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SRQ DAILY Aug 17, 2022

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"We are deeply grateful to FPL and Suncoast Charities for their critical support of those we serve, as our children are future stewards of the earth and environment around us."

- Kathleen Sullivan, Vice President of Programs, Children First.

[Grants awarded]  Van Wezel Foundation Grants $540,000 to Support Arts Education

The Van Wezel Foundation is proud to announce it has provided more than $540,000 this past year to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall to underwrite arts education and community engagement programs for students, educators, and families throughout the Suncoast. The Foundation continued its long tradition of partnering with the Van Wezel Hall on arts integration, which included funding for Schooltime Performances, a program that presents nationally renowned artists and performances for area students. Each Schooltime Performance connects to Florida Standards through engaging, awe-inspiring performing arts. Because of this partnership, and despite the challenges of COVID-19, 12,826 students were able to experience live theatre. Over 200 family members participated in Family Arts Night Activities, and more than 1,200 art kits were distributed to families via Sarasota and Manatee County libraries.

“The Van Wezel Foundation has been providing philanthropic support to the Hall and arts education for 35 years,” said Mary Bensel, Executive Director of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. “Engagement in the arts is essential to every student, teacher and community member. Our partnership allows us to provide programs that enrich the lives of children, educators, and families, and assures each teacher has the tools and resources to reach every student and that student receives a well-rounded education.”

The Foundation was also proud to sponsor opportunities to extend access to the arts through multi-cultural and educational performances with UnidosNow, West Coast Black Theater Troupe, the Hermitage Artist Retreat, and a master class led by Harry Connick, Jr. with students from Booker High School. “I am grateful to our donors for their genuine commitment to our mission to create and sustain a vibrant performing arts center, advance education, and enrich communities by inspiring minds through the power of the arts,” said Van Wezel Foundation CEO Cheryl Mendelson. 

Pictured: An Alta Vista student explores Language Arts Standards through Visual Arts, funded by the Van Wezel Foundation.

[Support]  Children First Grows the Next Generation with Support from Florida Power & Light Company and Suncoast Charities for Children

As the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services for Sarasota County, Children First serves hundreds of children and their families living at or below the Federal Poverty Level ($23,030 for a family of three) across 15 locations each year. At a recent ribbon cutting ceremony, Children First unveiled the new nature activity center at its’ Venice campus. Another activity center has also been installed at its North Port location. The garden-based items include raised fences, hanging flowerpots, a dual chamber compost tumbler, soil and seeds, a worm farm, and hoses that will encourage a love of learning and nature among the children.

“When children play outdoors, it helps to foster their intellectual, emotional, social and physical development. Being surrounded by nature creates an ever-changing and free-flowing environment that stimulates the senses and truly makes learning fun,” says Vice President of Programs Kathleen Sullivan. “Nature also provides countless opportunities for discovery, creativity, and problem-solving. We are deeply grateful to FPL and Suncoast Charities for their critical support of those we serve, as our children are future stewards of the earth and environment around us.” “We’re proud to support Children First with this investment in its STEM and sustainability programming to help empower our next generation of leaders and innovators,” FPL External Affairs Manager Devaney Iglesias said. “Suncoast Charities for Children, FPL, and Children First share a common value of making the community we serve a better place to live, work, and raise a family. This project is a great example of that value we all share and will have such a positive impact on preschool students for years to come,” says Lucy Nicandri, Executive Director of Suncoast Charities. 

[Retirement]  Selby Foundation Announces Retirement of President/CEO Carol Butera and Search Committee Process

The William G. and Marie Selby Foundation’s Board of Directors has announced the retirement of its President and CEO, Carol Butera, effective in Spring 2023. Butera joined the Foundation in July 2017 as its Executive Director and was later promoted to President and CEO. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as Vice President of Development at Children First for a decade and at the Sarasota YMCA for a decade prior to that. Her career service in the nonprofit sector goes deep - she came to Sarasota in 1996 after working in Haiti for the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer. Her goal has always been to bring lifelong change to children and families in the community. And, her leadership of the Foundation over the past five years has had a tremendous impact. Butera’s accomplishments include moving the Selby Foundation from a Trust to a Private Foundation in 2019 enabling the Foundation to better manage its corpus of $70 million dollars and to direct its programs in perpetuity. During her tenure, Butera expanded the traditional two-year grant cycle adding Small and Mighty Grants (SAM) quarterly which enable nonprofits with annual operating expenses of less than $300,000 to apply for grants outside of the traditional grant cycle. With the Board’s leadership, Butera recently commissioned two scholarship studies in the region which will lead to strengthening the Foundation’s current scholarship program, helping it to focus on critical gaps in the four-county region. The Selby Foundation is a private foundation founded by William G. and Marie Selby in 1955. The Foundation supports Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties through capital grants and scholarships. Since its establishment, the Selby Foundation has provided more than $120 million to the community. For more information on the Foundation’s grant and scholarship application process, including its Small and Mighty Grants program, visit www.selbyfdn.org. 

[Hospital News]  Manatee Memorial Hospital and Manatee Diagnostic Center Expands Services with new Mobile Positron Emission Tomography (PET)/ Computerized Tomography (CT)

Manatee Memorial Hospital and Manatee Diagnostic Center have recently expanded their services to include a specialized test called PET/CT imaging. PET/CT imaging allows our physicians to detect and treat cancer, and neurologic conditions (such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease) early. The PET scan alone can detect metabolic changes within the body. The CT scan provides a detailed picture of the internal anatomy revealing the location, size, and shape of the abnormality. The results of the combined images provide a comprehensive scan that gives physicians detailed information for diagnosis and treatment. Our medical director and radiologist, Dr. Christian T. Schmitt, is one of the leading experts in PET/CT interpretation in the state of Florida. Dr. Schmitt is board-certified and was trained at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, one of the leading Nuclear Medicine training facilities. As with all imaging studies, a physician referral is required. For appointment scheduling contact Manatee Diagnostic Center at 941.747.3034. 

[Home Building]  Green Builder Conference Co-Hosted by New College of Florida

Want to learn more about the latest technologies and trends in sustainable home building? Join us at the IDS Environmental Design Conference: Green Building, Healthy Lives!, Sept. 22 and 23, at the Harry Sudakoff Conference Center, New College of Florida, 5845 General Dougher Place, Sarasota. Co-hosted by New College and the Interior Design Society Sarasota Chapter, the public Conference will bring together local and national green building experts, and attendees can participate in three panel discussions. Sarah Boren will be the featured speaker, sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).Boren has more than 25 years of professional experience in the environmental sustainability field, having served in numerous roles at the Smithsonian Institution and on Capitol Hill; in the green business consulting industry in California; as an executive director of two nonprofits; and in various positions with the USGBC Florida and the USGBC headquarters in Washington, D.C. New College of Florida will also host Day 2 sessions on careers in environmental design and on its New College Challenge initiative which will be launched later in the Fall. The Challenge will be a multi-year planning and community engagement initiative that promotes sustainability across a variety of community and campus life dimensions.

“We are proud to join New College Florida and the Interior Design Society Sarasota Chapter as an Environmental Champion sponsor of the 2022 Environmental Design Conference,” said Jon Thaxton Senior Vice President for Community Investment, Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “Our choices for our built environment, such as Green Buildings, can lead to healthier lives, and improve our quality of life, and protect our valuable natural resources.” Tickets are available now at greenbuildconference.com (the fee includes breakfast, coffee, lunch and an evening vendor/trade show reception). Key conference sponsors include the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Florida Design Works and Sarasota Architectural Salvage. Community sponsors include the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, the Sarasota County Green Business Partnership, the American Society of Interior Designers, the Interior
Design Society Sarasota Chapter and New College of Florida. Gulf Coast Community Foundation: gulfcoastcf.org. 

To register click here

[Grand Opening]  ERES Companies Announces Grand Opening of Sarasota Office

ERES Companies (ERES), a full service, commercial real estate firm, announced today the opening of its new office in Sarasota, FL. The office, located in the Sarasota City Center building, will serve as a hub for ERES Capital, the organization’s private equity investment and development division. The Sarasota office marks ERES Companies’ 10th office location globally and will enable the organization to expand its services to the Gulf Coast and Southern U.S. regions. ERES Capital has already made its mark on the Sarasota market with its announcement in March of a new luxury condo development in the desirable Rosemary District. ERES Capital also has plans for a hotel project in downtown Ft. Myers, which will be announced in the coming weeks. The office is centrally located at 1819 Main Street in Suite 1000. 

To learn more, visit

[Recognition]  Composer Sofía Rocha wins the 2022 Hermitage Prize in Composition at Aspen Music Festival & School

The Hermitage Artist Retreat (Sarasota County, Florida) and the Aspen Music Festival and School (Aspen, Colorado) announce that Sofía Rocha, a composition student at AMFS, has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Hermitage Prize in Composition. Rocha is the ninth recipient of this annual award, which includes a residency at the Hermitage, along with a $1,000 cash stipend. Rocha was selected by a jury that includes Robert Spano, Music Director of the AMFS and the Atlanta Symphony and a past member of the Hermitage Curatorial Council; Alan Fletcher, AMFS President and CEO; and the composition faculty of the AMFS, including Hermitage Fellow Christopher Theofanidis. The award was presented to Rocha at the Aspen Music Festival’s Benedict Tent on Saturday afternoon by Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg, alongside Hermitage alumnus and renowned composer Nico Muhly, in addition to the aforementioned jurors. 

Pictured: Sofia Rocha with Andy Sandberg, Artistic Director and CEO of the Hermitage Artist Retreat. Photo courtesy of the Hermitage Artist Retreat.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Oscura Live: Oscura Comedy Night , August 19, 7pm

St. Pete Standup & Oscura Live Presents: Comedy Night. Friday, August 19th, 2022. DOORS OPEN: 7:00 SHOW TIME: 8:00. St. Pete Standup will be going over the Skyway Bridge to Oscura! Oscura is a beloved venue in Bradenton. Known for hosting music, August 19th Oscura will have their inaugural comedy show. They have an amazing space for many comedy shows to come! Featuring the best up and coming comedians in Florida. Get your tickets while you still can so you do not miss out on a night of fun like this! Tickets at the Door: $15 (Venmo, Paypal , Cashapp or Cash) $10 on Eventbrite.

Oscura , 816 Manatee Avenue East Bradenton, FL 34208

[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]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: Smoke & Mirrors , August 3 – August 21, Varies.

Hamilton Orr will stop at nothing to get what he wants. A top Hollywood director, Hamilton comes up with deadly scheme to gain control over a multi-million-dollar film. He just needs to persuade the movie’s screenwriter, Clark, to get onboard. And make sure that Barbara, his wife, plays her part. When his plot doesn’t go as planned, Hamilton comes face-to-face with the wily local sheriff, Leroy. Smoke and Mirrors keeps the audience guessing (and laughing) until the end. Smoke and Mirrors by Will Osborne and Anthony Herrera will play beginning August 3, 2022 in FST's Gompertz Theatre. Run Time is 2 hour and 10 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

Florida Studio Theatre's Gompertz Theatre

[SOON]  THEATER: Manatee Performing Arts Center: HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING! , August 11 – August 23, Varied

Wouldn’t it be great if you could become successful with a single book? Well, J. Pierrepont Finch seems to have hit the jackpot. “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” follows Finch from being a common window washer to a high executive with the help of a small book. However, does that book help with all the problems that he faces to reach his dream? Does it answer how to handle betrayal, caffeine addiction, or love? With music by Frank Loesser (composer of “Guys and Dolls”) we’ll follow Finch and his struggle to balance business power and true love. For more information visit www.manateeperformingartscenter.com, Ticket Office

Manatee Performing Arts Center , 502 Third Avenue West Bradenton, FL 34205

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Selby Gardens: Seeing the Invisible , September 25 – August 31, 10am-5pm

The most ambitious and expansive exhibition to date of contemporary artworks created with augmented reality (AR) technology will premiere at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, opening on September 25, 2021 and ongoing through August 31 2022, as one of 12 participating gardens across six countries. Seeing the Invisible features works by more than a dozen international artists such as Ai Weiwei, Refik Anadol, El Anatsui, Isaac Julien CBE, Mohammed Kazem, Sigalit Landau, Sarah Meyohas, Pamela Rosenkranz, and Timur Si-Qin—including several artists’ first work in AR. Visitors will engage with Seeing the Invisible via an app designed for the exhibition downloadable to smartphones and tablets. Forging new links between botanical gardens located in diverse biomes around the globe, the exhibition fosters collaboration between institutions, artists, and audiences, highlighting the power of art to connect people around the world.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Farmers' Market at Lakewood Ranch , January 2 – December 25, 10am-2pm

The Farmers’ Market at Lakewood Ranch is home to more than 90 curated vendors of the region’s best food and flavors, located at Waterside Place in Lakewood Ranch. It takes place every Sunday from 10am to 2pm at Waterside Place. It’s your weekend destination for organic produce, meat, poultry, seafood, bread, pasta, juices and prepared foods. Stay up to date on vendors and events by visiting TheMarketLWR.com.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Art Museum: Jazz Thursdays , January 13 – January 12, 5:30pm-8:30pm

Jazz Thursdays at Sarasota Art Museum will runs through January 12, 2023 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. FREE for Members, $20 for Not-Yet Members. Sarasota Art Museum invites you to be our guest at our first Jazz Thursday at SAM, featuring Hot Club of SRQ. Sarasota Art Museum is partnering with the Jazz Club of Sarasota for Jazz Thursdays. Join us for our special late-night performances on the Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza. Jazz Thursdays will occur on the second Thursday of each month until January 12, 2023. Galleries + Bistro + Shop will be open.

[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: The Players Centre: Let It Be , August 17 – August 28, Varied

LET IT BE Featuring your favorite Beatles hits runs August 17th-28th, 2022 at The Players Centre. The journey of two families learning to lean on each other through the civil unrest of the ‘60s through the brilliant songs of The Beatles. August 17, 2022 at 7:30pm – Preview, August 18-20 & 23-27 at 7:30pm August 21 & 28 at 2pm For tickets visit theplayers.org, Ph. 941-365-2494, email BoxOffice@ThePlayers.org

[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.

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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