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SRQ DAILY Jul 14, 2022

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"While his time here was short, his impact was really quite grandiose. He's going to leave a remarkable legacy in the music world, far bigger than just Sarasota."

- Joseph McKenna, President and CEO of the Sarasota Orchestra.

[Passing]  Sarasota Orchestra Announces Passing of Music Director Bramwell Tovey
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

On July 13th, the Sarasota Orchestra announced with heavy hearts that Music Director Bramwell Tovey had passed away, following a battle with a rare form of sarcoma. Tovey, who passed on Tuesday night, just one day after celebrating his 69th birthday, joined the Sarasota Orchestra as Musical Director in 2021.

“While his time here was short, his impact was really quite grandiose,” says Joseph McKenna, President and CEO of the Sarasota Orchestra. “He’s going to leave a remarkable legacy in the music world, far bigger than just Sarasota. His legacy is one of an institution builder—from his time with the Vancouver Symphony and Winnipeg Symphony, and countless other companies, he was respected all over the world as a conductor."

Tovey’s illustrious career began as a student at the Royal Academy of Music and the University of London and included stops at the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic and an array of other high profile companies. In 2021 alone, Tovey was not only named Music Director of the Sarasota Orchestra, but also extended his artistic leadership position with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and was appointed as Principal Guest Conductor with Orchestre Symphonique de Québec.

Through it all, Tovey’s incredible music acumen was matched only by his down-to-earth spirit. “Bramwell was like the commoner who became the conductor—if you were to meet him in the hallway, he’d have a very warm and casual conversation with you. He brought that same sort of warmth and genuineness to the podium when he was making music and leading the orchestra,” says McKenna. “One of the things that was so remarkable about him was that he treated everybody the same, whether you were a first-year player, a board member or one of our administrative staff. We were really blessed to have him as our Music Director." 

[Politics]  Ahearn-Koch Sees Lingering Threat to Public Input
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Sarasota City Commissioner Jennifer Ahearn-Koch’s voice lifts as she discusses achievements at City Hall in her first five years of office. “How much time do you have?” she said. “I could rattle off a laundry list on the commission of things we have accomplished.”

A new wastewater system now sets Sarasota apart as the most advanced in Florida, sans the one at Walt Disney World. Efforts strode forward on a North Trail overlay district. Retail space on Martin Luther King, Jr. Way that stood vacant since the 2009 recession now has locally owned stores operating at Janie’s Garden. Parkland preserved at The Bay has started to come online. 

But Ahearn-Koch hesitates to take too much credit, even as she runs for a second term in office. “None of it is my accomplishment,” she said. “We are a body of five people. We agree or don’t agree, we discuss, debate and compromise. Everything we have done in the past five years was as a body of government, and I contributed one fifth of that.”

There’s a cooperative spirit Ahearn-Koch espouses that’s somewhat atypical among activists-turned-politicians. But that’s not to say she doesn’t see threats to City Hall, many of them the same ones that spurred her to run for office in the first place.

On the immediate horizon, she warns against a fresh push to expand administrative review further from the city core. “The public voice is essential for big, impactful developments and especially for those contiguous to single family neighborhoods, which are big part of the mix of our city,” she said.

She sees a proposal for a mixed-use corridor as a massive expansion of administrative review that, while done under the guise of constructing more affordable housing, would result in eliminating a critical voice from planning decisions.

She rejects a characterizing that staff approvals without public hearings would streamline development. Instead, she compares the planning process to a three-legged stool supported by the developer application process, city staff review and public input. Eliminate that third leg and the whole stool falls over.

For a comparison, she points to an apartment project near her own neighborhood where developers initially planned a pool with facilities near existing neighborhoods. Nothing violated city development regulations but neighbors asked that developers move the potential high-use pool to a part of property away from existing homes. The developer took the suggestion, the neighborhood presented no opposition to the plan and the cost for the project actually went down.

Developers have often complained a city public hearing where an unruly crowd opposes a project can result in projects being shot down after years of work. But Ahearn-Koch rejects the notion that giving up those hearings for an administrative process will streamline anything. For one thing, projects face other uncertain factors from supply chain issues to market uncertainty. But cutting out citizens early in the process also potentially could result in problems later. “It could be crippling to project after it is designed and built to then have citizens say, ‘Hey, you put a dumpster next to my kids’ bedroom,” she said. 

She’s now running for another term. She faces five other candidates: Dan Lobeck, Sheldon Rich, Terrell Salem, Carl Shoffstall and Debbie Trice. The top three vote-getters in August go to a November runoff, with the top two there winning seats. To date, Ahearn-Koch feels good about the campaign tone.

“I’m honored to be surrounded by five other really qualified and caring candidates,” she said. “Everyone brings something valuable to conversations.” 

[In Conversation]  In Conversation with Cheryl Mendelson, CEO of the Van Wezel Foundation

In the July/August 2022 edition of SRQ Magazine, we interviewed Cheryl Mendelson, CEO of the Van Wezel Foundation as part of our In Conversation feature about nonprofit leaders. Below is an excerpt published in the magazine in which Mendelson shares her insights with SRQ readers on community growth and changes.

What are some of the goals you'd want to see fulfilled in the next three years?

We've got three key goals, the first one is to continue our investment in serving the community in arts education and integration in deepening that work, but also adding an element of outcomes measurement in efficacy. It's important that we understand the investment and the impact that it makes. And so, a big focus for us over the next three years, is taking a look at measurement and identifying new partners in the community who believe also that the arts can play a deepening role in the work they're currently doing. The second one is continuing to engage the community and their feedback on the aspirations they have for the performing arts center. We're calling our community engagement, a place for ideas, a place for the arts, a place for you. And we really, really want people to feel the element of where artists, learners, and audience all intersect, that's really the secret sauce of Sarasota. And so, we'll continue to grow and develop that communication over the next three years. And then, of course, the main big goal is in three years, we will have the shovels in the ground. 

The Van Wezel Foundation, 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 941-366-5578.

To read the full article, click here.

[Recognition Given]  Outstanding Youth Leadership in Our Community: Isabel F.

Our community is filled with many incredible young people doing such amazing things. This summer, we are featuring some of these young people in our Thursday Family & Education edition. Each of the students we are highlighting has been chosen as one of this year’s SRQ Magazine’s top youth leaders based on their values, determination and outstanding achievements in different aspects of their lives in and out of school. Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County recently named Isabel F., a senior at Bayshore High School, as the organization’s 2022-23 Youth of the Year Representative. Isabel is passionate about helping others, especially the homeless. Isabel's goal for the future is to further her education and go to college for dentistry, with aspirations of becoming an orthodontist. "I want to be successful at whatever I do and make my family proud, as well as continuing to help others around me in need," she said. 

Pictured: Isabel F., Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County Youth of the Year Representative. Photo courtesy of Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Florida Studio Theatre Presents Smoke & Mirrors, A Comedic Murder Mystery

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents Smoke & Mirrors, a riveting comedic thriller by Will Osborne and Anthony Herrera. Called “Outrageously funny” by the Bennington Banner and “Clever” by Talkin’ Broadway, Smoke & Mirrors is an intriguing murder mystery with twists and turns that keep the audience guessing (and laughing) until the end. Smoke & Mirrors will begin playing in FST’s Gompertz Theatre on Wednesday, August 3, 2022. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000. Smoke & Mirrors follows Hamilton Orr, a power-hungry Hollywood director who will stop at nothing to get control over a multi-million-dollar film. To achieve this, Hamilton comes up with a deadly scheme to get rid of Derek, the dim-witted star of the movie. Hamilton persuades the movie’s screenwriter, Clark, to join his crafty plot and ensures that his wife, Barbara, stays in line. But when his ploy doesn’t go as planned, Hamilton meets the wily local sheriff, Leroy, who unearths one surprise after another until the play’s stunning conclusion. 

To learn more, visit

[Competition]  Fundraising Fishing Tournament Results

Just for Girls (JFG), anglers, guests and sponsors are all winners in the 2nd annual Jess for Girls Fishing Tournament. 15 fishing teams enjoyed favorable weather and abundant hauls when they competed Friday, July 8th – Saturday, July 9th at Bahia Mar West Marina in Bradenton. The anglers and guests celebrated at a fish fry featuring the delicious fresh catch. They bid on the silent auction luxury items, and generously donated to the Out of School Time (OST) Scholarship Program. The tournament reeled in a total of $52,014 that will be used to support the 3 JFG Leadership and Learning Centers. This beat the $44,000 goal and out distanced last year’s contribution. This year’s tournament sponsors are Jess Jewelers, Silverberg Jewelers, Bahia Mar West Marina, Anna Maria Oyster Bar, Sembler, XPLOR, Mosaic, Salt & Pepper Café, NDC Construction, The Orns Solution, The GP and SEP Family Fund, JP Designs, Forristall Enterprises, EZ Livin' Solutions, Goldman & Wetzel, PLLC, Callaghan Tires, Marger Investments, LLC, and Dan Duenkel. The winning teams are: First Place: Longshank @ 21.8lbs Second Place: Mosaic @ 21.8lbs Third Place: Mosaic @ 19.6lbs. Calcutta tournament winning teams: Largest Red Snapper: Longshank @ 24.0lbs Mystery Fish (Porgy): Fat Bottom Girl @ 10.5lbs Largest Grouper (Gag): Big Game @ 35.4lbs. If you would like more information about Just for Girls, please visit JustforGirls.org or contact us at 941-747-5757 or email JustforGirls@myjfg.org. 

Pictured: First place winners at the 2nd annual Jess for Girls Fishing Tournament.

[Nonprofit News]  Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties Earns Multi-Year Investment from United Way Suncoast

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties’ (BGCSDC) role as a United Way Suncoast strategic community partner moves into a new era this month with the launch of a multi-year funding commitment from the venerable nonprofit leader. United Way Suncoast kicked off its new fiscal year on July 1 by initiating the distribution of a three-year grant that will deliver $300,000 to BGCSDC. The funds will be used to support the Grade-Level Reading program. The purpose of the program is to ensure Club members are achieving grade-level benchmarks in Reading/Language Arts and are on-track for on-time grade advancement. Staff lead Club members through high-yield literacy activities, including leisure reading, writing activities, discussions with staff, helping others, homework help, tutoring and games that develop young people’s cognitive skills. 

To learn more, visit

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: St. Armand's Circle: Lotus Cars on the Circle , July 16, 9am-3pm

Lotus Cars on the Circle will take place on July 16 from 9am to 3pm. Join Lotus Car and British Car owners for this free event in St. Armands Circle Park. Sponsored by Lynches Pub & Grub www.Lynches.pub. For further information regarding this show and registration, please contact Jason@Lynches.pub. On-site registration and show parking taking place between 7am to 9am. 

St. Armand's Circle Park

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Lobster and Wine...Oooooh La La , July 14 – July 17

Bonjour Sarasota! Come Join Us and Cafe LEurope for some French fun. Celebrate Bastille Day July 14th-17th. Feast on lobster and other French favorites. Sample a flight of French wines or enjoy your selection by the glass or bottle. Make your reservations Today. 941-388-4415.

[SOON]  SPORTS: International Dragon Boat Federation Club Crew World Championships , July 18 – July 24

The 13th CCWC will be held from July 18 to 24, 2022 at Nathan Benderson Park (NBP), located in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida. Held in alternate years, these championships are for entire boats from individual clubs around the world. Dragon boat races are water sport activity in which teams race in a canoe-like vessel.

Nathan Benderson Park

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: The Jersey Tenors: Part II , July 19 – September 11, Varies.

Back with a new show, this opera/rock mash-up sensation blends iconic opera classics with Rock & Roll hits from artists like Queen, Journey, and Elton John, along with the songs from Jersey’s finest—Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and Bon Jovi. From Frank Sinatra to Figaro, hear The Tenors’ original arrangements of songs celebrating artists from the stage to the screen, including “Walk Like A Man,” “Your Song,” “That’s Life,” “Eye of the Tiger,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and many more. The Jersey Tenors: Part II, created and conceived by Brian Noonan, will play beginning July 19, 2022 in FST's Goldstein Cabaret. Run Time is 70 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

Florida Studio Theatre's Goldstein Cabaret

[SOON]  GALLERY: As long as there is sun, as long as there is light: Selections from the Bring Gift and The Ringling Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art , November 21 – August 13, Museum hours.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is pleased to announce the opening of As long as there is sun, as long as there is light. Selections from the Bring Gift and The Ringling Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art. The exhibition will run Nov. 21, 2021 – Aug. 13, 2023, in the museum’s Searing Wing. In 2020, The Ringling received a significant gift of art from Murray Bring and Kay Delaney Bring, in support of the modern and contemporary collection. Highlights from the gift include an important minimalist work by Anne Truitt and a monumental work on canvas by Gene Davis, both artists affiliated with the Washington Color School, an art movement during the 1950s to 1970s in Washington D.C., made up of abstract expressionist artists Additional works in the gift represent a generation of prominent artists who work, or have worked, in abstraction, including Clement Meadmore, Jules Olitski, Beverly Pepper, Rebecca Salter, Kenneth Snelson, and Yuriko Yamaguchi, among others. Also on view are sculptures and paintings by distinguished African American and Latin American artists from The Ringling collection, including William Edmondson, Eduardo Mac Entyre, Omar Rayo, Baruj Salinas, and Joyce de Guatemala.  

[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]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: Rock & Roll Reignited With Not Fade Away , June 14 – August 7, Varies.

This is Rock & Roll Reignited! Inspired by the legendary music of artists like Buddy Holly, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and more, this new revue reignites Rock & Roll classics with sizzle, showmanship, and style. Fresh off their national tour, Not Fade Away has performed to sold out theatres in over 150 cities. Now, the four-piece band brings the best of the ‘50s and ‘60s to Sarasota with such hits as “It’s So Easy,” “Rave On,” “Johnny B. Goode,” and more. Rock & Roll Reignited With Not Fade Away, created by Jared Mancuso with musical arrangements by Jared Mancuso and Nick Gallardo plays June 14 - August 7, 2022, in FST's John C. Court Cabaret. Run Time is 70 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

Florida Studio Theatre's John C. Court Cabaret

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Amore Restaurant Extends Savor Sarasota Promotion to December , June 1 – December 18

Amore Restaurant has decided to extend Savor Sarasota Menu through December 18th (not combined with any other offer and, not available on special occasions). Savor Sarasota is a 3 course menu dinner for $35.00 per person. The restaurant offers a Portuguese and an Italian menu. They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 9PM. Fridays and Sundays 5 to 9:30pm. With indoor and outdoor seating available. Easy and free parking. Menu can be viewed here:https://www.amorelbk.com/savor-sarasota/

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Summer Circus Spectacular , June 10 – August 13, 11am and 2 pm

The Circus Arts Conservatory and The Ringling are happy to partner once again to present the Summer Circus Spectacular at the Historic Asolo Theater. Don’t miss this family-friendly show that runs Friday, June 10 through Saturday, August 13! The Summer Circus Spectacular showcases some of the finest circus artists from around the world, performing acts to thrill audiences of all ages. The Summer Circus Spectacular takes place at the Historic Asolo Theatre at The Ringling (5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota). Show times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. 941-360-7399.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Zumba at The Bay , July 9 – September 24, 10am-11am

Join Ya’el Campbell for a special monthly Zumba from 10:00 am – 11:00 am. This is a high energy outdoor Zumba class! Come dance with a fantastic group of Zumba Rockstars who will make you move, smile, jump, shake and sing… (it happens sometimes). Grab a friend, bring your kids, and meet new Zumba friends. Program Dates: July 9 (Bayfront Community Center); August 20 (Bayfront Community Center); September 24; The Bay Park, 655 N. Tamiami Trail.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime: Limelight Market , April 23 – December 17, 10am-3pm

Every 3rd Saturday from 10-3 The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime opens their outdoor space for guest vendors, dog rescues, and live music. Check out the 40 local creators and curators inside The Bazaar every Thursday - Saturday. Enjoy a delicious lunch and support local. Free, until you buy something amazing! 

[SOON]  GALLERY: Atelier de SoSi Art Show , August 12 – September 22, 7pm-10pm

Atelier de SoSi announces the opening of their newest art show “An Artful Home at Atelier.” Exhibition Dates: August 12th - Sep 22nd; Opening night: August 12th 7-10pm; Gallery hours Tues - Wed - Thur 1 - 5pm. “An Artful Home at Atelier” - focus is to showcase that art can be both functional and beautiful. Atelier de SoSi’s gallery space will be transformed to represent a living space. Displaying functional art such as: handmade table settings, glassware, lighting, textiles, furniture, etc. The space will also be featuring one of a kind paintings, sculptures and an array of other unique pieces. We want to show the viewer that artwork comes in all shapes, sizes and functionalities. Yes, your coffee table can be a piece of artwork along with your favorite reading chair, lamp, and coffee mug. Art can touch every area of our lives, come see examples of this and find one of a kind pieces for your own living space.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Health and Wellness Beauty Fair , August 6, 11am-3pm

This relaxing day will feature the latest technology in non-invasive, no down time facial/neck treatment for fine lines and wrinkles, SofWave. On-site treatments, demos, discounts & samples, vendors & shopping, food, wine & live music + amazing door prizes! Free EMSlim body sculpting session w/ SofWave purchase. Please come out and meet Nancy Dowe, RN, BSN, Licensed Esthetician with 30 years of nursing and skincare experience and owner of Esteem Medical Aesthetics of Bradenton. Saturday, August 6th, 11 am to 3 pm, Peridia Golf and Country Club, 4950 Peridia Boulevard East, Bradenton, RSVP by text: 615-319-3603.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre Improv: We're Doomed , August 13 – September 24, 7:30pm

FST Improv Presents: We're Doomed Beginning August 13 on Saturdays at 7:30pm. In a world where blockbusters come and go, FST Improv entertains with an unforgettable, original, and fully improvised motion picture! The cast of We’re Doomed will perform an improvised horror movie based on a title provided by the audience! We’ll leave the fancy equipment behind as we use unique staging, special effects and onstage acrobatics to recreate the excitement and magic of the silver screen. You’ll even get to see improvised previews of upcoming attractions.

Florida Studio Theatre's Bowne's Lab

[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]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Friday Fest 2022 , June 17 – September 16, 5pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Friday Fest events are our outdoor concert series that provide the community with 4 entertaining and FREE events from June to September, showcasing the best of local bands from Sarasota and Bradenton. Friday Fest brings together a wide variety of talented artists along with food trucks and drink stations on the Van Wezel lawn along the beautiful Sarasota Bayfront. Our Friday Fest lineup includes: Yesterdayze - June 17, Kettle of Fish - July 15, Big Night Out - August 12, and Jah Movement - September 16 at 5pm. 

Van Wezel

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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