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From Nutrition to Brain Health

Living Healthier Lives

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DOCTORS OF DISTINCTION JFCS: Caring for the Whole Senior The Beauty of Divine Proportion

scenesarasota.com

JANUARY 2020 $3.95 U.S.

Celebrating 50 Great Years VAN WEZEL PERFORMING ARTS HALL

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF SARASOTA COUNTY


Start the New Year with Confidence Healthy, beautiful and natural smiles. “I was a bit apprehensive about my visit, I didn’t know what to expect. To my surprise, the visit was very private, informative and fun. Dr. Morris asked me what I didn’t like about my teeth and smile and what I wanted to change. What I really liked about Dr. Morris and her staff is their level of knowledge regarding dentistry and their ability to answer my questions and explain their answers to my complete satisfaction. My journey with Dr. Morris was 18 months in duration. When completed, I was so pleased with her work that I continue to drive 80 miles from Lakeland to Sarasota for my dental needs. I am surprised at the number of people that I see admiring my teeth and I receive many compliments daily. I am extremely satisfied with World Class Dentistry!”

- Robert H. McKean

Implant Dentistry Patient

Before

After

Real Patients. Real Results.

Sarasota’s Accredited Dentists With Over 30 Years of Expertise Fellow of the American Academy of Dental Facial Esthetics Members of the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicare Post Doctoral Instructors of Full Mouth Reconstruction Members of the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine Members of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology Over 60 Years of Combined Dental Expertise

Meet Dr. Jill Morris

Meet Dr. Burr Bakke


Learn About Same-Day All-On-4 Dental Implants | Roberts Testimonial

Complete World Class Experience Newest technology for advanced care in one location.

“I have my confidence and my self-esteem back!” - Nichole Franklin

Smile Makeover Patient

Before

After

Kurt Lucas’s Smile Makeover with Dr. Jill Morris | Sandy Humenick’s Smile Makeover with Dr. Jill Morris

Cosmetic Dentistry

Holistic Dentistry

• Bruxism Treatment

• Orthotropic and Airway Orthodontics for Adults

• Smile Makeovers with Veneers

• Orthotropic and Airway Orthodontics for Children

• Conservative “No-Prep” Veneers

• Safe Mercury Removal

• Nonsurgical Facelifts w/ Neuromuscular Bite Correction

• Laser Periodontal Treatment with Ozone

Implant Surgery & Restoration

Facial Esthetics

• AII-On-4’”

• PDO Thread Lifts

• Bone Grafts/Sinus Lifts

• Erbium and Nd:YAG Laser Treatments

• Digitally Guided Surgery with On-Site CAT Scan

• Botox

• PRP Platelet-Rich Plasma

• Fillers

• Sedation

A sk About Teeth in 24 Hours


Click to View Portfolio of Homes

Inspired by you. Created by us. Building the future and restoring the past.

Concierge Custom Construction Remodeling Project Management 3534 South Osprey Avenue | Sarasota, FL 34239 941.924.1868 | NutterCustomConstruction.com LEED Accredited Professional Florida Licensed Building Contractor CBC 060004

Florida Licensed Real Estate Broker BK3222256 Florida Licensed Home Inspector HI4630


2019 2020 SEASON

THE ART OF

PERFORMANCE AT THE RINGLING

EDUARDO GUERERRO

TEATRO Y SU DOBLE

DAHLAK BRATHWAITE

COMPANHIA URBANA DE DANÇA

YIN MEI

INEZ BARLATIER

SPEKTRAL QUARTET

The Ringling’s 2019-2020 Art of Performance Season delivers broad access to diverse and provocative multidisciplinary performing arts that reflect a wide range of experiences and relevant cultural expressions. The museum embodies the values of inclusion, inspiration, and excellence through its performance programs that elevate community engagement, equitable partnerships, and the exchange of ideas in tandem with visiting artists.

INFORMATION + TICKETS

ringling.org

The Art of Performance is supported in part by Shank Family Curator of Performance Endowment


Action Speaks Louder Than Awards

2019 -2020

But we won’t argue if U.S. News & World Report ranks Sarasota Memorial Hospital as one of only 57 “standout” hospitals among the more than 4,500 assessed in this year’s “Best Hospitals” study, achieving the highest possible treatment ratings in all nine surgical procedures and chronic conditions evaluated — including heart and lung care, cancer treatment, and orthopedic surgery. After all, we’re too busy helping patients get back to better, back to their families and back to their lives.

To learn more, visit smh.com


CONTENTS features

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50 DIVINE PROPORTION Is Dentistry Aesthetics the Golden Beauty Secret? By Sue Cullen

56 LIVING HEALTHIER LIVES Leading-Edge Advice from Local Experts By Sue Cullen

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66 CARING FOR THE WHOLE SENIOR JFCS Clients Make the Most of Their “Encore” By Sylvia Whitman

77 DOCTORS & DENTISTS OF DISTINCTION Special Profile Section

118 AN ACTRESS’ SECRET WEAPON Anat Cogan Stars in FST’s Handle with Care

36

By Jennifer Watson

ON THE COVER Photo collage of a flower in bloom. Composited by Darcy Kelly-Laviolette.

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You dreamed of a place where the land meets the sea, where the living is easy, and everyone you meet knows your name.

Sarasota Bay Club is the place.

Come for a visit to see for yourself. Call Linda Ware or Dana Moe (941) 552-3284 1301 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida Visit us online at SarasotaBayClub.com

Priced from $450,000 to Over $2 Million

Luxury Retirement Living On Sarasota Bay


CONTENTS departments

105

SOCIAL SCENE

ON THE TOWN

20 THE LIST

34 THE FIND

January Events Calendar PARTY PICS

24 26 27 28 30 126

Products for a 2020 New You

96 SPOTLIGHT

JFCS Gala

Van Wezel Executive Director

Florida Center Gala

Mary Bensel

JFED Women’s Day Luncheon

By Gus Mollasis

La Musica Sonata A Due

111 EDUCATION MATTERS

Selby Lights in Bloom Preview Party

Sarasota County Public Libraries

AROUND TOWN

By Ryan G. Van Cleave

CWC-FPRA Luncheon Libby’s LWR Ribbon Cutting

105 SCENE TOGETHER Courtney Rene Freeman & Elliott Andrew Spann By Jacqueline Miller

ARTS & CULTURE 114 BEST SEATS Performing Arts Calendar

120 GET INSPIRED

Cultural happenings brought to you by the Arts & Cultural Alliance

PHILANTHROPY 38 The Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County Changing the Future One Life at a Time By Ryan G. Van Cleave

44 A Stitch in Time Sarasota Opera Sews Up Support from “Newbies”

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Katherine Benoit & John Brooks By Sylvia Whitman

of Sarasota County

124 LITERARY SCENE Three New Thrillers By Ryan G. Van Cleave

129 LAUGHING MATTERS The One Where Mother Nature Strikes Back By Ryan G. Van Cleave

Be Informed Be Entertained Be SCENE scenesarasota.com


Click to View Featured Models

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from the publisher

W

WITH THE START OF 2020, I BEGIN MY SEVENTH MONTH AS THE PUBLISHER AND OWNER OF SARASOTA SCENE. During this time, I have enjoyed many incredible experiences and have met many terrific people and through it all, I have been extraordinarily grateful to have had the support, insight and guidance from former publisher Julie Milton. Sarasota Scene has a strong 63-year history of civic participation supporting many arts and culture and human service organizations, shining a light on people and programs making a difference. My new role has given me the privilege to learn more about our community and meet many of those who actively play a role in leading, volunteering, supporting and doing business here. At Caldwell Trust’s holiday gathering, I met the delightful Kelly and Melissa Caldwell, chatted with many of their clients and suppliers from both the Sarasota and Venice offices, and learned more about this top rate financial institution, which took home the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce top honors for Small Business of the Year and Professional Services Business of the Year in 2017. Seeing the very cool facility at Corsa 7 and watching entrepreneur and car aficionado Chris Cogan interact within Sarasota’s car culture, was indeed a fun experience. It was a launch party for the facility, which deals, stores, and repairs high-end and vintage cars. I especially enjoyed learning about and also attending the Exotic Car Festival and “Flight to the North Pole,” a charity for terminally ill children, which is supported by my new friends at Sarasota’s Ferrari Drivers Group. It was also my first time attending Pines Foundation Wit & Wisdom luncheon and meeting executive director Janet Ginn. She and her team do an outstanding job raising funds to support Pines of Sarasota—a vital senior residence that opened its doors in 1948. I had two behind the scene tours—one at Asolo Rep’s Robert & Beverly Koski Production Center where many sets and thousands of prop pieces are built for shows, not only for Asolo Rep, but for other theaters across the country; my other tour was seeing the 30,000-piece costume collection purchased by Sarasota Opera, which not only dresses our local opera performers, but others in theater and opera companies also across the country. What great examples of local nonprofits making smart investments! At a recent wine dinner at the incredible Café L’Europe, I shared a table with the lovely and smart VP of Marketing & PR for Caldwell Trust, Sheryl Vieira; the delightful Asolo Rep executive director Linda DiGabriele and her husband, talented photographer Gary Sweetman; man about town and top Realtor Andrew Vac and his better half the beautiful Ramona Glantz; and a very interesting and charming couple—Sarasota Opera executive director Richard Russell and his better half, Cynthia. It was wonderful to get to know each of them better. We all had a great time. Please mark your calendars and get your tickets to Asolo Rep’s production of Murder on the Orient Express and The Lifespan of a Fact as well Sarasota Opera’s La bohème and Romeo and Juliet.

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u ni quely yours

6650 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231 941.921.1900 | www.rugsasart.com

Rugs As Art ...And More!


from the publisher Other community leaders I’ve met that make our town such a great place to live, work, and learn are Michelle Kaprelian, CEO at Forty Carrots; Phil Tavill, CEO at Children First; Karen Koblenz, CEO at The Exchange; Andria Bilan, CEO at Josh Provides; and Kim Livengood, owner of the Eclipse Agency and current president of the Central West Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association, which has a great speaker series for those in the marketing and PR world in our town. Stan Writesel & Baylee

Alan Gravley & Beau

Other standout events these past few months include USF’s Brunch on the Bay sponsored by Bank of America, Asolo Rep’s Starry Night Dinner Series, Sarasota Orchestra’s Aspire Brunch, the Florida Center for Early Childhood Winter Gala, and yes, I must include Sarasota Scene’s launch party for Men on the Scene— profiles on local businessmen in Scene’s October 2019 issue. It was great fun. I also had the pleasure of attending the gala for Ringling College’s crown jewel—the Sarasota Art Museum. The museum is truly world class and while we’ve waited a long time for the opening, it truly was worth the wait. Executive director Anne-Marie Russell should be very proud. Attending many other diverse performances and activities has also been a real eye opener for me. From South Asian and Flamenco dancing at The Ringling’s Art of Performance series, to a wine tasting benefiting Forty Carrots at Café Amici hosted by Rita Thibault and Gary Kirschner, to being a spectator at the Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade, to attending my first Christmas tree lighting on St. Armands, I have thoroughly enjoyed being a Sarasotan. There is certainly a lot happening here both in terms of entertainment and good work. Please participate in our community as much as you can and be sure to read all about it in Sarasota Scene. The magazine strives to deliver interesting stories every month about all that is good in our community. And last, but not least, Sarasota Scene has moved its headquarters from St. Armands Circle—which we loved, but season traffic made it tough for our staff to leave the Circle each evening—to 2nd Street in the heart of Downtown Sarasota. We love this area and its cool vibe.

Beginning to End Interiors & Blinds

As always, I look forward to meeting Sarasota Scene readers around town, so if you recognize me on the street or at an event, please say hello. I welcome hearing your insights and suggestions. You may also email me at john@scenesarasota.com. Till next month!

941.924.4481 | www.B2END.com 4453 Ashton Road, Unit C, Sarasota, FL 34233

320873-1

Want to submit some comments or questions? We’d love to hear from you at john@scenesarasota.com.

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Locally Owned and Operated Since 1957 Vol. 63 No. 1

Publisher H John Knowles Executive Editor Julie A. Milton Account Executive Alysia De Maio Art Director Darcy Kelly-Laviolette Marketing & Digital Content Director Jordan Kelly-Laviolette Distribution Mike Straffin

Let us do the work at your next event. From formal affairs to small gatherings, Morton’s offers fullservice catering and bar with custom menus and top-notch service. You can take the credit. We won’t tell.

Contributing Writers Sue Cullen Jacqueline Miller Gus Mollasis Ryan G. Van Cleave Sylvia Whitman Contributing & Social Photographer Nancy Guth Contributing Photographers Jordan Kelly-Laviolette Kelly Kearns

Serving the Sarasota area for over 50 years Historic Southside Village 1924 South Osprey Avenue Sarasota ∙ (941) 955-9856 MortonsMarket.com 16

SARASOTA SCENE | JANUARY 2020

1491 2nd Street, Suite D, Sarasota, FL 34236 941.365.1119 | Fax: 941.954.5067 | scenesarasota.com H John Knowles LLC, dba SCENE Magazine publishes 12 issues a year. Address editorial, advertising and circulation correspondence to the above address. Sufficient return postage and self-addressed, stamped envelope must accompany all manuscripts, artwork and photographs submitted if they are to be returned or acknowledged. Publisher assumes no responsibility for care of return of unsolicited materials. Subscription price: $12.95 per year, $19.95 for two years. All contents copyrighted. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.


Simply the most fabulous lighting and designer Simply the moston fabulous lighting fan showroom the west coastand ofdesigner Florida fan showroom on the west coast of Florida

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Take a Virtual Tour of Our Showroom at lyteworks.com


social SCENE

THE LIST PARTY PICS SCENE TOGETHER

scenesarasota.com

January 5 » The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast Celebration Concert and Dinner

The LIST

JANUARY 2020 EVENTS CALENDAR Let the fun begin again! A maestro plays his fiddle. A former prima ballerina is honored. The end of prohibition is cheered. Eat fish for a great cause. Enjoy the magic of the circus. The choices are plentiful in our January list of events.

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Sarasota Opera House 5:00 p.m. $625 perlmanmusicprogramsuncoast.org

8 » Crystal Ball: People’s Gala 2020 Benefitting The Friends of the Selby Public Library Selby Library 6:00 p.m. $35 | selbylibraryfriends.org

12 » Circus Ring of Fame Induction Ceremony Circle Park 1:00 p.m. Free | circusringoffame.org


We love where we live. If you’re in the Sarasota-Manatee area and have $200,000 or more to invest, you have access to financial advisory services with us.

We have a moderate investment minimum, because we believe professional money management should be widely available. Our fee income is driven solely by the growth of our clients’ portfolios, as we sell no products and do not receive any trading commissions. If not completely satisfied, our clients have no obligation to pay our management fee.

John Ringling Causeway

YOUR BRIDGE TO FINANCIAL SECURITY 1582 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 | JLBainbridge.com It should neither be assumed that future results will be as profitable nor that a loss could not be incurred.


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sponsored events

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» The Sarasota Ballet Gala Sarasota Opera House 6:00 p.m. $500|sarasotaballet.org

11

» Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation Hospital Gala Ritz Carlton 6:00 p.m. smhf.org

15

» Asolo Repertory Theatre Directors Take Luncheon 10:30 a.m. $100 | asolorep.org

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Holley Hall Featuring Steven Sloane 6:00 p.m. $200 |sarasotaorchestra.org

16 » Jewish Federation Sarasota-Manatee Lion of the Judah and Pomegranate Luncheon Sarasota Yacht Club Featuring Alina Spaulding 11:00 a.m. $75 | jfedsrq.org

18 » Taste of St. Armands Circle Park 5:00 p.m. $75 –$85 starmandscircleassoc.com

19 » Farm to Fillet 2020 Mote Aqua Culture Park Benefits Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium 12:30 p.m. $125 | mote.org

21 » Hermitage Artist Retreat Muse Luncheon Michael’s On East 11:00 a.m. hermitageartistsretreat.org

DC OR

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LA

23 » Seafood and Sailboats 15 » Sarasota Orchestra Masterworks 3 Dinner

AN

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IF RD OU

Historic Spanish Point 12:00 p.m. $50 | historicspanishpoint.org

23- 27 » Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival

28 » Sarasota Orchestra Masterworks 4 Dinner The Field Club Featuring Ludovic Morlot 6:00 p.m. $200 |sarasotaorchestra.org

eatlikealocal.com

30 » Moffitt Cancer Center Luncheon

25 » We Care Manatee The Great Gatsby Party

Michael’s On The Bay 11:00 a.m. $175 |moffitt.org

IMG Academy Golf Club 6:00 p.m. wecaremanatee.org

30 » Friendship Centers Blooming Friendships Gala

25 – 26 » St. Armands Winter Art Festival

Michael’s On The Bay 5:00 p.m. $200 | friendshipcenters.org

10:00 a.m. Free | starmandscircleassoc.com

26 » Sarasota Concert Association 75th Diamond Anniversary Celebration

19

» Florida Winefest & Auction Prohibition Party Commemorating 100 Years

Michael’s On The Bay 11:30 a.m. $175 | scasarasota.org

Undisclosed Location Downtown Sarasota Period Costumes Encouraged 6:00 p.m.

26 » Visible Men Academy Impact Awards Art Ovation Hotel 6:00 p.m. $200 | vmacademy.org

$200 (includes $50 in casino chips) floridawinefest.org

31

» Circus Arts Conservatory Circus Gala

28 » Embracing Our Differences Luncheon

Ulla Searing Big Top

Michael’s On East 11:30 a.m. $65 | embracingourdifferences.org

6:00 p.m.

at Nathan Benderson Park $250 | circusarts.org

JANUARY 2020 | SARASOTA SCENE

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The Bay Preserve 6:30 p.m. $350 conservationfoundation.com

FEB 1 | Sarasota Opera Gala 2020

GALA & SILENT AUCTION FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 2020 | 6:30 PM MOTE MARINE LABORATORY& AQUARIUM

For more information please contact Hilarie King, Events & Development Manager (941) 366-2404 ext. 308 | hilariek@catdepot.org 22

SARASOTA SCENE | JANUARY 2020

FEB 7 | JDRF Night of Hope Gala The Ritz-Carlton 6:00 p.m. jdrf.org

ED

event

FEB 1 | Conservation Foundation Palm Ball: Forever Green. Forever Blue

The Ritz- Carlton 6:30 p.m. $350 sarasotaopera.org

OR

s

FEB 8 | Catholic Charities Ball 2020 The Ritz-Carlton 6:00 p.m. $300 catholiccharitiesdov.org

FEB 22 | SCF Avenues to the Future SCF Campus 6:00 p.m. $250 | scf-foundation.org

FEB 29 | Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center Believe: A Gala Celebrating 30 Years The Hyatt Regency 6:00 p.m. $250 | gs-humanservices.org

V IS IT S C EN ES A R A S O TA . C O M for the latest social scene party pics. To submit your event for consideration, please send information to scenemagazine@scenesarasota.com


NEWYear. NEWHome. BETTERLife. Three

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AWARDS


social SCENE

WITH YOUR HELP... A promising future becomes a reality, a passion becomes a career and a dream comes true.

Richard Russ & Nicci Kobritz

Heidi Brown

Katie Bucek, Sherry Gluchov & Katie Giura

Your support impacts a student’s future.

Laitin Schwerim & Vlado Konatar

2019 JFCS GALA This year’s JFCS Gala, Hearts of Gold at The RitzCarlton— provided an important platform to showcase the programs and staff at JFCS, a leading  mental health and human services agency. Guests came ready to dance and enjoy The Jay White Band with Jay White paying tribute to the songs of Neil Diamond. The evening was a fun and heartfelt night of great energy and community. Wendy & Jerry Feinstein

Contact Cassandra Holmes 941-752-5390 or HolmesC@SCF.edu

SCF-Foundation.org 24

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Sherry & Tom Koski

Nell Miller, Nancy Swart & Keith Monda


Inspire young minds. Your donation to the Van Wezel Foundation’s Friends Society supports arts education initiatives that touch the lives of more than 30,000 children and families in our community.

Enjoy year-round privileges. + concierge ticketing + premium seating + meet & greet opportunities + special event invitations + access to Friends Founders Lounge + and much more

Become a friend. Enrich the life of a child today. vwfoundation.org

S A R A S O TA PAC .O R G

Learn more about the many ways we can grow our vision for the community together.


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Event Chairs Marsha & Steve Devitt and Honorary Co-chairs Diane & Rob Weiss

David Resendez, BJ Wilson & Gina Furey

Susan & Brian Weiss

FLORIDA CENTER GALA The Florida Center for Early Childhood celebrated its 40th Anniversary at its Annual Winter Gala: Once Upon a Time at Michael’s On East. Nearly 300 people attended the magical evening themed in ruby and gold, featuring a tribute to The Florida Center’s founder, Dr. Norman Goldstein, a beloved local pediatrician. His daughter and son-in-law, Diane and Rob Weiss served as honorary co-chairs of the event with co-chairs Marsha and Steve Devitt. Funds raised from the evening will go toward the organization’s extensive programs.

Yvette & Bob Morgan

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Becca Jennings & Stu Boyd


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Leslie Cohen & Laurie Criden

Co-Chairwoman Ronna Ruben, Guest Speaker Gail Simmons & Co-Chairwoman Rachael Feldman

Lauren Fineman, Stacy Ackerman, Shirley Gruen & Julie Green

JFED WOMEN’S LUNCHEON Co-chairs Rachael Feldman and Ronna Ruben welcomed TV personality Gail Simmons, and 400 guests, to Michael’s on East for The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee’s annual Women’s Day luncheon. In addition to being a permanent judge on the Food Network’s “Top Chef” series, Gail is an accomplished cookbook author and food writer. Guests were treated to the amazing story of her rise to fame and how growing up in a Jewish home influenced her cooking. Ruthie Salter, Anne Spindel & Barbara Ackerman

Bunnie Skirboll & Sylvia Samet

My friends come in groups of four.

And we never tire of talking about golf. We may disagree on who had the best shot, but we never disagree on where to take it. Find your foursome at The Founders Golf Club.

GREEN TIME . ON YOUR TIME . Ask about current incentives

941-371-9720 THEFOUNDERSGOLFCLUB.COM JANUARY 2020 | SARASOTA SCENE

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John & Donna Moffitt

Caryn Patterson, Sally Faron & John Cavanaugh

LA MUSICA SONATA A DUE 2019 La Musica International Chamber Music Festival kicked off its 34th season with Sonata a Due at the festively decorated Field Club. Guests enjoyed cocktail hour inside the historic mansion and on the bayfront patio, after which they were treated to a concert by violinist Jennifer Frautschi, and associate artistic director Derek Han on piano. The evening concluded with a lovely dinner. Derek Han & Jennifer Frautschi

Mike & Roxie Jerde

Kay & Bill Farmer with Kelly Fores

AN ECLECTIC FINE ARTS AND ANTIQUES GALLERY

Featuring Asian Treasures Including Republic Period Pieces and Pieces from the Hoi An Hoard We have a passion for finding, selling and restoring beautiful pieces of history. Let us help you find your next piece! 941.953.7776 | sarasotatrading.com 522 S Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

fine art • antiques •furniture • porcelain & ceramic • jewelry • sculptures 28

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Free Range. Handmade. Local.

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JANUARY 2020 | SARASOTA SCENE

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Robert & Jennifer Rominiecki, Dru Green & Jon Thaxton

SELBY LIGHTS IN BLOOM Preview night for Lights in Bloom at Selby was a special evening to flip the switch on over two million lights, and for guests to view the light display before it opened to the public. The evening marked the beginning of 18 nights of Lights in Bloom, which included holiday displays throughout the Gardens featuring beautifully lit rainforest butterflies, dragonflies, flowers and more. Peter and Joanne Powers with Kathy & Travis Brown

Deb Kabinoff

31 Jan - 3 Feb 2020

S i r F r e d e r i c k A s h t o n ’s

LES RENDEZVOUS P a u l Ta y l o r ’s

BRANDENBURGS D o m i n i c W a l s h ’s

I N A P O L E TA N I

941.359.0099 | SarasotaBallet.org 30

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Photography Frank Atura


'

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100 Years Commemorating Prohibition JAN 19, 2020 • SUN, 6 PM

Speakeasy Sage Restaurant, Downtown Sarasota Fork out da Clams & we’ll Spill da Password!

Chew Dinner by the Bite Hooch Wine, Beer, Bathtub Gin & Open Spirits Bar Pro Casino Craps, Black Jack, Roulette, Slot Machines & Poker Glad Rags Period Costumes Encouraged Live Music Jazzy/Blues & Roaring 20’s Tickets $200 per person (includes $50 in chips)

Online at floridawinefest.org or call 941-952-1109 _____________ SPONSORED BY _____________

I’m here for the hooch

I’m here for you doll-face

Nice gam’s hoofer ... wanna swing?

Sure big-six ... you’re the bees-knees!

A Little Party

Never Killed Nobody EST

30

1991

FLORIDA WINEFEST 32

CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF GIVING

SARASOTA SCENE | JANUARY 2020

floridawinefest.org | 941-952-1109


Usually fatal, at age 5 Hannah survived hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) thanks to the gift of over 300 units of platelets. Now 17, a student at Booker High School, Hannah is healthy and paying it forward by donating blood herself!

When you donate platelets, you don’t just save a life, you save a family. You never know when you or someone you love will need this precious gift.

SCBB.ORG

855-977-5283 @suncoastbb

As a token of our appreciation for your donation, you will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card each time you donate platelets.

You can donate platelets every two weeks.


on the town

1

The FIND

2

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START RUNNING, PLANNING AND PEDDLING YOUR WAY TO NEW 2020 YOU.


on the town

1- Signature Juice Cleanse Designed for first time cleansers or those new to juicing. Promotes weight loss, more energy, glowing skin and better sleep patterns. SaraFresh Juice

3

Plans start at $65 | sarafresh.com

2 - Electra’s Vale Go! 9D EQ Bicycle Versatile pedal-assist e-bike. Powered by a Bosch Active Line Plus motor with a fully integrated battery into a step-thru frame. Sarasota Cycle $3299.99 | trekbicyclessarasotafl.com

3 - Rifle Paper Co. Planner Includes both monthly and weekly pages, sticker sheets, sections for notes and contacts, a pocket folder, and a ruler. Write-On Sarasota $40 | writeonsarasota.com

4 - Osprey Sirrus 36 Hiking Backpack Features dual side compression straps, Stow-onthe-Go trekking pole attachment, and Internal Hydration reservoir sleeve. Environeers $170 | environeers.com

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5 - APL Techloom Breeze Sneakers Seamless high elastic stretch sneakers perfect for travel to training. 100% Vegan—made using no animal products. Lotus Boutique $200 | lotussarasota.com

5 JANUARY 2020 | SARASOTA SCENE

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BEETHOVEN'S

THIRD

February 6 Van Wezel

(Eroica)

Explore Beethoven’s “heroic” symphony with Sarasota Orchestra Artistic Advisor Jeffrey Kahane. He will present insights and musical examples that put Beethoven into 21st century context. A performance of the full symphony completes this fascinating concert experience.

Tickets from $25 | SarasotaOrchestra.org | 941-953-3434 36

SARASOTA SCENE | JANUARY 2020


A hungry shark swimming right at you can make your heart stop. But it can’t restart it. Luckily, the Zoll defibrillator can. Through your generous support, the Healthcare Foundation helped Sarasota Memorial Hospital acquire this lifesaving equipment last year. It’ll get your heart going so you can go back to worrying about shark attacks, not heart attacks. Enjoy the life you love. Give today.

Together we strengthen healthcare. 941.917.1286 | smhf.org A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE OR BY VISITING www.freshfromflorida.com/divisions-offices /consumer-services. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. (REGISTRATION #CH103) THE HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION WILL USE THE FUNDS FOR THE STATED PURPOSE BUT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO USE THE GIFT IN A MANNER CONSISTENT WITH ITS CHARITABLE PURPOSE IF THE STATED PURPOSE IS IMPOSSIBLE OR IMPRACTICAL TO ACHIEVE.


philanthropy

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philanthropy

THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF SARASOTA COUNTY

CHANGING THE FUTURE

ONE LIFE AT A TIME By Ryan G. Van Cleave | Photo by Nancy Guth space for physical activities, project-based learning, and Over the organization’s 49-year history, the Boys & Girls Clubs of enrichment programs that further fosters Club members’ Sarasota County (BGCSC) has provided children and teens with personal development.” To that end, the organization will add a safe, positive environment that enables them to reach their an additional 7,000 square feet to provide youth development full potential both in and out of the classroom. This happens programs to even more Club members. in a variety of ways, including helping young people practice healthy habits, plan for success Newtown’s Roy McBean Boys after high school graduation, and “While we serve thousands of & Girls Club will also undergo a learn what it takes to become an capital renovation in the coming effective leader. children and teens each year, we years with a focus on heightening safety and security, as well as Bill Sadlo, President/CEO of BGCSC, place our greatest emphasis on the providing enhanced training says, “We’ve grown tremendously program space for youth that over the years, and hit milestones will help them plan for a future that have positioned us to embark development of each individual, career. In North Port, their Board on our next step in our journey as of Directors has teamed up with a leader in youth development in which instills a sense of hope and a task force made up of their Sarasota and beyond.” Now that the executive team and prominent organization is poised to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020, Sadlo opportunity and is the best gift you community leaders to examine the area’s rapid growth and strategize reports that they’re taking that ways in which they can effectively commitment to youth empowerment could ever give to a child.” expand their reach. even further through key strategic initiatives in Arcadia, Newtown, and North Port while continuing to find new and innovative ways to enhance existing programming efforts. Regarding Arcadia, Sadlo says, “We will be hosting a groundbreaking ceremony in February 2020 of our new expansion project at the Louis and Gloria Flanzer Boys & Girls Club in Arcadia. In July 2019, the City of Arcadia unanimously approved our organization’s plans for renovation of the Smith-Brown Recreation Center, which sits adjacent to the current Club location. The goal is to transform the structure into a multi-purpose gymnasium for youth with designated

One thing is at the heart of all that the BGCSC believes—they go where kids need them most. “While we serve thousands of children and teens each year,” explains Sadlo, “we place our greatest emphasis on the development of each individual, which instills a sense of hope and opportunity and is the best gift you could ever give to a child. When people support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, that means they’re supporting the arts, academics, health, leadership, and entrepreneurship.” To support the Clubs is to join like-minded people who are concerned about the future of our community—and doing something about it. JANUARY 2020 | SARASOTA SCENE

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philanthropy elements forged in sterling silver and 22k uniquely combined with diamonds and pearls

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One thing the BGCSC is NOT is a babysitting service. Instead, they’re a comprehensive youth development agency with a full range of outcomedriven programs. Talk to any of their employees and it’s immediately apparent that they pride themselves on providing a safe, positive place where youth can go during out-of-school times, and where they can participate in programs with trained youth development professionals. But it’s far more than that, Sadlo notes. “Our organization believes every child is destined for greatness, and we’ll do whatever it takes to help our Club members succeed. For 50 years, we’ve relentlessly provided children and teens with the knowledge and tools they need to become the next generation of community leaders.” One of the most successful programs BGCSC has is their Teen Program. In fact, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and its Florida Area Council presented Sadlo’s organization with the 2019 Core Program Award in Character and Leadership Development for this transformative program which provides middle and high school students with top-level leadership, service, and entrepreneurial opportunities, as well as vocational, college, and career preparation. Sadlo points out that some of the notable offerings under the Teen Program umbrella include STAR (Students Taking Active Roles) Leadership Training, SRQVolunteen, Perlman Price Young Entrepreneurs and the Tom & Debbie Shapiro Career Resource Center. Some highlights from their Teen Program include teens starting their own businesses; high school students serving as full-voting members of nonprofit, city, or county boards throughout Sarasota County; middle and high school students making a meaningful difference in the community through service projects and volunteer efforts; and having local Club members earn four out of the last seven State of Florida Youth of the Year awards.


philanthropy THE

So, clearly there’s a lot to celebrate, and as their 50th year of operation begins in 2020, they’ll continue their current slate of events. Sadlo explains that “Each occasion (such as our Steak & Burger Celebration of Youth and Outstanding Alumni in February and our Champions for Children gala in November) will be elevated to feature organizational milestones over the past five decades with familiar local faces who helped us become the area’s leading youth-serving organization. We will also host numerous smaller, community events both onsite at one of our Club locations, and offsite with partner businesses. Plus, a number of ambassadors are committed to helping us celebrate 2020, including the founding members of Club Blue, which is a group of dynamic local professionals who have come together to advance our mission through volunteerism, advocacy and mentorship.” Surprisingly, the best compliment they hear most also speaks to their biggest challenge—it’s some variation on “I had no idea you did all of this!” that people offer after taking a tour. While in 2018 alone they provided 230,000 meals and snacks to Club members, had 2,700 youth participate in K-5 educational programs, and had nearly 2,500 participants in their arts programs, too few people know about BGCSC and what they do. As Sadlo says, “That’s why we prioritize Club tours, and invite community members to come see what’s inside. We guarantee they’ll like what they see.” Come out and see for yourself what a difference they’re making.

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FOR MOR E INF ORMATI ON

on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, please visit www.bgcsarasota.com or call 941.366.3911.

“Oral Representations cannot be relied upon as correctly stating representation of the Developer. For correct representations make reference to this brochure and to the documents required by Section 718.503, Florida Statutes, to be furnished by Developer to Buyer or Lessee”

JANUARY 2020 | SARASOTA SCENE

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Saving Your Sole the water + sole experience By Ryan G. Van Cleave

25% of the bones in the body are in the feet, and they do so much work. They’re also so far from our eyes that we simply take them for granted, forgetting about them until they finally howl ‘ENOUGH!’

One of the notable recent additions to the downtown Sarasota area is Water + Sole Foot Spa (1425 2nd Street), which focuses on a unique, refreshing blend of traditional foot and upper body massages. Whether you’ve got time in your schedule for a 25-minute or a 50-minute massage, you’re literally in good hands once you step through the doors. Heavy curtains block out the Florida brightness, and the air is full of essential oils, quiet Zen-inspired music, and Himalayan white salt lamps that together set the mood for comfort which lands somewhere between being pampered and spoiled. Subtle architectural elements come into play as well, as the space grows progressively darker and quieter as one moves from the front to the communal area in back, which is so relaxing that it’s not at all uncommon for customers to fall asleep while being massaged.

not to like? You can pop by in the middle of a workday. You can stay in your work clothes. You don’t have to get all oily and greasy. And the price is more reasonable than with a traditional table massage.

“I’ve always had a lifelong interest in wellness,” admits Water + Sole owner Doug King, whose store opened in early 2019. “I experienced this type of specialized massage service myself in south Florida a few years ago, and it really stood out to me. I felt amazing for the rest of the day.” What’s

While Water + Sole is related to typical spa franchises and can draw from the same clientele, it’s not quite direct competition. “We’re more of a specialty experience,” King notes. Indeed, that’s what they offer. It starts with settling into a comfy chair—think Cinebistro-level quality. Then

It didn’t take long for an entrepreneur like King to realize how Sarasota would similarly embrace this kind of refreshing experience. So, after living in Sarasota for the past four years, he started watching for the right location. When commercial real estate opened up in the DeSoto building right by Whole Foods, he made the decision to acquire it and launch Water + Sole. He knew that the 800,000 people who go in and out of Whole Foods each year were exactly the right type of health-conscious customers who’d appreciate his services, too.


you take off your socks and shoes, roll up your pants, and enjoy a warm foot soak with salts and oils working their magic. While that’s happening, a therapist stands behind you and massages your upper back and shoulder area through your shirt. When that’s through, you recline in the chair, get covered with a blanket and towel, have a washcloth placed over your eyes, and the therapist works over arms and hands, followed by calves and feet. At $50 for 50 minutes, you get an equally effective but faster in-and-out version of the table massage, but with all that luxurious attention to feet. “With regular table massage experiences,” King explains, “they spend so much time on the back and the big muscles like quads and legs. They’re trying to also touch all of the body, so there’s just not much time for the feet. 25% of the bones in the body are in the feet, and they do so much work. They’re also so far from our eyes that we simply take them for granted, forgetting about them until they finally howl ‘ENOUGH!’” Unlike so many traditional therapists, those who work at Water + Soul have training that’s focused in the foot area. Customers immediately sense and appreciate that difference. For people coming off treatments with doctors and are in a guided rehabilitation/maintenance phase, this type of massage can be very effective and rejuvenating. For others, it’s just a convenient way to restore and relax. “We’re planting the flag here,” says King, who wants to see Water + Sole expand well beyond this first store. “Our goal is to focus on the health of your feet.”

» CONNECT: 941.400.6651

waterandsole.com

1425 2nd St, Sarasota, FL 34236


philanthropy

A Stitch in Time SARASOTA OPERA SEWS UP SUPPORT FROM “NEWBIES” KATHERINE BENOIT & JOHN BROOKS

By Sylvia Whitman | Photo by Nancy Guth

After scouting retirement locations, Michigan-based automotive executives Katherine Benoit and John Brooks settled on Sarasota almost six years ago because of the vibrant arts scene—theater, music, the standbys. Opera wasn’t even on their radar, however—until a friend invited them to a performance and a co-producer event. Brooks was leery. “I’m a Rust Belter with muddy boots and a bad haircut. I’m not your typical opera-goer,” John says with his usual wry humor. A bad encounter with Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman had soured him on the genre long ago. Benoit preferred theater. But something clicked that night at the Sarasota Opera House. Drama, music, dance—all came together into an “overwhelming” artistic experience for the couple. They’ve come to love the “intimate venue with great acoustics,” the “outstanding singers,” and Maestro DeRenzi’s conservative approach, keeping the performances true to “the time for which they were written,” says John. “As opposed to seeing it done with motorcycle leather and modern flare.”

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“We like the traditional style,” says Benoit. “I think this is the definition of serendipity,” says John. “Finding something wonderful you didn’t know you were looking for.” As much as the productions, the warm welcome of the opera community thrilled Benoit and Brooks. “We’re new and uninitiated,” says Brooks, “and there’s a willingness to help us understand and learn.” Not just the singers and staff, he says, but all the people who support the opera. Within a year, the couple had signed on as co-producers, donors who underwrite substantial portions of a production. With that came invitations to discussions, receptions, and backstage tours. “The organization isn’t pretentious in any way,” says Benoit. “We felt we had joined a family. The opera is so grateful for anything we can do.” Benoit accepted a recent invitation to join the board of trustees. “Now we spend a lot of time doing things for the opera because it’s both interesting and educational,” she says.


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THE COSTUME STUDIO INITIATIVE A discussion group led by the opera’s resident costume designer, Howard Tsvi Kaplan, especially piqued Benoit’s interest. She sews—seriously sews and embroiders, skills taught by her mother, who raised eight kids in western New York. “At Christmas, if I opened a present, it was usually fabric,” says Benoit. “My mother would say, ‘Make yourself a dress.’” Kaplan, a onetime Ringling circus costume designer, explained how he sourced material for a costume, how it was constructed, the workmanship, the cost. Seamstress Benoit felt an instant connection to opera apparel and accessories. As part of an education mission, she had sewn 100 girls’ dresses and delivered them to an orphanage in Tanzania. Along the way, she bought African fabrics, which she showed Kaplan. She also met a tribe of Maasai women who make jewelry, and she has volunteered as their trade representative, placing their handiwork in U.S. museum stores. So—no surprise!—Benoit has embraced the opera’s Costume Studio Initiative. For almost a century, Malabar Ltd. in Toronto

had been renting out costumes, including to Sarasota Opera. As owner Luigi Speca contemplated retirement, he began negotiating with his longtime friend and colleague Kaplan. “A number of buyers were interested in turning the collection into Halloween costumes,” says Brooks. “But the owner wanted the costumes to go to a good home.” Speca offered Sarasota Opera his entire opera collection—30,000 ensembles from 135 distinct productions—for $1.1 million, plus shipping and storage. That’s about $33 each for costumes worth at least $1,000 to $2,500 apiece. Deal. Brooks and Benoit marvel at the sliver they’ve seen. Because of elaborate beadwork, some outfits weigh as much as 35 pounds. Some have been worn by Pavarotti and other opera superstars. Imagine 30 uniforms in a row, all different sizes for different members of the chorus. “Getting that up close and personal with these costumes

JANUARY 2020 | SARASOTA SCENE

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philanthropy

“A fabulously stocked wardrobe will not only boost the artistic quality of future local productions; it will provide a steady secondary income for the opera, perhaps quintupling the current $85,000 inflow from rentals.”

and jewelry was intriguing to both of us,” Benoit says. She’s looking forward to participating in the rejuvenation of sometimes threadbare historic apparel. But the Malabar acquisition has also set Brooks’s business pulse racing. As is common, Sarasota Opera gets a return on investment by leasing its sets and costumes from past productions. The addition of the Malabar inventory boosts Sarasota Opera in the global marketplace. “Any artistic or philanthropic organization is constantly searching for sustainability,” says Brooks. A fabulously stocked wardrobe will not only boost the artistic quality of future local productions; it will provide a steady secondary income for the opera, perhaps quintupling the current $85,000 inflow from rentals. As the semitrucks arrived from Canada this fall, the opera faced a new challenge— finding a closet big enough for not a mere battalion of finery but an entire corps. “The costumes are in every nook and cranny of the current operation,” says Benoit, as well as in boxes in a warehouse near the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. Brooks says the board of trustees is evaluating a new facility for scenery and costumes. Paul and Sharon Steinwachs, pillars of Sarasota Opera, pledged $500,000 to that end in a matching challenge that closed December 31. Brooks and Benoit have also contributed. “We wouldn’t have been able to do much for the Met in New York or the Lyric in Chicago,” says Benoit. But making a difference in Sarasota “is very easy.” Becoming supporters, she adds, “has given us a way to experience the opera in more ways than just going to a

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performance.” Backstage talks—about the costumes, the staging, the music— have deepened the couple’s appreciation of the art. Brooks says longtime opera aficionados, “folks much more sophisticated and knowledgeable than we are,” often comment on the high quality of Sarasota’s stagings. “They’ve seen Carmen 14 times but have told us this was by far the best production.” He and Benoit, on the other hand, bring a newcomer’s wonder. “Every performance is a first time for us,” he says. As Brooks gets fired up about La Bohème in March, Benoit reminds him that they’ve actually seen that one before, here, in 2015. Brooks says the novelty will come in “understanding how they do something different the second time around. It’s a first time for me.” The couple recently attended their first Sarasota Youth Opera, the last performance of Brundibár on a weekend. Although the couple has no children, Benoit wished some of her 55 nieces and nephews and offspring had been visiting so she could have shared the serendipity. “If I’d gone on a Friday, I would have gone back on a Saturday,” she says. “It looked like the audience was having a great time,” says Brooks. “We’ll not only be going back, but we’ll also support it.”

F O R M O R E IN F O R M AT I O N

about the Sarasota Opera, visit sarasotaopera.org or call 941.328.1300.


ReCODE Your Brain for Optimal Mental Performance Learn How This Multifaceted Brain Health Protocol Has Reversed Symptoms of Early Stage Alzheimer’s in Many Cases

I

f you or a loved one suffers from cognitive decline–or want to prevent it–there is reason to hope. Neurologist Dr. Julio Cantero of the Center for Brain Health is offering the ReCODE protocol. The protocol is based on 30 years of breakthrough research by internationally renowned UCLA neuroscientist Dr. Dale Bredesen. The ReCODE protocol has been shown to reverse cognitive decline in many patients with early stage Alzheimer’s disease. Working in collaboration with Dr. Bredesen’s Apollo Health team and under the guidance of the ReCODE team of neuroscientists, Dr. Julio Cantero of the Center for Brain Health is offering the ReCODE protocol locally. He has specialized experience with ReCODE, which provides participants with a comprehensive set of cognition-building tools. An Observational Study and the Brain Tune-Up program hone in on metabolic and other parameters that impact cognitive decline. Personalized treatment plans are based on the results of in-depth testing of factors associated with cognitive decline. These include toxins, hormones, insulin resistance, systemic inflammation, nutrient depletion and genetics.

Observational Study Opportunity for Alzheimer’s Patients The Observational Study for those newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or experiencing mild cognitive impairment will help advance ongoing ReCODE research. As an example, one 80-year-old Alzheimer’s patient experienced these improvements after eight months in the study: • Montreal Cognitive Assessment score rose from 23 to 26 out of 30; 26 is normal cognition • Above average motor and psychomotor speeds, and visual memory • Average complex executive function, processing speed, reaction time, and verbal and composite memory

Dr. Julio Cantero of the Center for Brain Health and neurology specialist with Intercoastal Medical Group. The Brain Tune-Up Maintaining our quality of life as we age means staying sharp mentally as well as physically fit. The Center for Brain Health offers a comprehensive set of tools in this three-month program to help you preserve and optimize brain function for a lifetime. Whether you have a family history of dementia, have some concerning symptoms or want to prevent cognitive decline, The Brain Tune Up helps you take control of your cognitive health.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR A PRIVATE CONSULTATION, CONTACT US AT 941.556.9900 OR INFO@THECBH.COM. CENTER FOR BRAIN HEALTH » 5602 Marquesas Circle, Sarasota, FL, 34233 941.556.9900 | info@thecbh.com www.thecbh.com


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SARASOTA VASCULAR SPECIALISTS The First Accredited Vein Center in Sarasota and Charlotte Counties

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SARASOTA VASCULAR SPECIALISTS has been granted accreditation by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) in the area of Superficial Venous Treatment and Management. They are the first accredited Vein Center in Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, and one of only four in Southwest Florida. More than one half of Americans age 50 and older are affected by varicose veins. Varicose veins occur when the valves in the leg veins no longer function, causing blood to pool in the legs. In some cases, this condition progresses to a more serious form of venous disease called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Whether to relieve symptoms and/or improve appearance, treating varicose veins can be performed by vein centers that specialize in the evaluation and management of superficial

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DIVINE PROPORTION Dental aesthetics just may be the golden beauty secret. By Sue Cullen

S

ay you’ve been looking in the mirror and the face looking back seems, well, a bit worn. Maybe it’s time for a refresh. You’re not ready to consider plastic surgery, but it would be nice to see fewer lines, wrinkles and sags. So, you pick up your phone and call—your dentist.

If that’s surprising, think about this. Dentists, and cosmetic dentists in particular, not only focus on dental health, but also on the aesthetics of a beautiful smile. What frames that smile is also important. Prominent nasolabial folds along with lip and marionette lines don’t make the most of a dazzling new asset. “Dentists are highly trained in the anatomy of the head and neck. When I trained at the University of Florida, our first two years were with medical students who studied the whole body. Our training on the anatomy of the head and neck is really advanced,” says Dr. Jill Morris of World Class Dentistry in Sarasota. “In the U.S., there are about 6,000 plastic surgeons and 25,000 dentists doing facial aesthetics. In Europe, dentists have been at the forefront of facial aesthetics for many years. Here, it seems newer to people.”

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When you consider that dentists already have a hygienic environment, skill with injectables and know how to make patients comfortable during procedures makes the move into facial aesthetics seems more like a natural progression. With the proper training, of course. Cosmetic dentists also have one more crucial skill that many other practitioners don’t. Their training has taught them the beauty secret of the ages—the Golden Ratio, also known as the Divine Proportion or Golden Proportion. Typically, facial rejuvenation addresses sagging, wrinkling and loss of volume that result from aging, but doesn’t address a fourth factor that makes us look older than we’d like. “Plastic surgeons can’t correct the wear our teeth experience as we age. This wear brings our nose and chin closer together and the lower face kind of collapses. As a result, the person’s face sags and lines form. A plastic surgeon can pull everything back, but the face is still collapsed,” says Morris, who studied facial aesthetics in Europe and has taught other dentists and health care professionals to use dermal fillers and neurotoxins. When the teeth are built back up, typically with porcelain, the bottom of the face returns to its proper youthful dimensions so less filling and lifting is required. At that point, the result can largely be determined by the skill of the practitioner wielding the needle, laser or cannula. This is where an understanding of the Golden Proportion is crucial. As it turns out, a mathematical ratio shows up over and over in nature in everything from geometric solids and flower petals to human faces. This ratio—1 to 1.618—was identified by the early Greeks and Romans, studied intensely by Leonardo da Vinci, and has been used extensively in art and architecture because the human eye finds it very pleasing. This Golden Proportion underlies virtually everything we consider to be beautiful. “Even teeth have Golden Proportion measurements, and cosmetic dentists have used those for years,” Morris says. “When the face collapses and becomes more square, we use Golden Proportions to determine how far the nose and chin should be apart. We want to get that triangular shape back.” Using the Golden Proportion when it comes to injectable fillers or with cosmetic threads can made the difference between a beautiful, natural look and results that seem artificial or too “done”. 52

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Getting Botox injections or lips filled while already numb and in the chair for cleanings or other work also is a matter of real convenience for many patients. Some dentists have been expanding facial aesthetic offerings beyond Botox and fillers to include advanced lasers, cosmetic PDO threads, micro-needling, and the use of blood factors that promote healing among other benefits. Morris has been using two types of cosmetic threads to lift sagging facial, jowl and neck chin and also create volume in sunken areas in the cheeks and mouth and beneath the eyes. “For years, you could see women with no lines on their faces, but then you’d see all these wrinkles on their necks,” she says. “Now, we can place threads right in those neck wrinkles and in the décolletage to generate collagen.” The threads also can help stimulate growth of hair and eyebrows. They work by promoting the production and circulation of collagen, building strength, elasticity and firmness, for a more youthful look. The threads dissolve over time, but the collagen matrix remains so results last from 18 months to four years. Also for thread lifts and other procedures, Morris prepares platelet rich fibrin (PRF) from her patient’s own blood to use with the procedure to promote healing and further stimulate collagen production. PRF is richer in growth and cell communication factors than platelet rich plasma (PRP). As a holistic dentist, she also uses a special method of heating PRF that makes it suitable to use as an injectable filler for patients who prefer a natural rather than synthetic material. Before seeing a dentist or any other practitioner offering facial aesthetics, ensure they are qualified. Patients should know what advanced training a practitioner has in the procedures they offer. This should be prominently displayed on the website and in other marketing materials along with who trained them. Practitioners also should provide before and after pictures of their actual work, and not use the photos from the companies that sell the products. “People shouldn’t hesitate to consider dentists who meet these criteria for facial aesthetics,” Morris says. “Dentists have the knack for injectables. They are used to working in tight areas, and they know how to be precise because they are working in millimeters.”


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Please join us FOR MOTE MARINE LABORATORY'S 2020 Special Lecture Series Every Monday in January Lectures start at 6:30 p.m. (doors open 5:30 p.m.) Mote's WAVE Center 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota VeniceTheatre.org |

JAN

06 JAN

13 JAN

20 JAN

27 THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS Gulf Coast Community Foundation | The Ehrhart Family Foundation Eric Styren & David Towne | James & Joanne Williams | Steve & Redenta Picazio Dennis & Ruthanne Neeser | Patty Schmitt | SCENE MAGAZINE 54

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Pricing (per ticket, per lecture): $15 for non-Mote Members | $10 for Mote Members RSVP required online at mote.org/lecture


WELCOME TO

FLORIDA INTEGRATIVE MEDICAL CENTER

Meet Dr. John Monhollon and Dr. James Williams

With a combined six decades of experience, our team will take you beyond conventional to leading edge, research based medicine for your optimal health and wellness. We specialize in solving: CHRONIC FATIGUE • BRAIN FOG • BODY ACHES • LOW ENERGY • AND MORE!

Mention FLIMC-SCENE and receive 10% OFF your first visit. 2415 University Parkway Suite 218, Sarasota | 941.955.6220 | FLIMC.com


living healthier By Sue Cullen Turning the calendar page spreads a new year of possibilities before us and inspires determination to live our best lives. How do we do that? By resolving to be more relaxed, nourished, mentally sharp and robustly healthy with a little leading-edge advice from the experts.

nutrition Mediterranean, keto, paleo, raw, low-carb, high-protein, vegan, South Beach, DASH, fruitarian, gluten-free. The list of diets and their associated health claims really does go on—and on. Throw in the notion of fasting, not to mention detoxing, and it’s no wonder people are confused. What keeps us exploring down these bewildering paths is the quest for health, anti-aging and longevity, and there is compelling evidence that what and how we eat holds some promise. Dr. John Monhollon, a family physician with Florida Integrative Medical Center (941.955.6220/flimc.com), not only has a clear cut dietary approach he recommends for patients but also one he has practiced himself for most of his life. “We are eating a non-human diet. Our bodies were designed to eat whole, natural foods, and you can’t expect it to run right without putting in the fuel it was designed to use,” Monhollon says. “Over the last 100 years, the human diet changed dramatically. Tremendously effective advertising taught us that natural 56

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food is not what we are supposed to be eating. We should be eating processed foods. That’s the cause of most of the disease we have in my opinion.” Monhollon recommends a largely vegetarian diet, which he has been eating for 37 years with an emphasis on raw foods since heating over 107 degrees Fahrenheit destroys enzymes. Within that broad guideline, Monhollon advocates a personalized nutrition program based on an individual’s needs and food sensitivities. He is a strong proponent of drinking fresh, raw vegetable juice, which he considers concentrated nutrition. For the very ill, Monhollon recommends only vegetable juice, and adding vegetables and eventually fruits, nuts and grains as their health improves. “The sicker you are, the more restrictive your diet should be. Fasting is a great healer,” he says. “I encourage everyone to fast with vegetable juices for some period of time. Someone with a life-threatening condition should eat no food at all. It


lives

We are eating a non-human diet. Our bodies were designed to eat whole, natural foods, and you can’t expect it to run right without putting in the fuel it was designed to use.

takes a lot of energy to process food, and when someone is sick, that energy is needed for healing.” Cancer patients also should avoid sugar since the malignant cells’ metabolism requires it for fuel. That includes limiting fruit, fruit juices, starches and alcohol. Fasting is a trending topic at the moment, but the idea of fasting dates to ancient times. Research since the 1930s has associated severe calorie restriction–by 25 to 50 percent or more–with antiaging properties and increased lifespan in lab animals. More recently, research with Rhesus monkeys, which share 93 percent of their DNA with humans, showed similar benefits. Research with humans suggests fasting reduces insulin resistance and improves blood sugar levels, aids blood pressure and cholesterol regulation, fights damaging inflammation, boosts brain function, and has shown anti-aging and longevity benefits. “Fasting is an excellent discipline for restricting calories and a recipe for a longer life with less disease,” Monhollon says. “You can do it on your own. It’s not that radical. In the early days, three meals weren’t available every day. We ate when we hunted and gathered. If our bodies were not designed to fast, we wouldn’t have survived.” Intermittent fasting, which confines eating to a limited number of hours daily, also has shown promising results. “I don’t eat until noon. I do drink vegetable juice whenever I want,” he says. “We’ve always been told breakfast is the most important meal. I’ve found that to be a big lie at least for most adults. I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for over three years. I don’t miss the food, and I don’t feel as good on the days that I cheat.” Proper nutritional supplementation is important with–at least–a high quality multivitamin. Crops are grown in depleted soil and even eating all natural, whole foods may not supply required nutrients. Monhollon also advocates regular detoxification with fasting and herbal support to ensure toxins don’t accumulate. He likens it to a spring cleaning in addition to regular housekeeping. “I want people to know that this can be very simple. You don’t need a Ph.D. in nutrition to fuel the body,” he says. “It’s built in. Just eat a variety of natural foods, and your body will perform beautifully for you.” JANUARY 2020 | SARASOTA SCENE

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prevention Benjamin Franklin got it right when he said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Nowhere is that more true than with our health, and the great news is we can do a lot when it comes to prevention. That also is the bad news because when it comes to avoiding–or healing–serious and chronic health conditions, there’s no short cut to a cure-all. Our fates rest largely in our own hands. That includes taking the initiative to find the right kind of help because—while there is no miracle pill—there are ways to fight accelerated aging and boost health. “The best prevention is not getting old by prolonging health as long as you can over your lifespan. I call it the health span,” says Dr. James E. Williams of Florida Integrative Medical Center (941.955.6220/flimc.com), who has been a pioneer in integrative medicine, longevity and quality of life. In addition to mastering integrative, naturopathic, and Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, Williams has produced seven books and programs as well as numerous blog posts on related topics. He also travels the globe to glean ancient wisdom in ethnobotany from indigenous tribes. 58

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When it comes to prevention, it helps to be blessed with great genes, a childhood of home-cooked meals with fresh veggies, and a sun-soaked cat’s approach to stress management. Even if that’s not the case—or past experiences with diet and lifestyle changes have been less than positive—preventing or even reversing accelerated aging and poor health is possible. The place to start is with real data, according to Williams. “Some patients are confused. They’re doing a lot of things, but nothing’s working. They think they’re on the best diet and taking the best supplements, but they have bought into marketing hype and salesmanship rather than good clinical advice in their interest,” he says. Williams advocates comprehensive nutritional and other testing to identify key areas to target for improvement. He also advises aiming for desirable and optimal levels for blood work rather than just hitting the normal range. “Not everything is important,” he says. “We find clinical markers that are significant and meaningful that a patient can reverse, if they do things right, and chart a clear path to goals. That requires a good diagnosis.”


Some patients are confused. They’re doing a lot of things, but nothing’s working. They think they’re on the best diet and taking the best supplements, but they have bought into marketing hype and salesmanship rather than good clinical advice in their interest.

“One 60-year-old patient was severely overweight and severely diabetic with swollen ankles. She said she had to stay healthy because she was caring for her young grandson,” Williams says. “Five months later, she already made progress. She’s taking fish oil and eating better. You have to keep it simple and focus on things that work.” For most, that means committing to changes in diet and exercise. “You don’t find a universal perfect diet. I’ve done all the diets over 40 years of clinical experience and now focus on real food, largely plant-based eating and regularly taking breaks with intermittent fasting,” he says. “Too much sitting is horrible. It’s important to move more.” Williams also cites the importance of avoiding environmental pollutants and evading infections. Tracking down and eliminating hidden inflammation in blood vessels and organs is also fundamental to prevention. “Some very good tests are available and some didn’t exist two years ago,” he says. “This is an extraordinary time for medicine.”

For those looking to give their bodies additional anti-aging support, Williams offers advice on supplementation to boost NAD+ and provides NAD+ IV therapies. NAD+ is a coenzyme that plays a crucial role in cell functioning and energy production as well as maintaining the length of telomeres that protect chromosomes during cell division. NAD+ production declines as people age, and telomeres shorten, which has been associated with premature aging, heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Despite advances in understanding accelerated aging and disease prevention along with supportive protocols and therapies, chronic illness is on the rise and impacting younger populations. The solution is to put knowledge into action, and when that happens, the results are more than encouraging. “Conditions can be prevented or reversed with lifestyle changes,” Williams says. “It’s important to stay motivated consistently over time.”

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We see what is lacking in hormones or vitamins and try to replace that. We check exposure to toxins and treat those that might affect the brain.

brain Many things impact quality of life as we gracefully age. Leading that list is staying at the top of our mental game. Until recently, no roadmap existed for how to maintain optimal brain health or even reverse early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Through Sarasota’s Center for Brain Health, neurologist Dr. Julio Cantero is offering a protocol with demonstrated ability to reverse cognitive decline in certain individuals–for the first time. A 2014 study showed the protocol, ReCODE, reversed cognitive decline for nine of 10 Alzheimer’s patients, which was confirmed in two subsequent scientific papers. Now, the ReCODE protocol is in clinical trials worldwide to test results with more than 2,000 patients at medical centers such as the Cleveland Clinic, Mount Sinai Hospital and George Washington University. Locally, the Center for Brain Health (941.556.9900/thecbh.com) offers a Brain Tune-Up program based on ReCODE to help those looking to prevent cognitive decline. The Center also is inviting people with mild cognitive impairment and early onset or newly diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease to

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participate in an observational study led by Cantero to advance ongoing ReCODE research. “I became involved with this protocol because we haven’t found any cures for Alzheimer’s. Medication studies have closed over time because patients showed no response,” says Cantero, who is triple board certified in neurology, sleep medicine and neurophysiology. “That left me with little to offer patients with cognitive decline. ReCODE offers the expectation that patients will regain some of their cognitive function. Even if they stay the same, that’s better than what we have now.” The ReCODE protocol addresses multiple imbalances associated with Alzheimer’s, including those that can be affected by lifestyle changes, and is based on 30 years of research by UCLA neuroscientist and neurologist Dr. Dale Bredesen. In his book, The End of Alzheimer’s, Bredesen initially identified 36 factors associated with cognitive decline, including genetics, toxins, hormones, nutrient depletion, insulin resistance and systemic inflammation.


He uses the analogy of a roof with 36 leaks–plugging one­doesn’t solve the problem. The goal is to address as many of the “holes” as possible to allow the brain to reverse mechanisms causing cognitive decline. Imaging, cognitive testing and blood work provide concrete data for developing individualized treatment plans that empower people to make changes for improved brain health. Ongoing tests reveal how the ReCODE protocol is working for participants. “When we see images showing growth in the hippocampus, which is where memories are stored in the brain, or a PET scan demonstrating clinical improvement in the amount of beta-amyloid, that demonstrates effectiveness,” says Cantero, who is lead investigator for the observational study and whose practice is with Intercoastal Neurology Group. Beta-amyloid is a protein fragment that accumulates in Alzheimer’s patients’ brains eventually killing neurons. Cantero has seen some encouraging results in the observational study, even though 80 percent of participants have the APO-E4 gene, which elevates the chances of developing Alzheimer’s and presents challenges for halting or reversing the disease. One 80-year-old Alzheimer’s participant—with the APO-E4 gene and PET scans showing amyloid plaques—has made encouraging progress. His Montreal Cognitive Assessment score improved from 23 to 26 out of 30, where 26 is considered normal cognition. He also has above average motor speed, psychomotor speed and visual memory along with average reaction time, complex executive function, processing speed, and verbal and composite memory. Subjectively, he reports remembering more parts of a conversation and feels more aware, in-control, energetic and motivated. Cantero’s observational study is being conducted under the guidance of ReCODE neuroscientists and with Bredesen’s Apollo Health team. Having a close working relationship with researchers means

he has access for consultation and current updates to the protocol based on ongoing clinical trial research. Apollo Health has developed software that analyzes participants’ cognitive assessments, lab results and genetics to create an algorithm that allows development of optimal personalized treatment plans. “We see what is lacking in hormones or vitamins and try to replace that. We check exposure to toxins and treat those that might affect the brain. Patients are on a plantbased, mildly ketogenic diet that is maximized by doing an individually-adapted exercise routine showing the most benefits for cognition,” Cantero says. “With ongoing brain exercises and cognitive assessments, we are trying to get the best out of the brain that we possibly can.”

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stress Constant stress seems to be the not-so-new normal in today’s world, and we definitely know it’s bad for us. Unfortunately, understanding just how bad it really is can be even more stressful. So take a deep relaxing breath, we do have some powerful tools to help tame our perpetual state of fight or flight. The body’s stress responses are a factor in an estimated 75 to 90 percent of disease, according to a 2017 article in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience peer-reviewed journal. A perpetual state of stress has been tied to heart disease, diabetes and other metabolic disorders, nonfatty liver disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, and suppression of the immune system’s cancer-fighting mechanisms. With all due respect to Western medicine, modalities of Eastern medicine are at the forefront when it comes to helping reset our bodies’ relaxation response. “I like to

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empower my patients to know they have so much more control over how they feel,” says Dr. Jessica Lipham of Sarasota Healing Arts (941.487.7311/drjessicalipham.com), an integrative well-care family practice. “For stressed patients, I am able to hold space and listen to them. I help them create a relationship between mind and body as often times there is a disconnect. As long as patients are open to it, we use methods such as qigong, Chinese herbs and acupuncture.” Qigong, pronounced chee-gung, is an ancient Chinese health system. Qigong is thousands of years old and helps relieve stress and supports movement of energy— also called chi—in the body. Lipham studied qigong in China after earning a doctorate in natural medicine and a master’s degree in oriental medicine. “It was a total game-changer for me, right down to the bone,” she says. “You get a Zen feeling within minutes of practice and learn how to efficiently ‘dump’ the negativity we carry


For stressed patients, I am able to hold space and listen to them. I help them create a relationship between mind and body as often times there is a disconnect.

around. Anyone can come in at any level of experience. It is mentally, emotionally and spiritually anchoring.” Lipham leads qigong classes on Thursdays at 10 a.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m. in Arlington Park. She also holds quarterly qigong retreats at Warm Mineral Springs. “Qigong is a reset. You’re balanced and very aware of that balance,” she says. “People are aware they have better control over how they react or respond to situations out of their control. It’s a deep centeredness and a smooth inner calm.” Chinese herbal medicine has many supportive formulations for stress reduction. Lipham has a full, fresh Chinese medicinary and also uses Western botanicals such as chamomile and passionflower. “Many formulas are 4,500 years old. The mood support formulas actually cure the condition,” she says. “People don’t have to stay on them although they have very few side effects.” Acupuncture also is an extremely ancient practice–one that even the conservative American Medical Association has recognized for its pain management benefits. Like qigong, it also is a system that affects energy movement within the body. “Acupuncture resets the nervous system from fight or flight to the parasympathetic nervous system of rest and digest,” Lipham says. “I can see patients shape shift right in front of my face. They walk out and already are better, and it only takes half an hour on the table.” While these ancient traditions are effective, Lipham also recommends genetic and other tests along with food sensitivity panels after having a thorough intake conversation with new patients. The goal is to determine underlying causes that need to be addressed in order to relieve unnecessary burdens on the body. A simple place to start comes down to the very basics of restful sleep, good nutrition, and proper hydration. Lipham says people don’t drink enough water and recommends patients drink plain water equivalent to half their body weight in ounces every day. “We live at a level within society where people even sleep in a state of stress,” she says. “There’s no blanket panacea. We’re all different. We have to treat the person, not the illness.”

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Caring for the

WHOL E Senior JFCS Clients Make the Most of their “Encore” By Sylvia Whitman

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Forget red and blue: Gray and white dominate the local map. Sarasota may not be the oldest county by median age in the United States, or even in Florida, but it’s getting up there, according to Pam Baron, director of senior programs for Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Sarasota-Manatee (JFCS). Like the rest of the country, and the globe, this region is aging, with a third of the population above age 65 and a significant portion age 80 or older. This period of the lifespan often brings losses—but also opportunities. Without Pollyannaism, JFCS addresses the first and embraces the second. “When you think of seniors,” says CEO Heidi Brown, “it’s not their last chapter. They’re winding up for the encore.” JFCS’s work has inspired Ruthellen and Marc Rubin to endow “The Bradford and Temi Saivetz Fund for Seniors,” named for Ruthellen’s parents. After her dad died, Ruthellen and Marc moved down to Longboat

Key to look after her mom—and discovered the demands of caregiving. Ruthellen says they were lucky: They could hire a nurse to stay overnight with her mom, bedridden and unable to use the phone. “I knew she was safe. What about people who couldn’t afford to hire someone to help? What about those people who are just alone?” After Temi Saivetz died in 2018 at age 97, the Rubins’ extended family laid down a philanthropic challenge, promising to match donations over the next five years up to $1 million. “A big inspiration for Ruthellen was to help other caregivers through a very difficult journey,” says Brown. “We know our senior services will continue to be in high demand. We’re so grateful to Ruthellen and Marc for their vision and generosity that allow us to support seniors’ dignity and independence.”

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Ruthellen and Marc Rubin

Creating a Community About 25 years ago, says Baron, JFCS started a senior outreach program. Before the curtailment of pensions, many retirees in their late 50s and early 60s settled on the Gulf Coast and found themselves aging far from the families and institutions that had anchored their adulthood. Paradise had thorns, though: a sense of isolation and lack of purpose. These compounded the ordinary challenges of senescence: acute or chronic illness, caregiving, death of a longtime partner, financial stress, loss of self-sufficiency. JFCS has long taken a “a wholistic approach to caring for seniors,” says CEO Brown, “which includes their emotional wellbeing.” According to Baron, the senior program touches about 500 clients and fields 2-3 new calls a day. Although physicians and financial planners now advise people to plan to be a centenarian, health and money crises often bring unprepared seniors and their long-distance relatives to JFCS. Staffers answer questions and make referrals. “One strength of Sarasota-Manatee,” says Baron, “is that there are a lot of resources and many organizations,” from assisted living communities to the Senior Friendship Centers, from homecare agencies to Tidewell Hospice. To address cognitive decline, for instance, JFCS partners with the Roskamp Institute and the Gulf Coast chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. “We all work together,” says Baron. 68

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JFCS itself offers individual and group counseling, as well as geriatric case management for far-flung families and caregiver support. If needed, a staffer will make a home visit to check on a senior’s safety and nutrition. But as much as possible, JFCS encourages clients to get out and join in. The weekly lunch meeting on the Fruitville campus, which combines information sharing and social gathering, has grown from “six ladies picked up in a Ford van” to today’s packed morning and afternoon sessions with speakers and discussions. Some people have been attending for a decade or more. “These days people understand that mental health connects to emotional wellbeing and physical health,” says Baron. “Isolation and loneliness have an impact on mental health as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.” Baron, a 15-year JFCS veteran, says one of her favorite calls came from a daughter, who marveled, “’I can’t believe my father goes to a group every week.’” Along with celebrating holidays and the like, participants talk about grief and loss and burdens. “The therapeutic piece is part of it,” says Baron. “People really do share.” Longevity has created a two-tiered senior population, and many of the “junior seniors” volunteer with the lunch program, finding a sense of purpose and learning about the road ahead. CEO Brown observes, “It’s so important to have that socialization, so that seniors feel a part of something.”


“Under the Big Top�

March 26, 2020

140 University Town Center Dr

A festival under the Sarasota Circus Arts tent. All proceeds to benefit JFCS of the Suncoast.


Guiding Reflection JFCS therapists also meet one on one with clients dogged by stress, anxiety, and depression. “Many seniors say simply that they don’t feel well,” says Karen Lord, JFCS’s director of counseling services. “When we attend to their mental health, they sometimes see physical symptoms clear up.” Depression, staffers emphasize, is NOT a normal part of aging. It’s a treatable condition. Seniors experience the same mental health issues as the rest of the population, says Lord. But their situation adds other strains and fears. Lord lays out a typical case study—a new widow, married more than 40 years, no longer able to drive, grown children busy with their own lives in another state. Her late husband managed the finances, and now she realizes that they weren’t as comfortable as she thought. “Now she’s wondering, ‘Do I pay the electric bill or water bill this month?’” JFCS helps clients deal with logistics of daily life and accompanying emotions. The goal for therapy: “process feelings and come up with a game plan to feel better.” Seniors who have finished careers and raised families need to identify skills, passions, and interests to address a prevalent complaint: lack of purpose. For some, volunteering fills a void. Others take up a new sport or enroll in a class. “There is a new face to the older population. It’s a very active community of seniors,” says Lord. Nonetheless, “self-esteem building is a major part of our work. We guide seniors to reflect on past accomplishments—and to recognize they’re still a valuable part of society, even though society doesn’t always do a good job of showing that.” Many seniors “grew up with that expectation that you need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and you need to be OK,” says Lord. When life slows down, some realize “that they’re not OK. I have a lot of respect for seniors ready to tackle traumas they’ve confronted in their life.” Sometimes seniors are grieving a child lost to illness or suicide, to a car accident or drug overdose. Sometimes they have to dig even deeper to uncover wounds. Often for the first time, clients may open up—about anti-Semitism, for instance, or sexual violence. In their generation, police often responded to domestic abuse by telling women to go home and “behave,” says Lord. “They’re working through trust issues.” 70

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But clients’ willingness to confront old demons heartens JFCS therapists. “Some of the best therapy that goes on here is with seniors,” says Lord. “They’re ready; they’re in a place of wisdom. They’re ready to process all that.”

Lightening the Caregiver’s Load For seniors and their families, knowing what’s not available can be just as important as knowing what is, according to Baron. Studies show that over 90% of people want to age in place, but Florida ranks 47th in the nation for state-funded inhome support. “There are a lot of misconceptions about what Medicare will pay for,” adds Baron. Most seniors don’t see themselves as needing to move into a life-care community, so by the time they do, “they’re not the picture of the people in the ad.” No one size fits all. With increased longevity, sometimes coupled with debilitating conditions such as dementia or Parkinson’s disease, more and more family members, including men, have to step into the caregiving breach at some point. “We’re calling it an unexpected career,” says Baron. “We see it across the board socioeconomically.” She points to studies that show caregivers have a higher mortality rate than their peers without that responsibility. At JFCS, caring for seniors means caring for their caregivers as well. That commitment inspired the Rubins. The three years they spent looking after Ruthellen’s widowed mother, downsizing from her house to a condo, drained them. “No matter how much time you put in, it’s never enough,” says Rubin. “The need is so great at the end of life.” Along the way, she got to know her mom’s friends. “I can’t tell you how many didn’t have anyone,” she says. Since her parents loved Longboat Key, Rubin is especially pleased that JFCS is collaborating with multiple partners to revamp the island’s Paradise Center into a comprehensive wellness facility. Seniors and their caregivers will find not just mah jongg and yoga but a medical clinic and JFCS senior programs—without the commute. The wing housing JFCS offices will bear her parents’ names. A professional fundraiser for more than 25 years, Rubin appreciates the fit of her goals and the organization. “This was something I had come to really care about,” says Rubin. “JFCS did me a favor by letting our family feel really good about this legacy gift in this community.”


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Virtue By Sue Cullen | Photo by Nancy Guth

B

y the time Dr. Jaqlyn Jacobs, founder of Virtue of Health, was diagnosed with systemic lupus at age 16, she already had been struggling with health issues for 11 years. Jacobs wanted more than just treatment for her symptoms, which launched her on a personal journey to wellness. It also has shaped the direction of Jacobs’ life and led her to found Virtue of Health to help others. “When I was diagnosed, my doctor seemed to only be interested in treating my symptoms, and the prescribed medications only made me sicker. Due to my declining health I was about 40 pounds overweight at the time. Resolving to get to the root cause of my problems, I began intensely researching subjects such as orthomolecular nutrition, hormones, environmental toxicity and the gut microbiome,” she said. “I was reminded that the body is exceptional at self-healing when it has the proper tools.”

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After starting to practice the basics, such as eliminating gluten, sugar and dairy, and advanced therapies such as heavy metal chelation, hormone balancing and deficiency correction via IV nutrients, the weight disappeared very quickly. The lupus symptoms also cleared, and she no longer suffered from joint pain, skin rashes, spiking fevers or hair loss. Jacobs earned a master’s degree in orthomolecular nutrition and a doctorate in naturopathic medicine. She also studied extensively with experts in biochemistry, microbiology, microscopy and parasitology, bio-identical hormones and endocrinology, functional pharmacology, metabolic function and weight loss. Jacobs founded Virtue of Health (941.724.6399/ virtueofhealth.com) in 2014 to put all that she learned into practice by teaching other physicians and expanding the availability of functional medicine to more people. She opened Virtue of Health, a medically supervised wellness center and functional medicine clinic at 3333 Clark Road in 2018. SARASOTA SCENE | JANUARY 2020


“We focus more on comprehensive in depth lab work to find the underlying cause of why the person is experiencing their symptoms . . . We try to bring the body back into balance.”

of Health Finding a Path to Radiant Wellbeing

“We focus more on comprehensive in depth lab work to find the underlying cause of why the person is experiencing their symptoms,” Jacobs says. “For example, women who have hormone imbalances with hot flashes and night sweats can receive hormone replacement, but we also look at the nutritional deficiencies that affect their hormone production and decline. We try to bring the body back into balance.” Virtue of Health has helped patients with conditions that include thyroid, metabolic and hormone imbalances, Lyme disease, autoimmune disorders including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer, low testosterone in men, and a range of digestive issues from ulcers and diverticulosis to ulcerative colitis and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). The clinic also works with children to address autism, ADD, ADHD, food sensitivities and allergies. “We always start with gut health by looking at digestion, nutrient absorption and deficiencies. The gut has over 100 million neurons that connect directly to the brain, 70 percent of our immune system comes from the colon, and we are finding that the gut microbiome even controls genetics and how our bodies are shaped,” Jacobs says. “Once gut health is restored, we start to see changes in patients’ energy, mood and hormone production. People are surprised to learn how much their entire well-being is related to their gut.” Among other therapies, Virtue of Health provides customized IV nutrient drips designed to deliver vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and other therapeutic substances directly into the bloodstream. These are effective for many issues from brain fog, poor memory and fatigue to heavy metal toxicity and immune support. Testing for toxins is an important part of the process, since people are exposed to so many in their daily lives, from heavy metals and pesticides in the environment and food to cosmetics and personal care products that contain phthalates and parabens. Detoxing IV therapies are available to help remove toxins, especially for those with the common MTHFR gene variation whose bodies cannot detox effectively and who may carry toxins from childhood.

First-time Virtue of Health patients receive a complimentary 30-minute consultation to determine their health goals and discuss whether the clinic’s offerings are a good fit for their needs. If so, patients receive a full physical exam with blood work done in-office. Results from the exam and blood work are used to create an action plan that aims to treat the root cause of the person’s disease. Highly trained nurse practitioners, nurses and health coaches help patients create new diet and lifestyle habits that work for them with the intent of looking at the body as a whole. Virtue of Health’s approach has been successful as attested to by a plethora of five-star reviews and stories of patients’ experiences on Google, and Jacobs plans to expand regionally with more clinics. “I know what it is to be unwell and have true empathy for what our patients go through. I would like to grow quickly so I can share and expand this type of alternative approach to medicine for the people who truly need it,” she says. “I have experienced it myself and know that when I practice everything I preach, I feel great.”

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Put tin` it 0n at the ritz

Please j0in us f0r a r0aring, g00d time Saturday,, February 8,, 2o2o 6,p.m., , Grand Ballr00m the Ritz—Carlt0n,,Saras0ta,

Special Guest Speaker TIM TEBOW s Two-time Florida Gator National Champion s First round NFL draft pick and Heisman Trophy Winner s Played three years in the NFL for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets s Professional baseball member of the New York Mets Don’t miss the opportunity to hear this dynamic professional athlete and celebrity. Seats Limited!

Sponsorship Opportunities Available For more information call 941-355-4680, ext.301 or email mya.widmyer@catholiccharitiesdov.org or visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org. Benefiting the programs and services of Catholic Charities in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Presenting Sponsor

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Media Sponsors

Sarasota and Manatee Counties

SARASOTA SCENE | JANUARY 2020


JDRF

Night of Hope Gala Sarasota-Manatee

Friday, February 7th, 2020 6:00pm-11:00pm The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, FL An Evening of

Kings and Queens For details, please contact Andrea Helme at ahelme@jdrf.org / 727-344-2873

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ve music in our piano room...

The Past, Present and Future of INFINITI After years of top-secret preparation, INFINITI was announced to the world in 1989 and instantly revolutionized the automotive industry. While a lot has changed in three decades, INFINITI’s dedication to driver-centric design, innovation and an unwavering belief that luxury should be lived in has continued to drive the brand forward. At INFINITI of Sarasota, we uphold these same principles today while continuously raising the bar even higher on the overall customer experience. We’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with some of the finest people over the years. We consider ourselves a large family with a primary commitment to taking care of our clients - first and foremost. Loyalty is power and we pride ourselves on the relationships we’ve created over the years.

m its inviting old world charm and sophistication We would like to extend a sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU to our dedicated staff and incredibly loyal clientele

that we serve — year after year. Stop by and take advantage of our most exceptional offers of the new year. Awardo its timeless, artistic cuisine, let the legendary

winning service, care and attention starts the second you walk through our doors and continues for years to come.

Europe take you on an unforgettable culinary adventure.

Welcome to Our Family.

Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner Welcome to INFINITI ofESarasota. STABLISHED 1973 431 St. Armands Circle, Sarasota | 941.388.4415 | cafeleurope.net

Dan Bonora General Manager

TINENTAL CUISINE | FINE WINES | CRAFT COCKTAILS | PIANO MUSIC Clark Rd Sarasota, FL 34233 • (941) 924-1211 • infinitiofsarasota.com | PRIVATE LFRESCO DINING4950 DINING | PRIVATE DINING CATERING


SA R ASOTA

/

MANATEE

doctors &dentists OF DISTINCTION

A SARASOTA SCENE MAGAZINE SPECIAL SECTION JANUARY JANUARY 2020 2020 || SARASOTA SARASOTA SCENE SCENE

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REBECCA S. COHEN M.D. Always aiming to help patients achieve remission, Dr. Rebecca Cohen tailors individual treatments for patients using a comprehensive approach based on modern advances in psychiatric medicine. Dr. Cohen is an experienced psychopharmacologist–a psychiatrist specializing in finetuning medications to improve patient outcomes. She also has looked beyond medications for effective treatments and pioneered a non-invasive FDA-approved option to help those with persistent major depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Known as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), this treatment also has shown promise for a range of other conditions from PTSD and generalized anxiety to certain bipolar disorders. “It’s not that medications don’t work. The psychopharmacology of mental health disorders is highly improved over what it could offer in the past. For some patients medications work beautifully, but not for all,” said Dr. Cohen, who also serves as Medical Director and consultant for Greenbrook TMS Neuro Health Centers, the largest national provider with more than 80 locations nationwide. Dr. Cohen, whose experience includes research at the Harvard Medical School Neurology Department and serving as Chief Psychiatry Resident at Georgetown Hospital, has helped launch five Greenbrook sites in the Tampa Bay area, including Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch. TMS works on the brain’s mood centers by focusing short bursts of magnetic energy similarly to an MRI. Treatment is done while the patient is awake and lasts about 15 minutes, usually with no discomfort, in an attractive, serene setting designed to promote relaxation. “Some patients suffer from major depression that is only partially responsive to medication, and for others medication usage is limited by side effects,” she said. “With TMS, 70 percent of patients experience significant improvement and of those, 40 percent achieve remission. People feel better, clearer and more focused, and the durability of the effect is better than most other options.”

Locally, Tod Creneti underwent a course of TMS treatments and achieved noticeable results. “Right away I noticed that getting started in the morning was much easier. When you struggle with depression, the hardest thing to do all day is get out of bed because bed seems like a safe place,” Creneti said. “As treatment progressed, I started noticing more clarity in my thinking and a certain clarity that helps me understand when I’m just having a tough day and when I’m feeling depressed. I think this is a treatment that could help a lot of people.” While TMS is FDA-approved for treatment resistant major depression and OCD, research is underway for other conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, autism, chronic pain and auditory hallucinations. Off-label uses for PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder and bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 have been showing convincing data, Dr. Cohen said. In addition to psychopharmacology and TMS, Dr. Cohen offers patients additional options for comprehensive care. She works closely with primary care doctors and with several experienced psychotherapists. Counseling on proper nutrition, exercise and sleep hygiene also plays an important role in patients’ wellness. Because stress-related issues, such as anxiety and insomnia, are so common, Dr. Cohen has a biofeedback specialist on staff to work with patients by giving them better tools for stress reduction and mindfulness. To accommodate significant growth in the practice, Dr. Cohen is planning to bring in an additional psychiatrist mid-year to expand availability of private practice hours. “We need to get patients to remission, and we use all the tools to get there,” she said. “I advocate a full court press because it’s not one thing that gets people better, it’s everything working synergistically,” When she’s not helping patients, Dr. Cohen is teaching the next generation as Clinical Assistant Professor at FSU College of Medicine as part of the outpatient psychiatry clerkship for students. 1217 S East Ave., Suite 209 Sarasota, FL 941.404.0545 drrebeccacohen.com JANUARY 2020 | SARASOTA SCENE

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“Our work is very individual. We do 3D modeling and go tooth by tooth to be sure patients get what they want.”

JENIFER C. BACK DMD

Growing up in rural Kentucky, Dr. Jenifer Back of Sarasota Smile Design describes her early experience with dentists as terrible. Out of her fear and discomfort grew the desire to offer others a far different dental visit. “I thought I could change how people experience going to the dentist,” Dr. Back said. “I wanted it to feel like a small town beauty shop where people want to be and are getting things done that they want. That still drives what we do.” Now in her 25th year in Sarasota, she offers a full spectrum of general dentistry but has found her practice has grown more into cosmetic dentistry, which she finds very rewarding. Dr. Back also recently has added a practitioner who practices general dentistry and also focuses on placing dental implants. “When I can fix how a tooth looks, give someone a new smile or improve something that’s been bothering them their whole life, it gets close to the beauty shop experience that I remember,” she said. “There is an emotional reward for that.” While her practice emphasizes a personal touch, Dr. Back also focuses on high tech. She uses new materials

for restorations that are not only beautiful but also stronger than natural teeth. Her investment in digital dentistry means she can provide patients with visual imagery of what final work will look like. Because of her confidence in her work, Dr. Back guarantees it for a lifetime with proper care. “I try to under-promise and over-deliver so if you like the visuals, you’ll love the actual results,” she said. “Our work is very individual. We do 3D modeling and go tooth by tooth to be sure patients get what they want. The hallmark is when people say ‘what a beautiful smile’ and not ‘that’s nice dental work’.” Dr. Back’s work has been recognized in a variety of national media including clinical journals, such as Woman Dentist Journal, DentistryIQ.com and PinkTooth.net, as well as New Beauty Magazine where she has been named a top doctor. Bringing a small town warmth to beautiful results means Dr. Back and Sarasota Smile Design are creating smiles all around.

3800 Clark Rd. Sarasota, FL 941.927.5411 info@sarasotasmiledesign.com sarasotasmiledesign.com 80

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“I worked with people from all walks of life who wanted different approaches, learned nutritionbased therapies and the power of the mind for healing.”

KAREN BRAINARD M.D. Dr. Karen Brainard, co-founder of Bradenton East Integrative Medicine, sets patients on the path to wellness–or helps them stay well–with a holistic approach that combines emerging, proven medical treatments with an array of complementary services. “We get to know each person in the context of their family and community, learning what motivates them,” Dr. Brainard says. “Therapies are directed at who they are and what they want to do. Patients receive prudent medical advice and have a menu of services to diagnose root causes and help them achieve their goals.” She works with those age 10 and older and, given Florida’s demographics, has a variety of tools to help people optimize how they address aging. These include achieving a healthy gut, which is important given newer science on the gut-brain interaction. She addresses chronic illness from lifestyle and medical perspectives, and provides bio-identical hormone replacement along with MonaLisa Touch vaginal rejuvenation for post-menopausal women. A variety of intravenous therapies include nutritional support, relief for chronic fatigue, immune system support

and more. A team of practitioners provides a comprehensive range of complementary services. These include another doctor, three nurse practitioners, acupuncturist, massage therapist/aesthetician, and health coach. A chiropractor, podiatrist, and aesthetic services nurse practitioner are co-located at the office. Dr. Brainard credits them for providing compassionate care that is the foundation of her practice. “I’ve been doing integrative health care for nearly 25 years. At a community health care center in rural New England, I worked with people from all walks of life who wanted different approaches, learned nutrition based therapies and the power of the mind for healing,” she says. “I also was a nurse before medical school, which grounds the caring part of my practice. I want to help each person reach optimal health.” Dr. Brainard is board certified in family medicine and integrative holistic medicine. She also models life balance for her patients by making time to enjoy her passions for ballroom dancing, gardening, and giving back through Bradenton’s Am and Fm Enterprise.

8614 State Rd. 70 E Suite 200, Bradenton, FL Sarasota, FL 941.727.1243 kbrainard@beimonline.com beimonline.com JANUARY 2020 | SARASOTA SCENE

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“I prefer to start with a stepwise protocol that gives women actionable steps so they leave my office feeling empowered rather than overwhelmed.”

PAMELA CHAPMAN D.O.

Experiencing first-hand the family distress caused by lifethreatening conditions, Dr. Pamela Chapman gained an early interest in helping people prevent illness and live healthier lives. As a functional medicine physician who is board certified in family medicine, Dr. Chapman empowers women to heal chronic conditions more naturally by addressing underlying causes of their symptoms. In her practice, Soulful Restoration, she takes a very personal approach to addressing common consequences of modern living, including fatigue, digestive issues, chronic stress, autoimmune issues, and toxic exposure. Dr. Chapman also focuses on women’s health to correct hormonal imbalances, thyroid disease and support heart health. “People may think the first visit to a functional medicine physician means a battery of expensive tests,” she said. “I prefer to start with a stepwise protocol that gives women actionable steps so they leave my office feeling empowered rather than overwhelmed.” Before the first visit, women complete an extensive questionnaire that covers everything from childhood illness to stress and environmental exposures.

“The first visit lasts at least an hour. I like to sit down and get to know them, and they get to know me,” she said. “I talk to women about the importance of feeling heard by their provider, and I strive to make sure they do feel heard when they leave my office.” Dr. Chapman believes that a “soulful” approach to medicine requires the expression of feelings and emotions. It brings the patient’s thoughts and goals to the forefront. “By creating connection to hear our patients and dig deeper into their chronic symptoms, we can often restore wellbeing without the need for multiple drugs from big-pharma,” she says. “Traditional Western medicine is great at treating acute disease, but if we’re going to make big changes for future generations we have to look at the whole picture.” After earning an undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Louisiana State University, Dr. Chapman relocated to Florida where she received her medical degree from LECOM. She subsequently served as Chief Patient Advocate and Chief Resident at St. Petersburg General Hospital and is a member of the Institute for Functional Medicine.

5861 Cortez Rd. W Bradenton, FL 34210 941.202.2106 soulfulrestoration.com

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“Plastic Surgery puts all the pieces of my experience together to problem-solve in unique ways that help people to heal and look healthier and rejuvenated.”

MARK CHECCONE M.D., FACS

Dr. Mark Checcone offers his patients a truly comprehensive and personalized experience in his practice, RejuveFace, which focuses on facial plastic surgery. As the name implies, Dr. Checcone helps patients appear rejuvenated whether they want to look their age, but rejuvenated and refreshed, or their goal is to reverse the signs of aging. He is double board certified in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery as well as otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) and does both cosmetic and medical procedures. Rhinoplasty is a forte, and it is not unusual for him to combine it with sinus surgery for those who have functional issues along with cosmetic goals. “My training in rhinoplasty is extensive, which is of particular importance for revision rhinoplasty,” he said. “The nose should be the center of your face, not the center of attention.” As a specialist of the face, head and neck, Dr. Checcone treats all ages, including children for otoplasty (ear pinning) and trauma, such as dog bites. He also offers patients minimally invasive options such as laser resurfacing, Botox, fillers and facial fat transfer. Dr. Checcone offers the newest

radiofrequency micro-needling technology that heats the skin for superior subdermal tightening. This Vivace microneedling is a good option for all patients with lighter or darker skin who want to avoid sun sensitivity induced by lasers and other light based therapy. Dr. Checcone grew up in Ohio and earned an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from Brown University. Following graduation, he spent two years in investment banking but missed medicine. Dr. Checcone completed post-baccalaureate study at Harvard Extension School and earned his medical degree from The Ohio State University. He completed his otolaryngology residency at the University of Miami and a fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He conducted research at Johns Hopkins University and was on the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis. “Plastic surgery requires thinking in three-dimensional space, creative design and artistry,” Dr. Checcone said. “It puts all the pieces of my experience together to problem-solve in unique ways that help people to heal and look healthier and rejuvenated.”

1958 Prospect St. Sarasota, FL 941.404.LIFT (5438) info@RejuveFace.com rejuveface.com

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“Hearing and balance go hand in hand . I think it is genius to put physical therapy right in house since it can lead to better quality of life.”

M. JONATHAN CLARK M.D.

As an experienced ear, nose and throat surgeon, Dr. M. Jonathan Clark of Fyzical Health understands the value his patients receive from vetted advancements in medical science and technology. These include leading edge hearing devices and options for in-office sinus procedures with minimal down time. “I’m always looking for what is available in the hearing restoration world,” Dr. Clark said. “Totally implantable hearing devices are available, but for now, partially implantable devices work better and are less expensive. Earlens is a nonsurgical option I like because if a patient isn’t satisfied, the device can be easily removed during the 30 day trial period and has a money back guarantee under Florida statues.” Dr. Clark performs cochlear implants and launched a successful implant program at Guthrie Clinic in Pennsylvania. He also does surgeries to repair chronic ear disease, ear bones and eardrums. Dr. Clark, who is board certified in otolaryngology, helps patients with general ENT issues such as hoarseness and vocal cord paralysis. He recently joined Fyzical Health and likes its approach to preventive health for patients by

providing physical therapy on site. “Hearing and balance go hand in hand,” Dr. Clark said. “I think it is genius to put physical therapy right in house since it can lead to better quality of life.” Because patients may have a number of treatment options to consider, he allows ample time to address any concerns and wants them to leave feeling their questions have been answered. Dr. Clark earned his medical degree at the University of Louisville and completed a residency in otolaryngology at the Geisinger Health System. He also attended Alliance Theological Seminary for a year in preparation for medical mission work, which he has done for many years in the Dominican Republic. Working with a school for the deaf, Dr. Clark helps provide children with hearing devices. He and his wife recently founded a nonprofit, Hearing for the Heart, to aid deaf children in the Dominican Republic and other areas in the Caribbean. Dr. Clark’s initial hopes are to establish a speech therapy program to aid children in developing normal speech patterns and eventually to offer cochlear implants.

2401 University Pkwy Suite 102 Sarasota, FL 941.355.2767 fyzicalhealth.com

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“We did the original research 12 years ago with PRP to thicken hair with their own growth factors. People come to us from every state and 70 countries for treatments.”

JOSEPH GRECO PhD, PA/C The Greco family has been at the forefront of hair restoration for 60 years. Joseph Greco PhD, PA/C of Greco Medical Group has honored that tradition by continuing to pioneer and validate surgical and nonsurgical innovations.Dr. Greco has stayed on the leading edge of advanced cellular therapies to offer biologic treatments along with medical and surgical hair restoration solutions for women and men. He developed the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP) in all phases of surgical hair restoration and growth factors for nonsurgical hair restoration. “We did the original research 12 years ago with PRP to thicken hair utilizing the patient’s own growth factors. People come to us from every state and 70 countries for our treatments,” he says. “We also participate in many research studies because we like to do things the right way, and have developed patented methods utilizing biologics to regenerate hair.” Dr. Greco’s latest innovations move beyond PRP therapies, which concentrate healing and growth factors in a patient’s own blood. He is now conducting an outcome study on a treatment for androgenic

alopecia using exosomes. Exosomes are derived from umbilical cord tissues, which carry RNA signaling cells that stimulate other cells such as hair follicles. “We also are conducting a study on advanced cellular therapies for diffuse alopecia where patients lose all of their hair including eyebrows,” he says. “What’s exciting about these therapies is that tissue taken from birth tissue following Cesarean sections has 50 times more growth factors than our own cells, for example.” Greco Medical Group also uses these advanced therapies to help orthopedic patients. His dedication to remaining at the forefront of treatment has earned attention from Vogue, ABC and Fox News, New York Times and U.S. News & World Report. Dr. Greco has 39 years of experience in hair surgery and served as the clinical director of Orogen Biosciences, a biotech research and development firm. He also is on the faculty of George Washington University for a postdoctoral course in regenerative medicine. Dr. Greco’s articles have been widely published in peer-review journals and textbooks.

1990 Main St. Suite 700, Sarasota, FL 941.952.3300 grecomedicalgroup.com

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“I believe in providing evidence-based medicine that is in the best interest of my patients’ health. I listen carefully and help patients achieve their goals through shared decision-making. We strategize and make the plan together.”

AVANTIKA MISHRA M.D.

Dr. Avantika Mishra of Florida Digestive Health Specialists provides her patients with care that is grounded in evidence-based medicine. Dr. Mishra is board certified in internal medicine with subspecialties in general gastroenterology and hepatology. She has a variety of special interests including cancer prevention, esophageal and reflux disorders, inflammatory bowel disease and liver disorders. Dr. Mishra also specializes in women’s health. “Gastrointestinal issues are often private and can be challenging to one’s health. I dedicate my practice to all patients, including women who prefer to discuss their concerns with a female provider,” she said. “It is important for one’s physical and mental health to enjoy an active, healthy life and create wonderful memories, many of which revolve around delicious meals with family and friends. We see a decline in patients who are not able to enjoy these simple pleasures.” Dr. Mishra is also a strong advocate for colon cancer prevention through proper and timely screenings.

She emphasizes the safety of screening procedures and believes screenings are especially important since colon cancer is a leading cause of death in the U.S. “Colon cancer incidence is on the rise, and now seen in younger patients more than ever before,” said Dr. Mishra. “It is imperative that all patients pursue colon cancer screening when they reach age 50. Those at high risk should check with their gastroenterologist to see if earlier screening is necessary.” Having received her education and training at large academic centers, she appreciates the opportunities she had to learn from many leading experts. Dr. Mishra earned her medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and trained in internal medicine at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. She completed her training in gastroenterology and hepatology at Rutgers Robert Woods Johnson Medical School where she served as chief fellow.

11505 Palmbrush Tr. Suite 200, Lakewood Ranch, FL 5741 Bee Ridge Rd. Suite 550, Sarasota, FL 941.361.1100 fdhs.com 86

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“Many spinal stenosis patients are able to walk farther and have less pain when leaning on a grocery cart. The Inter-spinous spacer mimics that.”

FABIAN A. RAMOS

M.D., DABA, DABPM, DABIPP, FIPP Dr. Fabian Ramos, founder of the Ramos Center for Interventional and Functional Pain Medicine, has earned international recognition for providing patients with leading edge advancements for chronic pain relief through multiple modalities. Dr. Ramos has recently been able to offer new techniques to help a wide range of conditions, including patients with severe spinal stenosis, sacroiliac pain, discogenic pain and chronic abdominal pain. This is in addition to the many effective techniques and technologies he offers to alleviate a variety of chronic pain conditions, including radiofrequency ablations of metastatic tumors of the spine to relieve pain for cancer patients. For spinal stenosis patients, a new minimally invasive procedure is available that is now covered by most insurance companies. The outpatient procedure lasts just 30 minutes, requires no screws, and does not interfere with future surgery should that become necessary. “Many spinal stenosis patients are able to walk farther and have less pain when leaning on a grocery cart. The Inter-spinous spacer mimics that,” Dr. Ramos said. “It is very rewarding for patients suffering from this condition.” Another recent option replaces surgical screws with an injection of pretreated bone to relieve recurrent sacroiliac pain, particularly

for patients who develop buttock pain after lumbar spine fusion surgeries. For patients with discogenic pain, a new technique uses radiofrequency ablation to numb nerves within the vertebra and provide relief. Patients with chronic abdominal pain now may opt to have an implantable 10,000-hertz spinal cord stimulator. The stimulator significantly relieves pain in most patients with conditions such as gastroparesis, Chron’s disease, and pain from adhesion’s following surgery. Dr. Ramos is triple board certified in pain medicine, interventional pain medicine and anesthesiology and is one of the first specialists in the U.S. to be recognized by the prestigious World Institute of Pain. His dedication to preventing and reducing substance abuse has earned awards as Champion of Prevention in Healthcare by Drug Free Manatee and the Community Health Advocacy Award from the Sarasota Medical Alliance Foundation and Society. In 2019, he was named to Castle Connolly’s peer-nominated Top Doctors list. To further aid patients working to wean off Schedule II opiates, Dr. Ramos recently added a board certified addiction medicine specialist to his staff. 100 3rd Ave. W Suite 110, Bradenton FL 2540 S Tamiami Tr. Sarasota, FL

941.708.9555 | ramoscenter.com

1370 E Venice Ave. Suite 104, Venice, FL JANUARY 2020 | SARASOTA SCENE

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“Many clients return to our center periodically for booster infusions and we consider them part of our family,”

STEVEN REICHBACH M.D.

Helping people find relief from chronic pain and overcome mood disorders that haven’t responded fully to other treatments led Dr. Steven Reichbach to establish the Gulf Coast Ketamine Center in 2016. Dr. Reichbach is a boardcertified anesthesiologist with 28 years of experience. He had worked with ketamine during his practice as an anesthesiologist and has gotten great satisfaction over the past four years treating clients with intractable pain and mood disorders. “We have about 800 patients in our practice and I’m amazed at how well the majority respond with respect to their symptoms and function. We’re not usually the first stop for most clients. Patients who are struggling generally find us on their own, through word of mouth, or via a referral from their physician,” Dr. Reichbach stated. Dr. Reichbach offers intravenous infusions of ketamine for those suffering from certain mood disorders, including treatment resistant depression, OCD and PTSD where other conventional modes of therapy have been ineffective. Ketamine works by a different mechanism than most oral

antidepressants and mood stabilizers. “I liken it to a ‘hardwire’ change in the brain,” he said. Ketamine IV therapy can also be effective for clients with certain neuropathic pain syndromes, including complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), migraines, shingles, trigeminal neuralgia, fibromyalgia, pain associated with Lyme disease and amputees’ phantom limb pain. Some clients who suffer from failed spinal surgery and peripheral nerve pain may also respond to treatment. Medical cannabis assessment is also offered by the Gulf Coast Ketamine Center and can provide relief for cancer patients, pain and PTSD, among many other conditions. Both ketamine and medical cannabis have been beneficial in helping patients transition off opiates. “When patients have a positive response, there is nothing quite so satisfying. Many clients return to our center periodically for booster infusions and we consider them part of our family. Opening and operating this practice is the most gratifying thing I’ve done in my entire career.”

2415 University Parkway Building 3, Suite 215 Sarasota, FL 941.213.4444 info@findpainrelief.com findpainrelief.com 88

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“Treating veins has always been a passion for me. Patients who could not walk two blocks before treatment now can walk miles . . . That is life changing, and we see it every day.”

FEDERICO RICHTER M.D. Dr. Federico Richter of the Vein Center at Erasers is the third generation of a family of doctors treating venous conditions. Dr. Richter specializes in bringing patients the latest advancements in minimally invasive treatments for a spectrum of venous conditions. These range from varicose veins and inadequate blood circulation due to venous insufficiency to cosmetic issues with spider veins. “Many people’s impression of treatment is vein stripping with a lot of pain and down time, but that is no longer true,” Dr. Richter said. “We have new minimally invasive treatment options that are pretty much painless and done in the office with little or no downtime. People usually are back to daily activities by the next day.” Modern treatments are done through small catheters, and problematic veins are closed through lasers or radiofrequency technologies. Dr. Richter also offers a new procedure with medical grade “superglue” that can seal veins from ankle to groin with a small injection. Often patients suffer for many years with the swelling caused by venous insufficiency because its symptoms can be

V

mistaken for restless leg syndrome, plantar fasciitis or diabetic neuropathy. “When they come here, we do a venous ultrasound to find the root cause of the swelling,” he said. “We put them at ease, treat them like family, and patients feel they are at home here.” Dr. Richter has more than 10 years of experience diagnosing and treating vein disease and is certified by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. After receiving his medical degree, he completed a year of general surgery and a Fellowship in vein and lymphatic disorders. He became fascinated with the specialty as a child. His grandfather was one of the first vein specialists in Argentina and his father has treated veins for more than 45 years. “Treating veins has always been a passion for me. Patients who could not walk two blocks before treatment now can walk miles. They are more active, can sleep through the night without cramps, and be on their feet at work,” Dr. Richter said. “That is life changing, and we see it every day.”

6050A 53rd Ave. E (SR 70), Bradenton, FL 941.907.3400 floridaveincenter.com

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“. . . you have to have an artistic feel for where the fat needs to go along with the ability to visualize anatomy in three dimensions.”

ALISSA SHULMAN M.D., F.A.C.S

Dr. Alissa Shulman of Sovereign Plastic Surgery combines the skills of an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon with the aesthetic sensibility of a gifted sculptress. Dr. Shulman also has a busy year ahead as Sarasota Memorial Hospital Chief of Staff and President of the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons. Her practice focuses on breast and body sculpting, and she is known for her skill in reshaping breasts through lifts, augmentations and reductions. In addition, Dr Shulman devotes a good portion of her practice to breast cancer patients. Although she works with implants, whenever appropriate she encourages patients to consider fat grafting–a more natural approach. Fat grafting uses patients’ own purified fat, which is removed from areas where stubborn, unwanted fat accumulates, such as the belly and hips. With rising concerns about certain cancers and reported symptoms associated with implants, including fatigue and chronic pain, many women are removing their implants and fat grafting provides an alternative. “I’m not against implants, but people deserve to be

as natural as they can be. A lot of older women are opting to remove old implants and choosing a fit, athletic look with smaller, perky breasts,” Dr. Shulman said. “Most surgeons don’t do a lot of fat grafting because it takes more time than other procedures. It also is hard to teach because you have to have an artistic feel for where the fat needs to go along with the ability to visualize anatomy in three dimensions.” Dr. Shulman’s artistic talents were evident very early on, and she was able to double major in anatomy and fine arts as an undergraduate at SUNY Buffalo where she also completed medical school. She is very active professionally on the local and state level. Prior to being named SMH’s Chief of Staff, she was its first female Chief of Surgery and previously was named the hospital’s Physician of the Year. Dr. Shulman also was the first local female named to the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons board, where she served for many years prior to being named President, helping promote high ethical and professional standards throughout the state.

1950 Arlington St., Suite 112 Sarasota, FL 34239 941.366.5476 www.sovereignps.com 90

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PROVIDING EXCEPTIONAL NEUROLOGIC CARE

SANJAY YATHIRAJ M.D. Dr. Sanjay Yathiraj founded Palma Sola Neurology Associates to deliver compassionate care and leading edge diagnostics and treatments for those with conditions affecting the brain and nervous system. Dr. Yathiraj is ACGME board certified in Neurology, Neuromuscular Medicine and Sleep Medicine. He stays on the leading edge of general neurological issues from migraines and memory issues to trauma, neuropathy, epilepsy, spasticity, Parkinson’s disease and many other neurologic conditions. “I grew up in Ohio and think of myself as a country neurologist with a high tech flair. Patients receive individual attention with access to cutting edge treatment,” he said. “It is very rewarding if I can benefit their quality of life through less pain, greater movement or improved cognition and memory.” Working with a consortium of neurologists researching epilepsy, neuromuscular medicine and Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Yathiraj provides access to cutting edge treatments. Mayo Clinic, University of Florida and University of South Florida are at his disposal to refer patients if needed for complicated cases. Dr. Yathiraj provides in-office comprehensive cognitive testing with NeuroTrax along with VNG testing to determine the underlying causes of dizziness and balance issues. He gives

neuropathy patients hope for relief from intractable burning pain and weakness with electrodiagnostic testing. Treatments are then successfully targeted through pharmaceuticals and alternative medications, genetic testing, IVIG (gamma globulin), and plasma exchange if warranted. Some patients are not aware effective treatments are available for their conditions, such as for spasmodic dystonia that can restore a greater range of neck movement. Dr. Yathiraj has special expertise in correcting sleep issues to aid stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients among others. Parkinson’s patients constitute a significant portion of his practice, and he provides many treatments to extend and improve their lives. “These patients have unique needs, and there have been tremendous treatment advances to mitigate symptoms for better quality of life and more independence,” he said. Dr. Yathiraj also is active with Parkinson’s Place and Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s and participates in its Distinguished Speakers Series. He has practiced locally for more than 20 years and has been included in the Guide to America’s Top Physicians since 2009. Dr. Yathiraj teaches neurology to medical students as an associate professor at LECOM. 2902 59th St. W, Suite D Bradenton, FL 34209 941.877.7007 office@psna.biz palma-sola-neurologyassociates.business.site JANUARY 2020 | SARASOTA SCENE

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SPOTLIGHT

Mary Bensel As the Van Wezel turns 50 in 2020, Scene talks to its executive director about its history, her role, special moments, and plans for the new Sarasota Performing Arts Center. By Gus Mollasis

If things had worked out as she dreamed, Mary Bensel would have been on the stage performing just like her singing idol—Barbra Streisand. “Unfortunately, the job was filled, and the talent was a little lacking. But I remember singing into a brush in mother’s living room when I was a child and thinking I was the greatest star from Funny Girl,” says a chuckling Bensel. She may not have become the greatest star, but she did become the next best thing. She got into the business side of show business and she has starred in this role for over thirty years—a pretty good run for anyone. This year marks her 12th year as Executive Director of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and the 50th anniversary of our beloved purple scallop shell. When she took the job at the Van Wezel, she didn’t know how long she would have. It has been like one of those great Broadway runs that producers and actors dream about. A big success. Largely rave reviews that even Fanny Bryce would die for.

Hailing from Trenton, New Jersey, Mary went to college for a degree in Speech, Theater and English. When her mother stressed that she needed something to fall back on, she got a secondary Education degree and followed that up with a masters in Acting and Directing at the University of Pittsburgh. While there, she became the marketing director of the theater department and got the theater group on the Today Show. “When you’re so young, you’re not afraid and anything is possible.” Today she still carries that same passion for the footlights, and anything related to theater and entertainment. “I’m a fan. I love it. I’m lucky. I’m a Tony Awards voter again. I go to New York and I see every new show that opens on Broadway.” It’s part of her passion and pleasure. But it’s also something that is part of her job description. Since 2007, Mary Bensel is always seeking the right show to bring to the Van Wezel—a home that has brought her great joy and her fair share of challenges.

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Van Wezel Opening Night coverage from Sarasota Scene Archives 98

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on the town Bensel explains that when the Van Wezel was built 50 years ago, 1,741 seats sounded pretty grand. But the magic number now is over 2,000 seats. “We have to stretch to get some of these big shows here,” she says. “With Lion King, we got it in here with a shoehorn.”

discover the possibilities

When the Van Wezel was built fifty years ago, it was a state-of-the-art facility designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s firm, Taliesin Associates Architects. Its first major renovation was in 2000, which made public spaces larger and the facility more comfortable and efficient. But according to Bensel, in a city that greatly values its arts and culture, we need a theater that can house any show “that’s out there on the road.”

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And the road is where Bensel heads often, seeking new and legendary talent and Broadway shows for our enjoyment. “I’m going again to see the Hamilton producer. We’re always fighting for shows like that because The Straz in Tampa thinks that we’re the same marketplace, and that’s absolutely not true. I can’t tell you the number of people who tell me they would never go up to The Straz, and if they do go there, they would only do it for a Hamilton once every 15 years.” Bensel was delighted that The Lion King sold out in three weeks. “That was great. It proved we can do that. But it’s very hard because we fight very hard for every show.” It’s not the same case with standard concerts and shows—it’s simpler and more successful. Bensel cites her great relationship with the management at Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Mahaffey Theater who have agreed not block each other from doing a show. “That allows an artist such as Harry Connick Jr. or Josh Groban to play

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on the town

two shows in our area—one at Ruth Eckerd Hall and one at the Van Wezel.” With Mary Bensel its always been about making the show go on and making that experience as exciting and enjoyable as possible for all her patrons. Still it’s hard work. But work that she definitely enjoys. Her office, adorned with autographed pictures of stars who have performed there, is a reflection of her love of her life in the arts and show business. From her perch inside the iconic Van Wezel, she’s witnessed her share of stars. When she thinks of those special nights with a full theater and a legend on the stage, a smile of gratitude comes across her face, and once again Bensel becomes a fan. We turn the subject to Julie Andrews who recently performed at the Van Wezel. “She was so lovely. I saw her do Victor Victoria and Mary Poppins. She couldn’t have been any nicer. We chatted and got along magnificently. What a lovely woman.” We then talk about another legend who also graced the Van Wezel stage—Sophia Loren. “She was in her eighties when she did a show here a few years back. Sophia Loren was still stunning and beautiful, and so warm and charming.” “One of my favorite shows was Barry Manilow who performed for the Foundation gala. It was actually an arena show and he did it in our theater with huge video boards behind him. It was a fantastic show.” “And Josh Groban—absolutely charming and nice. When I told him that he was performing at our Foundation education gala, he couldn’t mention education enough and its importance on stage.”

Bensel is also fond of Ringo Star who has played here and hopefully will be back soon. “I just love Ringo. My goodness. He’s a Beatle. He is so nice and of course he truly is a star in every way.” Another star that stand outs to Bensel is Dolly Parton. “She did one of those blow you away shows. She’s so sweet, talented and plays every instrument. When you have an incredible show like Dolly Parton, Josh Groban or John Legend, I always think will I ever be able to get them back again? There is such joy in seeing performers like that.” Bensel found this gem from the first lady of the stage, Helen Hayes, who said “the Van Wezel is an actor’s ideal theater.” And, according to Bensel, “it really is because of the way the seating is—the actors can really feel the audience. When you stand up on that stage you can see almost to the back of the theater. I think it was John Legend who said it was like performing in someone’s living room.” Her favorite part of her job? “I love sitting in the theater and looking at the audience when they’re having one heck of a great time.” The most important part of her job? “I think the most important part of my job is relationships and honesty. I’ve now worked over 30 years in the business and have built great relationships with agents and producers in New York. It’s so important to meet these people one-on-one. So I go to New York about once a month.” A white board sits prominently in her office. There is a space for every show from the season filled in with magic markers and magical names of stars like Tony Bennett, Frankie Valli, The Beach Boys and road shows like Once and A Bronx Tale. That white board confronts this executive director daily and is

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easily seen by her from anywhere in her office but especially from behind her desk. What does she see when she looks at that white board with all those names and shows? “I see my life.” “The reason I love running a performing arts hall versus running a regional theater is because of the diversity. Theater and Broadway are my grand love, but I also love the excitement of a rock concert. One minute I have Dave Chappelle, and the next night it can be Renee Fleming.” Bensel is looking forward to bringing to the Van Wezel this year the hit Broadway show Come from Away, a musical set in Gander, Newfoundland post 9/11. On what will work and what will not work at the Van Wezel, Bensel say, “That’s probably one of my best qualities—having a real feel for the community and knowing what I think they will like. Sometimes I’m right, and sometimes I’m really, really wrong. I’m probably 8 out of 10.” Even with a batting average that would leave Ted Williams envious, Bensel still seeks perfection. On that rare occasion when a show fails to sell, she takes it personally. “Booking is the most important thing,” she says. “I started as a press agent and a marketing director. Sylvia Drake from the Los Angeles Times told me when I was very young, ‘If a show does well, it’s because of the show. If the show doesn’t do well, it’s because the marketing people didn’t do their job.’” Still she’s a pragmatist, and while few shows along the way may not do well at the box office, she is satisfied if the audience that did see it enjoyed it and had a great night of entertainment. 1 02

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And there have mostly been great nights of entertainment at the Van Wezel—that’s something we have counted on for 50 years and they have delivered. But Bensel has heard her fair share of misconceptions about the hall along the way, and while she knows it is not perfect, she defends it against opinions that are less than flattering. “I’ve heard it’s a fire trap. The ADA (American for Disabilities Act) has conducted many studies that have shown that our kind of seating is the safest,” shares Bensel. “Think about it. When you’re in a theater like ours and it’s time to exit, you go one way. You go straight and you follow the person either way and there are double the number of doors to get out. If you go to a Broadway theater where there are center aisles, you go in the middle and you get stuck. You’re the safest here. Now is it the best when you have to go the bathroom in the middle of the show or get to your seat late? Absolutely not. But you have a great view from every seat and a lot of leg room. Now would I build another theater just like this? Absolutely not,” she admits. With the new Bayfront project underway (The Bay Sarasota; thebaysarasota.org), the good news is there’s plenty of time to get it perfect, and Bensel has been involved for years with the project planning. The new Sarasota Performing Arts Center will have 2,250 seats, many modern amenities, and will be modeled after the modern Perez Art Museum in Miami. Having more seats will help spread the cost of shows, lower ticket prices for patrons, and also help attract big acts. The center will be situated among 53 acres of park filled with an abundance of trees. Plans for this new center are a reminder that the days of the Van Wezel as we know it are winding down. “This hall has served this community brilliantly for 50 years and will do so for another 10 years until the new hall opens,”


on the town

says Bensel. And while she can’t tell you what the last show at the Van Wezel will be, you can bet her a backstage pass that she knows the first ever show at the Van Wezel was Fiddler on the Roof. There’s little doubt that when the new performing arts hall opens, Bensel will be very excited. “That will be like Christmas morning for me.” And if everything goes according to plan, she will be there on that last day of the Van Wezel and the first day of the new performing arts center. There is something poetic about that. Something theatrical. Symmetry for sure. Something a guy like Mr. Ziegfeld would appreciate. The Van Wezel’s days may be numbered, but as it’s remembered over the years, one thing will be certain. People will not only remember its color, but the color it brought to this town. Hell, let’s face it. It stood out. The paint was donated by a local paint dealer and the color was selected by Frank Lloyd Wright’s widow. The purple color was said to be “a good foil to the turquoise waters of Sarasota Bay,” as well as the color of royalty as Sarasotans looked forward to the royal list of performers appearing in the theater. For our “Queen of Booking” with theater grease in her veins and show tunes in her heart, she will continue to reign supreme, booking show biz royalty, binging us great shows, filling in her white board with stars galore. That’s what Bensel lives to do. That’s what she loves to do. She wouldn’t trade places with anyone—not even Streisand. The next time you go to the Van Wezel take a good look around. You just may see a lady named Mary Bensel looking back at you enjoying your excitement as you enjoy the show.

Jan. 15 -Feb. 2, 2020 Feb. 19-Mar. 8, 2020 Mar. 25-Apr.11, 2020

Feb. 6-16, 2020

Mar. 12-22, 2020

Jan 24, 2020 838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL | 941.365.2494 | theplayers.org Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture

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JUNE 7, 2019

COURTNEY RENÉ FREEMAN + ELLIOTT ANDREW SPANN

Scene TOGETHER

COUPLES ON THEIR WEDDING DAY By Jacqueline Miller

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social SCENE No one loves Sarasota as much as Courtney Freeman Spann. This stunning beauty was born by the rolling waves of our Gulf of Mexico beaches to Brent and Karen Freeman. She went to Venice Christian School, Florida Preparatory Academy, and Venice High School. Courtney met her closest friends growing up here—friends that are still her besties today. Her love of the beaches as well as fashion led to a career in art and lifestyle photography. She also owns her own retail store in Warsaw, Indiana and an online boutique—Meraki Collective. Elliott is an Indiana boy—born in Fort Wayne to Peter and Lisa Spann and raised in North Manchester. He went to college in Greensboro, NC and in Fort Wayne and started Spann Construction in Warsaw, Indiana, a residential and commercial contracting company. They met through mutual friends while dating other people, became friends, and quickly figured out that they were the ones meant for one another. Elliott asked Courtney out on a date while she was in Sarasota shooting a look book catalog for Mer Soeur Swim, a Sarasota company. She accepted and their romance began. His sweet proposal happened when Courtney arrived at Elliott’s house early one morning in November 2018. She noticed a card addressed to her laying on the kitchen table. It was a note along with a clue at the end that led Courtney to the living room where she found another note with a second clue. That clue led her to a little pink velvet box above the sink. As she took down the little box, she turned to call for Elliott, but to her joy he was already behind her on one knee. As Courtney starting planning for their wedding, she knew it had to be at home in Sarasota, close to the water where she grew up, where she had her best memories, and where all her closest friends live. Her 1 06

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older sister Whitney, who always wanted to be a wedding planner, quickly stepped in to help Courtney with ideas and put her extensive collection of wedding magazine clips she had saved through the years to good use. Courtney chose the beautiful Powel Crosley Estate for her special day. For her dress, Courtney knew what she wanted. She chose a one-of-a-kind modern Bohemian Art Deco-style pink stunner from Rue De Seine, which she found in Alice in Ivory in Chicago. She let her bridal party choose their own dresses so they could be completely who they are and gave each of them a color palette by Huda Beauty. Courtney and Elliott’s wedding weekend started with her bachelorette party thrown by friend Crystal Clarke, who just opened a boutique called The Wave Inspired on Siesta Key. They all stayed at Sarasota Modern for a fabulous two-night stay complete with champagne and tons of pampering. Wedding photographer, Sarah Orminson, was on hand to photograph all the fun as the gals got ready for their night on the town, which

included celebrating with dinner at Summer House Restaurant followed by drinks at Classico. The rehearsal dinner was held on Siesta Key with an Italianinspired menu crafted especially for them by her best friend Megan’s husband, Anthony Petralia, chef at Sarasota Modern Hotel, with dishes from her favorite place in Italy—Capri. Their special wedding weekend culminated with a perfect Powel Crosley wedding. The couple will honeymoon in Papagayo, Costa Rica, a Secrets resort, this month—the best time to go to Costa Rica! While Courtney comes back to Sarasota frequently hosting pop-ups for her boutique and photographing look books for local businesses, her goal is to move back in the next few years and open her own boutique and photography studio in Sarasota. With the ambitions and talents of both Courtney and Elliott, we don’t think it will be long before this incredible couple achieves their goal.

VEND OR S | The Powell Crosley Estate | Hair & Makeup: Lauren Edwards with Style | Crown & Boutonniere: Mignonne Handmade | Jewelry: Tiffany & Co and Cartier | Dress: Rue De Seine, Alice in Ivory | Cape: BHLDN | Catering: Milan Catering | Photographer: Sarah Ormiston Photography | Videographer: Christian Sampson | Florals: Victoria Blooms | Rings: Cartier | Cake: Cakes by Ron | Cake Topper: All Her Glory | Men’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse and Louis Vuitton | Wedding Planner: Danielle Clarke | DJ: Grant Hemond and Associates | Harpist: Rebecca Cosas | Band and Vocals: Jon Mullins Band and Megan Mcgovern Petralia | Officiant: DeArruda 1 08

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Sarasota Opera Invites You To

Colors of Love The 2020 Opera Gala Saturday, February 1, 2020, 6:30 pm The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota $350 per person Black Tie – With a Colorful Twist

Gala Committee: Katherine Benoit, Lynn Blackledge, Barbara Archbold, Bonny Heet, Carla Koeffler, Annette Lloyd, Susan Straus Please join us for Sarasota’s most glamorous evening! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Cocktail Hour Silent Auction Dazzling Four-Course Dinner Performance by Sarasota Opera Artists Live Music for Dancing

For reservations, please call the Box Office at (941) 328-1300 Online tickets available at sarasotaopera.org/special-events Sponsored in part by:

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2020 Tickets: $15 - $55 | 20% Off Opening Weekend Under the Big Top at Nathan Benderson Park behind the Mall at UTC. Now Air Conditioned!

CircusArts.org | 941.355.9805

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on the town

Education MATTERS By Ryan G. Van Cleave

SARASOTA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARIES

Maybe it’s because 2019 is still fresh in my rearview mirror, but recently, I’ve been looking back and reflecting on the past 12 months. And one thing seems clear—the true unsung hero of education in Sarasota might well be the public library system. What I’ve also come to realize is that I’ve (unwittingly) been on an undercover fact-finding mission to all 10 of our local libraries. Here’s what I’ve discovered during my frequent visits to each of these sites where I was a patron, class participant, observer, or passerby—often more than one during the same visit. Betty J. Johnson North Sarasota—This used to be my “home library” back when I lived off Lockwood Ridge. The youth librarians here never fail to greet me and offer recommendations when I’m scouring the picture book shelves. That large community room to the left of the main entryway is always chock full of terrific programs and events. Elsie Quirk Public Library—There’s no better way to learn about Florida-friendly gardens (or compositing or citrus trees) than this branch’s Master Gardener Plant Clinics. A special thanks to the University of Florida/IFAS Extension program for making these happen! I also find the biography section here to be exceptional. Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Public Library—I’m a big fan of the educational programming here, with some crowd favorites being Ask Jack (where adults/seniors can get their computer questions easily and clearly answered), French Club (ooh là là), and the Poetic Justice Learning Group (where teens and adults can share and discuss their own original poems). Fruitville Public Library—I appreciate the drive-through drop-off here since I can easily return my weekly stacks of books en route to work each day. But three other things

Fruitville Library really appeal about this branch. (1) Their DVD selection in their Friends of the Library Bookstore is always first-rate. (2) The reference librarians here frequently go above and beyond when I have a question. (3) There’s always a quiet nook or cranny for me to do 1:1 tutoring with high school students. Gulf Gate Public Library—The parking is ample (with special spots for carpoolers and charging stations for electric cars). The building feels modern. The DVD and audio CD collection is unmatched at other branches. I regularly find myself rewarded for browsing in those areas. The Friends of the Library Bookstore is cozy, and it’s stuffed with good offerings. North Port Public Library—While there’s a temporary closure from 11/25 to 1/5 to address issues with heating, ventilation, and the AC system, their regular programming resumes after that, with notable offerings such as After School Excitement (2:30 p.m. - 4:20 p.m. each weekday), Life After Downton (10 a.m. -1 p.m. on Jan 17), and much more. It’s also been my experience that employees in the checkout area are as happy to make book recommendations as to help with any checkout issues. JANUARY 2020 | SARASOTA SCENE

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Gulf Gate Library

Venice Public Library

Osprey Public Library at Historic Spanish Point—I’m loathe to give this place up since it’s currently so underutilized, but it’s a GREAT place for some quiet work on my novel, or to meet with some Venice friends. For an unexpected treat, take the terrific Boat Tour ($12/person—sign up in advance recommended) for a real sense of the history of the area.

William H. Jervey, Junior Venice Public Library—This relatively new branch is beautiful—so much glass and natural light! And the Italian mosaic tile compass rose in the floor beneath the skylight in the adult collection area? Wow. It’s easy to see why Venice residents love their library so much. As for their offerings, here’s a great-sounding one: If you like old music, check out educator and vocalist Dick Smolens’ 2020 lectures (Jan 29 “The Roaring Twenties,” Feb 26 “The Great Depression”).

Selby Public Library—Who can resist the mesmerizing archway fish tank in front of the children’s area? The teen area, too, is well-designed and has a good vibe to it. I confess that while I’m more a teen in spirit than in chronology, I’ve spent many an hour there perusing the stacks and grading student essays. Have you checked out their robust graphic novel section? Shannon Staub Public Library—It’s probably because we teach writing for video games and writing for board games here at Ringling College, but I LOVE that this branch has both Teens Who Code and Next Level Tabletop Gaming, as well as occasional video game tournaments. Their Teen Zone area, too, is inviting in all the right ways. I wish I got down to this branch more often, with their creation station makerspace, reading gardens, and well-stocked Friends of the Library Bookstore.

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So, here’s a much-deserved THANK YOU! to the employees and staff at the Sarasota County public library system. Your efforts do not go unnoticed. And here’s to an equally terrific 2020 for students everywhere.

F O R M O R E IN F O R M AT IO N

about the Sarasota Public Libraries, please visit www.sarac.co.sarasota.fl.us


february

21 2020

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall 5:30 Cocktails, Dinner & Program 8:30 Live Performance

Get inspired at the newly named Inspiration Gala in support of arts education initiatives for over 30,000 students in our community each year.

INV EST I N TH E POW E R OF T H E H U M A N S P I R I T. Join the Van Wezel Foundation for cocktails and dinner by the bay with an unforgettable performance by legendary rock icon, John Fogerty.

sponsorship & tickets now available at vwfoundation.org LEAD SPONSOR

EVENT CHAIRS Kathy Martella Susan Travers

HOST COMMITTEE Gerald and Sondra Biller BMO Harris Bank Jenne K. Britell Jaclyn Brunkhorst Vernon and Liliana Chalfant Julie Harris Ed and Susan Maier Mike and Kathy Martella Drayton and Kara Saunders Jim and Susan Travers

MARQUEE SPONSOR Ali and Gloria Bahaj

S P OT L I G H T S P O N S O R HBK CPAs and Consultants Karl and Ricky Newkirk Joan Lieberman

MEDIA, PRINT & OTHER Gold Coast Eagle Mary Kenealy Events Palm Printing Sarasota Magazine Scene Magazine SRQ Media Group The Observer Media Group Tito’s Vodka Total Wine and More US Tent


arts&culture

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ARTIST SERIES CONCERTS OF SARASOTA

Best SEATS PERFORMING ARTS CALENDAR BROUGHT TO YOU IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE ARTS AND CULTURAL ALLIANCE OF SARASOTA COUNTY

941.306.1200 / artistseriesconerts.org Xavier Foley, Double Bass / Young Concert Artists International January 12 High Flying Sopranos January 30

ASOLO REPERTORY THEATRE 941.351.8000 / asolorep.org Murder on the Orient Express January 8 – March 8 The Lifespan of a Fact January 22 – March 19

CHORAL ARTISTS OF SARASOTA 941.387.6046 / choralartistssarasota.org Sounds of the Season Celebrating Sondheim January 18

FLORIDA STUDIO THEATRE 941.366.9000 / floridastudiotheatre.org Mainstage American Son January 22 – March 22 Bright Star Through January 11 Handle With Care Through March 8

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Cabaret Outlaws and Angels Through March 29 That’s Amore Through February 2 Children’s Theatre Tomás and the Library Lady January 11 – February 22

FSU/ASOLO CONSERVATORY FOR ACTOR TRAINING 941.351.8000 / asolorep.org/ conservatory Gruesome Playground Injuries January 1 – 19

THE ISLAND PLAYERS 941.778.5755/ theislandplayers.org Ripcord January 9 – 26

JAZZ CLUB SARASOTA 941.366.1552 / jazzclubsarasota.com Jazz at Two Rodney Rojas New Profiles in Jazz January 3 James Suggs Quartet January 10 Bill Buchman’s Art of Jazz January 17 Mary Radamacher with Eddie Tobin January 24 Danny Sinoff Music January 31

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KEY CHORALE 941.921.4845 / keychorale.org American Roots: Grassical feat. the DePue Brothers Band January 11 – 12

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941.475.6756 / lemonbayplayhouse.com Paisley Craze January 4 Comedy Festival “Laugh Out Loud Experience” January 11, February 15, April 18 2 Across January 15 – February 9

MANATEE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER 941.748.5875 manateeperformingartscenter.com ABBA-Salutely 70’s January 4 Roald Dahl’s Matilda, The Musical January 16 – February 2 The Music Man Sr January 21 – 22 Starship featuring Mickey Thomas The Center of Anna Maria Island January 23 Rat Pack: Together Again January 25

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MANATEE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FELLOWSHIP 941.358.0235 / eleonoralvov.com New Year’s Romance on the Piano With Eleonora Lvov January 5

NEW MUSIC NEW COLLEGE 941.487.4888 / newmusicnewcollege.org Jen Shyu: Nine Doors

January 18 LEMON BAY PLAYHOUSE

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PERLMAN MUSIC PROGRAM/SUNCOAST 941.955.4942 perlmanmusicprogramsuncoast.org Student Recital January 3 Celebration Concert January 4

THE PLAYERS CENTRE FOR PERFORMING ARTS 941.365.2494 / theplayers.org Broadway Series Sister Act January 15 – February 4 Songs Across America with Jimmy Mazz January 24

THE RINGLING 941.359.5700 / ringling.org Yin Mei, Peony Dreams: On the Other Side of Sleep January 17 – 18

RISE ABOVE PERFORMING ARTS 941.702.4747 / riseabovearts.com West Side Story January 3 – 11

THE SARASOTA BALLET 941.359.0099 / sarasotaballet.org Redefined Movement (Program 4) January 31 – February 3

SARASOTA CONCERT ASSOCIATION 941.225.6500 / scasarasota.org Great Performers Series Behzod Abduraimov, Piano January 15 The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra January 29 Music Matinees Music Matinee: Russell Andrade, tenor, and Lee Dougherty Ross, piano January 22

SARASOTA OPERA 941.328.1300 / sarasotaopera.org Azi Schwartz January 12

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URBANITE THEATRE SARASOTA ORCHESTRA 941.953.4252 / sarasotaorchestra.org Masterworks Mozart and Mahler January 17 – 19 Chang Plays Dvořák January 30 – February 2 Great Escapes European Grooves January 8 – 12 Space and Beyond January 22 – 26 POPS Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II January 3 – 4 Chamber Soiree Sarasota String Quartet January 5

STATE COLLEGE OF FLORIDA 941.752.5252 / scf.edu Sundays at Neel Diamonds: Broadway January 12 Bill and the Belles January 26

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941.321.1397 / urbanitetheatre.com Sender January 10 – February 16

VAN WEZEL PERFORMING ARTS HALL 941.955.7676 / vanwezel.org For full listing of performances, please visit vanwezel.org.

THE VENICE INSTITUTE FOR PERFORMING ARTS 941.218.3779 veniceperformingartscenter.com The Reflections January 16 Cash, Killer, and the King January 18 Broadway Boys January 24 Glen Miller on Film January 26 Dick Hyman, Ken Peplowski, and Clairdee: Movie Music January 30 The Beatles Weren’t Really So Great…Or Were They? January 31

THE VENICE SYMPHONY thevenicesymphony.org Cosmic Convergence January 10 – 11

VENICE THEATRE 941.488.1115 venicestage.com Menopause The Musical (The Hilarious Celebration of Women and The Change) January 10 – February 2 Gulf View Drive January 10 – 26 Mamma Mia! Through December 1

WESTCOAST BLACK THEATRE TROUPE 941.366.1505 / westcoastblacktheatre.org Caroline, Or Change January 8 – February 16

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EXOTIC CAR FESTIVAL 2020 “Driving for the Dream”

To benefit Flight to the North Pole Charity helping local, terminally and chronically ill children

Friday, February 28 Saturday, February 29 Sunday, March 1

THE EXOTIC CAR FESTIVAL GALA Dinner & Dancing at Grove THE EXOTIC CAR FESTIVAL Main Street, Lakewood Ranch THE DRIVE AND BRUNCH Brunch at Capital Grill at UTC Mall

Hosted by the Ferrari Drivers Group Sarasota

For more information and RSVP visit www.exoticcarfestival.com

JANUARY 2020 | SARASOTA SCENE

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AN

ACTRESS’

SECRET WEAPON By Jennifer Watson

Anat Cogan has been on stage since the age of nine. Born in Tel-Aviv, Israel, Cogan performed in the Israeli theater as a kid, and then studied acting in high school.

come from a family of artists, so I guess theater has always been in my life.” Five years ago, she decided to move to the US to pursue her dream. “And here I am,” continued Cogan, “in the US, playing an Israel character in both English AND Hebrew – a character with the same name as my mother’s (Ayelet). Life is interesting, indeed.”

“When I graduated from high school, I served in the Israeli Defense Force in their theater ensemble,” said Cogan. “I

Eight times a week, Cogan brings her character, Ayelet, to life in Florida Studio Theatre’s production of Handle with Care, a

Michael Zlabinger & Anat Cogan in Handle with Care

Following high school, like all Israeli citizens – both male and female – Cogan was required to serve in the Israeli Defense Force. But Cogan didn’t let her military assignment keep her from her true passion.

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romantic comedy where two people meet and fall in love despite one very important issue: They don’t speak the same language. “I think my main challenge in taking on this role is to bridge the language gap and make audiences understand what I’m saying without them knowing Hebrew,” she shared. “After a few years of acting only in English, it is an absolute joy to work in Hebrew again. I love this language and am very connected to it. Of course, this means Cogan doesn’t just have Hebrew lines to memorize, but English ones as well.

Mat Leonard, Michael Zlabinger & Anat Cogan in Handle with Care Anat Cogan in Handle with Care

“The fact that I will play in both languages in this play is very exciting and feels like I have a secret weapon of some sort,” shared Cogan. “I think one of the biggest joys that will come up from that will be to listen to the audience reactions every night – will they laugh and understand the jokes even though they are in Hebrew?” Not only does Cogan have to move effortlessly from one language to another in this challenging production, but she will also have to convince audiences that she cannot make out a word her fellow cast members are saying. “I believe this is the first show I’m doing in which I have to act as though I don’t understand my scene partner at all,” said Cogan. “I think it is part of the point in this play – the way we communicate with one another and make human connections is a lot more than just words.” For Cogan, it’s challenging to work in the theater world as an Israeli actress. “I usually get called in for Middle Eastern or Mediterranean roles,” she shared. ”I know that is my ‘type,’ which is great, but I can do so much more. I would love to be able to play classical roles or get cast in a modern American play, but usually, I wouldn’t be the top option for those projects. That being said, I am who I am, and that’s what makes me stand out. I’ve learned to see it as my strength and not my weakness.” Called “Hilarious and Heartwarming” by The New York Times, Handle with Care is now playing at Florida Studio Theatre. Tickets are on sale at floridastudiotheatre.org or by calling their Box Office at 941.366.9000.

ABOUT HANDLE WITH CARE By Jason Odell Williams with Hebrew written by Charlotte Cohn

A young woman from Israel, Ayelet, reluctantly joins her grandmother on a trip to the United States. Circumstances both absurd and tragic bring Ayelet, who has little command of the English language, together with Josh, a young American man who has little command of romance, on Christmas Eve. Is their inevitable love an accident…or is it destiny, generations in the making? Photos by Matthew Holler JANUARY JANUARY 2020 2020 || SARASOTA SARASOTA SCENE SCENE

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CULTURAL HAPPENINGS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE ARTS AND CULTURAL ALLIANCE OF SARASOTA COUNTY

ARTS AND CULTURAL ALLIANCE OF SARASOTA COUNTY 941.365.5118 / sarasotaarts.org Faces and Places by Caryn Koffman and A-Muse-ing Women by Donna Papenhausen January 6 – 30 Opening Reception: January 15, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

ALEXART INTERNATIONAL ART GALLERY 813.465.1249 / alexartinternational.com Purity January 9

ARTCENTER MANATEE 941.746.2862 / artcentermanatee.org A Walk In The Woods Curated Exhibit Kellogg Gallery Through January 10 Small But Mighty Open Juried Show Searle & Reid Hodges Galleries Through January 10 Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island 11th Annual Fine Art Exhibition Kellogg Gallery January 14 – February 7 1 20

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ARTS ADVOCATES: THE FINE ARTS SOCIETY OF SARASOTA, INC. 941.953.3368 / artsadvocates.org Art Collection Tour Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall 10:00 a.m. January 13

GET Inspired

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ArtCenter Manatee Annual Member Show Searle & Reid Hodges Galleries January 14 – February 7

ART UPTOWN GALLERY 941.955.5409 / artuptown.com Laura Reed’s “20:20 — Vision,” Multi-Media Abstract Paintings Through January 24 Celebration of 40 Years in Downtown Sarasota, Art Uptown Gallery Hosts “Color Us 40 Party” and a Series of Monthly Art Demonstrations/Talks January 31

DABBERT GALLERY 941.955.1315 / dabbertgallery.com Local Color, Florida Style January 3 – 31

GRACE HOWL CONTEMPORARY ART 941.539.5302 / gracehowlart.com Open Studio – Sarasota Visual Artist Studios 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. January 4 Pop-Up Show Featuring Emerging Artist - Samantha Wuerfel Opening Reception: January 10, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. January 10 – 12


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ISLAND GALLERY WEST 941.778.6648 / islandgallerywest.com “See the Light” by Jane Keeling 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. January 10

MEG KRAKOWIAK GALLERY & STUDIO 941.400.2478 / megkrakowiakstudios.com Celebrating A New Year of Art 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. January 3

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NORTH PORT ART CENTER 941.423.6460 / northportartcenter.org Member Art Show “Anything Goes” January 6 – 31

SARASOTA VISUAL ARTISTS STUDIOS 941.993.9391 sarasotavisualartistsstudios.com Sarasota Visual Artists Studios Open Studio Various 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. January 4

mit to the BARGAINS you’ll FIND! Have an upcoming visual art event? Send your event details to COMMUNICATIONS@SARASOTAARTS.ORG

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FLOWERS AS LAUGHTER

BRIGHT MORNING

Meet Artist

CANDACE KNAPP ARTIST STATEMENT “There is something magical about light falling on water,” says Candace Knapp.  “I find inspiration in the photographs I take of undulating reflections of plants, sky and sunlight in a river or pond, but it is not enough. I am looking for a deeper level of meaning. Pondering accidental shapes and plays of color, my mind conjures up memories and comes up with its own unique interpretations. As I play with the different elements of the painting, it evolves into something unexpected. I want these paintings to be a catalyst for the viewer’s own personal imaginary journeys.”  BIO Candace Knapp graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Art and received a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Illinois. Her sculptures are in the permanent collections of the Memphis Brooks Museum, Tennessee; the Miaoli Wood Sculpture Museum, Taiwan; Mobile Oil Corp., Stockholm; Northwood Institute, West Palm Beach; the City of Tampa Water Deptartment and others.  In 2018 she had a one person painting exhibition, “Luminous Passages”, at Teco Public Art Gallery in Tampa.Her newest paintings are available at Dabbert Gallery on Palm Avenue in Sarasota. Her newest paintings are available at Dabbert Gallery on Palm Avenue in Sarasota. 1 22

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CANDACE KNAPP WITH PAINTING “BLUEBERRY POND”


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NEW Author Lecture Series ALEXANDRA SILBER

Jewish Culture

January 6, 2020 • 7:30 pm • $25

Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota

Grammy-nominated artist and author Alexandra Silber will blend musical stylings with spoken words from her book, After Anatevka, in a cabaret-style performance featuring songs from Fiddler on the Roof and original pieces. The book picks up where the story told in Fiddler on the Roof ends. Alexandra is currently starring in Cabaret at the Olney Theatre Center outside Washington DC.

S. PERRY BRICKMAN

Anti-Semitism

January 29, 2020 • 10:30 am • $10

Beatrice Friedman Theater, 582 McIntosh Rd, Sarasota

Connect with us on Social Media!

Author of Extracted: Unmasking Rampant Anti-Semitism in America’s Higher Education, experienced first-hand that discrimination in dental schools was a wide spread epidemic. He harbored a painful secret that he, and many others, had been failed out of Emory’s dental school because they were Jewish.

ARIEL BURGER @sarasotascene @scenesarasota @sarasotascene @scenemagsrq

A Study of Elie Wiesel

February 13, 2020 • 7:00 pm • $18

Beatrice Friedman Theater, 582 McIntosh Rd, Sarasota

Burger first met Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel at age 15. They studied and taught together. Burger’s book Witness chronicles the intimate conversations between these two men over decades. Witness takes the reader into Wiesel’s classroom, where the art of listening and storytelling conspire to keep memory alive. Burger is a writer, artist, teacher, and rabbi. THESE THREE EVENTS ARE PART OF A SIX LECTURE SERIES. For more info or to order tickets visit:

jfedsrq.org/books

or call 1.888.718.4253, Option 1 IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:

SPONSORS: JULES & CAROL B. GREEN DAVID & LORI LINER

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LITERARY Scene By Ryan G. Van Cleave

THREE NEW THRILLERS

SNAKES AND LADDERS by Victoria Selman

I’m a sucker for serial killer stories, so when I heard that this book was being advertised as Psycho meets The Silence of the Lambs, I knew I was going to include it in the Literary Scene. For those who don’t know, Snakes and Ladders is the third in the Ziba MacKenzie thriller series. Set in contemporary London, this is the story of a serial killer—called the Pink Rose Killer— ravaging that fine city. Their calling card is removing a piece of each victim and in its place, they leave behind a pink rose. Playing the role of Dr. Hannibal Lecter is Dr. Vernon Sange, a cold-blooded American murderer serving a life sentence in the largest high security prison in the UK, where he awaits extradition to the US for crimes he committed there. He’s got valuable info on the killer’s identity, but he’ll only share it with Ziba, a profiler with special forces experience behind her. Their battle of wits is often as esoteric as it is compelling. One of the interesting aspects of this story is how Ziba is still grieving over her lost husband—Duncan died a few years prior to the timeline of this story. Selman gives Ziba another chance

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at happiness via a possible relationship with the intriguing journalist Jack Wolfe, for whom Ziba clearly has feelings. But her #1 task is discovering the identity of the Pink Rose Killer and capturing him before the death toll rises higher. Ziba is a complicated character. She’s brilliant as anything, as well as capable and introspective, but she’s somehow constantly playing from behind. As a forensics profiler, it seems as if she’d be able to match Dr. Sange a bit better than she does. With Clarice Starling from The Silence of the Lambs, she had the excuse of being an FBI trainee. Ziba is a well-seasoned pro who’s seen plenty of action. While a few too many plot moments sync up 1:1 with the aforementioned books, Selman ultimately knows what readers of this type of story want, and the fast-paced cat-and-mouse action here will please readers. Rating:

VictoriaSelman.com


arts&culture

WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK MORE INTERESTING THAN MANY THRILLERS IS THAT THINGS AREN’T AS BLACK AND WHITE AS THEY MIGHT SEEM UPON FIRST BLUSH . . . NOTHING IS AS IT APPEARS, AND THE TRUTH IS ELUSIVE NO MATTER WHAT YOU

THINK YOU KNOW.

TOWARD THE LIGHT by Bonnar Spring

If you’re tired of thrillers with the traditional male protagonist, meet Luz Concepion, the star of Bonnar Spring’s debut thriller. She’s returned to Guatemala to take out Martin Benavides, the monster who murdered her father nearly two decades before. Benavides is no easy target, as he’s the country’s former president and a man who has deep ties to a massive drug cartel. But Luz has long been groomed for years for this very mission, and with the help of CIA friends, she finds employment as a nanny to Benavides’ lonely grandson. It’s exactly the sort of close access she needs to Benavides to complete her mission. What makes this book more interesting than many thrillers is that things aren’t as black and white as they might seem upon first blush. While this is a revenge story,

Luz quickly learns that nothing is as it appears, and the truth is elusive no matter what you think you know. While Luz is originally positioned as an assassin, she gets involved in a romance of sorts with Evan, a painter who is her method of contact to her CIA connections. The odd tension between her being a capable hero and a damsel in distress isn’t quite resolved in a meaningful way. But Springs shows promise as a writer, and the moral dilemma Luz faces at the end makes the last few chapters of this book memorable and striking. Rating:

facebook.com/BonnarSpringBooks

CIVIL TERROR: WATERBORNE by J. Luke Bennecke

THE ACTION IS

Bennecke’s latest—the second of a three-book thriller series—is Civil Terror: Waterborne, which takes a fictional look into the terrifying question of what might happen if terrorists decide to weaponize a city’s water supply. Right at the start of this book, Californians begin getting sick with the flu from tainted drinking water. It’s more than just a flu outbreak—it’s something being done on purpose.

With this series, Bennecke says, “My hope is to plant seeds that might bear fruit someday for mankind, whether it’s for self-driving cars, solving the drought in California, or fixing our ailing electrical infrastructure before terrorists find a way to bring it down.” While that might indeed be one outcome of these books, most are satisfied to read them for the enjoyment value alone.

Traumatized engineer Jake Bendel quickly realizes that a secret masterplan is in place to genetically modify all the males in the entire state. With his unlikely partner, FBI agent Jose Cavanaugh, they’ve got to track down the evil mind at the heart of this twisted plot. Considering Jake himself gets infected with the same virus ravaging in the bodies of other Californians, his own body becomes the ticking clock he has to beat if he wants to survive this latest unexpected adventure.

The action is fast, and the language is terse. But Bennecke’s background as a civil engineer brings extra life to the behind-the-scenes aspects of civic infrastructure. Some of the plot points are familiar, but the breakneck pace will surely thrill and delight many.

FAST, AND THE LANGUAGE IS TERSE. BUT BENNECKE’S BACKGROUND AS A CIVIL ENGINEER BRINGS EXTRA LIFE TO THE BEHINDTHE-SCENES ASPECTS OF CIVIC

JLukeBennecke.com

Rating:

INFRASTRUCTURE.

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aroundtown

CWC – FPRA LUNCHEON The Central West Coast chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (CWC-FPRA) held a professional development luncheon at the Dattoli Cancer Center. Joseph S. Grano, Jr., president and founder of Next-Mark LLC, spoke on “Building and Nurturing High-Performance Communications Teams.”

LIBBY’S RIBBON CUTTING The Ribbon Cutting Celebration for Libby’s Lakewood Ranch on Thursday, December 12th was held at their brand-new location on Lorraine Road. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast was held to celebrate the new restaurant.

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BEETHOVEN'S

THIRD

February 6 Van Wezel

(Eroica)

Explore Beethoven’s “heroic” symphony with Sarasota Orchestra Artistic Advisor Jeffrey Kahane. He will present insights and musical examples that put Beethoven into 21st century context. A performance of the full symphony completes this fascinating concert experience.

Tickets from $25 | SarasotaOrchestra.org | 941-953-3434

JANUARY 2020 | SARASOTA SCENE

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arts&culture

Laughing MATTERS THE ONE WHERE MOTHER NATURE STRIKES BACK By Ryan G. Van Cleave | Illustrations by Darcy Kelly-Laviolette

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bsolutely nothing funny happened to me this month. Not one thing.

Thankfully, I’ve got first-rate neighbors with far more exciting lives than I do. Take, for example, my neighbor Jeremy. As he inches past his mid-40s, he’s becoming more daring in his life choices because he doesn’t want to look back on things in his 80s and have oodles of regrets. At least, that’s what he’s explaining to me as he segues into a story where his friend Dmitri’s cousin, Roger, invited him to do some Thanksgiving hunting on his 200-acre private estate in central Florida. “Anything we kill, we’ll just eat,” he explained. “Think about all those Butterball turkeys we won’t have to buy!” Jeremy quickly learned that despite Roger owning all this well-wooded acreage, he knew absolutely nothing about hunting. Here’s how Jeremy sleuthed that out. Jeremy: “Do you have enough guns for all of us?” Roger: “I don’t like guns. I thought we’d use spears instead.” Jeremy: “Okay, do you have enough spears for all of us?” Roger (turning to their mutual friend, Dmitri): “I thought the reason we invited him was because he owned three spears.” Dmitri (in his James-Bond-quality Russian spy accent): “What I said was that the last time we hung out, he LOANED ME THREE BEERS.” Jeremy didn’t want to ruin the Man-Kill-Beast vibe they’d so carefully cultivated, so he agreed to do some research since, as Dmitri put it, “You might as well put that college degree to work for something useful.” Like getting their hunting fix, apparently. According to the first website Jeremy Googled, it turns out that if they used free running dogs, they could legally take down rabbit, raccoon, opossum, skunk, nutria (whatever the blazes that is!), beaver, coyote, hog, fox, and bobcat.

Well, no one Jeremy knew had loanable hunting dogs, and none of those meats felt Thanksgivingy enough, which was good since Robert said he’d never seen any of those animals on his property that he could recall. Then again, he rarely went outside much because of his asthma, so who really knew what lurked in the woods around his house? The internet saved the day, though, because Jeremy found www.TwoGuysAndAHog.com, the website hawking a feral wild hog hunt company that caters to “son/daughter teams, large groups, families, and the ‘lone wolf’ hunter.” It was the next part that really sold Jeremy. “Our hunters can choose to use rifles, pistols, bow, knife, and spear,” all of which you can bring yourselves or rent from them directly and then use on their own well-stocked hunting grounds. Best of all? “With our guarantee you will have the opportunity to pull a trigger on a Florida feral hog or you don’t pay us.” Perfect. All three of them agreed to head out to this amazing tribute to the American Dream on the Monday before Thanksgiving. They never got there. Here’s why. The weekend prior, Roger spotted a feral wild hog on his own property. Imagine the luck! The Two Guys and a Hog company wasn’t exactly cheap, after all. So, Roger phoned up Jeremy and Dmitri—his “hunting buddies,” he told each of them as he explained the situation about the new-found animal on his property—and out they went to central Florida, ready to take advantage of this holiday hunting miracle. Roger was ready. He’d swung by Walmart and picked up three broomsticks, then duct-taped steak knives to the tips. These “weapons” were more akin to props one might make for a low-budget film shot on a shattered-screen iPhone 4 by third graders than anything lethal. Which seemed a good thing, since Jeremy and Dmitri had fortified themselves with so much beer that they might’ve knocked out the elusive feral wild hog with their breath. (Always a safety buff, he points out that they took an Uber.)

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After a couple more drinks from Roger’s patio bar—to “fortify ourselves,” they kept saying—it became clear that none of them actually wanted to hunt. Or rather, they DID want the excitement of a hunt, but they DIDN’T want to actually kill anything.

Three hours later, under the cover of nightfall, that’s how Roger’s wife found them—freezing together atop the ATV as the neighbor’s beefy black cat—Missus Poofy—meowed about. “Hey, that’s no hog,” Roger realized a bit tardily.

Roger eyed the trio of spears he’d left leaning on the side of his Arctic Cat 700 Super Duty Diesel ATV. “I wonder if I still have the receipt,” he muttered. “You’re not going to take those back,” Dmitri said. “Of course, I’d take the knives off first,” Roger insisted. Just then, the wild hog appeared, 200 pounds if it was an ounce, or so Jeremy swore. Dmitri let out a scream like a middle school cheerleader being asked to the big dance, and the three of them clambered atop the Arctic Cat, which wasn’t really built for more than one. They huddled together on the hood as the black-asmidnight hog snorted and stamped about, vacuuming up acorns from the nearby oaks. Just as they thought it’d maybe wander off, it stomped back over and huffed at them every single time. “Get the spears,” Roger whispered. But they couldn’t. They’d fallen to the ground and none of them dared get off their safe perch. “We’ll wait it out,” Dmitri decided. “It’ll leave before long.”

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SARASOTA SCENE | JANUARY 2020

That’s what you get when people who have no business hunting try to embrace their inner Conan. As Jeremy got into an Uber to head back home in well-deserved shame, Roger said, “Don’t forget—we’re going to give tarpon fishing a try next month.” Whatever day they give that a shot, for my own safety, I’ll be sure to be out of town—but don’t worry, I’ll chase down Jeremy afterwards and get the lowdown on The One That Got Away. Or maybe something funny will happen to me. Who knows? *** Have your own hunting-gone-wrong story? Have cats ever been part of the punchline to an otherwise terrific tale? Did you ever try to return something to Walmart that’s crazier than a broom modified into a wild-hog-slaying weapon? If your answer is a resounding “Yes!” to one or more of the above, then by all means, reach out to me via email at MyNeighborsRule@SarasotaScene.com.


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Samuel L. Cione

Samuel L. Cione Samuel L. Cione

Profile for SARASOTA SCENE Magazine

January 2020  

Our January issue offers advice, products and services for a new 2020 you.

January 2020  

Our January issue offers advice, products and services for a new 2020 you.

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