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SRQ DAILY Aug 24, 2023

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

"It is not only the idea of creating, designing and curating memorable and unique experiences that leave a lasting impression, but it is also about elevating the moment."

- Reni Papalexiou, Founder of Sun Served Bespoke Picnics

[Bespoke Picnics]  Sun Served Bespoke Picnics Makes Every Moment Count
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

The Sarasota area offers no shortage of things to do, but sometimes, the simplest pleasures are the most delightful. At Sun Served Bespoke Picnics, Founder Reni Papalexiou creates beautiful moments in the form of picnics, bespoke gifts and other experiences.

Sun Served offers curated picnics, gifts and activities that clients can purchase separately or together. She works with clients to craft a picnic that matches their unique needs. Clients can choose from Classic, Romantic or Hostess picnic options, or collaborate with Reni during the design process with the Curate-a-Picnic option. Each picnic features different elements, like grazing boxes or LED candles. Similar to picnics, Sun Served offers in-room services for special indoor occasions, like a spa day or romantic evening. To further enhance the picnic experience, clients can add on activities like yoga, sound meditation, spray tans, mini facials and even a private boat ride. “It’s not only the idea of creating, designing and curating memorable and unique experiences that leave a lasting impression,” says Reni, “but it’s also about elevating the moment.” She’s hosted proposals, birthday parties, baby showers and even micro weddings, and prides herself on her work’s ability to serve clients, including companies looking to add a twist to their corporate events.

Along with the picnics and experiences, Sun Served sells bespoke gifts, which Reni makes every effort to hand deliver to each recipient. Clients can also add gifts as part of a picnic. The gift line includes everything from flower boxes to custom favors and keepsakes. Reni sources from local vendors whenever possible and works with her clients to select the perfect gift items, like get-well baskets featuring the recipient's favorite wine to the classic flowers and chocolate. “When you receive a gift, you know it wasn’t just from the shelf. You see the customization and personalization, and recognize that it was made specifically for you,” Reni adds.

In the future, Reni will be launching breakfast boxes and other exciting experiences. Whether you’re looking to plan a romantic beachside proposal or a girls’ night spa experience, Sun Served Bespoke Picnics has something in its basket for you.

To learn more, book a picnic or purchase a gift from Sun Served Bespoke Picnics, visit sunserved.com. 

Sun Served Bespoke Picnics curates special occasions, like beachside picnics or at-home spa days. Photo Courtesy of Sun Served Bespoke Picnics.

Sun Served Bespoke Picnics

[Workshop]  Women's Resource Center Presents A Life Enrichment Workshop

The Women’s Resource Center presents “You Are Worthy,” an eight-week series moderated by Chris Florand and Denise Whalin. This in-person series is part of the Women’s Resource Center’s life enrichment programs. The program is $25 for all sessions and takes place at WRC’s Sarasota office at 340 S. Tuttle Ave. To register, please call (941)256-9721 or visit mywrc.org/youareworthy. In ou Are Worthy,Chris Florand and Denise Whalin will help participants develop improved self-confidence, assertiveness, boundary-setting, and negotiation skills. This program meets weekly, with each session focusing on developing self-awareness skills, the building block where real personal growth and power to change lives starts. Florand and Whalin help participants stop habits that hinder healthy self-esteem and replace self-defeating thoughts and behaviors with positive views. The YouAre Worthy two-hour workshops help attendees develop healthy actions and boundaries for an improved life experience. This program meets every Thursday, 6-8 p.m. and consists of eight weekly sessions starting on September 14. There is a $25 registration fee for all eight sessions. “As women we are often juggling multiple roles and responsibilities that come with those roles. This workshop focuses on gaining tools and coping mechanisms to ensure we are advocating and prioritizing our emotional health. By taking care of ourselves we are better equipped to deal with all the roles we play in our lives,” says Ashley Brown, CEO and president of the Women's Resource Center. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Karaoke Night at Hamlet's Eatery

Unleash your inner superstar as Hamlet’s Eatery launches their highly anticipated monthly Karaoke Nights! Starting this Friday, Aug 25th from 5-8pm, and every 4th Friday of the month will be filled with song, laughter, and unforgettable performances at Hamlet’s Eatery! Known for its delicious food and cool, casual vibes, Hamlet’s Eatery is taking the entertainment scene by storm by adding karaoke to its repertoire. The stage is set, the microphones are ready, and it's time to grab your friends, warm up those vocal cords, and prepare for an epic night of singing your heart out! Karaoke enthusiasts and shower singers alike are invited to join the festivities. Whether you're a seasoned performer or a nervous first-timer, this is the perfect opportunity to showcase your talent or simply have a blast with friends. With a wide selection of songs ranging from classic hits to the latest chart-toppers, there's something for everyone to sing along to! "Karaoke was the number one requested thing to add to our Friday nights by our customers,” said owner Kim Livengood. "We wanted to create a space where people can come together, let loose, and have a fantastic time. We can't wait to see our guests dazzle us with their incredible performances!" So mark your calendars and prepare to hit the stage at Hamlet’s Eatery every 4th Friday of the month. We dare you to take the spotlight and become the star you were born to be! Hamlet’s Eatery is located in the courtyard of The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime at 821 Apricot Avenue in Sarasota. There is a covered patio for seating with plenty of fans. For more information, visit www.hamletseatery.com and follow them on Facebook @hamletseatery for the latest updates and song suggestions. It's time to unleash your inner diva and make your mark on the Hamlet’s Eatery stage!  

[Arts & Entertainment]  Sarasota Concert Association Announces Free Music Matinees

The Sarasota Concert Association announces its exciting 2024 Music Matinees concert series. Performances now take place at First Presbyterian Church, downtown Sarasota, at 2 p.m. These four FREE afternoon concerts showcase outstanding regional musicians performing a variety of musical styles. From classical to marimba, this concert series includes something for everyone. Scheduled this season: Corda Voce; Wednesday, January 10, at 2 p.m. Jenny Kim-Godfrey and Dr. Jonathan Godfrey form the soprano and classical guitar duo known as Corda Voce (Cor-da VO-chay - Italian for "string voice"). Since 2015 they have intertwined the influences of cabaret, classical, jazz, and popular music to create a program that has delighted audiences. Sarasota Opera Studio Artists; Friday, February 23, at 2 p.m. The Sarasota Opera’s Studio Artists is a select and auditioned group of emerging artists who perform in mainstage productions by understudying principal roles and performing supporting roles, gaining valuable experience in the process. With dozens of roles needing understudies each season, the Studio Artists often step in to substitute for an ill or injured principal, sometimes with little notice. Modern Marimba; Wednesday, March 6, at 2 p.m. Modern Marimba, founded by Tihda Vongkoth and Steph Davis, has celebrated three seasons of virtual and in-person concert programs that celebrate the true diversity of music. Sarasota Piano Trio; Wednesday, April 17, at 2 p.m. The Sarasota Piano Trio features pianist Jesse Martins, violinist Milene Moreira and cellist Nadine Trudel. Praised for their interesting programming and expressive playing, they perform a mix of well-known as well as rarely heard classical repertoire. The concerts are free but pre-registration is required and available 30 days before each concert at SCAsarasota.org, or through our box office at (941) 966-6161. Attendees can reserve up to two tickets per matinee performance. Please note our new time and location: Performances now take place at First Presbyterian Church, 2050 Oak Street, downtown Sarasota, at 2 p.m. The Sarasota Concert Association 2024 Music Matinee Series is generously sponsored by The Exchange and BayFirst. 

Pictured: Jenny Kim-Godfrey and Dr. Jonathan Godfrey form Corda Voce. Photo courtesy of the artists.

[New Hire]  Uzi Baram PhD Joins Selby Gardens as Director of Public Archaeology

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens recently welcomed Dr. Uzi Baram as Director of Public Archaeology. In this role, Baram’s focus is the interpretation and representations of the archaeological and cultural histories at Selby Gardens’ two campuses. There is a robust heritage across the region and, significantly, the Historic Spanish Point campus preserves a very ancient monument and evidence of the ancient peoples who lived by Little Sarasota Bay. Baram will manage the archaeological resources and guide educational efforts to better connect people with the region’s history, one of the pillars of Selby Gardens’ mission. Awarded the 2019 Archaeological Conservancy Award by the History and Preservation Coalition of Sarasota County, Dr. Baram taught for 25 years at New College of Florida, where he was a professor of anthropology and created and directed New College’s Public Archaeology Laboratory. Baram’s professional career has focused on exposing and documenting local history through community-based projects. Much of his work has concentrated on nearly erased history in Manatee and Sarasota counties.Baram is best known locally for the community-based effort that revealed the early 19th-century settlement of Angola, a maroon community of people of African heritage along the Manatee River. Other public archaeology projects he has organized include archaeology at Philippi Estate Park, educational programs on the Cuban fishing ranchos of Florida’s Gulf coast, and surveys of the Rosemary and Galilee cemeteries in Sarasota. These projects included field work, research, scientific publications, lectures, tours, documentaries, and educational materials for use in local schools. Beyond his Florida research, Baram is known for his work in the eastern Mediterranean and for understanding archaeology as heritage. He has published four edited volumes, written dozens of academic articles and book chapters, and lectured extensively on the social significance of heritage. Baram expects to use the same community-based focus in his work at Selby Gardens. “Uzi brings a wealth of knowledge and a practice of engagement that is essential to understanding and preserving our regional history,” said John McCarthy, Selby Gardens’ vice president for regional history.Baram earned his master’s and doctorate in Anthropology from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He received his bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from State University of New York at Binghamton. Baram has lived in Sarasota since 1997, where he raised three children. His family has enjoyed both the Downtown Sarasota and Historic Spanish Point campuses of Selby Gardens for many years. 

[Recognition]  Forbes Names SMH Among America's Best-in-State Employers

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System (SMH) has been named in Forbes’ fifth annual list of America’s “Best-in-State” employers. Forbes, in partnership with research company Statista, evaluated over 2 million employer recommendations from employees working at large companies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. On Tuesday, Forbes published its list of 1,392 Best-in-State Employers. Of 90 companies listed in Florida, SMH ranks #4, sharing the top tier with NASA, Google, Microsoft and Costco. Forbes and Statista ranked companies after surveying 70,000 workers at companies (minimum 500 employees) representing 25 industries across the United States. They were asked to rate their employer overall and in categories such as work environment, gender pay equity, opportunities for career advancement, pride in the company’s services and more. David Verinder, president and CEO of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, credits the health system’s deep roots in the community and shared mission of its team. “Our extraordinary leaders and staff, and longstanding public mission, truly set us apart,” Verinder said. “Sarasota Memorial has cared for this community for nearly a century. There is a sense of pride and community ownership here that has endured through decades and continues to inspire us today.” Sarasota Memorial’s ranking comes on top of a growing list of national accolades, including multiple “Best Hospital” rankings and ratings from U.S. News & World Report, continuous 5-star ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Magnet designation for 20 consecutive years and counting, and repeated recognition on Newsweek’s list of the “World’s Best Hospitals” to name a few. Founded in 1925, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is Sarasota County’s largest employer, with nearly 10,000 employees supporting the care of more than 1 million patient visits each year at its flagship 901-bed hospital in Sarasota, 110-bed hospital in Venice and expansive network of outpatient and urgent care centers and medical practices spanning the Suncoast. Forbes and Statista Inc. Best-in-State Employers list was announced on Aug. 22, 2023, and can currently be viewed on the Forbes website at https://www.forbes.com/lists/best-employers-by-state/?sh=6408cfc01983 

[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]  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: 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]  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]  GRAB BAG: Bradenton Public Market , June 24 – August 26, 9 am to 2 pm

Realize Bradenton is pleased to announce the continuation of the Bradenton Public Market through the summer months. The summer Markets are scheduled once a month on the last Saturdays of each month, on June 24th, July 29th and August 26th on Old Main Street and 3rd Ave West in Bradenton. Our Market family is excited to see their customers throughout the summer while still enjoying some well-earned time off. The Market was founded in April of 1979 in a Downtown Bradenton parking lot. Over the past 44 years, the Market has grown and evolved to fill Old Main Street with produce, local artisans, and prepared foods. realizebradenton.com/market.

[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]  MUSIC: Jazz Thursdays , July 13 – December 14, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Join Sarasota Art Museum for Jazz Thursdays featuring live jazz music, contemporary art, and sips and bites from Bistro. Hosted by the Jazz Club of Sarasota. Jazz Thursday happens on the second Thursday of each month, 5:30-8 p.m. Galleries, Bistro, and SHOP open. FREE for Members, $20 for Not-Yet Members.

[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]  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]  GALA: Whip, Sip and Mingle! , September 16, 7pm

Get ready for a night of fun, laughter, and mingling at the exciting event, Whip, Sip and Mingle with Truly Valued on September, 16! Whip, Sip and Mingle is all about bringing people together in a relaxed and informal setting. This event offers a great chance to connect with like-minded individuals, and make new friends. Do not miss out on this exciting event! The event will start at 7pm and will be located at 6127 26th Street W, Bradenton. Tickets may be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/whip-sip-and-mingle-tickets-687507101247.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Bookstore1Sarasota virtual event with Gina Barreca , September 13, 6-7pm
Bookstore1Sarasota presents a virtual event with Gina Barreca, author of Fast Fallen Women, on September 13 from 6 to 7pm. 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 to 92, Fast Fallen Women gives whispered conversations a full voice. This is a free event. Registration is required for the Zoom link. Register here https://www.sarasotabooks.com/events, or call 941-365-7900.
[SOON]  FOOD: Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival , January 25 – January 29, Various times
The 2024 Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival, hosted by the Sarasota Manatee Originals, will take place January 25 to 29. Grand Tasting tickets go on sale in October. A full five day slate of food and wine themed fun is planned, including the University Master Classes, wine dinners at area restaurants, wine shop tasting events, a trade tasting and the much anticipated Grand Tasting at The Ringling Museum of Art. Due to the unprecedented demand for tickets, ticket sales for The Grand Tasting launch on two consecutive Tuesdays: On October 10 at 9 a.m. there is a presale of the VIP and Early Access tickets and on October 17 at 7 p.m. General Admission tickets will be available and historically have sold out in a matter of minutes. All Forks and Corks Grand Tasting tickets will be available online only. For more information, please visit www.eatlikealocal.com.
[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: 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: 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]  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.

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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