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SRQ DAILY Feb 1, 2023

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"We have been working through our repairs, and I am proud to say that we were able to resume residencies and programs within a few weeks of Hurricane Ian, but the truth is that some of our quick fixes have been band-aids where stitches or surgery are still needed"

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

[Education]  New College Trustees Fire Okker as President
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

New College of Florida trustees voted Tuesday to fire Dr. Patricia Okker as president without cause. The decision came at the first meeting of the board since controversial appointments by Gov. Ron DeSantis dramatically changed its make-up.

Okker slammed the “hostile takeover” of the school. At the same time, she had negotiated ahead of the meeting a contract that allowed for a sabbatical and for her to retain a full-time teaching position in the English department unless she finds another job elsewhere.

New trustees pointed more at issues plaguing the college for years regarding recruitment and retention of students. While the Florida Legislature has pushed the school to raise its student body to 1,200, those efforts have fallen short.

"This college is languishing. It needs to be revived,” said Dr. Matt Spalding, a trustee recently appointed by DeSantis. “It's got a great potential future. It can be much larger, much more influential, much more of flourishing in the Florida system.”

Defenders of Okker noted first-time-in-college enrollments jumped 30% in her roughly 18 months as president.

Grace Keenan, the student member of the board, defended Okker, and said the school should allow her to usher the college through a period of impending change. She said Okker has identified problems like deteriorating housing.

But ultimately nine of 13 trustees voted in favor of terminating Okker. The board also voted to hire former Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran as an interim President. He cannot start until March, and administrator Bradley Theissen will lead the school day-to-day until then.

Trustees also voted to begin discussions with former Senate President Bill Galvano about coming on as counsel for the school.

A host of members of the public, faculty and student body showed up to the meeting to protest Okker’s firing and the new trustees as a group. 

Sam Sharp, leader of the group New College Students for Academic Freedom, said the board has come with incorrect conceptions about the school and a desire to expel important parts of the curriculum.

“We reject your attacks on LGBT students,” said Sharp, who is transgender. “We statistically perform better academically when we are in informing environments, allow us to thrive as our best selves. This is what New College offers to us."

Chris Kottke, a math professor speaking for the United Faculty of Florida chapter on school, came to Okker’s defense as a college leader.

“We fully support President Okker as the leader we need to realize the vision we share with trustees, a future of the college’s innovative, rigorous program, which is a model of free speech expression and critical inquiry."

Chris Rufo, another trustee, also pushed for the elimination of the college’s Office of Outreach and Inclusiveness. He said that department supports diversity, equity and inclusion efforts that aren’t helpful to higher education and violate New College of Florida’s founding mission.

He also said he spoke with DeSantis at a visit to Bradenton the same day as the meeting, and said the Governor promised $15 million in the state budget for New College so long as it moved in a different direction. 

Photo courtesy New College of Florida.

[Fundraising Event]  The Hermitage Announces a Special Benefit Concert for Ongoing Hurricane Repairs
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

The Hermitage Artist Retreat (Sarasota County, Florida) announced a one-night-only benefit concert to celebrate the 20th anniversary season of the Hermitage and to raise funds for ongoing repairs following the impact of Hurricane Ian earlier this season. On Monday, March 20th at 7:30pm, Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg returns to his roots as a performer to sing this benefit concert at Sarasota’s iconic Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Sandberg – a director, writer, performer, and Tony Award-winning producer – will be joined on stage by Broadway guest stars (to be announced at a later date) and accompanied by Hermitage Fellow and 2023 Grammy Award nominee Rona Siddiqui.

While so many in our region suffered tremendous loss as a result of Hurricane Ian, Sandberg and his team feel incredibly fortunate that the Hermitage was spared a worse outcome. However, their historic buildings (as well as their administrative building down the road) did incur significant wind and water damages. “We have been working through our repairs, and I’m proud to say that we were able to resume residencies and programs within a few weeks of Hurricane Ian, but the truth is that some of our quick fixes have been ‘band-aids’ where stitches or surgery are still needed,” said Sandberg. “Many of the buildings still have tarps on the roofs, and historic waterfront buildings are not as simple to ‘patch up.’ It’s an ongoing process, and we are also looking for ways to better protect the Hermitage’s historic campus and ecological grounds from future weather emergencies. Many of our constituents assumed expenses like these would fall to the county or to insurance, but there are hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct costs to the organization.”

As Artistic Director of the Hermitage, Sandberg spends the majority of his time championing leading artists and performers who are developing new work. “It’s been many years since I’ve performed a concert of this scale, and I cannot think of a better cause than supporting this organization I love so dearly,” said Sandberg. “I am incredibly proud of the work our team has been doing to keep the Hermitage driving forward in the months following Hurricane Ian, and I am certainly not above singing for our supper, quite literally!”

Sandberg hopes this concert will be a fun way to introduce many new friends to the Hermitage. Thanks to their generous underwriters, they’ve been able to keep ticket prices for this event more affordable, even though it is a fundraiser. Tickets start as low as $25, and every dollar raised from this event will be a dollar of direct support. (Additional price points are available at $50 and $75, with a premium ticket available at $250).

“We do not want this concert to ‘compete’ with our large spring gala, the Hermitage Greenfield Prize Dinner, which will be held this year on Sunday, April 16th at The Ringling Museum. Those ticket packages range from $1,250 to $10,000. Both will be fantastic evenings, but we recognize not all of our constituents and arts lovers in our community can afford a $1,000 price point. Our hope with this concert on March 20th is to encourage as many who are able to attend – and hopefully it will inspire attendees to learn more about the Hermitage and start attending our free programs throughout Sarasota County, featuring some of the world’s leading artists and performances," said Sandberg.  "This concert is more of an ‘un-gala’ – it’s an evening of Broadway music to benefit a good cause!”

Tickets are available at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall box office, 777 N., Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; by calling (941) 263-6799; or online at HermitageArtistRetreat.org and VanWezel.org. For more information about the Hermitage, this benefit concert, and other upcoming Hermitage programs, visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org. 

Pictured: Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. Courtesy of The Hermitage Artist Retreat.

[Recognition]  Therapy Programs at Child Protection Center Continue To Exceed Expectations

The Child Protection Center (CPC)’s Sexual Abuse Treatment Program (SATP) has received a 90/100 “Exceeds Quality Standards” on their recent Department of Health Clinical
Monitoring. The program is one of the highest scoring Programs in the State of Florida. “What our therapy program continues to do for children is exemplary.” said Doug Staley, CPC’s Executive Director. “A score of 90 on the Quality Assurance Monitoring from the Department of Health (DOH) is a clear indicator that our therapists care deeply about the quality-of-care children and families receive. The dedication this team has to the overall success of this program is highly admirable and proves that they are highly skilled in providing Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.” Clinical Director Amanda Jans says, “While the score is exciting, what it means is most important – our team is excellent at what they do, making a difference in the lives of the children and families we serve.” Client provided feedback saying, “I feel like I am able to speak about things that have bothered me, and I feel heard.” Additional comments include, “I’m not sure we would have been okay without all the skills [therapist] has taught us. I am so happy with the services we have received.” The Child Protection Center’s mission is the Prevention, Intervention, & Treatment of Child Abuse. CPC has been serving Sarasota & DeSoto Counties since 1980. For more information on CPC, please visit CPCSarasota.org or call 941-365-1277. 

[Giving]  Kimberly Mills Named Certified Charitable Real Estate Specialist

Kimberly Mills, an agent in the RE/MAX Alliance Group Bradenton office, has received the Certified Charitable Real Estate Specialist (CCRES) designation. She is qualified to navigate transactions involving the charitable giving of real estate. Mills is a strong supporter and the new treasurer of Heart Strings for Heroes, a foundation whose vision is to create a music retreat for wounded combat veterans who suffer from physical or mental issues. She will be orchestrating the process of real estate donations for the foundation. A longtime RE/MAX Alliance Group agent, she is a consistent recipient of the Five Star Real Estate Agent Award and has earned the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS); Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI); Transnational Referral Certification (TRC); Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE); Military Relocation Specialist (MRS); and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designations, among others. She has been honored with a "Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Commitment" from the Women's Council of Realtors (WCR), and was twice president the WCR Manatee Chapter. Mills serves Manatee, Sarasota and the Tampa Bay area. She can be reached at (941) 321-9601 and via email at Kim@kimberlymills.com.  

[Financial Access Federal Credit Union]  Access to Low Cost Capital is Important for Any Business Enterprise. This is Especially True for Small Businesses.

After serving as Chairman of the Small Business Council for the Manatee Chamber of Commerce and mentoring small business owners, Sherod Halliburton CEO of Financial Access Federal Credit Union has seen the demand up close. “I have been approached by business owners frustrated with their inability to access business capital. Many of these businesses have been operating for less than three years, funded their businesses on personal credit, have operational challenges, and/or need to borrow less than $100,000,” states Halliburton. Financial Access, in partnership with most of the area’s technical assistance providers, is committed to filling the lending gap and serving as a bridge to traditional business lenders.  

While Financial Access Federal Credit Union was founded as Tropicana Employees Federal Credit Union in 1958, it has grown and changed significantly while still celebrating its heritage. It now serves a larger field of membership and has expanded its geographic area. With $2 million in recent grants from the U.S. Treasury Department and a $1 million investment from Charter Communications, Financial Access can provide a more dynamic experience with upgraded technology, over 30,000 Fee-Free ATMs throughout the United States, and establishing a business lending program now available throughout the State of Florida. With improved technology, members and business owners can now easily conduct most of their business easily from the comfort of their homes and offices. Consumer loans are now offered for business purposes and business loans are available for up to $1 million. 

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community and Financial Access will help them build credit and financial capacity with its unique strategies while serving as a bridge to larger traditional business loans.


Click Here To Learn More

[Recognition]  Manatee Community Foundation Announces 2023 Spirit of Manatee Honorees

Manatee Community Foundation recently announced the 2023 Spirit of Manatee winners. Honorees will be celebrated at the highly anticipated annual luncheon event spotlighting philanthropy in Manatee County. Bob and Carol Carter, known for their philanthropic leadership nationwide and locally, will receive the Mary E. Parker Lifetime Spirit Award. Nominated by Meals on Wheels PLUS and The Center on Anna Maria Island, the Carters have played decades-long roles in charitable giving—making personal contributions, leading and informing campaigns, volunteering, and inspiring others to contribute to the community. Additional honorees include Conrad and Ruth Ann Szymanski, donors and community volunteers who were instrumental in forming Manatee County’s first Community Partnership School; the Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club, an organization that has raised more than $500,000 for local nonprofits; Tom Waters, CEO of Easterseals of Southwest Florida, selected for his mentorship and guidance of other nonprofit leaders; and Brooklynn Deckman, a student at Rowlett Academies for Arts and Communication who led hurricane relief efforts and brought attention to issues such as bullying and suicide. The Spirit of Manatee Awards Luncheon takes place on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at 11:30 a.m. the Bradenton Area Convention Center. The Milestone Financial Group of Morgan Stanley is the premier sponsor. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit ManateeCF.org.


[Grants]  Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation Board Approves Nearly $8 Million in Grant Funding

Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation recently approved grants for mental health, early childhood education, emergency assistance, projects that promote environmental sustainability, and more. Much of the funding addresses critical needs for nonprofit partners to elevate staff wages, expand programs, and stabilize organizational infrastructure. The following is a condensed summary of each project: Expanding Behavioral Health Services for Youth: A $1 million grant to Sarasota Memorial Healthcare (SMH) Foundation for mental health program support. Investing in Sarasota’s Bayfront:A $1 million grant to The Bay Park Conservancy to operate and maintain The Bay to the highest park conservancy quality and service standards. Redefining Early Learning: Investing in the YMCA: A $668,332 grant to YMCA of Southwest Florida for Redefining Early Learning: Investing in the YMCA's Quality and Capacity. Supporting Dreamers within the Hispanic/Latino Community: A $550,000 grant to UnidosNow for general operational support and to create the Luz Corcuera Educational Endowment. Enabling Young People to Reach their Full Potential: A $300,000 grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties for capacity building and to expand teen programs. A Collaborative Approach to Healthcare: A $250,000 grant to We Care Manatee to create a community collective that provides direct healthcare to uninsured residents of Manatee County. Building Confidence through Adventure: A $186,800 grant to Adventures for All for the Adventure Biking Program. Fostering Champions for Clean Water on the Suncoast: A $175,000 grant to Suncoast Waterkeeper to create new community engagement programs. Policy Research to Promote Shared Prosperity in Florida: A $175,000 grant to the Florida Policy Institute for general operations in the study and support of reducing barriers to economic opportunity and reducing health inequities. Direction During Crisis: A $150,000 grant to Second Chance Last Opportunity for capacity building and emergency assistance. Emergency Stabilization for Food Insecure: A $50,000 grant to Kim's Krew to expand services in Manatee County. Produce Rescue and Feeding Those in Need: A $50,000 grant to Transition Sarasota for operating support. An Outdoor Theatre Experience: A $20,000 grant to the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training to support an outdoor production at The Ringling of William Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost." Renewing Passion for Educators: A $310,000 grant for the third year of the Time to Inspire Margie’s Educators (TIME) Initiative for teacher revitalization. CMBF’s Early Learning Initiative, 2023: Barancik Foundation is investing $1,350,000 this year to continue its Early Learning Initiative. An additional $1,506,250 in grants was awarded for annual operating costs and programs of organizations that Chuck and Margie held close to their heart. 

To learn more click here.

[Financial Contribution]  Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation Announces Leadership Contribution

Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation (also known as the Van Wezel Foundation) announced a $10M contribution from the Paul Seed Fund at KBF CANADA to the Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation to support the architect and design team in building a world class contemporary performing arts center. Paul Seed founded StarTech.com, a company specializing in connectivity accessories for IT professionals, in 1985 in London, Ontario and is responsible for the strategic direction of the company as well as leading the executive leadership team. An amateur guitarist and lover of live music, Seed purchased a seasonal home in Longboat Key in February of 2021. He soon became friendly with local musicians who have played at some of Seed’s own backyard parties. He also sought out opportunities to engage with the city’s performing arts community, regularly attending music performances at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Now, he wants to give back to the arts community and the future of performing arts in Sarasota. Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation is committed to leading a multimillion-dollar capital fundraising campaign for a new performing arts center at the heart of the Bay Park, envisioned in the Master Plan approved by the City Commission in 2018. The architect selection process to design the new performing arts center is currently underway, using an open public procurement process with community engagement and collaboration. Forty-three world-renowned architect firms submitted their qualifications to design the new center and 18 have been invited to submit proposals. 

Pictured: Paul Seed with Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation Board Chair Jim Travers.

[Grant]  Child Protection Center Awarded $10,000

The Child Protection Center, Inc. (CPC) has been awarded $10,000 through the Kathryn H. Beach Charitable Fund at Gulf Coast Community Foundation. These funds will go directly to restoring the elevator at CPC, updating code compliance, and ensuring children continue to receive safe services. For over 42 years, the Child Protection Center has been upholding the mission of the prevention, intervention, and treatment of child abuse in Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. The Child Protection Team (CPT) is a legislatively mandated program that works alongside the Department of Children and Families, (DCF), investigating allegations and cases of child abuse and neglect. Housed on CPC’s second floor,
CPT performs forensic interviews and medical exams to evaluate physical and sexual abuse, which can be used in a court of law. CPC has been serving Sarasota and DeSoto Counties in the State of Florida since 1980, and is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance. For more information on CPC, visit www.cpcsarasota.org or call 941-365-1277. 

Pictured: Pillar of Hope at the Child Protection Center. Courtesy of CPC.

[Board Member]  Art Center Sarasota Welcomes Javi Suarez as Board Member

Philip C. Baker, whose position as chairman of Art Center Sarasota’s board of directors commenced with the start of the fiscal year, recently announced that the organization has welcomed the celebrated architect and artist Javi Suárez to its board of directors. Javi Suárez was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, and moved to Sarasota when he was 10. The son of an architect, Suárez felt honored to follow in his father’s footsteps, although art was his first love. At the University of Florida, Suárez’s architectural studies prepared him well for a future as an artist. He says his studies there taught him to question everything—and to rely on his own ideas and innate passion. Suárez went on to receive a master’s degree in architecture from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1997. While researching a thesis topic there, his interest in improvisation inspired him to look beyond the historical precedents within architecture. Under the teachings of the acclaimed jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell, Suárez focused his thesis work on jazz as a model for architecture. The ideas behind this thesis have influenced the process and concepts of his art, as well. Suárez’s work has been shown at private studios and galleries and is displayed in several private and public collections. His regional architectural projects include the Sarasota branch of Bay First Bank; the Bradenton headquarters of the REALTOR Association of Sarasota and Manatee; Sarasota Midtown Plaza’s facade renovations; the Church of the Redeemer expansion; Sabal Palm Plaza; and a Bird Key residence. Suárez has served on several regional boards, including The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation, the AIA Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, the advisory board of the City of Sarasota Community Redevelopment Agency, and the Salvador Dali Museum. He was part of the 2009 Leadership Florida team and served as a board member for Art Center Sarasota from 2005-2006. 

[Event]  SB2 Luncheon

Join us on March 7, 2023 at Michael's On East for a dynamic luncheon symposium centered on conversations focused on regional philanthropic topics. The luncheon will include a panel discussion to explore the ever-changing world of non-profits and honor outstanding individuals who have made a meaningful impact within the community.  

Reserve Your Tickets Here

[SOON]  FOOD: Lapostolle Wine Dinner at Michael's Wine Cellar , February 22, 6 p.m.

Located in one of its country’s most famous valleys, the Colchagua Valley, Lapostolle Winery is an icon for wine production in Chile. Lapostolle strives to create world-class wines using French winemaking philosophy and the superb terroirs of Chile. Today, the vineyards span 188 hectares planted to Cabernet, Carmenere, Merlot, and Petit Verdot along with Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Cinsault. Michael’s Wine Cellar is proud to feature one of Chile's greatest winemakers in this one-night-only, multi-course dinner event. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit michaelswinecellar.com. 

[SOON]  FOOD: Truchard Vineyards Wine Dinner at Michael's Wine Cellar , February 23, 6 p.m.

The Truchard family wine tradition began in the U.S. in the late 1800s. Today, the Truchard estate covers 400 acres and houses an amazing 11,000-square-foot wine cave. Among the wines produced by Truchard Vineyards are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec, all of which are estate grown. This exquisite multi-course wine dinner will feature a special selection of Truchard’s finest wines. And best of all, Anthony Truchard will be our guest host for this event! To learn more and purchase tickets, visit michaelswinecellar.com. 

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: FST - A Place in the Sun - A Tribute to Stevie Wonder , November 16 – April 16, Varied

A Place in the Sun – A Tribute to Stevie Wonder, will begin playing in FST’s Goldstein Cabaret on November 16, 2022. The new music revue celebrates the legendary musician whose catalogue spans six decades and multiple musical genres, taking audiences through the beloved songbook of musical pioneer, Stevie Wonder. Created by Jason Cannon, Richard Hopkins, and Sarah Durham, this all-new Cabaret features such timeless hits as “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” “Isn’t She Lovely?,” and “Superstition.” Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Walking Tours at The Ringling's Arboretum Available Now Through May 2023 , November 26 – May 29, 12:00 PM

This walking tour led by volunteer guides will introduce you to interesting botanical specimens on the estate while providing a historic overview of the development of the estate. The Ringling Arboretum has been accredited at Level II through ArbNet and there are over 2350 trees within the arboretum representing native, exotic, historical, and culturally significant trees. Garden Tours are available Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays and take place entirely outdoors. It is 90 minutes in length and covers approximately 1 mile. We encourage visitors to bring bottled water, and wear appropriate footwear, preferably closed-toe, sunblock, and hats. There will be a maximum of 10 participants per tour. Tours are subject to weather conditions. Please check it at the Visitors Pavilion prior to your tour. Tickets will be available 30 days prior to each tour.

[SOON]  THEATER: Urbanite Theatre: Birds of North America , January 6 – February 12, Varied

"Birds of North America" runs January 6th-February 12th, 2023 at Urbanite Theatre. As birders, John and his daughter Caitlyn adore spending tender autumn days attempting to catch glimpses of elusive birds. But as seasons, the climate, and global politics change, the two find their connection as rare as a red-headed Woodpecker.  In a lyrical and endearing family portrait, Birds of North America unfolds in delicate, detailed layers like the scattered leaves of each passing year. For tickets and information contact Ph. (941) 321-1397, Email info@urbanitetheatre.com, Website www.urbanitetheatre.com

Urbanite Theatre , 1487 2nd Street Sarasota FL, 34236

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Ken Ludwigs The Three Musketeers , January 11 – March 26, Varied

Adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas. Directed by Peter Amster. Harrowing adventure, bravery, and friendship take center stage in Ken Ludwig's THE THREE MUSKETEERS, a thrilling adaptation of the popular novel by Alexandre Dumas. One of the world’s most enduring comedies, this classic tells the tale of a daring young man who finds himself in the company of the world’s greatest swordsmen, as well as some of the world’s most dangerous men and women. Directed by Peter Amster, who most recently directed Asolo Rep’s smash hit Murder on the Orient Express in 2020, this play promises to be a fast-paced, witty, swashbuckling good time. All for one, and one for all! 

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks at the Bishop , January 11 – March 18, During museum hours

Get inspired to create your own ‘towers of tomorrow’ with over 200,000 loose LEGO® bricks available in hands-on construction areas. Young and old will be limited only by their imagination as they add their creations to a steadily rising futuristic LEGO® metropolis inside the exhibition. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit bishopscience.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Golf Tournament Raises Funds for Domestic and Sexual Violence Survivors , January 16 – February 7, 11:00 AM

Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) is hosting its annual golf tournament, Scramble for SPARCC, at the Laurel Oak Country Club on Monday, January 16, 2023. With the support of sponsors, community donations and golfers, this tournament raises funds to help provide life-saving, free and confidential programs and services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Entry fee is $185.00 per person and includes green fees, individual carts, happy hour light bites, beverages (cash bar available) and player awards. Registration opens at 11:00 AM with a shotgun start at 12:30 PM to kick off the 18-hole scramble. In addition to the golf tournament, there is also a closet to the pin contest, closest to the line contest, golf ball launcher, 50/50 chance drawing, and awards celebration. Co-Chairs for this event are Sandy Fulkerson and Bonnie VanOverbeke.

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Silent Sky , January 19 – March 5, Varied

At the turn of the 20th century, years before women had the right to vote, one woman’s breakthrough changed our perception of the stars. Full of wonder, humor, and heart, SILENT SKY is the remarkable true story of Henrietta Leavitt, one of the pioneering women astronomers working at Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s. You will be enthralled by the story of this extraordinary woman who took on the astronomy establishment in order to discover the mysteries embedded in the sky. Henrietta transcended the odds while navigating love, family, and the universe, going on to make a world-altering advancement to the field of astronomy that forever changed our view of the cosmos.  Written by one of today’s leading playwrights, Lauren Gunderson, this mesmerizing drama is directed by Seema Sueko, who recently brought this work to life at Washington D.C.’s Ford’s Theatre. 

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  MUSEUM: She Engineers at the Bishop , January 24 – July 30, During museum hours

SHE ENGINEERS is a bilingual (English and Spanish) poster exhibition highlighting eight women in various engineering fields. In their own words, the women share their passion and what inspired them to become engineers. If we support a woman in STEM, then she can change the world.

[SOON]  THEATER: Network at Florida Studio Theatre , January 25 – March 19, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is proud to present Network, a fast-paced drama following the downward spiral of Howard Beale, a longtime news anchor who has worked at a television network, UBS, for 25 years. When Beale learns that he is being fired for poor ratings and low viewership, he unravels live on air during his final broadcast. As a result, his show’s ratings soar, and Howard becomes the biggest thing on television. Seeing Howard as a new populist prophet, UBS decides to leverage Howard’s newfound popularity to boost its bottom line. Network begins playing January 25, 2023, in FST’s Gompertz Theatre. Single tickets to Network range from $25-39. Subscriptions and single tickets are on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Elements by Cheryl Moody to be Featured at Art Uptown Gallery in February , January 27 – February 23

From January 27, 2023 to February 23, Art Uptown Gallery will exhibit Elements by Cheryl Moody. Cheryl loves being outdoors and painting subjects in oils that spark her interest, whether it's the way light filters through leaves, reflects on water, creates patterns of color in the landscape, or how palm fronds twist in the wind. Cheryl enjoys hearing from people saying they could “ feel the wind blowing” or “smell the salt air,” and knowing that they have been transported to her special places. Meet the artist at the gallery on Saturday, January 28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at the monthly First Friday, 6 p.m. public reception on February 3. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes patrons and friends at 1367 Main Street daily where the diverse art works of regional, award-winning artists are exhibited. Telephone 941-955-5409 or visit www.artuptown.com for hours and further information.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Players Centre: Always... Patsy Cline , February 2 – February 12, Varied

Always… Patsy Cline created and originally directed by Ted Swindley
Always…Patsy Cline is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. The show is based on a true story about Cline’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961, and continued a correspondence with Cline until her death. The musical play, complete with down home country humor, true emotion and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as Crazy, I Fall to Pieces, Sweet Dreams and Walking After Midnight – 27 songs in all. Feb 2-12, 2023. For tickets visit theplayers.org, Ph. 941-365-2494, email BoxOffice@ThePlayers.org

The Players Centre For Performing Arts, Performance Venue & Box Office The Crossings at Siesta Key 3501 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 1130 Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Concert Association announces Free Music Matinees , January 4 – April 19, 12:00 PM

The Sarasota Concert Association announces its 2023 Music Matinees concert series. These four free noon-time concerts showcase exceptional regional musicians performing a variety of musical styles, including classical and folk music. Scheduled this season: Passerine; Wednesday, January 4 at noon. With inventive vocal harmonies and song-writing skills, supported by the sounds of acoustic strings, Passerine offers a fresh take on traditional folk and bluegrass music, as well as a repertoire of original songs that range from ballads to contemporary Americana. Duo Pianists Michael Baron and Priscila Navarro; Wednesday, February 22 at noon; The Baron-Navarro Piano Duo performs a wide range of music, from classical to popular, for two pianos and piano four–hands with electric energy and melting lyricism. Their New York City debut as a piano duo at Carnegie Hall in March of 2022 was sold out and met with critical acclaim. Soprano Hein Jung and pianist Gregorios Zamparas; Friday, March 17 at noon Soprano Hein Jung has performed in recitals and with opera companies in major cities throughout the U.S, Italy and South Korea. She will be accompanied by pianist Gregorios Zamparas who has been praised for his versatility as a recitalist, orchestra soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. and Europe. Cellist Natalie Helm and Pianist Jesse Martins; Wednesday, April 19 at noon Principal Cellist of the Sarasota Orchestra, Natalie Helm is a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and educator. For this performance she will collaborate with pianist Jesse Martins, who also serves as conductor and vocal coach with the Sarasota Opera. The concerts are free but pre-registration is required and available 30 days before each concert at SCAsarasota.org. Performances take place at David Cohen Hall in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail. Visit www.SCAsarasota.org or call the box office at 941-966-6161.

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Chicken & Biscuits , February 15 – April 13, Varied

The hilarious new play CHICKEN & BISCUITS introduces us to the Jenkins family, as they gather to celebrate the life of their beloved and recently deceased father and grandfather, the Revered Bernard Jenkins. When an unexpected guest reveals a secret, they all discover that nothing brings a family together like a big side of drama. This side-splitting new Broadway comedy explores the tenderness of family, the joy of reconciliation, and the nourishing power of love. Written by Broadway newcomer Douglas Lyons and directed by the talented Bianca LaVerne Jones, who was associate director of the 2021 Broadway production, CHICKEN & BISCUITS proves that while family may drive us crazy, we’re lucky to have each other. 

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  FOOD: The Big Game at Geckos , February 12

Join Geckos Grill and Pubs, your #BestSportsBar for the Big Game and the most super seat outside of Glendale! Seating is limited so reserve today with a $25 per person deposit. Reserved guests will receive a $25 GC to use on Big Game day (must be present 15 minutes before kick-off). Giveaways | Gecko’s special football menu & new cocktail menu | Small batch spirits + our usual huge variety of craft beer & award-winning Happy Hours! Ask your friendly server or barkeep for more details and reserve today! www.GeckosGrill.com

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Art Center Sarasota: Same Source , February 2 – March 11

The Same Source exhibit by Luca Molnar uses various media to explore the connection between historical figures and personal mythologies. The exhibit highlights the connection between private life, domestic spaces and memory. On Thursday, Feb. 16, Molnar will participate in an artist talk via Zoom from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The exhibit runs from Feb. 2 to March 11. To learn more, visit artsarasota.org or call 941-365-2032. Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

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