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SRQ DAILY Jun 6, 2022

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"Our Sarasota delegation fights hard for community issues and we do our best to deliver funding for a variety of causes."

- Se, Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota

[State]  DeSantis Signs Rattlesnake Key, Vetoes Other Local Spending
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

When Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new state budget into law, the Sarasota-Bradenton region both saw incredible investments like the acquisition of Rattlesnake Key and losses through vetoes on several major projects.

On a positive note, Rattlesnake Key was among the biggest local spends anywhere in Florida, with $23 million in state funding set aside to buy the Manatee County island for use as a state park.

“Overall our community did very well in the budget,” said Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton. “I’m extremely excited about the preservation of Rattlesnake Key for future generations to enjoy.”

The land deal had been Boyd’s top priority during the regular legislative session this spring, he said. State Rep. Will Robinson, R-Bradenton, pushed for the purchase on the House said. Lawmakers ultimately landed nearly 10 times what they initially requested to fund the appropriation. “We will now be able to permanently protect one of the most environmentally sensitive areas located in pristine Terra Ceia Bay,” Robinson said.

But at the same time, the region felt plenty of disappointment as DeSantis vetoed nearly $3 billion in other spending projects statewide. Downtown Sarasota in particular saw a number of redevelopment efforts fall to the side.

Some $700,000 in street improvements in St. Armands Circle and another $400,000 for Main Street improvements fell to the veto pen. So did $500,000 in funding for The Bay redevelopment effort. Another $500,000 budgeted to connect Legacy Trail also veered off course.

State Rep. Fiona McFarland, R-Sarasota, said that won’t stop the efforts completely but it means more local investment will be required to get the job done. 

“The city will continue with those projects, but it would have been helpful to receive state funding,” she said. “Making the city walkable and safe benefits not only the residents of Sarasota but the people who come to visit from all over the state.”

A $524,000 investment in shelter services with the Safe Children Coalition didn’t make it into the budget, though Safe Children Coalition CEO Brena Slater noted the budget fully funded basic services for the community-based provider for the first time in years. That had been a legislative priority for McFarland.

DeSantis also vetoed $1.4 million for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens for use at its Historic Spanish Point campus.

Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, said local lawmakers felt confident all the requests that made it into the budget were worthy, and will likely see advocacy in coming years.

“Our Sarasota delegation fights hard for community issues and we do our best to deliver funding for a variety of causes,” he said. “Not sure why the Governor vetoed these Sarasota projects but hope to bring them back again next year.” 

Image via Google Maps.

[Funding]  DeSantis Signs General Appropriations Act with Funding for Sarasota Performing Arts Center

The Van Wezel Foundation today thanked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for signing the 2022 General Appropriations Act (HB 5001), signed on Thursday, June 2, 2022, which included $990,000 in funding to support the architect selection for the envisioned Sarasota Performing Arts Center. As a civic and cultural icon for the community, region and state, the design and engineering of the new performing arts center will focus on resiliency and sustainability.

“The Van Wezel Foundation extends its sincerest gratitude to Governor DeSantis for supporting the architect selection process for the future Sarasota Performing Arts Center in the 2023 budget,” said Foundation CEO Cheryl Mendelson. “We also thank State Senator Joe Gruters and State Representative Fiona McFarland who have been champions of this transformative project that will reinforce Sarasota as a preeminent destination for the performing arts.”

Recently, the Sarasota City Commission approved the execution of a partnership agreement with the Foundation for the planning, financing, design and construction of the new Sarasota Performing Arts Center to be located in the heart of the Bay Park. This state appropriation will contribute to the public funding portion of the campaign lead by the city. The Foundation has also launched their private philanthropy campaign.

"Thank you to Governor DeSantis for signing a budget that will bring critical dollars home to support the city’s commitment to our partnership with the Van Wezel Foundation to build the future Sarasota Performing Arts Center which will serve as an economic engine for our area,” said City of Sarasota Mayor Erik Arroyo. “We are also grateful for the steadfast support of State Senator Joe Gruters and State Representative Fiona McFarland for their dedication in helping us to realize the promise of this legacy project for generations to come.” 

[Partnership]  Fishman & Associates and C2 Hospitality Exhibit Jointly at CMAA Expo

Fishman & Associates and C2 Hospitality exhibited at the recent CMAA World Conference and Club Business Expo in San Diego. CMAA is an acronym for Club Management Association of America. Founded in 1927, CMAA is the nation’s largest professional association for club management professionals. Their 6,800 members represent 2,500 country, golf, athletic, city, faculty, military, town, and yacht clubs.

C2 Hospitality was founded in 2014 to guide private clubs through the transition of executive leadership. The business has evolved to provide consulting support in essential areas including operations, planning, project management, financial management, event management, and more.

Fishman & Associates was established in 1986 to provide food service design support to diverse clients nationwide. The business sectors they support include top restaurants, assisted living and retirement centers, private clubs, resorts, clubhouses, hospitals, other healthcare facilities, hotels, schools, churches, and more. The Fishman team has supported more than 360 senior living projects in 25 states. Its expertise includes kitchen design, bar and dining room layout, equipment specification, cost budgeting, refrigeration, and fabrication for new and remodeled food service facilities. 

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[Van Wezel]  Discover "A Whole New World" at the Van Wezel this Season

Every spring, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall announces a new subscription season filled with exciting shows, and this year’s lineup is one not to be missed! The 2022-2023 Subscription Series is now available and features nine Broadway musicals, three amazing dance shows and four subscriber specials.

This season has something for everyone, from timeless favorites to new blockbusters. The Broadway Series includes the Sarasota premieres of Disney’s Aladdin, the long-awaited performance of Blue Man Group, the ridiculously clever Tootsie, and Tina Fey’s Mean Girls. The thrills of Broadway continue with the universal tale of fame, fortune and murder with Chicago, the adored classic My Fair Lady, the beloved movie turned musical Legally Blonde, the powerful reinvention of Riverdance 25th Anniversary Tour, and lastly, the beloved multiple Tony Award®-winner Cats.

Subscribers receive special discounts and priority seating. For more information, visit VanWezel.org. 

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[Giving Back]  The Exchange To Award $310,500 to Local Arts Groups and Students

The Exchange (formerly the Woman’s Exchange) announced that it will award $310,500 to 18 regionally based arts and cultural organizations and 15 students. The awards will be given at an invitation-only event at The Exchange on June 9. The largest award is for $60,000 and is being given to the Asolo Rep in memory of Elizabeth (“Liz”) Lindsay, who was the co-founder of The Exchange and served on its board for 60 years. Lindsay, a long-time pillar in Sarasota's art community, died in January. “We’re honored to play an integral role in our region’s rich arts and cultural industry,” says Karen Koblenz, The Exchange’s executive director and CEO. “These funds are game-changing for our grantees, who often credit The Exchange for supporting pivotal moments in their success.” Koblenz points out that the organizational grants are for specific projects and outreach programs, including performances, exhibitions, education initiatives and special series. She explains that The Exchange’s board bases its granting decisions on the long-term stability and financial health of the organizations, the program’s overall appeal to the public and the educational impact these programs will have on area students. Individual scholarships are awarded based on grade point average, the individual’s artistic goals and achievements, and letters of recommendation.

The grant recipients for the 2022-2023 fiscal year are:
Asolo Repertory Theatre: Season Presenter
Arts and Cultural Alliance: Inspire Sarasota
Artists Series Concerts: Dover Quartet Concert
Choral Artists of Sarasota: The March of the Children
Circus Arts Conservatory: Sailor Circus Academy Holiday Show 2022
Florida Studio Theatre: Florida Studio Theatre 2022-2023 Cabaret Season
The Hermitage: Hermitage @ The Bay Series
Key Choral: Mystics and Kings
LaMusica di Asolo: 2023 Audience Development
Manatee Concert Band: 2022-2023 Neel Concerts
Perlman Music Program: Perlman 2022/2023 Outreach Program
The Players: Elf The Musical and the 93rd Season
Ringling College: 2022/2023 Galleries Season
Sarasota Opera: Sarasota Youth Opera "The Secret World of Og"
Sarasota Orchestra: Young Person's Concerts 2022-2023
Sarasota Ballet: 2022/2023 Season Sponsor
Sarasota Pops Orchestra: An Iconic 47th Season
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe: 2022-2023 Main Stage Season

The scholarship recipients for the 2022-2023 fiscal year are:
High School: Joseph Crowell, Abigail Holdway, Ella (Elijah) Mirman, Ashley Spadafora. College: Kenna Bartlett, Katherine Burcal-Terres, Jack Beatenhead, Danny Bo DeLongaig, Colin Leonard, Lindsay McKenna, Tay Peterson, Taylor Reister, Katey Stare, Luca Stine, Katherina Zdravkov. 

[Grant]  Gulf Coast Community Foundation Awards Family Promise of South Sarasota County with $10,000 Grant for Rental Assistance

amily Promise of South Sarasota County (FPSSC) is pleased to have received a very charitable $10,000 grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation made possible through the Jarrett Family Fund. Gulf Coast Community Foundation has been a strong supporter of FPSSC since 2014 when FPSSC’s Board of Trustees was initially formed. All grant funds will be used to provide for rental assistance through FPSSC’s Open Doors program.

Jennifer Fagenbaum, Executive Director of Family Promise of South Sarasota County stated, “Rising rental costs and the lack of attainable and affordable housing are causing a serious hardship for families in South Sarasota County. Due to the increase in rent expenses, local non-profits are seeing the need for additional funding to be able to assist in preventing homelessness. Family Promise of South Sarasota County will continue to advocate with Gulf Coast Community Foundation to create affordable housing, but this grant is vital as a large number of families in Sarasota County are spending more than 50% of their income on housing costs per month.” 

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[SOON]  MUSIC: Hermitage to Launch Ruby E. Crosby Alumni Music Initiative with Soulful Strings: An Evening of Harp Music featuring Celebrated Harpist Ashley Jackson , June 7, 8pm

The Hermitage Artist Retreat is pleased to announce the launch of the new Ruby E. Crosby Alumni Music Series at the Hermitage. The premiere event, "Soulful Strings: An Evening of Harp Music,” will be presented on Tuesday, June 7 at 8pm at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, featuring acclaimed harpist and returning Hermitage Fellow Ashley Jackson. The outdoor event is free and open to the public with a $5/person registration fee.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Urbanite Theatre: Athena , June 10 – July 10, Varies.

Athena by Gracie Gardner Directed by Summer Wallace will run from June 10 to July 10, 2022. Mary Wallace and Athena are brave young fencers training for the Junior Olympics. They practice together, they compete against each other, they spend their lives together. They just wish they were friends.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Circus Arts Conservatory & The Ringling: Summer Circus Spectacular , June 10 – August 13, Varies.

Circus fans of all ages, from near and far, can beat the heat at reasonable prices while experiencing the best of the circus arts. Some of the circus world’s most exciting acts have signed on for the annual show - a longtime partnership of the Circus Arts Academy and The Ringling - with performances presented over nine weeks this summer. The lineup for the Summer Circus Spectacular includes a wide range of acts, including duo lyra, adagio, hand balancing/contortion, rolla bolla, and more. Show times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets are $18/adults, $12/children 12 and under. To complete their circus experience, Summer Circus Spectacular patrons can enjoy access to the Circus Museum on the day they attend a show for just an additional $5 – an incredible value for a full day’s entertainment. Go to Ringling.org or call the Box Office at 941-360-7399.

Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: SPAACES Gallery: Ah Who Run Dis , May 20 – June 11, Gallery hours.

Ah Who Run Dis, A Solo Exhibit by Krystle Lemonias. This work explores personal and political intersections of power that govern how people interact daily through an immigrant lens. It creates an entry point to consider the impact larger systems have on people from colonized nations. A subject is used to examine access, privilege, misuse, and obstruction to the status quo when one wields power. Each piece reflects the complexity of being resilient through society’s exploitive structure then, using this understanding to get over and ahead for one’s self. What is the cost of resilience? Who really has the power? This body of work shows intimate views of video, installation, prints, and performance. Opening Night Reception is Friday, May 20th, 2022 from 6pm to 8pm. Open Exhibition Dates are May 21st through June 11th By Appointment Only.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: Laughing Matters , February 9 – June 19, Varies.

Laughing Matters, FST’s hit musical sketch comedy show, is back for round six! And this time, nothing and no one is safe from a good-spirited roast. From never-ending Sarasota construction and the perpetual hunt for downtown parking to Mother Nature’s increasingly wild mood swings and our endless quest to stay young, Laughing Matters delivers fast-paced comedy inspired by the culture and politics of today. Laughing Matters, by head writer Rebecca Hopkins with contributing writers Kevin Allen, Sarah Durham, Stephan deGhelder, and Jim Prosser, will play beginning February 9, 2022 through June 19, 2022 in FST's Court Cabaret.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Selby Gardens: Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry, and Light , February 13 – June 26, Garden hours.

This winter, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Selby Gardens) will spotlight the work of Robert Mapplethorpe, one of the most significant photographers of the 20th century, together with the poetry of legendary singer-songwriter and poet Patti Smith in a special exhibition on view throughout the garden’s 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus. Marking the sixth edition of the Gardens’ annual Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series, which explores the work of major artists through the lens of their connection to nature, this immersive exhibition puts a selection of Mapplethorpe’s photographs of orchids, hyacinths, and irises, and excerpts of Smith’s poems and lyrics on flowers and nature, in dialogue with new horticultural installations inspired by the two artists’ work. On view from February 13 through June 26, 2022, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry, and Light is curated by Dr. Carol Ockman, Selby Gardens’ Curator-at-Large and the Robert Sterling Clark Professor of Art History Emerita at Williams College. The Gardens will host an Evening with Patti Smith, on Tuesday, February 15, a lecture and performance with Smith that will shed new light on this body of work. 

[SOON]  GALLERY: The Ringling: Eleanor Merritt: Remembrance , February 18 – August 21, Museum hours.

The Ringling is pleased to present an exhibition that celebrates the life and artwork of Eleanor Merritt from February 18, 2022 to August 21, 2022. Eleanor was a dedicated volunteer at The Ringling for many years as a docent and Board member. She also served as president of the Venice Art Center and was active in other arts organizations as well. Eleanor passed away in 2019 leaving a legacy of art and public service. This exhibition is dedicated to her spirit and creativity and represents a small sample of a significant body of work the artist created over her long career. Beginning with an early work from the 1950s Untitled (Seated Figure) and concluding with her last painting Blue Embrace of 2018, the exhibition highlights her creative use of materials, movement between figuration and abstraction, and her commitment to women’s rights. The works in the exhibition come from the artist’s estate and from a few prestigious private collections. The artist’s daughter, Lisa, and artist Mike Solomon were critical guides in the development of this exhibition. 

[SOON]  GALLERY: The Ringling: Metadata: Rethinking Photography from the 21st Century , March 6 – August 28, Museum hours.

The exhibition features work from the past decade by an international selection of artists and visual activists that are working to make palpable the unseen information, or metadata, that undergirds the image regime. This includes not just the tags or descriptors attached to image files, but the power relationships, biases, and economic interests that are not always visible in the image itself. The exhibition emphasizes an expanded concept of photographic practice that includes research-based projects, installation, conceptual work, and activism as well as analog and digital photographs. Artists featured are Mohsen Azar, Viktoria Binschtok, Mladen Bizumic, Joy Buolamwini, Jason Lazarus, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Lilly Lulay, Trevor Paglen, and Penelope Umbrico. Metadata: Rethinking Photography in the 21st Century will be held at The John and Mable Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida from March 6 through August 28th, 2022. The exhibition is curated by Christopher Jones, Stanton B. and Nancy W. Kaplan Curator of Photography and Media Art.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The Florida Center for Early Childhood: Mind Matters Symposium , June 22, 9am-3pm

Join The Florida Center for Early Childhood for a full-day, virtual course on understanding and supporting early childhood brain development and mental health on Wednesday, June 22 from 9am to 3pm. Learn to identify brain differences, their implications, and strategies to address them.

[SOON]  FOOD: Savor Sarasota 2022 Annual Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week , June 1 – June 14

Summer never tasted so good! Are you ready for the annual #SavorSarasota Restaurant Week from June 1-14 when dozens of restaurants featured prix-fixe, multi-course lunch and dinner menus for just $20 and $35 per person! Home to award-winning and legendary restaurants, there’s no better time to explore all the culinary experiences Sarasota County has to offer. From Peruvian palates and French cuisine to American classics and fresh seafood, you’ll feel like a local foodie in no time. Participating Restaurants include Duval's Fresh Local Seafood, Amore Restaurant, The Bistro @ Concession Golf Club, 99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop, Tripletail Seafood & Spirits, Bavaro's Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria, Cafe Evergreen, Michael's On East Restaurant, Libby's Lakewood Ranch, Libby's Neighborhood Brasserie, Opus Restaurant & Lounge, Ristorante San Marco, The Reserve Retreat, Andrea's Kitchen, Cafe Venice Restaurant & Bar, Dolce Italia, The Ringling Grillroom, C'est la Vie!, Rodizio Grill, Bijou Garden Cafe, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Selva Grill, Chaz 51 Steakhouse, Miguel's, Lucarelli's Restaurant, Pop's Sunset Grill, Fins at Sharky's, Bevardi’s Salute! Restaurant, Farlow's On The Water, Cafe Barbosso, Overture Restaurant & Gallery Lounge in Art Ovation, Flavio's on Main, Chef Rolf's New Florida Kitchen, Bohemios Wine and Beer Tapas Bar, Mattison’s Forty-One Restaurant and Catering Company, Green Zebra Cafe, and 1592 Wood Fired Kitchen & Cocktails.

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Hood , June 3 – June 26, Varies.

The world’s sexiest thief. A pair of history’s greatest lovers. The Merry Band that made redistributing wealth cool. Here, finally, is the real story of the disgraced nobleman, forced into the wilderness, who seeks revenge not only for himself but against an unjust system. He rescues the damsel, or perhaps along the way, discovers she doesn’t need any rescuing. Five-time Tony-nominated playwright Douglas Carter Beane–who re-invented Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella so deliciously–reunites with Lewis Flinn, his Give it Up/Lysistrata Jones collaborator, to bring to life this hilarious and stirring new musical adventure. Contains mature themes. Recommended for age 14+. Hood will take place June 11 - June 26, 2022 with Previews June 3-10, 2022.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Women Contemporary Artists Members Spring Exhibition , June 3 – June 24

The Women Contemporary Artists Members Spring Exhibition 2022 will take place at Ringling College of Art & Design Lois and David Stuhlberg Gallery, 1188 MLK Way, from June 3 – 24, 2022. The exhibition is open to active WCA members who may submit two entries only, $30 for one entry and $35 for two entries. Art specs are 2D - 36” x 36” max, mid-sized and smaller works preferred. All media. Diptych and Triptychs allowed, but must fit into size requirements and sold as one painting. 3D work 72” x 20” max. Pedestals are available. If accepted into the show, be prepared to sit for one sitting in the gallery, if needed, from 9-12 or 12-3 on Monday through Friday for the length of the show. You can do this with a friend. Awards are $600 for 1st, $400 for 2nd, $300 for 3rd, and 5 Merit Awards $100 each. Receiving on Tuesday, May 24 between 10 AM and 2 PM and Jurying on Tuesday, May the 24th at 3 PM.

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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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