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SRQ DAILY Feb 16, 2023

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

"Learning French makes you and your life more interesting."

- Patricia Anderson, President of the Alliance Francaise de Sarasota

[French Classes]  Say Bonjour to French at the Alliance Francaise de Sarasota
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

Hobbies, like learning a new language, represent an opportunity to learn, grow and push past the boundaries of one’s comfort zone. Since 1983, the Alliance Francaise de Sarasota, a chapter of the larger global Alliance Francaise, has opened the doors to the French language for countless students, helping them have fun while developing an exciting new skill.

The Alliance Francaise conducts classes and hosts events for Francophiles, from novices to native speakers. Beginner, intermediate and advanced courses offer a variety of choices to match learner needs. For those saying “bonjour” to the language, three beginner levels build a solid foundation based on studying grammar, pronunciation and other important elements of French, like verb conjugation. As students progress, they enhance their conversational skills. The intermediate and advanced courses focus on speaking and encouraging spirited class discussions. Depending upon the course level, students may choose to take it online via Zoom or in person.

Advanced students can partake in special thematic classes like the Un Certain Regard course, which will explore the work of four French female filmmakers. These courses offer learners a chance to explore the intersection of language and culture using real-life materials, such as films. Students seeking to prepare for the immersive experience of traveling to a Francophone country enjoy the French for Travelers entry-level course, which helps them create connections with locals while abroad.

While people often feel intimidated by new languages, Patricia Anderson, the president of the Alliance Francaise de Sarasota, says that “there’s no reason for students to feel intimidated, they just need go into it with an open mind.” Over the course of their studies, students become friends and bond over a shared enthusiasm for French. “We have many students who are visiting us from Canada that take our courses, then continue them with us online when they go back home,” Anderson adds.

The goal of fostering relationships between all French speakers and Francophiles also guides the events and programs hosted by the Alliance Francaise, including Zoom lectures, book clubs, conversation clubs, discounted outings to local performances of French theater and music and more. The monthly Apero, or French happy hour, allows Francophiles to mix and mingle together in English and French. Most of the events are exclusive for members, and membership is available for an affordable fee. In addition to special events, membership also provides access to an extensive physical library of French books and online resources updated on a regular basis by the global Alliance Francaise institution.

French learners benefit from their study of the language by becoming more global citizens. “Learning French makes you and your life more interesting,” says Anderson, passionate about the way that language learning expands students’ worldviews. “Not everyone in the world speaks English, and if you travel abroad and speak French, you never know what might happen,” she adds.

The Alliance Francaise de Sarasota welcomes all to enroll in their upcoming session, with new classes beginning as soon as next week. To get more information about courses, enroll or become a member, visit afsarasota.org. Alliance Francaise de Sarasota, 715 N. Washington Blvd., Ste. C, afsarasota.org. 

Pictured: Madame Sandrine Berger leads a French class at the Alliance Francaise de Sarasota. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

[Recognition]  Manatee County Educator and Support Employee of the Year Announced

The School District of Manatee County is proud to announce the winners of the 2023 Excellence in Education Awards. A tremendous event was held at Parrish Community High School on Thursday evening to celebrate public education. MANATEE COUNTY’S EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR: Kelly Smith-Williams, Anatomy & Physiology Honors Teacher, Lakewood Ranch High School, 7 years with School District of Manatee County. Kelly consistently strives to meet the needs of students inside and outside the classroom. She enhances student learning by introducing them to innovative tools, such as Anatomage, the world's first virtual dissection table. If Kelly isn't helping them prepare for careers in the medical field, she's finding ways to expand their life skills. As an advisor for academic, professional and spiritual organizations, she shows students how to achieve their goals. During the summer, she serves as a teacher to help teens stay on track in order to graduate. SUPPORT EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR: Brianna Hall, Assistant School Clerical – Lincoln Memorial Middle School, 3 years with School District of Manatee County. Brianna goes the distance to assure students are thriving in the classroom and beyond. She commutes nearly 100 miles each weekday to perform clerical duties, but goes the extra mile to ensure student success. She created her school’s PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) and serves as president. She aims to fill a void when needed, and administrators say her versatility is immeasurable. Brianna also tutors students and offers them help with homework, which began when she was hired in March 2020 amid the school shutdown.

Both winners receive a $5,000 cash prize, provided by Suncoast Credit Union; an all-expenses paid gathering for 24 friends and family in the Mayor’s Suite at LECOM Park in Bradenton during a Marauders game. Four tickets to a 2023 spring training game, courtesy of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Bradenton Marauders; a one-night stay at the Courtyard by Marriott/Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton; customized spa service from Sirius Day Spa; and more. Kelly Smith-Williams will now advance to the Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Program, while Brianna Hall will advance to the Florida School-Related Employee of the Year Program. The remaining six finalists, who were also deserving of the “Educator of the Year” and “Support Employee of the Year” recognition, receive $1,000 cash award from the Manatee Education Foundation, among other prizes. The Excellence in Education Awards wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our community partners including the Manatee Education Foundation, and a long list of event sponsors. Please visit www.ManateeSchools.net/EEA for details.


Pictured: First Row: (L-to-R) Superintendent Cynthia Saunders, Brianna Hall (Support Employee of the Year), Kelly Smith-Williams (Educator of the Year), Deputy Superintendent Doug Wagner; Second Row: Representatives from Suncoast Credit Union; Third Row:

[Job Fair]  School District of Manatee County Hosting Job Fairs With On-Site Interviews This Week

The School District of Manatee County is hosting two job fairs this week. A variety of positions are available for job seekers with on-site interviews available. A Transportation Job Fair is being held at Matzke Complex on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Available positions include: Bus Drivers and Bus Aides. Matzke Complex is located at 1 Matzke Way in Bradenton. An Operations Hiring Event is taking place on Thursday, February 16, 2023, from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Wakeland Support Center, located at 1812 27th Street East in Bradenton. Open positions include: Cafeteria Managers, Food Service Workers, Paraprofessionals, Vehicle Mechanics, HVAC Technician, Controls Technician, Plumber, Electrician, Electronics Technician, Equipment Operator and IT Field Technician. Interested applicants are encouraged to view openings and apply online. For more information or view a list of open positions, please visit www.ManateeSchools.net/Careers. 

[Leadership]  New Principal at Sugg Middle School

Lorie Starkweather, who has served as an assistant principal in the district since 2004, will take over as principal at Sugg Middle School starting tomorrow, Thursday, February 16, 2023. Ms. Starkweather is replacing Ann McDonald, a venerable veteran who has served as a principal in the district for 20 years, including the last seven at Sugg. Ms. McDonald began her career with the district 35 years ago as a substitute teacher. She became a fulltime teacher at Sugg and then taught at Bradenton Middle School, before becoming an assistant principal at Johnson Middle in 1997. Her first job as a principal was at Manatee Elementary from 2000 to 2004. She also served as principal at Daughtrey Elementary before taking the principal position at Sugg in July 2016. Ms. Starkweather began her career with the district as a Physical Education teacher at Moody Elementary in 1985. She also taught at Sugg, Wakeland and Lee Middle before becoming an assistance principal and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Coordinator at Johnson Middle in 2004. She then served as an assistant principal at King Middle before becoming the assistant principal at Sugg in 2015.  

[Arts & Entertainment]  Generational Perspectives Highlighted by Sarasota Father/Daughter Artists at Upcoming Exhibition

Expressions of Experience: Two Generations | Two Perspectives. Please join us to experience this unique pop-up exhibition featuring father / daughter local artists, Pamela Olin and Richard Olin. This premiere exhibition features three-dimensional works that offer a glimpse from the perspective of two distinctly different generations. The Olins’ pieces address the transitions they have experienced over the last several years, making it relatable to all ages. Richard’s creative pursuits span over seven decades. His sculptures are constructed primarily of epoxy clay and often include kinetic elements—an influence that comes from his background in computers and programming. For 30 years, Pamela, a nationally recognized sculptor, has been drawn to steel as her primary medium of choice. She recently began experimenting with casting resin, wood, and PVC. Both father’s and daughter’s work suggest a shared influence for movement and interaction by the viewer. Pamela uses light, shadow, and movement, inviting the viewer to interact with pieces both physically and philosophically. Richard utilizes electronics to engage and delight the viewer while addressing significant concepts such as aging, liminal space, and technology. As a duo, this public exhibit is both a curiosity and an insight into the self-expression of two generations of artists linked by DNA. Visit: www.pamelaolin.com and www.olinrich.com.

SPAACES Gallery, 2087 Princeton Street, Sarasota, Opening Reception: Friday February 17, 2023, from 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm; Exhibition Dates: Friday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023. Gallery is open from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. 

Pictured: Father/daughter local artists, Pamela Olin and Richard Olin.

[Gardening]  Upcoming UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County Events

The following is a listing of the upcoming events presented by the University of Florida/IFAS Manatee County Extension located at 1303 17th Street West in Palmetto. Please visit our website at http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/manatee/ to view our calendar of events and register. Gardening with Mushrooms: March 7, 10:30AM. Join UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County for a conversation about using mushrooms to enhance your gardens. Not always nefarious, fungi in the garden can be used to help build soil, process compost and support plant health. Sprouting with Extension: March 10, 8AM. Youth will tour three local farms to learn about dairy, vegetable, and landscape nursery production in Manatee County. They will also participate in hands-on agri-science lessons with UF/IFAS Extension Faculty focused on forestry, egg production, beekeeping, and nutrition. Open to youth ages 8-13. Plant ID for Beginners: March 11, 10AM. Not sure what that plant is in your backyard? New to Florida and unfamiliar with the new species? If you've ever wondered how to figure out what plant is which, join this beginner plant ID class! Precious Pollinators: March 16, 6:30PM. Learn about pollinators, their favorite plants, and make your own bee box to provide a safe habitat for native bees! Located at Palma Sola Botanical Park. Florida-Friendly Landscaping for Newcomers: March 24th 10AM. New to Florida? Or just baffled by the plants and conditions here? This class aims to help you get to know us better. We'll introduce you to the 9 Principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™, why it is so important and how to get the right plant in the right place for future gardening success. 

[Culture City]  Creative Deep Dive

While riding the high of their recent world premiere performance of "Apartments", the Sybarite5 reflect on their journey from summer camp to stardom. Read all about the group's journey that began locally in Sarasota in the February 2023 edition.


Read more.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 2023 Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature , February 12 – June 26, During garden hours

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ 2023 Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature showcases the creativity and innovation of American artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933). The first exhibition of its type to be presented in a botanical garden, the exhibition highlights the inspiring connection between Tiffany Studios and the natural world through unique horticultural displays in the Tropical Conservatory and the Gardens, accompanied by seminal examples of Tiffany’s work on view in the Museum of Botany and the Arts. To learn more, visit selby.org. Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus, 1534 Mound St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Chicken & Biscuits , February 15 – April 13, Varied

The hilarious new play CHICKEN & BISCUITS introduces us to the Jenkins family, as they gather to celebrate the life of their beloved and recently deceased father and grandfather, the Revered Bernard Jenkins. When an unexpected guest reveals a secret, they all discover that nothing brings a family together like a big side of drama. This side-splitting new Broadway comedy explores the tenderness of family, the joy of reconciliation, and the nourishing power of love. Written by Broadway newcomer Douglas Lyons and directed by the talented Bianca LaVerne Jones, who was associate director of the 2021 Broadway production, CHICKEN & BISCUITS proves that while family may drive us crazy, we’re lucky to have each other. 

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  MUSIC: Reel Music at the Florida Studio Theatre , February 15 – June 25, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre presents the original music revue, Reel Music, celebrating the movies that helped create the soundtrack to the last century. Featuring classics like “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Circle of Life,” and “My Heart Will Go On,” this new Cabaret traces how films—and the music highlighted in them—have evolved over the past one hundred years. Created by Richard Hopkins, Rebecca Hopkins, and Sarah Durham with musical arrangements by Jim Prosser, Reel Music begins playing February 15, 2023, in FST’s Court Cabaret. Single tickets for Reel Music
range between $18-39 and are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Thunder by the Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival , February 17 – February 19

The 25th Annual Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival. The iconic three-day Festival, organized by and benefitting Suncoast Charities for Children, is scheduled for February 17-19 at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. Continuous live music will be featured throughout the weekend, and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for outdoor seating in front of the stage. The Festival plans to feature over 100 vendors, a 17-class bike show, a motorcycle stereo sound off competition, motorcycle freestyle demonstrations, a tented full bar area with seating, a “little riders” kid zone, a food court, “Thunder Alley” inside Robarts Arena and so much more!  For tickets, vendor information, sponsorship opportunities, and a complete listing of all Festival events visit: THUNDERBYTHEBAY.ORG | (941) 487-7904. 

Sarasota Fairgrounds

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Saint Barbara 2023 Sarasota Greek Festival , February 17 – February 19, Various times

The 39th Annual St Barbara Greek Festival “Glendi” offers three days of pure family fun filled with delicious Greek dishes, domestic and imported beverages, amazing pastries, live Greek music and The St. Barbara Hellenic Dancers and all things Greek. The tents will be filled with amazing Greek food, Greek drinks, pastries dancing, vendors and more, including a raffle. Visit stbarbarafestival.org to learn more.

Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 7671 Lockwood Ridge Rd, Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Truchard Vineyards Wine Dinner at Michael's Wine Cellar , February 23, 6 p.m.

The Truchard family wine tradition began in the U.S. in the late 1800s. Today, the Truchard estate covers 400 acres and houses an amazing 11,000-square-foot wine cave. Among the wines produced by Truchard Vineyards are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec, all of which are estate grown. This exquisite multi-course wine dinner will feature a special selection of Truchard’s finest wines. And best of all, Anthony Truchard will be our guest host for this event! To learn more and purchase tickets, visit michaelswinecellar.com. 

[SOON]  THEATER: The Last Match at the Florida Studio Theatre , February 22 – March 17, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents the Regional Premiere of The Last Match by Anna Ziegler, a fast-paced play diving into the intense world of professional sports. Set during the semifinals of the U.S. Open, The Last Match follows Sergei Sergeyev, an up-and-coming Russian phenom, and Tim Porter, a great American superstar in the twilight of his career, during one of the most important matches of their careers. Called “Exceptional” and “Highly Engaging” by the Wall Street Journal, The Last Match begins playing February 22 in FST’s Bowne’s Lab. Single tickets range from $18-39 and are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Resilience: A Guided Walking Tour Experience by Compass Rose History Experiences , February 25 – April 22, 3:30 p.m.

Compass Rose History Experiences announces the launch of Resilience: A Guided Walking Tour Experience. Guides Mimi Cirbusova and Andrea Knies will navigate attendees on a journey back in time down Main Street as we explore the resilience of the Sarasota community during the Great Depression and World War II. Locals and visitors alike will find inspiration from the stories of the people and places of Sarasota's past. Tours meet at Five Points Park in Downtown Sarasota and cover a distance of less than one mile over the 75-90 minute tour. All tours begin at 3:30 pm. Tickets cost $20.00 and must be purchased in advance. Guests purchasing both tours can receive a $10 discount by selecting the ticket package. Visit CompassRoseHistory.com to purchase your tickets or to learn more about Compass Rose History Experiences.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Concert Association announces Free Music Matinees , January 4 – April 19, 12:00 PM

The Sarasota Concert Association announces its 2023 Music Matinees concert series. These four free noon-time concerts showcase exceptional regional musicians performing a variety of musical styles, including classical and folk music. Scheduled this season: Passerine; Wednesday, January 4 at noon. With inventive vocal harmonies and song-writing skills, supported by the sounds of acoustic strings, Passerine offers a fresh take on traditional folk and bluegrass music, as well as a repertoire of original songs that range from ballads to contemporary Americana. Duo Pianists Michael Baron and Priscila Navarro; Wednesday, February 22 at noon; The Baron-Navarro Piano Duo performs a wide range of music, from classical to popular, for two pianos and piano four–hands with electric energy and melting lyricism. Their New York City debut as a piano duo at Carnegie Hall in March of 2022 was sold out and met with critical acclaim. Soprano Hein Jung and pianist Gregorios Zamparas; Friday, March 17 at noon Soprano Hein Jung has performed in recitals and with opera companies in major cities throughout the U.S, Italy and South Korea. She will be accompanied by pianist Gregorios Zamparas who has been praised for his versatility as a recitalist, orchestra soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. and Europe. Cellist Natalie Helm and Pianist Jesse Martins; Wednesday, April 19 at noon Principal Cellist of the Sarasota Orchestra, Natalie Helm is a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and educator. For this performance she will collaborate with pianist Jesse Martins, who also serves as conductor and vocal coach with the Sarasota Opera. The concerts are free but pre-registration is required and available 30 days before each concert at SCAsarasota.org. Performances take place at David Cohen Hall in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail. Visit www.SCAsarasota.org or call the box office at 941-966-6161.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: She Engineers at the Bishop , January 24 – July 30, During museum hours

SHE ENGINEERS is a bilingual (English and Spanish) poster exhibition highlighting eight women in various engineering fields. In their own words, the women share their passion and what inspired them to become engineers. If we support a woman in STEM, then she can change the world.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks at the Bishop , January 11 – March 18, During museum hours

Get inspired to create your own ‘towers of tomorrow’ with over 200,000 loose LEGO® bricks available in hands-on construction areas. Young and old will be limited only by their imagination as they add their creations to a steadily rising futuristic LEGO® metropolis inside the exhibition. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit bishopscience.org.

[SOON]  FOOD: Hound Happy Hour at Hamlet's Eatery , February 17, 5 to 8 p.m.

It's a paw-ty at Hamlet's Eatery! The award-winning permanently located food truck is staying open Fridays until 8pm for Hound Happy Hour.This Friday, Feb 17 features dogs from the Humane Society of Sarasota, live music by Chris Lincoln, and guest vendors. There will also be chair massage available. Bring your fur babies! Hamlet's offers traditional and vegan options. They now serve local craft beer, wine, and Prosecco on tap. Located outdoors with plenty of room under a covered patio. This is a great way to kick off your weekend. 821 Apricot Ave in Sarasota. For more information visit www.hamletseatery.com or call 941-445-1938

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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