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SRQ DAILY Feb 1, 2024

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

"We would love to see potential future participants, local business leaders, and really anyone who wants to support STEAM education in our community."

- Neirda Thompson-Pemberton, Executive Director, FUNducation.
 

[Baseball]  The Baltimore Orioles Begin Their Migration to Sarasota
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

Although it feels like winter is still in full swing on the Gulf Coast, spring time–and Major League Baseball’s Spring Training–is fast approaching. Earlier this week, a fleet of trucks departed from Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, marking the start of their 1,000 mile journey down to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. The trucks, which are carrying 320 uniforms, 300 hats, 200 helmets and 10 pitching machines, are not alone in their pilgrimage south. All across the country, Major League teams are beginning their migration towards warmer weather, some to Arizona’s Cactus League and others to the Grapefruit League in southern Florida. The start of Spring Training is mere weeks away, with the area’s teams–the Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves–all set to report to camp in just over two weeks. Here’s what you need to know about the Orioles, who call Sarasota home for six weeks every spring.

Buy stock in the Baltimore Orioles right now because chances are, they’re going to be really good, for a really long time. The Orioles absolutely exploded in 2023, finishing with the second best record in all of baseball at 101-61. One of the youngest teams in the sport, the Orioles fell short in the playoffs, losing to the eventual World Series champions, the Texas Rangers, in the American League Divisional Series.

But help–if they even need it–is assuredly on the way. Shortstop Jackson Holliday remains the top prospect in all of baseball and could crack the Opening Day roster with a strong Spring Training. Second baseman Connor Norby could also make his way onto the Opening Day roster–the 2021 second-rounder hit a blistering .290/.359/.483 with 21 home runs and 92 RBIs at AAA Norfolk last year. Corner infielder Coby Mayo is also a player to look out for. MLB Pipeline’s 30th ranked prospect, Mayo will likely start the year in AAA Norfolk, but has a chance to join the team later this summer if his ferocious approach at the plate continues to yield positive results. The Orioles only issue? Finding enough spots on the field for all of their promising young players.

Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th St, Sarasota, 941-893-6300. 

Pictured: Oriole Bird assists in loading up the gear for Spring Training. Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles.

To learn more, visit

[Event]  Neuro Challenge Foundation Presents the 7th Annual Parkinson's Expo

Neuro Challenge Foundation’s 7th Annual Parkinson’s Expo is coming to the Bradenton Area Convention  Center on March 2, 2024. The Parkinson’s Expo will educate, engage and empower the Parkinson’s community and feature  presentations from Parkinson’s experts, interactive demonstrations of Parkinson’s exercises/devices, and the chance to meet  many community resource partners. More than 1,600 people participated in The Parkinson’s Expo in 2023, making it the largest  event of its kind in the country. In-person and virtual attendance is available. The Expo is FREE to attend but registration is  required at www.ParkinsonsExpo.org. 

For more information click here

[Family Event]  My Furry Valentine at Bazaar

Calling all dog lovers and their four-legged companions! The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime is thrilled to host the highly anticipated event of the season - My Furry Valentine! Saturday, Feb. 3 from 11-3pm, we will transform our venue into a canine haven for a day filled with tail-wagging fun, heartwarming rescues, and an epic dog costume contest. This pawsome event will feature four incredible dog rescues, Tenderheart Charities, Rescue Garage, Low Rider, and Satchel’s Last Resort. These organizations work tirelessly to provide abandoned and neglected dogs with a second chance at finding their forever homes. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and interact with adorable, adoptable pups, and perhaps even find a new furry family member to take home! But wait, there's more! The highlight of the day will be the highly-anticipated Dog Costume Contest, which will kick off at 11:30 AM. Dog owners are invited to dress up their canine companions in the most creative, hilarious, or adorable costumes they can dream up. Whether it's a superhero, a princess, or a canine version of their favorite celebrity, the possibilities are endless! Prizes will be awarded to the top three winners, who will not only walk away with bragging rights but also some fantastic doggie goodies and human prizes. In addition to the rescues and the contest, local vendors will be on hand to showcase the latest pet products, pet grooming services, and much more. Attendees can also indulge in delicious food and refreshing beverages from Hamlet’s Eatery. Admission to this incredible event is free, but donations are strongly encouraged to support the participating dog rescues and their ongoing efforts to save and care for dogs in need. Don't miss out on the most exciting dog event of the year! Join us at the Bazaar on Saturday, Feb. 3 from 11-3. For more information, visit www.Bazaaronapricotandlime.com or call 941-445-1938. 

[Family Event]  Forty Second Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival: It's a Way of Life

Every February for the past four decades, people have gathered in one of Florida’s last true fishing villages to celebrate the cultural history of the region and to honor the men and women who supply us with fresh local seafood. The village of Cortez and the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (F.I.S.H.) are excited to welcome the public back to the shores of Sarasota Bay for the 42nd Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival on February 17 & 18, 2024. Come on out to celebrate a real working waterfront community dedicated to preserving their fishing way of life. Soak in the sunshine along Sarasota Bay while you boogie to live local music, browse aisles of original local artwork and nautical crafts, sip cold beverages and sample some really tasty seafood. Get up close and personal with local marine life and feed your science side during “Dock Talks,” educational spiels put on by University of Florida & Florida Sea Grant. The touch tanks and the Dock Talks are located on the Fulford Docks, right across from the Kids area and next to Starfish Co. Check out the Florida Maritime Museum and the Cortez Cultural Center, which are steeped in history of the region. Buy a raffle ticket to be entered to win one of the beautiful, refurbished custom boats lovingly restored by the F.I.S.H Boatworks. Working waterfronts are critical to Florida’s seafood economy and convey a sense of tradition and purpose that is hard to compare. Development, population growth and shifting priorities have contributed to the decline and disappearance of many fishing villages, but Cortez has survived the changing tides and remains a true vestige of old Florida. The Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival is organized to share the importance of local seafood production with the public. The 2024 Commercial Fishing Festival theme is “It’s a Way of Life,” which is true nowhere else like Cortez. The uniqueness and grit of the community envelopes you as soon as you step foot into the village where commercial fishing has built the lives of many families and remains a way of life today. The persistence and determination of Cortezians is evident in this annual Festival, which has been going for 42 years strong. The event is organized entirely by a fleet of dedicated volunteers and led by the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (F.I.S.H.), a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and promote Florida’s traditional maritime cultures and the environment upon which they depend. Every penny that the Festival earns is put right back into the community and supports the restoration and conservation of the FISH Preserve, 100 acres of coastal habitat that borders the east end of Cortez Village and is the last stretch of undeveloped waterfront property left on Sarasota Bay. It was purchased through grassroots, community efforts and now enjoys a conservation easement to protect it from development. Proceeds from the Festival help pay the mortgage on this land and contribute to restoration efforts.

February 17 & 18, 10am-6pm, In front of Starfish Co. and A.P. Bell (and between 123 and 124th St W), Cortez, $5.00, kids under 12 free.

  

To learn more, visit

[Adult Education]  Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning's 2024 Global Issues Series: February Lectures

 Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning’s (SILL) hard-hitting “Global Issues” series runs through March 29 at locations in Sarasota, Venice and Lakewood Ranch and features 24 internationally renowned experts discussing a vast range of domestic and global issues. February’s lectures feature front-page issues examined by leading speakers, including renowned scientist, businessman and entrepreneur Bob Bunting, discussing global climate issues; historian, educator and author Jeremi Suri, who will explore American’s shifting attitudes about government; author and Georgetown University professor Bruce Hoffman, who speaks about terrorism and insurgency; and Carla Koppell, vice dean for the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and managing director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, who will discusses strategies to mitigate conflicts and promote peace and prosperity.  

[New Hires]  The Pickleball Club Grows Team with Two New Hires

The Pickleball Club, a firm founded in 2019 that develops and operates private, membership-based high-amenity indoor pickleball facilities throughout Florida, recently welcomed two new hires to its Lakewood Ranch team: Cari Gardner and Forest Dennis. Gardner joins The Pickleball Club at Lakewood Ranch as the club’s new membership director. With a record of success in sales management and marketing at local, regional and national levels, Gardner is an experienced problem solver with the ability to drive revenue growth, resolve conflict, improve morale and consistently exceed profit goals. Most recently, Gardner was the regional sales manager for Jekyll Island Club Resort in Jekyll Island, Georgia. In her new role as membership director for The Pickleball Club at Lakewood Ranch, she will be responsible for recruiting and retaining club members and promoting membership-related products and services, developing prospective members and engaging inactive members, providing exceptional service to members and guests, dealing with member records and keeping the management aware of members’ concerns, among other duties.Dennis joins The Pickleball Club at Lakewood Ranch as head pickleball pro. With a robust background of strength and conditioning practices and coach experience, Dennis will report to the program director and teach high-quality lessons and clinics, as well as create member engagement. Additional responsibilities include organizing, planning, promoting, scheduling and managing all programming activities to ensure each member feels motivated and engaged, among other tasks. Most recently, he served as head of strength and conditioning at Steele Performance Training. During his time there, he trained high-performance clients and worked with professionals and celebrities to determine optimal diet and activity composition in order to achieve results. Dennis has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Florida Gulf Coast University and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. 

[Holiday Event]  A Special Valentine's Event at Bookstore1

Spend your Valentine's Day in our loft and enjoy decadent desserts paired with beverages, the soft sounds of live music, and readings of Pablo Neruda's love poems in both English and Spanish as performed by professional actors. Pablo Neruda’s most critically acclaimed and original works is the cycle of love poems titled Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada—published in English translation as Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. This work quickly marked Neruda as an important Chilean poet. Veinte poemas also brought the author notoriety due to its explicit celebration of sexuality, and, as Robert Clemens remarked in the Saturday Review, “established him at the outset as a frank, sensuous spokesman for love.” While other Latin American poets of the time used sexually explicit imagery, Neruda was the first to win popular acceptance for his presentation. Mixing memories of his love affairs with memories of the wilderness of southern Chile, he creates a poetic sequence that not only describes a physical liaison, but also evokes the sense of displacement that Neruda felt in leaving the wilderness for the city. “Traditionally,” stated Rene de Costa in The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, “love poetry has equated woman with nature. Neruda took this established mode of comparison and raised it to a cosmic level, making woman into a veritable force of the universe.”  

For tickets and more information click here

[Recognition]  2024 American Advertising Awards Celebrates Area's Creative Professionals News

The local chapter of the American Advertising Federation, known as AAF Suncoast, is proud to host the 2024 Local American Advertising Awards presented by the Ringling College of Art + Design Sound Stages on Saturday, February 24. The American Advertising Awards, home of the ADDY® Award, is one of the industry's largest creative competitions, attracting nearly 35,000 professional and student entries each year through competitions offered through local AAF chapters. Conducted annually by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the local chapter phase is the first of a three-tier, national competition. Concurrently, all across the country, local entrants vie to win ADDY Awards - recognition as the very best in their markets. At the second tier, local ADDY winners compete against winners from other local clubs in one of 15 district competitions. District ADDY winners are then forwarded to the third tier, the national stage of the American Advertising Awards. This year’s theme is A Masquerade Party, and guests are encouraged to dress in full glitz and glamor. The area’s premier marketing and advertising specialists will be celebrated in a special awards ceremony for creative projects produced by local professionals and students. A tour of the Ringling Sound Stages and a cocktail hour will begin at 6:00pm, with the main event curtain at 7:30pm. The After Party will follow the award presentation. Come celebrate the best in advertising and purchase your tickets today at https://www.aaf-suncoast.com/light-up-the-addys-masquerade. Members of AAF can purchase tickets for $77, non-member and guest tickets are priced at $120, and student pricing is $40.  Area businesses and agencies are invited to support the 2024 ADDY Awards through sponsorship packages ranging from $375-$3,000. These packages have various opportunities to be showcased not only at the awards ceremony, but at annual events and marketing materials. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please go to https://www.aaf-suncoast.com/addy-gala-sponsorship or contact Selina Bostic at president@adfedsuncoast.com.  

[Competition]  Public Invited to Gulf Coast League Robotics Championship

Robotics teams of middle- and high-school students from across the region will compete in the Gulf Coast League Robotics Championship on Saturday, February 3, at Braden River Middle School in Manatee County.  The competition is part of the FIRST Tech Challenge 2023-24 season, with teams competing to advance to the Florida state championships in March. At the Gulf Coast League regional tournament, 26 teams of young innovators will compete head-to-head in different challenges with robots they designed, built, and programmed themselves.  Participating teams will come from as far north as Palm Harbor in Pinellas County and south as Fort Myers in Lee County.  Students in the competition range from 12 to 18 years old. The public is invited to attend the tournament and experience the excitement of competitive robotics.  FUNducation, a Manatee County-based nonprofit that engages and inspires youth through Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) education, is helping to coordinate the competition.  FUNducation’s executive director, Neirda Thompson-Pemberton, encourages interested members of the community to come out to watch the event and cheer on the students during this thrilling competition. “We would love to see potential future participants, local business leaders, and really anyone who wants to support STEAM education in our community,” said Thompson-Pemberton.  “FIRST Tech Challenge teaches kids to think like engineers and work as a team, and the competition is just a blast to watch!” While the teams will be on site from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the full day, Thompson-Pemberton says that spectators can plan on seeing some of the best live action from 1:30 until 5 p.m., when the competition concludes.  The event is open to the public, and no registration is required to watch.  Braden River Middle School is located at 6215 River Club Boulevard in Bradenton.  For more information, email funducation@outlook.com. 

Pictured: Students supported by FUNducation work on their robot during a FIRST Tech Challenge competition. Photo courtesy of Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Embracing Our Differences Opens 21st Anniversary Exhibit With a Grand Celebration at Sarasota's Bayfront Park

More than 4,000 people attended Embracing Our Differences’ 21st anniversary exhibition’s grand opening on Sunday, January 21, in Sarasota’s downtown Bayfront Park. The occasion showcased electrifying performances by Jah Movement, and local arts and education organizations enriched the atmosphere with interactive booths and family-friendly activities. EOD representatives took the opportunity to acknowledge the Best-in-Show art and quotation winners, and the event was graced by the presence of many of the featured artists and quoters, who were honored for their selected works on display. 

Pictured: Winning artists and quoters from around the region and country at Embracing Our Differences’ Grand Opening Celebration at Bayfront Park on January 21. Photo by Peter Acker.

[School News]  Sarasota County Schools Announces 2024-2025 School Choice Enrollment Window: February 1 – February 29

Parents and guardians residing anywhere in the state of Florida will soon be able to apply for their children to attend a public school outside their regular attendance zone through the Controlled Open Enrollment (COE) process, more commonly known as School Choice. Sarasota County Schools invites parents and guardians from any school district in the state of Florida – whose child is not subject to a current expulsion or suspension – to apply for a 2024-2025 School Choice assignment to a public school identified as having available capacity. Online applications for School Choice will be accepted from 8:00 AM on Thursday, February 1, 2024, through 4:30 PM on Thursday, February 29, 2024. The district’s School Choice process requires that an online application be completed. Beginning Thursday, February 1, parents and guardians can complete and submit their online applications using a computer, tablet, or cell phone. If assistance is needed to access and submit an online application, parents and guardians may contact the Office of School Choice at 941-927-9000, ext. 32258. Parents and guardians will be notified via email of choice assignments in April. If awarded a choice seat, parents and guardians must formally accept the assignment by following the directions in the email, or their choice seat will be forfeited. Available seats at some of the schools that are open to School Choice may be limited to certain grade levels if those schools are at, or near, their enrollment capacity for those grades. The complete list of schools and grade levels open to School Choice is available on the School Choice/Controlled Open Enrollment (COE) Overview webpage under the “downloads” heading: www.sarasotacountyschools.net/Page/2502. School Choice/COE assignments will be determined by a random lottery process, rather than on a first-come, first-served basis. Students living in Sarasota County who are applying for an assignment through the School Choice/COE process will not be displaced by the applicants living outside the county. A School Choice/COE assignment does not guarantee acceptance into a magnet or special program at a school. Schools that are open to School Choice/COE for the 2024-2025 school year may host open houses or other family information events. Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit the websites of schools on the “open” School Choice/COE list, or contact those schools directly, for more information. All school websites are accessible via the “Schools” button located at the top of the school district’s website (www.sarasotacountyschools.net). Please note: This application is intended only for families wishing to have their child attend a school other than their assigned district school. Applications for new student registration and existing student re-registration for the 2024-2025 school year will open in April. If your child is already attending a school utilizing School Choice/COE and they wish to continue attending the same school, you will not need to fill out another School Choice/COE application. Educational choice options – such as charter schools, magnet schools, or magnet programs – also do not require the completion of a School Choice/COE application. Families interested in these district School Choice options should directly contact the school or program. Parents and guardians whose children receive their choice school through the School Choice/COE process will be responsible for providing transportation to and from school. Any additional questions may be directed to the Office of School Choice by visiting www.sarasotacountyschools.net/schoolchoice. 

[Selby Boutique]  Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Honors Longterm Partnership by Creating the Better Gro Boutique at New Garden Shop

Visitors to the popular Garden Shop at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus will see a familiar and respected name emblazoned at the entry to the tropical plant-filled outdoor portion of the store located in Phase One of the Master Plan’s new Living Energy Access Facility, LEAF, which opened to the public on January 11, 2024.

Selby Gardens and longtime partner Better-Gro have reimagined the shop’s outdoor area as the “Better-Gro Boutique.” The concept, which features plants and accessories provided by Better-Gro, recognizes the third-generation local business’ significant and long-running contributions to the success of Selby Gardens’ horticultural shows and the organization as a whole. The shop is a key element in the first net-positive energy botanical garden complex in the world and will be powered by solar energy.

“Better-Gro products and the Hollingsworth family have been integral to the success of our major exhibitions, our popular retail operation, and Selby Gardens as a renowned institution,” said Jennifer Rominiecki, President and CEO of Selby Gardens. “We are so pleased to commemorate this vital partnership in our new Garden Shop, which we know will be a visitor favorite.”

As a key plant supplier for Selby Gardens’ annual Orchid Show and Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition, Arcadia-based Better-Gro provides quality plants to enhance the Gardens’ living collections for its two largest annual exhibitions. The company is also a significant wholesale provider of orchids and other tropical plants sold in the new Better-Gro Boutique Garden Shop, along with growing supplies including potting media, plant foods, baskets, containers and accessories.

“Selby Gardens is known for having the largest epiphytic plant collection in the world. Their botanical collection, plant knowledge and historical preservation efforts are extraordinary. We are so fortunate to have these historic gardens right here in Sarasota, Florida,” said Rod Hollingsworth, President and CEO of Sun Bulb Company, the parent brand of Better-Gro. “My family has been involved with the Gardens over the past six decades through volunteerism, contributions, and leadership. It’s a very special place, and we’re excited to see the Gardens enter their next phase of transformation under the vision and guidance of Jennifer Rominiecki and team. We look forward to continuing to supply our tropical plants and gardening products to this great organization.”

While renaming the Garden Shop’s outdoor plant boutique speaks to the current partnership between Selby Gardens and Better-Gro, the close relationship between the two organizations goes back decades and three generations. The founder of Sun Bulb Company, A.P. Hollingsworth, and Selby Gardens co-founder Dr. Carlyle “Carl” Luer had a long-standing friendship and mutual love of botany and the Gardens as you see them today. The relationship with Selby Gardens continued to blossom when A.P.’s son, Tom, served on the board of directors in the early 2000’s. Today, grandson Rod Hollingsworth, continues that tradition of volunteerism and support by serving on the Selby Gardens advisory committee. 

Pictured: The Better Gro Boutique at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Photo Courtesy of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens



[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: The Carr-Petrova Duo , March 3, 6pm
The Perlman Music Program Suncoast presents The Carr-Petrova Duo and their new album, HERS, in a special evening of music comprised entirely of works by female composers. Featuring violist and PMP alum Molly Carr, the newest member of the acclaimed Juilliard String Quartet, and Bulgarian educator and pianist Anna Petrova, the duo will premier HERS in Sarasota. This concert vibrantly celebrates the vision, strength, resilience, and vital contributions of the female sex throughout history. Through music and storytelling, the Carr-Petrova Duo will lead the audience through the inspirations, battles, and incredible accomplishments of eight fearless women, from Hildegard Von Bingen in the 12th century to Beyonce, and share centuries of heartbreak, struggles, and triumphs that comprise the female experience. The concert is Sunday, March 3, at The Harvest, 3650 17th Street, Sarasota. The event begins with an artist talk at 6 p.m., followed by the concert at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at PMPSuncoast.org.
[SOON]  GALA: ALSO Youth Brunch , March 3, 11am-2pm

Join us for a brunch benefitting ALSO Youth, a local non-profit organization serving the LGBTQ youth community in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, at Tsunami Sushi and Hibachi on Sunday, March 3rd, 2024. Enjoy incredible food courtesy of Tsunami Sushi and Hibachi, a unique auction, and live music during this event supporting our mission to empower LGBTQ youth and allies and create inclusive communities. Learn more and purchase tickets at alsoyouth.org.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Using Mergent Intellect to Find New Customers , February 28, 12-1pm
This webinar is perfect for anyone looking to identify who your prospective customers are and create targeted B2B and B2C prospective customer lists. Discover the power of Mergent Intellect, which contains detailed company profiles, industry overviews, and forecasts powered by Dun and Bradstreet, custom market research, residential contact information and consumer data powered by Claritas/Nielsen. Learn how to filter and export lists at will based on company criteria like location, size, revenue, and industry NACIS/SIC codes, to target your B2B potential clients, or based on demographics to target your B2C prospective customers. Once you have the lists, you can use traditional or digital marketing channels to nurture and sell to them. We will also give a brief overview of other business resources available from Manatee Libraries, free to access with your library card. Free, online webinar. score.org/manasota.
[SOON]  SPORTS: 5K Fun Run and Walk , February 24, 7am

In the spirit of the new year and all things fit and healthy join us at the free Fun Run and Pancake Breakfast. This event is held In conjunction with the Zoomers non-profit running club at New Balance University 315 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota. Check-in opens at 6.30am, run/walk starts at 7am. There will be pancakes for all after the race. RSVP required https://stores.newbalance.com/sarasota CLICK on EVENTS.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Chorus of the Keys 75th Anniversary Concert , February 17, 2:30 and 7:30pm
Sarasota Chorus of the Keys, celebrating its 75th Anniversary, will present its Annual Show, Your Dreams Will Come True, on February 17, 2024, at 2:30 and 7 p.m. at the Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota. The Chorus will perform the exciting sounds of four-part acapella harmony and will be joined by a special guest quartet, My Three Sons, who are also members of the highly regarded Ditchfield Family Singers. It is a show you won’t want to miss. Order tickets online at www.ChorusoftheKeys.org. Call 941-224-0314 for information.
[SOON]  FOOD: The Big Game , February 11, Various times

Join Geckos Grill and Pubs for the Big Game and the most super seat outside of Nevada. Seating is limited so reserve today with a $25 per person deposit. Reserved guests will receive a $25 GC to use on Big Game day, but they must be present 15 minutes before kick-off. Enjoy giveaways, a special football menu and new cocktail menu, small batch spirits and our usual huge variety of craft beer. Ask your friendly server or barkeep for more details and reserve today! www.GeckosGrill.com.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: PoetryLife 2024 , February 11 – February 17, Various times
PoetryLife, the annual celebration of poetry at Bookstore1Sarasota, is taking place from February 11 to February 17, 2024. The celebration includes readings by local poets, a visit from Ruth Styron, poet and founding member of Amnesty International, a special Valentines Day reading of Pablo Neruda love poems, and a community Favorite Poem Project reading. Information about all PoetryLife events can be found at sarasotabooks.com/poetry.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Hooray for Hollywood with Michael Feinstein , February 9 – February 10, Various times
This is your opportunity to see Hooray for Hollywood with Michael Feinstein, February 9-10 at the Venice Performing Arts Center. You will be enraptured as this legendary artist sings New York, New York, The Way You Look Tonight, Singin in the Rain, and more in his signature style backed by Maestro Troy Quinn and the full Venice Symphony. Feinstein has played at The Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, Buckingham Palace, and the White House. Now you can see this 5-time Grammy Nominee up close and personal in Venice at this special event concert. Visit thevenicesymphony.org. or call The Symphony box office at 941-207-8822 to purchase tickets.
[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Sarasota Shell Show , February 9 – February 10, 10am-5pm

Seashell collectors and enthusiasts, beachcombers and artisans of all ages are invited to attend the 2024 Sarasota Shell Show. The Sarasota Shell Show offers a great way to learn about seashells and the critters that created and inhabited them, plus view unique shell art and learn from scientific exhibits. Visitors will enjoy a variety of vendors who display and sell common, exotic and rare shells, rocks and minerals, shell-inspired jewelry, clothing, shell crafts and art, and more. There will be a raffle for shells and coastal-inspired prizes. The annual Sarasota Shell Show will be held Feb. 9 and 10, 2024 at the Robarts Arena in the Potter building, 2896 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days. Guests receive a free bag of shells with their $5 paid admission fee. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a paid adult and the fee is half-price for students ages 12-18. The Sarasota Shell Club always welcomes new members. Club activities include monthly meetings with guest speakers, exclusive shelling excursions, and social events. Learn more about the Sarasota Shell Show and the Sarasota Shell Club at www.sarasotashellclub.com.

[SOON]  GALA: New College Athletics Gala , February 3, 5:30pm
The inaugural New College Athletics Gala will be held Saturday, February 3, 2024, 5:30 p.m. at College Hall, 351 College Drive, Sarasota. New College added intercollegiate sports in 2023 and is preparing to enter the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the prestigious Sun Conference this fall. Funds raised at the Gala will support scholarships to allow New College to recruit top scholar-athletes from across America and internationally. Tickets cost $100 and are available online by visiting GoMightyBanyans.com. Enjoy the evening at the New College Bayfront, featuring majestic views of Sarasota Bay. Wear cocktail attire and prepare to enjoy a relaxed evening featuring casino-style games. Tickets include play money to be used at gaming tables throughout the night. Hors doeuvres will be served, and a cash bar will be available. Sponsorship opportunities for the event are still being offered. For more information, email athletics@ncf.edu, call 941-487-4105, or visit GoMightyBanyans.com.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Fresh Fridays, Heart and Soul on State , February 2, 7-10pm
After settling into a new year, Fresh Fridays slides into February with another lively and lovely celebration. The ever-growing in popularity downtown community block party is back on State Street, February 2, from 7-10 pm, between Lemon Avenue and S. Orange Avenue, for their second event of the year, Heart and Soul on State. In the spirit of the most affectionate holiday, Heart and Soul on State is a love letter to the vibrant community and culture of Downtown Sarasota. Attendees will experience soulful live performances, tantalizing local food, and more enthralling activities. Serenading downtown as the musical guest for the evening will be the charming and charismatic 12-member group, The Motowners, who will perform adoring tributes to The Temptations, Four Tops, and Diana Ross. The ensemble even features the look, moves, and amazing vocal harmonies that define Motown music. Scrumptious bites and beverages that warm the soul will be offered, and partygoers will have choices from a variety of local hospitality partners, including Mattisons, Bricks Smoked Meats, Art Ovation Hotel, Azul Steak and Sushi Lounge, Sarasota Wine Co., and sister restaurants BESO and State Street Eating House and Cocktails. Fresh Fridays is all about sharing love for downtown with its community, so as a token of affection, guests will receive a Valentine, or free signature giveaway, while supplies last. In addition, there will be a heartfelt photo-op for all loved ones and sweethearts to capture the night. Accessible and convenient parking will be available at Palm Avenue and State Street parking garages. Guests can stay up to date by following Fresh Fridays on their social media channels or by visiting their website at www.downtownsarasotadid.com/fresh-fridays.
[SOON]  THEATER: Improvisational Drama Workshop Series , January 24 – March 12, 1-3pm

The Ringling invites older adults to participate in this free improvisational drama workshop series on the Strengths and Challenges of aging. The workshop series is free for all 55 and older community residents. No acting experience is necessary. Please note that this is not taking place at The Ringling. The weekly workshops will be held at: The Pines of Sarasota Healthcare, Cullers Hall, 1501 N Orange Ave, Sarasota. Your talents, abilities, and creativity will be explored through fun-filled improvisational theater games in a safe, creative, and inspiring environment. Through creating various drama characters, participants will experience the strengths, joys, and challenges of aging. Improvisational drama is a form of theater in which characters and dialogue of a story are made up in the moment…there are no written scripts. Participants tap into and celebrate their creativity while interacting and learning from their peers. The program will culminate in a celebration of your work, held at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Please email education@ringling.org or call 941-358-2693 to register. Space in this workshop is limited; please register as soon as possible.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Embracing Our Differences , January 24 – April 14, Various times
Embracing Our Differences celebrates its 21st anniversary this year. Visit the exhibit at the downtown Bayfront Park in Sarasota. The winning artworks combine a deep understanding of both medium and message. Awards are given for Best-in-Show Adult, Best-in-Show Student, and Peoples Choice categories, with the last chosen by visitors to the exhibit. Adult winners each receive $2,000, and students receive $2,000 to be split with their school’s art or writing program. The statements accompanying each artwork are also vital and provide insight into our common humanity as well as the differences that make us all unique. For more information, visit www.embracingourdifferences.org.
[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Jimmy Buffetts Escape to Margaritaville , January 19 – February 18, Various times
It is always 5 oclock somewhere, so escape to Jimmy Buffetts Margaritaville. The popular musical with a buffet of Buffett hits promises to change your attitude and latitude. Paradise is found in this jukebox jam, Jimmy Buffetts Escape to Margaritaville. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit venicetheatre.org.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College Winter Semester , January 8 – March 1, Various times

Registration is open for the 2024 winter semester at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, OLLI, at Ringling College, which offers noncredit educational opportunities for adults to pursue new interests, expand intellectual horizons, and enrich their lives. The semester, which runs Jan. 8-March 1, 2024, features more than 50 courses, workshops, lectures, and special presentations covering a wide variety of topics, including arts and entertainment, history, music appreciation, health, literature, philosophy, religion, and science. Semester highlights include Searching Dr. Google. What Should I Believe, The History of Psychiatry: Winners and Losers; Voting Behavior and the Electoral Process; Glass: The New Hot Contemporary Art Form; and The Historic First Federal Prosecution of a U.S. President. Classes are offered at the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; and online via Zoom. To register, or for more information about becoming an OLLI member, visit www.OLLIatRinglingCollege.org or call 941-309-5111.

[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]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Coffee with a Scientist , December 12 – March 26, 10am

Join us for our Coffee With A Scientist series, a free public event held on Tuesdays in Boca Grande and hosted by Mote Marine Laboratory. Hear from Mote scientists on January 16, February 13 and March 26 as they share with you the latest in their groundbreaking research and their plans for the future with a Q and A session to follow. On Visit mote.org/pages/coffee to sign up and for more information.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Not Your Typical Trivia Night , January 10 – June 12, 6:30-8pm
Trivia is back at Hamlets Eatery in 2024 with a twist. Not Your Typical Trivia with co-hosts Mark Klecka and Scott Malouf of Sarasota Street Talk Podcast starts Wednesday, Jan 10. These two will not only test your knowledge but keep you entertained throughout the night. There will be Weekly prizes for 1st, 2nd and Place and surprises throughout the night. You can also join the cool kids club and win prizes just for coming each week. Doors open at 5:45 for dinner. Trivia starts at 6:30pm and will end at 8pm. Reserve a table for your team by calling 941-445-1938. Hamlets is located in the courtyard of The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime. 821 Apricot Ave. Seating is outdoors under a covered patio. For more info visit www.Hamletseatery.com.
[SOON]  THEATER: Ugly Lies the Bone , January 17 – February 9, Various times
Ugly Lies the Bone is a compelling drama by Florida native Lindsey Ferrentino. The play follows Jess, a female veteran who returns to her hometown after three tours in Afghanistan. She brings vivid memories of war and painful burns with her and faces months of physical rehabilitation. Jess begins to transition to civilian life, soon realizing that things in Titusville, FL, have changed even more than she has. Through a new form of computer-simulated therapy, Jess finally finds a way to escape her pain, but can she find the strength to not only survive but actually thrive, in the real world? For more information and to purchase tickets, visit floridastudiotheatre.org.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Jazz Thursdays , January 11 – June 13, 5:30 pm-8 pm

Join us for live jazz at Sarasota Art Museum, hosted by the Jazz Club of Sarasota, featuring Hot Club of SRQ, and extended hours in the galleries, Bistro, and SHOP. Sip on refreshing cocktails and enjoy small bites in the Bistro. Each second Thursday of the month features a different style of jazz, from straight-ahead to free jazz, bebop to swing-programmed in partnership with Jazz Club of Sarasota. Galleries are open until 7 pm on Jazz Thursdays. Learn more and purchase tickets at sarasotaartmuseum.org.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Expressions of Experience, Two Generations, Two Perspectives. , January 17 – February 29, 11am to 4pm daily
Please join us to experience this unique exhibition featuring father/daughter local artists, Pamela Olin and Richard Olin. This premiere exhibition features three-dimensional works that offer a glimpse from the perspective of two distinctly different generations. The pieces address the transitions they have experienced over the last several years, making them relatable to all ages. As a duo, this public exhibit is both a curiosity and an insight into the self-expression of two generations of artists linked by DNA. Plymouth Harbour Gallery, 700 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. Visit www.pamelaolin.com and www.olinrich.com to learn more.
[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]  FOOD: Siesta Key Rum Distillery Tours , September 2 – September 30, Various times

Siesta Key Rum runs free year-round tours for guests to learn the story of the craft distillery, the awards they have won and the secret to how they make their rums taste so good. During our 30-45 minute tour we will discuss the following topics: history of Siesta Key Rum, an overview of the awards our small company has won, what makes our rums taste so good, the rum-making process from mashing and fermentation to distillation, barrel aging and bottling of our rums. After the tour, we welcome you to sample a freshly made Siesta Key Rum cocktail, stock up on your favorite rums and browse our gift shop. 2212 Industrial Blvd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Under My Skin , February 2 – March 16, Various times

SPAACES is pleased to announce a new solo exhibition by Babs Reingold Under My Skin. This is the first solo exhibition by Babs in Sarasota. The exhibition includes a series of new stain paintings/assemblages, sculptures from the Luna Window series, and a group of small drawings. 2087 Princeton St., Sarasota, https://spaaces.art/under-my-skin/.

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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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