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SRQ DAILY Jun 18, 2022

Saturday Perspectives Edition

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Saturday Perspectives Edition

"Through the Here4YOUth Initiative of Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, a collaborative consortium of human service organizations lead a unified system of care for children and families."

- Mark Pritchett, Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Argus]  School Board needs to respect involved parents and supportive community
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

The Superintendent’s contract was on the agenda for a School Board workshop this week. It has been a point of contention in the community and was the beginning of the end for the last Superintendent before this one. It has a historic transparency problem and at least one School Board member had, and apparently still has, disdain for public input on the contract.

We were surprised there was absolutely no agenda back-up, nor the contract, included in the packet on the Sunday before the Tuesday workshop meeting. It felt like de ja vu and we were concerned what was being hidden from the public. 

Back in 2019, Argus stayed largely silent on several issues involving that Superintendent. The contract, its terms, and the way it was kept from the public, and ramrodded through a School Board meeting, was the moment we decided it was time to speak up on the issue of the failure of leadership back then. We wrote an op-ed in the Herald-Tribune and from that point on, it was a downward spiral leading to the Superintendent exiting and our new Superintendent today.

The current mission of the School Board according to their website is as follows: “The School District of Sarasota County prepares students to achieve the highest learning standards by engaging a high quality staff, involved parents, and a supportive community.”

Mission statements are an organization’s reason or purpose for being. They drive how the organization will serve its stakeholders.

The Argus Foundation has focused on the “learning standards” portion of the mission statement in recent months. We have been posting various statistics about our school district in comparison to other districts and the state average in our Sarasota School Data Dig social media project. We have done this without comment, editorializing, or blame. It has been done to try to shift the conversation of our School Board and public back to academics, because many of our scores show that we need to shift. 

A lot of people have been shocked at the statistics we have divulged and had no idea we had the problems we do. This indicates that there is a lack of engagement on academics and leads us to the last six words of the mission statement, “involved parents, and a supportive community.”

We are hopeful the School Board will spend more time on academics and improving them, but it is equally important that they have partners in parents and the community. 

The hiding of this contract until the last minute was not a trustworthy action leading to confidence of stakeholders. This was a public document from the start and one of the most important actions to represent the public that the School Board can take. The public should have been allowed to weigh in with the School Board, at a minimum through calls and emails, days before the workshop where changes were made. 

The Argus Foundation publicly posted the contract on social media the Sunday before the Tuesday meeting after we requested it from a School Board member, who, by law, was compelled to give it to us. We did this without comment, just as we have done with the scores and statistics. We also re-posted our 2019 op-ed on the Superintendent contract back then, only generally indicating that the lessons from then are still valuable today.

It is important this School Board regains its focus on its mission and applies it, without resentment for having to engage its partners and stakeholders. Transparency will be a key determination of the School Board’s intent with that relationship. 

While the start of this contract was not good, we sincerely hope that this Superintendent’s contract can end better than the last one did. It will take leadership to make that happen. 

Christine Robinson is executive director of The Argus Foundation. 

[Gulf Coast]  Transforming Youth Mental Health Care Now and Forever
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

We know one of the most important issues in our nation today is mental health care for our youth. Untreated mental illness in children and young adults can devastate individuals and destroy their families. According to the World Health Organization, globally, one in seven 10-19-year-olds experiences a mental disorder. The State of Mental Health in America shows a growing percentage of youth in the U.S. live with major depression. Even more, 15.08% of youth experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, a 1.24% increase from last year. That’s why at Gulf Coast Community Foundation, we are doing everything in our capacity to improve the mental health system of care for our region’s youth and adolescents. 

Through the Here4YOUth Initiative of Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, a collaborative consortium of human service organizations lead a unified system of care for children and families. In fact, the Here4YOUth Initiate launched a Family Peer Navigator position at NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties, to assist families in Sarasota County with children under the age of 25 who are experiencing mental health challenges. The navigator’s role is to assist families in navigating systems, connect families to community resources, and create opportunities for skill-building to support resilience and recovery. The role has been successful in helping families with children with mental health challenges navigate our system of care, strengthened families, and created a local YOUTH MOVE Chapter for young adults to connect with one another. Sarah Miller, the Family Navigator, is highly-trained and revered as an expert statewide.

One success story from NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties on the Family Peer Navigator experience details how a single mother, her elderly mother, and 11-year-old child were in need of help. The child benefited greatly from the connections and a relationship developed between herself and the youth peer specialist. The child’s hospitalizations reduced dramatically from every month (or every other month) to now nearing a year of no hospitalizations as the child has begun to demonstrate stabilization and the mother has begun to feel empowered.  This mother has not only successfully grown, but now is an incredible resource and leader for NAMI family programs and demonstrated an interest in supporting family navigation for other families. Stories like these show the magnitude and importance of peer-to-peer support for our youth.

Summertime can also be tough for youth, as they lack structure from school. This summer, we hope families will support the CDC’s Healthy Schools tips that include handling stress well through physical activity and healthy thinking; relating to others by encouraging social interactions and emotional awareness; and making healthy choices about how they eat and play. Things like learning a new dance move or playing games that encourage movement for your child are suggested. Nutrition and emotional well-being are also covered topics, including eating fruits and vegetables with each meal, giving your child a new responsibility that fits their age, reducing time watching a screen and more. 

At Gulf Coast, we are taking action to improve the region’s mental health care system for youth and young adults every day. We want to thank the Sarasota County Commission for establishing a “mental health funding district” that will need future support. With tangible action and community-wide support, we continue to push our momentum forward. We will not give up the fight for youth who need this critical support.


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

Photo courtesy Gulf Coast: Sara Miller, navigator.

[Video]  Happy National Go Fishing Day!

Celebrate National Go Fishing Day with local fisherman Nathan Meschelle in Bradenton's very own Cortez Village. 

Click here! 

[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]  PERFORMANCE: The Players Centre Returns to Summer Programing with RABBIT HOLE , June 8 – June 19

The Players Centre for Performing Arts presents the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play Rabbit Hole at Studio 1130 located in the Crossings at Siesta Key mall (3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34239) June 8-19, 2022. Becca and Howie Corbett have a picture-perfect family life in the suburbs of New York until a random, tragic accident takes the life of their four-year old son. Soon after, Becca’s younger, irresponsible sister, Izzy, announces that she is pregnant. As Becca and Howie grow apart, Becca’s mother, Nat, badgers Becca about her grieving process, and Jason, the young driver who killed their son, continually shows up to ask forgiveness, the group is on a bumpy road to healing with no road map in sight. Rabbit Hole delves into the complexity of a family navigating deep grief and learning what it means to live a fruitful life when things fall apart. 

[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]  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.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Ringling College Galleries + Exhibitions Opening Receptions June 10th , June 3 – June 24, 5pm-7pm

Ringling College Galleries + Exhibitions invites you to attend two opening receptions for: Petticoat Painters, exhibiting June 3 - June 24 in the Willis A. Smith Construction Inc. Gallery and Women Contemporary Artists, exhibiting June 3 - June 24 in the Lois + David Stulberg Gallery. Join us on June 10th, 5-7 pm for the opening reception in each gallery and meet the artists. Both galleries are on the Ringling College campus and are open M-F 9-3 pm. While you're on campus don't forget to stop by Valetta's exhibition in the Thompson Gallery. Valetta will be exhibiting June 3 - August 12.

[SOON]  SPORTS: 6th Annual Bob Rizi Memorial Golf Classic at The Meadows Country Club , June 24, 7:30am

The 6th Annual Bob Rizi Memorial Golf Classic will take place on Friday, June 24 at The Meadows Country Club course only. Player check-in and breakfast will be from 7:30am to 9am, with a shotgun start at 9am. $800 per foursome, which includes continental breakfast, tee sign, and lunch. The tournament is limited to 36 foursomes on a first come first served basis and two golf carts will be provided to each foursome. For more information and registration, visit suncoastsummerfest.org or call 941-706-3685.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Art Uptown Gallery: Moxie , June 25 – July 30
The July Gallery for Art Uptown will exhibit "MOXIE by Rita Rust." Rust's watercolor action portraits capture the feeling of joy that can be found even in the darkest times.
[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]  MUSIC: Sarasota Music Festival 2022: Rising Stars Concert 2 , June 19, 2:30pm

The Rising Stars Concert – 2 will take place on Sunday, June 19, 2022 at 2:30pm at Holley Hall. Program: Mendelssohn I. Allegro vivace from Sextet in D Major; D’Rivera I. Alborado, II. Son and III. Vals Venezolano from Aires Tropicales; Beethoven I. Entrata and II. Menuetto from Serenade in D Major; Poulenc III. Finale from Sextet; Shostakovich Piano Trio No. 1 in C Minor; Dvorak II. Lento from Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat Major; and Tchaikovsky IV. Allegro vivace from Souvenir de Florence.

Holley Hall

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Music Festival 2022: Creative Voices , June 21, 7:30pm

Creative Voices will take place on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 7:30pm at Holley Hall. Caroline Shaw and Gabriel Kahane, two of today’s most sought after composers, come together for an evening of chamber music and song. The concert includes music from Let the Soil Play Its Simple Part, Shaw’s acclaimed collaboration with Sō Percussion, and excerpts from Kahane’s recent albums Magnificent Bird and Book of Travelers (hailed by Rolling Stone as “a stunning portrait of a singular moment in America”). The experience will showcase Shaw and Kahane in an intimate duo setting, as well as buttressed by a string quartet of Festival fellows. This concert promises a rich palette sonically and emotionally, and features an exploration of the role of the composer, including a Q&A segment.

Holley Hall

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Music Festival 2022: Triumphs , June 23, 4:30pm

The Triumphs Artist Showcase will take place on Thursday, June 23, 2022 at 4:30pm at Holley Hall. Explore the colors and sounds of individual instruments in the hands of our new Festival faculty members. Demarre McGill performs one of the most popular works in the flute repertoire: Francis Poulenc’s exquisite Sonata for Flute and Piano. When British-American composer Rebecca Clarke’s viola sonata was performed in 1919, the bias against women in classical music was such that critics refused to believe she had written such a “powerful work” herself. Clarke’s “one little whiff of success,” as she called it, has since become a mainstay of the repertoire; Teng Li will perform the groundbreaking piece. Robert DeMaine, Ani Kavafian, and Jeffrey Kahane join forces in Schumann’s First Piano Trio. From its expressive opening to its soul-searching slow movement and radiant finale, the trio brings to life every aspect of Schumann’s complex personality.

Holley Hall

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Music Festival 2022: Rising Stars Concert 3 , June 24, 2:30pm

The Rising Stars Concert – 3 will take place on Friday, June 24, 2022 at 2:30pm at Holley Hall. Program: Mozart III. Allegretto from Piano Quintet in E-flat Major; Francaix Quatuor II. Andante and III. Allegro molto; Brahms II. Andante, un poco Adagio from Piano Quintet in F Minor; Schubert III. Scherzo from String Quintet in C Major; Brahms II. Scherzo from Horn Trio in E-flat Major; Barber Summer Music; and Schubert IV. Allegro moderato from Piano Trio No. 2 in E-flat Major. 

Holley Hall

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Music Festival 2022: Mix and Mingle , June 24, 7:30pm

The Mix and Mingle Festival Friday will take place on Friday, June 24, 2022 at 7:30pm at Sarasota Opera House. Festival faculty and fellows share the stage in this program featuring works that intermingle wind and string instruments. Amy Beach’s brilliant Theme and Variations is an early 20th-century Romantic treasure from the first American woman to publish a symphony. Jean Françaix’s superbly crafted music is bracingly witty and always entertaining. His Dixtuor for 10 players brings together the rarely seen combination of wind and string quintets. Beethoven’s Septet was an immediate success at its premiere in 1800 and quickly became one of his most popular works. This luminous piece is scored for a mixed ensemble with a notably challenging violin part, taken on in this performance by faculty violinist Martin Beaver. 

Sarasota Opera House

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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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