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SRQ DAILY May 17, 2023

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

" One of the most peaceful places I have ever been."

- Pam Snyder on Tranquil Tuesdays.
 

[Recognition]  Liberty Savings Bank Honored with Good Hero Philanthropic Award

Each year, SRQ Media invites the community to nominate individuals with hearts of giving who have made a significant impact with local nonprofit organizations — from volunteers and board members to individual staff members and donors. This year, attendees were thrilled to be together as we recognized our annual Good Hero Philanthropic Award recipients at the SB2: Philanthropic Agenda Luncheon and Good Hero Philanthropic Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, March 7th at Michael’s on East in Sarasota. In the coming weeks, we are happy to feature each of the ten honorees in our Wednesday Philanthropic edition of SRQ Daily.

Today we are recognizing Liberty Savings Bank. As a proud Sarasota, Venice and Bradenton community bank, this corporate Good Hero organization makes it a major priority to give back to local charities and nonprofits. Last year alone, their staff members spent an estimated 400 hours volunteering in the region and donated over $21,000 to 18 different local charities including The Haven, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity South Sarasota and Manatee County, Cat Depot, Low Rider Dachshund Rescue of Florida, Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center and The Roskamp Institute. Their volunteer efforts include building homes and fundraising with Habitat for Humanity, participating in community clean-up efforts after Hurricane Ian, collecting donations for The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle program, donating blood at local blood banks, volunteering with their local churches, and assisting with Big Bank Theory, a hands-on financial literacy simulation for high school seniors in Manatee County. Thank you for your giving back spirit and congratulations. Patti Shirley, Senior Vice President accepted the award on behalf of Liberty Savings Bank. 

Pictured: Patti Shirley (center) with Dr. Helene Lotman (left) and SRQ Magazine Managing Editor, Barbie Heit. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

[Swamp Peddlers]  Conservation Foundation Nature Lecture Sheds Light on Historic Florida Land Development
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

Last month, the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast hosted a Nature Lecture at Michael’s On East, featuring author Jason Vuic, who spoke about his book, Swamp Peddlers, which tells the tale of the Florida installment land sales industry that thrived during the 1950s and 1960s. Raised in Punta Gorda, Vuic observed the strange pattern of empty lots along the inland areas of the Gulf Coast. “The most defining characteristic of southwest Florida growing up was our endless subdivided lots that were everywhere,” he said.

Curious about how this trend began, Vuic researched the Florida land sales industry. He learned that large Miami-based developers, known as land giants, had discovered an ingenious way to buy up and sell parcels of land with promises to turn them into communities for residents. “The lots were built before anyone wanted to live there. These communities were everywhere and built around the same time. The land giants were massive companies, but in 1954 they didn’t exist. By 1960, it was the only game in town, almost like Silicon Valley had appeared in Florida, but by selling lots to northerners. These companies sliced, diced and subdivided the state.”

In order to entice people to buy into this version of the Florida dream, the land giants targeted specific demographics, employing marketing techniques to appeal to their desires. These companies catered to middle-income northerners, most of whom were retirees with stable pensions. Former teachers, policemen and steel mill workers all wanted to experience the Florida lifestyle, made more attractive by innovations like air conditioning. “Up north, people were getting out of the cities in droves. Middle-income retirees did not live in the new suburbs because they didn’t have enough money. If you couldn’t go to the suburbs, you could move to Florida, if it were parceled out and sold to you in an easy way, like $10 down $10 a month in installments.” Such installment plans were advertised via national magazines, radio ads and even infomercials. Many companies also targeted former GIs, employing unscrupulous methods to convince them to buy land. Some sold lots to GIs while they were stationed in Vietnam.

Even though the land giants were selling massive quantities of lots, they didn’t plan to create a livable community for residents. “The companies weren’t planning for cities; they were just trying to sell lots,” adds Vuic. The most future residents got was a paved road because whenever a lot was sold the companies had to provide one. With no industry or infrastructure to support anyone living on this land, people abandoned the lots, which now lie empty, connected by what Vuic calls “roads to nowhere.” Because various individuals own these lots, initiatives to consolidate them and repurpose the land have been difficult.

However, Christine Johnson, president of the Conservation Foundation, stated that in spite of the challenges, the foundation is working to turn these areas back into wild places. The foundation hopes to close on one such property later this fall. “I hope you can draw the connection between this talk and our work. It’s important that we understand where we came from so we can learn from our past,” she said.

Learn more about the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast at conservationfoundation.com. 

Author Jason Vuic spoke about his book, Swamp Peddlers, at the Nature Lecture hosted by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. Photo by Seth Berman.

[New Program]  Lakewood Ranch Community Fund Launches its Builders Give Back Program

The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund (LWRCF) is pleased to announce the launch of its Builders Give Back program, through which builders make a $100 donation per closing to the LWRCF in the name of the new homeowner. The builders currently participating are Anchor Builders, AR Homes, Homes By Towne, John Cannon Homes, Lee Wetherington Homes, Pulte Homes, and Stock Luxury Homes. The program is further supported by Lakewood Ranch Communities, which will donate a matching $100 per closing to the LWRCF. The new program benefits the LWRCF by both developing engagement with homeowners in their community and introducing them to local philanthropy, which in turn will help create support for the LWRCF into the future. The mission of the LWRCF, which is financed fully by residents and businesses, is to support the nonprofits that are doing impactful work in Lakewood Ranch and the surrounding areas in Manatee and Sarasota counties. As Lakewood Ranch continues to grow, the needs of the community–including human services, education, animal services, and arts and culture–will also grow. 

[Special Event]  Tranquil Tuesdays at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Cynthia Fabian

It’s the evening rush hour, as traffic and a throng of people line the busy streets outside the gardens. Just as the selfies stop, kids climb down from the Banyan trees, the crowds diminish, as another event begins.Once a month at 5:15 p.m. when the gardens and the cafe, gift shop, and greenhouse area remain closed, the rest of the park reopens for a true happy hour. One that is free of drinks or food, but just offers tranquility.

Enter Tranquil Tuesdays at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, a private, after hours experience, where the gardens stay open an extra hour to experience it without the interruption of crowds. Simply, persons with sensory-sensitive or neurodiverse members of the community can have an hour free of stress. Free of the normal bustling and loud noises. This allows community members to just enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Peacefulness awaits you, as you are handed a map by a staff member, and enter the south gate. There you can find your own version of serenity and explore the gardens on your own. And you are welcome to bring a caregiver or family member as well. “Aptly named. One of the most peaceful places I have ever been,” said Pam Snyder, a passerby at Tranquil Tuesdays.

The event takes place at the Downtown Sarasota Campus, and is not available at the Historic Spanish Point Campus in Osprey, Guests will enter through the South Gate, just beyond the Welcome Center. The best address for mapping is 1534 Mound Street, Sarasota, FL 34236. Parking is located across the street from the above address. From there, a staff member will direct you toward the South Gate for check-in. The event is from 5:15 until 6:15. During regular hours, when there is a need, there are resources available at the Welcome Center as well: sound cancellation headphones, and wheelchairs, just request them. Contact: Partners providing registration to members in their community in this outreach effort, called "Tranquil Tuesdays," include: Easterseals of Southwest Florida, The Haven, Josh Provides, and Loveland Center and Ross Johnston, Manager of Visitor Engagement at the Selby: rjohnston@selby.org. 

Pictured: Tranquil Tuesdays offer an extra hour of quiet exploration of the grounds without the crowds or noise. Photo by Cynthia Fabian.

[In Conversation]  In Conversation with Bronwyn Beightol and Phillip Tavill

In the May 2023 edition of SRQ Magazine, we interviewed Bronwyn Beightol, Chief Impact Officer for United Way Suncoast, and Phillip Tavill, President & CEO of Children First, as part of our In Conversation feature on Supporting Children and Families. Below is an excerpt published in the magazine in which Beightol and Tavill shares their insights with SRQ readers on their efforts in supporting children and families.

How does your organization touch or connect with the children and what are the spaces or environments in which your influence is the biggest?

Bronwyn Beightol

I'd like to think that we intersect with children and families in most of the ways that children and families live their lives. So from a partnering perspective, we're involved with the nonprofits in our community, bringing alignment, collaboration, and strategic focus in particular areas. If we're talking about early education, in just the past few years, we've started focusing on our Quality Child Care initiative, which is making sure that there are quality childcare opportunities for families that we refer to as ALICE– Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed–basically our community, more than half who are working hard every single day trying to make ends meet, and realizing that the cost of childcare can cost as much as a year's worth of tuition at USF. The Quality Child Care Initiative is making sure that our childcare centers have what they need to provide services for our families. And that can be anywhere from educational materials, to professional development support, to behavioral health support, and to making sure that our centers have the materials that they need to be successful.

One quick story that came to light even more so after this latest hurricane, is that a center can't function, can't operate if it doesn't have the necessary equipment or safety protocols and all of that in place. So we had a center that lost a fence and lost some of their outside toys and they couldn't open up without having that available. You would think if the inside is okay, everything's going to be alright. It's not. So we worked with our Early Learning Coalition, which is another wonderful partnership. This was in DeSoto County, and we made sure that they had what they needed and got that sorted out so that they could get opened up as soon as possible, and serve our communities and families. Because again, families needed to go to work. And our children still needed to be in an early educational environment, for more reasons than just families going to work.

Philip Tavill

We have multiple sites throughout the county from Northport to Newtown. And our connection with children is really year-round. Infant and toddler care, beginning with services to pregnant moms, taking babies into our care at six weeks of age, and working with them in our really beautiful state-of-the-art early childhood education centers until they're four or five and they go off to kindergarten, or as they like to call it the big school. And we have multiple locations because we want to make sure that barriers to service are as limited as possible. So being in neighborhoods where our families live makes it much more convenient for them to be able to have their kids come see us. And then the other thing that really helps is our family strengthening programming, which typically runs in the evenings after the school day. And when families come back, whether it's budgeting classes, how to become a better parent, or nurturing dads, they're really coming back to their second home. They're coming back to where their kids spend their day. So it behooves us to be really well located based on where our families live. 

To read the full article, click here.

[Data]  Resilient Retreat Shares Valuable Data on Stress, Burnout and Compassion Fatigue

Coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Month, Sarasota-based non-profit Resilient Retreat recently released its 2022 impact report, shedding a light on both the need for trauma-based services and their positive impact. Serving survivors of trauma and abuse with free and confidential programming, the young non-profit has already made a significant impact on the Southwest Florida community and has set its sights for continued growth in the year ahead. The Need: The report’s 2022 data analysis was based upon the collected health questionnaires of more than 920 program participants. The non-profit experienced a significant increase in the number of participants served—up 106 percent from 2021 to 2022—demonstrating not only its success in increasing awareness but also the eagerness of individuals to participate. Unsurprisingly, the majority of respondents, nearly 60 percent, reported high levels of stress, which has been classified by the World Health Organization as the health epidemic of the 21st Century. Compassion fatigue was also prevalent, cited by more than 80 percent of respondents, and 75 percent met the clinical criteria for PTSD. The Impact: With a wide variety of programming to choose from, including trauma-informed yoga, equine therapy and neurofeedback, Resilient Retreat participants averaged four programs or activities throughout the year. Remarkably, more than 90 percent noted that they felt better after attending, and over 95 percent said that they would recommend the program to others. Other key highlights from the 2022 report include: 85 percent reported a decrease in burnout;  76 percent reported an improvement in the ability to control their emotions; 70 percent reported an improvement in depression symptoms; 52 percent reported an improvement in PTSD symptoms. To access the full report with additional details and further insights, please visit https://www.resilientretreat.org/impact/. Interviews and high-res images are available upon request. 

[Fundraising Event]  Great Ice Cream Eating Championship Spring 2023

Rise & Nye’s, the downtown Sarasota coffee and ice cream shop with a mission, is hosting the 2023 Spring Edition of the Great Ice Cream Eating Championship on May 20th at 11:00am sharp! Show everyone “what cha got” by eating as much ice cream as you can in 3 minutes. Two age divisions. A $20 entry fee (supports our nonprofit, Inclusion Revolution) gives contestants the opportunity to win an array of spectacular prizes along with the pride of being named Sarasota’s Ice Cream Eating Champ. Sign up. Be a winner. Support the amazing team members at Rise & Nye’s. 

Click here to register.

[Scholarships]  Suncoast Charities for Children Announces Summer Fest Events and Ron Foxworthy Memorial Scholarship Fund

Suncoast Charities for Children, organizer of Suncoast Summer Fest, officially announced several event fundraisers scheduled during the upcoming summer season. Each of these events helps sustain fundraising efforts, during a typically slower time of the year, for local children, teens, and adults with special needs and their families. Events scheduled to take place include: 7 th Annual Bob Rizi Memorial Golf Classic – June 23; The “Friendliest Catch” Fishing Tournament – June 28 *Private event for clients with intellectual & developmental disabilities; “Waves & Wheels” Kickoff Party – June 30; “Waves & Wheels” Fun Run (Boats, Motorcycles, & Cars) – July 1; July 4th Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular – July 4; Casino Night – August 26. A Casino Night event was added to this year’s lineup with net proceeds benefitting a new children’s therapy scholarship fund established in memory of Ron Foxworthy. Foxworthy was a former Suncoast Charities Board Member and one of the original founders of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival. Suncoast Charities for Children Executive Director, Lucy Nicandri, stated: “Mr. Foxworthy was dedicated to raising money to help local children with special needs. He was passionate about making sure they received the necessary therapies they needed whether it be speech, occupational, physical, aquatic, feeding, or mental health. With many families currently needing financial assistance, so their children can continue receiving therapy services, it was the perfect time to honor his legacy by establishing a children’s scholarship fund in his memory.” Seed money for the scholarship fund was made possible thanks to the generosity of the James M. Doss Charitable Foundation. The festival’s “Waves & Wheels” Fun Run is also being held in memory of Noel Speranza, former Board Member with Suncoast Charities for Children. For more information, tickets, and sponsorship opportunities visit: suncoastsummerfest.org 



[Good Hero]  Writing A New Chapter
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

Writing A New Chapter | NewGate School stepped up to lend a helping hand after Hurricane Ian's path of destruction left neighbors without food, shelter or income for months, May/June 2023. 

Read Here!

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Summer Photo Contest with the Conservation Foundation , April 26 – May 31, Submissions open through midnight May 31st

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is delighted to announce the return of their virtual Summer Photo Contest. Entering its fourth year, this annual event invites photographers of all ages and experience levels to share their original work showcasing the natural beauty of the Sunshine State. As in years past, the exhibition will be entirely virtual with website and Facebook displays. Works submitted for this online juried exhibition must have been taken in Florida within the past year. There is also a Youth Perspective category for ages 15 and under. The submission deadline is midnight on May 31. For categories, details, entry rules, and submission forms visit conservationfoundation.com/summerphoto.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Ranch Nite Wednesdays at Waterside Place , February 8 – May 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Enjoy a night of fun at Waterside Place during Ranch Nite Wednesdays. The event features food trucks, live music, a night market, a vintage mobile bar and cornhole. Visit lakewoodranch.com to learn more. Waterside Place, 1561 Lakefront Drive, Sarasota.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Exhibition Evening at Selby Gardens , May 17, 6 to 8 pm

Enjoy a wine reception and explore immersive horticultural vignettes in our Gardens, Tropical Conservatory, and Museum of Botany and the Arts after-hours. The evening includes a special Tiffany-era performance by concert harpist Tasha Robinson that connects to the Tiffany, The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature exhibition. Tickets are $60 for members and $65 for non-members. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit selby.org. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 1534 Mound St., Sarasota, selby.org.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Nuestra Comunidad with CreArte Latino Cultural Center , May 17, 7:30 pm
CreArte Latino announces a new informational series called Nuestra Comunidad, or Our Community, in Spanish. The program, which starts on May 17, features a series of monthly presentations and community dialogues concerning topics of interest to the local Latinx community. The program is facilitated by Claudia Lozano, a prize-winning poet and psychotherapist. Nuestra Comunidad will be held on the third Wednesday of each month, at 7:30 p.m., from May through December. Admission is $5 per session. For more information, visit www.creartelatino.org or call 941-732-7191.
[SOON]  DANCE: Dance at The Bay, Bollywood Dance , May 17, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Enjoy a high-energy class, for all levels and will surely leave you sweating, smiling, and wanting more. BollyX is a Bollywood-inspired dance-fitness program that combines dynamic choreography with eclectic music from around the world. At the very core of a BollyX workout is the inspiration it draws from the music and dance of Bollywood, the film industry of India. The infectious energy, expression, and movement of Bollywood are something you have to experience. So dress up if you please, wear bracelets, earrings, colorful shiny attire, and get ready to dance Bollywood style. Admission is free. The Bay Sarasota, The Nest, 1055 Blvd. of the Arts Sarasota, thebaysarasota.org.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Bishop After Dark The Law of Odds Music Bingo , May 18, 6 to 9 pm

Are you feeling lucky? Does your foot start to tap whenever your favorite tune starts to play? Then we have the event for you! Join us for Bishop After Dark, The Law of Odds Music Bingo. Grab a group of your closest friends for this exclusive event featuring Mr. Gameshow, whose Bingo cards featuring songs from the 50s-80s will have everyone in your group singing along. On-site concessions from local food truck FEWD Tent will be available. Hydrate that singing voice with a wine, beer, and soda cash and card bar. How will your luck stand against these music hits? Admission is $16 for members and $20 for non-members. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton, bishopscience.org.

[SOON]  FILM: Cinema at The Bay featuring Crazy Rich Asians , May 18, 8 to 10 pm
Join us for a free movie at The Bay Park. Bring your blankets, chairs, family, and friends to enjoy a wonderful evening under the stars. The Nest, the new concession at The Bay, will be selling tasty food and beverages to make the evening a legit and fun movie-going experience for all. The film stars Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, and Michelle Yeoh. It follows a Chinese-American professor who travels to meet her boyfriend's family and is surprised to discover they are among the richest in Singapore. The Bay Park, The Oval at The Bay, 1055 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota, thebaysarasota.org.
[SOON]  MUSEUM: Walking Tours at The Ringling's Arboretum Available Now Through May 2023 , November 26 – May 29, 12:00 PM

This walking tour led by volunteer guides will introduce you to interesting botanical specimens on the estate while providing a historic overview of the development of the estate. The Ringling Arboretum has been accredited at Level II through ArbNet and there are over 2350 trees within the arboretum representing native, exotic, historical, and culturally significant trees. Garden Tours are available Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays and take place entirely outdoors. It is 90 minutes in length and covers approximately 1 mile. We encourage visitors to bring bottled water, and wear appropriate footwear, preferably closed-toe, sunblock, and hats. There will be a maximum of 10 participants per tour. Tours are subject to weather conditions. Please check it at the Visitors Pavilion prior to your tour. Tickets will be available 30 days prior to each tour.

[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]  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]  MUSEUM: Reclaiming Home, Contemporary Seminole Art at Ringling Museum , March 29 – September 4, Museum hours

Reclaiming Home, Contemporary Seminole Art group exhibition will mark The Ringling’s first presentation of contemporary art by Native American artists with ancestral, historical, and present-day connections to Florida. An imperative step toward establishing a meaningful relationship with the Native American artistic community, Reclaiming Home will highlight the breadth and depth of the artwork by Seminole, Miccosukee, and mixed-heritage artists from Florida with the important work by internationally-recognized artists. The exhibition will expand the conceptual framework of Native American art made in Florida today and provide a fuller understanding of the complexities of issues within the art of the Seminole diaspora. Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, ringling.org.

[SOON]  THEATER: Visit Joe Whitefeather and Bring the Family at Florida Studio Theatre , April 12 – May 21, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre is proud to present the world premiere of Visit Joe Whitefeather (and bring the family!) by award-winning playwright Bruce Graham. It’s the 1970s in Beaver Gap, Pennsylvania, a small town with a problem. Tourism has declined and it doesn’t look like there is any hope on the horizon. When a new resident joins forces with the bewildered city council, they devise a plan to rename the town to honor a dead, Native American war hero who had never visited the town before. It’s a plan so wild and insane that it just might work. Tickets range from $25-39 and are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000. FST’s Gompertz Theatre, 1265 1st St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Eco Engineers , April 12 – September 3, During museum hours

Eco Engineers are plants and animals that profoundly impact their ecosystem. Through their presence or behavior, eco engineers create microhabitats, or unique areas within an ecosystem. Other species have taken notice of these microhabitats and decided to move in! In this exhibition, explore nine of Florida’s eco engineers and discover why our landscape wouldn’t be the same without them. Eco Engineers is a bilingual (English and Spanish) special exhibition created by our own Museum curators. Included with museum admission. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton, bishopscience.org.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Joseph's Coat, Skyspace by James Turrell , April 13 – May 26, Various times

Joseph’s Coat: Skyspace by James Turrell (2011) is a triumph of technology, engineering, and aesthetics. The Skyspace, created by internationally-renowned artist James Turrell, is a gathering place for contemplation and offers a unique experience. At sunset, a sophisticated system of LED lights is employed to change the color of the space. In doing so, the artist changes the context in which we view the sky through the 24-foot aperture in the ceiling, affecting our perception of the natural environment and the surroundings. As we gaze up at the sky we are invited to contemplate light, perception, and experience. Tickets are $10 and are free for members. Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, ringling.org.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Comedy Roulette , April 13 – May 17, Various times

FST Improv’s free-form show, Comedy Roulette, is an off-the-wall improvisation potpourri where performers are freed from the traditional do’s and don’ts of improv. Instead, improvisers are encouraged to follow the funny and launch into a new scene or storyline whenever inspiration strikes. Comedy Roulette plays Saturdays in FST’s Bowne’s Lab from April 8 to May 17, 2023. Florida Studio Theatre, 1265 1st St., Sarasota, floridastudiotheatre.org.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Big Sexy The Fats Waller Revue , April 19 – May 28, Various times

Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller was an American jazz pianist, composer, singer and comedic entertainer. He realized his dream of becoming a professional musician at age 15. His Harlem stride style influenced the sound of modern jazz piano. Nate Jacobs’ original tribute, “Big Sexy, The Fats Waller Revue,” to this irrepressible artist features Waller’s signature songs, including “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Your Feet’s Too Big,” “The Joint is Jumpin’” and many more. Tickets are $50 for adults, $20 for students and active military (cost includes all ticket fees). WBTT's Donelly Theatre, 1012 North Orange Ave., Sarasota, westcoastblacktheatre.org.

[SOON]  SPORTS: Extended Orioles Spring Training , April 28 – June 3, Various times

With the Major League Baseball season now underway, the Orioles’ year-round baseball operations continue in Sarasota with Extended Spring Training. The public is invited to watch Orioles minor league players in action at the Ed Smith Stadium complex in April, May, and June. Baltimore’s farm system is currently rated as the top player development system in baseball, according to Baseball America, ESPN, and MLB Pipeline. Visit orioles.com/sarasota to learn more.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Disney Artist and Ringling College Alumnus Tim Rogerson Show , May 2 – May 26, During gallery hours

Madeby Gallery invites you to the Disney Artist and Ringling College Alumnus Tim Rogerson Show now through May 26. Over 50 of Tim’s original paintings, giclee on canvas, and lithograph prints are for sale. Many have been personalized on the back by Tim, which brings added value to the Disney piece. Don't miss this rare opportunity to add to your Disney collection. Tim Rogerson is a Disney Fine Artist and Ringling College Alumnus. He is one of only a select group of artists allowed to recreate iconic Disney characters and scenes. Visit madebygallery.com to learn more. Madeby Gallery, 2700 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Unique Differences at Art Uptown Gallery , May 2 – May 26, Various times

The newest artists at Art Uptown Gallery will be featured in the May exhibit, Unique Differences showcasing their original paintings. Meet the artists, Ian Begg, Lynn Armstrong Coffin, and Tammy Keller, at the First Friday public reception on May 5 from 6-9 p.m. All four award-winning artists are local, full-time residents of Sarasota. The exhibit opens on Saturday, April 29 and runs through Friday, May 26. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes patrons and friends at 1367 Main Street where the diverse work of award-winning regional artists is exhibited daily. Telephone 941-955-5409 or visit www.artuptown.com for hours and further information.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: From the Chambers Honoring John Sims at Ringling Museum , May 6 – August 6, Museum hours

In December 2022, the innovative artist, activist, writer, and filmmaker John Sims passed away suddenly at his studio in Sarasota. The tragic loss of Sims left a deep impact on the art world. His art, informed by mathematics, design, sacred symbols, and poetic text, boldly confronted white supremacy, the Confederate flag, and the deep disparities and division within our society. The Ringling is honored to have had the opportunity to work closely with Sims, who was their artist in residence in 2020. The exhibition From the Chambers, Honoring John Sims brings those two works together, on view publicly for the first time, in conjunction with John Chamberlain’s sculpture Added Pleasure. The exhibition serves as just one part of the significant legacy the artist leaves behind, in Sarasota and beyond. On view May 6 through August 6, 2023 in the Searing East galleries. Ringling Musuem, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, ringling.org

[SOON]  GALLERY: Lake Club of Lakewood Ranch Art Exhibition , May 8 – July 31, 9 am-5 pm
ComCenter Lakewood Ranch hosts local art groups to exhibit in the main lobby area of the building. The exhibits are open to the public to view Monday through Friday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, and the majority of the art is for sale. The artists are usually treated to a welcome reception by ComCenter as well. The exhibits continually change about every four to six months so there is always something new to see and our ComCenter clients and their clients enjoy the ever-changing exhibits. The next group, The Lake Club of Lakewood Ranch, will be exhibiting for the first time at ComCenter from May 8 through July 31. ComCenter Lakewood Ranch, 9040 Town Center Pkwy, Lakewood Ranch, comcenters.net.
[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Man of La Mancha , May 10 – June 11, Varied

Considered by many to be one of the best musicals of all time, MAN OF LA MANCHA is brilliantly reimagined with a contemporary urgency by celebrated director Peter Rothstein, who immerses us in Miguel de Cervantes’s retelling of Don Quixote and his quest. This epic and poignant journey celebrates the perseverance of one man who refuses to relinquish his ideals and who is determined to see life not as it is, but as it ought to be. The winner of five Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, and featuring a soaring score, including “Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote)” and one of theatre’s most beloved songs, “The Impossible Dream,” this classic musical celebrates the power of theatre, the bravery of holding strong to our dreams, and the resilience of imagination.

Asolo Repertory Theatre

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A New Chapter

A New Chapter

Laura Paquette | Feb 1, 2024

From Osprey to the Olympics

From Osprey to the Olympics

Dylan Campbell | Feb 1, 2024

A Royal Performance

A Royal Performance

Interviewed by Wes Roberts, Edited by Barbie Heit | Feb 1, 2024

Go With the Flo

Go With the Flo

Laura Paquette | Feb 1, 2024