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SRQ DAILY Apr 30, 2022

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"Such wide participation, especially amid a time of emotional and financial strain for many, shows that giving has become an essential value. "

- Debra Jacobs, The Patterson Foundation

[Higher Education]  Ringling VR to Graduate First Class
Dr. Larry Thompson, lthompso@ringling.edu

What does the future look like? While none of us can answer that question with any degree of certainty, one thing we do know is that virtual reality will be an integral part of that future – and that future is already here. 

Graduating from the world’s first full-time Virtual Reality Development department, Ringling graduates will be at the forefront of this emerging technology, creating lifelike experiences that are already changing the face of health care, architecture, the military, entertainment, and much more. Students will learn the basics of this new technology, while being pushed to create groundbreaking work and experiences in a medium that is evolving every day. 

“Our VR students are stepping into a new and uncharted metaverse where immersive media will become the new norm and transform the way we do business and approach problem solving,” said Morgan Woolverton, interim department head for Virtual Reality Development at Ringling College. “One of the most exciting aspects of VR technology is how new exploration spaces will be invented. Old and well-understood industries will become reinvented with an entirely new lens. Our students are already seeing this robust landscape of opportunity.” 

In fact, Ringling College of Art and Design and Tampa’s renowned Moffitt Cancer Center are already partnering to bring the benefits of VR to those living with cancer.

“The collaboration with Ringling College is focusing on the patient journey and how we can create meaningful tools to help decrease stress, enhance understanding of upcoming treatments, and connect patients to survivor stories so they don’t feel so alone,” said Dr. Sarah Hoffe, Moffitt’s section head of Gastrointestinal Radiation Oncology.

Using virtual reality, the two institutions are developing creative content for digital health care technologies. Together, the Virtual Reality Department and Moffitt Cancer Center are creatively finding clever and groundbreaking ways to improve the patient’s experience.

Both virtual and augmented reality use continues to grow at a staggering rate. Recent statistics show that the combined augmented reality and virtual reality markets were worth $12 billion in 2020, with a massive annual growth rate of 54 percent. This resulted in a projected value of $72.8 billion by 2024 (IDC, 2020). According to eMarketer, the number of VR users in the United States is 57.4 million; the number of AR users is 90.9 million.

Ringling College will graduate its first class of Virtual Reality Development students this spring, many of whom are already starting to earn their place in this burgeoning profession. “The work they are producing is fresh, precise, and forward-looking,” said Morgan. “They are poised to graduate with a unique, sophisticated skill set that also places emphasis on human-centered design.” The professional world will be open to them as they may work as content producers, software engineers, AR and VR content writers, product managers, and so much more.

Soon enough, virtual and immersive realities will be commonplace. They will be part of our every-day lives both at home and in the workplace. These days it seems as though the “future” is coming faster than it ever has before. Ringling College students are ready— are you?

Dr. Larry Thompson is president of Ringling College of Art & Design. 

[Philanthropy]  Decade of Giving Challenge Highlights Citizen Philanthropists
Debra Jacobs

A decade ago, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s creation of The Giving Challenge marked the beginning of a personal philanthropic journey for many in our region. Never before had the spotlight shined so brightly on the nonprofit organizations working to strengthen the Suncoast — nor on the opportunity we all have to make their efforts and impact possible through generous support.

Beyond the impact of the donations raised by the participating nonprofits, one will find another layer of potential within the Giving Challenge: the power to evolve our notion of what makes a philanthropist. Since the inaugural event in 2012, The Patterson Foundation’s role in the Giving Challenge has been one grounded in joyful stewardship — encouraging our community to discover that potential through catalytic incentives that spark the generosity gene that exists in each of us, regardless of our background, age or means.

All eight iterations of the Giving Challenge have provided the raw materials necessary for people in our region to build their philanthropic muscles. Hundreds of nonprofit organizations have committed to exercising transparency and excellence through maintaining robust profiles on The Giving Partner, our region’s online platform that helps donors make informed decisions about their philanthropic contributions. The ingenious outreach put forth by the participating organizations in the weeks and months leading up to the 24-hour Giving Challenge engages both new and existing donors in ways that drive massive action during the big day while creating connections these organizations can nurture into long-lasting relationships that will further strengthen their operations.

The result of that collaborative commitment to strengthening giving is the resounding revelation of our philanthropic power — evident in the incredible $75 million all-time total generated by the Giving Challenge over the last decade. More than $30 million of that total has come by way of dollar-for-dollar matches and donor incentives from The Patterson Foundation — funds activated solely through the thousands inspired to step up and give.

In the 2022 Giving Challenge alone, more than 46,000 people contributed toward an astounding total of nearly $16 million in just 24 hours. That total includes millions in matching dollars from The Patterson Foundation, provided through a 1:1 match on donations up to $100 per unique donor, per organization, with no cap. Those unrestricted funds will strengthen nearly 700 regional nonprofit organizations in ways that will boost their capacity to do good and their agility to navigate the unexpected — a necessity that has come into even greater focus in recent years.

Such wide participation, especially amid a time of emotional and financial strain for many, shows that giving has become an essential value. While it might not be a new notion, the massive action sparked by the Giving Challenge validates the belief that people receive benefits of equal or even greater measure when they give of themselves to help others. One would need to search far and wide to find a group of people anywhere who have internalized this the way people across the Suncoast have over the last 10 years.

Ours is a region that has grown to thrive on the super-abundance created when people come together to raise the level of humanity. By creating a decade of opportunities for anyone to be a philanthropist, the Giving Challenge has demonstrated the power of people with positivity to create possibilities through philanthropy.

Debra Jacobs is the president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. 

Image via Pixabay

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Ringling: Andares (Pathways) by Makuyeika Colectivo Teatral , April 28 – April 30, 7:30pm

Woven from ancestral myths, traditional music and arts, and a three-person narrative, Andares reveals the extraordinary, untold stories of ordinary, humble people who inhabit Mexico's most remote corners. Created by director Hector Flores Komatsu’s personal search to know and understand the indigenous cultures of his homeland, Andares is a moving, fierce denunciation against a present that seems intent upon destroying what was once held as sacred. This performance will show on April 28, 29, and 30 at 7:30pm.

[SOON]  DANCE: Sarasota Ballet: Program 7 - Serendipitous Movement , April 29 – April 30, 7:30pm and 2pm

The Season concludes with Program 7 – Serendipitous Movement, a triple bill that epitomizes the depth and range of The Sarasota Ballet, and features George Balanchine’s Serenade, the Company Premiere of Mark Morris’ The Letter V, and Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations. Balanchine’s gorgeous Serenade opens, coursing through the four movements of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in a mesmerizingly graceful display. The Company Premiere of Morris’ dynamic The Letter V follows, marking the first time the Company will have worked with this astounding choreographer. Originally premiered in 2015 by the Houston Ballet, The Letter V sets Morris’ dynamic approach to dance and distinctive musicality to Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 88 in G, a pairing that Alistair Macaulay stated, in his New York Times review, “exemplifies the same qualities as Mr. Morris: high spirits, terrific humor, a strong inclination to the pastoral and a keen instinct for structural experimentation.” The long-awaited return of MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations closes the Program with a ragtime-fueled, comedy-infused dance-off. Created for The Royal Ballet in 1974 with MacMillan at his most whimsical, the curtain opens as Elite Syncopations’ cast dances wildly on a virtually bare stage surrounded by a live band. Serendipitous Movement will take place on April 29 2022 at 7:30pm and April 30 2022 at 2pm and 7:30pm at Sarasota Opera House, 61 North Pineapple Ave.

[SOON]  SPORTS: PARC's 48th Annual Golf Tournament Weekend , April 29 – April 30, 7pm and 11am

PARC will hold its 48th Golf Tournament Weekend presented by Raymond James on Friday, April 29, 2022 and Saturday, April 30, 2022 at the Countryside Country Club. The weekend will kick off with a 70’s themed Friday Night Party that will start at 7pm. There will be food, drinks and live music provided by The Black Honkeys. The Golf Tournament will be held the following day with lunch starting at 11am followed by a shotgun start at 12pm. Join in on one of PARC’s longest running fundraising events where golfers, business leaders and friends of PARC come together to raise critical funds for the numerous programs and services that the organization offers. These programs and services include but are not limited to: Residential Housing for almost 100 individuals, Early Intervention programming for children as young as 2 months old with developmental delays, Art and Music Therapies that encourage PARC’s clients to express themselves through the arts, and Adult Life Enrichment Programs that include a variety of daily activities and opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to earn hourly wages working in our production facility. Every year, PARC teams up with local businesses and residents in the community that believe in PARC’s mission and strive to help make the weekend a success. Sponsorships and tickets are available. 

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The Ringling: Artist Talk with Makuyeika Colectivo Teatral , April 30, 10:30am

Join the Makuyeika Colectivo Teatral for a discussion about their work in Andares on April 30 at 10:30am. Woven from ancestral myths, traditional music and arts, and a three-person narrative, Andares reveals the extraordinary, untold stories of ordinary, humble people who inhabit Mexico's most remote corners. Created by director Hector Flores Komatsu’s personal search to know and understand the indigenous cultures of his homeland, Andares is a moving, fierce denunciation against a present that seems intent upon destroying what was once held as sacred.

[SOON]  : BEE Aware: Discover the Wonder of Bees , April 30, 1-3pm

“BEE Aware: Discover the Wonder of Bees” will be held at the Manatee County Agricultural Museum on Saturday, April 30th, from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. This FREE event will be held indoors/outdoors at the Ag Museum, 1015 6th St. West, Palmetto. Join the Ag Museum in partnership with Soar in 4 and Suncoast Beekeepers Association for this family event that will BEE a blast!

Stations during the event will feature an interactive demonstration hive (no live bees), honey tasting, games, crafts, story time, and your family will be able to make a bee house (1 per family). Learn about the best plants to attract bees and help them thrive as well as how to avoid being stung. For more information, call 941-721-2034 or email agriculturalmuseum@manateeclerk.com

[SOON]  DANCE: Sarasota Contemporary Dance: Cuban Project: Historias , April 28 – May 1, 7pm and 2pm

“Mi Historia, Tu Historia, y Nuestra Historia” (My Story, Your Story, Our Story). In “Cuban Project: Historias” Artistic Director Leymis Bolaños Wilmott dives into her family history, investigating her parents’ forced migration through the world’s largest political exodus of children, known as Operation Pedro Pan. Through original sound sculpting by José G. Martínez and thought-provoking movement research, this production explores personal stories, decision making, displacement, and the Cuban-American experience. Cuban Project: Historias will take place Thursday, April 28, 2022 through Saturday, April 30th at 7pm and Sunday, May 1 at 2pm. Tickets are $10 - $45. Available Virtually Friday, April 29th, 2022 through Sunday, May 1st, 2022. Virtual Tickets are $25.

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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