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SRQ DAILY Oct 16, 2021

Saturday Perspectives Edition

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Saturday Perspectives Edition

"As we look toward the future, our region in a post-COVID world—if that even comes to be—may look different from in years past."

- Mark Pritchett, Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Higher Education]  Freshmen Arrive at New SCF Collegiate School

This fall State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, welcomed its first high school freshman class to our new Collegiate School on our Venice Campus. These 75 freshmen will have the opportunity to complete their high school education on our South Sarasota County campus and simultaneously earn an Associate in Arts degree when they graduate in four years.

We opened the SCF Collegiate School Venice three years ago, replicating our successful model from SCFCS Bradenton, an annually A-rated and nationally recognized school. The significant difference between the two schools is that while SCFCS Bradenton enrolls students beginning in sixth grade, SCFCS Venice starts in ninth grade.

Last spring, 48 SCFCS Venice students – who enrolled as 11th graders in fall 2019 – became our first graduates. More than half of our graduates remained on the dean’s and/or president’s list every semester. Venice’s first seniors earned more than $1.5 million in scholarships to institutions around the state and beyond.

As we build to having all four high school grades in Venice, our goal is to have 100 students per class. SCFCS Venice will begin accepting applications for the 2022-2023 school year in January 2022. We will accept applications for rising 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students. Interested families can complete an intent to enroll form at scfcs.scf.edu/venice. For additional information please visit our website or call 941-408-1451.

The dual enrollment program at our collegiate schools is just one aspect of SCF’s Early College Program. High school students can test their abilities and pursue their interests while earning college credits at no cost by taking college classes on one of our campuses with a college professor. We are committed to ensuring that the quality of courses we offer our early college students meets our high standards and provides a successful path to a college degree.

  • Dual Enrollment enables qualified public, private and home education students to enroll in college credit courses offered by SCF.  The credits count toward both a college degree and a high school diploma. 
  • Early Admission enables qualified 12th grade high school students to spend their senior year enrolled at SCF.  Students accepted for Early Admission take all their classes at SCF and must register for at least four classes totaling 12-15 credit hours. Credits count toward a high school diploma and an AA degree. 
  • Accelerated Dual Enrollment allows qualified high school juniors to gain college credit and high school credit by attending SCF full time. The students will continue full-time at SCF as seniors to earn their high school diploma and potentially an AA degree from SCF.

Information about SCF’s early college programs is available at www.scf.edu/StudentServices/Registrar/EarlyCollege/default.asp.

As we proudly welcome our first freshmen to SCFCS Venice, we are also excited to see the hundreds of local high school students dual enrolled in courses on campus, online and through Go Live with SCF Online. At SCF, we know that we are the right place for high school students to get a head start on their college education, but I think SCFCS Venice freshman JonHenry says it best:

“The reasons my family chose SCFCS Venice is because of the academic environment and the ability to attend college at an early age. The thing I am looking forward to most is taking the dual enrollment classes. I am very excited to get a head start on my AA degree.”

Dr. Carol Probstfeld is President of State College of Florida, Manatee Sarasota. 

[Gulf Coast]  Scanning the Horizon: The Gulf Coast Beyond COVID
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

Every couple of years, Gulf Coast Community Foundation conducts what we call a “regional scan.”

The project involves researching and analyzing community data to see long-term and emerging trends, and then enhancing that picture with perspectives from focus groups of community leaders. The result is a roadmap of priorities to help us prepare for challenges ahead and move our region forward together.

Last time around, in 2019, we explored future risks and potential disruptors and identified priorities to make our region more resilient. Little did we—did anyone—know how quickly disruption would come, and how fully our resilience would be tested!

The pandemic has jeopardized the livelihoods of thousands of workers, disproportionately impacted communities of color and low-income families, afflicted the mental health of children and adults, disrupted our nonprofit organizations and civic institutions, and accelerated social and technological changes in how we live, work, learn, and communicate.

Our brand-new, 2021 scan was conducted as our region worked to recover from over a year of turmoil, uncertainty, and change. This year, we further refined our process and product with an additional, community-facing survey, expanding the number and range of voices helping us define regional priorities and opportunities.

Gulf Coast has identified five priorities that are critical for our region in the year ahead:

  • Increased access to mental health care, especially in our underserved and under-resourced populations.
  • Supporting, protecting, and retaining our youth.
  • Addressing the affordable housing crisis.
  • Providing access to stable jobs with livable wages.
  • Mitigating threats to our natural environment, especially our region’s waterways.

These will be our focus as a foundation.

Our scan also illuminated cross-cutting and foundational challenges that continue to impact our region and require collaboration to address. They range from achievement gaps and digital divides in education to systemic racial and social inequities to the need for better senior care. Opportunities also exist to strengthen nonprofit networks, engage future leaders, and reform criminal justice.

You can view our summary report at GulfCoastCF.org/scan-2021. It’s a quick read with a bold design that highlights priorities thematically and aims to catalyze action on opportunities.

As we look toward the future, our region in a post-COVID world—if that even comes to be—may look different from in years past. The pandemic’s impacts on our communities, our families, and our children are far-reaching, and ripple effects will be felt for a long time.

Gulf Coast Community Foundation is committed to working with our donors and our partners in the public, civic, and private sectors to enact meaningful change and provide opportunities for all residents. Our priorities are your priorities. Join us in transforming our region.

Mark Pritchett is President and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. 

[Argus]  Take the Survey on the American Rescue Plan
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

The American Rescue Plan Act was passed and signed by the president this past spring.  Under this law, the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund was established to provide every county, including Sarasota County, and metropolitan city, funding through the federal government. Residents, businesses, non-profits, and civic organizations should participate in deciding how to spend these funds and pay attention as to where they are going.

Unlike CARES Act funding, this funding is intended to be used over a longer timeline.  It has four broad uses, 1) Public Health and Economic Impacts, 2) Investments in Infrastructure limited to water, sewer and broadband, 3) Revenue Loss by government, 4) Premium Pay to eligible workers performing essential work.

Sarasota County is expected to receive almost $85,000,000.  According to the Florida League of Cities, three of our cities will receive money as well.  North Port will receive almost $8.5 million, Sarasota will receive over $10 million, and Venice will receive almost $2.5 million.  Half of the funding was received by the local governments in June of this year, the other half will be received next year.

Some municipalities and counties have already made decisions on how this money should be spent.  Others are still in their planning stages.

Sarasota County has recently released a survey on their web page dedicated to the American Rescue Plan Act.  In that survey, the county asks your Top 3 areas of interest among Affordable Housing, Air Quality, Broadband Investment, Climate resiliency, Educational Disparities, Energy Efficiency, Homelessness prevention and support, Mental Health, Public Safety, Water Quality, Workforce Development, and Vaccination and COVID-19 Mitigation. It also asks if there are any other areas of interest.

It is encouraging that the county is asking for resident and business opinions.  A robust outreach program directly to business organizations, non-profits, and civic organizations, particularly in areas hit the hardest by COVID-19 should be a priority for all governments.  Everyone is still trying to recover and are still feeling the effects of the most recent spike.  Government understanding the needs of the community and how to effectively allocate these dollars is important.

We are encouraged by the actions of the county and encourage them to continue with outreach.  To the civic organizations, non-profits, and businesses, please participate and let the county know what you are seeing and feeling in terms of relief needed.  

For more information and to participate in the county survey on American Rescue Plan Act funds go to, https://www.scgov.net/government/financial-management/coronavirus-local-fiscal-recovery-funds/sarasota-county-american-rescue-plan-act-coronavirus-local-fiscal-recovery-funds-community-survey.

Christine Robinson is Executive Director of The Argus Foundation. 

[SOON]  HEALTH: Florida Inline Skating Marathon , October 17

The World Inline Cup will cross the ocean to the USA later this year. After negotiations with the organizers were finalised, an agreement was reached on a race under the Florida sun on October 17. Since the race, like the marathon in Dijon, France, will take place after the official final in Berlin, the marathon in Sarasota will receive the status of an Associated Race. This means that the race will be an official part of the World Inline Cup, but the points will not be included in the overall ranking. The prize purse is now at $15,000 and growing. Top Class Marathon in 2022 in Florida in planning. The Associated Race is intended to be a first step towards an official World Inline Cup Top Class Race in Florida in 2022 and beyond. Further details about the WIC season 2021 in these COVID impacted challenging times will be communicated shortly. For further information, please visit www.world-inline-cup.com and/or contact Volker Schlichting.

[SOON]  FOOD: 21st Annual Morton's Firehouse Chili Cook-Off , October 17, 2pm-5pm

The Sarasota Firemen’s Benevolent Fund will host the 21st Annual Morton’s Firehouse Chili Cook-Off on Sunday October 17, 2021 from 2pm to 5pm. The event will be held on Osprey Avenue between Hyde park street and Hillview Ave. All of the money raised is donated to the Sarasota Fireman’s benevolent fund, which is a 501-3c non-profit organization. A panel of Celebrity Judges will be on hand to determine the winner. The SFBF assists Sarasota County Fire fighters and their families during times of crisis. They also extend a helping hand to other Fire fighters around Florida and to members of our local community. The SFBF provides additional training opportunities to our local Fire fighters with the help of other Fire Department organizations. The SFBF is comprised of local fire fighters and paramedics. They are managed and operated completely by volunteers. They fund their services by accepting donations as well as holding events and fund raisers. Outside of minimal operating expenses, all proceeds and donations go to charity.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Ringling College Galleries + Exhibitions: POW! The Comic Art of Mike Zeck from the Costas Collection , October 18 – March 25, 9am-3pm

After attending Ringling College in the late 60s, Zeck made a name for himself illustrating the horror stories of Charlton Comics before turning his talents in both illustration and storytelling into one of the most successful careers of The Bronze Age of comic books. His talents served him well for both Marvel and DC. Zeck is credited with creating the alternative black costume for Spider-Man that would eventually become the character Venom, and his work on Kraven’s Last Hunt is considered one of the best stories in the Spider-Man canon. In the DC universe, he helped modernize Batman into the flawed and dark knight he would become in the modern era. With “POW!,” Ringling College Galleries has compiled the best of The Costas Collection, featuring over 60 original illustrations of Zeck’s most iconic storylines and covers. This exhibition will be on view from October 18, 2021 – March 25, 2022. In-person viewings are free and open to the public Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm at The Lois and David Stulberg Gallery is located inside the Richard and Barbara Basch Visual Arts Center on campus at Ringling College of Art and Design at 1188 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Virtual: Key Chorale: Shout Glory! A Gospel Revival , October 18 – December 1, Varies.

The first of three Key Chorale Digital “At Home” Concert Series, Season 37 will take place from October 18 at 8am to December 1 at 5pm. Key Chorale is back to celebrate togetherness through the powerful legacy of African American spirituals and Gospel music in a feel-good concert experience sure to set your toes tapping, your hands clapping, and your spirit soaring. Joined by the energetic pulse of The Stephen Lynerd Group and the soulful sounds of the Hammond B-3 organ, this opening concert is full of upbeat, joyful music sure to raise the roof.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: CWC-FPRA: Demystifying the Leaf: Selling the Vision of Medical Cannabis in Florida , October 19, 12pm

During this month’s professional development program, the Central West Coast Chapter of theFlorida Public Relations Association (CWC-FPRA) will present “Demystifying the Leaf: Selling the Vision of Medical Cannabis in Florida” on October 19, 2021, at noon via Zoom. The event will feature Todd Beckwith, the director of corporate affairs at AltMed Enterprises. Not long ago, the founders of MÜV Medical Cannabis Dispensary had to convince state leaders that they even were a legitimate business. Fast forward to 2021 and MÜV has been named the Large Business of the Year by the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. During his presentation, Beckwith will explain how strategic communications and earned media successfully shifted mindsets of the business community, as well as the general public, within a few short years. Tickets for the program are $10/FPRA members and $15/guests. To register, visit cwcfpra.com/events. This event is sponsored by MüV and Next-Mark.

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: When the Beat Drops , October 21, 1pm

Drop into the electric and subversive underground dance scene known as bucking. As voguing exploded out of the ballroom scene of NYC, bucking was boldly pioneered in the clubs of the Deep South as a new form of self-expression. When the Beat Drops presents a fresh glimpse into the magnetic artistry and flair behind this emerging dance culture. In his feature debut, famed choreographer and filmmaker Jamal Sims, who has worked with the likes of Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, and RuPaul's Drag Race, illuminates the warm-hearted and fierce queer black performers who make up one of the leading bucking groups in the city of Atlanta. As they train for their biggest competition yet, they face the risk of losing their jobs and family to compete at the top levels of this dance scene. Jamal Sims calls dance a super power, and with this film he crafts a vision of the power of dance to bring movement to new heights and elevate the queer community. This On Screen will show on October 21 at 1pm at Historic Asolo Theater.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Steven Wright: Live in Concert , October 21, 8pm

Academy Award winning, Emmy and Grammy-nominated comedian Steven Wright continually sells out theaters internationally with his skewed comedic view of the world. Since his Tonight Show debut, which caused such a stir that Johnny invited him back to perform again within a week, the deadpan surrealist master has pushed the comedic boundaries in film, television and the live stage. With an Oscar-winning short film, a 2014 Emmy nomination, two Grammy-nominated CD’s, three critically acclaimed hour specials and countless appearances on TV and in film, Wright is a prototype comedian that others continually try to follow.


[SOON]  GALLERY: Madeby Gallery: 12th Annual Student Show , October 5 – October 28, Gallery hours.

You are invited to see this outstanding show and the opportunity of purchasing original art, digital art prints, and fine crafts by the Ringling College of Art and Design Students. All artwork will be on display online only on this page. To purchase please call 941-822-0442 and make arrangements for curbside pickup or shipping. The twelfth Annual Ringling College of Art and Design Student Show will run October 5-28, 2021. 

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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