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SRQ DAILY Mar 19, 2022

Saturday Perspectives Edition

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Saturday Perspectives Edition

"I am inspired by those making sacrifices for a virtuous cause. "

- Mark Pritchett, Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Argus]  Remain Committed to Water Quality When Advocating
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

Water Quality should remain in focus for everyone in Sarasota County, and it is a focus for most governments. While workforce housing and affordable housing is crucial, our economic survival and quality of life depends on clean water.

The good news is there are firm solutions and plans in place for water quality. There are specific projects happening now, and as funding becomes available, there are specific shovel-ready projects that are ready to move forward, with more in the pipeline. These projects will lead to significant progress in water quality.

The Argus Foundation was a proud part of the Steering Committee of Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Water Quality Playbook through our Water Quality Subcommittee Co-Chair and sustainable farmer Alan Jones. This playbook offers specific activities and specific solutions, which are being implemented today. 

Conversely, there is a universal cry for affordable housing in the community, a problem that Argus has been warning about becoming a crisis since 2016, but few shovel-ready specific projects to choose from. 

Government continues to listen and allocate funding, but the lack of actual projects to apply the funding to is a problem that government cannot solve on its own. We can complain all we want, but if we don’t offer specific long-term plans and solutions from the private and non-profit sector, we are shouting into the wind. Just asking for more funding is not a solution or plan.

The good news is when offered specific solutions to help affordable housing, the County Commission and County Administration have acted and implemented those solutions when they receive them. Examples include implementing half dwelling units, reducing parking requirements, reducing rates for mobility fees for smaller units, taking surplus lands and offering them to the private sector specifically to create affordable housing. Most of the solutions offered in a 2017 situational report from a county government affordable housing advisory committee have been implemented either through the government or through the free market.

But while the struggle for affordable housing is a very real current crisis, and very much affects every business, the community advocating taking money from water quality is not the answer. It is short sited to take our eyes off of water quality because we currently don’t have a red tide crisis sitting on our shores. Water Quality projects that are in the pipeline and partially funded should be completed as opposed to putting money into a pot to sit while we figure out what else we can do to encourage affordable housing in the free market. 

The Argus Foundation remains committed to water quality and we are doing our part to offer cost-effective solutions. In the meantime, we will also work to bring specific solutions addressing the affordable housing crisis, but we do not believe advocating holding money from water quality projects while we figure out what to do about affordable housing is the answer. Our community should remain committed to water quality and finding solutions to affordable housing, but not at the expense of funding water quality.

Christine Robinson is executive director of The Argus Foundation. 

[Higher Education]  Successfully Embracing Change at SCF
Carol Probstfeld, presidentsoffice@scf.edu

Change is a constant in our lives – with job and career changes impacting many of us. As our community’s college, the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, is here to help you manage change and has the programs to match your new direction. 

I recently spoke with Stephen Brelsford, a 2021 information technology graduate and finalist for SCF’s outstanding graduate award. His journey with SCF began long before he was a student, tagging along with his mother to classes as she pursued her nursing degree at the college. 

After graduating from high school locally in 2001 he started classes at Manatee Community College but chose to pursue a full-time job instead: “At the time, I felt like going to college was just what people did after graduating from high school. I hadn’t put much thought into what kind of work I really wanted to do, and I was just going through the motions.”

In recent years, health issues made Stephen realize he had to re-skill and find a career that better suited his new physical limitations: “I did have some credits from my previous time at SCF, and those aligned perfectly with the information technology degree I eventually earned. (IT) is a combination of knowing how things work, and making things work. I’ve had a love for technology since my parents got me an original NES for my fifth birthday. You realize things don’t always work how they should, and solving that puzzle is a lot of fun for me.”

Stephen credits professors Jason Reed and Bill Culver with motivating him in his IT classes and SCF’s Disability Resource Center for helping him manage his health issues and stay on track toward his degree: “I was taking a class with each of them when I got the call for my transplant, and they were both extremely understanding and accommodating. Also, Pat Lakey at the DRC was so helpful each semester in making sure I had everything I needed to be successful in my courses. School is not easy when you are trying to manage a major health issue!”

Stephen’s story has come full circle. He started his experience coming to campus with his mother for her pre-nursing courses, and now he works for SCF as a simulation center technician at the college’s nursing simulation center on the Lakewood Ranch Campus: “It’s really an honor to be able to contribute to the education of our future healthcare workers. Every time I look at them, I see my current and former care team, and I’m reminded of how grateful I am to have them in my corner. I want everyone to be able to feel that sort of comfort when it comes to their health.”

If you are interested in following Stephen’s example, the 26 West Center at SCF is preparing individuals for careers in IT and coding. Financial assistance is available through the Open Door Grant awarded by the state. For more information on these and many more technology focused programs and to see how the Open Door Grant can help you go to http://coding.scf.edu.

His advice sums up his story best: “No matter if you graduated from high school last summer or 20 years ago, put yourself in control of your future, find something you are interested in, and go for it. You will thank yourself later.”

When you make that decision, SCF is here for you.

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

[Gulf Coast]  Crisis In Ukraine: How You Can Help
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

The devastating war on Ukraine, a European democracy of roughly 44 million people, has taken the world by storm as we watch the unfolding of evil, destruction and displacement occur before our very eyes. We are all saddened by this brutal attack on innocent civilians. Many of us are compelled to help, but don’t know where to start. 

At Gulf Coast Community Foundation, we care deeply for Ukrainian families who have been displaced, injured and lost loved ones. We are also closely monitoring the impact upon our local working families who were already stressed before the war began. The threat of a more widespread fighting in Europe or a potential worldwide economic collapse weigh heavily on our minds. 

Despite these unsettling conditions, the Russian attack on Ukraine has caused us to unite together around helping our fellow humans. I am inspired by those making sacrifices for a virtuous cause. In the midst of true evil, love will prevail. We will share that love with compassion and rise above the obstacles of war and destruction. The time is now to step up and help.  

I encourage you to visit our website, www.gulfcoastcf.org/, which provides a list of organizations who represent some of the most capable service organizations that can provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine no matter where they have sought refuge. Our website will be continually updated so that your impact will reach those who need help the most.

Tonight at the DreamLarge Yard in the Rosemary District of downtown Sarasota (600 Central Avenue), you can join us for RADD for Ukraine – a public fundraiser and supply drive to support the people of Ukraine. The event starts at 6pm and will feature the opportunity to donate supplies or funds, plus live music, food trucks, and vendors. One hundred percent of every dollar contributed will benefit the people of Ukraine. 

Together, let’s pray for peace and take action to help those in need.

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

[Arts]  How Do Dreams Become Real?
Cheryl Mendelson

As I reflect back over the unprecedented challenges of the last two years, I have been thinking a lot about a question: How do dreams become real?

More than 50 years ago, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall was just a dream — a dream made real through the connection between the city, the people, the Bay and the spirit of creativity. More than 30 years ago, the Van Wezel Foundation was established with its own dream to ensure that arts education and access thrive in our community.

When the city of Sarasota committed to a new master plan to develop 53 acres on the bayfront into a vibrant park, with a new performing arts center at the heart of it, a new dream took flight for our community — one focused on creating a new performing arts center that opens a world of possibilities for all and forms a place that our community can gather around for generations to come.

You, our community, also made one message clear: You believe in the potential of this dream to build a new mission-driven, state-of-the-art iconic performing arts center.

Since that time, the Van Wezel Foundation has taken important steps forward in bringing the vision for the Sarasota Performing Arts Center to life. Three years of steadfast collaboration between the Foundation and the city of Sarasota, in tandem with the Bay Park Conservancys Master Plan has brought us to this point. Working together, and with significant input from the public, we discovered that we all share the same vision of a contemporary performing arts center where community and culture meet.

We also recognize that to remain relevant and serve all, we must be responsive to the changing needs of our communities. Our larger responsibility will be to ensure that the new Sarasota Performing Arts Center fully reflects aspirations across generations broadening our reach through diverse programming and greater accessibility. All these dynamics — culture, the needs of our evolving city and region, responsiveness and relevance — have informed our vision.

Part of this responsibility will also be exploring how the performing arts can address critical issues of social inequity by sparking dialogue and prioritizing inclusivity. And, we want to leverage deeper partnerships, collaborations, and alliances to convey the shared human experiences of language, dance, music, drama and humor, where we can all find common ground. These aspirations are grounded in ideas, rather than in bricks and mortar or specific geographies.

A new performing arts center will be a catalyst for ideas without boundaries and an epicenter to grow the creative economy that has defined Sarasota’s prosperity. By the time the doors open, we hope that everyone will appreciate not just the cultural power of this transformative project, but also the social, economic, and reputational value this new venue will bring to Sarasota and Southwest Florida for generations to come.

We invite you to join us in this opportunity of a lifetime to make Sarasotas new performing arts center a reality. The time is now to make this dream real — together.

Cheryl Mendelson is CEO of the Van Wezel Foundation. 

[SOON]  FOOD: USF Sarasota-Manatee: HospitaBull , March 22, 6pm

Join the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus for their 10th annual HospitaBull on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 at 6pm at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. Enjoy a night of exquisite dining while supporting USF's Hospitality Management program. This sophisticated dining experience is organized and brought to you by USF Sarasota-Manatee campus students and faculty.

[SOON]  FOOD: Mattison's Forty-One: Round Pond Wine Dinner , March 24, 6:30pm

Join Round Pond Winery Estate Winemaker John Wilson and Chef Paul Mattison, owner of Mattison’s Restaurants and Catering for an immersive 5-course Wine Dinner. Chef Paul and his team of chefs have created a menu perfectly paired with the wines from the Round Pond portfolio. Price is $125 per person. The Round Pond Wine Dinner will take place at Mattison’s Forty-One private event space, the Galleria on March 24, 6:30pm. Reservations are required. Call 941-921-3400 to reserve a seat or table. Round Pond Estate, owned and operated today by the second generation of the MacDonnell Family, is a 468-acre Rutherford farm and winery that specializes in the creation of pure, expressive wines from the heart of Napa Valley. Sustainability, people, place, and purpose are at the forefront of their daily operations and creation of some of the finest wines in the world.  

[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]  GALLERY: Ringling College Galleries + Exhibitions: A Few of Our Favorite Things, Pt. 2 , January 10 – March 25, Gallery hours.

Ringling College Galleries + Exhibitions presents A Few of Our Favorite Things, Pt. 2, the 13th annual curated exhibition of works from the world-class art glass collection of Richard and Barbara Basch, from January 10 until March 25, 2022 at the Richard and Barbara Basch Gallery. This season’s not-to-be-missed exhibition features animal-themed works in “Animal Lovers’ Corner” and small-scale works in “Barbara’s Mini-Bar”. This exhibition features some of the most exceptional examples of art glass and brilliant one-of-a-kind commissions by the greatest masters of the medium from around the world: Lino Tagliapietra, Lucio Bubacco, Dale Chihuly, Laura Donefer, Baldwin and Guggisberg, Davide Salvadore, and many more. This exhibition is made possible, in part, with support from Community Foundation of Sarasota County, The Exchange, Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenues , Sarasota Herald Tribune Media Group, and WUSF 89 .7. 

[SOON]  GALLERY: Ringling College Galleries + Exhibitions: Ligature XII: Foundations , January 21 – March 25, Gallery hours.

Celebrating its 12th year, Ringling Type Club presents Ligature XII: Foundations - a juried exhibition showcasing the typographic excellence of the Ringling College student body from January 21 to March 25, 2022 at the Willis Smith Construction Inc. Gallery in the Larry R. Thompson Academic Center. This exhibition features works from every major in various categories such as Drop Cap, Type in Motion, Hand Lettering, and Books & Publication. Ligature XII: Foundations honors the founding of Type Club and gives thanks to the years of support granted to the exhibition’s pursuit of sharing beautiful design and typography with the community. Architectural themes have been a guiding muse for the look of past Ligature shows, and the tradition is continued this year with a twist. Instead of a specific style of architecture, this show is derived from concepts of structure and planning - for without a solid foundation, structures cannot be built, and progress cannot be made. Through this theme, the members of the Ringling Type Club and Ligature XII's participants express their thanks for the foundation built many years ago in order for the Ligature Exhibition to be where it is today. This year’s exhibition was produced by the Ringling Type Club and directed by Adam Myerscough, Arthur Morris, and Sean Clancy.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Art Uptown Gallery: Painted Words Mixed-Media Abstract Paintings by Liz Cole , February 26 – March 25, 6pm-9pm

In March, Art Uptown Gallery artist Liz Cole will exhibit “Painted Words,” a colorful collection of acrylic and collage paperworks. Ms. Cole’s paintings are comprised of layers of color, patterns and markings that provide as rich a dialogue to the viewer as the written word. The “Painted Words” exhibit runs from Saturday, February 26 through Friday, March 25. The public is also invited to a reception on First Friday, March 4, from 6-9pm. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes you to the 1367 Main Street gallery, where the diverse art works of 29 local artists are shown seven days a week. 

[SOON]  THEATER: Florida Studio Theatre: The Last Match by Anna Ziegler , March 2 – March 25, Varies.

REGIONAL PREMIERE. It’s the semifinals of the U.S. Open. Sergei Sergeyev, an up-and-coming Russian phenom, and Tim Porter, a great American superstar in the twilight of his career, go head-to-head under the lights of the tennis court. Journey into the minds of these two extraordinary players as they consider the shots they didn’t take, the sacrifices they made for success, and the legacy they may leave behind. By match point, much more has been won and lost than a game of tennis. The Last Match will show from March 2 t0 March 25, 2022.

[SOON]  DANCE: Sarasota Ballet: Program 6 - A Comedy of Errors , March 25 – March 26, 7:30pm and 2pm

Program 6 brings the World Premiere of A Comedy of Errors, a full-length balletic adaptation of William Shakespeare’s iconic comedy The Comedy of Errors, to the stage. Sir David Bintley, one of today’s most sought-after choreographers, puts his personal touch on this beloved story, with a score commissioned from renowned composer Matthew Hindson and sets and costumes by celebrated designer Dick Bird. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2020 for his services to dance, Bintley has spent the last 40 years choreographing for some of the world’s most prominent ballet companies. Simultaneously, he has created a reputation for choreographing works that seamlessly use dance as part of a rich narrative and has established himself as one of Britain’s finest choreographers. A Comedy of Errors will take place on March 25 2022 at 7:30pm and March 26 2022 at 2pm and 7:30pm at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Trail.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Party on the Point 2022 , March 25, 5:30pm-8:30pm

Party on the Point will take place on Friday, March 25, 2022 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm at 1950 Ringling Blvd. You're invited to a night of music, food, fun and refreshments on the point of Sabal Palm Bank and Golf Street. The night includes a celebration of Sabal Palm Bank becoming a part of Seacoast National Bank, and a special salute to several local non-profits. Additional entertainment provided by select local non-profit organizations.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The Ringling: Gallery Talks: Comparing Buddhist Imagery Across Cultures , March 25, 10:30am

Join The Ringling to explore various aspects of the Museum and its collection. Tickets are free with Museum Admission and are available for pick-up on the day of the program. Tickets are limited. Members may reserve tickets in advance 2 weeks prior each program. Comparing Buddhist Imagery Across Cultures will take place on Friday, March 25 at 10:30am. This gallery talk, facilitated by two FSU graduate students-in-residence, will highlight a range of sculptures depicting the Buddha and bodhisattvas currently on view in the Center for Asian Art. The students will discuss the significance of these objects and compare representative examples from several different regions of Asia. Each object will be discussed within its cultural context, with special attention to its visual style and original use.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation: Women & Medicine Educational Luncheon , March 25, 10:30am-1pm

Women & Medicine Educational Luncheon is the place to be for the most useful women’s health information. The Luncheon will take place on Friday, March 25, 2022 from 10:30am to 1pm at Michael’s on East, 1212 East Avenue. Attire is Business/Luncheon. The 9th annual educational luncheon will feature informative presentations and a lively interactive panel discussion with female physicians and our genetic counselor. To date, this event has raised more than $687,000. In 2022, the proceeds will support Genetic Counseling Services at the Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute at SMH. Speakers are Beverly Long, Gynecologic Oncology (First Physicians Group), Elizabeth Guancial, Oncologist (Florida Cancer Specialists), Nicole Wood, Genetic Counselor Lead (BDJCI), and Stephanie Roberts from “The View” will be joining us as our panel moderator. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Sally Schule, Director of Community and Donor Engagement, at 941.374.9700 or sally-schule@smh.com.

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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