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SRQ DAILY Nov 15, 2023

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"We want to shine a light on those who have to mask and hide, whether it is because of developmental disabilities or for any other reason that makes them feel marginalized. We want to give them a chance to speak and feel safe."

- Ann Morrison, Artistic Director, SaraSolo Productions.

[Fundraising]  A Season of Thanks for SaraSolo
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

SaraSolo Productions, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit theater group run by Artistic Director Ann Morrison and Managing Director, Blake Walton–two award-winning professionals with decades of experience in acting, directing and teaching across the country. Here in Sarasota, they create community and in-school workshops to help soloists develop their own voices and original presentations. “We are always thinking about teaching and helping others develop their own material,” shares Walton. “Creating solo work can be a lonely process so by holding workshops, we are able to give soloists a way to support each other while writing their own individual pieces.”

Six years ago, after running several successful solo festivals for adults, Morrison and Walton thought how great it could be to do the same with teens. With a bit of inspiration from Carrie Mills who runs the theater program at Booker Middle School, they decided to create an intergenerational program where teens and adults aged 60+ would interview one another and each write a monologue from that interview. What they found was remarkable, shares Morrison. “We noticed that these unlikely pairs became friends and they learned about a generation they don’t speak to normally.”

Those same middle school students who took part in the original workshops at Booker Middle School are now in their junior year at Booker High and the work continues to be part of their programming under the direction of Sunny Smith. “It’s amazing when we bring both schools together,” explains Walton. “The students learn from each other and for some, the ten-minute piece they create becomes their wild card to get into college no matter what they are planning to study.”

About four years ago, SaraSolo received a $10,000 grant that helped pay for that year of their in-school programming. Lately, though, they’ve had to rely mostly on individual donations. “This is a vulnerable program because the students are often saying things that are new to those around them and we want to give them a safe space to do so. We also want to make sure the audience is somewhat vetted–that they are actually there to watch and listen,” says Walton. “ It’s theater, it's art and kids are using all sorts of media to tell their story and it’s beautiful.”

According to their mission statement, the theater company is “dedicated to the development and presentation of unique, brave, and uplifting solo performances that illuminate the human condition–especially of those who are considered other than.” As Morrison explains, “Middle schoolers and people over the age of 60 are often unheard in the community. We want to shine a light on those who have to mask and hide, whether it’s because of developmental disabilities or for any other reason that makes them feel marginalized. We want to give them a chance to speak and feel safe.”

From November 1st through December 31st, the organization is celebrating their “Season of Thanks”. They are asking supporters to help them raise $15,000 to help keep these in-school programs healthy and vital. “Rather than asking folks to donate on Giving Tuesday, we are giving them a chance to relax and think about their last bit of support for 2023. The season is also our opportunity to thank all those who support us because it does go both ways,” adds Morrison. 

Pictured: Through intergenerational programming, students and adults over 60 are able to create unique solo performances. Photo by Ann Morrison.

To make a donation or learn more about Sarasolo, click here:

[Grants]  Barancik Foundation Awards $5 Million in Grants

Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation’s Board of Directors recently approved over $5 million in grants. The funding includes 11 grants to regional nonprofit organizations working in education, mental health, humanitarian causes, and arts and culture. The Barancik Foundation Board also directed significant funding to the Foundation’s First 1,000 Days Suncoast initiative ($700,000) and Affordable Housing initiative ($1.5 million). The grants and initiative investments were approved at the Board’s quarterly meeting in early November. “Across many of these grants, we see the difficulties that families in our region face as they try to remain financially stable,” said Teri A Hansen, president and CEO of Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. “On the whole, we are investing in everything from early interventions to crisis response, and we are grateful to our nonprofit partners that are doing this innovative and necessary work. “We also recognized the chance to help launch or grow some innovative and exciting new educational and artistic programs,” Hansen added. “We can’t wait to see how they impact and enhance our communities.” 

To learn more, visit.

[Fundraising]  Local Student-Led Rocketry Club Sets Sights on New Heights

Nearly 20 local middle and high school students have joined together with an inspiring common goal: building and launching a rocket 10,000 feet. The Team True Fire Rocketry Club, an initiative of the Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab, was founded in 2022 by Riverview High School graduate Sebastian Grabowski, who is currently pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. Sebastian passed the leadership baton to Riverview High junior Daniel Desear to lead the team to new heights in its second year. Team mentor and Suncoast Polytechnical High School teacher Russell Finger provides the group with support and guidance. The Team True Fire Rocketry Club operates out of the state-of-the-art Faulhaber Fab Lab facility, gathering weekly to research, experiment with rocket fuel formulations, fabricate key rocket components such as the nozzle and nose cone, and even program sensors that will collect valuable data during the rocket's flight in Spring 2024. Several enhancements to the prior year's strategy are underway, including experimentation with new fuels to increase propulsion and surpass last year's rocket altitude. The team is seeking donations to help them build their rocket and achieve their goal of launching it 10,000 feet. Contributions of any size make a difference and will contribute to nurturing the next generation of STEM leaders. Anyone interested in supporting the students' quest to turn their dreams into reality can make a secure donation through the team's GoFundMe page: https://gofundme.com/f/2324-rocket. In addition to monetary support, the group is seeking donations of GoPro or Insta360 cameras to collect action shots and to be mounted onboard the rocket during flight. To get involved or learn more, please contact info@suncoastscience.org or call 941-840-4394. 

Pictured: Team members Tanner David and Hana make igniters for the rocket.

[Grants]  Impact100 SRQ Awards $109,000 Each to 7 Local Nonprofits

Members of Impact100 SRQ, a collective of local women philanthropists committed to funding high impact, sustainable initiatives, celebrated their 5th Giving Year on Wednesday, November 8, at their Annual Celebration & Award Ceremony. They heard presentations from the 10 nonprofit grant finalists who were selected by volunteer members from this year’s applicants, each with the opportunity to receive funding. The 763 members in 2023 funded 7 grants of $109,000 each in keeping with the organization’s giving model:  At least 100 women annually donate $1,000 each to fund grants of at least $100,000 to local nonprofits. At the event, the 10 nonprofit grant applicant finalists each gave short presentations to explain their initiatives and the sustainable impact each project would have on the community. Following all the presentations, Impact100 SRQ members were able to cast their votes for which initiatives they wanted to fund. Upon tabulation of the votes, the 7 recipients were announced. “Thanks to the generosity of our dedicated members, Impact100 SRQ continues to make meaningful and positive change in our community,” says Impact100 SRQ President Pam Kandziora. “Every Member Matters. By making philanthropy accessible for all women in Sarasota and Manatee Counties through our collective giving model, the impact is multiplied by each and every member and we truly make a difference. In just 5 years since the chapter’s inception, we have funded 22 grants, totaling $2,400,000.” The more women who join the organization, the more grants can be funded. The membership drive for 2024 is now open until March 26, 2024. To learn more about Impact100 SRQ and how to become a member, visit the website at www.Impact100SRQ.org. All nonprofit organizations that plan to serve Sarasota and Manatee Counties seeking funding for high impact initiatives are encouraged to apply for an Impact100 SRQ grant in 2024. 

To learn more, visit.

[Leadership]  The Florida Center for Early Childhood Welcomes Kate Reed as its Chief Philanthropy Officer

The Florida Center for Early Childhood recently welcomed Kate Reed as its chief philanthropy officer. Reed has spent two decades in the nonprofit and corporate sectors leading development, strategic planning and marketing efforts. She most recently served as the regional resource development director for the Salvation Army where she worked exclusively with high-capacity funding partners and, previously, as the chief advancement officer for All Star Children’s Foundation. Before moving to Sarasota, Reed was the chief marketing and advancement officer for Girl Scouts and, for 16 years prior, held progressively responsible positions that spanned vice-president of marketing and culminated in senior vice president of interactive advertising and content with SONIFI Solutions, a leading provider of media and connectivity solutions for hospitality and healthcare organizations. In her new role, Reed will focus on deepening the culture of philanthropy at The Florida Center and enhance the organization’s capacity to innovate and scale new solutions, while leading the development team to raise vital funding to sustain and expand offerings to children in need. Reed will also oversee marketing and communications efforts. “We are thrilled to welcome Kate to our team,” says Florida Center CEO Kristie Skoglund. “Kate is a heart-centered leader with a distinguished track record in both the corporate and nonprofit world. She is a champion for children, a creative strategic thinker and passionate about connecting philanthropists with causes that make a difference in our community and beyond. I know she will bring a spirit of creativity, ingenuity, and passion to our enterprise.” Although Reed has extensive background working in the corporate world, she says that her move to the nonprofit world six years ago was well planned. “The missions of the nonprofits I have worked with, especially those that address early childhood trauma and education, resonate deeply with me. My time spent working with vulnerable children opened my eyes to how important it is to reach them at a young age and that experience was transformative and life changing. The Florida Center is a gem in our community, and I am honored to be part of its remarkable team.” Reed says that working within the structure of a publicly traded company was a “rigorous environment that demanded accountability and transparency and I bring that philosophy to my nonprofit work.”


[Recognition]  Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties to Host 10th Annual Champions for Children Gala Honoring Jaime and Julie DiDomenico

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties will honor Jaime and Julie DiDomenico at the 10th Annual Champions for Children Gala on Saturday, November 18. The signature event will be presented by the Annette J. Hagens Memorial Foundation in honor of Jaime and Julie DiDomenico whose generosity has been instrumental in empowering local youth to achieve their full potential. All proceeds from the event will provide thousands of BGCSDC Club members a world-class Club experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who walks through its doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle. Jaime DiDomenico, a longtime Board member who served as Chair of the Board of Directors from 2015-2017, and his wife, Julie, have a passion for helping local youth reach their full potential. As owners of Cool Today, Jaime and Julie integrated support for the Club as part of their corporate philosophy. Together they launched a partnership that secured in-kind vendor services to all six Club sites, contracted subject matter experts to facilitate workforce development programs for teens, and created corporate engagement events as ways for their employees to support the Clubs. These efforts earned Jaime recognition at the organization's Leadership Breakfast in 2019. But when Hurricane Ian hit our region in 2022, the DiDomenico’s reaffirmed their commitment to the mission and pledged support to ensure a full rebuild of the Steven and Marjolaine Townsend Campus, home of the Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club. As key investors in North Port, and as members of The Heritage Club, Jaime and Julie are ensuring their legacy and support will positively impact Club members for generations to come.

Saturday, November 18 from 6:00 pm. to 10:00 pm., 3100 Fruitville Road (Lee Wetherington Club), Sarasota. 

[Grant]  Sarasota Opera Receives $5,000 Grant from Manatee Community Foundation for Education Outreach

Sarasota Opera has been awarded a grant from the Jay K. Turner Fund of the Manatee Community Foundation to expand its education outreach activities through the Resident Artist program in Manatee County schools. The funding supports this year’s pilot program, which has been extended from the standard one week to six weeks. The singers, pianists, stage director, and staff are working to serve as many schools as possible across both Manatee and Sarasota Counties this fall. The results from this year’s extended outreach schedule will help us to expand the 2024-25 program as we work towards providing opera education outreach to the schools for longer periods to reach more and more students. According to Sarasota Opera’s General Director, Richard Russell, “we are grateful for Manatee Community Foundation’s support which helps us expand our impact in schools in the county. With input from the schools, Sarasota Opera has been re-envisioning its education programming to serve more students. We look forward to even more opportunities in the future.” Martha Collins, Director of Education at Sarasota Opera, who works directly with the schools and oversees the artists and outreach schedule, says that the reaction from schools has been incredibly positive. “We are especially excited to work with underserved communities and Title 1 schools that often do not have the resources to attend a school-time performance at the Sarasota Opera House.” Collins believes this expanded outreach schedule will allow teachers and schools more flexibility to incorporate opera education into their lesson plans. 

[Grant]  JFCS of the Suncoast Receives Impact100 SRQ Grant

IMPACT100 SRQ announced on November 8th at their Annual Celebration & Awards Ceremony that the Jewish Family and Children’s Services are one of seven local nonprofits to receive a $109,000 grant. After a rigorous process that included submission to finalist, ten local nonprofits presented their organization’s mission before more than 400 members of Impact100 SRQ. Each organization rose to meet the challenge of a 5-minute pitch without the use of video, PowerPoint, or any visual aids. Impact100’s local communal giving concept is adopted by over sixty chapters globally, including the Sarasota chapter. Established in 2018, Impact100 SRQ unites a diverse group of women who provide transformative contributions to nearby nonprofit organizations in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. At least 100 women each give a $1,000 tax-deductible donation, and together they collectively award grants in increments of at least $100,000 to local nonprofits in five focus areas: Arts, Culture & History; Education; Environment & Recreation; Family; and Health & Wellness. Each member‘s annual donation strengthens the power of giving and funds the innovative projects that make a high impact and sustainable difference in our community. JFCS will use the Impact100 SRQ grant monies towards their School and Family Wellness Support Service with a clinician and a “wraparound” case worker who will be dedicated to families in need, which are many in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Sarasota County has fewer mental health providers than top performing counties nationally, with one provider for every 570 residents, compared to 1 to 270 nationally. According to the 2021 Sarasota County Mental Health Needs Assessment Task Force, “This county is “facing an impending crisis in the mental health system.” JFCS provides a variety of programs to meet the vital needs of children and families in terms of mental health. Their clinicians are witnessing a greater intensity in counseling families with several members who are often coping with a variety of problems. These needs require a higher degree of counseling and a more complex continuum of care. Their year-round Camp Mariposa provides counseling and activities for youths/teens for the prevention and intervention of substance abuse in a traditional camp setting. The Adolescent Diversion and Assistance Program (ADAP) keeps youths out of the juvenile justice system and improves their behaviors in school. JFCS also partners with Unidos Now, the Boys and Girls Club, and the State College of Florida Collegiate School in Venice to offer mental health counseling to support youths and their families. Dr. Helene Lotman, CEO of JFCS is ecstatic and grateful for this grant from Impact100 SRQ stating, “This funding will allow us to deepen and broaden the positive impact we make by improving family functioning, communication and addressing barriers that inhibit healthy forward progression of the familial unit.” There is much work to be done and JFCS is clearly positioned and qualified to continue to support this community in being a leading mental health and human services agency. 

Pictured: JFCS representatives: Edwin Castro, Fatherhood Program Facilitator, Kathleen Roberts, JFCS Board Chair, Helene Lotman, CEO and Keith Leahey, Chief of Behavioral and Health Services.

[Grant]  Art Center Sarasota is Selected as a Recipient For Impact100 SRQ Grant

Art Center Sarasota has been selected as one of seven recipients for a $109,000 Impact100 SRQ grant at the fifth Annual Celebration & Award Ceremony, held Nov. 8th at Sarasota Municipal Auditorium. The event featured presentations by 10 finalists, seven of which were chosen, through a vote by members, to receive grants of $109,000 each. Kinsey Robb, ACS’s executive director, explains that the grant will support ACS’s Youth Digital Art Lab and Classroom Upgrade initiative, which will expand the center’s youth programs to include digital technology and upgrade classroom spaces to improve enrollment capacity and teaching efficiency. "We are beyond thrilled to have been chosen for this grant and grateful to the members of Impact100 SRQ for championing the arts community,” says Kinsey Robb. "Impact100 SRQ is making a monumental impact in our community—within five years it has become the fasting growing chapter in the world, which speaks to the impressive local philanthropic culture. We thank each of the 763 members of Impact100 SRQ for this incredible opportunity." Robb explains that the proposed initiative will create affordable and accessible opportunities outside of school for youth to receive training in visual arts. “While we excel at offering traditional classes in painting, watercolor, and collage, we understand digital art is an increasingly important field in higher education and career advancement.,” says Robb. “Creating opportunities for students to explore photography, animation, graphics, visual effects and more can inspire a child to pursue digital art in college or as a career.” Robb adds that this initiative will provide 360 kids with digital training throughout the year. This, coupled with classroom upgrades will benefit more than 2,000 youth a year. “Our adult students will also have access to the new lab – during the week, while kids are in school we will be offering digital courses and lab hours at affordable rates to adults, this will help sustain instruction and maintenance of the lab.” “Access to arts education is crucial to a child’s development, shaping their earliest notions of what culture is; art engages a child’s senses in open-ended play and supports the development of cognitive, social-emotional, and multisensory skills,” says Robb. “Unfortunately, many arts programs are being reduced or eliminated altogether, restricting youth from delving into the creative process. This program seeks to address some of these gaps.” The six other Impact100 SRQ grant recipients are: Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc.; the Paul A. and Veronica H. Gross Wildlife Center of Southwest Florida; Legal Aid of Manasota, Inc.; Teen Court of Sarasota, Inc.; Easterseals Southwest Florida; and Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the Suncoast. The Impact100 SRQ Grant will cover 85% of Art Center Sarasota’s initiative with the balance funded through donor gifts. For more information about the initiative and ways to contribute, contact call 941-365-2032. Art Center Sarasota, 707 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, www.artsarasota.org. 

[Board Members]  Applications Now Open for Winter 2024 Gulf Coast Board Institute

Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Gulf Coast) is now accepting applications for its Winter 2024 Gulf Coast Board Institute (GCBI). The online application and overview for the program are available at www.gulfcoastcf.org/GCBI. This high-demand program is delivered through Gulf Coast’s Invest in Incredible consultants to active and prospective nonprofit board members in the Gulf Coast region. The deadline to apply for this governance training series is Sunday, December 10. Thus far, over 400 individuals have graduated from Gulf Coast Board Institute. “If you are looking for a comprehensive, interactive, educational, deep dive experience on becoming a better board member, Gulf Coast’s Board Institute is for you. In this program, you will be given valuable resources, peer support, and the opportunity to learn and thrive as a nonprofit board member,” said Invest In Incredible Director Betsy Steiner. The group will participate in training experiences on the following Fridays: February 2, 9, 16, 23, 2024 at Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Sarasota Philanthropy Center, 1549 State Street, Sarasota. Topics will include fundamentals of nonprofit board governance, becoming an ambassador for your organization, financial and legal oversight responsibilities, fundraising and resource development, and how to create a diverse, highly functioning, and engaged board. The training is led by certified consultants who are part of Gulf Coast’s Invest in Incredible nonprofit capacity-building initiative. Participants will be selected through a competitive process with the intent of creating a group of individuals with a variety of experiences. Gulf Coast provides all training and resources at no cost to participants in exchange for their commitment to serve as advocates for good board governance in current and future nonprofit board roles. Applicants are encouraged to be current, active board members at a nonprofit in the region, although prospective board members will also be considered. Because of strong demand for this high-quality training opportunity, applicants also must sign a commitment that they will attend all four days of training if selected. To learn more, visit www.gulfcoastcf.org/GCBI. 

[Fundraising Event]  Ringling Bridge 5K/10K Run and Well-Being Expo to Support Students

On April 28, 2024, the Education Foundation of Sarasota County will host their inaugural Ringling Bridge 5K/10K Run and Well-Being Expo in support of students and teachers. The event seeks to raise awareness about resources available to students and teachers and about the power of education to transform lives. The Ringling Bridge 5K/10K Run will begin at 7:00 a.m. at The Bay Park. Runners will cross the Ringling Bridge and end up back at The Bay. Registration for the run is open, and participants can register here: edfoundationsrq.org/ringling-bridge-10k/. In conjunction with the run, the Education Foundation will host a Well-Being Expo at The Bay Park. The Education Foundation will have booths available for nonprofits and partners who provide resources for students and families. There will also be music and food trucks. The expo runs from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. “We’re so excited about the amazing opportunity to host a run across the Ringling Bridge,” said Jennifer Vigne, president and CEO of the Education Foundation. “Today, the need to support students and teachers could not be greater, and this iconic Sarasota event and the Well-Being Expo will highlight resiliency and life readiness—and the importance of supporting students and teachers. It will help us realize our vision to unite the community to prepare each and every student for life.” The run, which has been sanctioned by the Manasota Race Club, is made possible in part through the generous support of presenting sponsor Florida Blue. Sponsorships for the Ringling Bridge 5K/10K Run are still available, as are booths for the Well-Being Expo. More information can be found here: edfoundationsrq.org/ringling-bridge-10k/ 

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: The Orioles and All Faiths Food Bank ThankFull Event , November 15, 3-5pm

The Orioles will partner with All Faiths Food Bank to host their annual ThankFull Thanksgiving turkey distribution for families in need in the Sarasota Community on Wednesday, November 15th from 3-5pm. The All Faiths Food Bank Turkey Distribution Drive, a tradition at Ed Smith Stadium since 2014, is a vital initiative that ensures those in need in Sarasota can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. Held in the East parking lot of the Orioles’ spring campus, this event is a part of All Faiths Food Bank's broader mission to alleviate hunger in the community. For more information, visit allfaithsfoodbank.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Free Dentistry Day at Creekwood Dental , November 17, 7am-12pm

Residents in the Bradenton community and surrounding areas will have the opportunity to receive free dental services at Creekwood Dental on Friday, November 17. Drs. Jennifer Pfeiffer, Brian Harrington and team at Creekwood Dental will be improving the oral health of the community as part of Free Dentistry Day, a day dedicated to providing free dental care to the growing number of Americans without dental insurance. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 108 million Americans are living without dental insurance. During Free Dentistry Day, cleanings, fillings and extractions will be provided to patients on Friday, November 17, between 7 a.m. and 12 p.m. at 5210 Creekwood Boulevard in Bradenton. Patients will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please call 941-755-1488 or visit www.FreeDentistryDay.org.

[SOON]  GALA: Dreams to Success Gala , November 17, 6-10pm

We invite you to join us to attend our 2nd Annual Dreams to Success Gala. This year, we promise an unforgettable evening that will resonate in your hearts for years to come. Picture a night filled with delectable dinner, live music that will move your soul, a captivating silent auction, dancing that will keep you on your feet, and inspiring testimonies from our adult and youth families who experienced the love from our programs. Expect a night filled with fun and meaningful connections as we eagerly anticipate your sponsorship and presence at our second annual fundraiser scheduled for Friday, November 17, 2023, at the Plantation Golf & Country Club. Your participation means the world to us, and it is through your support that we can continue making a significant difference in the lives of the children and families we have the privilege to empower. Plantation Golf and Country Club, 500 Rockley Blvd., Venice, laurelcivic.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Limelight Market , November 18, 10am-3pm

This Saturday, Nov 18 from 10-3 the Spotlight is on Limelight Market! This fun, pop up market happens in the courtyard of The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime with rescue dogs, unique guest vendors, food, and live music by Sabrina. Check out the 40+ local creators and curators inside. Great way to support local! Free, until you buy something amazing!
Sarasota Street Talk, a popular podcast with Mark Klecka and Scott Malouf, will be recording and broadcasting live. For more information visit BazaaronApricotandlime.com Located at 821 Apricot Ave in Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Boo's Ice House Barksgiving , November 18, 2-9pm

Happy Barksgiving! Bust out your stretchiest, comfiest pants on November 18th from 2-9pm! Boo's will have Turkey Dinner options for both hoomans and 4-leggeds! Leslie Patterson from Coastal Paws LLC will be offering doggy baths & nail trims. We invite you to add a paw to our Thankful Wall and enjoy the sounds of the Sabrina McClenithan. Tickets aren't needed, but they help us know how much food to prepare, so we prefer you RSVP. $15.99 Hooman plate: Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, steamed veg, and gravy. $9.99 Dog plate: Turkey, mashed potatoes, rice, beef broth. For more information or to RSVP, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/barksgiving-tickets-750018715167

[SOON]  SPORTS: 47th Annual Sandy Claws Beach Run , December 9, 8am

Kick off the holiday season by participating in the 47th annual Sandy Claws Beach Run at Siesta Beach, on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 8am. Register by Nov. 17 to guarantee the best price, along with receiving a long-sleeve performance event shirt and runner swag. For more information, or to register, visit runsignup.com/47thannualsandyclawsbeachrun.

[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: Embracing Our Differences at Sarasota Art Museum , October 21 – November 26, n/a

Sarah Wertheimer, the executive director of Embracing Our Differences, recently announced that the organization will be staging its final exhibit of EOD’s 20th anniversary season at Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design, October 21-November 26. “Embracing Kindness” will showcase 14 artworks and accompanying quotations selected from exhibits from the past 20 years. This free exhibit will be located on the Museum’s Great Lawn at 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For more information, visit EmbracingOurDifferences.org.

[SOON]  THEATER: Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe opens its 24th Season , October 11 – November 19, n/a

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is thrilled to open its 24th theatre season with "Once On This Island," a Tony Award-winning musical set on a Caribbean island and featuring Afro-Caribbean rhythms and instruments and spectacular costumes. The show tells the coming-of-age story of a peasant girl searching for love and her place in the world, while dealing with complicated social issues of race, class and affairs of the heart. The production runs from October 11 through November 19; individual tickets are on sale. For more information, visit westcoastblacktheatre.com.

[SOON]  MUSIC: The Venice Symphony presents A Symphonic Fantastic! , November 17 – November 18, 3:30pm-7:30pm

The Venice Symphony presents A Symphony Fantastic! November 17, 2023, at 7:30 pm and November 18, 2023, at 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm. The Symphony’s 50th anniversary season premieres with A Symphony Fantastic! Troy Quinn and the symphony welcome L.A. Philharmonic Principal Horn Andrew Bain for a concert that includes Symphony Fantastique by Hector Berlioz and Concerto for Horn and String Orchestra by Eric Ewazen. For more information, visit thevenicesymphony.org.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Power of Conversation: Embracing Generational Differences , November 16, 5:30-7:30pm

The Women’s Resource Center presents the Power of Conversation: Embracing Generational Differences, a panel discussion that aims to explore the unique views, perspectives, stereotypes and biases of four generations, Thursday, November 16, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at The Grove, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch. Tickets start at $50 and include program and takeaway, food, and beverages. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit mywrc.org/generation.

[SOON]  MUSIC: ensembleNEWSRQ Presents Ligetis 100th , November 20, 7:30pm

ensembleNEWSRQ (enSRQ), the innovative chamber music ensemble, continues its eighth season with “Ligetis 100th,” a program celebrating the birth centennial of the incomparable Hungarian-Austrian composer György Ligeti. For this concert, enSRQ welcomes back the celebrated pianist Han Chen to perform Ligeti’s “Études” and iconic “Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano.” The concert will also showcase selections from the “Infinite Staircase” project, an initiative featuring the world premiere of 18 new works for solo piano, co-commissioned by Metropolis Ensemble and pianist Han Chen, each paired with one of György Ligetis 18 canonic piano études. The concert is Monday, November 20, 7:30 p.m., at First Congregational Church, 1031 S. Euclid Ave., Sarasota. Single tickets are $25. For more information on ticket packages and single tickets, including student ticket pricing, visit www.EnSRQ.org.


[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Hermitage Sunsets at Benderson Park , November 16, 5pm

The Hermitage Artist Retreat announces a newly developed partnership with Nathan Benderson Park as a part of the Hermitage’s 2023-2024 season. Expanding on the success of the Hermitage programming at Selby Gardens and other venues throughout the region, the new Hermitage Sunsets at Benderson Park series launches this year following a popular Hermitage program at the park last season. Each program in the Hermitage Sunsets at Benderson Park series will feature a celebrated Hermitage artist to be announced. The outdoor series features performances and explorations of works-in-progress by Hermitage artists-in-residence and alumni. Hermitage Sunsets at Benderson Park events are currently scheduled to take place by Benderson Lake near the Nathan Benderson Family Finish Tower. The first event in this series is scheduled for Thursday, November 16th at 5pm and will feature two of the most innovative voices working in theater today. Hermitage Sunsets at Benderson Park: Theater on the Lake showcases the talents of Hermitage Fellows Terry Guest and James Anthony Tyler. These two talents split the bill to share some of their latest work and discuss the creative process as the sun goes down over the lake. This first program in the new series is presented in partnership with Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, Urbanite Theatre, and Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy. Admission is free, but registration is required for $5 at HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

[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]  GALA: Celebrate 75 Gala and Concert , February 15, 6pm
Celebrate 75 years of inspiring music all season long, and our Celebrate 75 special concert and gala experience will be the party to top them all. We invite you to support 75 more years, and beyond, of enriching lives through music by purchasing tickets to Celebrate 75. For access to the best seats and the full celebration, opt for a Gala ticket, which includes pre-concert cocktails and a gourmet dinner after the performance. Concert-only tickets are also available for purchase. The concert program, led by Creative Partner Peter Oundjian, captures all the euphoria of reaching this milestone in our history as Florida’s oldest continuously operating orchestra. After two stirring fanfares written by Aaron Copland and Joan Tower, legendary pianist Garrick Ohlsson joins Sarasota Orchestra for the monumental Piano Concerto No. 3 by Rachmaninoff. Paired with An American in Paris by Gershwin, a rhapsodic portrait of a stroll through the City of Lights, this one-night-only program promises to thrill. Gala begins at 6:00 pm, and concert begins at 7:00 pm. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, sarasotaorchestra.org.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Wellen Park Thanks4Giving Project , October 3 – November 17, 9am-5pm

Wellen Park and The Rotary Club are partnering again this year from October 3 through November 17 for Thanks4Giving, a service project to help make Thanksgiving memorable for members of the community. The Thanks4Giving tree will be set up in the Wellen Park Welcome Center between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., filled with tags for you to choose from. Purchase a Publix or Walmart gift card and return it to the Wellen Park Welcome Center, where a member of the ambassador team will be prepared to receive it. On Nov. 18, the Rotary Club will collect the cards and use them to purchase full Thanksgiving dinners from Publix and Walmart. These dinners include frozen turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and all the trimmings for a traditional Thanksgiving feast. For more information, visit wellenpark.com.

[SOON]  SPORTS: All-American Women's Baseball Classic Tournament , November 17 – November 19

Get ready for an unforgettable three-day baseball extravaganza as the second annual All-American Women's Baseball Classic tournament descends upon Ed Smith Stadium, spring training home of the 2023 AL East Champion Baltimore Orioles. Hosted by American Girls Baseball, an affiliate organization of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Players Association, and Visit Sarasota County, this event promises to deliver non-stop action, fierce competition, and unforgettable moments on the diamond. From November 17th to 19th, witness the nation's top women's baseball players as they showcase their skills, athleticism, and determination in a series of thrilling games. The All-American Womens Baseball Classic is the epitome of sheer joy and excitement that only women's baseball can provide. To purchase tickets, visit mlb.com/orioles/spring-training/all-american-womens-baseball-classic.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Second Installment of Hermitage Sunsets at Selby Gardens , November 30, 5pm

The second installment of this season’s Hermitage Sunsets at Selby Gardens series will take place on Thursday, November 30th at 5pm at Selby Gardens Historic Spanish Point campus with a panel discussion featuring Hermitage National Curatorial Council member Nataki Garrett, Tony and Olivier Award-winning producer Tom Kirdahy, and President of the Manasota Chapter of ASALH David Wilkins. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org, $5/person registration fee.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Feast Upon the Fields , December 3, 12:30pm
Join us for an unforgettable afternoon at the beautiful and conserved Myakka Headwaters Preserve. Located where seven creeks converge to form the mighty Myakka River, our Myakka Headwaters Preserve is a breathtaking slice of natural Florida. The property contains numerous diverse landscapes, including floodplain forests, marshland, longleaf pine flatwoods, and oak hammocks. Fields of wildflowers host pollinators of all shapes and sizes, and fern-lined streambanks rise just a foot or two above the clear-flowing water, which supports submerged aquatic vegetation unable to grow in the sunlight-blocked blackwaters found elsewhere in the Myakka River. Experience this stunning landscape firsthand at our eighth annual farm-to-table luncheon, Feast Upon the Fields. Featuring a one-of-a-kind menu by Chef Paul Mattison, this ticketed event will sell out quickly. Early reservations are strongly recommended. conservationfoundation.com.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel Presents The Concert, A Tribute to ABBA , May 4, 8pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome The Concert, A Tribute to ABBA to Sarasota on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 8 p.m. The Concert: A Tribute To ABBA continues to be the top ABBA tribute group in the world, dazzling all who see with their fantastic performance while playing the most iconic hits from ABBA, including Mamma Mia, S.O.S, Money, Money, Money, The Winner Takes All, Waterloo, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, and Dancing Queen. Tickets are $30-$75 and can be purchased at www.VanWezel.org, by calling the box office at 941-263-6799 or by visiting the box office Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Groups of 10 or more should contact 941-263-6726. Pre-show dining is available through Mattisons at the Van Wezel which is located inside the theatre. Reservations can be made on VanWezel.org or through the box office.

[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]  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]  THEATER: Deck the Halls Returns to Florida Studio Theatre , November 25 – December 24, 10am and 12pm

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is excited to bring children and their families the magic of the holiday season with the latest iteration of Deck the Halls. This interactive family-friendly, music-filled show celebrates everything that makes the holidays in Sarasota special. Since Deck the Halls was first produced in 2016, the show has become a holiday tradition for many families on the Suncoast. This year, the festivities return with all-new sketches, all-new songs, and all-new memories ready for the making. Created by Caroline Saldivar and Sarah Durham with additional material by Dellan Short and Jeremy Weinstein, Deck the Halls plays select Saturdays and Sundays with showtimes starting at 10am and 12pm in FST’s Keating Theatre. For more information, visit FloridaStudioTheatre.org.

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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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