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SRQ DAILY Jan 7, 2023

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"Volunteer scholarship committee members fulfill a vital part of our mission of supporting the next generation of leaders, innovators, and creators, and community caretakers."

- Roxie Jerde, Community Foundation of Sarasota County

[Dialogue]  About the SRQ DAILY | Perspectives Edition

SRQ Daily: The Perspectives Edition features analysis, commentary and insight on current events in Sarasota and Manatee counties from regular columnists, local leaders and guest contributors. Readers are invited to submit letters that respectfully share their perspective on a local community topic or issue to: letters@srqme.com. Submissions received before Thursday of each week will be considered for the immediate Saturday edition. Editors reserve the right to fact-check and edit. SRQ MEDIA does not house an editorial board and as such does not publish editorials or endorsements of candidates. The opinions and analysis of columns and letters shared in this edition are those of the writer who submitted them. The Perspectives Edition serves as a respectful and thoughtful space for readers to share their voices on topics that are important to them. 

[Under The Hood]  New Trustee Lineup at New College?
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

New College of Florida has long remained a bastion of liberal thinking in Florida’s State University System. That makes Gov. Ron DeSantis’ six new appointments to its Board of Trustees feel like a slap in the face. Indeed, commentary coming with it made clear it was intended as such.

“As the Governor said in his inaugural address, ‘Florida is where woke goes to die,’” tweeted Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz. “Florida’s colleges and universities should concentrate on providing students with a world class education, not indoctrinating them with critical race theory or other anti-historical nonsense.”

That seems relevant as Chris Rufo, a Manhattan Institute fellow who led the nationwide charge against critical race theory, was named as one of six new trustee at New College. Matt Spalding, professor and grad school dean at the conservative (and private) Hillsdale College, also was put on the board.

Other new trustees include Claremont Colleges professor Charles Kesler, Emory Professor Mark Bauerlein, Inspiration Academy Superintendent Eddie Speir and attorney Debra Jenks, the only New College alum in the bunch. Some bring respected, academic backgrounds, but with distinctly conservative bona fides. Others are simply far right culture warriors.

"We are looking forward to the new board of trustees getting to work on the ground at New College of Florida, assessing the immediate needs of the institution to bring about significant reform and to refocus it on its founding mission of providing a quality education with an exceptional focus on the classics," said DeSantis Press Secretary Bryan Griffin.

Expect the New College community to greet that with as much warmth as if Lollapalooza organizers announced a line-up of all country and Christian radio acts. It’s just not anything fans would ask for and will more likely revolt against.

New College President Patricia Okker diplomatically released a statement thanking DeSantis for filling long-vacant seats with new trustees. “I look forward to getting to know them and working with them to ensure New College continues to serve our students, community, and state in the years to come,” she said.

Meanwhile, former Sarasota County Commissioner Christian Ziegler, a Republican State Committeeman, greeted news with partisan zeal, saying New College will finally be a place he can send his girls. “It sets the tone that higher education can and will be reformed if Conservative leaders are willing to step up, lead and act,” he said.

Republican lawmakers welcomed the development but critically didn’t phrase it in such ideological terms. Rather, they reminded of an uncomfortable truth. Whatever reason students today choose to attend New College, not enough do.

“New College is an indisputable gem in Florida’s education landscape, and I’m proud to have them and support the school in Sarasota,” said state Rep. Fiona McFarland, R-Sarasota. “But they’ve had issues with cost and enrollment as former Senate President [Bill] Galvano brought up several years ago. I hope this can be a positive development for the school’s future."

State Rep. Will Robinson, R-Bradenton, reminded “A few years ago the Legislature had looked into consolidating New College, given its dismal enrollment numbers and relative high cost to the state. Frankly, while slight improvements have been made, this new direction is needed and warranted. The current model is not working. I look forward to this fresh start.”

All this suggests bigger changes could be coming than a few ideological bomb throwers on the board. State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, fought to keep New College independent. But he said there’s no doubt change must come. He called the Governor’s vision “bold.”

“Everything has been vetoed over the last couple of years and the model has struggled,” he said. “The state has propped it up but it is time for a transformation to a model that is sustainable.”

Of course, if the first question is enrollment, the next is whether those who love the New College of today will want anything to do with it tomorrow.

Jacob Ogles is contributing senior editor at SRQ MEDIA. 

Photo Courtesy New College of Florida Facebook page.

[Higher Education]  Scholarships Give Glimpses of Tomorrows
Roxie Jerde, roxie@cfsarasota.org

For many of us, the first days of a new year are brimming with visions of the future, as this is the time we proclaim our resolutions and begin to carve out plans for how to see them through. 

That rush of energetic progress—setting goals, imagining a brighter tomorrow, and creating pathways to see aspirations become reality—is especially felt in the halls of our high schools at this time each year, as seniors devise plans for postsecondary education. Waiting for and receiving acceptance letters to universities, conservatories, certification programs, and community colleges boosts anticipation, but for too many, the elation of an acceptance is quickly eclipsed with anxiety about how to pay for this next big step. 

Driven by the ethos that education is the pathway to a secure, prosperous future, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County invests in opportunities for students in our four-county area, across a broad range of high school achievement and postsecondary interests, with a focus on need. The Traditional Scholarship Application for the 2023-2024 school year is open now through Feb. 15, 2023.  By completing a single application, local students are considered for more than 88 scholarship funds. The applications are reviewed by nearly 90 local community volunteers. Last year, the Community Foundation awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to nearly 300 applicants under the age of 24. While many were just heading into college and career programs, many of recipients were already college students when they applied, underscoring the need for renewal of support in an inflation-riddled economy. With the cost of living escalating along with college-related fees, scholarships are essential for helping students cross the finish line.

The scholarship cycle currently open is for so-called traditional students, those who attend a postsecondary educational or technical program soon after graduating high school. However, recognizing that each person’s path to higher learning is unique, the Community Foundation awards scholarships each year for older learners. The Adult Scholarship Application, for people 24 and older, opens February 2023. 

Overall, the Community Foundation awards more than $2 million annually to more than 700 recipients. More can be learned about the robust and varied scholarship opportunities available for adult learners, parents seeking higher education, and people aspiring to nursing programs by visiting the Community Foundation website.  

Even if you’re not returning to school yourself, there is still an opportunity to help aspiring students succeed. The Community Foundation is seeking volunteers to serve on a scholarship review committee. This rewarding undertaking connects adults in our community with those up-and-coming leaders, allowing a glimpse into the lives and aspirations of college-bound students. Our volunteers often tell us that getting to know the next generation through the application is a heartwarming conduit to seeing the world through the eyes of the youth. Volunteer scholarship committee members fulfill a vital part of our mission of supporting the next generation of leaders, innovators, and creators, and community caretakers. 

For everyone—the applicant and the scholarship reviewer alike—the new year offers an opportunity to reset and focus on the future. The Community Foundation is proud to have an impact on the lives of college-bound students with financial need. Along with our donors and scholarship reviewers, we’re honored today to shape so many people’s tomorrows. 

Roxie Jerde is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. 

[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]  PERFORMANCE: FST - A Place in the Sun - A Tribute to Stevie Wonder , November 16 – April 16, Varied

A Place in the Sun – A Tribute to Stevie Wonder, will begin playing in FST’s Goldstein Cabaret on November 16, 2022. The new music revue celebrates the legendary musician whose catalogue spans six decades and multiple musical genres, taking audiences through the beloved songbook of musical pioneer, Stevie Wonder. Created by Jason Cannon, Richard Hopkins, and Sarah Durham, this all-new Cabaret features such timeless hits as “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” “Isn’t She Lovely?,” and “Superstition.” Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  THEATER: Urbanite Theatre: Birds of North America , January 6 – February 12, Varied

"Birds of North America" runs January 6th-February 12th, 2023 at Urbanite Theatre. As birders, John and his daughter Caitlyn adore spending tender autumn days attempting to catch glimpses of elusive birds. But as seasons, the climate, and global politics change, the two find their connection as rare as a red-headed Woodpecker.  In a lyrical and endearing family portrait, Birds of North America unfolds in delicate, detailed layers like the scattered leaves of each passing year. For tickets and information contact Ph. (941) 321-1397, Email info@urbanitetheatre.com, Website www.urbanitetheatre.com

Urbanite Theatre , 1487 2nd Street Sarasota FL, 34236

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Players Centre: Proof , January 12 – January 22, Varied

Proof by David Auburn. Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play, Proof tells the story of Catherine, a troubled young woman, who has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death and on the eve of her 25th birthday, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father’s madness—or genius—will she inherit? January 12-22, 2023 For tickets visit theplayers.org, Ph. 941-365-2494, email BoxOffice@ThePlayers.org

The Players Centre For Performing Arts, Performance Venue & Box Office The Crossings at Siesta Key 3501 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 1130 Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  GALLERY: Contemporary Realism First Friday Gallery Walk at the Dabbert Gallery , January 6 – January 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Contemporary Realism First Friday Gallery Walk at the Dabbert Gallery. From 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 6, the Dabbert Gallery will host the First Friday Gallery Walk through its new contemporary realism exhibit. The exhibit runs through Jan. 31. For more information, visit dabbertgallery.com. Dabbet Gallery, 46 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Elements by Cheryl Moody to be Featured at Art Uptown Gallery in February , January 27 – February 23

From January 27, 2023 to February 23, Art Uptown Gallery will exhibit Elements by Cheryl Moody. Cheryl loves being outdoors and painting subjects in oils that spark her interest, whether it's the way light filters through leaves, reflects on water, creates patterns of color in the landscape, or how palm fronds twist in the wind. Cheryl enjoys hearing from people saying they could “ feel the wind blowing” or “smell the salt air,” and knowing that they have been transported to her special places. Meet the artist at the gallery on Saturday, January 28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at the monthly First Friday, 6 p.m. public reception on February 3. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes patrons and friends at 1367 Main Street daily where the diverse art works of regional, award-winning artists are exhibited. Telephone 941-955-5409 or visit www.artuptown.com for hours and further information.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: 10 x 10: Ten Slides, Ten Speakers at the Sarasota Art Museum , January 26, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

After a two-year hiatus, the 10 x 10 series will return to the Sarasota Art Museum. 10 speakers will be invited to present 10 images of their work, interest or inspiration. Slides advance automatically every 30 seconds with brief introductions between the speakers. The informal and fast-paced event is intended to showcase and introduce a diverse group of leaders and creative minds from our community. Tickets are $15 for AIA members, $15 for Ringling faculty and staff, $25 for non-members and free for students. Sarasota Art Museum, McGuire Hall, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit 10slides10speakers.com.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sarasota Opera: Don Giovanni , February 25 – March 25, Varied

Don Giovanni is an Opera in two acts. Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. Mozart’s most famous opera is a comic and tragic masterpiece. Set in 17th century Spain, this tale of obsession, betrayal, crime, and retribution centers around the infamous lover Don Juan, who leaves a path of broken hearts wherever he goes. Sung in Italian with English Translations in English. February 25th-March 25th. For tickets visit sarasotaopera.org, Ph. +1 941 328 1300, 61 N Pineapple Ave Sarasota, FL 34236

Sarasota Opera , 61 N Pineapple Ave. Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  THEATER: Urbanite Theatre: That Must Be The Entrance To Heaven , June 9 – July 9

THAT MUST BE THE ENTRANCE TO HEAVEN by Franky D. Gonzalez. A World Premiere. June 9 - July 9, 2023. Urbanite Theatre. Glory. Survival. Legacy. Citizenship. Four Latino boxers all chase a world title to achieve their personal versions of heaven. But to get there, they must battle each other, their own battered bodies, and the universe itself. All four men walk the line between life and death in this poignant, poetic collision of combat and cosmos. For tickets and info contact - phone (941) 321-1397, email info@urbanitetheatre.com, website www.urbanitetheatre.com.

Urbanite Theatre , 1487 2nd Street Sarasota FL, 34236

[SOON]  DANCE: Sarasota Ballet: Program 7 - Tribute to Balanchine , April 28 – April 29

The Sarasota Ballet is excited to announce the Company’s 2022 – 2023 Season. Over seven programs, The Sarasota Ballet will perform 15 works by some of the most celebrated and prestigious choreographers and composers of the ballet world. Program 7 - Tribute to Balanchine. April 28-29, 2023 at the Sarasota Opera House. Featuring: Divertimento No. 15 - Choreography by George Balanchine, Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Four Temperaments - Choreography by George Balanchine, Music by Paul Hindemith. Western Symphony - Choreography by George Balanchine, Music – American folk tunes arranged by Hershy Kay. For more information visit www.sarasotaballet.org, Box office 941.359.0099

Sarasota Opera House, 61 N Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Players Centre: Always... Patsy Cline , February 2 – February 12, Varied

Always… Patsy Cline created and originally directed by Ted Swindley
Always…Patsy Cline is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. The show is based on a true story about Cline’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961, and continued a correspondence with Cline until her death. The musical play, complete with down home country humor, true emotion and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as Crazy, I Fall to Pieces, Sweet Dreams and Walking After Midnight – 27 songs in all. Feb 2-12, 2023. For tickets visit theplayers.org, Ph. 941-365-2494, email BoxOffice@ThePlayers.org

The Players Centre For Performing Arts, Performance Venue & Box Office The Crossings at Siesta Key 3501 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 1130 Sarasota, FL 34239

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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