stage, it pretty much became my thing.”

Now 27, the Bradenton native’s work has evolved both in purpose and process, though she still leaves plenty of room for childlike creativity. “Sometimes I’ll have a word in my head and just go with it,” she says, “or I’ll just write whatever happens to come to mind.” In these cases, poetry is an unplanned manifestation of the creative spark, a feeling she writes out without fighting it. But when she takes to writing something with which she has no direct experience, she shows just how far she’s come since her poem about love 17 years ago. 

“I wrote a poem a few months ago about a young woman that was raped,” says Mays, “and she wanted to talk about it but because she was scared.” Mays sat down with the young woman to listen to her story, a difficult task even for a trained mental health counselor. “It’s hard putting yourself in someone’s shoes like that,” she says, “but everytime I perform that poem, so many women come up to me and tell me they’re glad I said it.” 

And on the eve of what was supposed to be a big Juneteenth performance for Mays—whose baby decided to arrive a little earlier than anticipated—she was set to also be the voice for the Black community. “I wrote a poem about police brutality called ‘I Could Never Imagine,’” says Mays, “and I wrote it kind of like a conversation I would imagine having with a Caucasian friend about the struggles of being Black.”  

Even though she won’t get a chance to perform the poem in front of the Newtown audience attending the Juneteenth celebration, Mays still has a lot to be hopeful for. “A lot of people don’t understand that my ancestors weren’t free until June 19th, 1865,” she says, “but in 2021, so many conversations have been started about the history of African Americans and I think more people are finally starting to understand what the day means to us.” 

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives established Juneteenth as a federal holiday. The same bill was approved on Tuesday by a unanimous Senate vote.

Tomorrow’s Juneteenth celebration begins at 11am and includes food from Black-owned vendors, musical guests and other spoken word artists. The event’s festivities will be taking place up and down Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way. 

Photo courtesy of Juneteenth Celebration. Learn more here.

[Aviation Education]  Students Honored at 20th Annual Dolphin Aviation Scholarship Awards

For the 20th consecutive year, Dolphin Aviation owner Ron Ciaravella presented the Dolphin Aviation Scholarship Awards to Sarasota-area high school graduates to support their first year of college.

“For 20 years we’ve helped young scholars pursue their academic goals and for two decades they’ve given me back hope in our collective future,” said Dolphin Aviation Owner Ron Ciaravella in an in-person award ceremony. “I’m impressed every year with their intelligence, drive and focus, and this year even more so. With me today you see our future artists, lawyers, teachers and pilots. We invite you to honor, applaud and support them in their dreams as well.”

Ron Ciaravella of Dolphin Aviation has been awarding academic scholarships to deserving recipients for the past 20 years. Ron has been with Dolphin Aviation for over 50 years, starting as a flight instructor and then purchasing Dolphin Aviation in 1979. Since then, Ron has grown Dolphin Aviation’s size, scope and services - nearly tripling total acreage from nine to twenty-five acres, multiplying hanger space by a factor of five and quadrupling the total number of employees.  Dolphin Aviation is an exciting aviation nexus hosting many flight-related businesses including FAA-approved flight schools; aircraft sales companies; a world-class avionics facility; aircraft maintenance and repair shops; helicopter companies and aircraft storage for private and corporate aircraft. 

Photo of 2021 Dolphin Aviation Scholarship Award Recipients, taken by Rich Schineller

Learn more about Dolphin Aviation here.

[New Hire]  Massage Therapy Connections Announce New Team Member

Massage Therapy Connections would like to announce the addition of Leah Johnston, LMT to their team.  

Click here for more information.

[New Hire]  Center For Sight Ophthalmologist Appointed Director of Cornea and Ocular Surface Disease

Center For Sight is pleased to announce Joaquin O. De Rojas, M.D. has been appointed Director of Cornea and Ocular Surface Disease within the practice. De Rojas will remain a LASIK, corneal and cataract & lens replacement surgeon at Center For Sight, while also serving as the point of contact regarding the diagnosis, management and implementation of new technologies and therapeutics for the treatment of dry eye, ocular surface and corneal diseases. He has been a practicing ophthalmologist at Center For Sight since 2019. 

Click here for more information.

[Meal Donations]  All Faiths Food Bank Working to Fill the Summer Hunger Gap

In order to reach as many area children as possible, All Faiths Food Bank works with numerous partners, including Sarasota and DeSoto County Schools’ Food and Nutrition Services (FNS). During FNS distributions at select school campuses, All Faiths provides supplemental food resources: backpacks filled with healthy foods and snacks and boxes of fresh produce. The next school distributions take place on Tuesday, June 22, 9-11am at Fruitville Elementary School and North Port and Venice High Schools. (For further dates and locations, visit allfaithsfoodbank.org.) “When school ends, hunger begins for far too many children in our region,” said All Faiths CEO Sandra Frank. “We are so grateful to our lead investors as well as every community member who contributed to the Campaign. Thanks to their generosity, tens of thousands of area children will have access to food in convenient locations throughout the summer.” 

Click here for more information.

[New Grant]  Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center Awarded Capacity Building Grant

Through the generosity of the Elizabeth C. Muth Fund and Edward K. Roberts Emerging Needs Fund through the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center was awarded a $10,000 Capacity Building Grant to help further strengthen our board of directors. 

Click here for more information.

[In This Issue]  Breakfast Diaries

What's On Your Agenda? 

Click here to read the full article in SRQ's May/June 2021 edition.

[SOON]  FOOD: Campaign Against Summer Hunger: School Distribution , June 22, 9-11am
The funds raised are then put to use to fill the "summer hunger gap" for children who lose access to free and reduced-cost meals at school. This year, All Faiths exceeded its goal of $1.6 million; the organization hopes to serve at least 35,000 students and siblings in Sarasota and DeSoto counties. The next school distributions take place on June 22, 9-11 a.m., at Fruitville Elementary School, Venice and North Port High Schools. Throughout the summer, food from All Faiths is distributed at numerous locations, including libraries, early learning and childcare programs, school pantries and mobile pantries. And more than 47,000 backpacks filled with healthy food and nutritious snacks will be distributed at 75 sites.

All Faiths Food Bank, Fruitville Elementary School, Venice High School, North Port High School

[SOON]  FOOD: National Vespa Parade Weekend Block Party , June 25, 5-10pm

Kicking off the weekend and National Vespa Parade Day, El Melvin Cocina Mexicana is partnering with Clasico Italian Chophouse to host a festive block party celebration on Friday, June 25, 2021. Starting at 5 p.m. until 10 p.m., the block party will be staged between Miramar Street to Palm Ave. in downtown Sarasota and feature live music hosted by DJ Shawn, El Melvin’s award-winning margaritas and street tacos as well as other beer, cocktails and food station items, which will be available for purchase. El Melvin will also be open for regular in-restaurant dining starting at 11 a.m.


El Melvin & Clasico Italian Chophouse, 1355 Main Street, Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: Bookstore1Sarasota: Saying the Unsayable: Innovative Storytelling , June 9 – July 14, 3:30pm-5pm

New College creative writing professor Dr. Emily Carr presents a Zoom writing workshop: Saying the Unsayable: Innovative Storytelling in Jenny Offill’s “Dept. of Speculation” & Other Contemporary Works by Women. This six-part workshop series is offered on Wednesdays, June 9-July 14, 3:30pm to 5pm: June 9, June 16, June 23, June 30, July 7, and July 14. This workshop is open to writers in all genres, as well as those who do not yet identify as writers but want to learn more about the art of storytelling. A fee of $105 is required for participation. This includes a copy of The Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill, and all six Zoom sessions. The cost is $110.50 to have the book shipped. Storytelling projects will arise through the reading of The Dept. of Speculation. Reading and conversation will lead to writing; most of the time will be devoted to creation, generation, recreation, transcendence, experimentation, and other process-oriented exploration. Participants will leave with their own inspiration for storytelling projects, and writerly tips and tricks to translate ideas into stories, poems, essays, and more. More event info at  https://www.sarasotabooks.com/events or 941-365-7900.

[SOON]  HEALTH: St. Armands Circle: Sol of the Circle: Breathe: An Outdoor Yoga Series , June 9 – September 8, 6pm-7pm

Life on the Circle only gets better when days are bathed in the summer sun. Enjoy a breath of fresh air and immerse yourself in the perfect setting for adventure and fun. Join us for the “Sol of the Circle,” a series of special events for the entire family. Breathe: An Outdoor Yoga Series will take place every second Wednesday from 6pm to 7pm. Dates are June 9, July 14, August 11, and September 8.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: 28th Annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival , June 19 – June 20, 10 am- 4 pm

This year's Venice Craft Festival will feature stained glass, photography, personalized products for children and dogs alike, and much more! Stroll through the Green Market for plants, handmade soaps, tangy BBQ sauces and live orchids. Traditionally held on the third Saturday and Sunday of June in downtown Venice, Florida, the hours for the free event are 10 am - 4 pm 

Downtown Venice , W Venice Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: Bird , June 18, 6:30pm

Bird is rated R and is 2 hr 41 min. Director Clint Eastwood, a noted jazz aficionado, directs this heartfelt study of pioneering bop saxophonist Charlie Parker (Forest Whitaker) will play on June 18 at 6:30pm at the Historic Asolo Theater. Moving forward and backward through Parker's brief life before his death of a heroin overdose at age 34, the film foregrounds the saxophonist's difficult relationship with his wife, Chan Parker (Diane Venora), but also features lengthy scenes of Parker improvising on stage, lit with the neon and cigarette smoke of vintage jazz clubs. Treat yourself to a special meal at The Ringling Grillroom before heading over to The Historic Asolo Theater. A special prix fixe menu will be available, in addition to the regular menu. Located in the John M. McKay Visitors Pavilion, The Grillroom offers both indoor and outdoor seating. Reservations are encouraged; please call 941-360-7390. The pre fixe menu will be available soon, please check back. Seating will allow for social distancing. In the event of rising COVID cases or safety concerns this event is subject to be moved outdoors or canceled. Ticket holders will be notified upon any changes made and refunded if the screening is canceled. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13.50 for adult members, and $10 for students.

[SOON]  DANCE: In-Studio Series: Jennifer Nugent , June 18, 7 pm

Contemporary dancer, Jennifer Nugenta has choreographed a new solo, Up Against. Up against abundance, identity, age, loving, and desire, using dance (steps, improvisation, shape, and gesture) as a way to articulate her curiosities and allow the vibration and energies that surface within the process of being in the studio to reverberate inside the performance.

Sarasota Contemporary Dance , 1400 Blvd of the Arts, Suite 300, Sarasota

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Virtual: Madeby Gallery: Family Time Book Show , May 26 – June 18

With summer approaching and children and grandchildren off for the next several months, Madeby Gallery of Ringling College of Art and Design is hosting a virtual book show. The show will feature picture books for the very early learner to unique novels for adults and books for everyone in between. A fun family time to view and purchase outstanding books illustrated and written by Ringling College of Art and Design students and alumni. Live Zoom Opening Reception on Wednesday, May 26 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Please RSVP to madeby@c.ringling.edu to receive Zoom link. After the May 26 Zoom show, the books will be displayed online and available for purchase at www.madebygallery.com. To purchase, please call 941-822-0442 and make arrangements for curbside pickup or shipping. The show runs through Friday, June 18, 2021. Please RSVP to madeby@c.ringling.edu to receive the ZOOM virtual link.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: First 1,000 Days Sarasota: Color the Community , April 6 – December 31

First 1,000 Days Sarasota County is a community initiative to improve the health and well-being of babies and families. At the end of 2020, the initiative and its 75 community partners launched a website to empower all parents and caregivers with simple tools proven to promote quality early childhood development. The initiative partners are now using the power of art to celebrate families and promote local educational resources available to them.  Utilizing free curriculum with fun activities for parents to do with their children and a sidewalk chalk festival, First 1,000 Days Sarasota is encouraging the community to get involved this spring in the “Color the Community” campaign. The campaign kicked off with the unveiling of three new works of art across Sarasota County: “Swing Out Into the World,” by Laura Pommier at 14212 Tamiami Trail in North Port, its sister mural, “Bubbles,” by Truman Adams, at Forty Carrots Family Center, 1500 South Tuttle Avenue, in Sarasota; and a traveling artwork, “Making Roots,” being created by Traci Kegerreis, are designed as gateways for young families to learn about resources available to support parents in being their child’s first teacher. Artists were encouraged to creatively express one or more of the fundamentals of early childhood development, known as “The Basics.” First 1,000 Days Sarasota County is now asking the broader community to follow suit. Children and families can easily get involved by: Creating sidewalk chalk art (or your preferred medium) inspired by The Basics early learning principles: Maximize love, manage stress, Count, group, compare, Talk, sing, and point, Explore through play and movement, and Read and discuss stories; Posting photos of you and your masterpiece to social media. Tag @First1000DaysSarasota on Facebook and Instagram and use hashtags #First1000DaysSarasota #ColortheCommunity; and Visiting First1000DaysSarasota.com to sign up for free text tips on The Basics and connect with local resources for parents and young children.

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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