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SRQ DAILY Jun 5, 2024

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"The Red Cross is really helping us to carry out our daily mission every single day and we are so thankful to them."

- Bill Haley, Chief Logistics Officer, All Faiths Food Bank.

[Disaster Relief]  All Faiths Food Bank Receives Support From American Red Cross For Disaster Response Operations
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

As hurricane season approaches, taking action before, during and after the storm is essential. As the only food bank and largest hunger relief organization in Sarasota County, All Faiths Food Bank (AFFB) remains ready and able to help by providing food and water to neighbors in need.

Ryan Beaman, senior director of operations for AFFB, has been with the organization for over 10 years and along with the other staff members, has expertise in logistics, management and emergency food distribution. “We are a major part of the long-term recovery after a disaster,” he explains. “Many people seem to focus on the days, weeks, and months after a storm passes, but AFFB, along with our many local partner agencies, are here to help residents get back on their feet for years after a major impact. Many relief organizations help during the immediate post-impact recovery phase, or until their supplies run out, but we continue to support our community’s recovery efforts long-term.”

In partnership with Feeding Florida, AFFB supplies meals, ready-to-eat (MREs) and bottled water to those in need. “We have MREs and water in our inventory on reserve throughout the year so it doesn't matter where the storm is coming from and what part of the state is hit, we can easily get supplies to that food bank in a hurry,” says Beaman. “First, we drop off enough to get folks through the storm. Our fleet comes in as soon as the winds die down below 45 miles-per-hour and we get the all clear that the roads are safe. Then we start sending replenishments to each emergency shelter and we deliver water and MREs to first responders if they need it. Post storm, we check in immediately with every one of our agencies and partners in the area and find out what their conditions are, if they are able to open up, do they have power, volunteers and enough manpower, and depending on where the hardest hit areas are, we designate distribution points for disaster supplies.”

Recently, AFFB has received significant support from the American Red Cross (ARC) designated toward the purchase of equipment that will improve AFFB's ability to respond during a disaster, increase critical capacity, and pursue its mission of providing healthy solutions to end hunger. These funds were allocated through the ARC Community Adaptation Program.

AFFB’s Chief Logistics Officer, Bill Haley explains that the work AFFB does every day and the capabilities and resources that they have available to carry out daily activities and assist neighbors, is what positions them to be able to be so helpful in times of disaster. “The things we do 360 days out of the year are the things that actually enable us to be so helpful those five to ten days out of the year when we're really supporting disaster and recovery,” he says. “The Red Cross is really helping us to carry out our daily mission every single day and we're so thankful to them.”

To learn more about All Faiths Food Bank’s disaster relief operations, visit allfaithsfoodbank.org/hurricane-and-disaster-relief or call 941-379-6333. 

Pictured: The team at All Faiths Food Bank provides MREs and bottled water to be distributed throughout our community in response to emergencies.

[Fundraising Event]  Thunder By The Bay Raises $204,000.00 For Suncoast Charities for Children

Despite being rained out for a day and a half, the 26th Annual Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival held this past February at the Sarasota Fairgrounds generated a net revenue of $204,000 for Suncoast Charities for Children. Suncoast Charities for Children Executive Director, Lucy Nicandri, stated: “We are extremely grateful for the generous support received from Festival sponsors, individual donors, vendors, dedicated volunteers, and everyone who attended the festival.  Their combined support enabled us to continue with funding allocations to help local children, teens, and adults with special needs and their families.” Funding allocations from Suncoast Charities for Children to local non-profit agencies included: Children First – Support for their “Full Tummies – Flourishing Minds” program focused on preventing childhood hunger, a crisis fund established for families in need, and construction of a new playground for preschool children at their Venice campus; Loveland Center –A new outdoor therapeutic activity area for participants with intellectual and developmental disabilities and a new after-school recreational program in Bradenton; Special Olympics – New sports equipment and funding for the first-ever Sarasota Summer Camp Shriver for special athletes; The Florida Center for Early Childhood and The Haven both received new therapy supplies, therapy equipment, and therapy scholarships for children so that they can continue to receive the therapy services they need. A grant was also made to the Suncoast Foundation to install new classroom flooring at Children First, new air conditioning units at The Florida Center for Early Childhood, and new flooring, office upgrades, and air conditioning upgrades at The Haven’s Venice Campus location.  These improvements at The Haven will ensure that over 65 clients with physical and/or cognitive challenges can now focus on life and vocational skills. Special recognition awards were also presented.  The 27th Annual Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival is scheduled for February 14-16, 2025 at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. Two national acts that were rained out this year, Grand Funk Railroad and Creed Fisher, have reconfirmed for the 2025 Festival.   For updates and additional information visit: www.thunderbythebay.org      

[Conservation]  Nora Patterson’s Legacy Lives on Through Conservation Foundation's Land Fund

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast will receive a transformative gift in honor of the late Nora Patterson. Patterson, who passed away on February 8 at the age of 79, was an enthusiastic supporter of land conservation and a dedicated public servant. A Sarasota resident for over fifty years, in 2015 she was recognized for her lifetime efforts when the Sarasota County Commission and City Commission took joint action to name the park located at the north bridge to Siesta Key the Nora Patterson Bay Island Park. Nora was a passionate advocate for public lands and community action. She served on Conservation Foundation’s Board of Trustees from November 2016 through January 2021, helping the organization protect 8,600 acres across the region during her tenure. To honor Nora’s legacy, husband John Patterson is including Conservation Foundation in his estate plan to receive a percentage of the Patterson estate. Funds will be designated to Conservation Foundation’s Land Fund in memory of Nora’s impact and lasting mark on our community. Initially established in 2017, the newly renamed Nora Patterson Land Fund quickens the pace of conservation when other public and private funding resources are unavailable. Conservation Foundation’s Board of Trustees oversees the usage of funds, prioritizing initiatives related to water quality and quantity, native species protection, connectivity, and unique public access. “Nora was on our Board when we created the Land Fund and she played an integral role in bringing it to life,” comments Christine P. Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation. “We are deeply grateful to John Patterson for choosing to honor Nora with this transformative gift. Her kindness, generosity, and unwavering support helped conserve thousands of acres during her lifetime. Now, through the Nora Patterson Land Fund, her legacy will live on, forever protecting clean and abundant water, public access to open space, and habitat for wildlife across Southwest Florida.” Nora Patterson served on the Sarasota City Commission for eight years, including a term as mayor. She served on the Sarasota County Commissions from 1998 until November 2014, with three terms as chair. During her service on the Sarasota County Commission, she represented the county on the Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority, the West Coast Inland Navigational District, and the Peace River Authority. She was also active in the Florida Association of Counties and chaired the Sarasota Tourist Development Council. In addition to her service on Conservation Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Nora held leadership positions on the boards of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Florida, Sarasota United Way, Plymouth Harbor, the Glasser Schoenbaum Center, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, and Sarasota County Teen Court. To make a gift to the Nora Patterson Land Fund, visit conservationfoundation.com/donate or call 941-918-2100 and ask for anyone on the Philanthropy Team. 

[Seniors]  Disaster Preparedness Resources for the Vulnerable Senior Population

Senior Friendship Centers (SFC) offers disaster preparedness resources this June in Southwest Florida, including Sarasota, Desoto, Lee, and Charlotte counties, to prepare seniors for upcoming disasters. Seniors make up nearly 75% of mortality rates in Florida’s natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, and wildfires. Two-thirds of the deaths from Hurricane Ian in Southwest Florida were seniors, echoing a tragic pattern seen over the years, where older adults comprised two-thirds of those who perished in Hurricane Katrina and more than half of those who died in Hurricane Sandy. "Seniors are disproportionately affected during natural disasters due to mobility challenges, chronic health conditions, transportation limitations, and social isolation," says Erin McLeod, CEO of Senior Friendship Centers. "Many older adults live on fixed incomes, making relocation and stocking up on essentials difficult, while limited internet access further impedes their ability to stay informed. It's crucial for our community to unite and provide support to older adults, ensuring that they receive the resources and assistance needed to stay safe." For those homebound seniors or isolated seniors, SFC’s Friendship at Home (FAH) program provides invaluable support to homebound senior clients during times of crises, such as hurricanes. This program ensures that vulnerable seniors receive regular check-ins, reassurance calls, and emergency food and supply bags. Contact (941) 955 2122 for more information. In addition to the ongoing efforts, SFC has partnered with organizations such as the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida (AASWFL) and Florida Power and Light (FPL) to distribute meal kits and hurricane supply kits, addressing the overwhelming task experienced by seniors during disaster preparedness. Sign up for Senior Friendship Centers' email list at friendshipcenters.org to stay updated on these distributions. Senior Friendship Centers has also organized a series of upcoming events to empower the community with knowledge, resources, and practical guidance for disasters. For more information about our events, Friendship at Home program, or other services, call (941) 955-2122 or  visit our website at www.friendshipcenters.org. 

To learn more, visit.

[Scholarship]  The Education Foundation of Sarasota County Announces 33 Scholarship Recipients Across Sarasota County Schools

Thirty-three students at high schools across Sarasota County were recently awarded scholarships through the Education Foundation of Sarasota County. Fifteen students received a Jumpstart Your Future 1-year Florida Prepaid Scholarship for 30 credit hours, valued at $3,400. g and biology from the University of Miami.
“The dual purpose of these scholarships can’t be overstated,” said Jennifer Vigne, president and CEO of the Education Foundation. “For many of the recipients, the financial support is essential to their ability to pursue education after high school, and to all the recipients, the resounding vote of confidence will propel them more confidently into their future endeavors.” The Education Foundation is grateful for the support of individual donors and the philanthropic organizations that make these scholarships possible. 

To learn more, visit.

[Grant]  Mothers Helping Mothers Receives Grant from the Michael Sudakoff Foundation

The Harry Sudakoff Foundation has awarded Mothers Helping Mothers (MHM) $20,000 in grant funding for an ADA compliant elevator to reach classrooms. The second floor is where educational classes are held. The use of stairs is currently challenging to “clients” with physical disabilities as well as pregnant mothers with other young children. The families MHM serves are generally in their situations of need due to lack of education, understanding and resources. MHM developed their vital classroom programs launched in 2021 to help stabilize the underserved in this community. For over 30 years, Mothers Helping Mothers has been supporting local families in need by fostering resiliency, self-sufficiency, and family stability. Mothers Helping Mothers is a volunteer only staff providing programs and services to over 2,500 families and 5,000 children annually. The 14 different classes provide in the MHM education space offer parents and families a range of opportunities, including access to wage-earning jobs, enhanced parenting skills, prenatal education and guidance, budgeting for financial stability, and support for trauma. MHM classes can accommodate up to 30 students per class serving between 100-600 people per month. 

[Board of Trustees]  Forty Carrots Family Center Elects New Trustees

Forty Carrots Family Center welcomes new Board of Trustee member Hal Johnson, Ph.D., retired licensed staff Psychologist, Business Consultant and Leadership Development.  Hal will serve a three-year term supporting Forty Carrots' mission of nurturing healthy child and family development and preventing child abuse, neglect, and other childhood traumas. Officers include Board Chair Ben Jones, Managing Director at Mariner Wealth Advisors, Treasurer Valerie Dall’Acqua, Global Real Estate Advisor Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, and Secretary Dawn Doughty, nonprofit fundraiser, volunteer, and Wine, Women and Shoes event wine advisor. “It has been my honor to serve as Forty Carrots’ board chair for the past three years and I look forward serving under the expert leadership of new Chair, Ben Jones. We are delighted to welcome Hal Johnson to our board, working together to ensure the best outcomes for children and families in our community. Our new fiscal year will be transformational with our new Parenting Education and Mental Health center open to serve even more families in need. As we continue to raise funds for our Generations of Change expansion campaign, we are more determined than ever to increase access to the services and support families need to thrive. “said Susan Travers outgoing Board Chair. Remaining board of trustee members: Kevin Cooper, Jag Grewal, Jackie Griese, Karimu Hill-Harvey, Chris Jarmul, Eric Kaplan, Bob Lewandowski, Alan Ross, Tammie Sandoval- Badger, Joleen Searles, Susan Sakhai, Kevin Stencik, Susan Travers, CEO Michelle Kapreilian (ex-officio) and trustee emeriti Kim Githler, and Jeff Steinwachs. 

[Grant]  Community Foundation of Sarasota County Awards $110,000 in Capacity Building Grants to 15 Local Nonprofits

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has awarded $110,000 to 15 nonprofits serving Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties to support organizations’ ability to carry out their missions. Most of the funding will support operational and fundraising capacity, which will strengthen organizations’ stability and potential for expanding programs and services. Grants provide funding for expert consultation in fundraising, strategic planning, evaluation, and development; staff and board training; and website and software upgrades. In one case, a grant will supply emergency funding to exterminate termite infestations in historic, culturally significant buildings. Recipients showcase the diversity of missions and operations of organizations serving the region, from supporting vulnerable populations like youth, veterans, and people with disabilities to strengthening our area’s arts opportunities. Capacity Building Grants are one of several competitive grant opportunities the Community Foundation presents annually. For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2023, $300,000 has been awarded to 42 nonprofits serving Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties. As a partner to more than 700 nonprofit organizations serving the region, a primary function of the Community Foundation is to enhance the organizations’ autonomy and self-sustenance. Grant cycles like this one provide practical support for that goal. For nearly 45 years, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has been key to unlocking possibilities for everyone who calls our area home. Through the generosity of donors and the trust of the community, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $435.8 million in grants and scholarships to support education, health and human services, the arts, the environment, animal welfare, and other needs that enhance quality of life. To learn more about available grant opportunities, visit www.cfsarasota.org/nonprofits/grants. 

[Grant ]  The Exchange to Award $404,000 to Local Arts Groups and Students

The Exchange (formerly the Woman’s Exchange) announced that it will award $404,000 to 25 regionally based arts and cultural organizations and 10 high school and college students. Additionally, seven organizations are recipients of the recent Elizabeth Lindsay Arts in Education grant. The awards will be given at an invitation-only event at The Exchange on Thursday, June 13, 5 to 6:30 p.m.  

Pictured: Anne Johnson (Secretary) with Karen Koblenz (CEO) and Chris Gallagher (President) at The Exchange’s arts and cultural awards ceremony in 2023. Photo courtesy of The Exchange.

[Transportation]  Public Invited to Attend Free Community Bike Ride with DreamLarge and Sarasota/Manatee MPO June 6

DreamLarge has partnered with the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to bring BLVD Bike Rides: Transform Tomorrow, a free guided group bike ride that seeks to educate and inspire the community about alternative modes of transportation while creating a safe, fun environment to ride bikes and meet new people. This community-focused event combines a leisurely after-work bike ride through Sarasota's vibrant downtown neighborhoods with an informative session on the future of transportation in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, led by the MPO.Free bike helmets will be provided by Commute Connector on a first-come, first-served basis! For those without bikes, the free rentals of Veo bikes will be available courtesy of Veo (limited availability). Everyone in the greater Sarasota/Manatee area and beyond is invited to grab their bikes and helmets, pump up their tires, and join the ride!

BLVD Bike Ride: Transform Tomorrow, June 6, 2024, 5:30pm - 7:30pm, DreamLarge, 513 Central Avenue, Sarasota. 

To learn more, visit.

[SOON]  GALA: Celebrating Regional Art and Artists at Creative Liberties , June 1 – July 6

Creative Liberties Artist Studios and Gallery continues its season’s offerings with an all-packed June starting with the exhibit, “True Colors: Celebrating Pride,” June 1-July 6. Local artists will exhibit works in a color scheme that represents one of the colors on the LGBTQ+ Progress flag.

Creative Liberties, 901B Apricot Ave, Sarasota, FL 34237

[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]  SEMINAR: Divorce Support Group , May 1 – January 6, Every Wednesday from 5-6:30pm

The Womens Resource Center presents a Divorce Support Group facilitated by Paula Falk, BS. This in-person, free program happens every Wednesday, 5-6:30 p.m., starting May 1, at the Womens Resource Center Sarasota, 340 S Tuttle Ave., Sarasota. Participants can attend one or all of the sessions. To register, visit www.mywrc.org/divorcesupportgroup. For more information, call 941-366-1700.

[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]  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]  BUSINESS: Business Networking and Cowork Session , August 22 – June 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Attention all business professionals. Join us for a productive and inspiring coworking event every Tuesday at Out and About Coffee in downtown Sarasota. 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. O and A Coffee Supply, 1316 Main St., Sarasota.

[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]  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]  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]  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: 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]  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]  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]  GRAB BAG: Laser Light Nights , May 23 – August 31, 7pm and 9pm
Break out your big hair and acid-washed denims and get ready to rock out with some of your favorite artists in The Planetarium. The event takes place every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night from May 23 through August 31. There are various food and drink options available for purchase onsite with cash or card. Please note that Laser Light Nights involve bright, flashing lasers that may not be suitable for people with photo sensitivities. Viewer discretion is advised. Laser Light Nights are at a volume similar to a rock concert, so earplugs are recommended for those who prefer a lower volume. To learn more, visit bishopscience.org.
[SOON]  GALLERY: Art Center Sarasota's Annual Regional Juried Exhibition , May 23 – July 27

Art Center Sarasota unveils its much-anticipated annual regional juried exhibit, "Beyond Comfort," on May 23. Juried by Virginia Shearer, the executive director of Sarasota Art Museum, the exhibition calls upon artists statewide to delve into their interpretations of beauty and the grotesque within contemporary art and society. The exhibit, which spans all four galleries, runs through July 27. The opening reception is Thursday, May 23, 6-8 p.m. A critique with Virginia Shearer will take place on Thursday, May 30, 3:30 p.m. at Art Center Sarasota.

Art Center Sarasota, 707 N Tamiami Trl, Sarasota, FL 34236

[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]  FOOD: Geckos Grill and Pubs New Summer Menu , May 13 – July 31, 11am

NEW!! Gecko’s Grill & Pub’s have launched a special Summer Lunch Menu at all of our six locations.  With specials from our menu sure to delight you, including our award-winning ½ lb. USDA Choice Angus Gecko’s Burger, Sandwiches, our Signature 1992 Salad and more…for $8 you can enjoy our favorite time of the year with some of your fav Gecko’s dishes when you dine in with us for Lunch.  Always fresh, always made-to-order, join us to kickstart your Summer with our Summer Lunch specials from 11-3 Monday-Friday.  Dine In only. 

Gecko's, 1900 Hillview St, Sarasota, F

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Awaken Outreach , May 30 – September 1, 9:00am

Awaken Outreach in North Port/Venice has a drive through food pantry every Friday from 9:00am-12:00opm. Food is supplied by All Faiths Food Bank. Food pantry for walk in clients is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9:00am - 1:00pm and Wednesday from 3:00pm - 7:00pm. The first Saturday of every month from 9:00 am- 1:00pm clients may get a hot meal, haircut, and shower, clothing and household items.

Awaken Outreach , 4940 Pan American Blvd. in North Port

[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]  MUSEUM: Wonder, Human Experience and the Arts , June 6 – June 9, Various times
As a museum complex featuring visual and performing arts alongside circus history and a Gilded Age mansion, all situated on a bayfront campus, The Ringling is truly a site filled with wonder. This interdisciplinary symposium explores wonder as a source of creative inspiration, artistic medium, and physical and social well-being. Join us for the full symposium or catch the not-to-be-missed keynote sessions, open to the public. To learn more, visit ringling.org.
[SOON]  GALLERY: Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O Keeffe at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , February 11 – June 30, n/a

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

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Salvation Army of Sarasota Food Pantry , May 30 – September 1, 12pm

The Salvation Army of Sarasota has a new Food Pantry that is now open Mondays and Thursdays from 12:00om to 2:00pm at 1701 South Tuttle Avenue. Food is being supplies by All Faiths Food Bank. 

Salvation Army of Sarasota , 1701 South Tuttle Avenue

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Pride Trivia with Jason Champion , June 12, 6pm

Jason Champion will be guest hosting this special Pride edition of Not Your Typical Trivia. You know it will be a blast and proceeds will benefit Project Pride. Doors open at 6pm. Trivia starts at 6:30pm. First place team wins a $40 Hamlet's gift certificate, 2nd place recieves $20 and losing team gets free fries (because losing is still fun around here)!

Hamlet's Eatery, 821 Apricot Ave., Sarasota, FL 34237

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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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