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SRQ DAILY Aug 11, 2023

Friday Weekend Edition

Friday Weekend Edition

"I think the season captures the intricacies of the human experience, weaving together stories of mystery, loneliness, love and resilience."

- Summer Wallace, Producing Artistic Director, Urbanite Theatre.

[Arts & Entertainment]  A Farewell To Arts
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

After 43 years showing local art on downtown Main Street, Art Uptown Gallery will close its doors and turn off the lights under that big red awning for the very last time this month, August 26, citing sudden and untenable rent increases. It’s a familiar story and it’s the second high-profile gallery closure in Downtown Sarasota in nearly as many months, following the departure of Dabbert Gallery—a staple for nearly 20 years—at the end of June and for the same reasons. “Sarasota was a community that supported the arts and it was great to be a part of that,” says painter Evelyn McCorristin Peters, a member artist at Art Uptown, where she also served as treasurer for the last eight years. “But the support for visual arts has waned,” she says. “We’re just not a priority anymore.”

“We didn’t make money,” Peters admits (and she would know), “but that wasn’t the point. The point was to support working artists.” And when Peters joined the 26-member collective eight years ago—the second time they invited her—that was the reputation that drew her in. As an artist group, Art Uptown organized and hosted its own shows and exhibitions, with members showing up on the last Saturday of every month to hang their own work and plan for the future of the gallery. Everything was voted on. Member-artists worked the door and desk until a pair of employees could be hired. “And everyone got to be in the window,” Peters says, referring to the broad windows flanking the front door of the gallery. “It was such a great opportunity,” she says. “To get that exposure on Main Street in Sarasota is hard to beat.”

But it was an opportunity sustained chiefly by the largesse of a single patron, Ellen Heritage, who owned the property and, according to Peters, charged the artists only $1,000/month in rent, despite the enviable Main Street location. “She was a strong supporter of the arts and was always involved,” Peters says. But when Heritage passed in early 2023, her properties were sold and Art Uptown had a new landlord. For a few months, Peters says, the artists just kind of hoped no one would notice the bohemians squatting on the gold mine. No such luck. And when the new lease came through, the terms were clear: 60 days at $4,000 a month and then it goes up to $7,000. “We tried to negotiate,” says Peters, “But $4,000 wasn’t even possible.” Not seeing any viable recourse, the collective made the call to close.

In the remaining weeks until August 26, the gallery will be showing a variety of work from its member artists, inviting the public to say its goodbyes and, hopefully, support some of those artists as they find new homes for their work. As for the 26 members of the Art Uptown artist collective, Peters says monthly meetings will continue, albeit on a more relaxed and “come if you can” basis. Because although the gallery may close, Art Uptown always stood for something more than bricks and mortar. “The most important thing, for me, was to be part of a community of working artists,” Peters says. “And we still have each other.”

Art Uptown Gallery closes its doors August 26 at 5pm. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Urbanite Theatre Announces Its 10th Season
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

Earlier this week, Sarasota’s Urbanite Theatre announced the programming for its 10th season. For the last decade, Urbanite Theatre has strived to be a little bit different than the rest of the performing arts institutions in the region–located in a smaller, more intimate venue, Urbanite has used these constraints to its advantage, pumping out a repertoire of contemporary plays, oftentimes from younger or emerging playwrights.

“It does feel like a milestone to have reached a decade of seasonal programming at Urbanite. We’re no longer new, but at just 10 years we’re still not that old,” says Summer Wallace, Producing Artistic Director. “In a short period of time, we’ve survived two hurricanes, the red tide, a global pandemic and now we’re launching season 10. In our history, Urbanite has remained steadfast in bringing the boldest voices to Sarasota and season 10 is no different in regards to that.”

Urbanite’s 10th season will feature four mainstage productions, with three world premieres and one regional premiere. The season opens on October 20, with the regional premiere of  The Sound Inside, a 2020 Tony-nominated play that follows the intense bond between a Yale creative writing professor and one of her students. Next comes the world premiere of Judith, a one-woman show starring Olivia Scanlon about a sister who has to transform herself to try and protect the reputation of her brother, William, in Victorian-era England. William, however, isn’t just any old William–he’s William Shakespeare.

Judith, is followed by another world premiere in Westminster, the winner of the 2023 Urbanite Theatre Modern Works Festival, which will be directed by Wallace and focuses on the strained relationship between lifelong friends Pia and Krys, when Krys gifts Pia a surprise rescue dog. A play that toes that line between farcical comedy and heartfelt drama, Westminster takes a deeper dive into the prejudices people carry through the lens of adopting a rescue dog. Last but certainly not least is the world premiere of Oak by Terry Guest, whose play At The Wake of a Dead Drag Queen played at Urbanite during their 2021-22 season. Oak is a southern gothic horror that follows a community along Odella Creek where children have been going missing for decades.

 “I think the season captures the intricacies of the human experience, weaving together stories of mystery, loneliness, love and resilience,” says Wallace. “They’re all actor driven productions and they all are surprising to a degree as well. I read a lot of plays and always think it’s fun when I read a play and go ‘woah I didn’t expect that!’" 

Pictured: Oak by Terry Guest is one of Urbanite Theatre's 10th season productions.

[Grant]  Art Center Sarasota Receives Grant from The Florida Department of State Division of Arts and Culture

The Florida Department of State Division of Arts & Culture awarded Art Center Sarasota a $43,297 grant to support the organization’s 2023-2024 season. “Art Center Sarasota is honored to receive support from Florida's Department of State, Division of Arts & Culture,” says Kinsey Robb, ACS’s executive director. “This grant plays a pivotal role in our ongoing exhibition, educational, outreach and engagement initiatives. It’s also empowers the community programming we provide with each of our exhibition cycles.” Kinsey explains that her team curates targeted panel discussions, workshops, studio visits, artist talks, and social events that synch up to ACS's calendar of exhibitions. “We also host events throughout the year in collaboration with neighboring nonprofit organizations,” she says. In addition, the center brings in working professionals to speak about their roles and jobs within the field of visual and performing arts. “The goal is to illustrate the many ways in which one can work and make an impact in the world of art—and that includes art appraisers, art writers and critics, curators, educators, artists, conservators, marketers, and arts therapists.” Funds from the grant will also support ACS’s celebrated arts education programs, including its Youth Teaching Assistant Internship program and its free Youth Saturdays, a creative arts program for children. Kinsey adds that, during the 2023-2024 season, ACS will also implement an ongoing series of pop-up events that will take place throughout the city of Sarasota and its neighboring counties. “These events will bring art and collaboration from outside the confines of our building to the wider public.” Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For information, visit www.artsarasota.org or call 941-365-2032. 

Pictured: Artists display their work upon completion of the Freedom of Acrylics workshop at Art Center Sarasota. Photo courtesy of Art Center Sarasota.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Pops Single Tickets Go On Sale August 15th

In only 6 short days, you can purchase single tickets to all of this season's exciting shows! Bring your friends, bring your neighbors, and bring yourself to some toe-tapping fun this season. We can't wait to see you in your seats! Single tickets are available for $30, $45, and $60. Child/Student tickets are available for $5! We still have season tickets available with prices starting at $110 for all 4 performances. Box Office: (941) 926-7677 and terry@thepopsorchestra.org 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Choral Artists of Sarasota Announces 2023-2024 Season

Choral Artists of Sarasota’s 45th season features six concerts in November, December, February, March, April and May. A season highlight includes the Florida premiere of “Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight” by Florence Price, an African-American composer whose works were lost during the middle of the 20th century and later discovered in an attic trunk in 2009. Another season highlight is a performance of Craig Hella Johnson’s “Considering Matthew Shepard,” a modern-day “Passion” (modeled after the great “Passions” of J.S. Bach) that tells the story of Matthew Shepard, a gay American student at the University of Wyoming who was beaten, tortured, and left to die near Laramie on the night of October 6, 1998. This season also marks the launch of the group’s United We Stand Memorial Day concert, a moving tribute to those in the armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice. This concert serves as the kick-off for the Choral Artists’ tour to France to participate in the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy. 

Pictured: Choral Artists. Photo by Barbara Banks.

[Arts & Entertainment]  A Bookstore1Sarasota Virtual Event with Gina Barreca

To get anywhere, a woman must fall. You can fall by being tipsy, getting ahead of yourself, by missing a step. You can fall because somebody pulls the rug out from under you or because the whole time as you stood, believing you were on solid ground, there was a trapdoor directly beneath you. Join Gina Barreca, Georgia Court, and Elsie Souza as they discuss this new collection of 75 flash fiction essays on how when women fall, we get right back up. Fast Fallen Women includes 75 previously unpublished pieces on the topic of the ways in which women fall—whether they reach the boundaries of their lives and take flight, whether they stumble, or are pushed over the edge. Holding a compact mirror up to life, given that all the essays are under 750 words, the book bears witness to women's resilience, creativity, and wit as women write about rising up against all odds. With new and original works by Amy Tan, Jane Smiley, Bobbie Ann Mason, Caroline Leavitt, Darien Hsu Gee, Honor Moore, and Lynn Peril, as well as a dazzling range of emerging authors writing from diverse perspectives, ages 20-92, Fast Fallen Women gives whispered conversations a full voice. This event takes place Wednesday, September 13, 6 - 7pm. Registration is required for the Zoom link. Register here https://www.sarasotabooks.com/events, or call 941-365-7900. 

Pictured: Author & Editor Gina Barreca.

[Arts & Entertainment]  FST Extends Run of Ken Ludwig's A Comedy of Tenors

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is proud to announce that, due to audience demand, the theatre is extending the run of Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors, a rollicking comedy full of mistaken identities, slamming doors, and comical misunderstandings. A Comedy of Tenors is set in 1930s Paris, and the stage is set for “the concert of the century,” where three of the world’s top tenors are going to give career-highlight performances for a stadium packed with thousands of fans. But clandestine affairs, opening night chaos, and unexpected surprises have producer Henry Saunders desperate to ensure that the show goes on. Called “Brilliant” and “Magnificent” by BroadwayWorld, A Comedy of Tenors is now playing through August 27 in FST’s Gompertz Theatre. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or 941.366.9000. 

Pictured: (Left to Right): Michael Perrie Jr. (Max), Alanna Smith (Mimi), Hank von Kolnitz (Carlo), Andrew Benator (Saunders), Aaron Munoz (Tito), and Jennifer Cody (Maria). Photo by John Jones.

[SOON]  FOOD: Suncoast Cookies Pop Up at 99 Bottles , August 13, 11am-2pm

Swing by for NY Bagel Brunch at 99 Bottles, and grab some next level cookies from the Suncoast Cookies Pop Up Shop at 99 Bottles on Sunday, August 13th, from 11am-2pm, or until supplies last. Visit https://suncoast-cookies.square.site and 99bottles.net to learn more. 99 Bottles Taproom and Bottle Shop, 1445 2nd St., Sarasota.

[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.

[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]  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]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Cars and Coffee at University Town Center , March 11 – December 9, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

This monthly gathering of car enthusiasts brings together automobile lovers from every walk of life, not to mention a wide array of spectacular cars. Bring your own vehicle (all makes and models are welcome) to show off, or check out the hundreds of cars on display. Each month, the event sponsors a different charity, and attendees are encouraged to donate $10 to benefit the charity. The event, occuring on the second Sunday of each month, will feature live music, complimentary coffee and more. To learn more, visit facebook.com/carsandcoffee941. Sarasota Cars and Coffee, The West District at University Town Center near Ford’s Garage, 295 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: SIN Nights at Geckos on Hillview , May 12 – August 31, 10 pm to midnight

Enjoy SIN Nights for Geckos Hospitality and Service Industry Colleagues. Join Geckos on Hillview Street in Southside Village and let us serve you late at night after your shift on Friday and Saturday nights. We will keep the light on late for you and offer Geckos food and drink specials just for you from 10-Midnight. Come in wearing your uniform or bring in your schedule and enjoy the camaraderie of friends at Geckos on Hillview. 1900 Hillview Street, Sarasota, www.GeckosGrill.com.

[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]  THEATER: A Comedy of Tenors at Florida Studio Theatre , August 9 – August 27, Various times

FST presents A Comedy of Tenors, a rollicking comedy full of mistaken identities, slamming doors, and comical misunderstandings. A Comedy of Tenors is set in 1930s Paris, and the stage is set for the concert of the century, where three of the top tenors in the world are going to give career highlight performances for a stadium packed with thousands of fans. But clandestine affairs, opening night chaos, and unexpected surprises have producer Henry Saunders desperate to ensure that the show goes on. FST Gompertz Theatre. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or 941.366.9000.

[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]  THEATER: The Graduate at The Players Centre , August 17 – August 27, Various times

The Players is closing its 93rd season with the stage adaptation of, The Graduate, a play adapted by Terry Johnson, based on the novel by Charles Webb and the Motion Picture Screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry by Special Arrangement with StudioCanal. This play is sure to grab your attention and never let it go. The Players Centre, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, the players.org.

[SOON]  FOOD: Wine Tasting at The Reserve Retreat , August 17, 6:30-8:30pm

Indulge in a wine tasting at The Reserve Retreat. Hosted by in-house wine experts, the tasting will offer samples of Chardonnay, Riesling, Malbec and Montepulciano curated from past tastings. This is a perfect event for anyone looking for a cozy and inviting place to socialize and learn. Tickets are $15. The Reserve Retreat, 1322 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, thereserveretreat.com.

[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]  FOOD: South France Wine Tasting Dinner at Mademoiselle Paris , August 24 – August 25, 6:30 pm

Mademoiselle Paris will host the South France Wine Dinner at their University Town Center and Anna Maria Island locations. As wine lovers, we organize every month a wine tasting, on a specific region of France. The menu is designed by our chef Arnaud Wallet and related to the region. During this wine tastings we introduce the specific region or grape, talk about tourism and the vineyard. We introduce each domain, trying to pick family businesses, and every wine. Each time we also introduce a restaurant we recommend in France and we share a little bit of France Culture and history. We use a PowerPoint support to illustrate with pictures and graphics and to give more interest in our presentation. As the cherry on the cake, we have a quiz and we offer bottles of the wine tasting to the best participants. Reservations required. Reserve your spot at mademoiselleparis.com/winetasting.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Family Art Day at Creative Liberties , August 26, 9am-12pm

Bring the whole family and participate in free art projects led by professional artists at Creative Liberties. Artist Kaitlin Kelly, aka Swirly Painter, will lead families in a creative project that is suitable for all ages and skill levels. No RSVP required. For more information Creative Liberties, visit www.creativeliberties.net; call 941-799-6634 or email info@creativeliberties.net.

[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]  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]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Living with Alligators , August 16, 6:30 pm

Join us at Bay Preserve on Wednesday, August 16, from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm to learn all about alligators. Perfect for HOA members, people who live near stormwater ponds, and those who frequently encounter alligators in their neighborhoods. In this engaging lecture we will explore the fascinating life history of alligators and learn how to live in harmony together. Learn what to do if you encounter an alligator, how to determine if you should call a nuisance trapper, and discover the vital role of alligators in maintaining a balanced ecosystem. Space is limited and registration is required. Reserve your seat today. Visit conservationfoundation.com to learn more and register.

[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.

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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