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SRQ DAILY May 3, 2024

Friday Weekend Edition

Friday Weekend Edition

"All three bring distinct cultural backgrounds and identities that I think are rather unique and enable them to share a common theme on talking about how their backgrounds and cultures actually infuse into their work."

- Andy Sandberg, Artistic Director and CEO, The Hermitage Artist Retreat.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Sarasota's Pride Festival Returns This Weekend
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

Kicking off last night with the opening of the “Empowered” exhibition at SEE Space Sarasota, the annual Be Fabulous Music & Arts Pride Festival continues into the weekend with performance art tonight at the Players Studio, followed by a free community festival and concert from 3-10pm this Saturday at the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, complete with live music, local vendors, a silent auction, and a closing drag show.

Formerly known as the Harvey Milk Festival, the Be Fabulous Pride Festival has highlighted and celebrated queer and non-binary artists throughout the region for 14 years, building community and raising awareness of issues affecting that community. And this year, says festival founder Shannon Fortner, the event holds particular significance.

“In light of everything that’s been happening in Florida,” Fortner says, “it's important for us to show we’re resilient—to bring the community together and create these safe spaces and celebrate your community.”

Tonight, that celebration looks like an evening performance by the queer art collective Swamp Yell, which will be debuting new work and works-in-progress at the Players Studio in the Rosemary District. Comprised of four local artists—Jess Pope, Gabriel Keusch, Erne Murphy and Mike Murphy—Swamp Yell performances and projects include everything from dance and movement to spoken word poetry and even experiments in projection and shadow, with room for audience interaction. The performance starts at 7pm and tickets are $15. ($10 for students.)

The festival comes to its climax on Saturday, with an outdoor celebration and concert, free and open to the public. Musical performers include Zeta The Babe, a saxophone player and vocalist who loops live onstage, as well as local artist Brittany Zeff, who will be debuting some original music for the festival, and Nowincolor, a younger band gaining traction in the region. “I love their energy,” says Fortner. “They have such a sound and a sense of community; you see how a music scene can thrive here.” MeterEYES, Fortner’s band, will also play a set, as well as Summer Hoop and Gracie Cespedes. The festival’s keynote address will be given by Jules Rayne, a community organizer with Equality Florida.

The close of Saturday’s event also marks the end of the festival’s silent auction, currently ongoing, where donated offerings up for bidding include gift certificates to Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and Sage Restaurant, day passes to the Ringling Museum or the Sarasota Art Museum, tickets to the Asolo, spa services and even a $1500 staycation package. Proceeds from the auction will go to a new program from the Fabulous Arts Foundation, parent organization of the Be Fabulous Pride Festival, to provide mental health services that address the needs of the queer community.

Fortner hopes to have more solid information on that development later in the summer. For now, there’s the festival this weekend, the Friendly City Pride in Manatee on May 26, and plans already in motion for next year’s 15th-anniversary celebration.

“This community is my family,” Fortner says. “And being able to provide a safe space for the community to feel seen and heard has always been a passion of mine.” 

Pictured: Formerly known as the Harvey Milk Festival, Be Fabulous Pride Festival has been amplifying LGBTQ+ voices for 14 years. Photo courtesy of Be Fabulous.

For tickets and information on the Be Fabulous Music & Arts Pride Festival, click here.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Visualizing Culture at The Hermitage Artist Retreat
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

On May 23, visit the Hermitage Artist Retreat’s beachfront campus on Manasota Key for a truly special program. The Hermitage, a leading national arts incubator dedicated to the development of new work across all artistic disciplines from writing to sculpture to mixed media and everything in between, boasts an alumni of highly acclaimed artists. While at the Hermitage, these artists are allotted multi-week residencies to work on their craft–the only thing that the organization asks in return is that the Hermitage Fellows participate in free community programs dedicated to giving the public an inside look into their creative processes. 

Visualizing Culture is an hour-long program featuring three Hermitage alumni, all at the top of the game in their respective fields. Diana Al-Hadid, an internationally acclaimed visual artist whose work is currently on display at the Sarasota Art Museum along with nine other Hermitage artists, will speak about her work and career path alongside Raven Chacon, a Pulitzer-Prize winning composer, installation artist and performer and Candice Hopkins, who is a multidisciplinary artist and acclaimed visual curator. All three artists come from distinct cultural backgrounds and use their work to interrogate contemporary culture and ideologies. Al-Hadid is a Syrian-born, U.S.-based artist, Chacon hails from Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation and Hopkins is a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation in Canada. 

“I think when you have some talented polymaths, if you will, these super multi-hyphenates, there’s often a synergy of having an experience and conversation about what it means to pull in all of these different fields and to be a true artist in a path that is not easily defined. There isn’t one of them who has had a very linear career path, they’ve all crossed forms,” says Andy Sandberg, Artistic Director and CEO of the Hermitage. “All three also bring distinct cultural backgrounds and identities that I think are rather unique and enable them to share a common theme on talking about how their backgrounds and cultures actually infuse into their work.”

May 23, 6:30pm to 7:30pm, Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Rd., Englewood, FL.


Pictured: Hermitage Fellow Raven Chacon at work. Photo by Neal Santos.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Florida Studio Theatre Presents Rhinestone Cowgirls

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) kicks off its Summer Cabaret Series with Rhinestone Cowgirls, a journey through all things country music, celebrating its evolution from humble beginnings to the giants of the music industry today. Three powerhouse vocalists help you relive classics such as Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man,” and Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” as well as new favorites like Carrie Underwood’s “Last Name.” Rhinestone Cowgirls begins playing May 21 in FST’s Goldstein Cabaret. Single tickets range from $18-$42. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Sarasota Orchestra Hosts Annual Outdoor Pops Concerts This Weekend

Sarasota Orchestra returns to the Orioles’ Ed Smith Stadium for its annual Outdoor Pops concert. This year’s show, Back to the ‘80s, is a power-packed evening of the decade’s number-one songs, including Madonna’s “Material Girl,” Cyndi Lauper’s first smash hit, “Time After Time,” and “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis & the News. Featuring the music of a multitude of iconic ‘80s stars—such as Phil Collins, Stevie Nicks, Whitney Houston, Elton John, and Heart—Back to the ‘80s contains all-new arrangements by GRAMMY-winner Jeff Tyzik belted out by three incredible vocalists. Experience Sarasota Orchestra, amped up on the field at the Orioles’ Ed Smith Stadium, in an evening of hits and home runs that concludes with a dazzling fireworks display.

Friday, May 3, 8:00pm, Saturday, May 4, 8:00pm, Ed Smith Stadium, Visit SarasotaOrchestra.org or call the Box Office at (941) 953-3434. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  ensembleNEWSRQ Presents Parisian Refraction

As part of The Ringling’s “Art of Performance Series,” ensembleNEWSRQ (enSRQ) presents “Parisian Refraction,” a four-part “micro festival” that explores new music compositions that embody or have been inspired by the City of Light. Violinist Samantha Bennett and percussionist George Nickson, enSRQ’s founders and co-artistic directors, explain that the festival is a collaboration with principal members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, ensembleNEWSRQ Core and guest artists, and “some of new music’s brightest stars.”  They add that the four-concert festival will be presented in both Dallas and Sarasota, with faculty and students of Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) Meadows School of the Arts involved in the Dallas presentation. In Sarasota, the festival is May 9, 7:30 p.m.; May 10, 7:30 p.m.; and May 11, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at the Historic Asolo Theatre, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Single tickets are $30-40. For more information on ticket packages and single tickets, including student ticket pricing, visit https://www.ringling.org/event/ensemblenewsrq/ or call 941-360-7399. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Leon Pitts in Concert

Join us for an unforgettable evening of music this Saturday, May 4th! Experience the incredible talent of Leon Pitts as he takes the stage and serenades you with soulful R&B hits. From Al Green to Tony Toni Tone', Leon will bring your favorite songs to life, along with some mesmerizing original music from his upcoming album. This concert will be a one-of-a-kind event, with a live filming capturing every magical moment. You might even spot yourself in the promotions and music videos! You may recoginize Leon from one of his many performances at the Westcoast Black Theatre. His new album, Take It Slow, will be available this summer. Enjoy a delicious dinner at Hamlet's Eatery, starting at 6pm. The show begins at 7:45pm. WIne and beer is also available. Admission is  free. This is happening on the outdoor stage at The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime, located at 821 Apricot Ave in Sarasota. Please, no outside food or drinks allowed. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to witness Leon Pitts' captivating performance. For more information, visit www.HamletsEatery.com.  

[Arts & Entertainment]  FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training Announces Full 2024-25 Season

The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training is excited to announce its 2024-2025 season, featuring a hilarious and bitter-sweet mid-century modern American comedy, a thought-provoking play from one of the freshest new female voices in American drama, a journey through time and history by a preeminent Asian American playwright and a rich Shakespearean masterpiece, written by the mature Bard. In the Fall, the Conservatory will bring you The Curious Savage (October 29 – November 24), a hilarious and bitter-sweet mid-century modern American comedy. The Winter Repertory will feature John Proctor is the Villain (February 4 – March 2), a thought-provoking play from one of the freshest new voices in American drama. Its companion piece, The Chinese Lady (February 11 – March 2), to be presented at the Ringling Museum, will take you on a journey through time and history, seen through the eyes of the first Chinese woman in America. The season will conclude in the Spring with The Winter’s Tale (April 1– 27), a rich Shakespearean masterpiece, written by the mature Bard, as Time drew the curtain on his career, and on the entire Renaissance era. This production will allow the audience to experience the production on the Elizabethan Stage, immersing them in the timeless story of beauty and torment.New subscriptions for the four-play season are $120 and on sale May 13, 2024. Renew your subscription now for $100 at Asolo Rep's Box Office at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, or by phone at 941.351.8000 or 800.361.8388. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  FST Improv Announces 2024 Summer Season

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) announces the lineup for its Summer Improv Season, running from June 1 through September 28. With five diverse shows, including its annual Fourth of July holiday musical, FST Improv is bringing Sarasota audiences a wide range of improvisational styles and performances this summer. Tickets are $18 and are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or 941.366.9000.Taking the Bowne’s Lab stage are returning cast members: Kevin Allen, Taylor Bungo, Christian Corpora, Sylvia Day, Sarah Durham, Darryl Knapp, Will Luera, Kathryn Parks, Sal Piccolo, Christine Reagan, Autumn Steiner, and Danielle Trzcinski. Jim Prosser or Helena Rankin will alternate as musical improvisers on the piano at each performance. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Charmaine Hunter Joins The Sarasota Ballet As Community Engagement Director

The Sarasota Ballet announces today that renowned dance educator Charmaine Hunter will be The Sarasota Ballet’s new Community Engagement Director. Charmaine will oversee Dance – The Next Generation along with the other community engagement programs, including Joyful Movement through Parkinson’s and Silver Swans®. Charmaine brings a wealth of experience to The Sarasota Ballet. Charmaine was a Principal Dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem, where she was known for roles such as The Firebird (John Taras) and Medea (Michael Smuin). While she was still dancing, she began working to provide programs for young people with little or no access to the arts. Charmaine helped to launch Dancing Through Barriers, Dance Theatre of Harlem’s flagship outreach program in South Africa, before developing it for communities across the USA and beyond. Charmaine’s extensive background includes the roles of Director of Disney’s The Lion King in Toronto, Talent Scout for Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas, Co-Founder of Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater, and as Upper School Principal with Texas Ballet Theater. Prior to joining The Sarasota Ballet, Charmaine held the position of Director of Community Enrichment for Orlando Ballet, where she developed arts education programming for seven counties in the central Florida area, increasing access to dance for over 24,000 children. When asked about her new position, Charmaine said, “I am excited to step into the role of Community Engagement Director with The Sarasota Ballet. It is an honor and privilege to extend the gift of dance to the community and beyond. Celebrating the rich history of The Sarasota Ballet's commitment to giving back, this opportunity allows me to join in elevating our dance outreach offerings and broadening our impact.” 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Arts Advocates Announces June 2024 Events Including an Art Talk in Celebration of Pride Month

 Arts Advocates is pleased to announce its schedule of June events, including member artist Suzanne Havens’ exhibit “Seeing With Imagination” and Jess Pope’s art talk, “The Transformative Power of Movement and Human Connection.” Unless otherwise indicated, registration is required at ArtsAdvocates.org. Arts Advocates member artists exhibit monthly in the Arts Advocates Gallery, located in the Crossings at Siesta Key mall, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Shows runs from the first Saturday to the last Saturday of each month. Suzanne Havens’ "Seeing With Imagination" will be on exhibit from June 1-29, Saturdays only from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Following a creative career in marketing, Havens moved to Venice, Florida in 2007. In 2020, her photo won best in show at the 40th Annual Selby Gardens Juried Photographic Exhibition. Afterwards she became one of six volunteer photographers for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Admission to all gallery exhibits is free. On June 4, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Arts Advocates Gallery, Arts Advocates member Jess Pope presents the art talk, “The Transformative Power of Movement and Human Connection” in celebration of Pride Month. Raised in a strict Pentecostal family – no tv, computers or dancing, no adornment in her hair or skirts above her knees – Pope was taken to a ballet by a neighbor when she was seven years old. Her life and dreams were changed forever. Pope’s work as a dancer and choreographer derives its point of view through issues of gender, erotic power, and queer mothering, leaning into the intersections of her experiences. Free for Arts Advocates members; $5 for non-members. The Arts Advocates’ collection of Sarasota Art Colony and Florida Highwaymen works is on permanent display in the Arts Advocates Gallery, which is open every Saturday from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. Free docent-guided tours are available for gallery visitors who wish to learn more about the art and written information is available for self-guided tours. To learn more about or become a member of Arts Advocates, or to register for programs and events, visit ArtsAdvocates.org. 

Pictured: ArtsAdvocates June Member Exhibit SuzanneHavens Walking Iris. Photo courtesy of Arts Advocates.

[Announcement]  Tervis Announces Merchandise and Website Takeover in Honor of Star WarsTM Day

 Tervis, the nationally loved and family-owned drinkware company founded in 1946, recently announced it will be unveiling new merchandise and a website takeover in honor of Star WarsTM Day on May 4th, the unofficial Star Wars fan holiday. For the second year in a row on May 4th, Tervis will feature a Star Wars themed takeover on its website. Visitors to Tervis.com will enjoy seeing products inspired by their favorite Star Wars characters, including the beloved Mandalorian, Boba Fett, Darth Vader, R2-D2, C-3PO, BB-8 and more. Currently available for fans, Tervis has a stainless steel water bottle with a Lightsaber detail, as well as four-packs of double-walled 16-ounce tumblers. Additionally, Tervis has produced a new Star Wars design, available for purchase now. The new design, called Phantom Menace 25, will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Available all of 2024, the design will feature the eyes of Darth Maul, the iconic villain, on 20- ounce and 30-ounce Tervis Travelers®. The drinkware company will also unveil a second special edition design available on its website for purchase on May 4th only. “Tervis has proudly collaborated with Lucasfilm for over two decades,” said Hosana Fieber, chief executive officer of Tervis. “All of our Star Wars offerings have been incredibly popular, and we’re excited to celebrate May the 4th with new designs that we know fans in galaxies near and far will treasure for years to come.” 

Pictured: New Star Wars Phantom Menace 25 design available now. Photo courtesy of Tervis.

[Pets We Love]  2024 Pets We Love Fan Favorites
Compiled by Megan Mitchell

PETS WE LOVE FAN FAVORITES | It's time to vote for your fan-favorite pet from the May/June edition. 

Vote Here!

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Lewis Black, Goodbye Yeller Brick Road , December 6, 8pm
Two-time Grammy Award-winning Comedian Lewis Black releases additional dates for his GOODBYE YELLER BRICK ROAD, THE FINAL TOUR that will include a show at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Friday, December 6, 2024 at 8pm. Tickets start at $35 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: Air Supply , November 17, 7pm
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome Air Supply to Sarasota on Sunday, November 17, 2024, at 7pm. Tickets start at $41.57 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. VIP packages are also available. 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]  DANCE: Celtic Throne, The Royal Journey of Irish Dance , June 2, 7:30pm
Irish dancers and musicians from Edmonds Herbert W. Armstrong College and Armstrong Dance will embark on their fifth U.S. tour beginning May 5, visiting 10 states over seven weeks with their show Celtic Throne, The Royal Journey of Irish Dance. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall will host a one-night performance at 7:30 p.m., June 2. Celtic Throne, The Royal Journey of Irish Dance explores the ancient origins of Irish step dance and celebrates the millennia-long journey of a music-and-dance-loving people as they migrate from the ancient Near East to Ireland, Scotland, England and the United States. Tickets to Celtic Throne, The Royal Journey of Irish Dance begin at $25 and can be purchased at VanWezel.org. For more information, please visit celticthrone.com.
[SOON]  GALA: Grand Carnival In Bloom , June 1, 8-11pm
On June 1, Project Pride SRQ will present the Grand Carnival In Bloom. Event organizers are looking forward to launching Pride Month in grand style with the Grand Carnival In Bloom, an enchanting evening filled with flowers, a DJ spinning music hits, cool country performances, and delightful surprises. Dive Bar Wine and Spirits will be on-site to craft specialty cocktails that will elevate the experience, and some of the finest restaurants in Sarasota will tantalize your taste buds with lite bites and desserts. The Grand Carnival takes place on Saturday, June 1, 8-11 p.m. at the Sailor Circus Arena, 2075 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota. Tickets, which include open bar, food and entertainment, are $125/VIP, enables early entry at 7 p.m., $85/general admission; door price is $150, subject to availability. Proceeds from the event will support Project Pride programs and events. For more about Project Pride and its Pride Month events, visit www.ppsrq.org.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Tribute to Heroes Parade , May 26, 5-8pm
The annual Tribute to Heroes Parade is back and bigger and better than ever. Join us on Sunday, May 26th, from 5:00pm to 8:00pm on Lakewood Main Street for a celebration of our local veterans, active duty, and fallen heroes. This special event aims to pay tribute to those who have served our country with honor and bravery. The parade will feature floats, live entertainment, delicious food and drink vendors, and activities for children, providing fun for the whole family. Admission to the parade is free, and event proceeds from the event will support local non-profit and veteran organizations. It is a great way to show our heroes the love and appreciation they truly deserve, so come out and join us in honoring our heroes. If you or if you know of anyone interested in participating in the parade, visit LWRTributeToHeroes.org.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Friday Fest , May 24 – October 4, 5-9pm
Friday Fest, the free, outdoor summertime concert series at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall returns with an exciting lineup of bands who will bring the audience to their feet. This year the festivities kick off in May. Each event runs from 5-9 p.m. on the lawn of the Van Wezel overlooking beautiful Sarasota Bay. Bring blankets or lawn chairs, take in the music and the sunset, and enjoy food and beverages from local vendors. Bringing in food, beverages and coolers from outside Friday Fest is prohibited. For additional information, visit VanWezel.org.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Behind the Curtain, Exploring the Van Wezel from the Art to the Stage , May 20, 1:30-3pm
The Behind the Curtain: Exploring the Van Wezel from the Art to the Stage tour on May 20 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. is presented in partnership with the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The art in the Van Wezel, 777 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, was created by noted Florida artists and is on loan from Arts Advocates. A docent leads a tour of the paintings and sculptures including those by Robert Chase, William Hartman, Eugene White, Ben Stahl, Thornton Utz, Frank Colson, Dean Mitchell, and others. Participants then step onto the stage where a Van Wezel guide shares stories and anecdotes about the colorful world of show business. Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchased at the Van Wezel box office or by calling 941- 263-6799. Proceeds benefit the education/outreach programs of Arts Advocates and the Van Wezel. To learn more about or become a member of Arts Advocates, or to register for programs and events, visit ArtsAdvocates.org.
[SOON]  FOOD: Geckos Hospitality Group Iron Chef Challenge , May 13 – June 16, Various times

Join the Geckos Hospitality Group family of restaurants to celebrate the culinary creativity of your favorite Geckos Grill and Pub Chefs during the annual Geckos Hospitality Group Iron Chef Challenge. From May 13th to June 9th and June 10th to 16th each of our six Geckos will participate in a weekly special Iron Chef Menu, with several of our Chefs designing delectable and inventive fare, plus some tried and true favorites with a creative twist. The contest is a weekly competition between Geckos Kitchen Creatives, and guests may sample what the GHG kitchen pros have up their Chef Jacket sleeves. Whichever Iron Chef Special Menu is the favorite of our GHG guests for the week wins the Iron Chef title for that week and a cash prize with the Iron Chefs named after the competition knives have been cleaned and put away in June. There will be a Championship Final the week of June 10-16th, with the winning GHG location being crowned the Geckos Hospitality Group’ Iron Chef 2024 Champ. www.GeckosGrill.com.

[SOON]  FOOD: The Magnolia Mothers Day Cocktail at Geckos , May 12, All day
Geckos mixologists created The Magnolia, a refreshing cocktail that combines the rich, smooth flavors of NYAK peach brandy with the sweetness of peach nectar and the tang of orange and lemon juices. Topped off with a splash of sparkling wine, this drink is the perfect blend of sweet, just like Mom, and citrus in every sip. www.GeckosGrill.com.
[SOON]  FOOD: Mothers Day at Amore Restaurant , May 12, 5-9pm

Treat Mom to a special meal at Amore Restaurant, which will be open from 5 to 9 pm on Mothers Day. Enjoy their regular menu and live music with Eddie Tobin, the former music director of Engelbert Humperdinck. To learn more, visit amorelbk.com.

[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]  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]  FOOD: A Taste of Art , February 1 – January 31, 5:30-8pm
Longtime friends Chef Charles Amherst of Chaz 51 Steakhouse in Venice and Barbara Gerdeman, co-founder of Creative Liberties Artist Studios in Sarasota, have joined forces to create a series of interactive live art dinner showcases called A Taste of Art. The first of these events takes place Thursday, February 1, 5:30-8 p.m., at Chaz 51 Steakhouse, 549 US 41 Bypass N, Venice. The events will continue on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. Guests who visit Chaz 51 on these evenings will be able to witness the creation of captivating works of art in real-time. To make a reservation, call Chaz 51 Steakhouse at 941-484-6200. To find out which artists are scheduled for February, check out the calendar at CreativeLiberties.net.
[SOON]  MUSEUM: Shinique Smith, Parade , January 4 – January 5, Various times

Enjoy the extraordinary opportunity to experience the work of contemporary artist Shinique Smith in conversation with the collection of European art at The Ringling. Unfolding across six galleries of the Museum of Art, the exhibition creates a series of unique stories that together form an abstract narrative of the parade as a metaphor for life. Well known for her monumental sculptures created from an array of materials, including luxurious textiles, personal clothing, dyed fabrics, ribbon, and wood, and for her abstract paintings of calligraphy and collage, Smiths work in this exhibition speaks to various facets of the European artistic tradition, such as classical drapery and religious iconography, while foregrounding notions of Black femininity and the history of the circus. Learn more at ringling.org.

[SOON]  GALLERY: The North County K through 12 Spring Art Show , April 30 – May 13, Various times
Students from 18 elementary, 7 middle, and 6 high schools throughout Sarasota County will show off their creative talents at the North County K-12 Spring Art Show, April 30-May 13, at Art Center Sarasota. Nearly 50 teachers are part of the effort. The North County Art show is presented in conjunction with the South County Art Show at the Venice Art Center, April 29-May 9, to comprise the Sarasota County Schools Spring Art Show, serving all the public schools in the county. Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For information, visit www.artsarasota.org or call 941-365-2032.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Back to the 80s , May 3 – May 4, 8pm
Back to the 80s is a power-packed evening of the 80s number-one songs, including Material Girl, Time After Time, and The Power of Love. Featuring the music of a multitude of iconic 80s stars, such as Queen, Phil Collins, Stevie Nicks, and Heart, Back to the 80s contains all-new arrangements by GRAMMY-winner Jeff Tyzik, belted out by three incredible vocalists. Experience Sarasota Orchestra, amped up on the field at the Orioles Ed Smith Stadium, in an evening of hits and home runs that concludes with a dazzling fireworks display. Visit SarasotaOrchestra.org or call the Box Office at 941-953-3434.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Fresh Fridays, Vibes on Palm , May 3, 7-10 pm

Fresh Fridays is bringing only good vibes as we head into May with their newest event, Vibes on Palm. The event will be held on May 3, from 7-10 pm, on Palm Avenue, between Cocoanut Ave and Main Street, adjacent to the Art Ovation Hotel. Vibes on Palm invites the community to soak up the vibrant atmosphere of downtown Sarasota. Attendees will have the opportunity to bop to bluesy rock with live music, sip on cooling beverages, savor tantalizing flavors from local restaurants, and partake in classic backyard lawn games. As the musical entertainment for the night, Fresh Fridays is thrilled to welcome back The Alan Grant Band. Enjoy a variety of bites from local hospitality partners, including Element, Duvals, Bricks Smoked Meats, Mattisons, Art Ovation Hotel, and sister restaurants BESO and State Street Eating House and Cocktails. Partygoers can play leisurely games of cornhole, mega Jenga, and giant Connect Four with family and friends, along with free signature giveaways. Giveaways will be handed out until supplies last. 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]  BUSINESS: Sarasota County Connect Business Networking and Panel Discussion , May 9 – July 11, 5:30-8pm

Offered in conjunction with 26 West, the State College of Florida Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation, the monthly Sarasota County Connect Business Networking and Panel Discussion series held through July is for those interested in entrepreneurialism. The program taps into the fast-growing small business climate. Upcoming sessions include: the May 9 workshop with Zeev Wexler, a digital industry leader, marketing automation disrupter and the CEO of a growing marketing firm, who will present on brand-boosting with AI, the June 13 session which features Problem-Solving for Entrepreneurs by Stephen Diasio, a podcaster and professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of South Florida, and July 11 Business IDEA Lab, community forum moderated by Chris Williams, managing director of a Sarasota digital marketing firm, offers an opportunity for participants to share business ideas and gain expert feedback. Sarasota County Connect events run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and are free with advanced registration required at 26west.scf.edu/sarasotaconnect.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Discoveries, Becoming Tchaikovsky , May 11, 7:30 pm

Conductor David Alan Miller offers a sampler platter of works by some of the musical heroes of Tchaikovsky, featuring beloved pieces by Bizet, Grieg, Schumann and Mozart. The program concludes with virtuoso cellist Zlatomir Fung performing, timeless Rococo Variations by Tchaikovsky, a glorious glimpse into the soul of one of music’s most treasured composers. Visit SarasotaOrchestra.org or call the Box Office at 941-953-3434.

[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.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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