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SRQ DAILY Apr 24, 2024

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"Veterans walk around with that mask that's hiding the pain of the war that they're fighting internally."

- Sean Brown, United States Army Veteran.

[Guide Dogs]  Southeastern Guide Dogs Brings Beyond the Dark to the Lakewood Ranch Cinemas
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

On Thursday, April 25, Southeastern Guide Dogs Inc. will be bringing its acclaimed multi-sensory experience, Beyond the Dark, to the Lakewood Ranch Cinemas for one night only. Beyond the Dark invites attendees to step into the shoes of a person living with vision loss and a veteran surviving memories of combat.

Lydia Baxter, the organization’s media manager, shares that Beyond the Dark is a multi-sensory experience combining different elements. “There's one part where we ask guests to put on a special blindfold and listen to audio of both the internal monologue of someone who doesn't have a guide dog but has vision loss and what emotions and thoughts she's having just trying to get through a normal day and then the guests experience the same thing with someone having a PTSD flashback,” she says. “After each of those audio experiences the attendees have the chance to take the blindfold off and meet these two people, one of whom is Katie McCoy, guide dog recipient and an associate director of philanthropy at Southeastern Guide Dogs Inc. and the other is Sean Brown, a United States Army Veteran who retired medically in 2013.

“After I retired I found myself living in a world that really didn't care what veterans were dealing with between the pills, the pain, PTSD and having to live with the things that I saw and was a part of while I was serving. I found myself  leaning on my peers around me and my Harley Davidson motorcycle to get me through the day,” Brown shares. “One day, I got to a stoplight and everything changed with that motorcycle.  I had to sell my bike and found myself spiraling out of control until my wife said it was time to get some help. We found Southeastern Guide Dogs and our life has been amazing ever since.”

Brown has had two dogs from Southeastern Guide Dogs, both free of charge. Pella, now retired, and Nick, his current dog. “Pella did a lot of the groundwork to get me to where I am today,” he shares. “She was trained to check the house to let me know everything is good and she literally would break me out of night terrors and establish a routine that allowed me to start getting back out in the community.”  Today, Brown travels the country sharing his story and the mission of the organization.

Brown’s hope is that Beyond the Dark will give attendees an idea of what the majority of our nation's veterans are living with on a daily basis. “Our Veterans walk around with that mask that’s hiding the pain of the war that they're fighting internally,” he says. “It’s an opportunity for people to have their eyes open to the reality of what not just veterans live with but people that are visually impaired live with on a daily basis.”

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about Sean, Katie and their inspiring stories at Beyond the Dark. Because of the sensory and emotional nature of the program, Beyond the Dark is not recommended for ages 14 and under. For veterans and others with PTSD, be aware that Beyond the Dark includes an audio presentation reminiscent of combat scenes.

Beyond the Dark begins promptly at 5:30 p.m., Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, 10715 Rodeo Dr #8, Lakewood Ranch. Tickets to this 90-minute, multi-sensory experience are $20. All proceeds directly support the Southeastern Guide Dogs mission. 

Pictured: Sean Brown and his dog, Nick. Photo courtesy of Southeastern Guide Dogs.

[Grant]  Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties Awarded a $50,000 Grant from The Community Foundation of Sarasota County to Support Post-Hurricane Ian Reconstruction of North Port Club

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County recently granted $50,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties in support of long-term reconstruction efforts at the Steven and Marjolaine Townsend Campus, home of the Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club. Due to the urgent need to serve the rapidly expanding community of North Port, a renovation of the Club was already on the horizon. However, in 2022, Hurricane Ian caused irreparable damage to two of the three main buildings and accelerated that timeline. To ensure today’s youth have the skills, resources, and opportunities to be the leaders of tomorrow, a new 23,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility will be built in the same location that has served local families for over 25 years. Upon completion, the interior will feature 21st-century academic classrooms, a commercial teaching kitchen, a food pantry for local families, a technology lab, a dedicated teen center, a college and career center, and much more. Club members will also be able to enjoy the outdoors with a newly renovated sun-shaded playground, recreation pavilion, and health and fitness center. The grant provided by the Community Foundation through the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund will help sustain operations throughout the construction of the new facility and ensure continuity in programs and services. These funds will be used to defray ongoing costs for the addition of two classroom portables that will serve as temporary educational and enrichment space, as well as additional improvements including the installation of an ADA-compliant concrete sidewalk for universal access, and internet connectivity upgrades for the gymnasium which currently serves as the primary learning space. 

[Nonprofit News]  The Child Protection Center Beautifies Butterfly Garden With Junior League of Sarasota

The Child Protection Center, Inc. (CPC) is selected as a Junior League of Sarasota 2024 Done In A Day (DIAD) grant recipient, where $1,000 is awarded to fund a project that Junior League volunteers complete in one day. The Child Protection Center was established over 44 years ago after the Junior League of Sarasota (JLS) conducted a community needs assessment and discovered there was a gap in serving kids in our community. Since CPC’s inception in 1980, the relationship with JLS has continued to thrive. CPC received donations from the Antonucci Family, various Junior League Members, Recovery Tree Service, Florida Native Plants Nursery, and Troy’s Tropics. Fourteen JLS volunteers and a few CPC staff gathered on a cool Saturday morning and helped re-establish the importance of the space as people enter and leave the building, a space of hope and healing for thousands of children and adults annually. In addition to the gardening, a butterfly mural was created through a partnership with Alissa Silvers of Liss Art & Design. The butterfly is incredibly symbolic within the Child Protection Center, representing a client’s journey from victim to survivor to one who thrives. The body of the butterfly is a semicolon, as a reminder for all survivors of child abuse and neglect that their story is not over. The Child Protection Center’s (CPC) mission is the prevention, intervention, and treatment of child abuse, as the organization envisions a community where children are safe from abuse and free to thrive. For over 40 years, CPC has been serving Sarasota and DeSoto Counties in the State of Florida and is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance. For more information on CPC or to inquire about ways to get involved, please visit them at  www.cpcsarasota.org or call 941-365-1277. 

[Nonprofit Event]  Join Suncoast Charities for Children to Save the July 4th Bayfront Fireworks

The July 4th Bayfront Fireworks have been a cherished tradition bringing our community and families together for years. This year, a community fundraising effort is underway to ensure this popular event can continue for years to come. Suncoast Charities for Children, in partnership with Marina Jack, has been at the helm of organizing this event for 14 years but rising costs are putting the continuation of this beloved event at risk. Net revenues back to the Suncoast Charities for Children have been steadily decreasing, due to increased expenses to produce the July 4th Bayfront Fireworks. Lucy Nicandri, Suncoast Charities for Children’s Executive Director, expressed the organization’s deep commitment to their mission of supporting local children, teens, and adults with special needs. Thankfully, because of the gracious support of Marina Jack, the 2024 July 4th Bayfront Fireworks will happen. However, future fireworks in July are in jeopardy. Lana Jackson, Marina Jack’s General Manager, highlights the importance of broader community support to keep this beloved tradition alive for future generations. In 2023, total expenses to safely produce the event totaled $37,700, which included a 20-minute fireworks display. Now, with a fundraising goal of $50,000, the community is being called upon to help secure the future of the July 4th Bayfront Fireworks. Every contribution counts, big or small, to ensure this symbol of unity and celebration continues to light up the City of Sarasota night sky annually. Suncoast Charities for Children has organized a July 4th Bayfront Fireworks Donation Campaign on their website at www.suncoastcharitiesforchildren.org  For sponsorship information, please contact Suncoast Charities for Children Executive Director, Lucy Nicandri, at 941-706-3795 or email at lucy.nicandri@suncoastcc.org   Suncoast Charities for Children is also responsible for organizing the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, Suncoast Summer Fest, and the Thunder by the Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival. For additional information on Suncoast Charities for Children, please visit suncoastcharitiesforchildren.org. 

[Fundraising Event]  Children First Fairytale Ball Raises More Than $570,000 in Support of Comprehensive Programs for Children and Families

On April 6, Children First hosted its 24th Annual Fairytale Ball at Michael’s on East. Fitting the Majesty under the Moonlight motif, the gala’s theme was “On the darkest nights, the brightest stars shine!” Shine they did, throughout the evening. Auctioneer Michael Klauber led a live auction and paddle raise, with the event netting more than $570,000 in funds raised. During the first hour of the glamorous, sold-out event, guests enjoyed a cocktail reception in the courtyard, featuring a wall of sparkling wines, as well as displays informing guests how their donations can directly benefit Children First’s families. The evening’s program began with Children First board chair Keith Johnson and Vice President of Philanthropy Jessica Rogers recognizing the stars who support the organization: the event sponsors, the board, volunteers, and staff. The two then announced recent awards Children First has received, including USA Today Top Workplaces and The NonProfit Times’s Best Nonprofits to Work for Nationwide. They also revealed that Kathleen Sullivan, Vice President of Programs and Head Start & Early Head Start Director, will be presented with an award from the National Head Start Association on April 20. Presenting sponsor PGT Innovations former CEO and former Children First board chair Jeff Jackson spoke of the ways Children First impacts their families and the community. “They have incredible passion for children and a vision for children,” he said. “It always starts with children.” Following remarks by the event’s co-chairs Hank and Phyllis Battie, and a performance by children from the Sarasota Ballet, guests watched an inspiring video featuring Yolonda Turner, a single mother of six whose foster child, Starr, was referred to Children First by her caseworker. Until Yolonda was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she worked in Children First nutrition services as part of the Parent Training Program. “Children First is not just a support system,” she said. “It’s a lifeline for families.” Taking after her grandmother, who fostered 10 children and adopted six of them, Yolonda plans to adopt Starr. “You need to be the change you want to see in your community,” she said. After dinner, Philip Tavill, Children First’s President and CEO, spoke on behalf of everyone in the ballroom. “We all sit here with humility regarding what Yolonda has decided to do for Starr and other children,” he said. Despite her diagnosis, she “will continue to realize her potential.” Philip concluded his speech by reminding the guests “We are in the business of putting children first and putting families first.” Guests ended the festive evening with dancing to the Bay Kings Band. 

Pictured: Fairytale Ball Co Chairs. Photo courtesy of Children First.

[Fundraising Event]  JoshProvides 6th Annual Fundraiser Bringing Help and Hope to Members with Stories, Cuisine and an Auction
Cynthia Fabian

When Andria Bilan, CEO and board members Traci Smullen, and Anne Weintraub first planned their fundraiser, little did they know what a perfect fit it would be–that each of the parts would interact in perfect synchronicity. Sandi Chapnick, the co-founder and dinner chair began the evening. She spoke to 187 attendees about her son Joshua, from whom the organization is named. He sustained an injury from a seizure and tragically died at 28 years of age. He lived his life on his terms, attending college and then the Culinary Institute of America, he worked at Seasons 52 in Naples. The interactive cooking lesson we shared, was also a remembrance of him and his passion for cooking. The attention quickly moved to Phil Mancini and Chef Jamil Pineda as they skillfully started the demonstration. The dinner was a chance to participate, adding to a sizzling skillet and a long black apron, to make the cuisine even more appealing. The international flair intermingled as everyone at the table had an opportunity to prepare food. Courses began with Hawaiian Shellfish and ended with Flat Iron Teriyaki Steak, a celebration of tastes. For the foodies, the tall Timbale, think chocolate ganache meets the Eiffel Tower, did not disappoint.

“Most importantly, it was an evening of compassion, cuisine, and camaraderie that unfolded at the interactive dinner at Michael’s on East, where every plate told a story of support and solidarity”, said Nicole Chapnick. Ray Collins, former ABC anchorperson, was the guest auctioneer, bringing the crowd together. Then enthusiastic bids echoed for live auction items such as a private dinner for 10 in Michael’s on East Wine Cellar, a stay-cation on Anna Maria Island, and even a mini-bio keepsake written for your family. The sculptures, jewelry, baskets, services and so much more benefitted the organization’s families who need help and hope. There are many types of epilepsy, and some individuals may have problems with daily life. Because of this services consist of help with medical appointments, seizure alert devices, and training of service dogs. The intimate, but mighty epilepsy support group helps provide a much-needed virtual circle to many who may be experiencing social isolation. The event was sponsored in large by SK Life Science, and many other sponsors. 

Pictured: The Signor Family donated the stay-cation vacation on Anna Maria Island. Photo by Cynthia Fabian.

For more information click here

[Arts & Entertainment]  Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation Announces Urban Bush Women as Artists-In-Residence

Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation is pleased to welcome Urban Bush Women (UBW) as Artists-In-Residence. UBW galvanizes artists, activists, audiences, and communities through performances, artist development, education, and community engagement. Beginning May 8, UBW dancers and BOLD facilitators will collaborate with local female artists and partner organizations to explore and build community through dance. The residency will culminate with a performance and workshop mashup featuring Urban Bush Women and local artists in a free public event at The Oval at the Bay on Saturday, May 11 at 1 p.m. To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/signature-artists-at-the-bay-urban-bush-women-tickets-885637905817 

[Education]  Literacy Council of Sarasota Offers May Tutor Training

Local adults need tutors!  The Literacy Council of Sarasota (LCS) is offering tutor training workshops next month, May 2024, for volunteers who want to help other adults improve their basic English communication and literacy skills. No previous experience required!  Volunteers will receive approximately 18 hours of interactive ProLiteracy-certified instruction and support over the course of four weekday sessions, which includes an initial orientation. Sessions will focus on teaching adult learners how to read, write, comprehend and/or speak better in English. Tutor training sessions will be held at the same time from 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM (with breaks) over four days:  Monday, May 6th, Wednesday, May 8th, Friday, May 10th, and Tuesday, May 14th. Space is limited & pre-registration is required by Friday, April 26th by calling LCS Program Director, Susan Bergstrom, at (941) 955-0421 or emailing sbergstrom@sarasotaliteracy.org. Participants for these in-person workshops will meet at the Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center, Bldg J, 1750 17th Street, Sarasota, FL 34234. Give the lasting gift of literacy this year and next!  Join the Literacy Council's volunteer tutors who have helped change lives through literacy in Sarasota for 45 years. 

[WWR]  2024 Women Who Roar Competition

2024 WOMEN WHO ROAR NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN | We invite our readers to nominate an individual who best exemplifies the attributes of professional acumen, philanthropic passion, personal integrity and community leadership. Nominations close this Friday, April 26, 2024. 

Nominate Here!

[SOON]  FOOD: Mothers Day Brunch , May 12, 10:30am, 12pm and 1:30pm
Celebrate Mothers Day amid Mother Nature at Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus. Enjoy a delicious brunch buffet catered by Michaels On East with a special performance by the female vocal trio The Vocalitas at each brunch seating. Tickets to Mothers Day Brunch grant you full access to our Downtown Sarasota campus to view our Spring Exhibition Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia OKeeffe before and/or after brunch. Check-in opens at 10:00 a.m. outside of the Welcome Center. Mothers Day Brunch takes place inside the Event Center. To learn more, visit selby.org.
[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Jimmy Failla , May 11, 8pm
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome Jimmy Failla to Sarasota on Saturday, May 11, 2024 at 8pm. Tickets for the Everybody Calm Down Tour go on sale this Friday, February 23 at 10am EST. Tickets start at $20.70 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]  MUSIC: Kenny G , May 5, 7pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome Kenny G to Sarasota on Sunday, May 5, 2024 at 7pm.  Tickets start at $40 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]  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]  MUSIC: Shannon Lee and Ying Li , April 28 – April 29, 4pm
The April concerts conclude at the Fischer/Weisenborne residence with Shannon Lee, violin and Ying Li, piano on April 28 and April 29 at 4:00 p.m. The first-place winners of the Artist Series Concerts 2017 and 2018 international violin and piano competitions join forces for this spectacular soiree program. Lee made her solo debut with the Dallas Symphony at age 12. Since then, she has been a prize winner in the Sendai Competition in Japan, the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium, and the Shanghai Isaac Stern Competition. Li won first place of Young Concert Artists 2021 Susan Wadsworth International Auditions, and recently made her Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center recital debuts. Single ticket: $60. For tickets and more information, visit ArtistSeriesConcerts.org or call 941-306-1202.
[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Ranching Foundations , April 26, 9am-3pm
UF/IFAS Extension South Florida Beef-Forage Program is hosting Ranching Foundations on Friday, April 26 from 9 A.M.-3 P.M. This program is perfect for beginners new to ranching as well as established professionals looking to stay up to date on the latest research. Located at the Range Cattle Research and Education Center in Ona, participants will rotate through cattle management classes covering topics such as calf care, heifer management, cow management, bull management, and the legality of selling meat from the ranch. Admission is $40 per person and includes lunch and educational materials. Register at ranchingfoundations.eventbrite.com.
[SOON]  BUSINESS: Demystifying the Insurance Maze , April 24, 12pm
In this seminar, business owners will gain essential insights into insurance coverages that can safeguard their enterprises. We will explore practical steps to protect your business. Whether you are a startup or an established company, understanding the insurance partnership is crucial for long-term success. Join us to learn how to fortify your business against unforeseen challenges. Free, online webinar. score.org/manasota.
[SOON]  SEMINAR: Writing for the Stage , April 24, 3:30pm
Annette Dignam State College of Florida Residency in Literature at the Hermitage presents Writing for the Stage with Hermitage Fellow Sarah Gancher, Wednesday, April 24, 3:30pm: An Obie Award-winning playwright whose work has been produced at some of the top theaters in the country, Hermitage Fellow Sarah Gancher is no stranger to writing for the stage. From works such as the recent Off-Broadway play Russian Troll Farm to collaborative musical projects like Hundred Days and The Lucky Ones with The Bengsons, Gancher has done it all. In this special program, Gancher will offer insight into how she approaches a range of projects, give updates on what is next for her, and share samples of her original works. Presented in partnership with State College of Florida. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org. $5/person registration fee. State College of Florida, Venice Campus, 8000 S Tamiami Trail, Venice.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Manatee Music Series , April 18 – May 16, 6-8pm
The inaugural season of the Manatee Music Series continues with Trevor Bystrom and Zion Albert, who will perform at the Amphitheater on April 18. Paul Fournier is on the bill for the May 16 concert. In addition to the outdoor concerts in this beautiful tree-covered section of the park, located at 2811 51st St. W. in Bradenton, there will be family-friendly activities by local community partners and crafts sponsored by Bayside Church. Visit mymanatee.org to learn more.
[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: 2024 Eyes on Seagrass , April 15 – April 29, Various times
The Eyes on Seagrass Program is a bi-annual citizen science event in partnership with Florida Sea Grant, Mote Marine Laboratory, and Sarasota and Manatee counties to measure macroalgae and seagrass coverage. The program was expanded from Charlotte Harbor to cover Sarasota Bay in 2021 in response to a data gap in macroalgae monitoring. During a sampling window in April and July, participants travel to various locations throughout Sarasota Bay to collect information on macroalgae and seagrass coverage. Results are then integrated into the Sarasota Bay Ecosystem Health Report Card. To learn more and participate, visit sarasotabay.org.
[SOON]  GALLERY: Byzantine Style Icons , April 7 – June 28, Gallery hours: Mon-Thurs. 9-1, and Sundays 11:30-12:30. June will have no Sunday hours.

All Angels Church is delighted to offer an exhibition of Byzantine-style icons by noted iconographer Christine Simoneau Hales. Since the beginning of Christianity, icons have been revered as aids to prayer and contemplation. They are visual reminders of the Saints and Gospel stories that have inspired all Christians throughout the ages. Ms. Hales has studied for many years and now teaches and produces icons for churches and private collectors. She is sought after for her modern, yet traditional icons for churches all over the world. She has won several grants and awards for her painting and is now a local Sarasota iconographer. She will share the icons she has crafted in the ancient Byzantine Tradition using egg tempera paints and gold leaf gilding on wood panels. There will be over twenty original icons on display, and all icons will be available for purchase by contacting the artist/iconographer. To learn more, visit allangelslbk.org/.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Fierce and Fabulous , April 6 – April 27, Various times

Fierce and Fabulous, a show of works by Elisabeth Trostli, will be on exhibit from April 6-27, Saturdays only from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Arts Advocates Gallery in the Crossings at Siesta Key Mall, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Trostli uses a creative digital painting process to incorporate detailed visual references and embellishments into her works. The paintings in this exhibition are inspired by her travels: vintage scientific engravings, Steampunk, Pre-Raphaelite and Baroque sources, Celtic, Asian and African mythology, Medieval knights and armor, tribal textiles and Victorian jewelry. Admission is free. On April 9, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Arts Advocates Gallery, Trostli presents the art talk, From Digital Painting to AI. She will discuss and demonstrate her artistic process in creating her work on the computer. Surrounded by unique images of intricately detailed fantasy portraits of women warriors, geishas, divas, and angels, she will highlight the possibilities of digital artistry. Free for Arts Advocates members; $5 for non-members. To learn more, visit artsadvocates.org.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Watermelon Regatta , April 5 – May 19, Various times

The Ringling unveils the newly restored Watermelon Regatta painting on view for a limited time only. Over seven years ago, conservators at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art began a comprehensive examination of the Watermelon Regatta, a fascinating early 18th-century Italian painting that had suffered significant damage. This extended study led to a painstaking conservation treatment that commenced in 2017 and has been carried out intermittently since that time. The painting conservators at The Ringling were assisted by several conservation Interns and Fellows, as well as contracted conservators. This oil painting on canvas has been attributed to The Master of the Fertility of the Egg, a name used by art historians for an as-yet unidentified painter active in northern Italy around 1700. His works typically represent the world reversed, with animals doing things that humans do. His absurd compositions satirize the madness, vanity, and ridiculous folly of human life, but in a spirit of comic levity and fun. To learn more, visit ringling.org.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Music in the Park , April 5 – April 26, 6-8pm
Realize Bradenton is pleased to announce the lineup of local musicians for the Music in the Park concert series. Concerts will be held every Friday in April. Bring a chair or blanket, friends, and your leashed pups to this free, family-friendly music series. Food will be available for purchase at the concerts. To learn more, visit realizebradenton.com/events/music-in-the-park.
[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Mystery Reef , April 2 – June 30, Various times
Get ready to use your brain coral and start Kraken the case at the new Mystery Reef exhibit Mote Aquarium. Coral reefs, the rainforests of the sea, are in serious danger. Help us find out what is hurting the corals and how we can help. Become a coral detective and uncover clues throughout Mystery Reef while learning about real coral science and restoration at Mote Marine Laboratory. For more information: mote.org/mystery.
[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Family Saturdays , March 23 – May 25, 10am-12pm
Kids and kids at heart can enjoy fun art and nature activities on Saturday mornings, at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on March 23, April 27, and May 25. Activities will run from 10 a.m. to noon each day, and participation is included in admission to the Gardens, which is always free for Selby Gardens members. These Family Saturdays celebrate the current exhibition on view, Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia OKeeffe. Several activity stations with different art-focused projects will be set up in the Ann Goldstein Childrens Rainforest Garden during each monthly event. The goal is to invite kids of all ages to explore the artwork of Yayoi Kusama and Georgia OKeeffe through activities that also connect them to the natural environment. Admission to Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus is $26 for adults, $11 for ages 5 to 17, and free for children 4 and under. Tickets may be purchased online in advance at selby.org. Selby Gardens members always receive complimentary admission as well as discounts for guests. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit selby.org.
[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]  BUSINESS: Lets Connect at Oscura in Old Manatee , August 31 – December 26, 8:30-10am

Connect with local business owners at every Thursday at Oscura. Lets Connect is a community of collaborative business professionals from the Manatee and Sarasota County areas. RSVP on Eventbrite to attend, admission is free.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Collaborative Coworking Meetup at UTC , September 1 – December 27, 11am-4pm

Attention all business professionals, join us for a productive and inspiring coworking event at Panera Bread at the UTC Mall every Friday. Take advantage of this opportunity to network and collaborate with fellow professionals in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Limited spots available, so register now on Eventbrite. Panera Bread, 215 N. Cattlemen Road, Sarasota.

[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: Clyde Butcher: Nature Through the Lens , November 11 – August 31, N/a

Clyde Butcher: Nature Through the Lens will be on view through August 31, 2024 at the Historic Spanish Point campus. Selby Gardens is excited to present the extraordinary imagery of photographer and conservationist Clyde Butcher throughout the grounds of the Historic Spanish Point campus. Large-scale prints on aluminum of Butcher’s beautiful photographs of plants, animals, and habitats of Florida will be exhibited amid the natural landscape of the 30-acre waterfront preserve, enabling the public to engage with the artist’s work like never before. In the tradition of earlier landscape photographers like Ansel Adams, Butcher captures the beauty and majesty of America’s natural treasures in dramatic black and white. The unique environments of Florida have been subjects of particular interest to Butcher since the 1980s, when he was first introduced to the magic and mystery of sites such as Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park. Nature Through the Lens will include Butcher’s photographs of regional locales such as Myakka River State Park and Casey Key. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Clyde Butcher Gallery & Studio in Venice, Florida. For more information, visit selby.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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