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SRQ DAILY Aug 2, 2023

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"I was born and raised in Venice so I know how important The Venice Symphony is to this community."

- Erica Bacacio, Development Manager, The Venice Symphony.

[Inclusion]  Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Provides an Inclusive Experience for All
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

It is estimated that nearly 400,000 people in the U.S (over 79,000 people in Southwest Florida) have some form of autism, a developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. Autism and its associated behaviors interfere with the normal development of the brain in the areas of reasoning, social interaction and communication skills. Because these characteristics can make it difficult for an individual on the spectrum to successfully access and navigate the community, the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) at the University of South Florida (USF) established the “Autism Friendly” Business Initiative. By implementing best practice recommendations through the “Autism Friendly” program, businesses and organizations can foster a sense of safety, enjoyment, and belonging for guests of all abilities.

This summer, Marie Selby Gardens has joined the growing list of "Autism Friendly" businesses designated by CARD-USF. Making the Gardens an inclusive place for all, including those with autism-spectrum disorders, is a priority for the organization.

“Cultivating a culture and environment where everyone feels welcome at Selby Gardens, regardless of their abilities or other differences, is a pillar of our strategic plan,” said Jennifer O. Rominiecki, president and CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. “This designation tells us we are heading in the right direction with the programming we have introduced. With CARD’s expertise and support moving forward, we can ensure that our entire staff is empowered to make a difference.”

Last fall, Selby Gardens introduced “Tranquil Tuesdays” at its Downtown Sarasota campus. This periodic event offers complimentary, after-hours admission to neurodiverse and sensory-sensitive individuals and their families and caregivers. Guests can experience the Gardens without the usual daytime crowds, noise, and other distractions. Selby Gardens also offers participants customized sensory maps of the campus and free use of noise-canceling earmuffs and wheelchairs. The maps, earmuffs, and wheelchairs are available to all visitors during regular operating hours too.

Companies who choose to join the businesses in Southwest Florida who are part of the “Autism Friendly” Business Initiative receive technical assistance consisting of an examination of the business location, practices/procedures and environment and suggestions for no cost or low cost accommodations that may better serve an individual with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), training with an overview of autism spectrum disorder and direct instruction for employees on how to approach and assist individuals with ASD, employee relations with comprehensive support to business owners and managers who may be in the position to hire and supervise an employee with ASD, and public visibility through the CARD-USF webpage which maintains a directory of “Autism Friendly” businesses, where constituent families can search for businesses that have a relationship with CARDUSF.

Since its creation in 2008, CARD-USF’s “Autism Friendly” Business Initiative has become a model for Florida and other states that want to create welcoming communities. 

To learn more, visit

[New Hire]  The Venice Symphony Welcomes Development Manager Erica Bacacio

The Venice Symphony is pleased to announce that Erica Bacacio has joined the organization as Development Manager. Bacacio is a graduate of the University of South Florida with extensive experience working for area nonprofits and managing fundraising campaigns. Bacacio has worked for Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the Humane Society of Sarasota County, the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association | USA, and most recently Ringling College of Art and Design. Bacacio is also a professional pianist and vocalist, and teaches piano. A native of Venice, she has performed as a soloist from Boca Grande to Siesta Key and with the Venice Chorale and Venice High School Choir. As Development Manager, Bacacio will work closely with the Philanthropy and Events Team and with Venice Symphony patrons. She will also serve as staff liaison to The Friends of The Venice Symphony, the organization’s dedicated group of volunteers. "I was born and raised in Venice so I know how important The Venice Symphony is to this community,” said Bacacio. “As a classically-trained pianist, I truly understand the value of this organization’s exceptional music education and concert programs. I look forward to meeting and working with our volunteers, patrons and donors to ensure the Symphony's success into the future.” Christine Kasten, President and CEO of The Venice Symphony, said “Erica’s experience as an accomplished development professional, pianist and teacher who grew up and lives in Venice, makes her an ideal addition to our growing team. She has seen first-hand how access to our high-quality music experiences can transform lives.” The Venice Symphony is a non-profit professional orchestra serving Venice and the surrounding community. The Symphony’s 50th season premieres with A Symphony Fantastique, November 18-19, 2023 at the Venice Performing Arts Center. For more information, visit thevenicesymphony.org or call 941-207-8822. 

[Nonprofit News]  Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties to Honor Community Leaders at the 17th Annual IPG Leadership Breakfast

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties will honor Carol Butera, Non-Profit Executive and Richard Perlman and Jim Price Co-Founders and Executive Chairmen of ExamWorks Group, Inc., at the 17th IPG (Intertape Polymer Group) Leadership Breakfast for their commitment to empowering our community’s future leaders to reach their full potential. The event will take place on Friday, September 8 from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, located at 3100 Fruitville Road in Sarasota. For the last 17 years, our community has come together every September at the annual IPG Leadership Breakfast to honor individuals who have been instrumental in empowering our youth to achieve great futures. This year our three honorees are dedicated and committed to ensuring our youth and families have access to community enrichment programs that provide a pathway for academic success. The Leadership Breakfast will celebrate the honoree’s dedication to supporting teens as they develop leadership skills, explore entrepreneurial education, and continue college and career readiness. All proceeds from this event will allow Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties continued support for the award-winning slate of Teen Programs and provide life-changing programs to thousands of teens across Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. Individual tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased at https://bgcsdc.org/ Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Please contact Dawn Bouck, Community Engagement Manager at Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties for more information by emailing dbouck@bgcsdc.org or calling (941) 366-3911. 

[Nonprofit News]  Circle of Champions Members Keep the Education Foundation of Sarasota County Agile and Responsive

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County recognized the generous support of its Circle of Champions members, a committed group of individuals, foundations,
and businesses who donate $1,000 or more annually. These donors ensure the Education Foundation can move quickly to support students and teachers as new opportunities arise. This past year, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian and with the lingering effects of the pandemic posing unique challenges to students and teachers, the Education Foundation was grateful it could do more to support them. This year, more than 130 Circle of Champions members provided annual gifts of $1,000 or more. More information about the Circle of Champions membership, special benefits of membership, and the work for students and teachers that membership helps to accomplish is available at EdFoundationSRQ.org/Circle. 

[Recognition]  Academy at Glengary, Inc. is Chosen as Sarasota Subaru's Hometown Charity

The Academy at Glengary, Inc. was honored to be selected once again as the hometown charity for Sarasota Subaru’s “Share the Love” event. On July 18, Subaru’s Shenna Lula, Tim Reeher and Rick Smith presented Academy member Alyssa Montans and Executive Director William McKeever with a check for $11,871. The Academy extends a special thanks to Chris Dougherty, owner of Sarasota Subaru, for the dealership’s support of the Academy as well as its dedication to the local community. Sarasota Subaru’s Lula said, “It is an absolute pleasure to be partnered with an organization that is making a positive impact in the community but more importantly in individuals, families and lives. The Academy at Glengary is an asset to our community and we are honored to be a part of that!” Subaru’s donation to the Academy will support the expansion of its services in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Over the last 15 years, through the Subaru “Share the Love” event, Subaru of America, Inc., and participating retailers have donated more than $256 million to charity, with customers choosing between four national charities and over 2,100 hometown charities.



[Scholarships]  The Glenridge at Palmer Ranch Awards 18 Scholarships to Outstanding Staff Members and Their Families

For the past 13 years, The Glenridge at Palmer Ranch has awarded outstanding staff members and their children funds to pursue higher education and learning opportunities. The late Mary Nesbit, a former dean of The Glenridge Academy, a lifelong learning program at The Glenridge, launched the scholarship initiative in 2010 with two $600 individual scholarships. Since then, more than $300,000 has been given to employees seeking educational assistance through the Mary Nesbit Glenridge Academy Scholarship. This year, $72,000 was awarded to 18 staff members. To qualify, the staff member, or child or grandchild, must be enrolled or accepted in a technical, associate degree or baccalaureate degree program. For some, it will be their first classes in a college environment, while for others, it’s a familiar path they are on as they continue their studies toward their educational goals. The funds are awarded through The Glenridge Academy and The Kay Pezzillo Arts Fund. 

Pictured (left to right): Paul Cincinnato, chair of the Scholarship Committee; Alex Cela; Albert Cela; Nadia Fianko; Chelsea Rodriguez; Ellie Gaunoux; Alejandra Ferrera; Marcelo Polar; David Siddons; Sharon Smith; Keon Bryant; Karina Calderon; Jose Pineda

[Landmark]  ​Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation Announces The Van Wezel is Included on the Florida’s 11 to Save List By the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation

The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation recently announced that the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall has been added to the 2023 Florida’s 11 to Save, a list
of the most threatened historic properties in the state. The initiative highlights endangered historic sites throughout Florida as nominated by the public and is an important step in advocating for their preservation. The announcement was made at the Preservation on Main Street Conference in Ocala on July 19. The 2023 11 to Save list represents endangered historic resources, covering hundreds of years of history and a variety of cultural resources. (The 2023 list of locations has not yet been officially announced.) DiFazio explains that the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation is part of a consortium of groups and individuals that has been leading an effort to ensure that the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, celebrated by architectural historians and critics as a stunning example of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin Architects, is preserved. SAHP listed the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on its Six to Save Endangered Buildings list in 2022. Other participants in the efforts to preserve the performing arts hall include the Historical Society of Sarasota County and 2,500 Sarasota residents who signed the Save The Van Wezel petition. Along with the recognition comes access to the 11 to Save Grant Fund which aims to make a tangible impact supporting historic sites on current or previous 11 to Save lists. Florida's 11 to Save highlights endangered historic sites throughout Florida as nominated by the public and is an important step in advocating for their preservation. The Alliance is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to "Preserve and Enhance our Historic Places." SAHP was incorporated in 1985 in an attempt to save architect Dwight Baum's El Vernona Hotel in downtown Sarasota. The Alliance, a membership-driven organization, is comprised of more than 500 residents, visitors, artists, architects, engineers, historians, builders, archaeologists, Realtors, planners, designers, and writers working together to preserve and encourage others to preserve - not only the remaining significant landmarks - but also the contributing structures that define Sarasota County. For more information, visit www.PreserveSRQ.org. 

[Board Members]  The Library Foundation for Sarasota County Welcomes New Board Members

The Library Foundation for Sarasota County is pleased to announce the election of five new members to its board of directors, effective July 1. Tim Jaeger, Kelley Lavin, Todd Sweet, and Crishuana Williams will each serve three-year terms. Quinn Gulliver will serve as the Boys & Girls Club STAR (Students Taking Active Roles) board member for a one-year term. Jaeger is the Director and Chief Curator of Galleries and Exhibitions at Ringling College of Art and Design. He is a passionate library advocate and a notable Sarasota-based artist. Lavin returns to the foundation after serving on its 2011 inaugural board. She was Group Publisher at SagaCity Media/Gulfshore Media and has held senior management positions at Vogue, Metropolitan Home, Chicago, and Texas Monthly magazines. Todd Sweet is an architect and founding principal of Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors. His firm has provided design services for ten libraries, including four Sarasota County Public Libraries. Williams has over a decade of experience in nationally recognized libraries. She currently works in institutional research and assessment, measuring the effectiveness of academic programs in higher education. Since its founding in 2011, the nonprofit Library Foundation for Sarasota County has raised more than $8 million in private funds for the benefit of Sarasota County public libraries. To learn more about the Library Foundation for Sarasota County and how you can support its mission, please visit SarasotaLibraryFoundation.org or call 941-404-3139. 

[Nonprofit News]  Local Nonprofit's Second Chance Home

Project 180, a local nonprofit that supports formerly incarcerated citizens during reentry, is expanding its Residential Program by purchasing a third home to serve men in active recovery from drugs and alcohol. Substance abuse and subsequent incarceration disrupt stability in housing, employment, finances, relationships, healthcare, and more. Project 180’s Residential Program seeks to address these challenges by providing citizens a chance to restabilize, rebuild, and give back to their communities. The future home purchase is being supported by a grant from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. After house-hunting for months, Project 180 is now under contract for a small but suitable home in a safe neighborhood. Although support for upgrades will be necessary in the near future, the program home will immediately alleviate the community’s pressing need to house released citizens and give them the opportunity to turn their lives around. This is the second investment Barancik Foundation has made in the organization’s Residential Program. Project 180 recognizes the impact that addiction and incarceration have on communities. An individual in active addiction commits countless crimes a year to support behavior sourced in their illness. This leads to community spending on drug-related health and legal issues that strain the budgets of hospitals, law enforcement, the courts, corrections, and social services. For those reasons, the community is a major stakeholder in these individuals’ success. To learn more about Project 180 or to invest in the home’s upgrades, contact Barbara Richards at barbara@project180reentry.org. 

[Fundraising Event]  The 15th Annual Artful Lobster: An Outdoor Celebration Saturday, November 11th, 2023

The Hermitage Artist Retreat (Sarasota County, Florida) announced today that its annual Artful Lobster benefit will be held on Saturday, November 11th, 2023, from 11:30am to 2pm. Now in its 15th year and coming on the heels of the Hermitage’s 20th Anniversary season, this signature outdoor event raises valuable funds for the Hermitage’s renowned artist residency program. The Artful Lobster is the only Hermitage benefit to take place on the grounds of the historic Gulf front campus – outdoors beneath a large tent – located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood. Michael’s On East offers a delicious lobster feast, with performances from renowned Hermitage Fellows. This year’s event will be co-chaired by new Hermitage trustee Terry Brackett and longtime Hermitage supporters Suzette & Tim Flood. 

[Donation]  A Gift of Art to Mayo Clinic

Artist Maro Lorimer has donated a series of seven mixed-media paintings to Mayo Clinic, for ongoing display at their Jacksonville, Florida, facility. “It was a great honor to have my art accepted by Mayo’s curators, since their collection includes works by celebrated artists such as Joseph Albers, James Rosenquist, Wolf Kahn, Romare Bearden, Alexander Calder, and Andy Warhol, to name a few,” she comments. “I donated out of appreciation for the overall excellence with which Mayo approaches health care, including their museum-like presentation of art." Her series, Beach Paths, celebrates the wild beauty of Anna Maria Island’s footpaths to the Gulf. It was first presented in 2010 by former first lady of Florida Rhea Chiles at her gallery, the Studio at Gulf and Pine, in Anna Maria. Over the years, Lorimer observes, “these images helped preserve the wildness of the very paths that inspired them. Holmes Beach officials even asked me to exhibit them at city hall, and an island newspaper asked to publish them with quotes about how precious these pockets of wildness are, at times when development threatened to compromise them." Each painting leads the eye to a peaceful view of the Gulf. In a related way, Lorimer has followed the same course with her art. “From painting the intimate beauty of the paths, I ‘emerged’ onto the beach, to create peaceful vistas with infinite horizons,” she explains, referring to the large abstract seascapes she has been showing at Art Uptown Gallery for the past 11 years. “With all my work, I have aimed to create a sense of serenity, and I can think of no place I would rather share that feeling than at a fine medical center that is helping people who are struggling with serious diagnoses.” 

Pictured: Maro Lorimer’s Beach Path III is one of seven that will be shown at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. Photo courtesy of the artist.

[Recognition]  Carol Butera, Richard Perlman, and Jim Price to be Honored by Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties will honor Carol Butera, Non-Profit Executive and Richard Perlman and Jim Price Co-Founders and Executive Chairmen of ExamWorks Group, Inc., at the 17th IPG (Intertape Polymer Group) Leadership Breakfast for their commitment to empowering our community’s future leaders to reach their full potential. The event will take place on Friday, September 8 from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, located at 3100 Fruitville Road in Sarasota. For the last 17 years, our community has come together every September at the annual IPG Leadership Breakfast to honor individuals who have been instrumental in empowering our youth to achieve great futures. This year our three honorees are dedicated and committed to ensuring our youth and families have access to community enrichment programs that provide a pathway for academic success. The Leadership Breakfast will celebrate the honoree’s dedication to supporting teens as they develop leadership skills, explore entrepreneurial education, and continue college and career readiness.
“IPG supports the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties as we believe that all young men and women deserve a chance to cultivate and reach their full potential,” states Pete Durette, CEO of Presenting Sponsor, IPG. “The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties represents a conduit of opportunity, leadership and talent, which are the fundamental building blocks for developing a strong, vibrant community in the twenty-first century.”
All proceeds from this event will allow Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties continued support for the award-winning slate of Teen Programs and provide life-changing programs to thousands of teens across Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. Individual tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased at bgcsdc.org. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Please contact Dawn Bouck, Community Engagement Manager at Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties for more information by emailing dbouck@bgcsdc.org or calling (941) 366-3911. 

[Grant]  Embracing Our Differences Receives Tourist Development Cultural/Arts Grant

The Sarasota County Commission awarded Embracing Our Differences a $71,909 Tourist Development Cultural/Arts grant to help fund its 2024 exhibition season, which runs January 21 through April 14 in Sarasota’s Bayfront Park. For 20 years, Embracing Our Differences has drawn on the passion and perception of artists, writers, and students to create powerful statements of respect, kindness and acceptance in its annual outdoor public art exhibitions consisting of 50 billboard-sized works of art and accompanying quotations. The scale and impact of this outdoor exhibition has continued to grow. In 2023, EOD presented two exhibitions in Sarasota County—one in North Port and one in the City of Sarasota. The exhibits attracted 320,616 people, bringing the total amount of exhibition visitors to more than 4.3 million since its launch in 2004. 

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Conservation Foundation Trivia Nights , June 9 – August 11, 5 to 8 p.m.

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is excited to announce a monthly trivia series this summer at their Bay Preserve headquarters in Osprey on June 9, July 14 and August 11. The free community events will take place from 5pm to 8pm with trivia beginning at 6pm. Each month a different food truck duo will be onsite offering a variety of tasty options the whole family can enjoy. The public is invited to come watch, play, or simply enjoy nature and food with family and friends. Each monthly event will have a different theme with a variety of questions covering categories ranging from movies and music to science and nature. Teams can have up to eight members and multi-generational teams are encouraged. The winning team for each individual monthly event will receive a prize package in recognition of their win. Points will also be accumulated across the series, with the overall winning team receiving their choice of a private, guided hike or kayak trip for up to ten people. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs to sit upon for this outdoor, picnic-style gathering. In the event of rain, the trivia component will be moved to an area under cover. Learn more and RSVP at conservationfoundation.com/events. Conservation Foundation, 400 Palmetto Ave., Osprey.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Summer Circus Spectacular , June 9 – August 12, Various times

Circus fans of all ages, from near and far, can beat the heat this summer at reasonable prices while experiencing the best of the circus arts, thanks to the continued partnership of The Circus Arts Academy and The Ringling. The Summer Circus Spectacular returns this year, with exciting acts signed on for the one-hour, action-packed show. The 2023 Summer Circus Spectacular, which has become a seasonal highlight for locals, visitors, families and groups alike, takes place from June 9 through August 12. Tickets are $20 for adults, $13 for children 12 and under, and tickets for the 7 p.m. opening night performance and celebration on Friday, June 9, which includes a gala reception with the artists, are $50. To complete their circus experience, Summer Circus Spectacular patrons can enjoy access to the Circus Museum on the day they attend a show for an additional $5. Visit Ringling.org or call the Box Office at 941-360-7399 to purchase tickets and learn more. The Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Laser Light Nights at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature , May 25 – September 2, 7pm and 9pm

Break out the big hair and acid-washed denim because Laser Light Nights are back at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night from May 25 through September 2, we are rocking out to some of your favorite artists in the Planetarium! A variety of food options and drinks are available for purchase onsite with cash or card. Tickets are $15. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St W., Bradenton, bishopscience.org.

[SOON]  GALLERY: 55 Frida Project , June 18 – August 18, Various times

Maverick, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo painted 55 self-portraits in her short and tragic life. View the commemorative exhibit by artist Beck Lane of her work at UUCS Lexow Wing Gallery, her artwork merges extraordinary creative vision and innovative technique and has been collected and shown in pop-up galleries, solo shows, galleries, and private collections in Boston, California, New York City, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Miami, Brussels, Switzerland, South America, and Israel. On her YouTube Channel, Catalyst and Co., Beck records herself painting live, while offering encouragement to fellow artists, and sharing her experiences as an artist and her painting process and techniques. These mixed medium works pulsate with powerful, vibrant energy, fluid color and rare style. On Sunday, July 16, Lane will be painting live from 12-2 pm at the Lexow Gallery. UUCS Lexow Wing Gallery, 3975 Fruitville Rd., www.uucsarasota.com, www.becklaneartist.com.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Surfer Boys at Florida Studio Theatre , June 13 – August 13, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre kicks off its Summer Cabaret Series with The Surfer Boys,an energetic tribute to the music of The Beach Boys. Featuring such hits as California Girls, Good Vibrations, Barbara Ann, and Surfin USA, The Surfer Boys is filled with the honey-tinged harmonies and unforgettable melodies that defined 1960s California and pop music. The Surfer Boys begins playing June 13 in the FST Goldstein Cabaret. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Lorna Bieber, Natural World at The Ringling , May 20 – October 15, Museum hours

The Ringling presents a solo exhibition of works by Lorna Bieber in May that includes two new pieces making their debut in the Keith D. and Linda L. Monda Gallery for Contemporary Art. Her artwork first and foremost encourages us to indulge in the pleasures of looking and discovering anew the details of the visual world. Her artistic practice is grounded in appropriating, recycling, and manipulating imagery. The work reminds us of the image world that inundates our daily existence. Our experience of reality is mediated through a barrage of photographic digital images that supplants our connection to the natural world. Yet, Bieber is less interested in a critique of this condition than she is in offering her work as an antidote, a way to inspire viewers and reconnect with our shared sense of wonder. Included with museum admission. The Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, ringling.org.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Identity, Exploring the Human Condition , June 1 – August 5, Gallery hours

The 2023 exhibition season continues with Identity, Exploring the Human Condition, which highlights the diverse talents of artists from across the southeast region of the United States and will be on display in all four gallery spaces. On view from June 1-August 5, the opening reception is Thursday, June 1, 6-8 p.m. The juror is Christy Paris, an art professor and PhD candidate in the College of Education at the University of South Florida. A Juror’s Critique, with Paris, will take place on Tuesday, June 6. Art Center Sarasota is located at 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For information, visit www.artsarasota.org or call 941-365-2032.

[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: 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]  GRAB BAG: Geckos Grill and Pubs Trivia , July 1 – June 1, 7:30 pm

Geckos Grill & Pub’s Award-winning Trivia-Think While You Drink! If you love Trivia, join the fun at Geckos all year round. All Trivia starts at 7:30pm. We will have prizes, giveaways and specials plus the Geckos made-to-order fare, signature cocktails and hospitality you love. Monday trivia will be held at the Clark Road location in Palmer Crossing and on Tuesdays at the SR 64 location in Braden River Plaza. The SR 64 location will be taking a break from Trivia in October, but will start back up in April. On Wednesdays, trivia will take place at the Hillview Street location in Southside Village. www.GeckosGrill.com.

[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]  GRAB BAG: Fresh Harvest Farmers Market at Wellen Park , June 25 – December 29, 9 am to 1 pm

Visit Fresh Harvest, the newly launched weekly farmers market in Downtown Wellen. Fresh Harvest offers a selection of local goods from nearly 40 local vendors. Fresh Harvest takes place every Sunday in Downtown Wellen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees can peruse different vendor booths and stock up on a variety of goods. Vendors will offer a wide variety of locally grown and produced food, including herbs, spices, cut flowers, teas, canned and preserved fruits and vegetables, syrups, baked goods, pickled foods, fresh seafood, meats, poultry, eggs, milk and prepared food and beverages. A limited selection of craft vendors also participate in the farmers market. For a listing of participating vendors and more information on Fresh Harvest Farmers Market, visit wellenpark.com/events/fresh-harvest-farmers-market. Downtown Wellen, 19745 Wellen Park Blvd., Venice.

[SOON]  THEATER: Black Pearl Sings , June 28 – August 6, Various times

In 1935 Depression-era Texas, two women from very different backgrounds discover the other holds the key to everything they have each been searching for. Susannah is an ambitious Library of Congress musicologist, determined to record undocumented slave songs. Pearl is an African American woman with a soulful voice, a steely spirit, and a sentence in a high-security female prison. Pearls memory is a treasure-trove of unrecorded slave era music, but can she hand over her ancestors’ songs without giving up something of herself? Black Pearl Sings tells the evocative story of an unlikely bond, preservation of musical heritage, and the human need for hope and healing. Florida Studio Theatre, Keating Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota, floridastudiotheatre.org.

[SOON]  THEATER: Divas Three , July 11 – September 17, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre presents Divas Three, a dynamic music revue featuring four decades of hits by some of the most influential women of music. With songs made famous by Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Carole King, and more, this original revue pays tribute to the artists whose musical impact has earned them the coveted title of diva. Created by Nancy Allen Productions, Divas Three begins playing on July 11 in the FST Court Cabaret. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000. Florida Studio Theatre, 1265 1st St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Bow Wow at The Bazaar , July 11 – December 31, Bazaar hours

Attention all animal lovers, The Bazaar is going to the dogs. The latest addition to our beloved market is Bow Wow Bazaar, where you can meet and greet some of the most adorable pups in town. We believe that every dog deserves a loving home, and that’s why we partnered with local animal shelters to help them find homes for their rescues. Come down to our market and meet your new best friend. Who knows, you might just find the perfect match. Not only will you be able to pet and play with these lovable pooches, but we also have books for the kids to read to these pups. Plus, you can browse the 40 local creators and curators inside The Bazaar and enjoy a delicious lunch at Hamlets Eatery. Join us for fun, food, and furry friends. The Bazaar is located at 821 Apricot Ave. in Sarasota. For more information visit www.Bazaaronapricotandlime.com or call 941-445-1938.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Wellen Park Summer Music Series , July 19 – September 30, Various times

Wellen Park invites the community to come out and enjoy music from local bands and artists during the Summer Music Series every Wednesday through Sunday in Downtown Wellen. Now through September, Wellen Park is hosting different musicians throughout the week. Every week, Wind Down Wednesdays, Thursday Tunes and Saturday Sounds will feature music under the Heritage Tree from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday Night Live, the first Friday of the month, will feature a band on the Solis Hall stage overlooking the Great Lawn from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday Groove, the second, third and fourth Friday of the month, will feature music under the Heritage Tree from 5 to 9 p.m. On Unplugged Sunday, every Sunday, there will be music under the Heritage Tree from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. The series is open to the public. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for seating on the Great Lawn and around the Heritage Tree. For more information, visit wellenpark.com/events/summer-music-series.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: John Pirman, Diving Into Nature , July 22 – September 17, Garden Hours

Dive into nature this summer at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus, where a retrospective-like show of the career of Sarasota artist John Pirman to date can be seen inside the Museum of Botany and the Arts and outside in the Gardens. The show features several of his signature views of Sarasota, including iconic scenes of Selby Gardens itself, along with diverse works from his 30-year career in New York City and even pieces from his childhood in Ohio. On view daily through September 17. Learn more at selby.org.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sights and Sounds at Waterside Place , July 28 – May 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Head out to Waterside Place for a rocking evening as part of the Lakewood Ranch Sights and Sounds Program. Enjoy a live concert in partnership with Easterseals and EveryoneRocks, featuring artists who are rocking their spectrum. This event is free and open to the public; there is limited seating at the Plaza, but attendees are welcome to bring their own seats. Food and beverages will be available from numerous Waterside Place merchants. For more information on shows, dates, and times, visit lakewoodranch.com/sights-sounds/. Waterside Place, 1560 Lakefront Dr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Flora at Art Uptown Gallery , July 29 – August 25, Various times

From July 29 to August 25, Art Uptown Gallery will display their artists creative interpretations on the theme Flora. The gallery will offer paintings and flower filled collages, plein air landscapes, abstract and traditional florals, decorative glass, ceramics, whimsical garden sculptures, bronze and glass mosaics to enchant visitors with a variety of plant based fine art. The First Friday Flora opening public reception will be on Friday, August 4 from 6 to 9 pm. The exhibit opens on Saturday, July 29 and runs through Friday, August 25. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes patrons and friends at 1367 Main Street where the diverse work of regional award-winning artists is exhibited. Visit www.artuptown.com for further information.

[SOON]  GALA: Toast Local , August 19, 1-5 pm

On Saturday, August 19th from 1-5pm, at Robarts Arena in Sarasota join us for Toast Local, and raise a glass to local charities. Benefiting The Rotary Club of Sarasota Foundation, enjoy a craft cocktail and beer tasting with delicious bites, plus special musical guest Kettle of Fish. The fun begins with a free family-friendly car show from 9am to 1pm. The Rotary Club of Sarasota is a network of active and retired business, professional, and community leaders dedicated to helping make Sarasota and the world a better place. Each year, the club receives requests from a number of local not-for-profit agencies seeking support. Toast Local will bring the local community together for an afternoon this summer to taste local beers, cocktails, and food. All proceeds will then be donated back to the local community. Information and tickets at rotaryclubofsarasota.com/toast-local, 21 and older.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: How to Scale Your Business Without Investors , August 2, 12 to 1 pm

In this workshop, Alexander Nouveau from nouveaustartups.com will teach you the secrets of how to scale your business without having to give up precious equity to investors. Discover winning strategies to attract a stampede of customers who pay, stay, and refer to fuel rapid growth. Learn how to run a lean operation and build a rockstar team. This webinar is free. Visit www.score.org/manasota to register.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Friday Fest at The Van Wezel , July 11 – September 22, 5-9pm

Friday Fest, the free, outdoor summertime concert series at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall continues with TEN-76 on August 11. TEN-76 is a powerhouse high energy band that covers classic and modern rock. From the Lakewood Ranch homebase, TEN-76 regularly plays many of the local venues and are expanding in the Southeast Region. They have volunteered their time and entertainment for many charities to help raise funds and awareness.

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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