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SRQ DAILY Nov 29, 2021

Monday Business Edition

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Monday Business Edition

"We have what I call Ferrari computers because they run at that kind of speed and they cost about that much."

- Dr. Larry Thompson, Ringling College of Art & Design

[Education]  Ringling Finds Way to Teach Art in Pandemic Era
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

When the pandemic largely shut down Ringling College of Art & Design in 2020, it created a number of technical challenges for the most technologically advanced art school in the country.

“One of our students’ biggest fears about being remote was how to get our projects done,” said Dr. Larry Thompson, president of Ringling College. “We have what I call Ferrari computers because they run at that kind of speed and they cost about that much.”

For majors in motion design, computer animation and other high-tech fields, these allow processing speeds not available on a laptop or home computer. Students couldn’t simply take that work home. So Ringling looked to NASA for solutions. In-house tech support mimicked communications techniques similar to that used to communicate with rovers on Mars. Basically, all the data processing could be handled by machines on campus while students had pixel displays showing what artwork was being produced. If engineers in Cape Canaveral can operate machinery on another planet, why not use the same long-distance telecommunications to help students in another state (or continent) access work in Sarasota?

Today, the college has seen all of its students return to campus for in-person learning and a much shorter connection to the library servers. But as the year started, the college held trepidation about how many students, particularly international ones, could return. In the end, virtually all did.

“We ended up with the highest enrolment this fall that we’ve ever had,” Thompson said, “which really shocked us because most colleges have suffered large decreases in enrollment.”

Jason Good, Ringling College vice president of Enrollment Management and Marketing, said the college prepared for some trouble in terms of access to travel, particularly with the 21% of students at the school who come from other countries. But in the end, only one or two students faced any significant trouble returning to the United States.

No students are full-time remote anymore, but some classes are. About 70% of classes at Ringling College this term are being offered in-person and the other 30% are virtual. That’s in part to allow better social distancing for arts classes into space once used for general education courses now being taught virtually.

‘We felt the experience would be so much better if (students) were here in person,” Thompson said. “To teach art and design online, particularly in the fine arts, was difficult if next to impossible.” That’s in part because when it comes to inspiring creativity, students gain as much working with each other as from the technical direction of instructors. 

Photo courtesy of the college

[Surgery]  Sarasota Memorial Receives Award for Excellence in Heart Surgery

Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Sarasota is one of the select hospitals across the nation to receive the Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Award. Created in partnership by the American Heart Association and the Mitral Foundation, the Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Award recognizes surgical excellence in the field of mitral valve repair, while also acting as a beacon for patients and residents searching for the best and most experienced hospitals and surgeons in their communities.

Despite numerous studies showing that mitral valve repair is often preferable to mitral valve replacement to treat degenerative mitral valve diseasemany patients continue to undergo replacement surgery, which can lead to higher rates of complications and death, according to the Mitral Foundation. To combat this trend, the Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Award highlights those hospitals and medical centers that have, through measured objective outcomes, demonstrated excellence in mitral valve repair, so that those in need of this specific form of heart surgery can know where to go and other physicians know where to refer their patients.

“It’s important not only that more patients and their families know that mitral valve repair is an option, but also that they have the resources to find the hospital and the surgical team best prepared to give them the outcome they need,” says Jonathan Hoffberger, DO, the hospital's Director of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery. “At Sarasota Memorial, we do a lot of valve repair and replacement, and the outcomes of our program can compete with—and in many cases exceed—centers with far greater outreach and national reputation.”

To earn this designation, a hospital must “have a demonstrated record of superior clinical outcomes” based on objective performance measures, according to the American Heart Association and the Mitral Foundation. In terms of facilities and staffing, recognized Mitral Valve Repair Reference Centers must employ both experienced cardiothoracic surgeons and structural heart cardiologists, as well as all required support staffing. 

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System has six cardiac surgeons and cardiologists across who specialize in treating structural heart conditions and who performed more than 1,000 procedures last year, as well as a structural heart/valve clinic to help diagnose and manage patients with valve disease and structural heart disorders. 

[Luxury Cars]  Renn Haus Exotic Car Show in Sarasota Dec 3rd

Local and specialized European auto repair and service shop, Renn Haus, will be hosting an open house event coming up on Friday, December 3rd 2021 from 11:30am-1:30pm at its location (2277 2nd street Sarasota, 34237). The owner, Chris Cogan, will be there with a number of friends, all of which will be bringing their rare and exotic cars to show off the growing, luxury automotive scene in Sarasota. Enjoy some good food and admire a fleet of rare, collectible vehicles. 

Photo courtesy of Renn Haus

Learn more at rennhaus.com, @rennhaus

[YMCA of Southwest Florida]  SKY Academy at YMCA of Southwest Florida

YMCA of Southwest Florida operates two A-rated, tuition free, public charter middle schools- SKY Academy, which stands for Strength and Knowledge at the YMCA. SKY Academy supports middle school students and their families by providing strong academics, healthy living and a supporting environment allowing children to thrive.  SKY Academy has the same standards as other public schools; it’s our approach that makes us unique. Subjects are studied through the lens of wellness.

SKY Academy’s focus is based on research that proves physical activity builds and conditions the brain for learning. In fact, schools around the nation using this philosophy have shown outstanding results in students’ academic achievement, fitness and well-being. 

With schools in Venice and Englewood, YMCA of Southwest Florida is able to advance its mission to ensure every child has access to an education that promotes students’ overall well-being.  At SKY Academy, there is not only a focus on academics and physical activity, but also mental health and positive character development.  Students are provided opportunities to develop a further understanding of self and others.  This approach allows students to strengthen and develop their mental, physical, social and emotional health while achieving academic excellence.  

For more information about SKY Academy, please visit skyatthey.com. 

Click here to learn more!

[Grant]  Community Foundation of Sarasota County Awards the Multicultural Health Institute $30,000 to Safekeeper Care Navigation Program

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County granted $30,000 through its Equity and Access Grant program to support the MHI Safekeeper Care Coordination Program. With this funding provided by the James Franklin Warnell & Dorothy J. Warnell Fund, this Program is the synchronization of the delivery of a person’s social economic needs and health goals. The focus will be on improving quality care, addressing social determinants of health, increasing client’s satisfaction by leveraging and connecting the relationships of community agencies, providers, health systems, and health plans to work together to decrease fragmented care. We can accomplish this through the following methods:

This pilot program leverages the MHI Safekeepers by training this field intervention team to become Community and Health Navigators. The training will include Health & Wellness modules, resilience/trauma training along with motivational interviewing that will allow them to become a Certified health worker. Healthcare organizations and insurance entities are now emphasizing the need to reach individuals outside of office through care coordination services. MHI’s Care Navigation and Coordination Model will fill the gap by supplementing with 1-on-1 interactions from trained Community and Health Navigators. These additional check-ins help individuals by better managing their conditions, monitoring medication usage & encouraging healthy lifestyle behaviors.  

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Motorworks Yappy Hour to Benefit Friends of Manatee County Animal Services , February 21 – December 19, 1pm-4pm

Friends of Manatee County Animal Services (FoMCAS) invites everyone to join them at the February Yappy Hour at Motorworks Brewery. FoMCAS will be the featured nonprofit and will have over $4000 in raffles and silent auction items plus a 50/50 drawing to help fundraise for the Manatee County Animal Services shelter animals. The family friendly and pet friendly event will be held on Sunday, February 21st in the Motorworks Beer Garden from 1pm to 4pm. The event will feature vendors selling an array of pet and non-pet related products with drink specials and food from local food trucks all in the 12,000 sq ft. artificially turfed beer garden. Raffles and silent auction items include resort stays on Anna Maria Island, spa packages, restaurant gift cards, sailing excursions, fabulous gift baskets, pet items, tickets to sporting events and a golf package, handmade arts by local artisans, jewelry, baskets of spirits, gourmet gift packages, and much, much more. Pet owners are encouraged to bring their leashed pets to enjoy the day and help contribute to the Friends of Manatee County Animal Services whose mission it is to work hand in hand with Manatee County Animal Services to enrich the lives of the shelter animals by raising funds to provide additional resources, medical care and heartworm treatment. Animal Network is the event partner with Motorworks Brewery for the monthly Yappy Hour held on the third Sunday of each month. It features different local nonprofit animal organizations that support, rescue, and find loving homes for dogs and cats in our community. Each month, the guest organization receives the funds raised through the silent auction, raffles and 50/50 split drawing. Over the last three years the event has raised over $100,000 shared among the various guest organizations. Animal Network, Dawg Phonics and Motorworks are sponsors of the Yappy Hour.

[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]  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. 

[SOON]  GALLERY: Ringling College Galleries + Exhibitions: War Paint: Profiles of Courage , November 1 – December 10, 10am-3pm

WAR PAINT: Profiles of Courage was created as a tribute to the bravery of veterans who have served and those currently serving our country. Ringling College of Art and Design students, faculty, and local artists will create portrait profiles of veterans in variety of mediums. The images tell stories from WW ll, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and current enlisted troops that will enrich the Ringling College community for years to come. This exhibition will be held from November 1 to December 10, 2021 at Ringling College’s newest gallery, Project Space 340, located in the Arcos Building at 340 Central Ave., in the heart of Sarasota’s historic Rosemary District. The exhibition, War Paint: Profiles of Courage, was organized by the Galleries of Ringling College and Matthew Troyer, president of the Ringling College Veteran’s Club. Matthew is a combat veteran, former combat photographer, and is currently majoring in Photography and Imaging. Admission is free and open to the public, Monday - Friday 10am-3pm.

[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]  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]  FESTIVAL: Temple Sinai: Hands on Hanukkah , November 28 – December 5, 4pm-7:15pm

HANDS ON HANUKKAH is a Community Event taking place at the UTC Mall during the 8 days of Hanukkah. The family-friendly events feature arts & crafts, raffles & giveaways, food & photos, storytelling, live musical performances and end with lighting the hanukkiah. All events start at 4pm and end at 7:15pm. HANDS ON HANUKKAH runs Sunday, Nov. 28th - Sunday, Dec. 5th and is produced by Temple Sinai Sarasota.  

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: St. Armands Circle: Holiday Soiree 2021 , November 27 – December 19, Varies.

St. Armands Circle has announced the event dates for its upcoming 2021 Holiday Soirée. Experience life on the circle and visit an assortment of some of the best merchants in the region. Holiday Soirée, a joint effort by the St. Armands Circle Association and St. Armands Business Improvement District, invites locals and tourists alike to immerse themselves and enjoy weekly events happening throughout the month of December. The Holiday Soirée will start Saturday, November 27. Is there a better place to spend the holiday season than on the Circle? Let it snow somewhere else. Come join an incredible series of holiday events presented by the St. Armands Circle Association. There will be six different events throughout the next month, the first starting on Saturday, November 27 as the circle kicks off the holiday season with the Let’s Go Shop Small event. Visitors can support local businesses on the Circle and get a head start on all their holiday shopping. The following week on Friday, December 3, features the Holiday Night of Lights. Beginning at 5:30pm, come enjoy the ceremonial tree lighting, sing along with carolers and witness Santa arrive on the Circle. Kids will have the opportunity to meet and take pictures with Santa from 6:30pm – 8pm. The final two weeks of the Holiday Soirée features two weekly events. Starting on Thursday, December 9 from 6pm to 9pm, enjoy the sweet sounds of the season by coming to Songs on the Circle. Stroll, shop and dine while you listen to this live music event. Then on Saturday, December 11, come see Porsches in the Park. Experience a day filled with beautiful automobiles and perfect weather. St. Armands Circle Association finishes its Holiday Soirée with its final two events on the week before Christmas. Ladies Night, which will be held on Thursday, December 16 from 6pm to 8:30pm, includes promotions from participating merchants for ladies. Shop and dine out on the Circle with a festive atmosphere that is sure to get you into the holiday spirit. The final event will conclude on Sunday, December 19. From 11am to 1pm, the Circle encourages you to enjoy a special holiday-themed mid-day soirée at its St. Armands Family Day.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra: Great Escapes: Holiday Lights , December 1 – December 5, 5:30pm, 7:30pm, 8pm and 4pm

Take time to savor the holidays as Broadway conductor William Waldrop serves a program of seasonal favorites, including Winter Wonderland, Festive Sounds of Hanukkah, and Christmas at the Movies on Wednesday, December 1 at 5:30pm, Thursday, December 2 at 7:30pm, Friday, December 3 at 5:30pm, Saturday, December 4 at 8pm, and Sunday, December 5 at 4pm at Holley Hall.

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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