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SRQ DAILY May 23, 2024

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

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Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

"It will be an honor to collaborate with such a dedicated school team and extended school community to support the growth of our students."

- Raymond Wilson, Principal, Venice Elementary School.

[Baseball]  Baseball Reigns Supreme on the Gulf Coast
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

As May rolls into June, baseball is more prevalent than ever on Florida's Gulf Coast. In Sarasota, the Florida Complex League (FCL) Orioles kicked off their season on May 4, with 30 home games scheduled between May 4 and July 25. The FCL Orioles, who operate out of Sarasota’s Ed Smith Stadium are the base level of the minor leagues for Baltimore which harbors one of the deepest farm systems in all of Major League Baseball. Keep an eye out for players like pitcher Jesus Palacios and infielder Alfredo Velasquez for with a strong showing here, it won’t be long before they’re called up to Single-A Delmarva. FCL Orioles games at Ed Smith Stadium will be free of charge for the public to attend.

Just north of Sarasota, the Bradenton Marauders continue to grind out a tough, yet promising season. Fresh of an electric 11-game win streak, Bradenton has gone 1-4 in their last five games since, struggling to find the same offensive spark. Fear not, however, because in their upcoming six game homestand against the Dunedin Blue Jays they have a chance to turn the tide on their season. At 19-20, Dunedin is just two games up on Bradenton in the Florida State League West division. With a strong showing against Dunedin, the Marauders could leapfrog the Blue Jays in the standings and finish out an incredibly successful month of May.

During this six-game homestand the Marauders will host a number of promotional nights including Thirsty Thursday, Friendly City Fridays–which will also be Decades Night, where fans are encouraged to dress in the style of their favorite decade–as well as Military Appreciation Night and Paws & Claws on Saturday night.

Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th St, Sarasota, https://www.milb.com/bradenton, LECOM Park 1611 9th St W, Bradenton, FL 34205. 

Pictured: Paws and Claws Night at LECOM Park is a crowd pleaser to both canines and their humans. Photo provided by the Marauders.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Sarasota Rising Invites Area Artists to Participate in its 2nd Annual Living Arts Festival Poster Contest

Sarasota Rising’s The Living Arts Festival is holding its yearly poster contest for next year’s festival in 2025. Artists will have the opportunity to compete in creating an original poster for its annual weeklong celebration. The Living Arts Festival – Sarasota is an interdisciplinary arts festival like no other slated to have its second year in November 2025. The festival aims to broaden the region’s audience for the arts in all its “flavors,” emphasizing performing arts while offering visual arts exhibitions, family-friendly events, live music, and more. The winning poster will be utilized in conjunction with Sarasota Rising’s logo for all festival branding and merchandise, featuring its imagery on hats, t-shirts, pins, bags, and all sorts of great festival swag, as well as on the festival’s website and brochure. With this in mind, portions or pieces of it need to accommodate the Sarasota Rising’s branding text, logo, and the specifics needed to promote the festival. Thought should be given as to how elements could be used in isolation in print and electronically, on merchandise, websites, clothing, etc., to create a strong, effective, memorable, and flexible identity. As for the imagery in the piece itself, it should capture the spirit of Sarasota’s arts community; the initial focus being that of the Performing Arts: Dance, Opera, Theater, Circus Arts, Choral and beyond, but as an inclusive festival, there will be room for the visual arts, fine arts and even culinary arts to be displayed and elevated during this annual celebration. Choosing the winner will involve a rigorous selection process, allowing artists whose pieces the judges feel have merit to receive notes for resubmission. The criteria that will go towards deciding on the winning poster include the imagery used, how the festival’s messages are conveyed, and the imagery’s ability to draw attention to the community and its many creative facets. Sarasota Rising encourages all students of the arts, designers, and creatives in the greater Sarasota Manatee area to participate in this opportunity. In addition to the notoriety from their work being displayed throughout the festival and during its promotions, the selected artist will be awarded a $1,000 stipend. Submissions are being accepted until July 26, 2024, and a winner will be announced in August. The grand reveal will occur at one of their events this fall. For all contest details and submission requirements, please visit sarasotarising.org/poster-contest. 

[Leadership]  District Announces New Principal of Venice Elementary

Sarasota County Schools is pleased to announce that Mr. Raymond Wilson has been appointed as the new Principal of Venice Elementary School. He will assume his new role on Monday, June 3, 2024. “I am looking forward to getting to know all of the students, families, teachers, and staff,” commented Wilson. “Venice Elementary is renowned for its incredible school community and strong academic and civic achievements. It will be an honor to collaborate with such a dedicated school team and extended school community to support the growth of our students.” Mr. Wilson earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education (K-12) from Florida A&M University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida. He holds certifications in Educational Leadership, School Principal, and Music K-12. Before assuming his current role as the Principal of Laurel Nokomis School in May 2016, Mr. Wilson served as the Assistant Principal of Heron Creek Middle School and the Assistant Principal of Woodland Middle School. 

[Education]  Education Leader Jennifer Jenkins Launches a National Counter-Offensive to Far-Right’s Attack on Public Education

Last Thursday, Brevard County School Board Member and education leader Jennifer Jenkins launched Educated. We Stand, an Independent Expenditure Committee dedicated to safeguarding the integrity of public education and ensuring our schools remain beacons of enlightenment, not battlegrounds of ideology. Educated. We Stand’s mission is to limit the influence of far-right extremists and maintain evidence-based learning environments that foster critical thinking and prepare students to be engaged, informed citizens. Jenkins will serve as the IE’s chair. Jennifer Jenkins said: “It is clear that the far-right's assault on public education threatens our children’s futures and the foundation of our democracy. With Educated. We Stand, we're not just fighting back; we're defending the very essence of learning, curiosity, and inclusion in our schools. We're standing up for the future of unbiased education and the preservation of our democratic values. “Because every child deserves a safe space to learn, explore, and grow without the threat of political agendas clouding their education. And no school board member should ever be targeted or threatened for standing up for basic truths and rights; not by their governor, not by right-wing politicians, not by anyone. This is not just about winning battles; it's about safeguarding the soul of American education for generations to come. Because the cost of doing my job has been high, but the cost of doing nothing would be much, much higher.” By protecting, recruiting, and electing school board members across the country who advocate for unbiased education while opposing those pushing conservative agendas, Educated. We Stand aims to serve as a beacon of hope that unites communities in protecting the sanctity of education. Jenkins has made national headlines for defeating Moms for Liberty co-founder Tina Descovich for school board by nearly 10 points in a district that Donald Trump won by double digits. In addition, she gained recognition for championing unbiased public education at great personal cost. Jenkins’ powerful advocacy and national platform have landed her as Governor Ron DeSantis’ #1 target of Democratic officials to defeat in 2024, and her strong voice for LGBTQ+ rights in Florida schools made her a national target for extremists who have leveled threats on her life and harm to her family, including protests at her home, vandalism of her property, and threats to her child. Jennifer has inspired millions by standing up to these vicious attacks and physical intimidation against her and her family, never giving up and maintaining the confidence that she represented the beliefs of the overwhelming majority of her community. To learn more about Educated. We Stand and ways you can support, please visit www.EducatedWeStand.com. 

[Education]  District Leaders Get the Summer Rolling with School Bus Send-Off This Friday

On Friday, May 24, 2024, before sunrise, School District of Manatee County Board Members will join Superintendent Dr. Jason Wysong and District Administrators to celebrate a successful school year. The group plans to wave and cheer for drivers at approximately 5:30 a.m., as dozens of school buses roll out of the Matzke Support Center to pick up students on the last day for the 2023-2024 school year. Matzke Support Center is located at 1 Matzke Way in Bradenton.  

[Family Programming]  Free Kids Summer Beach Runs Return to Sarasota County Beaches June 4

The annual Kids' Summer Beach Runs are returning to Siesta and North Brohard beaches throughout June and July. One-mile fun runs will be offered, encouraging children and their families to participate in healthy activities together throughout the summer. The free Kids' Summer Beach Runs are scheduled as follows: Tuesdays, June 4 through July 30, at Siesta Beach, 948 Beach Road, Sarasota, Wednesdays, June 5 through July 31, at North Brohard Beach, 1400 S. Harbor Drive, Venice, No runs are scheduled for Tuesday, July 2, at Siesta Beach or Wednesday, July 3, at North Brohard Beach. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. near the playground at Siesta Beach and the Venice Fishing Pier at North Brohard Beach. Runs start at 6:30 p.m. for both locations. Participants will receive a finisher ribbon and kids who complete four runs receive a free T-shirt, a free kid's meal coupon for Gecko's Grill & Pub and a coupon for kid's New Balance shoes. The runs can be completed at either location. Kids' Summer Beach Runs are presented by Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources, New Balance of Sarasota and Sarasota Crew. Additional sponsors include the Florida Department of Health-Sarasota, Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Gecko's Grill & Pub, Manasota Track Club, Sharky's on the Pier and Siesta Beach Eats. To learn more, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.  

[Arts & Entertainment]  Not Your Typical Trivia Night at Hamlet's

Join Hamlet’s Eatery this Wednesday for Not Your Typical Trivia night. This week with be a 70s theme hosted by Mark & Scott of Sarasota Street Talk. Each week we will have a local celebrity host with a theme of their choice. Doors open at 6pm for dinner and trivia is from 6:30-8pm. There will be be prizes for top teams and last place always receives Free Fries (because losing is still fun)! Hamlet’s is located in the courtyard of The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime at 821 Apricot Ave in Sarasota. For more information visit www.Hamletseatery.com or call 941-445-1938 to make your reservation. 

[SOON]  FILM: Summer Movie Nights , June 2 – June 28, 5pm

Back by popular demand, the Summer Movie Nights provide a unique experience for everyone during the summer, while remaining fun and affordable. The 2024 Summer Movie Night lineup offers something for everyone. Summer Movie Nights will take place on most Sundays during the months of June and July, inside the stadium at CoolToday Park. The movies will be shown on the scoreboard and will begin at 5 PM each night. Children ages 3 and under will receive free admission, while tickets for ages 4-9 are only $3, and ages 10 and up are $7. Tickets are available now at the CoolToday Park box office, online at cooltodaypark.com/movies, or by calling 941-413-5004. Parking is free, seats will be available in the seating bowl. No outside food, beverages, or chairs are allowed inside the stadium. The Superior Pools Tomahawk Tiki Bar and Grill will be open for full dinner service.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Piecing Together the Past , June 3 – June 7, 8:30

There are many things to explore and discover at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature Summer Camp. Learn, explore, craft, play, snack, and have fun every day! Camp Times are 9am-3:30pm Monday through Friday with 8:30-9am Drop off & Pick up 3:30-4pm. $250 members/$300 non-members per week. Summer Science Camp is for campers in Grades 2-5, Ages 7-11 (starting second grade/Leaving fifth grade). What was Florida like more than 1 million years ago? Explore the animals and plants of this region during the Ice Age.

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. West Bradenton

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Nutcracker, Magical Christmas Ballet , December 27, Various times
NUTCRACKER Magical Christmas Ballet returns to captivate audiences this holiday season at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on December 27, 2024 at 3pm and 7pm. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.nutcracker.com or www.VanWezel.org.
[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: Space Saturdays , March 2 – December 7, 10am-2:30pm
Join us for Space Saturday, the first Saturday of every month, as we explore a different topic in the world of astronomy. During Space Saturdays, you will discover an out-of-this-world activity during Backyard Science, formerly Science Sprouts, in The Mosaic Backyard Universe, explore space with a staff astronomer during KidSpace in The Planetarium, and finish your day with an astronomy-themed story during Tales Under the Tree. To learn more, visit bishopscience.org.
[SOON]  MUSEUM: Free Second Sundays , March 10 – December 8, 11am-5pm
Enjoy a day of art and family fun at Sarasota Art Museum. On the second Sunday of each month, we offer free admission for visitors, special performances, and art-making activities for the whole family. To learn more, visit sarasotaartmuseum.org.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Fresh Harvest Farmers Market at Wellen Park , June 25 – December 29, 9 am to 1 pm

Visit Fresh Harvest, the newly launched weekly farmers market in Downtown Wellen. Fresh Harvest offers a selection of local goods from nearly 40 local vendors. Fresh Harvest takes place every Sunday in Downtown Wellen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees can peruse different vendor booths and stock up on a variety of goods. Vendors will offer a wide variety of locally grown and produced food, including herbs, spices, cut flowers, teas, canned and preserved fruits and vegetables, syrups, baked goods, pickled foods, fresh seafood, meats, poultry, eggs, milk and prepared food and beverages. A limited selection of craft vendors also participate in the farmers market. For a listing of participating vendors and more information on Fresh Harvest Farmers Market, visit wellenpark.com/events/fresh-harvest-farmers-market. Downtown Wellen, 19745 Wellen Park Blvd., Venice.

[SOON]  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]  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]  FOOD: Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch , September 3 – September 30, 10am-2pm

Experience some of the best food and flavors of the region with more than 100, and still growing, curated vendors. The Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch has fast become a favorite weekly tradition for people from all over the region seeking farm-fresh produce, delicious prepared foods, and specialty items and gifts. Aside from all the goodies you can shop at the Farmers Market, find your flow in a free yoga class or have the kiddos get creative during weekly-hosted workshops. 1561 Lakefront Dr., Lakewood Ranch.

[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]  FILM: Duck Soup at the Sarasota Opera , October 4, 7:30pm

From May 10th- October 18th, Sarasota Opera House will be showing classic movies as timeless as the theater itself. Our Classic Movies at the Opera House series begins on Friday, May 10. HD at the Opera House series begins on June 9. Tickets on sale now! This Marx Brothers classic is a satire about the nature of war, politics, and affairs of the state. Directed by Leo McCarey and starring Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo Marx, and Margaret Dumont. Running time: 1 hour, 8 minutes

Sarasota Opera, 61 N Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Mission Impossible C.S.I. , July 29 – August 2, 8:30
There are many things to explore and discover at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature Summer Camp. Learn, explore, craft, play, snack, and have fun every day! Camp Times are 9am-3:30pm Monday through Friday with 8:30-9am Drop off & Pick up 3:30-4pm. $250 members/$300 non-members per week. Summer Science Camp is for campers in Grades 2-5, Ages 7-11 (starting second grade/Leaving fifth grade). Learn how real, local experts solve crimes and then help us solve The Bishop Mystery. Will your critical thinking skills and the clues left behind be enough?

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. West Bradenton

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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