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SRQ DAILY Nov 20, 2021

"We are very lucky to have a City Commission that had the foresight to appoint a City Manager that understands his role."

- Christine Robinson, The Argus Foundation

[Argus]  Thank You, Mr. Brown
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

This is a column of gratitude to a City Manager who has shown amazing leadership in the City of Sarasota. It is a public thank you for all of the hard work, late hours and time away from his family while he restored trust with many segments of the community and city government. Thank you, Marlon Brown, for your leadership, forward-thinking and fiscal care.

I do not want this column weaponized by those for or against elected Mayor as a reflection on the city’s form of government. This column should be taken at face value, a column of thanks, in a month where we should be expressing gratitude, for the progress in this city since Mr. Brown has become City Manager.

The City of Sarasota has experienced a renaissance in government this past year despite COVID. We are very lucky to have a City Commission that had the foresight to appoint a City Manager that understands his role, exercises balanced judgment and listens to everyone before he makes decisions. You may not like his decision, but even then, you respect it, because you know you got a fair shake with him.

Whether it be neighborhood groups, business organizations, civic groups or individual citizens and businesses, most, if not all, are appreciative of the work of Marlon Brown and city staff under his leadership. He has led well this past year and he has not been afraid to tackle tough issues. He also understands his role as City Manager to implement commission policy and does not use his title to impose his own policy.

Marlon brings a great history but a fresh approach to Sarasota City Government that is inclusive, thoughtful and most of all, open to opinions. I have seen a remarkable difference not just in the business community, but with the general citizenry. To this day, it is not uncommon for a citizen to come to me as a former elected official with a problem and a request for guidance in government. When I refer a citizen to city government, I have found that the way things are handled in the city has changed this past year, and the city itself has become more responsive and responsible.

Fiscally, the city just saw its first tax cut in decades under Mr. Brown’s leadership. Instead of working to grow government and staff or get his favorite projects completed, Mr. Brown has thought about the working-class neighborhoods and the businesses who are continuing to struggle due to supply chain and COVID related issues.

It is always important to recognize good work when we see it, and the city commission was very wise in their appointment of Marlon Brown to City Manager. Mr. Brown, this is a very public thank you for all you have done for all of the citizens and businesses of the city. We don’t always agree, but we agree that you love the City of Sarasota and you have made a difference for everyone.

Christine Robinson is executive director of The Argus Foundation. 

Image courtesy Twitter.

[Higher Education]  Growing Our Leaders
Carol Probstfeld, presidentsoffice@scf.edu

The future vitality and strength of our community is dependent on the leaders we begin to develop today. At the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, our institution plays a unique role in the process of introducing students to leadership activities that build their skills and commitment to our community.

I recently had the pleasure of addressing the subject of leader development while participating in a panel discussion hosted by the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative on the Black Experience in the Arts in Higher Education at the Florida Studio Theater. Amidst a compelling discussion of the black experience in the arts at our institutions with Cross College Alliance leaders, academics, administrators and students, I was asked how we can ensure equitable leadership opportunities at the highest levels of our institutions. I believe the answer to that question is on our campuses today – we need to grow our own leaders.

We are growing the next generation of leaders at our institution. The future leaders of our businesses, college and community are enrolled with us today. We see students from all aspects of our community on campus every day gaining experience in the classroom and life. The students who begin their educational career at SCF are going to come back to us. We are creating that next generation of leaders by providing leadership opportunities in student government, clubs, athletics, theater and musical productions, or serving on committees that guide our institution. We want to inspire and grow those leaders, especially those from our female and under-represented student populations.

This is not a new role for SCF. Throughout our history – as Manatee Junior College, Manatee Community College and now SCF – our college has helped to inspire and develop leaders in our community. At the SCF Foundation’s scholarship luncheon earlier this month, I was able to look out from the podium and see our proud alumni – people who started with us, finished their education and returned to Manatee and Sarasota Counties to take on leadership roles across our community. They continue to support the college they started with to ensure that the leadership pipeline continues.

One pillar of SCF’s Boldly Leading 2021-26 Strategic Plan is our ability to be the community’s academic cornerstone as the only institution in our region with a full college experience. SCF offers athletics, fine and performing arts and a wide range of clubs and associations – all areas that provide students with the opportunity to develop leadership skills that can translate directly to their future. This fall, we have 35 active clubs between our Bradenton and Venice Campuses and student government associations representing our two largest campuses.

Students take on responsibility when they lead our clubs, teams and associations. They gain experience managing a group to collectively achieve goals that move their organization forward and enhance their college experience. These are valuable experiences that students build on throughout their higher education and benefit them as they enter the workforce.

SCF is our community’s college and we share in our collective success. We will continue to make every effort to inspire and grow the future leaders our community and college needs – they are already here with us. 

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

[Gulf Coast]  Celebration in Order for The Bay
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

Something wonderful is taking shape in our region that will beautify and unite Sarasota for generations to come.

The Bay—a sustainable public park and artistic hub of 53 acres of City-owned land along Sarasota Bay—is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring together Sarasota’s cultural heritage and natural assets for the enjoyment of all our citizens and visitors.

At the City of Sarasota Commission meeting on Nov. 15, city commissioners unanimously approved a revised partnership agreement between The Bay and the City that will streamline the approval process to save money and speed completion of the park. We couldn’t be more pleased with this vote.

Our support for The Bay continues as strong as ever. We are grateful that the City will continue to support forward movement of this project. We believe The Bay dreams are coming true. This project is a model for how philanthropy can help organize and power a community dream into a real-world result.

In a recent op-ed in the Herald-Tribune, five philanthropic leaders with five foundations (Teri A Hansen, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation; Roxie Jerde, Community Foundation of Sarasota County; myself, Gulf Coast Community Foundation; Debra Jacobs, The Patterson Foundation; and Carol Butera, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation), penned our full support for this partnership agreement. Our organizations hold many different missions; we steward the legacies of different benefactors, both living and deceased; and we may use different strategies to achieve our respective priorities. But as charitable foundations that call Sarasota home, we understand the values and purpose that go toward building a thriving community. So as our organizations work together collaboratively on many important and inspirational community initiatives, there is a unique and special way that we come together to support The Bay.

The revised partnership agreement will eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and duplication of permitting. The result? A more efficient process that could cut years off the processing time for The Bay and save upwards of tens of millions of dollars in costs. The savings comes in the form of being able to complete construction sooner and not having time, money or value lost. The money saved can now be used for additional environmental projects that will improve the water quality and wildlife habitat in Sarasota Bay. The sooner this happens, the sooner The Bay can be completed and a real vision for all to enjoy.

Join us in celebrating this milestone for The Bay, our region, and generations of citizens and visitors to come.

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

Photo courtesy GCCF.

[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]  THEATER: FSU/Asolo Conservatory: Everybody , November 2 – November 21, Varies.

A modern take on the fourteenth-century morality play Everyman, this new play follows the character of Everybody (chosen from amongst the cast by lottery at each performance!) as they journey through the meaning of life, and most importantly, of death. A finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize, the play is absurdly witty, very moving, and unlike anything you’ve seen in the theatre. Everybody will take place November 3-21, 2021 with Previews on November 2, 2021. 

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: The Ringling: Bayfront Garden Tours , November 1 – March 28, 10:30am

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is pleased to announce that they are once again offering guided tours of the Bayfront Gardens. The tours will start Nov. 1 and run through March 28, 2022. Garden Tours are available Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, beginning at 10:30am. This walking tour led by volunteer guides will introduce guests to interesting botanical specimens on the 66-acre campus while providing a historic overview of the development of the estate. The Ringling’s grounds have been accredited as a Level II Arboretum through ArbNet.  The property boasts over 2350 trees within the arboretum representing native, exotic, historical and culturally significant trees. The Bayfront Gardens tours last approximately 90 minutes and cover about 1 mile in distance. Guests are encouraged to bring bottled water, and wear appropriate closed-toe footwear, sunblock and hats. There will be a maximum of 10 participants per tour. Tours are subject to weather conditions. Tickets will be available 30 days before each tour. Price: $15 / $10 for Members. More information and tickets are available at: https://www.ringling.org/events/bayfront-garden-tour. 

[SOON]  HEALTH: Selby Gardens: Yoga in the Gardens November , November 1 – November 24, 10am-11am

Treat yourself to a peaceful mind and body Yoga experience at our beautiful Downtown Sarasota Garden campus. The focus is on alignment, breathing techniques, and relaxation. Designed for both beginners and advanced students. Recommended supplies include: water bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses, comfortable clothes, a towel or yoga mat. Open to students of all ages/experience levels. Yoga in the Gardens will take place on Mondays & Wednesdays from 10am to 11am. November Yoga Pass 1,3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24. Fee per drop-in class: $20. Monthly Fee: $160.00 (Members $120). Class Size: 30 Students. Instructor: Michelle Roy.

[SOON]  THEATER: Florida Studio Theatre: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story , November 3 – January 2, Varies.

Experience the true story of Buddy Holly’s meteoric rise to fame, from “That’ll Be the Day” hitting the airwaves in 1957 to “The Day The Music Died” two years later. With over a dozen of Holly’s greatest hits brought to life by performers playing their own instruments, Buddy celebrates the legend who changed the face of Rock & Roll forever. Featuring Holly’s “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” and “Oh Boy,” plus Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” and The Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace.” Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story by Alan Janes will play beginning November 3, 2021 through January 2, 2022 in FST's Gompertz Theatre. 

[SOON]  GALLERY: Docent-Guided Tour of Arts Advocates Gallery , November 3 – June 1, 11am-11:45am

For the first time since its founding in 1969, Arts Advocates has its own gallery to display works from its collection of Florida artists. Located in the Siesta Mall, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 119, in Sarasota, the opening exhibit features works by Sarasota Art Colony artists. Docent-guided tours of the exhibit are open to the public from 11am to 11:45pm on the first Wednesday of each month: November 3, December 1, January 5, February 2, March 2, April 6, May 4, and June 1. Tours are $10 per person, or $5 per person for Arts Advocates members, and can be booked below. Attendance is limited to 10. Group and special tours can be arranged by contacting Stephenie Frasher, docent team leader, at docent@artsadvocates.org.  

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Sarasota Audubon Society Guided Walks: Oscar Scherer State Park , November 4 – April 7, 8:30am

Sarasota Audubon Society (SAS) Oscar Scherer State Park Walks will take place every Thursday, from November 4 through April 7. Meet 8:30am inside park at Lake Osprey Nature Center (fee). 1st, 2nd and 5th Thursdays led by Venice Audubon; 3rd & 4th Thursdays led by Peter Brown (508-241-5541).

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast: Annual Giving Tree Toy Drive , November 8 – December 3

Fifth Third Bank is partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast for its annual Giving Tree Toy Drive campaign. The Giving Tree Toy Drive program will begin on November 8, 2021 and end on December 3, 2021. Each Fifth Third financial center will host a “Giving Tree” decorated with gift tags with specific information that pertains to the need of a child in the community. We encourage you to visit any local Fifth Third Bank financial center in South Florida during the month of November to pick up your gift tag. Your donation of a gift or gift card will help make a difference and ensure a brighter holiday season for the underserved youth in our community. All donations can be dropped off at any local Fifth Third Bank in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Broward and Palm Beach. To find the nearest location, visit 53.com.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Madeby Gallery: 8th Annual Alumni and Veterans Show , November 11 – December 13, Gallery hours.

The Eighth Annual Alumni and Veterans Show will run from November 11 to December 13, 2021 with a Zoom Reception on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 from 5pm to 6:30pm. You are invited to view exciting new work by Ringling College Alumni and Veterans. This multi-media exhibition includes artwork from this extraordinary group. The show features a wide variety of media, styles, and approaches from emerging and established alumni and veterans practicing a diverse range of art using mediums including painting, digital design, drawings, prints, and mixed media. All artwork will be on display online only on this page from November 11 through December 13. To purchase please call 941-822-0442 and make arrangements for curbside pickup or shipping.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Art Museum: Fresh Perspective Lunch Series , November 16 – February 8, 11:30am

A new series focusing on topics like history and architecture, and how they relate to the museum. A catered, two-course lunch will follow. Fresh Perspective Lunch #1 on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at 11:30am in Thomas McGuire Hall at Sarasota Art Museum, Featured Speaker to be announced soon. Fresh Perspective Lunch #2 on Tuesday, February 8, 2021 at 11:30am in Thomas McGuire Hall at Sarasota Art Museum, Featured Speaker to be announced soon. Individual Tickets: $125/person, Member Price: $75/person, Contact Laura Stuart Wood at lwood1@ringling.educreate new email or 941-309-4321.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Art Uptown Gallery: Cortez, The Fishing Village by Frank Bibbins , October 30 – November 26, Gallery hours.

This November, Art Uptown Gallery will feature the work of local photographer Frank Bibbins in an exhibit entitled ”Cortez, The Fishing Village” with art that captures the beauty, energy and determination of the historic village and its people. The exhibit runs from Sat., Oct. 30 through Fri., Nov. 26. The public is also invited to a public reception on November 12 from 6pm-9pm. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes you to the 1367 Main Street gallery, where the diverse art works of 29 local artists are shown Monday-Friday 11am-5pm (except First Friday when open until 9pm), Saturday 10am-3pm and Sunday 12pm-5pm. Telephone: 941-955-5409 for further information. www.artuptown.com.

[SOON]  GALLERY: The Ringling: Hard Bodies: Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture , October 31 – January 23, Museum hours.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is pleased to welcome Hard Bodies: Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture. The exhibition will run Oct. 31, 2021 – Jan. 23, 2022, in the museum’s Searing Wing. Since Neolithic times, craftspeople across East Asia have used the sap of the lacquer tree (Toxicodendron vernicifluum) to coat and bond together wood, bamboo, textiles, and ceramics to make articles for daily and ritual use. The natural polymer refined from the sap forms a durable, waterproof surface that protects and beautifies. Lacquerware was — and continues to be — prized for its luster, which artists learned to accentuate over the centuries with inlaid gold, silver, mother-of-pearl and other precious materials. However, lacquer is not an easy material to work with. Years of technical training are necessary to master the medium. Nonetheless, lacquer continues to attract young artists who are undeterred by these rigors and continue to expand its’ possibilities. Hard Bodies: Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture will present over 30 works by 16 artists. Hard Bodies is the first — and to date, only — survey exhibition of contemporary Japanese lacquer sculpture in the United States. 

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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