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SRQ DAILY Dec 15, 2023

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"It doesn't matter what your background is, where you came from, what you look like or what you believe, we can all enjoy beautiful art and appreciate each other, regardless of our differences."

- Stephanie Cordone, Multimedia Artist and Seventh-Grade Language Arts Teacher.
 

[Arts & Entertainment]  A Sea of Sculpture at Art Center Sarasota
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

Walk through the doors of Art Center Sarasota any time between now and January 13 and find an exhibition worth exploring at every turn. To the left, find Aimee Jones’ Of Mementos and Fetishes, an irreverent and biting commentary in oils and sculpture on a culture’s love/hate relationship with the female form in a land of lust and consumption, where all the vases are vulvic and the bare-breasted Venus of Florida swims in shark-infested waters. To the right, enter the whimsical world of Ethan Fielder’s imagination with Beyond the Sidewalk, a sculptural exhibition highlighting the underappreciated aesthetic of the fire hydrant, with everything from an industrial recreation that looks like it speaks with a New York City accent to a multicolored melting hydrant that looks like something from the trippier periods of Nickelodeon animation.

And dead ahead, ensconced in the central gallery like hidden treasures lining the burial chamber of some long-dead king, hangs gestalt, a collection of impossibly intricate handmade wooden constructions from Sarasota sculptor Tom Casmer.

A year in the making, the exhibition includes the unveiling of nine new large-scale original works, in addition to nine selected from the past few years. The show also features the debut of the largest piece Casmer has ever made, a massive hexaptych construction six feet wide and nearly five-and-a-half feet tall, named MOFO, or Mechanism of Feasible Origins. Too big for Casmer’s one-car garage workspace, it was created as six separate panels, each carefully measured and crafted to interlock with its neighbors. “And that use of interior negative space was really interesting to me,” Casmer says. “I wanted to explore that, with the aligning and the shadows.” Due to its size, seeing it hang at Art Center Sarasota was the artist’s first opportunity to see the work as originally envisioned. “It had the impact I was hoping it would have,” he says. “That MOFO experience.”

Much of Casmer’s work is similarly intuitive in its creation, flowing from Casmer’s imagination and then blooming to whatever shape it needs to occupy. Only one, Provenance, is contained by any preordained border. Some stretch from floor to ceiling like totem poles from an ancient civilization, others are compact, bursting with potential energy like artifacts of alien technology. Two are free-standing; another bends at a right angle to travel along the wall as it turns a corner. All have Casmer’s trademark techno-organic texture, each a dizzying landscape of tightly organized knobs and levers and dials and doodads that flow like circuit board topography, all of it handcrafted. And one, painted bright red, is unmistakably a dude, right down to the naughty bits.

“Yeah, that’s a little guy,” Casmer says, pointing out that it has ribs and a heart too. (Though neglecting to address the fact that the whole thing retains a certain phallic shape that could arguably override his objections.) But giggling at genitalia misses the point—in a sea of sculptures that defy easy description or categorization, the presence of something so blatantly representational plants an undeniable seed, tempting the viewer to believe the other sculptures as likewise things to be deciphered.

That maybe, if one looks at the thing with just the right kind of eyes, an answer will be revealed.

Currently on display at Art Center Sarasota, gestalt runs through January 13, alongside Of Mementos and Fetishes and Beyond the Sidewalk

Pictured: The intricate sculptures of Tom Casmer blend the organic and the mechanical. Photo by Phil Lederer.

[Arts & Entertainment]  FST Extends Production of Little Shop of Horrors
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

Florida Studio Theater has decided to extend its Winter Mainstage Series run of Little Shop of Horrors through January. 14th The hit production of the iconic 1982 horror rock comedy musical follows Seymour, a down on his luck flower shop assistant, who comes across a mysterious plant in the shape of a venus fly trap. The plant begins to attract attention from the public, bringing fortune and fame to Seymour and his co-workers at the flower shop. However, Seymour soon finds out that the plant, Audrey II, comes with a price: a carnivorous lust for blood.

“When the musical starts you’re seeing him at his lowest. He’s run out of hope and doesn’t expect much in life,” says Sam Seferian, who plays Seymour. “So the second this plant, Audrey II, is introduced into his life everything starts changing very quickly. You see his confidence grow, his relationships change, there’s a central love story with his co-worker Audrey that begins to take shape and it’s all because of this plant.”

Because of Audrey II’s bloodlust, things are not that simple for Seymour. As Audrey II begins to grow larger and larger, it demands more blood–the trickle from Seymour’s finger is no longer enough. In order for Seymour’s dreams to come true he must feed the beast, only now it comes at the expense of those around him. “You can look at the morality of Seymour’s journey which is why this musical is so interesting. Classic musical theater should always make you think, but it’s typically a little more cut and dry. It serves you the moral on a silver platter. Little Shop does not,” says Seferian. “Little Shop, while being so fun and hilarious and full of incredible music, really presents the audience with a huge moral quandary. I think that’s really exciting.”

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota. 

Pictured: Sam Seferian plays the role of Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors at FST. Photo by Sorcha Augustine.

For ticket information click here

[Arts & Entertainment]  M A R A Art Studio + Gallery Presents ChromaShock: A Modern and Vibrant Exploration January 4-31

 M A R A Art Studio + Gallery presents “ChromaShock: A Modern + Vibrant Exploration,” an exhibition of work by 13 artists that pushes the boundaries of chromatic expression, inviting viewers into a mesmerizing world of vivid hues and dynamic compositions. The exhibit runs January 4-31, with an opening reception on Friday, January 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The exhibit features work by Laura Arteaga Charlton, Ralph Berger, Bill Buchman, Lori Childers, David Erdman, Christina Jensen Vicente, Midge Johnson, Pamela Olin, Julia Rivera, Ashley Rivers, Jack Shapiro, Javi Suárez and Mara Torres González. The gallery is located at 76 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  CreArte Latino Cultural Center Launches Fortifying CreArte Initiative with Grant from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation

 More than a decade after its founding as a creative hub for the Latino communities of Sarasota and Manatee counties, CreArte Latino Cultural Center is poised for a leap of exponential growth. A $126,000 grant from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation will provide the funds to launch the center’s “Fortifying CreArte” initiative, which will elevate the organization with paid professional staff, an accounting service, and more.  

Pictured: Students in an acting workshop for ages 7 to 13 at CreArte Latino Cultural Center.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Salute to Vienna New Years Concert Returns to the Van Wezel

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome Salute to Vienna New Years Concert to Sarasota on Saturday, December 30, 2023 at 7pm. Welcome 2024 with a festive, European-inspired New Year's celebration, modelled after the world-famous New Year's Concert in Vienna. With timeless music, dazzling costumes, breathtaking dance, stunning floral designs, Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert returns to Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall for an unforgettable New Year’s celebration, full of old-world charm. Salute to Vienna adds a fun and festive dash of traditional European culture to the end of the holiday season. It is a smashing, authentic re-creation of the 80+ year-old Viennese Neujahrskonzert—a concert presented by the Vienna Philharmonic every New Year’s Day—beloved for its lively music and time-honoured traditions. In North America, Salute to Vienna sustains and reinvents these traditions with a frothy 2 1/4 - hour concert of dancing, duets and arias from light operettas, all narrated by a European conductor who is both talented and fun, and backed by a full symphony orchestra. Add this concert to your list of “old ways to make the holidays young again”. Salute to Vienna features selections from some of the most famous operettas: classical music’s marriage of the soap opera to the sitcom. Not as serious as opera, operettas are light, often funny, and almost always based on some combination of love lost, given and longed for, with jealousy, love triangles and obstacles thrown in the way. They are less often performed in North America than they are in Europe, so Salute to Vienna provides a great opportunity to experience highlights from some of the best, performed by some of Europe’s finest operetta singers. Whether you are sending someone or taking them to the concert, it’s an experience that will be remembered. With it taking place soon after gift-giving, it’s a great way to prolong the sense of the holiday spirit, while giving those you love the musical wish of a joyful, happy, and healthy New Year. Tickets start at $58.15 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 Mattison’s at the Van Wezel which is located inside the theatre. Reservations can be made on VanWezel.org or through the box office. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Florida Studio Theatre Announces Lineup for its 2024 Stage III Series

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is proud to announce the lineup for its 2024 Stage III Series, dedicated to presenting edgy contemporary work that is challenging in content and unique in form. FST’s 2024 Stage III Series lineup features three daring plays penned by award-winning playwrights: Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino, A Night in November by Marie Jones, and The White Chip by Sean Daniels. “The 2024 Stage III Series tackles difficult subjects,” said Richard Hopkins, FST’s Producing Artistic Director. “Ugly Lies the Bone deals with overcoming personal obstacles that can appear overwhelming. A Night in November explores overcoming bigotry and hatred, and The White Chip addresses overcoming addiction. The thread that connects these three plays is that each one offers a solution to a unique circumstance, which is something that I think we are all looking for right now.” 

[Arts & Entertainment]  The Hermitage Announces Special January Program in Advance of Two Word-Class Exhibitions Conceived by Hermitage Fellows at Sarasota Art Museum in 2024

The Hermitage Artist Retreat announced Monday a newly added program on Friday, January 5 at 5pm on the Hermitage Beach on Manasota Key. This exciting new program will offer a glimpse into the creative process of three distinguished Hermitage Fellows in the midst of creating new work. Multidisciplinary visual artist Anne Patterson and composer Patrick Harlin will share insight into work they’ve developed at the Hermitage, as well as a “sneak preview” into their process for creating their new collaborative immersive exhibition, The Truth of the Night Sky, premiering in April of 2024 at the Ringling College of Art and Design’s Sarasota Art Museum. Before the conversation, visual and multidisciplinary artist Anthony Hawley will open his studio and share in-process works as well as selections from past creations.  After meeting while in residence at the Hermitage and continuing their collaboration, multidisciplinary visual artist Anne Patterson and composer Patrick Harlin have joined forces to develop the upcoming exhibition at the Sarasota Art Museum: The Truth of the Night Sky. Patterson, who is familiar to Sarasota audiences from previous exhibitions at The Ringling Museum and whose “Divine Pathways” is currently represented in New York at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, is widely celebrated for her grand environments that immerse the viewer and surround the senses. This original experience opening in Sarasota this spring is augmented by Harlin’s composition “Earthrise,” inspired by the revolutionary photograph taken of the Earth on humanity’s first turn around the moon in 1968. This exhibition will be on display at the Sarasota Art Museum from April 21, 2024 through September 29, 2024. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  The Beauty of Inflections and Innuendoes January 3-February 29 at Gaze Gallery at ARCOS

Bradenton and Sarasota residents and fiber artists, Ellen S. Goldberg, Rebecca Levine Quigley, and Michael R. Stevenson, will be artists-in-residence at Gaze Gallery at ARCOS, 340 Central Ave, in Sarasota, January 3 to February 29. An opening reception for their exhibit, “The Beauty of Inflections and Innuendoes,” is Thursday January 18, 5-7 p.m. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and the artists will be in residence much of the time. 

Pictured: Work by Ellen S. Goldberg.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Local Artist Creates Beautiful Tribute to Late Jewish Community Leader Mitch Blumenthal

Sarasota’s Jewish community was saddened last summer when Hershorin Schiff Community Day School’s Board Chair, Mitchell Blumenthal, passed away. Upon his death, a gift already in progress – a new cover for one of Community Day’s Sefer Torahs, in honor of the school’s new campus – became a fitting and touching tribute to Mitch and all he did for the school as well as the wider community. Mitch’s parents, Richard and Barbara, commissioned the Torah cover to be created by local multimedia artist and seventh-grade language arts teacher Stephanie Cordone. The Blumenthals were like family to Cordone: they knew each other from their community back in New York and the Blumenthals inspired Cordone to move here 27 years ago. Although not Jewish herself, Cordone built a needlepoint business in New York designing and making creations such as chuppahs, bimah chairs, ark door designs, Torah covers, tallit and more for numerous temples, in partnership with various Sisterhoods. Her very first Judaic commission was making a tallis bag for Mitch in New York in 1977. After he wore his tallis to shul, the word spread throughout the congregation – and beyond – and her part-time business grew. Cordone drew her inspiration for the design of the Torah cover from the family’s love of tradition and Mitch’s well-known love of colorful fashion choices. The vibrant piece features elements such as the sun, water, Noah’s ark and various plant and animal life. In recognition of Mitch’s love of color and tie-dye, the lining of the Torah cover was made from tie-dye fabric. The Torah was first used during a touching Rosh Hashanah service at the school at which the Blumenthal family and Cordone were invited to participate.   She feels honored that the Torah will be used at Community Day, where the core values of inclusion and kindness are so central to the school’s educational philosophy. “It doesn’t matter what your background is, where you came from, what you look like or what you believe – we can all enjoy beautiful art and appreciate each other, regardless of our differences,” Cordone said. “At Community Day School, everyone is valued. That’s how I was brought up: we are all equal in the eyes of God.” Cordone will be retiring from teaching this year and looks forward to continuing her creative pursuits. For more information about Cordone’s Judaica artwork or Community Day School, call 941-552-2770, ext. 212 or visit communityday.org. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Clearwater Marine Aquarium Kicks Off Virtual Reality Experience, Drop in the Ocean

 Clearwater Marine Aquarium announces the kick-off of an immersive virtual reality experience, "Drop in the Ocean" on Dec. 16. This interactive and social adventure takes visitors on a deep underwater journey, shedding light on the pressing issue of plastic pollution plaguing our world's oceans. "Drop in the Ocean" allows guests to ride a jellyfish up to the ocean's surface, where they will encounter a colorful array of sea creatures and tiny organisms, including micro-plankton. From coming face-to-face with a majestic leatherback turtle to exploring the vastness of the ocean alongside a magnificent whale shark, participants will gain a firsthand understanding of the urgent threat pollution poses to our planet's delicate ecosystems. The adventure begins as you and your friends are magically shrunk down to a mere 2 inches tall, hitching a ride on a jellyfish floating through the ocean. Along the way, guests will encounter an array of marine life. However, the shocking reality of plastic trash will also be revealed, highlighting the urgent need for action. Utilizing state-of-the-art virtual reality headsets, "Drop in the Ocean" offers an untethered ocean journey for up to six people at a time. Through hand movements and gestures, participants can engage with undersea organisms, fostering an interactive and collaborative environment. Avatars of other individuals in the virtual space are visible, allowing for shared experiences and interactions. Developed by Pulseworks, in collaboration with Conservation International and Vision 3, this eight-minute-long virtual reality experience is built from the extraordinary photo archive of Academy Award-winning micro-photographer Peter Parks. The narration, provided by renowned explorers Philippe and Ashlan Cousteau, adds depth and insight to the journey. Accompanied by the captivating music of Gold Panda, "Drop in the Ocean" promises to be an eye-opening experience for all. Clearwater Marine Aquarium invites visitors to dive into the world of virtual reality and join the fight against plastic pollution. "Drop in the Ocean" is a powerful tool that educates, inspires, and empowers individuals to make a difference. Don't miss this opportunity to explore the wonders of the ocean and become a champion for our planet's precious ecosystems. The cost is $12 for guests and $10 for CMA members and can be reserved online or in person.  Up to seven guests can be accommodated at one time. Guest must be 5 years old to experience this new VR experience.  

[Arts & Entertainment]  Sarasota Orchestra Offers Free Concert Tickets to Hometown Heroes

Sarasota Orchestra announced its second annual Hometown Heroes initiative that will offer a “gift of music” this holiday season to essential workers. The initiative will provide a select number of free tickets to attend a concert entitled “Cheers to the Music of Dance” for members of the Sarasota-Manatee community who work in emergency response, disaster recovery, education, healthcare and other public services. Public servants with a valid ID may reserve up to four free tickets online. The performance will take place on Wednesday, December 20, 2023 at the Sarasota Opera House at 7:30 p.m. Those who work in the following fields are invited to participate: Healthcare, Education, Human Services (social work, food banks, homeless shelters, foster care, other), Law Enforcement, Active Military, Firefighters, Public Works/Utilities (power, water, waste management, other), Construction. A work-issued photo ID is required at Will Call to pick-up free tickets. This evening of music inspired by dance will have the audience swaying in their seats. Conductor Yue Bao leads Sarasota Orchestra in a program of waltzes, ballet music and more by Brahms, Gluck, Poulenc and Johann Strauss Jr. The concert, part of the Orchestra’s Discoveries series, is designed to welcome those new to classical music. The Hometown Heroes initiative is made possible by Orchestra donors and ticket buyers. Tickets for the general public start at $35. December 20, 7:30 pm, Sarasota Opera House, Visit SarasotaOrchestra.org/Heroes to register for free tickets. Valid ID required to pick up free tickets at concert. 



[December 2023 - Spirit of Giving]  YMCA of Southwest Florida

Join us for the inspiring stories of philanthropic work by our Sarasota and Bradenton Area's nonprofit organizations as we celebrate the season of giving. Explore ways you can make an impact through the programs of 13 of this year's SRQ Giving Champions.

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As an inclusive, cause-driven organization, YMCA of Southwest Florida is committed to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. YMCA programs and services are focused on our primary areas of impact that help people achieve their goals and strengthen communities. We create opportunities for people to improve their lives and their communities. Through empowering young people, improving individual and community well-being and inspiring action, we aim to create meaningful change across our communities. 

To read the full article, click here.

[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]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Wild About Nature Festival , April 6, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Join us for a day of fun and outdoor adventure at the Wild About Nature Festival on Saturday, April 6, 2024 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Reconnect with the great outdoors and help foster a love of nature in the next generation as you spend a day in the sun on the beautiful shores of Little Sarasota Bay at Bay Preserve. Families of all ages are encouraged to take part in this fun-filled day of nature-based education and exploration. The wide variety of activities includes dip-netting, face painting, hula-hoop lessons, crafts, games, and more. There will be live music and food trucks making this a guaranteed good time. This is a FREE family festival open to all. Registration is not required. The event will take place at our Bay Preserve headquarters located at 400 Palmetto Ave. in Osprey. For more information, visit conservationfoundation.com.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Rick Springfield Returns to The Van Wezel , March 13, 7:30pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome Rick Springfield back to Sarasota on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased at 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.

[SOON]  SPORTS: 4th Annual Get Your Mutt Movin 5K Fun Run , February 24, 8:30am-1pm

Satchels Last Resort Animal Rescue and Sanctuary and Sarasota City YMCA are excited to announce the 4th annual Get Your Mutt Movin 5K Fun Run, Walk and Festival scheduled for February 24, 2024 at Payne Park. Runner registration is now open at RunSignUp.com. Get Your Mutt Movin features a 5K Fun Run, a choose-your-distance walk, a one-hour Zumba session with local favorite Yael Campbell, and a festival full of vendors, food trucks and more. The event kicks off with the 5K at 8:30am, followed by the walk at 9:30am, and Zumba at 10:30am. The festival will run from 9am-1pm. Funds raised from this event support both Satchels Last Resort and Sarasota City YMCA to provide support for programs like medical care for shelter animals, summer camp scholarships and more. Sponsorship opportunities are available. More information can be found at https://satchelslastresort.networkforgood.com/events/62387-get-your-mutt-movin-5k-road-race-and-fun-walk-2024.

[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]  GALLERY: Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O Keeffe at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , February 11 – June 30, n/a

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will present Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O Keeffe as the eighth iteration of its annual Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition, which examines the work of major artists through the lens of their connection to nature. The exhibition, which will be on view from February 11 through June 30, 2024, at Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus, will explore the unexpected yet profoundly impactful mentoring relationship that developed between iconic artists Yayoi Kusama and Georgia O Keeffe. The theme of the upcoming Goldstein Exhibition is the latest announcement of programming planned for Selby Gardens 50th anniversary season. For more information, visit selby.org.

[SOON]  GALA: Party in Paradise , February 3, 5:30-10:30pm

Prepare to be transported to a luxurious tropical escape at the unforgettable cocktail party experience, Party in Paradise. Enjoy endless culinary delights, including passed hors doeuvres and rotating food stations inspired by tropical destinations near and far. Savor signature Siesta Key Rum cocktails, along with non-alcoholic mocktail versions and premium traditional offerings. Explore inside the Burrows-Matson House to discover and purchase one-of-a-kind experiences in nature before they are sold out. You will also have the opportunity to protect the land and water of our Southwest Florida paradise during a fun and fast-paced paddle raise. Gaze upon twinkling stars reflected on Little Sarasota Bay or enjoy intimate conversation under Tuscan lights in our laid-back, waterfront Golden Hour Lounge. Show off your moves and dance the night away with the Deleon Band in our Island Dream Disco. Event proceeds support the vital mission of the Conservation Foundation to protect the land and water of Southwest Florida for the benefit of people and nature. Party in Paradise will take place at the historic Bay Preserve, located at 400 Palmetto Ave, Osprey. Learn more about tickets and sponsorships at conservationfoundation.com.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Under the Sea ALSO Youth Annual Prom , February 3, 6-10pm
The ALSO Youth Annual Prom is the most highly anticipated event for our LGBTQ youth each year. Youth from Sarasota County, Manatee County and beyond attend this unique celebration where they are free to come as they are, with whoever they wish, without fear of judgment or needing to mask who they are. We anticipate between 250-300 youth sending their RSVP to attend the ALSO Youth Prom on Saturday, February 3, 2024. Attendees will enjoy fun music, dancing, games, themed crafts, an awesome photo booth, and so much more. alsoyouth.org
[SOON]  SEMINAR: Listening to Women Series , January 18 – February 22, 1pm

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College, OLLI, presents its fifth annual Listening to Women, a six-session series that recognizes women whose brilliance and fortitude have reshaped industries and who are making a difference in our communities. The series takes place on Thursdays at 1 pm, from Jan. 18-Feb. 22, 2024, at Sarasota Art Museum, the Ringling College Museum Campus, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Registration for the complete series is $81 for OLLI Gold Members and $90 for OLLI Silver Members and general admission; register at www.OLLIatRinglingCollege.org.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Mutts Gone Nuts , January 13, 5pm
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome Mutts Gone Nuts to Sarasota on Saturday, January 13, 2024 at 5pm. Tickets on sale now. Imagine some of the most talented four-legged performers in the world in an uproariously funny, comedy dog spectacular, and you get Mutts Gone Nuts. The all-star lineup includes Feather, a Guinness world record holder, a two-time World Champion disc dog, an Americas Got Talent fan favorite, and a host of previously discarded dogs that will dance, prance, flip, and skip their way right into your heart. The family-friendly show runs about 70 minutes and was created by veteran comedy team Scott and Joan Houghton, who performed their duo act Jessie and James on variety stages from Tokyo to Las Vegas. Tickets start at $20 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 Mattison’s at the Van Wezel which is located inside the theatre. Reservations can be made on VanWezel.org or through the box office. Mutts Gone Nuts is locally sponsored by Nates Honor Animal Rescue. Adoptable dogs from Nates Honor Animal Rescue will be at the Van Wezel before the Mutts Gone Nuts performance.
[SOON]  GALA: 2024 Inspiring Hope Dinner , January 12, 6:30 pm

Sunshine From Darkness, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the funding of local mental health services and programs and mental health research, has announced its 2024 Inspiring Hope Dinner. This annual fundraising event will take place on Friday, January 12, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, 1111 Ritz Carlton Drive. The keynote speaker will be American comedian, actor, producer and writer Tom Arnold, who will speak about his journey with anxiety and longtime battles with addiction. The evening will feature Faces Behind the Stories, shining a spotlight on the personal, sometimes difficult journeys of four members of our community. The event will also feature the awarding of the 2024 Lee and Bob Peterson Legacy Award to Bunny Skirboll, founder of Compeer, Inc., a lively paddle raise, live music with Quintessence, featuring some very special guest vocalists, including Chris Eisenberg, and dancing. Tickets are $350; proceeds will benefit Sunshine From Darkness blue door services, which will focus on emotional literacy for youth, and youth mental health research. For more about Sunshine From Darkness or to purchase tickets to the Inspiring Hope Dinner, visit sunshinefromdarkness.org.

[SOON]  GALA: 2024 Inspiring Hope Dinner , January 12, 6:30 pm

Sunshine From Darkness, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the funding of local mental health services and programs and mental health research, has announced its 2024 Inspiring Hope Dinner. This annual fundraising event will take place on Friday, January 12, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, 1111 Ritz Carlton Drive. The keynote speaker will be American comedian, actor, producer and writer Tom Arnold, who will speak about his journey with anxiety and longtime battles with addiction. The evening will feature Faces Behind the Stories, shining a spotlight on the personal, sometimes difficult journeys of four members of our community. The event will also feature the awarding of the 2024 Lee and Bob Peterson Legacy Award to Bunny Skirboll, founder of Compeer, Inc., a lively paddle raise, live music with Quintessence, featuring some very special guest vocalists, including Chris Eisenberg, and dancing. Tickets are $350; proceeds will benefit Sunshine From Darkness blue door services, which will focus on emotional literacy for youth, and youth mental health research. For more about Sunshine From Darkness or to purchase tickets to the Inspiring Hope Dinner, visit sunshinefromdarkness.org.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Odyssey , January 11 – January 23, Various times
SPAACES is proud to present Odyssey, featuring works from the Ringling College of Art and Design Fine Arts graduating class of 2024. Odyssey features eight artists who explore the nuances of human connection through painting, fiber arts, and time-based media. Each artist delves into individual odysseys of their own experiences to create a harmonious group exhibition. A reception will be held on Thursday, January 11th 2024, 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm, SPAACES, 2051 Princeton St., Sarasota, https://spaaces.art/.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Manatee County Fair , January 11 – January 21, Various times
The Manatee County Fair returns Jan. 11-21, 2024, and for the first time, fair lovers can purchase admission tickets online. Daily admission and parking prices are unchanged from recent years with adults 13 and older, $10, active duty military, $6, children ages 6-12, $6. Children 5 and under are admitted free. Parking near the Fair is available in several locations for $10. Adult tickets can be purchased at a $1.50 discount per person online at www.manateecountyfair.com and clicking on the Buy Tickets button at the top of the page. An individual ticket price is $8 and a 50-cent-per-ticket fee is added at checkout. The Fair begins Thursday, Jan. 11 when gates open at 5 p.m. Daily hours are listed on the website. This Fair theme is Fun is in the Air at the Manatee County Fair. The 2024 Fair is packed with fun activities for families of all ages including livestock shows, a petting zoo, camel rides, a one-man band, circus performers, pig racing, blacksmith demonstrations and more. To learn more about the 2024 Manatee County Fair, visit www.manateecountyfair.com.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Music Mondays , January 8 – March 25, Various times

The 2024 season of Sarasota Institute of the Lifetime Learning Music Monday Series presents performances and lively conversations with renowned and emerging performers, January 8-March 25, on Mondays at 10:30 a.m. at Church of the Palms in Sarasota; and Mondays at 3 p.m. at Venice Presbyterian Church in Venice. https://sillsarasota.org/index.htm.

[SOON]  GALLERY: ChromaShock, A Modern and Vibrant Exploration , January 4 – January 31, Various times
MARA Art Studio and Gallery presents ChromaShock: A Modern and Vibrant Exploration, an exhibition of work by 13 artists that pushes the boundaries of chromatic expression, inviting viewers into a mesmerizing world of vivid hues and dynamic compositions. The exhibit runs January 4-31, with an opening reception on Friday, January 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The exhibit features work by Laura Arteaga Charlton, Ralph Berger, Bill Buchman, Lori Childers, David Erdman, Christina Jensen Vicente, Midge Johnson, Pamela Olin, Julia Rivera, Ashley Rivers, Jack Shapiro, Javi Suarez and Mara Torres Gonzalez. The gallery is located at 76 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota. MaraStudioGallery.com.
[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]  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]  FOOD: Sarasota Hooters Jeep Nights , September 16 – December 21, 6pm

Calling all Jeep Enthusiasts! The Sarasota Hooters location is hosting Jeep Night on the third Thursday of the month starting at 6pm. Hooters is giving away raffle prizes during the monthly events. The September 21 raffle prize is a Flashcal For Jeep Superchips Calibration Tool. Congratulations to Shawn Miller who won a Jeep Tow Kit during the August 17 Jeep Night. Upcoming Jeep Nights will take place on December 21. Hooters of Sarasota is located at 6507 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Visit Hooters during Jeep Night and present your Jeep key for 15% off food and non-alcoholic beverages and an entry for the giveaway. Jeep Night has become a favorite thing to do for the Sarasota community. From regular customers to Hooters Girls who own Jeeps and Jeep lovers everyone is enjoying this opportunity. For more information, visit www.HootersFlorida.com.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Bradenton Market Returns , October 7 – May 25, 9am-2pm

Realize Bradenton is happy to announce the return of the Bradenton Market to its weekly schedule. This beloved community gathering will be held Saturdays through May 25, 2024 from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm on Old Main Street in Bradenton. Founded in 1979, the Market has expanded to include more than 90 local vendors. In addition to the weekly shopping and music, the Market hosts special event days throughout the season. Halloween at the Market will be held on Saturday, October 28. This family-friendly event includes trick or treating with vendors, face painting with Manatee School for the Arts Academic Team from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, and a dance performance by Slick Motion Studios at 10:00 am. For more information, visit RealizeBradenton.com.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Wellen Park Fall Music Series , October 25 – December 16, 6-10pm

Wellen Park is hosting a variety of musical genres and musicians throughout each week. Wellen Wednesdays and Thursday Tunes will feature various local bands every week under the Heritage Tree from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday Night Live will host a live band on the Solis Hall stage overlooking the Great Lawn from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday Sounds will feature music on the first, second and fourth Saturday of the month under the Heritage Tree from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday Groove will feature music under Heritage Tree from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors are invited to bask in the captivating scenery and waterfront vibe by bringing their own lawn chairs or blankets for maximum comfort. These upcoming musical gatherings offer an open-door policy, requiring no prior RSVP for attendance. Guests can participate in Wellen Park’s Sip and Stroll program by purchasing to-go alcoholic beverages from Downtown Wellen food and beverage merchants. For more information, visit wellenpark.com.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: A Brave New Wonderland , November 18 – December 31, Various times

Hometown hero and international superstar Nik Wallenda is collaborating with the Circus Arts Conservatory (CAC) to bring an extraordinary holiday spectacle, A Brave New Wonderland, to the CAC’s Holiday-Themed Big Top in the East District at UTC. The show, with 45 performances through December 31, promises a blend of thrilling circus acts, mesmerizing aerial performances, and uplifting holiday storytelling, curated and produced under the creative eye of the King of the High Wire, Wallenda himself, along with his world record-holding wife, Erendira Wallenda. Through breathtaking performances by artists from diverse backgrounds, captivating narratives, and the shared spirit of Wallenda’s personal tagline, Never Give Up! Brave New Wonderland seeks to plant a seed of unity in the hearts of its audience. It's a show where the magic of the season is not just about traditions and celebrations but also about embracing our differences and finding strength in diversity. For more information, visit circusarts.org.

[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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