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SRQ DAILY Sep 2, 2021

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"The interns gained experience, and for us, their involvement enriched our programming."

- Jennifer Romiecki, Selby Gardens

[Education]  Selby Gardens Interns Part of Smithsonsian Initiative
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

A relationship with the Smithsonian connected leadership for the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens with interns from across the country this summer. It also allowed the Sarasota institution to be part of a pilot initiative and an effort to celebrate The Highwaymen, a celebrated collective of Black painters in Florida.

“It’s terrific. There are students who may not have been able to come here in person,” said Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. “It was just great to be able to collaborate in a broad way from across the country. It was a mutually beneficial effort. The interns gained experience, and for us, their involvement enriched our programming.”

The interns — Ania Ty of Oregon State University, Miles Mikofsky of the University of Chicago and Samantha Wetherell of the university of Arizona — interned from June 14 to Aug. 6. They were part of a The Smithsonian Affiliate Digital Learning and Engagement Internship, an initiatiave organized in partnership with the Emerson Collective.

To trace Selby’s involvement means looking back two years to when the botanical gardens became an official Smithsonian affiliate, becoming part of a national network of museums sharing educational and cultural resources. “Our affiliation with the Smithsonian was such a good fit for us because they are a research institution and of course have a long history as an arts and culture and a historical preservation entity,” Rominiecki said. In the intervening years, botanical researchers continued working with scientists through the Smithsonian and Selby increasingly served as a cultural venue in the city.

As for the pilot initiative this summer, the interns never came to Sarasota but worked closely with Selby professionals on the project “We Dream a World: African American Landscape Painters of Mid-Century Florida, The Highwaymen.” Ty worked to gather information on Mary Ann Carroll, the lone female painter in The Highwaymen. Mikofsky conductaed comparative work of The Highwaymen painters and heavy influence “Bean” Backus. Wetherell, meanwhile, focused on documenting the role the painting collective had on depicting Florida’s historic, natural landscape before development significantly altered it.

The efforts together contributed to a larger goal of building learning resources about The Highwaymen.

“This internship program is not only a gift for the students who are enrolled in it— it is a gift for all of us,” said Laurene Powell Jobs, founder and president of the Emerson Collective. “By offering students from underestimated communities the chance to draw upon the Smithsonian Institution’s extraordinary collections, this collaboration is fostering a new and better understanding of our shared history while empowering a new generation of change agents.”

The three interns working with the Selby were among 75 students representing just under 60 colleges and universities.

“This pilot is about better understanding our reach and ability to activate youth around the country who would not otherwise have such opportunities,” said Jamie Van Leeuwen, director of youth and community engagement at Emerson Collective. “With the collective challenges we face as a country, it is critical now more than ever that we turn to our young leaders to help us respond to the needs of our communities.” 

Image from Smithsonian.

[SRQ Thrifting Series]  Second-Hand Vintage Furniture is Twice as Nice
Grace Castilow, grace@srqme.com

As the first of a new weekly four-part series, we'll be rolling out different thrifting destinations for those local frugal shoppers to get their fair share of gently-used, recycled bargains.

Introduced in 1979 on what is now Fruitville and Lemon, Twice’s Nice is a secondhand furniture store known for its contemporary yet old-fashioned pieces. After 41 years in business, owner Debye Bernard has seen many changes to Sarasota and her business along with it. As people flock, she extends an open door to new customers of her home away from home. Even the store’s website is furnished with inventory so people can shop from afar (a rarity in the thrift realm). If you’re in the market for mid-century modern or real wood, Twice’s Nice is a must. “Our Heywood Wakefield furniture pulls people in like a magnet. They sit on it and reminisce about their lives as though they were on their own set,” she says. As a segment of a sentimental industry, she appreciates when customers share that they still have the furniture they purchased years ago, that her pieces have withstood the test of time. “It's just a matter of waiting for the right person to come in for the right item,” she says. The furniture is nostalgic, sustainable and gets better with age, not unlike Twice’s Nice.

Twice’s Nice, 1480 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, 941-366-2188, twicesnice.com 

Photography by Wyatt Kostygan

[Interior Services]  Create an Organization Station with Sarasota's Affordable Closets
Olivia Liang

We all have those days when life seems to be more of a junk drawer than a filing cabinet. Mornings when you open the kitchen cabinets like you’re playing dodge ball to avoid the falling debris. Evenings when hanging up a blouse is just too much to ask and the closet floor turns into a minefield of maybe-it’s-dirty-well-it-smells-clean-enough laundry. The house falls into mayhem and disgraces your Zoom background as you think to yourself in infomercial style: there has to be a better way. And now there is!

Enter the minimalist movement of 2021 or—at the very least—the appearance of minimalism, which may be even better. Once the pandemic hit and people couldn’t run away from the everyday chaos anymore, everything from extra storage to organization techniques, purging and donations skyrocketed into one of the few trends that practically guarantee the feeling of aahhh once you’ve completed your organization station. Professional organizers like Affordable Closets, the family-owned and operated custom storage company since 1999, will design storage solutions for your specific flavor of chaos, while also blogging ideas to keep up your organization momentum, like “3 Ways to Keep Your Laundry Room Organized” or “5 Simple and Affordable Ways to Update Your Office.” So whether it’s that pesky guest bedroom where visitors are forced to live out of their suitcases or the pantry that might be haunted with the rate things are falling off the shelves—it might be time to join in on the trend and whip that mess into shape. 

Affordable Closets, 6320 Danner Dr., Sarasota, 941-926-7674, affordableclosetsinc.com, @affordableclosetsinc. 

Garage space organized by Affordable Closets. Photo courtesy of the company.

[Photography ]  Conservation Foundation Announces People’s Choice Winners for Summer Photo Contest

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast and presenting sponsor Elizabeth Moore announce the People’s Choice winners for their second annual Summer Photo Contest exhibit. Photographers of all ages and experience levels were invited to submit their original work showcasing the beauty of natural Florida. Jury members included presenting sponsor, Elizabeth Moore; noted photographer, Mary Lundeberg; noted photographer, Grant Jeffries; and fine art painter, Mary Louise O'Connell.

Over 300 entries were received for consideration. Following jury selection, community members were invited to vote for their favorites by liking/loving the images in the Conservation Foundation Summer Photo Contest Facebook gallery. Voting took place June 21 through August 21 and the most liked/loved image in each category received the honor of being recognized as People’s Choice. The photo with the most likes/loves overall received distinct recognition as People’s Choice Best in Show. With almost 1,000 likes on Facebook, the overwhelming winner was Diane Suner’s photograph, Sea Scallops at Sunrise.

“Photography is a uniquely personal way to connect with nature,” says Conservation Foundation President Christine P. Johnson. “It’s always a treat to look at the photos submitted and see how differently people view and experience our natural world. We congratulate this year’s winners and look forward to the continued growth of our annual virtual event.”

The full gallery can be viewed at conservationfoundation.com/summerphoto or by visiting Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast on Facebook.  

Image: Sea Scallops at Sunrise by Diane Suner

[Grants]  Local Jewish Organizations Receive Almost $600K in Federal Security Grants

With the help of The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee and its partnership with Secure Community Network (SCN), six local Jewish organizations have received substantial grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for security enhancements. Jewish Community Security Director, Jeff Solomon, who is SCN’s representative locally, was able to help facilitate the grant process. “I first conducted threat and vulnerability risk assessments at each of the organizations.  I helped them create security committees and provided numerous grant training webinars to help them apply for the grants. I was happy to use all of the SCN resources available to facilitate the grant process.”

The grants were part of the Nonprofit Security Grant Program which provided $180 million for target hardening and other physical security enhancements and activities to nonprofits around the country that are at a high risk of a terrorist attack.  Of that amount, $2.7 million was provided to 50 organizations in Florida that are located in non-urban, rural areas such as Sarasota-Manatee. 

[Expo]  Let’s Get Healthy! Wellness Expos Coming to Tampa-Sarasota

Let’s Get Healthy Tampa Bay Wellness Expos, Florida Penguin Production’s annual wellness expo series is returning to Tampa Bay with four locations this September (Brandon, Sarasota, Clearwater & Citrus Park). Each “Let’s Get Healthy! Wellness Expo” will feature 30-40 wellness-related resources and activations catered to patrons of all ages. From Geriatrics to Pediatrics, and holistic to modern, you'll see it all in one place. Activities include fitness demos, free health checks, healthy food and drink samples, product sampling stations, a Teddy Bear Giveaway sponsored by Florida Blue, and dozens of vendors on display including many of the top Health Insurance brands, chiropractors, mental health, government services, primary care, fitness, and healthy food and drinks. 

Sarasota's expo date is set for Saturday, September 18, from 10am-2pm, at The Mall at University Town Center - 140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota. Event info found here. 

Sponsored by Florida Blue, Liberty Dental Plans, Life Guard Imaging, and Your CBD Store. 
[Expansion]  Fit2Run Fitness Store Expands in Bradenton

Get fitted, and get the perfect fit running or walking shoes, or bike, with the help of the Fit Experts at Fit2Run: The Runner’s Superstore and F2R Bike Shop opening in Bradenton this October. Locally owned and originally founded in Bradenton, Fit2Run is expanding with an updated design and layout in their hometown this fall. Fit2Run will open its newest store in Bradenton featuring new concepts to the brand. Along with the running and walking specialty items, the new store will include the F2R Bike Shop, carrying bicycles from brands like Specialized, Jamis, Fuji, Brooklyn Bicycle Co.,and more. The F2R Bike Shop in Bradenton will be a full-service bike shop offering bike sales and rentals, bike accessories, service, repair and bike fittings.

Unique to the Fit2Run Bradenton location will be the addition of Spokes, a beer and seltzer bar featuring local craft beer and a space for runners and cyclists to gather and connect before or
after a neighborhood run or ride. The bar will be designed in partnership with popular St. Petersburg brewery 3 Daughters Brewing. In addition to the new store in Bradenton, Fit2Run also operates 16 other locations throughout Florida and Puerto Rico. Including select locations with an added Bike Shop and Juice Bar. Runners all over the country can shop Fit2Run’s online store at Fit2Run.com 

Photo courtesy of Fit2Run

[Housing]  Joint Affordable Housing Advisory Committee Votes to Move Forward with Action

The Sarasota Consortium Affordable Housing Advisory Committee has voted on the Local Affordable Housing Incentive Strategy recommendations to address affordable housing needs throughout Sarasota County. At its final meeting of the year on August 23, the committee reviewed the 12 required topics and made its recommendations on items related to funding, design and development of affordable housing projects. “There’s clearly a critical need for available workforce housing in Sarasota,” said Mayor Hagen Brody, the City Commission’s representative on the committee. “I appreciate all of our committee members who worked so diligently over the last several months to come up with some concrete steps that will make it easier for folks to live in this community they contribute so much to.” 

The Sarasota Consortium Affordable Housing Advisory Committee consists of elected officials from the City of Sarasota and Sarasota County, various individuals representing stakeholder groups such as the building industry, banking, real estate, affordable housing providers and community advocates. The committee’s recommendations on the Local Affordable Housing Incentive Strategy will be presented to the City of Sarasota Commission and the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners later this fall for selection and adoption. 

To learn more about affordable housing initiatives or the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, visit scogv.net

[Video]  The Barnyard Sisters Know Fried Chicken

Do you remember Gladys and Gina from SRQ Magazine's Summer Sizzler Edition? These sisters are making the best fried chicken sandwich at The Barnyard and dancing their way to success. This exclusive behind-the-scenes look is the first video of a new series by SRQ MEDIA. Let us know what you think! 

Watch The Barnyard Video Here!

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: Jukebox Saturday Night , September 7 – October 31

FST’s 2021 Summer Cabaret Series concludes with an all-new show from Sarasota’s favorite swing-era territory band, The Swingaroos. A jazzy new music revue, Jukebox Saturday Night features some of The Jukebox’s greatest hits: “Get Your Kicks On Route 66,” “Heart and Soul,” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” Jukebox Saturday Night will play in FST’s Bowne’s Lab beginning Tuesday, September 7 and will play through October 31. Countless musical genres emerged during the first half of the 20th Century, and there was only one place you could find them all: The Jukebox. In this jazzy music revue, The Swingaroos put a dynamic twist on the Jukebox’s greatest hits, including “Get Your Kicks On Route 66,” “Heart and Soul,” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” Tickets are no longer available for this show.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Summer Food Truck Series at Bay Preserve , July 23 – September 17, 8pm

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast invites the community to a monthly Food Truck Friday Night this summer at their Bay Preserve headquarters in Osprey. Enjoy food and fun with friends while taking in a summer sunset at this family-friendly event. Each month, July through September, a different food truck will be onsite serving up local flavor on the shores of Little Sarasota Bay. Members of the Conservation Foundation team will be available to answer questions about their work and the Burrows-Matson House will be open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket for this picnic-style gathering. The dates and food trucks are as follows: Friday, July 23, 5pm to 8pm - Curb Your Appetite (classic American fare) Friday, August 20, 5pm to 8pm - Big Blue Grilled Cheese Company (creative versions of a family favorite) Friday, September 17, 5pm to 8pm - Killik’s Kitchen (modern Asian-Hawaiian fare) “After the isolation of the last year, connection is what we are all craving,” notes Christine Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. “Connection with other people and connection with nature. We hope these Friday nights help our community reconnect with each other and with our beautiful natural environment.” Bay Preserve is located at 400 Palmetto Avenue in Osprey, Florida. This series is free and open to the public, however in an effort to ensure plenty of parking, RSVPs are requested. To RSVP for any of the dates, visit conservationfoundation.com/events. Food prices vary by truck. Learn more about each truck’s menu on Facebook.

Conservation Foundation, 400 Palmetto Ave., Osprey

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Shades of Buble: A Three-Man Tribute to Michael Buble , July 13 – September 26

With three voices singing incredible songs like “Feeling Good,” “Moondance,” “Come Fly With Me,” “Home,” “Everything,” “Save the Last Dance for Me,” and many more, Shades of Bublé: A Three-Man Tribute to Michael Bublé brings the swinging standards and pop hits of Bublé to the stage in an unforgettable high-energy concert event. Shades of Bublé, created by Melissa Giattino and Ron DeStefano and produced by Drew Pournelle, will play beginning July 13 in FST's Goldstein Cabaret.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Skyway 2020: A Contemporary Collaboration , June 20 – October 3, 10am-5pm

The Skyway 2020 exhibition, now in its second iteration, is a celebration of artistic practices in the Tampa Bay region, as it is a collaboration between four institutions: the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; the Tampa Museum of Art; and the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa. Working together, curators from each institution will offer context for the diversity of art being made in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties. Artworks and projects in the exhibition will be selected by museum curators and the guest juror, Claire Tancons, an independent curator and scholar whose practice takes a global focus on the conditions of cultural production. Tancons has curated biennials around the world, including Prospect.1, New Orleans; the 2008 Gwangju Biennial; and the 2019 Sharjah Biennial. This exhibit will begin on June 20, 2021 and will end on October 3, 2021. Runs from 10am to 5pm.

The Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Classic Albums LIVE , September 24, 8pm

Classic Albums LIVE returns to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Friday, September 24 at 8 p.m. The group will bring Led Zeppelin II to life on stage – note for note, cut for cut. Tickets go on sale Friday, July 9 at 10 am. “One thing I know for sure is that Zep fans are unrelenting in their love for the band. Many people don’t realize that during the ‘70s – no other band or artist came close to selling as many albums as Led Zeppelin.” – Craig Martin, Founder of Classic Albums LIVE. Tickets are $32-$72 and can be purchased at www.VanWezel.org, by calling the box office at 941-263-6799 or by visiting the box office Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. To view a full listing of upcoming events, visit www.VanWezel.org.

The Van Wezel, 777 N Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra: Discover Mozart: Rebirth , October 2, 7:30pm

Experience the excitement as the full orchestra returns to the stage this season on Saturday, October 2 at 7:30pm at the Sarasota Opera House. Kensho Watanabe leads a program beginning with Valerie Coleman's heroic Seven O'Clock Shout, a tribute to essential workers. Dominic Cheli will shine in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20, and Schumann's "Spring" Symphony will lend a perfect finale to this long-awaited reunion of orchestra and audience.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra: Chamber Soirees: Shall We Dance? , October 10, 4pm

From the ballet to the ballroom, music that will make you want to move on Sunday, October 10 at 4pm at Holley Hall. Inspired by Elizabeth Hobbs's Slow Dancing on the Highway: the Trip North. This program consists of Haydn String Quartet Op. 33, No. 2 "The Joke," Marquez Danza de mediodia, Quinn Mason String Quartet No. 2, and Piazzolla L'Histoire du Tango.

[SOON]  FILM: 6th Annual Single-Take Film Challenge , October 8 – October 10

1917. Rope. Birdman. Victoria. Russian Ark. Lost in London. All these films tell their complete stories in one continuous, uninterrupted take. Or at least they give that illusion. The Sarasota-based Single-Take Challenge, however, is only for filmmakers attempting the "real thing". 2021 marks the 6th anniversary of the Challenge, to be held both online and live at a theater in Sarasota. The Challenge prides itself on finding professional filmmakers to act as judges. This year for example, Larry McConkey is on the panel. McConkey is best known for shooting the infamous "Copa scene" long take in the movie "Goodfellas." Filmmakers interested in creating and submitting their one-shot masterpieces have until August 15. The awards and screening ceremony will take place the weekend of October 8-10. For more information contact SingleTakeChallenge@gmail.com

[SOON]  MUSIC: St. Armands Circle: Sol of the Circle: Songs on the Circle , June 1 – September 7, 6pm-9pm

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. Songs on the Circle will take place every first Tuesday from 6pm to 9pm. Dates are June 1, July 6, August 3, and September 7.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Discover Sarasota: Haunted Sarasota Tour , January 1 – December 31

Hop on board our haunted trolley tour for a spellbinding, interactive, narrated adventure! Hear stories about famous murders, visit spirited buildings, and explore unsolved crimes during this 90-minute, air-conditioned nighttime tour. Sit back and listen as our entertaining Ghost Hostess brings the rich history of Sarasota to life on this fun and spooky tour—be sure to keep an eye out for surprise guests along the way. Tour includes complimentary beer or wine at the Trolley Cottage Tiki Bar before boarding. Ages 12+; young people ages 12-20 may attend if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Tours with fewer than 10 guests will travel in our comfortably air-conditioned high-top van. Tour tickets are $39.99 and includes FREE Parking. This tour departs from 1826 4th Street and happens year-round.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Downtown Sarasota Alliance: First Friday Gallery Walk , February 5 – December 3, Times vary.

The DSA Presents First Friday Gallery Walk. Enjoy your walk or stroll in Downtown Sarasota with participating galleries, including State of the Arts Gallery on State Street, AlexArt International located at 25 North Pineapple Avenue, Dabbert Gallery on Historic Palm Avenue, Art Uptown Gallery on Sarasota’s Main Street, and 530 Burns Gallery in Historic Burns Court.

[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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