SRQ Magazine | Love Local July 2019

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JULY/AUG 2019 | $4.00 US



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contents July/August 2019


76 VEGAN GARDEN PARTY Valarie WadsworthDelieto and husband Lee Delieto are the consummate hosts. whether hosting out-of-town visitors at one of their cozy airbnb properties with old florida vibes, close friends and family for one of their renowned dinner parties or recipe-sharing gettogethers, the pair finds solace and indulgence in their collection of historic Gillespie Park homes.



Written by Brittany Mattie Photography by Wyatt Kostygan.

82 THE REVIVALISTS With a breath of fresh air, Libby’s Neighborhood Brasserie is back, revived and with a new persona—not to mention upgraded machinery, a remodeled floorplan, enlivened menus and a modern makeover for the beloved Hillview staple. Welcome back to the neighborhood, ol’ gal. Written by Brittany Mattie Photography by Wyatt Kostygan



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Escape Reality Downtown looks to reinvent nightlife in Downtown Sarasota. Axe and Bull aims for a bulls-eye on Bee Ridge with indoor axethrowing. The Wandering Whale mobile bar brings bartending expertise where it’s needed.

All the accouterments to outfit a modern and masculine workspace. A Tuttle Elementary teacher celebrates local beaches with wearable pride in Landmark Shoes. Reinventing an Anna Maria Island home under the guiding hand of William Morris.

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First-time director Graham Swon wins big at the Sarasota Film Festival. A global family gathers for the Sarasota Chalk Festival. Cutting an album at the Ringling Studio Labs with Ben Jacobs and his band BABYL.

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99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop opens the door to endless craft beer and wine options.

From the Fabric of India to the Boys and Girls Clubs 2019 Florida Youth of the Year.

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Provisionist Nosh

This page: Watermelon

Blackberry Mojito by The Wandering Whale. David McGough and Lizzie Vann at their house on Anna Maria Island. Babyl recording at the Ringling College Studio Labs Post Production Facility. Housemade soft-baked chocolate chip cookies, paired with a dreamy milk stout at 99 Bottles Taproom and Bottle Shop. Cover: The Wandering Whale’s Watermelon Blackberry Mojito. Photography this page and on the cover by Wyatt Kostygan.

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Madison Holmes Olivia Liang







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GET SRQ DAILY The magazine in your hands offers enormous insight into our community, but the most informed in our community follow our constant coverage of Sarasota and the Bradenton Area in SRQ Daily. The electronic newsletter is a must-read in thousands of inboxes. Check our special editions: the Monday Business Edition, the Wednesday Philanthropy Edition, the Friday Weekend Edition and the much-discussed Saturday Perspectives Edition, featuring a diverse range of opinions from the region’s top pundits and newsmakers. SIGN UP ONLINE AT SRQMAG.COM

ORIGINS OF “SRQ” The “SRQ” in SRQ magazine originates from the designated call letters for the local Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. “SR” was the original abbreviation for the airport before the growth in total number of airports required the use of a three-letter code. Letters like “X” and “Q” were used as filler, thus the original “SR” was revised to “SRQ,” much as the Los Angeles airport became “LAX.” As a regional publication committed to the residents of and visitors to both Sarasota and Manatee counties, SRQ captures the place that we call home.


SUBSCRIBE TO THE PRINT AND DIGITAL EDITION Join our readers in the pleasurable experience of receiving SRQ magazine in your mailbox every month. To reserve your subscription, provide your information and payment online. You can set up multiple addresses, renewals and special instruct ons rectl throu h our onl ne account hen ou su scr e onl ne our first r nt ssue ll arr e n our ma l o n ee s or mme ate access to the tal e t on su scr e rectl at our book. Subscribe online at SRQMAG.COM/SUBSCRIBE. Contact us via email at Vol. 22, Issue 218 Copyright © 2019 SRQ MEDIA. SRQ: Live Local | Thrive Local. Sarasota and Bradenton is published 12 times a year. IMPORTANT NOTICE: The entire contents of SRQ are copyrighted by Trafalger Communications, Inc. Column and department names are property of Trafalger Communications, Inc. and may not be used or reproduced without express written permission of the publisher. SUBSCRIPTION: Subscriptions to SRQ are $36 for 24 issues. Single copies are $4 at area newsstands.

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Inside the Brand NEXT—SB2: Transformation in Philanthropy Luncheon, Thurdsay, July 25, 2019


ROARING SUCCESS SRQ Media’s Hear Me Roar Women in Business Leadership and Awards Luncheon celebrates and elevates local movers, shakers and changemakers. With a full house and a roar that shook the rafters, SRQ Media’s fifth annual Women In Business Leadership and Awards Luncheon returned to the Hyatt Regency Sarasota this past May, once again assembling professionals and pioneers from all across the region to honor and recognize the women entrepreneurs propelling their communities and businesses into the future. And with a special appearance from groundbreaking journalist and civil rights activist Dorothy Butler Gilliam and a keynote address from author and cancer advocate Geralyn Lucas, attendees left both inspired and eager to roar for another year. A journalist and author turned advocate for breast cancer awareness and survivor acceptance, Lucas took the stage to tell her own very personal account of being diagnosed at age 27 and facing a mastectomy with little available guidance or support. Equal parts humorous and heartfelt, she shared her story with a rapt audience hanging on to every twist and turn, as she recounted the little victories and the big ones—and lessons learned. “Always take that risk,” she said, and be open about who you are and what you’re going through—reactions may be surprising. “Courage is just so contagious,” she says. “The best thing I’ve ever done is share my story and hold out my hand to someone else.”

A trailblazer who literally wrote the book (her memoir is titled Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist’s Fight to Make the Media Look More Like America), acclaimed journalist Dorothy Butler Gilliam was also in attendance to receive the 2019 Trailblazer Award. The first black woman journalist at The Washington Post, Gilliam’s storied career documents a battle waged tirelessly on two fronts, facing both racism and sexism, in the office and out, yet never backing down. Accepting the award on behalf of black women journalists everywhere, she reflected on her journey. “Women of our generation didn’t really hear our roar,” she said. “So I found a little bit of my roar today. I am not going to be apologetic anymore—I am a trailblazer.” Closing out the luncheon, the crowd recognized the finalists and inductees into the 2019 Women in Business Leadership Circle, as selected by a judges panel of professional women. Winners this year included: Luz Corcuera, executive director of UnidosNow; Johnette Isham, executive director of Realize Bradenton; Terri Najmolhoda, vice president and general manager with Saks Fifth Avenue; Christine Robinson, executive director of The Argus Foundation; and Sally Schule, director of community engagement with Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation.

This page and next page:, Event photos

from the Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon hosted at The Hyatt on May 2, 2019. Featuring this year’s Women in Business Leadership Circle inductees, the Class of 2019 (left).

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inside the brand Social Chatter Follow us on social media and join the conversation to see your comments here!

Facebook Brian Roland Thank you SRQ Magazine for the feature about our newest launch in Sarasota, Venice Beach and Siesta Key areas for Crave Culinaire and Crave Event Staffing!! Lots of exciting news in the pipeline! Bradentucky Bombers Roller Derby Thanks for the love SRQ Magazine! Who else is excited for our game against Fort Myers Roller Derby on June 22nd? Katy McBrayer Looking forward to being a mentor again with SRQ Magazine Women in Business Skillshare where myself and some other awesome local women will be sharing business knowledge and answering questions. One of my favorite events!

SRQ MEDIA would like to thank the 2019 Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon event sponsors for their support of this community platform: Champion Partner Seaside National Bank & Trust, Innovator Foundation Partner Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Collaborator Partner New Balance Sarasota, Leadership Pin Partner Diamond Vault, Trophy Partner Sarasota Trophy & Awards Inc., Hospitality Partner The Hyatt Regency Sarasota, After Hours Partner Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue, Audio Visual Partner PSAV, Club Partner Waterworks Sarasota, Transportation Partner Gold Star Limousines, Hair Partner Muse Salon & Spa, Make Up Partner Saks Fifth Avenue, and Floral Partner Sue Ellen’s Floral Boutique. Thank you as well to the participants in the Hear Me Roar Pop-Up Boutiques: Diamond Vault, Camilyn Beth Studio, Saks Fifth Avenue, New Balance, Paint Nail Bar, Philosophy & Vines, Pineapple Yoga, Apricot Lane, Lash Boutique, Barb McSweeney Jewelry, Bazaar on Apricot & Lime, Architectural Salvage and Lilly Pulitzer. Thank you to the 2019 Hear Me Roar table sponsors, the SRQ Women In Business Leadership Circle, and to our audience of over three-hundred attendees.

Fiona McFarland A great piece in SRQ Magazine this morning about a sheriff who always puts the safety of his community first. Sarasota will forever be grateful for the leadership of Sheriff Tom Knight! Community Foundation of Sarasota County “In more ways than one, the richness of our community shines through these great partnerships that help bridge passion and potential to inspire lasting impact.” Read why our very own Roxie Jerde believes collaboration is key in SRQ Magazine:

Instagram @hautepawzpet Thank you @srqmag for featuring our collars in this great pet article! @humanesocietysrq Yay Scoobi! @wanderingshaunzy Their shawarma is the bomb! @spiceboyskitchen @b_acqua : @the.tails.of.brody You made it buddy!

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GAME TIME Escape Reality Downtown is cracking the case on pure adult fun. Brittany Mattie


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Previous page and this page: Testing out the goggles of the newly implemented VR gaming system. Patrons playing various environmental games in Escape Reality’s new downtown location.


virtual reality games, poker nights, a murder mystery dinner theater, comedy shows and all day/everyday happy hour, Escape Reality Downtown is literally an adult playground. The full bar and lounge lure those seeking a di erent kind of night downtown—to drink craft beers and cocktails with multi-generational video games, mobile activities and mind-boggling challenges at their fingertips. Slide a 0 VR headset on and experience interactive environments— simulated or augmented—like flight action game Ace Combat and rhythm slashing game Beat Saber, or travel the planet’s topography with Google Earth. If the surrealness of virtual reality is too intimidating, step over to the retro arcade area. Environmentals like pinball, hunting, racing and dancing games invite you to feel like a kid again, as do coin-operated cabinet machines o ering 1, 00 nostalgic titles such as Donkey Kong, Ms. Pacman, Defender, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Metal Hawk. Lest we forget, the escape rooms. “We know people love the unique mysteries and the immersive

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real-time adventure aspect of Escape Reality,” says Owner Suzan Ponte. “But we did it a bit di erently this time.” Instead of “breaking out” of the typical escape room, the mission here is “breaking in.” An old-school bank vault built into the back of the building becomes the puzzle

for two unique games, The Inside Job and SafeCracker, to be played either separately or competitively with two di erent groups. “It’s a race to the finish to see who gets the cash and who takes the blame,” explains Ponte. And it all can be done with a pint of liquid

courage in hand. “Our whole mission is to get adults to stay and play,” she says. “Downtown already has so many great places to eat, drink and be seen, but there’s got to be more of that, Let’s do. Let’s Play.’” SRQ


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BETTER THAN BOWLING Axe-throwing gets the edge for indoor “axe-citement” this summer. Phil Lederer

FROM THE BATTLEFIELDS OF THE MIDDLE AGES to a strip mall o Bee Ridge, the immortal joy of axe throwing lives on—whether the target be an opponent’s face or the painted and layered wooden planks at Axe and Bull Sarasota, the city’s first indoor axe throwing range. “It’s something primal,” says owner ito Amato, who opened the location only nine months ago in response to a growing national trend, and already has plans for big expansions and new locations. An occupational therapist by day, when pm rolls around, Amato becomes “the axe guy,” watching over his hand built range, (installed to World Axe Throwing League standards) and the latter day warriors assembled to show their chops. It’s B B, but a safety and instructional briefing precede each 90 minute session, with Amato explaining both the art of the throw and the rules that keep all those fingers attached—everyone gets two strikes for behavior, he says, but no one gets a third. Even the athletes probably won’t stick the first throw, Amato warns, but with proper form and a bit of confidence, most everyone finds the rhythm after about 10 throws. “And once you get that,” he says, “it’s magic.” SRQ



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WHALE YOU MAKE ME A MOJITO? The Wandering Whale breaches the streets of Sarasota and brings the party curbside. Brittany Mattie


name as a subliminal calling for a new career path. Having been an established interior designer for over eight years with several architectural firms, all while maintaining side-gigs in restaurants and bars, she decided not to throw away the server apron, or measuring tape, but to grab them both for a new venture melding the two. “It was time to really put my design skills to the test,” she says. “I began digging into what was involved in a mobile bar business.” Endless searches online and one converted VW bus/bar found on Instagram later, Martini’s own wheels began to turn. The search party for the perfect vessel eventually stumbled upon a 1978 straight load horse trailer in Bradenton. What it lacked in horses, it 22 | srq magazine_ JULY/AUG19 live local


more than made up in potential. Going in for the krill, Martini developed the concept to retrofit the vintage trailer into a modern boutique bar, sketched a design and called upon local carpenter Robert Kurvin of 4 Elements Industries to bring The Wandering Whale to life. “To some, this may have seemed like a hot mess, but for me, I was right at home and could see the potential,” she says. After a lot of scrubbing, installing a swing open service window, hammering on wood plank accents, assembling a sink into the counter and jerry-rigging a kegerator tap system, the derelict trailer morphed into a polished specimen. Martini then took to the interior for “the fun part,” she says. “My design skills came to play in knowing that a successful project comes together when you have a strong

concept to start with.” Used to tearing a home down to the studs for a project, building out the interior of the Wandering Whale was not far fetched. “It’s the same process, just a di erent medium,” Martini says, and she set about painting multiple coats of white varnish, sealing the handsome whale logo onto the exterior, DI ing aluminum backsplashes and implementing winsome touches like fairy lights pinned around the ceiling, all joining lush greenery trimming the rims and fanciful decor. After sourcing an outdoor rug, bohemian seating with ottomans and mini table tops, the mechanical whale was ready to dive in with style and a cooler of ice in tow. Martini learning how to smoothly hitch/ unhitch the trailer to her truck by herself is a story for another time. The Wandering Whale

currently serves as a photo backdrop and bartending service honoring cocktail, or mocktail, requests for various markets and corporate events, weddings and private parties. Realtors planning an open house can have Martini turn on some tunes and mix up refreshing lavender lemonade for prospective buyers to keep cool on a hot Florida day. Businesses who want to treat their employees can book a team appreciation Happy Hour. Bachelorettes can have a fullservice Mimosa Bar pull up to the bridal shower, with sunflowers setting the scene. And the Snow Cone Package, with the option to spike the snow cones with alcohol, goes swimmingly for summery get-togethers. No matter the occasion, The Wandering Whale is showing up to blow guests’ expectations out of the water. SRQ


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WATERMELON BLACKBERRY MOJITO “Being that we live in Florida, I gravitate to drink recipes that are thirst-quenching and refreshing. I’m also all about making the garnish for drinks fun and whimsical, whether it be a slice of watermelon, a rock sugar stick or fresh herb—those little details go a long way!”


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Alexa Shae Niziak stars in Graham Swon’s The World is Full of Secrets. Photo courtesy of Ravenser Odd.


From NYC to SFF, a budding horror filmmaker crafts an award-winning debut with The World is Full of Secrets. Phil Lederer

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This page: raham on rote an recte h s e ut film The World is Full of Secrets. lena ur er as ecca n The World is Full of Secrets. Courtesy of Ravenser Odd.


feature film, a bit of Suburban Gothic called The World is Full of Secrets, N C based filmmaker Graham Swon may very well have thought his film the underdog. An unconventional entry into the horror genre, The World is Full of Secrets takes audiences back to the suburban landscape of 199 , where, with the parents out of town, 1 year old girls at a sleepover compete to tell the most terrible and frightening story they know. Monologue driven and starring age appropriate actors, the project took more than three years to bring to the screen, and Swon walked away with the Independent isions Award for the e ort. SRQ went behind the scenes to talk genre filmmaking and the festival circuit. As your first feature, did you feel prepared? I felt very prepared actually. I come from a theater background, and I’ve done directing in theater, so I had a very good grip in terms of working with actors. I’ve produced a lot o inde endent films, and it s a similar sized film, so had a good grip on the organizational/ producing concerns that become a huge amount of energy when you’re ma ing that ty e o film ma ing sure everybody has food, making sure the insurance paperwork has een filed, ma ing sure the car has been rented.

Why horror? find it interesting because it is a genre built around an idea that the audience is signing up to enter something that is designed to make them uncomfortable in

some way. It’s pushing against the typical impulse one attaches to the idea of entertainment. The audience can go into strange places. It’s not necessarily as reliant on normal ideas of narrative and it’s where a lot of my ideas connect. From Romero to Peele, horror is also a tradition steeped in social commentary. Does your film carry this on? Horror is a genre that has a certain moral component, and there is a so ial om onent to the film, though it’s not necessarily the driving engine o the film ons iously and intentionally onsider the film to be feminist, but I wouldn’t want to underline anything in particular too much. Let viewers have the response they want to have. I was

very concerned with how you could deal with some of the subject matter in an ethical way as an artist, to allow the audience to engage in a way that I didn’t think was exploitative of the stories being told. What is the importance of film festivals for emerging artists? Film festivals, in general, are extraordinarily important because, not only for an independent film li e mine ut even or a mid size film, there are very ew aths to e a le to test your film nd on a business level, it’s the best way that you can get publicity and attention around the film and use that uel to laun h the film into roader distriution eing a le to uild a rofile and make connections through the festival is very important.

Where does Sarasota Film Festival fit in? It’s become one of the stops on what I regard as a serious inde endent film ir uit, through the virtue of having some really old rogrammers lot o films that are outside o the norm get to go through this place, and it has built up a good reputation for itself in the broader community. What’s next? The film is touring quite heavily, so I’m traveling a lot with it this summer and working on trying to solidify a relationship for releasing the film s a rodu er, ve got three films in varying levels o rodu tion right now with different filmma ers nd then m trying to write a script. SRQ

hat s the scar est stor ou no An el erl oman seem n l a ress n us rom the uture loo s ac on a harro n n ht n the s hen she an a rou o teena e rl r en s athere or a slee o er to s a s oo tales an a le n some occult m sch e ut hat e ns as seem n l harmless a olescent un s onl a relu e to a horror that rema ns tantal n l unseen an uns o en n ol n n a trancel e ha e o ream ssol es s ectral ou le e osures an au ac ous lon ta es th s suall su l me us on o a ant ar e aesthet cs an class c ol ar house atmos her cs r stles th the hushe can lel t a r o a s ance


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Previous page: Hospital Fish, by Spanish pavement artist Eduardo Relero, drew attention to the growing problem of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

DRAWN TOGETHER At the Sarasota Chalk Festival, the dusty trail is home.

Phil Lederer

IN AN EXPLOSION OF COLOR AND CROWDS, Pineapple Avenue transformed into Memory Lane this past April as the Sarasota Chalk

Festival made its triumphant reappearance on the streets of its home city for the first time in six years. A truly international event, the festival saw more than 50 chalk artists from around the world traveling to Sarasota to make their mark side-by-side on the blacktop—met by a crush of more than 0,000 gawking festivalgoers crowding the streets from sunup till sundown throughout the three day spectacle. “We’ve been able to build a global family,” says festival founder Denise owal. “This festival is the only place where this global family of artists can assemble each year.” And owal’s not one to let down family. 28 | srq magazine_ JULY/AUG9 live local



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This page: Aerial shot of the April 2019 Sarasota Chalk Festival. Photo by Dylan Jon Wade Cox.

More than an exhibition, the event becomes an artistic resource and celebration of the craft, where practitioners long separated by geography can meet and grow together. Veterans innovate, newcomers discover their passion, spectators snap photos and everybody wins. And though red tide may have spoiled the family reunion this past November—postponing the world premiere of another groundbreaking chalk art installation from American artist Kurt Wenner—Kowal was certain to get them all together on Pineapple Avenue in April. Because while spectators en oy the o vious enefit o their adorned surroundings, the artists take the weekend as rare opportunity to observe each other in action, swa stories and se rets and find inspiration for their own future projects. It’s a time when local artists like Luther Rosebaro can discover their love of chalking, and international leaders like Wenner can display their latest creations. Rosebaro had never chalked before being volunteered as an artist for the Sarasota Chalk Festival in 2009. nd that first day was rough or Rosebaro, a pencil artist unused to kneeling outside on steaming hot blacktop for hours, trying to make the dusty medium do what he wanted. “It was grueling,” he recalls, “but a lot of the other artists were helpful, giving me pointers.” He’s now chalked at the festival five times and will e arti i ating again this coming November. “It’s the camaraderie and the fellowship with people from all over,” he says. “We can come together for one weekend and be one big family.” Covering nearly the length of Pineapple’s stretch through Burns Court, the big family’s artistic output this year ran the gamut of chalk’s possibility, showcasing both traditional techniques and anamorphic pavement art, with topics ranging from the whimsical and humorous to the strident and 30 | srq magazine_ JULY/AUG19 live local


socially-conscious. On the international side, Mexican and Italian artists dominated the scene, including Ignacio Chavez, whose dark and moody portrait of an old laborer and his lantern emphasized the dramatic potential of the medium, and Vicini Michela, whose Escher-esque creation showcased a more modern sentiment (along with a Florida nod in the ig ur le in amingo taking center-stage). American artists like Colorado’s Chris Carlson injected some humor into the blacktop gallery, reimagining Jabba the Hutt as middle management, complete with a hands-free headset and lavender tie, while artists from Thailand and the Philippines eschewed pop culture for more traditional imagery. Several local chalk artists made their mark this year as well, including a pair of art teachers from Manatee School for the Arts, Michelle Clinton and Melissa Aldan. Perhaps one of the biggest draws of the festival remains the anamorphic pavement art—where artists

use tricks of perspective to create the illusion of three dimensions on the at street nd this year, many artists took advantage of the added immersion to send a message. While some reveled in the fun of the illusion, creating snapping alligators and lizard creatures with saddles for kids to pose on and pretend to ride, others brought attention to ongoing epidemics such as opioid abuse, with a giant OxyContin bottle seemingly upturned on the pavement with candy spilling out. Milanese artist Cubaliquido’s spin on the iconic shot from Creature from the Black Lagoon saw the famous creature carrying a life-size plastic Barbie doll from the depths, posing questions about both authenticity and pollution. But garnering the longest line of the festival, the world premiere of a new chalk art installation from Wenner—also the inventor of anamorphic pavement art—again upended the paradigm for chalk art’s possibilities. Entitled

Shangri-La, the three-dimensional construction once more sees Wenner playing with the geometry of his art, creating a consistent framework that lends itself to warped images and bizarre tricks of perspective. And though the artist adorned the installation surfaces with images from nature, creating a utter y garden or viewers to immerse themselves in, the real discovery lies in the design. Unlike the traditional Euclidean geometry that governs understanding of the natural world and posits three vectors—x, y and z—all at right angles to each other, Wenner’s new geometry tweaks two of those vectors, creating vanishing points and eliminating all perpendicular intersections from the framework. The result is, when viewed from the proper perspective, a space that defies the eye as elements traveling through it seem to grow and shrink in strange ways. “Geometry is a clue to understanding universal truths,” says Wenner, “a symbolic language composed of creative principles.” And just as traditional geometric concepts like perspective and proportion have made heavy impact in the traditional art world, he suspects more lie undiscovered, waiting for the artist’s hand to go exploring. “So it’s important that Denise invites everybody—all these global artists,” Wenner says. “We get to meet each other and work with each other.” The Sarasota Chalk Festival returns to Venice this November 15– 18, where more than 250 artists are expected to participate in this year’s “Garden of Wonders” theme. The massive Megalodon shark will get a facelift, and a giant pterosaur will be added to the s ene n a first, estival artists and staff will also reate a chalk art maze that visitors can walk through to immerse themselves in the medium. And Wenner, and his installation will return. SRQ


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This spread: Ben Jacobs, lead singer and songwriter for Babyl, on the Ringling College Studio Labs soundstage.

LAY IT DOWN On a not-so-quiet corner of the Ringling College campus, a local band defines its sound. Phil Lederer WHEN RINGLING COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN TEAMED UP WITH SEMKHOR PRODUCTIONS to create the Ringling

College Studio Labs Post Production Facility, speculation ran wild as to what Hollywood studio or independent star might bring their latest cinematic vision to Sarasota. And with a blossoming digital filmmaking program earning accolades from the likes of The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, who could blame them? But even as the Sarasota Film Festival came rolling through and the Studio Labs opened its doors to visiting filmmakers, a local band cut its first album. It can be difficult to separate Babyl the individual—a singer/songwriter named Ben Jacobs—from Babyl the band —Jacobs plus drummer Paul Shuler, bassist Jack Berry and guitarist Thomas Nagy— but maybe that’s the way Babyl likes it. Even when asked point blank to define who or what Babyl is, answers remain enigmatic. “Babyl’s a project or an artist that wants to exude passion,” o ers Jacobs, “that wants to connect sonically and visually.” On one hand, it’s a less than helpful response. But on the other, it’s the perfect rejoinder from a veteran frontman who is as comfortable being at home writing original music as he is leading jam band covers of crowd favorites. Jacobs jumps genres like hopscotch and does it all wearing oversized sunglasses and a custom made Sergeant Pepper jacket. “Babyl was predicated on just having fun, being humorous and being spontaneous,” Jacobs says. “Personally, that’s how I connect with the audience.” But after years of experimentation and expression, this album will finally serve as Babyl’s formal introduction. Though performing prolifically, Babyl’s recorded discography is near nonexistent— not counting the innumerable cell phone

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and social media snippets taken from gigs around town and spread outside of Jacobs’ control—and this is by design. “I’m too much of a perfectionist,” he says. But at the Studio Labs, he found all the equipment and support he needed to make the album he wanted. Though as yet untitled, the band has selected a lean tracklist of six to eight songs for final inclusion in its sonic debut, winnowed from material written in the past four years of steady gigs and touring, which Jacobs now views as an extended rehearsal for the production battle to come. But performance is still far di erent from production—something Babyl came to find out. Inside the concrete expanse of one of the three soundstages found at the Studio Labs, the musicians arrange themselves in an intimate circle, playing to each other, not an audience. On the other side of the rectangular window over their shoulders, the sound engineer waits in the editing booth, master of a thousand knobs, dials, levers, switches and esoteric doodads with even more esoteric functions that will ultimately capture and crystalize Babyl’s raw performance. The air fills with palpable energy born of every available brainwave repeating and reinforcing that one all consuming thought—“We’re making an album ” Reality quickly steps in. “It’s probably one of the most frustrating things to do,” says Jacobs, “because it’s never completed, it’s never finished.” As the chief songwriter, much of Babyl’s music stems from Jacobs’ piano, and perhaps this leads to his intense perfectionism. Sometimes there will be months before he even lets his fellow band mates hear what he’s working on. “I would completely immerse myself in the track,” he says. “I would listen to it a million times, and I sort of become that track until it’s completed.” Then he will take the song to Babyl, where the

individual instrumentalists leave their marks.Studio recording with Babyl can follow a similar trajectory. Not a live album, songs are rehearsed and recorded over a painstaking process that sees each individual instrument and a vocal track recorded independently so that each component part can be practiced and performed to perfection, as opposed to praying for a run through where not a single person slips up or loses time. “It’s a fun process,” admits Jacobs, “but it’s arduous.” Sometimes after spending 30 hours on a single song, everyone listens to the result and everyone has a say, including the producer and the engineer, but then Jacobs needs his time alone with each track, to mull it over and live in its sound for a while. And every member of the band knows they’re on standby, that Jacobs could call at any moment, having woken up at three in the morning to the revelation that a horn section is needed to take one of their songs to the next level. “And we’ll throw it at the wall and see if it sticks,” he says. “We have enough creative freedom that we can add or subtract anything.” Still, there remains one song that eludes Jacobs, the Moby Dick to his Captain Ahab, a song he’s struggled to record for three years now but is “absolutely” dedicated to finishing and seeing on Babyl’s debut. “It’s always bested me in the past, but I refuse to let it get the best of me this time,” he laughs. But if it does, the Studio Labs will be there for Jacobs to give it another shot on Babyl’s sophomore album. “Semkhor and Ringling have done a phenomenal job,” Jacobs says. “For any professional artist that wants to do it right, you don’t have to go to Nashville or LA—we have the tools here.” Look for Babyl’s debut release in September 2019.


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summer sizzlers OUR COLLECTION TO HOT LOCAL SUMMER EXPERIENCES Written by Phil Lederer, Brittany Mattie and Olivia Liang | Photography by Wyatt Kostygan

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Some like it hot. Who we kidding? Most of us do. That’s why we call this city of equatorial proximity our stomping grounds. And as the UV index increases, and articles of clothing decrease, we find invigorating ways to not only beat the heat, but seize it. Embrace a sizzling foray of midsummer events, activities and trends—from satisfying salads, waterbound fitness, eco-saving initiatives, geocaching treasures, theater and gallery roundups, Florida beach reads, epic sandcastles, baby sea turtles and balmy meteor showers— sear the streets of the Suncoast with these 26 scorchers.

THE FLOPPY HAT PHENOMENON Big hats are back. Picture Pretty Woman walking down the street or Audrey Hepburn as Our Fair Lady. Functional and fashionable, these floppy tops not only shade all the right places but add the chic intrigue that every woman wants. Imagine it: head down, hat on, a bewitching gaze emerges from a sleek brim. Ladies, this is Rom-Com 101. Visit local, fashion watering holes to buy the essentials for these summer days. Stripes and solids, flamboyant and subtle, toyo straw or braided straw or striped straw or plain, old straw— find the flop for you. O.Liang

Previous page, clockwise from left to right: Odiva Floppy Beach Hat, $24, Molly and Zoey, 466 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, 941- 388-0330. Jaessa Leone Eloise striped hat, , n uen e, ohn Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, 941-343-2315. The Matter Company Joia Hat, $18, olly and oey ugenia im u un Sunhat in our reams, , outi ue, South Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, 941-906-1350. Michael Stars Hat Black with tassles one size , , and Michael Stars Hat atural ne with ow, , o y ady, ohn Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, 941- 388-5239.

AQUA STRONG Swim aerobics have come leaps and dives, from being seen strictly as an afternoon exercise for seniors with styrofoam noodles in assisted living facilities. Shara Cohen of AquaStrongSRQ breaks the stigma of the Aquatic Fitness market and is “creating more awareness about the incredible benefits of aquatic exercise and encouraging people to make the pool their gym,” she says. After extreme shoulder surgery, Cohen discovered that the water was a supportive, gentle rehabilitation environment that enabled her to push her body further with less pain, and less stress on her joints. Through drag resistance training, she gained back strength, full range of motion and took her fitness to another level. Since partnering with Hydrorevolution, she is now a certified trainer of leading equipment brands Aqualogix and Aquastrength. Having developed a wide range of lowimpact, rejuvenating workout programs that cater to all demographics, her pool-based conditioning and muscle-toning routines help people of all ages, endurance levels and ailments optimize performance and reach their fitness goals. “In such a supportive environment, the water allows you to exercise in a way that land based exercise does not,” she notes. “It is challenging yet therapeutic, invigorating and so much fun!” Whether you are recovering from an injury or looking for a new method of cross-training to improve your sports performance, you’ll want Cohen’s drag resistance training to be part of your regular cardio regimen. B.Mattie Aquastrongsrq. com,, 941-479-9490.

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THEY SHOOT STARS, DON’T THEY? In 199 , legendary American actor Bruce Willis sacrificed his life to save the planet and its people from asteroid Armageddon. Celebrate his selfless act this summer by taking the entire family out under the night sky for a pair of stunning meteor showers. Peaking in late July (July 27 2 ), the Delta Aquariids light up the Earth’s atmosphere with the rocky remains of a passing comet from July 12 through August 2 , but astronomers remain uncertain exactly which of the icy nomads should take credit. Favorable moon conditions coincide with the peak this year, but best viewing will be in the early pre dawn hours, so bring some snacks, a sleeping bag and at least two Aerosmith albums. The Perseid meteor shower also returns this year, as the Earth passes through the dusty trail of the Comet Swift Tuttle from July 17 to August 2 , and the Northern Hemisphere should get a good show through the entire run. Unfortunately, the meteor shower’s anticipated August 12 1 peak will likely be partially outshined by the oncoming August 1 full moon. P.Lederer

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TIPTOE AROUND THE TURTLES We are officially in the middle of turtling nesting season—the perfect time to remind everyone how to help ensure the turtle hatchlings this fall have a 100 success rate. To follow Mote Marine Laboratory’s research and weekly summary reports of nest numbers—from Longboat ey to enice— check out And if you stumble upon a nest this summer, here is a list of dos and don’ts from Mote Marine’s local turtle patrols—ensuring our beaches are a safe environment for Loggerhead and Green turtle nesting. B.Mattie

ON THE SHORE DO If you encounter a nesting or hatchlings, remain quiet and observe from a distance. urn o or sh el all the lights from the house that face the ocean and are visible from the beach at night, including carports. Remove trash and any furniture you bring to the beach. Fill in any large sand holes that may entrap hatchlings on their way to the water. Respect protected areas that ha e een ro e o or la ele as o l m ts If you see a sick, injured or stranded turtle, unattended hatchlings, disturbed nests or harassment of a sea turtle, contact Mote Marine Laboratory’s Stranding Investigations Program at 941-988-0212

DO NOT Approach nesting turtles or hatchlings, make noise, or shine lights at turtles. on t use ash cameras ashl hts or fish n lam s on the beach. If needed, use a re filtere ashl ht hen walking at night. You can put a piece of red cloth over your ashl ht to o th s on t follow or encourage a turtle to move while nesting or pick up hatchlings that have emerged and are heading for the water. Don’t release ater alloons or use fire works on the beach. Make loud noises around a mother turtle. They can be easily frightened and if stressed may go back into the ocean without laying eggs. 38 | srq magazine_ JULY/AUG19 live local

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Explore the traditional Japanese art of gyotaku this summer and create the ultimate maritime memento by using local fish to create one of a kind prints. Using the fish as something of a mold or printing plate, the scales are coated in colored dyes and inks, which can then be transferred to the desired surface, whether it be a bit of canvas for a wall mounted display, an apron for the family grillmaster or a pair of lucky undershorts for the not so lucky fisherman. In the mid 1 00s, Japanese anglers would use gyotaku to record the size and nature of their haul, but today it’s more about the art, and appreciating the simple beauty of the aquatic world. Local classes highlight local specimens, with attendees making Florida specific art while learning about their own backyard. “It’s my way of giving back to the community by letting them learn about our waters,” says elly Hunt, gyotaku instructor and owner of Painting With A Fish, which leads sold out gyotaku classes at the Florida Maritime Museum and at Waterline Resort and Marina. Supplying the fish, the fabric and a whole host of paints and brushes to play with, classes run about an hour and a half, and everyone goes home with a print—though the fish stays behind, where it will be cleaned, frozen and used for the next class as long as possible. Born and raised in a family of Anna Maria Island fishing guides, Hunt also brings a wealth of knowledge and conservationist mindset to the class. So while budding gyotaku artists learn all the proper ways to prep, pin and paint a fish for printing, they also learn about the local underwater ecosystem and threats to local wildlife. She’ll never use snook, she says, but attendees will find plenty of sheepshead, hogfish and the invasive lionfish. “They’re a little more tricky,” she says, “so you have to be a little more skilled.” In the future, Hunt hopes to expand her classes farther into Sarasota, perhaps even at Art vation Hotel. P.Lederer Painting With a Fish, 813-500-2256.

Local architect and artist, Dominka abczyk of DominiqArt says what we all know—“we have to do something and save the earth.” Her acrylic and resin wave crashing paintings splash onto mediums of wood, glass, canvas, recycled foam and cheese boards. Her collection evokes overhead and underwater visions of sand and ocean colliding. They are tangible and alluring reminders for our indoor spaces that the world outside needs a little extra love and attention if generations to come want to see it as beautifully as abczyk captures it in her art. “I grew up surrounded by nature—I developed my senses being on crystal clear water, fresh air, chasing the wind—now I see that everything I love is being replaced with an artificial world,” she says. “My mission is to show you the beauty of nature; contemplate its colors, motion, texture and how it a ects you.” abczyk is also an ambassador for Clear Blue Sea ( clearblueseaorg), so every art sale donates 10 to support its, and other organizations’ missions to protect the environment, save wildlife and clean our oceans. “I believe every action, even small, can make a di erence to help recreate what is destroyed,” she says. B.Mattie, @dominiqart.

SUMMER CATCH Whether it’s on Sarasota Bay’s flats or Myakka’s swampy estuaries, Southwest Florida is an angler’s dream. If you want to pick up a new fishing hobby, but don’t want to deal with the gnarly live (or dead) bait when hooking a line, then try fly fishing. It uses a lightweight lure, called an artificial fly to catch fish instead. The flies may resemble natural invertebrates, baitfish, or other food organisms. The fly is cast using a fly rod, reel, and specialized weighted line. The light weight requires casting techniques significantly di erent from other forms of casting. Luckily, watersport retailer Compound Boardshop steps up its fishing game every summer with free demos and family friendly clinics to teach prospective anglers the casting techniques of this unique form of fishing on the fly. Compound also provides daily and weekly rentals of the weight Ion L by Echo, a durable, medium fast action fly rod. “We paired the Ion L with Redington’s Behemoth 7 reel, for a great all around saltwater combo,” says wner Jacob Shields. “We believe it’s important to have firsthand experience with a product in order to support it. The equipment we o er for rent comes from reputable brands that our sta has personally tested and hand selected for your optimal rental experience.” While you’re in, gear up on a wide supply of artificial lures, FreeFly apparel or even Compound’s own sun protective hat and apparel line. At least, then you’ll be representing Sarasota when snapping a photo for proof of your sweat breaking catch reeling in the legendary tarpon. B.Mattie Compound Boardshop, 3604 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-552-9805, @compoundboardshop

MOTO NIGHT Every third Thursday of the month, slide your helmet on and ride over to The Angry Rooster for their summer series of Bike Night, sponsored by Florida Full Throttle magazine and West Coast Florida Riders. “West Coast Florida Riders started as a modest Facebook group of five like minded individuals that like to ride their Harley’s,” says Event Manager of Angry Rooster Nyck Rodriguez. “Today, the group is at 1,1 2 members in just under a year.” Drawing quite a cult following, it’s no surprise that the last few Bike Nights drew an impressive crowd. The next event is marked for July 1 , with live music from Doctor Drive at the Tiki, beer bucket specials, food, premium vendors, bar games, karaoke and the Bike of the Night trophy in tow. Bikers up and down the coast will be revving their engines to pull into the Bradenton bar for another Thursday night of good tunes, good company and some debauchery. B.Mattie Angry Rooster, 7230 52nd Pl East, Bradenton, 941-799-3000 srq magazine_ JULY/AUG19 live local | 39

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OPERATION RECREATION GEOTOUR All the world’s a scavenger hunt for the modern geocacher, as the previously niche hobby has exploded in the last decade thanks to handheld GPS devices in every pocket (cell phones), and even Sarasota and Manatee counties have become pockmarked with these seek and find hidey holes. For the uninitiated, a geocache is a small container, often containing trinkets, notes, a log-sheet or something of that sort, which another geocacher has hidden at a specific location, selected typically for its beauty, isolation or historic importance. nce hidden, the geocacher either posts the GPS coordinates for the hiding place itself, or for a starting point to a series of clues that will lead the next geocacher to the find. In this way, local explorers can lead travelers of all sorts to follow in their footsteps and appreciate what others have found. At most geocaches, explorers are encouraged to contribute something of themselves to the cache, either by adding a trinket, swapping one out for a something new or simply leaving their signature. Avid Florida explorers may want to try their hand at executing Operation Recreation GeoTour, a series of official geocaches stretching from Pensacola to ey West and incorporating 71 state parks and trails along the way, including Little Manatee River State Park, Lake Manatee State Park and Gamble Plantation Historic State Park. Each contains a special clue that visitors can record as proof of their visit, and finding 20 nets them an official peration Recreation Geocoin. ids can collect their own nature cards along the way, and receive a special kids’ coin at the end as well. For beginners, 270 geocaches hidden within a 10 mile radius of Sarasota and within a similar radius of Bradenton—not to mention in and surrounding Myakka River State Park—mean there’s plenty to explore right here. To get started, download the GeoCaching app and strap on some sturdy shoes. Maybe hide a geocache of your own. P.Lederer

A BITE WITH A VIEW Sit back, relax and fall into a well-deserved food coma at these scenic picks. verlook the Little Sarasota Bay at Ophelia’s on The Bay while sitting under the sunshine or glow of lighted palm trees. Sample hand crafted cocktails like “Siesta Gin and Flowers” and fresh fish like Mahi Mahi or Gulf Grouper. r on the other side of town, Pier 22 sits on the Manatee River with Pork sso Bucco, Sweet Corn Risotto and Wasabi Tuna. r check out The Crows Nest and try the Seafood Tower, a gastronomical fortress of clams, oysters, shrimp and crab claws on the enice Waterfront. Don’t miss Perspective Rooftop Pool Bar at Art Ovation with its towering view of Marina Jack and downtown Sarasota. uench that summer thirst with artistically crafted cocktails like “Sunset through the Skyspace” and “Missionary’s Downfall,” or taste the signature shareable experiences containing ceviche, house-fried tortilla chips, churros and more. Located in Payne Park in Downtown Sarasota, sample the locally sourced menu of Cafe in the Park. Savor nutella sandwiches and sip espresso with brownies or cookie bars in the lush greenery. Live bands from across the country play every Friday until 9pm. At The Terrace at Surf Shack, indulge in a half priced happy hour from 2pm to pm. Take in the buzzing atmosphere with fresh o the hook salmon, scallops and mahi, gourmet tacos and cast-iron cornbread while enjoying the clamorous commotion of St. Armands shopping bags, lost tourists and automobiles—circling, circling, circling. H. Bizick & O.Liang Ophelias on the Bay, 9105 Midnight Pass Rd., Sarasota, 941-349-2212. Pier 22, 1200 1st Ave. W, Bradenton, 941-748-8087. Crows Nest, 1968 Tarpon Center Dr., Venice, 941-484-9551. Perspective, 1255 North Palm Ave., Sarasota, 941-316-0808. Cafe in the Park, 2010 Adams Ln., Sarasota, 941-361-3032. The Terrace at the Surf Shack, 328 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, 941-960-1151.

GAZEBO CINEMA SERIES Centennial Park in Downtown enice provides a dependable hot spot for esplanade leisure. And now, once a month, its sunbathed white gazebo with faded orange shingles will be transformed into an intimate outdoor theatre. With a screen stretched around the pillars and family flicks back projected from within, what better place than the facing grassy knoll to relax in a beach chair or curl up on a blanket The enice Institute for Performing Arts has partnered with Venice MainStreet to premiere the Gazebo Starlight Cinema series, an e ort to provide casual social events “at least once a month, year round, for everyone,” according to Becca Eldredge, the IPA Managing Director. Families, couples, first daters and even residents from the neighborhood retirement home joined the April 2 premiere with Life of Pi, unpacking picnic dinners, snacks and even crock pots to settle in for the evening. Pick up food from local enice Avenue restaurants, bring your own or order pizza from Solorzano Bros. delivered directly to the park. O.Liang The Gazebo Starlight Cinema series will show Mrs. Doubtfire on August 2, X-Men on September 6, The Book of Life on October 4, The Peanuts Movie on November 1 and Home Alone on December 6. Visit the Gazebo Starlight Cinema Facebook event pages for details.

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Opposite page: Downtown Venice’s Gazebo Starlight Cinema series. This page: So Fresh signature salad with shrimp. Sushi and chicken satay from Siam Gulf. Geotagging kit. Summer beer from JDubs accompanies by a bike from Bike and Brew. The Fabric of India exhibit at The Ringling Museum.

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THEATRE The notion of an “off-season” seems to be lost on those theater folks, and several venues in the area keep pulling back the curtain on more and more shows. From edgy at the Urbanite to heartwarming at The Players, find ample opportunity to be in the audience (and the air conditioning) until the seasonal heat wave breaks.


FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training Theophilus North, July 11–28

t’s the summer of 1926, and Theophilus North leaves life in New Jersey for a worldly adventure—only to be stranded in Rhode Island. Among the rich and the poor, he embarks on an inner journey as expansive as any globetrot.

Harbor, Aug 8–25

Ted and Kevin have the perfect life— rich, happy, in love and insulated in the charming town of Sag Harbor. But when Kevin’s sister shows up pregnant and dragging along her 14-year-old daughter, life unravels in hilarious and moving ways.

The Players Centre for Performing Arts SHOUT! The Mod Musical, July 10–21

Dust off the polyester and those old dance moves, as this throwback musical energizes audiences with the music, style and feeling of the 1960s with favorites like “To Sir with Love,” “Downtown,” “Son of a Preacher Man” and “Goldfinger.”

Wonder of Our Stage, July 23–28

What if Shakespeare were a robot? This latest work for the stage from Monica Cross brings audiences to the Elizabethan era, and examines the Bard’s humanity with an intriguing science fiction lens.

The Odd Couple, August 14–25

A classic comedy of mismatched personalities, the freshly divorced and inveterate slob Oscar Madison finds common ground with the separated and fastidious Felix Unger, but rooming together may not be the best idea. If loneliness made them suicidal, company might make them kill.

Florida Studio Theatre Come Together: When the 60s Met the 70s, June 11–July 21

The music of Cher, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel and more hits the stage for a rocking good time that explores the changing musical landscape from 1965-1975. Featuring hits like “Dream a Li"le Dream of Me,” “Come Together” and “Killing Me So#ly.”

Ethel Waters: His Eye is on the Sparrow, June 26–Aug 4

From abject poverty to Broadway and Hollywood stardom, Ethel Waters crossed racial barriers to become a legend. This is her remarkable story, filled with the greatest hits of a lifetime, including “Stormy Weather,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “This Joint is Jumpin’” and “Am I Blue?”

FST Improv: When X Meets Y – American Revolution, July 6

With improv shows like Comedy Lo"ery running through September 21, this special Independence Daythemed improv performance sees the When X Meets Y team taking a tip from Hamilton with a story of revolutionaries falling in love.

The Swingaroos: Hollywood Serenade, July 23–Aug 30

The Swingaroos return to FST with a new musical revue inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood and icons like Frank Sinatra, Cab Calloway and Fred Astaire. Featuring songs like “At Last,” “The Joint is Really Jumpin’ Down at Carnegie Hall,” and “Hooray for Hollywood,” break out the big band and get ready to swing.

The Co"age, Jul 31–Aug 18

Who Loves You: Musical Tribute to Frankie Valli and Beyond, Sept 3–Oct 13

Another musical tribute to close out the summer season, this one brings to life the legend behind hits like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” and many more.

Urbanite Scorch, July 26–Aug 25

Inspired by real cases of ‘gender fraud,’ this production follows the story of a young teen named Kes, whose first time falling in love comes through an online connection. But the fantasy turns into a nightmare, as Kes becomes accused of criminal conduct.

Venice Theatre Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR., July 12–14

A children’s classic comes to the stage in a celebration of imagination, family and, of course, the magic of candy.

Urinetown, July 26–Aug 11

Summerstock performers go for the Tony in this award-winning satire about greed, love and revolution in a world where water is worth its weight in gold.

The Jungle Book, Sept 6–15

Going back to the Rudyard Kipling classic, this story of family, freedom, law and bravery is about more than dancing bears. Enjoy this latest stage production, and compare notes with one of the many film versions.

Born Yesterday, Sept 20–Oct 6

A timely send-up of political corruption and entrenched sexism, this play remains as sadly relevant today as during its 1946 Broadway premiere. When a millionaire arrives in Washington DC with shady plans and a trophy girlfriend, the la"er may have more to say than he prefers.

It’s 1923, and something improper has occurred in the English countryside, as Sylvia Van Kipness confesses her secret love affair to her husband. But the secrets keep coming in this raucous comedy about love, marriage and, maybe, murder.

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Graduating from the beloved goat yoga classes, a fierce collaboration has formed between Pineapple Yoga teacher Erika Cain and the Big Cat Habitat Gulf Coast Sanctuary. What was originally created as a special one-time happening on May 25, ended up garnering an overwhelming amount of positive feedback—demanding that Yoga with Tigers be a frequented event at the wildlife sanctuary. With the strikingly beautiful felines safely within their enclosures, yogis relish in practicing in a shaded pathway between the big cats’ habitats as Cain leads the class, surrounded by the roaring sounds of nature. Find your flow with the tigers on the fourth Saturday of the month (July 27, Aug 2 , Sept. 2 , etc.) Passes to the class are 0 per person and includes snacks, refreshments and all-day access to tour the sanctuary. “In this one-of-a-kind yoga class, you are able to enjoy the company of majestic big cats while practicing your yoga flow and connecting with yourself and nature,” says Renee Ferreira of BCH. “Where else can you do that?” Well, not with big cats, but with big fish—Mote Marine is holding a special yoga series in honor of its Shark Days at Mote: Real Sharks, Real Science. On Saturday, August 10, join yoga instructor Rebekka Mars for a one hour morning flow as yogis om for the ocean. Yoga with the Sharks will be held in Mote’s Aquarium Courtyard overlooking the SharkTracker exhibit of men in grey suits. All skill levels welcome. B.Mattie

Siam Gulf hits the mark on fast-casual, modern dining. With more and more taquerias and pizzerias creating an atmosphere of “ordering at the counter to sit, or go,” Siam Gulf adds rolled-to-order sushi to that mix. If you’re on-the-move, take it to-go, but don’t be surprised if you internally convince yourself to stay a little while longer to chill and take in the international vibes of Siam’s Asian-industrial setting with an intricate red and gold painted mural, so detailed that it is the type of art usually only found in Thai temples. Diners will be elated to see the crazy a ordable Pick 2, or Pick 3, sushi lunch special available to choose from on the featured chalkboard. Simply order and pay at the wood-stained window, and your Salmon Avocado and Spicy Tuna will be brought to your table within minutes. “Some come in and appear confused—they see the board and realize they’re meant to come up to order their meal themselves as opposed to siting down at a table and waiting for a server,” says owner and manager Kathy Tangisaraphab, “but then they are pleased when they see how easy it is.” And although it has a fast-casual business model, Kathy and her husband Gwang Hansapiromchok, also the sushi chef, make it a point to come out from behind the counter often—circling around to check in on each patron to make sure they are enjoying their meal. Especially noteworthy is the complimentary miso soup or salad starter, a pleasing fish to-rice sushi ratio, noticeably fresh ingredients and housemade sauces in porcelain Japanese condiment bowls to carry over to your table—putting a happy end to your “grabbing grocery store sushi from a plastic box days.” B.Mattie Siam Gulf, 1100 North Tuttle Ave., Sarasota, 941-312-4605.


COASTAL LIVING You practically feel the sea breeze walking through the doors of Summer + Company boutique. Founded by Mandi Rapisardi and Tracey Rapisardi, the mother-daughter duo is associated and preferred by Coastal Living Magazine and Southern Living magazine for their interior design/ styling services. Their newest venture to open up a home furnishings boutique, became Summer + Company. The Rosemary District shop soaks up all things Gulf Coast lifestyle and design—inspiring any homeowner to invest in their own beachy hygge. The cohesive collection of design elements include nautical furnishings of bright whites, sandy neutrals, sea glass aquas, jade greens and crystal cyan blues—thematically complementing the engagement of summery decor and oceanic treasures for your coastal-crafted nook. “Some home decor items that we are loving this summer season are bedding in mint greens, soft patinas and crisp whites,” says Mandi. “There is nothing like sinking into soft cool linens after a day at the beach—beautiful Belgium linen stays cool against your sun-kissed skin, and buttery smooth cottons are smooth like the sea.” B.Mattie Summer + Company, 431 North

High-waisted swimsuits are raising the [sand]bar this season. Low-rise and string bikini bottoms are being tucked away and replaced with an elevated rise to show o the lengthy extent of your lady legs. Seen on fashion runways as well as boat decks worldwide, the high-cut suit not only gives us nostalgic flashbacks of retro 0’s surfer girl vibes, but also tucks away our below belly button pooches in a flattering demeanor. These bottoms can be found locally at swimsuit retailers Boutique Lavina, Lotus, Swim City and Everything But Water. Shore Brand’s Venice Banded Bottoms are made in the USA and come in prints that range from Solid Black, Paradise, Garden Party, Botanical Blue, Multi Stripe and Navy Ribbed. And new prints of this unerringly trendy style suit will continue coming in throughout the summer, mentions Lindsey Osburn of Shore. B.Mattie Venice Banded Bottoms$98/each, Shore, @shorebrand.

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GALLERIES Artists from across the country flock to Florida for its amazing light, so it’s not like the summer sun is going to shut these galleries down. Take a stroll down Palm and beyond, and see what local curators have in store.—P.Lederer

Art Center Manatee Art Works On display through July

26, this open, all-media, juried exhibition invites members and non-members alike to submit up to three works of art for consideration.

Art Center Sarasota Cycle 6 In Gallery 1, celebrated local watercolorist Judy Saltzman enjoys her first solo exhibition with ACS, while Gallery 2 features sculpture and internet-inspired photo-collages and videos from the Brooklyn-based Kyle Petreycik. In Gallery 3, a summer invitational showcases contemporary printmaking from artists around the world, and Gallery 4 will hold a juried exhibition open to all media and subject. On display from July 18 to August 23.

Art Ovation Hotel Honoring A Teacher: A Tribute to Leslie Lerner Likely the area’s only

eight-story-tall exhibition, this collaboration between the hotel and Ringling College of Art and Design sees Lerner’s fantastical worlds take over the main lobby, while work from former students like Julie Kanapaux, Michael Crabb, Nancy Turner and Tim Jaeger exhibit through the floors above. On display through October 2.

Art Uptown Gallery Evelyn McCorristin Peters

Introducing the latest artist to join Sarasota’s oldest artist collective, this exhibition features paintings inspired by Peters’ recent travels across the US, by which she encourages the viewer to escape their own bubble. Just opening under the Big Red Awning, the show runs through July 27, with an artist reception on July 5.

Dog Days of Summer Now in its 11th year, this annual juried show invites the public at large to submit their own works in two or three dimensions for a diverse display of regional art. Top artists receive two weeks display in the gallery’s front windows and prizes donated by local businesses. Opening July 27 and on display through August 30, an opening reception will be held on August 2.


Dabbert Gallery

Natasha Mazurka: Order Systems

Summer Showcase Currently on

display and running through September 30, this exhibition highlights the breadth of the artists regularly represented, including 24 painters, four sculptors, one printmaker, one pastel artist and one photographer. Of the exhibiting artists—which count local favorites like Barbara Krupp, Kasia Bruniany, Bill Farnsworth and Jeff Cornwell—nine hail from Sarasota.

Gaze Modern Annual Summer Invitational Group Exhibition Parts 1 & 2

Sarasota’s newest gallery puts together a summer exhibition so huge it needs to be shown in two parts. In a search for more local artists to feature in coming seasons, this invitational gives regional artists in all media a chance to shine—and a chance for the community to vote for the artists they want to see this coming season. The first part runs through July 20, with the second half hanging from July 26 to August 24.

In Plain Sight

This multi-artist, multi-media exhibition emphasizes the moment of realization when it becomes clear to the viewer that there is more to see than meets the eye. Whether a hidden talent in a neighbor or the inner world of a stranger, realities abound beyond the surface, waiting to be appreciated. The exhibition goes up August 31 and comes down September 28.

Ringling Museum Fourth Quarter: Senior Athletes, Their Indomitable Spirit

Featuring new work from photojournalist David Burne", this project commissioned by his 2017 Greenfield Prize at the Hermitage Artist Retreat sees the artist training his lens on senior athletes across the country over a twoyear period. Currently on display, the exhibition comes down on July 21.

On display through September 8, this exhibition of modern and contemporary art features works from The Ringling’s permanent collection, in addition to new gi#s from the Monda collection. Beverly Pepper’s lyrical steel sculpture, Curvae In Curvae came to the grounds in Spring 2018, to be joined by works from Teo Gonzalez, Yayoi Kusama and Richard Serra. The first solo museum exhibition for this burgeoning contemporary artist sees the debut of a new body of work comprising paintings, embossings and even site-specific installations for the Monda Gallery. Focused on the communicative potential of pa"erns occurring through architecture, biology, data systems and instructional code, Mazurka comments on the perceived order under it all.

The Fabric of India

This special pre-season exhibition brings to Sarasota more than 140 examples of Indian fabric art from both private collections and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Showcasing the technical skill and artistry of Indian textiles from the 15th to the 21st centuries, admire the aesthetics while learning about its impact on religion, politics and trade. This exhibition opens July 7 and closes October 13.

Sun Xun: Time Spy

A rare film exhibition highlights the work of Chinese artist Sun Xun. An accomplished fine artist in his own right, Sun Xun melds the traditional with the modern as ink painting, charcoal drawing and woodblock printing all play a role in his filmmaking. Opening August 11, the exhibition closes February 16.

Selby Gardens In Dialogue with Nature: Glass in the Gardens Nearly 20 glass artists

from the St. Petersburg Hot Glass Workshop and the Duncan McLellan Gallery lend their work to this fundraising exhibition in the gardens. All items will be available for purchase, with a percentage of the proceeds supporting Selby Gardens. Opening with a reception on July 12, the exhibition runs through August 25.

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NUTTY SORBET Sarasota’s Nicole Cardone and her Las Angeles-based gourmet chef Deborah Gorman usher in a new age of frozen dessert with the nutty evolution of the classic sorbet with their company SorBabes. Tired of the same three flavors and textural monotony found in traditional sorbets, Gorman and Cardone mix up the recipe for the modern palate, first by adding big chunks of chocolate and caramel, raspberry and lemon, and then by radically redefining what a sorbet is at a fundamental level. Forgoing the conventional “ice fruit sorbet” equation, SorBabes swaps out the flavorless water for a variety of nut butters, utilizing complementary flavors and creating dairy and gluten free sorbets with rich and creamy textures. Pistachio Caramel, Caf Almond, Cocoa Haze and Peanut Butta Luva all feature a nut butter base, while Raz’n Berry, Jam’n Lemon and Passionilla stay true to those sorbet roots while kicking it up a notch with a twist in the flavor department. Find all seven flavors at Publix. The SorBabes website features recipes for everything from sorbet sandwiches to sorbet co ees and even bon bons, tarts and cocktails. “It’s just heaven,” says Cardone. P.Lederer

BISHOP’S NEW CLOTHES Newly rebranded and ready to receive visitors, the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature has enough planned this summer to have families coming back for more. Running through July 1 , take one final chance to view National Geographic Photo Ark, a special exhibition of animal portraits taken by National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore over his decades long career. And from July 20 to July 27, the museum will celebrate the 0th anniversary of the moon landing with special screenings of the documentary film, The Day We Walked On The Moon, in the Bishop’s Planetarium. August sees the closing of another special photographic exhibition, with Florida Feathers: Birds in Peril coming down on August 2 , but it also marks the opening of the Mosaic Backyard Universe at The Bishop. Modeled after a giant adventurous backyard, children are welcome to explore engineering in the Tree House, conduct experiments in the Science Shed, hunt for fossils in the Dig Pit and study the universe from a Cardboard Rocket. P.Lederer Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. W, Bradenton, 941-746-4131

UNDERWATER ADVENTURE Channel your inner David Blaine and challenge your physical mental ability to maximize time spent submerged underwater. Sarasota based dive school Tidal Free Diving teaches immersive PADI courses on how to be safe and confident while swimming at various depths below the surface—without a snorkel or scuba gear. Monthly courses fill up fast in the summer, so if you’re tempted to see what you’re made of, and really explore Florida’s springs, oceans, coral reefs and aquatic life, Dale Bartush is the guy to suit up with. A Florida native, avid waterman and owner of Tidal Free Diving, he will expand your natural capacity to hold your breath by overcoming the mental game we play on ourselves when oxygen is no longer a factor. He’ll teach you to not only swim longer deeper, but will also give you the tools to potentially spearfish, photograph or line dive, upon certification. “I’ve spent a lot my time spearfishing and line diving,” Bartush says. “I get so much enjoyment out of this lifestyle—I want to share it and my knowledge with students so they too, can enjoy this amazing sport.” B.Mattie Tidal Free Diving, 4428 Flatbush Ave.,

BEYOND BEACHES If you’re tired of packing up the cooler, setting up the umbrella in the sand and circling to find parking, spend an afternoon exploring some of the beautiful Manatee County parks that exist inland. Blackstone Park provides lighted soccer fields, public grills and picnic tables, batting cages, two racquetball courts and water fountains. At Bennett Park you’ll find a kayak canoe launch, fishing pier, nature trails, a rope challenge course and sand volleyball courts. G.T. Bray Park is a recreational outdoor hub with lighted basketball courts, an amphitheater, Happy Tails Canine Park, horseshoe, multiple playgrounds, a skate park, pavilion rentals and a Splash Pad to wash o your sweaty children. John Marble Park serves up tennis courts, a pool, bocce ball courts and a remote control racetrack. Fido will love Buffalo Creek Park where he can let his paws loose in a fenced in, acre o leash Canine Park. Show a little park love this summer. B.Mattie For a full list of all Manatee County’s 33 parks from Palmetto, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Myakka City, check out

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New downtown eatery SoFresh has endless summer feels. Its vibrant, coastal cropland interior is blithesome, bright and satisfying, with a menu to match. Build a healthy, hearty salad with non-GMO ingredients and housemade sauces/dressings. SoFresh dispatches “the highest quality, nutrient-rich food our guests desire,” says Tyler Berlingeri, brand expression director. Refresh your vitals with the Signature— tossed with spinach, romaine, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, raisins, avocado, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette—the Kale Caesar—featuring raw kale, romaine, quinoa, bacon, almonds, parmesan and caesar dressing. The Fiji will have you feeling balmy island vibes with a quenching dose of spinach, orange slices, almonds, apple slices, bacon and feta in citrus-agave mustard. You can create your own salad with a choice of organic leafy bases, four healthy mix-ins and one of the eight scratch-made dressings, You can also add upgrades such as chef-cut zucchini noodles, tofu, wild-caught ahi, grass-fed steak, peeled gulf shrimp, antibiotic-free chicken breast and ocean-raised salmon. That beach body hasn’t felt or looked so fresh, so clean. B.Mattie SoFresh, 1455 2nd Street, Sarasota, @welovesofresh.

Backyard chefs are elevating their summer cooking with the finest, heart healthy and pungent olive oils. Dress a Mediterranean salad with a homemade herbaceous dressing, or grill some chicken wings with a baconfused oil marinade. Florida Olive Oil Co. recommends a summery roast of whole artichokes with a balsamic vinegar, minced garlic and extra virgin olive oil. “Grill the artichokes to caramelize the outer sides and lightly char. Remove and place on a serving platter, then drizzle with fresh dressing and serve the extra dressing with the artichoke halves on the side. To eat, peel away the petals’ and scrape o the meat with your teeth. As you get to the center, you will be able to eat more and more of the tender part of the petal. Once you get all the way to the center of the artichoke, you can slice up the ‘heart’ and eat, or save for a side dish.” B.Mattie



The Venice-based craft beer bicycle pub ff Trail Bike Co. has thirst-quenching pedaling adventures dialed in. Cheersing locals and visitors alike, the Bike + Brew team is as talented at kicking a bike stand as tapping a beer keg. Guided tours and single, or tandem, bike rentals are available to explore historic downtown enice or the Legacy Trail. All cyclists end their rides with a free pint of beer from the Trail pub’s rotating selection of 10 Florida craft beers or a cold brew co ee on draft. “Bike Brew is really taking o ,” says Erin Arena excitedly, who co owns Trail with husband Casey Arena. “Mystery Beers are becoming very popular,” she acknowledges of the brown paper bags— marked with a ‘?’ in the cooler of packaged beers—available to purchase blindly after hopping o an exuberant ride. Trail also regularly hosts Karaoke Night, Trivia Night, Island Loop Rides, Reggae Sundays and 5K Open Runs coordinated with Zooming ff rail Bike Running Club. B.Mattie

Unleash your inner confectionaire extraordinaire with a group cake decoration class at Make It Swirl in the Rosemary District. From bachelorette parties to birthday parties, office team building or family bonding, these fun and intimate courses are as hands on as they come—ensuring everyone gets involved and has a good time. All attendees receive a two-tiered pre-baked cake as their naked canvas, as well as all the icings and buttercreams, piping bags and spatulas and smothers any budding chef needs to take their creations from everyday eats to culinary art, under the guidance of in-house cake designers. Classes run roughly two hours long, and everyone goes home with something sweet. P.Lederer Make It Swirl, 1462 Boulevard of the Arts,

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SANDCASTLE SKILLS Become a waterfront developer for the day and raise your own sandy metropolis from the shoreline—no bribes (read: permits) required And who better to learn the fine art of sand sculpting from than master sand sculptor and founder of the Siesta ey Crystal Classic, Brian Wigelsworth. Below, find a few helpful tips and tricks so the next sandcastle can stand the test of tide. P.Lederer. SRQ sandcastle designed and fabricated by Brian Wigelsworth hree must ha e tools a stainless steel, pointed paint palette knife for sculptin , a soft ristle paint rush or lar e make up rush for at the Siesta Beach. ip rushin sand and a hard straw for lowin loose sand out of holes and cre ices ou will often see these han in from a strap around a sculptor’s neck ip sculpt to nish from the top down so that e pelled sand does not drop onto to somethin you ha e already car ed, or you will e sculptin it a ain and a ain

lways SRQ

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Florida Olive Oil Co.’s bottles can be found in Venice, Sarasota and Sanibel. Additionally, The Ancient Olive on St. Armand’s Circle stocks its shop with artisanal flavored harvests such as bacon, basil, black truffle, blood orange, butter, chipotle, red onion/cilantro and harissa fused-flavors, as well as gourmet pantry accessories like wooden olive oil bowls, measuring spoons, pour spouts, cheese knives, cookbooks, tapenades, stuffed olives and so much more. Venice Olive Oil Co. makes its own varieties of all natural, flavored recipes such as Baklouti Green Chili, Persian Lime, natural white truffle, cayenne, lemon, walnut, Tuscan Herb, Milanese Gremolata, wild mushroom and dill. Out on Anna Maria Island, stop in Olive Oil Outpost for a real Mediterranean treat. This wonderful little shop has a selection of international olive oils, along with a world of artisanal cooking supplies and various gift items.

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Goodwill Manasota is commi!ed to addressing the multitude of challenges faced by veterans and their families. The nonprofit has worked to create a seamless case management system that supports each veteran’s unique strengths and needs regarding housing, family, education and other challenges, while helping to develop more self-sufficient and productive members of society. This is how Goodwill strives to reach its goal of honoring and recognizing the many sacrifices this country’s veterans have made on our behalf. Launched in 2013, Goodwill’s Veterans Services Program was created to help veterans reintegrate into their families, communities and

jobs. The program – which is staffed by veterans – provides comprehensive case management and vocational services, while helping veterans navigate the wide array of available social service programs. In response to a troubling upswing in suicides among veterans, Goodwill’s Veterans Task Force – which provides counsel and guidance for the Veterans Services Program – has taken on mental health as a critical item of focus. Through the recently-launched "Lutz Buddy Up" program, veterans can network and form bonds, and really talk about what they are going through. The ultimate goal is that a buddy in crisis can be connected to needed resources before it becomes a life or death emergency. Goodwill's hope is that this club will provide a place where those who serve our country and community can form bonds that will carry forward for the rest of their lives. Creating the Lutz Buddy Up social club is just one way the Veterans Task Force plans to address the mental health needs of the veteran community in the coming months and years. Goodwill is proud to serve those who have so bravely and selflessly served us!

“Goodwill's hope is that the lutz buddy up program will provide a place where those who serve our country and community can form bonds that will carry forward for the rest of their lives. ” — Bob Rosinsky, President and CEO, Goodwill Manasota


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ABOUT JFCS VETERANS JFCS’ Operation Military Assistance Program (OMAP) offers case management, employment services, and financial assistance

to very low-income veterans and their families who are literally homeless or who are about to become homeless to enable them to obtain or maintain stable, permanent housing. The program facilitates connections to VA services and health care benefits and provides life skills education. OMAP is funded in part by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. JFCS is the lead agency for Veterans Stand Down, a grassroots, community-based intervention event designed to help the community’s homeless veterans. COUNTIES Sarasota, Manatee, Collier, Lee, DeSoto, and Charlo"e SERVICES

• • • • • • •

Case Management Financial Assistance Employment Services Connecting with VA Benefits Housing Search + Placement Legal assistance Mentorships

ABOUT JFCS Founded in 1985, JFCS is a fully accredited, community-based non-profit organization serving

Sarasota, Manatee, Charlo"e, Collier, Lee and DeSoto counties in Florida, with the goal of empowering people to lead healthy, happy and sustainable lives. JFCS serves more than 29,000 individuals each year through mental health services and counseling, prevention, intervention, outreach, case management, basic life necessities, financial aid, and life skills education programs on a secular, non-denominational basis. For more information, visit or call 941-366-2224.

"Veterans Stand Down is an amazing community event that really makes a difference in the lives of Veterans. This one-day event is a time to come together and provide resources to help Veterans get back on their feet. JFCS is proud to coordinate this effort in collaboration with all of our community partners." —Heidi Brown, CEO, JFCS of the Suncoast


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Since the doors opened at Sarasota Ford more than two decades ago, the local community has allowed us to develop a successful business and hire thousands of people in our area. The least we can do is take time to give back and recognize some of the incredible people in our own backyard." — Matt Buchanan, Operating Partner, Sarasota Ford

Team Project powered by Sarasota Ford is an effort to recognize the incredible causes, organizations and people in our local community. One key group at the center of this project are the tens of thousands of veterans living in the Sarasota-Manatee region. The most recent One Community One Team Veterans Project provided an all-expense-paid full day trip for a WWII/Korean War hero, a purple heart recipient from Vietnam and two Gold Star parents from our area to visit Washington D.C. During this visit, the local heroes traveled on a private jet to visit the monuments (World War II and Vietnam Wall) built in their honor and the Gold Star Parents spent time with their son in his final resting spot in Arlington National Cemetery. “Since the doors opened at Sarasota Ford more than two decades ago, the local community has allowed us to

develop a successful business and hire thousands of people in our area. The least we can do is take time to give back and recognize some of the incredible people in our own backyard, which is why we launched The One Community One Team Project” says Ma" Buchanan, Operating Partner of Sarasota Ford. “And no one deserves to be recognized and honored more than the Veterans who answered the call to serve, sacrificed time away from their family and risked their lives in order to provide us with the freedoms we enjoy each day.” ABOUT SARASOTA FORD Sarasota Ford is Florida’s Premier Ford Dealership serving Sarasota, Venice, Bradenton & Nokomis. In addition to providing a customer focused sales and service experience, Sarasota Ford has been blessed to be a staple in the local community for over two decades by sponsoring over 1,000 education programs, community initiatives, and development charities. Learn more about Sarasota Ford at www.


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DESK MAN-ICURE A masculine office to manscape a dignified work space. Set up and conquer. Olivia Liang, Madi Holmes

ONE FOR THE SHOW : Martin Dingman Leather Business Card Holder, $315, Cravats’ Custom Clothiers & Fine Accessories. Global Views Elegant Lens Marble Magnifying Glass, $148, The Sarasota Collection Home Store. Small Concrete Lamp, $48, Mercantile Home & Apparel. Tinted Edison-Style Lightbulb, $10, Mercantile Home & Apparel. Lamy Safari Charcoal Fountain Pen, $42, Write-On. H. Upmann 1844 Reserve Cigar, $8, Mardo’s Cigars, 4801 South Tamiami Trl., Suite 3, Sarasota, 941-706-3325.



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TWO FOR THE MONEY: Underwood Leather Letter Tray, $230, and Zodax Green Leather Box, $115. Write-On, 1423 1st St., Sarasota, 941-953-2800. Global Views Easy Elegant Letter Opener, $98, The Sarasota Collection Home Store, 622 Central Ave., Sarasota, 941-955-8313. Lexon MasterCal Silver Calculator, $75, Lexon Babylon Grey Stapler, $22, Lamy White Rollerball Pen, $40. Write-On. Edge Wood Mode Clay Vessel, $30, Pansy Bayou, 1533 Dolphin St., Sarasota, 941-413-5115. WD London Tie Clip, $50 and Chrome Collar Stays, courtesy of Hank. Cravats’ Custom Clothiers & Fine Accessories, 1530 Dolphin St. #5, Sarasota, 941-366-7780. Silk Pocket Square, $65–$85, Cravats’. Honeycomb Vase, $40, rtifi ial ir lant, er antile ome arel, South lvd o residents, Sarasota, 54 | srq magazine_ JULY/AUG19 live local



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WALKING ON SUNSHINE a walk on the seaside with Landmarks Shoes owner Shelley Sanders. THOUGH A 5TH-GRADE MATH TEACHER of Tuttle Elementary School first and foremost, Shelley Sanders takes her o time to travel around the world. A quirky tradition she picked up with her globetrotting buddies is to buy cool, casual shoes as a memorable souvenir that best captures the destination. “The ladies in my family like to travel together,” Sanders shares. “We were vacationing in the Italian village where my family is from and I wanted a keepsake. So I went looking for a unique pair of Supergas.” After traveling all around Italy, and clocking in significant hours shopping in Rome, Sanders finally found a pair. “But, I was still left wanting something more graphic and indigenous to the beauty of Italy,” she says. “This led to the beginning of Landmarks.” With idyllic stomping grounds of her own in Sarasota, the idea to create a shoe brand that proudly represents the area—while also enticing visitors to bring back a wearable souvenir—came to be. Her local footwear line Landmarks Shoes creates a destination twist on the classic tennis shoe by screen printing the canvas material with colorful graphics and images, inspired by scenic snapshots of Siesta ey beaches. “We live in a vacation paradise, so I thought, why not make a shoe with images that are representative of what makes Sarasota such a special location ” she says. Armed with a brand new Nikon 00 camera, Sanders found local graphic designer Shelby Westlake of Johnson Photography to help

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Brittany Mattie

with the graphic design process and finalize images for production.Now to find a shoemaker. After contacting numerous manufacturers and attending trade shows across the country, the MAGIC Fashion Trade Show in Las egas came through. “We sat down and started the process of creating the right shoe for our vision,” she says. The manufacturing of Landmarks Shoes utilizes a printing process that allows the image to remain on the shoe without fading or losing integrity, using inks that are infused into the fabric before the shoe is constructed. The top of the shoe is created with a template and the images are printed based on shoe size. The soles are made from a special mold and each component of the shoe is assembled by hand, piece by piece. “It was important for us to create a quality shoe that is both comfortable and trendy looking,” she says. The Beach Collection marks the first series of shoes released by Landmarks, featuring three designs: Red Tower,’ showing o the iconic red lifeguard stand out front of Siesta ey Pavilion; Siesta Graffiti,’ a vintage postcard image enticing tourists to “the No. 1 Beach in America”; and, Sunset,’ a shot of the quintessential Gulf Coast eventide. But there are plans to create scenes beyond the beach. “We’ve had a variety of requests and love the idea of supporting specific causes,” says Sanders, like a shoe for breast cancer awareness. “As we continue to grow, I see our shoes in many locations with images that are hyper specific to that area.” SRQ


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MORRIS CODE Oddly beautiful things transpire when a NYC celebrity photographer, artist and rock musician moves in with a British ecologist, avid historian and humanitarian entrepreneur. Brittany Mattie

DAVID MCGOUGH AND LIZZIE VANN FOUND EACH OTHER IN 2013 AND a year later, found a quaint corner property right on Bimini Bay in Anna Maria Island. The house became a passion project—to rescue, renovate and redesign a home that melded both their styles and adorations. David’s photographic background in NYC—growing up in the heyday of rock and roll and no stranger to photographing the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and Madonna—garnered a hardbound publication of his celebrity paparazzi/portrait photography before retiring to Florida. And Lizzie, being the British businesswoman that she modestly is—despite being personally honored by the Queen of England herself—left behind an enterprise built of innovative child health products and organic baby foods to jump the pond to Florida for slower, sunnier days. What manifested was a creatively colorful, historical and chaotically pleasing project of venerable design. 58 | srq magazine_ JULY/AUG19 live local



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“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” —William Morris

This page: 19th century-inspired interiors, including British Arts & Crafts Movement details, tactful and artful wallpapers designed in the 1800’ and touches of spiritual-folk inlays.

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was to preserve and restore our heritages—to re-use instead of re-build,” says Lizzie. “The past is a treasure trove.” Celebrating true craftsmanship, handwrought construction and intricate details, her inspiration came principally from William Morris, a British textile designer, poet, novelist, translator and socialist activist. He was also a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production, often associated with the British Arts & Crafts Movement in the late 1800s. Lizzie found splendor in designing the house like its own time-warped arts-andcrafts project. And Morris’ ideals advocating economic and social reform over industrialization can be seen throughout every squareinch. The tucked-away dwelling leaves a lasting impression, with

as much of a utilitarian purpose as an optical allure. “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” -William Morris. “Morris rejected industrial manufacturing in favor of returning to hand-crafting, making artisans into artists, creating a ordable, daily use art with no artistic hierarchy,” says Lizzie. Wallpapers that cover every square inch of the home are slabbed on with a visually stimulating appeal, while simultaneously doing their part in covering the plain, neutral walls hiding underneath. Sourced by Bradbury Art Wallpapers, the company specializes in 19th and 20thcentury wallpapers and fabrics, reproducing historic patterns and faithfully reinterpreting them with alternate colorings

or patterns. Each motif o ers a glimpse into the styles of that time period. The living room’s foliate ‘Arbor’ wallpaper with a Chrysanthemum border was designed by Bruce James Talbert, the influential leader of the 1860s British Aesthetic Movement. The ‘Honeysuckle’ hallways are enveloped in wallpaper designed by William Morris’ daughter May Morris, who became well known for her free-form embroidery, artisanal jewelry and ceramics. The interior color palette of sage, golds, pomegranate and russet are picked up in the Persian area rugs, Art Deco lamps and drapes of Old World-inspired textiles. The house purposefully took on a Victorian and Northern England architecture style, with touches of medieval, romantic, spiritual and folk design. Quarter-sawn

oak doors and trim work, vintage hardware, tin ceilings, mosaic parquet flooring, natural tigerwood countertops, built-in bookshelves and a mahogany fireplace rescued from a 1920s derelict house are all evocative of the distinct features of a trus craftsman Though, Lizzie and David were sure to weave personal touches throughout their museum/gallery abode. David’s instruments lie around the “music room,” while his life-size photography is framed on the walls. Lizzie’s lifelongcurated collection of paintings, hand-crafted sculptures, pottery and antique clocks decorate every nook and cranny. Ultimately, the intriguing pair not only collided their two worlds but created an eclectic centerfold of “restoration, happiness and a place for friendship.” SRQ srq magazine_ JULY/AUG19 live local | 61


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forage This page:

Re e ting on “The all” at ottles, eaturing a godsend amount o a aged ra t evs

VARIETY SOCIETY Take one down, pass it around at 99 Bottles: Taproom & Bottle Shop Brittany Mattie

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Above left to right: Housemade chocolate whoopies pies and soft-baked chocolate chip cookies, paired with a

dreamy milk stout. Executive Chef Christine sharing a lunch break beer with husband and owner Mark Tuchman. The impressive cheese and charcuterie board, paired with a crisp German lager.

TO SAY IT WAS A DIFFERENT BREW SCENE when Mark Tuchman opened Gulf Gate’s Mr. Beery’s back in 2010, would be putting it mildly. Kick the keg almost a decade later, and today’s most fervent craft beer fans crave to diversify their untapped portfolios of the utmost funky and forward-thinking liquids. “10 years ago, craft beer was super niche. Five years ago, a little less,” he says. “But now it’s resonating with many more consumers and has a space in the market. And finally a space in Sarasota.” Enter 99 Bottles. Not only keeping up with the leading innovators and brew heads, the Taproom Bottle Shop is staying ahead of the curve. Keeping tabs on the scene since he sold Mr. Beery’s in 2013 has granted owner Mark Tuchman the time to build an arsenal of industry contacts and fine tune his already reputable knowledge for craft bevs and bar opening expertise. The unyielding demand for more stylized bars, o ering top shelf craft brews and exclusive productions, summoned him back into the game. His new 2nd Street jaunt lures in Florida’s ever growing culture of liquid-loving consumers. The name 99 Bottles alone piques the attention of those who gravitate to the prospect that a whole lot of drinkable options exist there, and in a place reminiscent of the folk friendly sing along chantey of jovial bus rides. Once inside the sharp, snazzy space, a largely inviting mural of a jolly looking, long bearded man dubbed “The Captain”—imagined and hand painted by ddity tattoo artist William Rost—looks like someone you want to learn more about. But first, coat the stomach before some marathon drinking with elevated bar bites—cultivated by Tuchman’s wife and head chef Christine. The small but mighty menu includes a Bavarian bratwurst, pretzel with jalapeno beer cheese dip and spicy mustard, everything bagel popcorn, seasonal crostinis, a stacked cheese & charcuterie board, key lime poundcake, chocolate whoopie pies with marshmallow filling and a mason jar overflowing with warm, mini chocolate chip cookies, served with a shot of milk. Meanwhile, pick the brains of the well versed, sociable 99 Bottles bartenders—some rocking beards as long as The Captain’s. Utilizing the oz starter pour before jumping the gun for a full size pour is ideal for those with commitment issues, or who want to be gently introduced to a foreign style beer. Tuchman hones in on ways to curate the “super unique and interesting” and “hard to find items not being made readily available today.” Everything from online research, traveling, phone calls, emails, meeting with distributors daily and getting the 411 from friends in 66 | srq magazine_ JULY/AUG19 live local

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the industry all go into ensuring 99 Bottles reaps the newest, hottest commodities on the scene. From the acidic, lip puckering tart profile of a sour ale, infused with the fruit flavors of rainbow sherbet, or the malty sweet smack of a boozy imperial stout blend, aged on co ee beans in bourbon barrels—an umpteen amount of fluids beg to be admired, then retired. Because nothing good lasts forever 99 Bottles keeps it everchanging with a rotating selection of 36 drafts, provisioned from around the world. “Once we get done with a keg or two of something, we move on to something new and di erent to replace it,” Tuchman says. Scoot down a few bar stools and find 0 small batch produced wines by the glass, as well as nationally-acclaimed ciders, house sparkling cocktail experiences on draft, 221 BC kombuchas and two ut About cold brew co ees on tap. And that’s just the bar side of the room. The bottleshop’s side, coined “The Wall,” demands direct attention. Seriously, no one will issue blame for being a rubbernecker here. Leaving no spatial void left to be filled, the sheer volume of the wall’s grandiose inventory draws spectators in closer—before they even realize the exceptional varieties of each and every bottle or can showcased. The shelves envelop many revered libations, limited releases and small-batch productions from brewers hailed for their ingenuity, consistent quality and singularity. Mixed in is cool 99 Bottles merch, funky apparel, hats, gifts, branded glassware, growlers and crowlers (that can be filled on site to take home or to a party). Ultimately, this type of specialty bar concept retail program—not yet seen in the greater Sarasota area—has inspired a IP loyalty program. Right from the jump, the hardcore craft imbibers wanted in. Upon investing in one of the 0 lockers in the back—coveted from the late Stardust Skate Center—a plethora of perks come with an orange locker key for the year, from a brand T-shirt, hat, pint glass and growler, to various discounts and first access to special releases on draft throughout the year. But the most exciting has to be the monthly surprise package left inside for them. The sta collaboratively sources “the best, most exclusive, once in a lifetime beers we can find that month.” These IP picks are not available for sale to the general public. “Whether the consumer is a novice, a fanatic or in between,” says Tuchman, “we have certain aspects of the craft beer world that just weren’t being made available before here.” SRQ 99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop. 1445 2nd St., Sarasota, 941-487-7874, @99bottlessarasota.


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Tarpon Center Dr., Venice, 941-484-9551. CASUAL FINE DINING The Crow’s Nest is a casual fine dining restaurant, serving fresh seafood, steaks and other traditional Florida favorites. Located on the Island of Venice and nestled between the Gulf of Mexico on the west and the Intracoastal Waterway on the north and east, Crow’s Nest has become a waterfront fixture for surf ‘n’ turf. M–W 11:30am-10pm. Th 11:30am– 11pm. F-Sa 11:30am–12:30am. Su 12–10pm.

DUVAL’S FRESH. LOCAL. SEAFOOD. 1435 Main St., Sarasota, 941-312-4001. SEAFOOD Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood. is excited to announce: Duval’s Free. Local. Shu!le! Your experience at Duval’s should be what you’re expecting. For dinner, try the Chef Selected Fresh Catch, an offering of the freshest fish in the market, and fillet your fresh catch in-house. Featuring a 3-5-7 Happy Hour and late night. M–Th 11am–9pm. F–Sa 11am–10pm. Su 10am– 9pm.

ELEMENT 1413 Main St., Sarasota, 941-724-8585. MODERN MEDITERRANEAN In the heart of downtown Sarasota, you don’t want to miss the upscale Mediterranean grill, Element. Try their Sambuca shrimp with bacon crème, crisp prosciu!o, tomato fennel compote and pine nuts. For dinner, their 12 oz. bone-in center cut porcini-encrusted veal chop is delectable. For a large party, order the table an entire roast suckling pig; which serves four to six guests and is cooked with apples, figs and shallots. Equipped with an extensive wine list and an enticing array of cra# cocktails, dining at Element is a must-try experience. M-Th 4:30pm-10pm. F-Sa 4:30pm-11pm. Su 10:30am-2:30pm, 4:30pm-10pm. F-Sa.

GECKO’S GRILL & PUB 4870 South Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-923-8896. GRILL AND SPORTS BAR The Original Gecko’s—established in 1992—is known for hosting great parties and entertaining such sports celebrities as Michael Jordan and the White Sox, along with Sarasota’s locals and visitors alike. Gecko’s has continued its good fortune and expanded to the following locations: Twelve Oaks Plaza (Interstate–75 and S.R. 70) in 1998, Braden River Plaza (on S.R. 64) in 2002, Palmer Crossing (Clark Road and Honore Avenue) in 2006, Southside Village (Hillview Street) in 2010, S’macks Burgers and Shakes (Bee Ridge Road and Shade Avenue) in 2013 and Fruitville Road (Fruitville and North Ca!lemen Avenue) in 2014.

GROVE 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, 941-893-4321. CONTEMPORARY GOURMET DINING GROVE Restaurant, Patio and Ballroom is the newest offshoot of PIER 22, the award-winning waterfront destination headed by restaurateurs Hugh Miller and Greg Campbell. A full-service restaurant and

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events venue offering contemporary gourmet dining. The menu is elevated yet approachable and locally inspired. Housemade dishes emphasize fresh seasonal ingredients as well as innovative cooking methods, and with 27,000 square feet of dining space including casual patio dining, private rooms, a relaxing lounge space and an elegant 400 person ballroom there’s room for everyone at the table! M-Th 11:30am-10pm, F-Sa 11:30am-12am, Sun 11am-10pm.

MARINA JACK 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, 941-3654232. SEAFOOD, STEAKS AND PASTA The Sarasota landmark offers its customers exceptional food and great atmosphere while dining on the water. Come to the dining room on the second floor and try some new items on the dinner menu. Start with braised mussels in a chorizo broth or short rib tostadas, which feature Gouda cheese and pulled slow-braised short rib. Open daily for lunch and dinner. M–Su 11:15am–11pm.

MATTISON’S 1 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota/ 7275 S. Tamiami Tr., Sarasota/ 101 Riverfront Blvd., Bradenton, 941-330-0440. MODERN AMERICAN Chef Paul Ma!ison, executive chef and proprietor of Ma!ison’s, operates a successful culinary group on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Located in Sarasota, each Ma!ison’s restaurant location is unique to its neighborhood, offering Chef Paul Ma!ison’s signature menu items, outstanding service, and quality ingredients, while supporting the community, regional farmers, and culinary suppliers. Ma!ison’s Catering is a chef-owned and operated company procuring fresh, natural, and local ingredients. Catering In-house and off-site, Ma!ison’s Catering Company offers certified wedding and event planners, experienced professionals, and custom menus. Hours vary by location.

MORTON’S GOURMET MARKET 1924 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-955-9856. GOURMET GROCER It’s the place where you can spend a lazy Sunday morning sipping coffee and breaking off pieces of a scone, a frenetic Friday evening collecting rare cheeses, meat and wine for Saturday’s soiree or a quick lunchtime bite to go. For the la!er, Morton’s fresh-made sushi, salad bar or ready-to-go tea sandwiches are longstanding local faves. M–Sa 7am–8pm. Su 9am–6pm. OPHELIAS ON THE BAY 9105 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key, 941-349-2212. FINE DINING With indoor and outdoor dining options boasting incredible waterfront views of Li!le Sarasota Bay, Ophelia’s On The Bay is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a delectable meal. From their PEI mussels presented in a saffron-anise!e broth to incredible cocktails such as the Pink Lady, you can’t go wrong. Happy Hour M–Su 5pm–6pm. Dinner M–Su 5pm–10pm. Sunday Brunch 11am–2pm.


1409 Main St., Sarasota, 941-9149955. AMERICAN PBnT is serving up delicious pizzas, burgers, tacos. There are options for everyone, including gluten-free pizza crust and le!uce-wrapped burgers. PBnT caters to every craving for America’s favorite foods. Try their When Pigs Fly pizza, which is a BBQ base, topped with cheese, roasted pork, chopped bacon, onion and a BBQ drizzle or their Momo burger which is a double pa!y, sautéed mushrooms and onions, mozzarella cheese and mayo. If you are really hungry, try their American Dream, which is a cheese pizza, cheeseburger and a taco of choice. Fast, fun and friendly – PBnT is the perfect choice. M-Su 11am-10pm.

PIER 22 1200 1st Ave W, Bradenton, 941-7488087. CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN Pier 22 takes waterfront dining to a new level. On the mouth of the Manatee River, the picturesque se!ing is relaxing and the perfect backdrop for any outing. With over 26,000 square feet of space, Pier 22 also offers catering and space for events. They focus on fresh, homemade fare and unique twists on everyday dishes. For lunch, try their so#-shell crab sandwich with jalapeno tartar sauce, with a side of poutine. While watching the sunset on the patio, dine on their fresh game of the day, sourced from around the world and always a surprise. M-Th 11:30am – 10pm. F-Sa 11:30am10:30pm. Su 11am-10pm. Happy hour daily 3pm-7pm and Sunday Brunch 11am-3pm.

SHARKY’S ON THE PIER 1600 Harbour Dr. S, Venice, 941-488-1456. SEAFOOD A#er just one visit to Sharky’s On the Pier, Fins at Sharky’s or Snook Haven, you’ll understand why all three restaurants have become Venice-area landmarks, smack-dab on the water. Boasting unparalleled views of the 720-foot long Venice Fishing Pier and Gulf of Mexico for over 30 years, Sharky’s has made a name for itself as Florida’s No. 1 Beach Bar with complimentary live music and entertainment, family friendly fun and a whole lot of ocean. M–Th 11:30am–10pm. F–Sa 11:30am–12am. Sun 11:30am–10pm.

TSUNAMI SUSHI & HIBACHI GRILL 100 Central Ave, Suite 1022, Sarasota, 941-366-1033. ASIAN FUSION In the heart of downtown Sarasota Florida, Tsunami Sushi and Hibachi Grill stands alone for creative sushi, fresh sashimi and a new spin on asian fusion--all at remarkable prices. The Tsunami team focuses on ensuring every meal exceeds your expectations. FRESH SUSHI- Made fresh before your eyes by their talented chefs. FULL BAR- They feature a full bar, with specialty cocktails like the Hibiscus Rose, Japanese Julep and Shinsu Sour. ASIAN ENTREES- Fresh and flavorful with the unique taste of Japan. M-F 11am-Close; Sat/Sun 12pm-Close; Closed Daily 2:30-4:30pm.

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VEGAN GARDEN PARTY At home with the plant-based, wine aficionados and AirBNB hosts of The Bungalow in Gillespie Park.

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The Previews Homemade crackers—baked soft, chewy and gluten-free with whole wheat our, almond meal, pumpkin seeds, sun ower seeds, onion, walnuts and tomato—served with three different types of macadamia nut “cheese”, rolled in herbs or crushed black pepper.


at one of their cozy AirBNB properties with Old Florida vibes, close friends and family for one of their renowned dinner parties or recipe-sharing get-togethers, the pair finds solace and indulgence in their collection of historic Gillespie Park homes. Beyond their personal home—which remains on the Historic Home Registry of Florida—are four additional bungalows that make up Val and Lee’s color-coated compound of quaint rentals. This page: Valarie’s extensive vegan cookbook library. Valarie and Desi outside the wine cellar and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc with Valarie’s homemade crackers and nut cheese.

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vegan garden party

After galvanizing experiences, like motorcycling cross-country to California wine country and an extended roadtrip throughout Italy, the couple fervently adapted to foodieforward cuisine, grew a penchant for top-shelf vineyards and adopted the habit of generously

They made a commitment together to wean themselves off meat, dairy, refined sugars and processed foods. At first it was quite difficult finding things to cook at home. hosting visitors—much as they were once welcomed by friends and strangers alike in Italy. The couple had a separate extension built on the other side of the pool. This standalone extension consists of a modern dining room, lounge area and a temperature-controlled wine cellar holding a treasury of worldly vintages from all the travels that they are more than happy to share with guests. And the Delietos’ passion for hosting community feasts and intimate dinner gatherings has not faltered now that they’ve become Paleo-centric vegans. If anything, it’s attracted more visitors, each intrigued by the healthful, delicious

opportunities Val provides, without ever needing to stop by the butcher or freezer section of a grocery store. Everything Val cooks with is fresh, organic and sourced locally from farmers markets, natural food merchants or her own garden, and made entirely from scratch, including crackers, jarred marinara sauce and nut butters. And any leftover scraps of food are taken out back and recycled into her personal compost garden. Val and Lee recall the date night they had at Burns Court Cinema two years ago with another couple, who convinced them to come see a controversial documentary film called What the Health? It turned both their worlds upside down— causing a paradigm shift in their day-to-day decisions and culinary lifestyle. They made a commitment together to wean themselves o meat, dairy, refined sugars and processed foods. At first it was quite difficult, they say, finding things to cook at home or appropriate dishes to order at restaurants, especially with non-vegans. But then it became second nature. Supportive friends and family, helpful wellness blogs, lots of cookbooks and a growth of health-forward dining options in Sarasota contributed to converting the couple to diehard veganism. Still wine lovers though, definitely still wine lovers.

This page: Farmfresh ingredients to ook up the main course. The custom-built wine cellar. Valarie pulling handcut and rolled pasta noodles from the pasta drying rack.

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main attraction Veggie Pasta—homemade, organic Kamut pasta sautÊed with enoki mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, spinach, kale, corn, broccolini, roasted chickpeas nished with fresh rosemary and asil spri s from the backyard garden.

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grand finale Chocolate Tart—Silken tofu, raw cacao, vanilla and maple syrup blended together, molded and chilled—garnished with cocoa powder, fresh berries, dark chocolate shavings, cashews, rice whip cream and fresh mint.

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Have a few generous spoonfuls of Val’s guiltless desserts such as her chocolate mousse tower with a banana brownie, almond crème anglaise and raspberry sauce. This page: Valarie and husband Lee and their chihuahua Desi on a chaise lounge by the pool. Valarie’s chocolate mousse tower. Interior and exterior of AirBNB properties: Mermaid Corkscrew and Sea Turtle Cottage. The gathering spot for dinner parties in the entertainment cottage and wine cellar.

No matter what dietary lifestyle one leads, if an invite is bestowed upon from the DeLietos, an immersive evening at the Vegan Bungalow Cafe looks a lot like this. Following ringing the doorbell and being warmly greeted by Val, Lee and Desi the chihuahua, guests are poured an aperitif glass of wine. While awaiting for dinner to be served, they can spend the better half of an hour getting lost in two bookshelves worth of Val’s clean-eating cookbook collection—from hip, creative vegan alternatives to intricate chef-inspired, plant-based recipes and ways to lead a healthful lifestyle. The crisp, garden-fresh scents from Val’s cooking will begin to waft throughout the hallways, so best step outside to control the anticipatory salivation. Guests surrender poolside to nosh on an exquisite presentation of light bites to

start, while watching the setting sun over the cluster of rooftops and behind live oaks. Meanwhile, authentic Italian tunes or serenades from Frank Sinatra— whatever Lee opts to play—fill the back patio with an ambient soundtrack to the evening. Small talk takes over with stories of motorcycle adventures, farmers market favorites, interesting AirBnB guest stories, tips on permaculture gardening, trip experiences and future ventures planned. By this time, the veggies are steamed, the pasta is plated and the second glass of wine is already on its way. For the non-vegans, the absence of meat, dairy or oil is not even noticed, let alone missed. Val’s creative cooking skills and resourceful ingredient substitutes make for a wholesome feast that miraculously leaves guests feeling satiably pleased and energized—never shameful

or sickly full. So in this regard, dessert isn’t a question, because, of course, there’s room. Bring on the final pour of wine as a nightcap, have a few generous spoonfuls of Val’s guiltless desserts, such as her chocolate mousse tower with a banana brownie, almond crème anglaise and raspberry sauce. By now— between the zero sense of gluttony after a three-course meal, the wine buzz and all around positive vibrations— guests with any preconceived notions of “being vegan” are replaced with pretty convincing ideals that turning herbivorous does not have to be challenging or restricted. If anything, it can be really fun. Follow the Facebook group Val’s Vegan Cafe-Recipe Sharing and her Instagram @valskitchencafe, for vegan dish ideas, party hosting inspiration and local vegan-forward restaurant recommendations.

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Step inside the 2.0 version of a Hillview highlight, formerly known as Libby’s Cafe + Bar.

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Welcome back to the neighborhood, ol’ gal. With a breath of fresh air, Libby’s Neighborhood Brasserie is back, revived and with a new persona—not to mention upgraded machinery, a remodeled floorplan, enlivened menus and a modern makeover for the beloved Hillview staple. TALBESEIDE LOST ITS FOUNDING FATHER in Steve Seidensticker last year, but the legacy lives on—entrusting progeny Joe, Lisa and Patrick to take over. And, named after Steve’s mother, “an unforgettable family matriarch,” i y s remains the first and oremost o the Seidenstickers’ extensive portfolio of restaurant ventures. “This one’s really important—it’s a brand we built as a family,” says Joe Seidensticker, Tableseide CEO. “There are a lot of memories in that building.” He can still re all first wal ing into South s rey Avenue with his father—an address that would ultimately become the lifeblood and heartbeat o Ta leseide That was more than years ago Lisa Seidensticker, COO, notes Libby’s has and will always e the Ta leseide agshi But after a decade building a local legacy, a meaningful rebrand was due. “We wanted to ut a sta e here or another years,” she says. Seeing as the family was already looking at opening up another Libby’s restaurant in the Lakewood Ranch area, it was a suitable time to break down the barriers of the original

one. “When we were looking at expanding out there, we realized we didn’t want to build the Libby’s that we have today,” Joe adds. “This whole project actually started because of the University project.” And before summer ends, that location will be up and running too. Starting anew here involved more than a simple cosmetic remodel. The project quickly became a “let’s gut it and start from scratch,” Joe states, after assessing the dated building’s original in rastru ture that sits around years old. It became apparent that a complete reconstructive overhaul was the necessary call to action. “We probably could have slapped some paint on the walls, changed up the menu and some other stuff, ut that s not going to last another decade,” he goes on to say. “We want to always be on the front end from a culinary and hospitality standpoint.” And when every wall within was knocked down to its skeletal studs, it dawned on them, “We were committed.” While the Seidenstickers worked on elevated menu offerings, a new angled name and old new logo, Libby’s transformed over the course

of a year to become an airy, sexy space—basking in bright natural lighting and steering away from old Libby’s more traditional, adumbral ambiance. In production with Leader Design Studio and Southern ross onstru tion, the new oor plan included a “theatre-style kitchen,” while the private dining room (PDR) and bar were re onstru ted and shu ed to different areas, and outdoor seating expanded considerably. With the intention for sidewalk action yearround, the front entrance dominates with grand sliding door partitions of sea green-tinted glass that e tend eet high, oor to eiling nside, SAWA Design Studio’s redesign tapped into the Seidenstickers’ vision for a modern, yet inviting aesthetic with industrial-coastal vibes. Dark metals meet warm wood and pops of seafoam, while oat filled lands a es y lo al ainter Tim Jaeger, add marina colors to the foyer and the PDR. Snake plants sprawl from wall-to-wall and giant mason ars filled with various it hen ingredients adorn the see-through shelving units that divide the dining rooms from the bar/ lounge area.

This spread: Grilled Octopus tomato salad; back mural by Elle LeBlanc; Sarasota Lagoon cocktail with Tito’s vodka, chamomile, lemon/lime and blue curacao, Half Chicken with warm potato salad, leeks, brussel leaves and lardons; bar/ lounge area featuring Ted Jaeger marina painting.

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And nothing welcomes or keeps people in their seats, more than good food, which Libby’s is happy to oblige with a brand new, revamped menu. The brasserie now takes all the qualities of a New American restaurant and opens up the it hen literally and figuratively with a live show of lofty cookery. The vertical rotating rotisserie oven by Wood Stone allows for different ty es o meat to e oo ed at the same time. Visible, and scentable, from the chefs’ corner, tender and juicy slow-cooked meats lead diners right to the ‘Rotisserie and Woodrilled se tion o the menu, where they ll find everything rom filet mignon, or ho s and New York strips to Half Chicken and Duck a L’orange. For those wanting seafood, appetizers like the seasonal oysters baked with spinach, pancetta and béchamel, or the Grilled Octopus, featuring a whole tentacle brined with citrus and wine corks, then blanched, cooled and served with an olive, roast pepper and tomato salad, will settle that. Additionally, entrees like the Porcini Ravioli, filled with arti ho e and goat heese and served with blistered tomatoes and arugula in a light garlic broth, a Brisket Burger with camembert cheese, caramelized onions and house aioli, and the Arctic Char, dished with a eluga lentil ris e salad and fingerling otatoes in a lemon butter sauce, hit the high notes. Rounding out the meal and have another minutes to s are ul e de e he Sou e with vanilla bean crème anglaise is baked fresh to order. Can’t wait that long? Mascarpone

heese a e, le Tarte Tatin, offee reme rulee and rofiteroles are swi t gratifi ations To pair the fare, a thoughtfully crafted cocktail menu goes far beyond the typical Cosmo or Manhattan. The Sarasota Lagoon, Flowers in Amsterdam, Melons of Ipanema, Golden State of Bohemia and more entice multiple interludes during the meal. “At the end of the day, we put out what we felt was right for the Hillview neighborhood,” Joe says. “We’re hitting it on all cylinders and bringing that energy back down to the South Side.” Though many unforeseen moving parts went into this revival, an invigorated energy now percolates from the outdoor patio lounge and back to that revolving rotisserie. All the while, a num er o original staff mem ers came back on board—proving that same close-knit, friends and family dynamic that Steve created over a decade ago remained unaffe ted y the many hanges that i y s experienced. Joe and Lisa note that many longstanding bartenders, chefs, managers and servers were right alongside them in the whole creative process, making team decisions. “I don’t want to take away from the family-owned business aspect of it all, but Tableseide has really evolved over the years to become so much more than that,” says Joe. “We have such great people working with us. This was never just our project—everyone here had a piece to contribute and own.” Long live Libby. SRQ srq magazine_ JULY/AUG19 live local | 85

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This page: An exhibit at The Ringling. Orchids at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Peepers magnifier at the Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center.

INERTIA VS. INNOVATION. It’s an organizational battle as old as there have been organizations, and as the tried and true meets the bold and new in the philanthropic field, Steven High, Executive Director of The Ringling, Lisa Howard, CEO of Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center, and Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, fight stagnation with imagination. From rebrands to reboots and ambitious new master plans, these local leaders have demonstrated how to wage a winning campaign.

WHAT DOES INNOVATION MEAN TO YOUR ORGANIZATION? Steven High: Innovation is critical to any organization, because if you are not on edge, not thinking about changing the way you do things, you’ll never improve and you’ll never grow as an institution. It’s fundamental to management. Jennifer Rominiecki: It’s important for organizations not to do the same thing over and over again. It’s about being able to change the game and giving people new reasons to engage. Otherwise, your organization can become stagnant. Lisa Howard: That’s exactly what happened to my organization. It became stagnant until the last few years. When new things come out, we do everything we can to get it to the people in our community, to know that there are some options out there. High: How did that become stagnant, and then how did you break that? Howard: Leadership, honestly.

HOW DO YOU FOSTER INNOVATION WITHIN AN ORGANIZATION? Rominiecki: Have a bold vision and have the courage to see it through. You have to not be afraid of change. It’s also important to have a forward-thinking board of direc-

tors that believes in the vision. Innovation has to come from the leadership, and it needs to be supported at that level if you’re going to affect change. Howard: I couldn’t agree more. It’s hard to get people to change when you’ve done something the same way for so many years, and nobody thought about doing it differently. People are people, employees are resistant. But when you can share the vision and you have that leadership, employees can get excited about it. Rominiecki: Get their buy-in. It’s really important that everyone believes. High: Innovation is a big factor in long-scale planning, but it is also fundamental throughout the organization. Innovation can occur in very small ways that make big differences. It’s about how our staff engages with people coming into the museum, ways to make the experience more special for our visitors. Those ideas aren’t necessarily things that we as leaders of organizations say to do, those are innovations that come from our staff. It’s absolutely critical that we hire smart staff—people who really care about the organization, and who want to make it better—then empower them to make those changes.

HOW DO YOU DISTINGUISH OPPORTUNITIES FOR INNOVATION FROM ‘IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT’? High: There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit that you go after, easy things where you can have success. Then you can begin to be a little more creative. Start off with things that you can really gauge the impact of. Early on in our membership program, our focus was on building base level members. Our upper-level members were five and they gave $1,000 or more. A very easy thing to do was to simply establish a new level of membership that gave access at higher levels and created greater interest, greater return on investment. That program expanded dramatically. Rominiecki: There’s always room for improvement, no matter how well an organization is doing. You always have to be looking at what you’re doing and constantly taking a fresh angle. From our bottoms-up strategic planning process, we arrived at repositioning ourselves as a living museum, with changing exhibits, programs and events. Because we heard people say, “I’ve been to Selby Gardens. It’s beautiful,� as if they didn’t have a reason to come back. As a result, we found ourselves at the

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ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS THE RINGLING The Ringling is the State Art Museum of Florida and is administered by Florida State University. It features an historic mansion, art museum, circus museum, historic theater, and reference library, situated on 66 acres of bay front property in Sarasota. The Ringling serves as the legacy of John and Mable Ringling—a place of art, architecture, and circus in an environment that inspires, educates and entertains. LIGHTHOUSE VISION LOSS EDUCATION CENTER The mission of the Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center is to educate and empower those aected by vision loss so they may enjoy happy, healthy and independent lives. MARIE SELBY BOTANICAL GARDENS To provide an oasis of inspiration and tranquility, while furthering the understanding and appreciation of plants, especially epiphytes. Its vision is to touch as many people as possible through an urban waterfront garden that is the world leader in conservation and display of epiphytes. Visitors and volunteers alike experience the Gardens beauty, gaining a be"er understanding and greater appreciation of the natural world.

forefront of a trend of gardens wanting to connect with the arts. We’ve received 10 inquiries to take our exhibit from last spring to other botanical gardens around the world. We’re now pursuing a trademark on the living museum. All of this has come from assessing the organization, seeing what strengths it had and what shifts could be made. At the same time, in order to make those shifts, everyone has to be involved. Everyone has participated in that success— every member of staff, every board member, every volunteer, every contributor has been a part of the innovation. Howard: You could be telling our story. Everything you’re saying is exactly what we were just doing. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THE REBRANDING PROCESS? Howard: We started this in 2015, by looking at our name and our reputation and what the brand means. “Lighthouse of Manasota� doesn’t really say anything about vision loss. We struggled with that for a long time. The original name is Manasota Lighthouse For the Blind. People thought we only served the blind. They thought we were an actual lighthouse. We got a consultant from the Community Foundation. They give you someone at no charge. We began interviews with stakeholders from A to Z. Everybody was interviewed. We went several months. We used that feedback to get to where we are today. I look at it all the time. It’s on the bulletin board next to my desk. WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT THAT EDUCATION BE IN THE NAME? Howard: We’re an

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education center. That’s what we do. We teach people how to do everyday things that we do all the time—they just do it a little bit differently because they don’t see it so well. Then just use, “Vision Loss,� instead of, “Blind.� Vision loss means every level of vision. And we had to put braille in there. We kept “Lighthouse.� That was loud and clear from everybody that we spoke to. High: A while ago, we were known as The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which is a mouthful. And we’re more than an art museum; we’re a historic house museum, a circus museum. We have a collection of trees and wooded shrubs that are significant. We moved toward owning the name Ringling and calling ourselves The Ringling, which embraces all of these different aspects. What it did is identify us as more of a destination and a place for people to come to have extraordinary experiences. HOW DO YOU BRING DONORS ALONG ON TRANSFORMATIVE PROJECTS? Rominiecki: Donors like to invest in innovation. They’re taking a risk because you’re trying something new, but when they can affect positive change by investing in innovation, it’s very satisfying. Howard: They want to be a part of something exciting and new and successful. And our donors usually have someone in their family affected by vision loss, so they’re connected to the organization. And people are connected to this organization throughout the rest of their life after their training. High: We’re lucky to live here because we have a really wonderful donor base. They care about

organizations like ours, that provide some of the intellectual challenges they are looking for. We’re both growing and we’re both sharing. Howard: It’s very cooperative, and in the fundraising community too. When this group gets together, we all know each other, we help each other. Rominiecki: Donors like to see organizations collaborate. That gets them excited when we’re thinking out of the box and working on programming that isn’t the norm. Philanthropists really respond when we collaborate. High: I don’t think you can get too much. The more you get, the more awareness there is. The more organizations are out there telling their stories, telling their missions and explaining the impact they make within this community, the more people step up and help and support. It’s not a competition. It’s more a complementary way of supporting our communities, supporting our culture. Rominiecki: One organization’s success benefits the others. EXAMPLES OF COLLABORATION? High: The programs that we do with [The Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center] are really intended to break down barriers for new clients. Howard: We take a tour of the Ringling and our students get to put gloves on and feel the sculptures. The docents do an amazing job, in a different language, to explain the piece so that the person can feel and then create their own vision of what that looks like. They also have replications of some of the huge pieces. High: And textures. Howard: A lot of texture stuff. If someone is explaining silk or pearls or something like that,

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they have those things there. It’s an awesome way for a visually impaired individual to experience the arts in this community. High: Another fun project we do is with the seeing-eye dogs. When people learn how to work with the dogs, the graduating classes come to the museum and navigate. We do a tour of all the dogs in art, so the dogs get to go around and sniff Remus and Romulus, and see that artists love painting dogs. Lots of dog paintings. Howard: Our instructors are certified vision rehab therapists, and certified orientation and mobility specialists. We came to the museum and taught them how to help someone who is visually impaired through the museum. Rominiecki: That’s what’s so special about Sarasota—that we can all work together like this and make things happen that wouldn’t normally happen. Easter Seals and Operation Eco Vets are going to work with us on the edible gardens in the first phase of our master plan. We’ve had a lot of fun having all the performing arts groups collaborate with us—the opera, the ballet, the orchestra, Florida Studio Theatre. We did a run of performances of Shakespeare in the Gardens with the Asolo. And the Ringling Museum has been invaluable to us in shifting to this living museum model. WHAT INNOVATIONS ARE YOU WORKING ON CURRENTLY? High: We’ve been working on a project called WEB: Where Everyone Belongs, and we’re in partnership with 12-14 social service organizations now. We’re trying to work with families at risk. We offer a free family membership to the museum, and we train the parents to be

comfortable being at the museum and talking about the work, so that they can then bring their family and make it a comfortable experience for them. We’re doubling down on investing in the community. Our plan is based around inclusion and access— making sure we’re reaching out into every population in our community, and trying to make that experience truly accessible for all. Howard: The Lighthouse Institute and the State of Florida created Vision Refer. It’s an online portal for doctors to refer their patients for vision rehab. It tracks information about who they referred, what that person is doing, did they accept the training, all of those kinds of things. We’re testing it in Florida, and the very first vision referral was done by a doctor here in Sarasota. Eventually it will go nationwide, and hopefully, we’ll be getting to those people that need us. WHAT DO YOU IMAGINE YOUR ORGANIZATION WILL BE LIKE IN 20 YEARS? Rominiecki: Twenty years from now, Selby Garden’s campus is perfected and is a leader in sustainability, not only from the green standpoint, but fiscal sustainability. From that 20-year arch, we hope to have a much more robust endowment to really secure and safeguard the institution for the future. Howard: We do one-toone training with people. As we go forward, we’re only going to have more and more people. We’re going to have to reinvent how we do that training. I picture this huge mobility studio, where Florida Studio Theatre makes all of these plots, where we can stage an intersection that looks like the one in this

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woman’s neighborhood. The orchestra records the sounds of traffic flow in surround sound. High: The museum is in many ways an analog experience. And in 20 years that experience is still going to be valued. But we have to continue to innovate in ways that keep our institutions relevant to all generations. As the next generation comes in, we always have to think about how we reach them, how we get them involved and why is it important that they are involved. I would like to think in 20 years that the museum is very much on the forefront of that, and continues to build a very diverse and dynamic audience. WHAT WAS THE ORIGIN OF THE SELBY GARDENS MASTER PLAN? Rominiecki: Selby Gardens has the world’s best scientifically documented collection of Bromeliads and has brilliant talent, but has always been lacking the infrastructure. Our land was acquired in parcels over time and it’s privately owned, so a master plan was never implemented to accommodate the public and truly safeguard the collections. When Hurricane Irma happened, we were so at risk, and it really put an exclamation point on our need to act as quickly as we could. There were three challenges we wanted to accomplish. One: Safeguard the world’s best collections. Two: On peak days we turn away hundreds of visitors. We can no longer accommodate the thousands of visitors who want to connect with our mission. We’re lacking some of the infrastructure needed to accommodate the public. Three was preserving our history and historic structures, and ensuring

that our land remains botanical gardens for the generations to come, because it’s privately owned and at any point could have been sold for high-density development. The innovative piece of this plan is the sustainability portion. When we set out to do this, we were like, ‘We want to be as sustainable as possible. Let’s do it as green as possible.’ All of a sudden, I get a call from our team. They realized that if they just added a few more solar panels, that we could actually be the leader in our area, and have the first botanical garden complex that’s net positive, meaning it will generate more energy than it consumes. Also, the restaurant would be the first net positive restaurant in the world. Innovation creeps up almost when you least expect it. Once the project got going, this opportunity arose to set an innovative standard. You have to take advantage of the opportunity. SRQ The In Conversation program is produced by the BrandStory Division of SRQ MEDIA.

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giving coast Mote Marine Laboratory Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium announced support for the directorship of Mote’s new Red Tide Institute, thanks to a generous five year grant The harles argery aran i oundation rovided , in unding The unding will rovide a signifi ant level o su ort for the director of the Red Tide Institute at Mote, hel ing to ensure onsistent rogress towards develo ing and testing innovative te hnologies or the ontrol and mitigation o the im a ts o red tide

Caregiver Luncheon Mondays Starting in ay, he Rol s rime Sea ood ew lorida it hen egan monthly so ializing lun hes or aregivers every first onday o the month nd on that first onday o every month, you an en oy so ializing and having un with aregivers while having a rivately oo ed meal y ulie oo owning Total ost er erson is , whi h in ludes lun h sele tions, everages, ta , gratuity and the han e to win a gi t onta t ulie oo owning at aregiver om ort aol om or more in ormation

The Fabric of India The Ringling useum show ases The Fabric of India, an e hi ition that has more than su er e am les drawn rom the internationally renowned holdings o ondon s i toria and l ert useum and rivate olle tions The e hi ition illustrates the variety, te hni al so histi ation and ada ta ility o ndian te tiles rom the th to the st enturies Through a stunning range o histori al dress, are ully reserved a ri s and utting edge ashion, dis over how ndian te tiles have een interwoven with religion, oliti s and glo al trade or enturies

Kids Summer Dance Programs oin the Sarasota ontem orary an e om any this summer to e lore new ways o moving Running uly , Students ages will have the o ortunity to ta e ontem orary, i o , ro and reative ovement wor sho s a h day will also in lude ra t time and a small rovided sna

Free Medicare Counseling for Seniors in Venice

2019 James Wischer “Child Advocate of the Year”

Seniors with concerns about Medicare and other health insuran e o tions an re eive ree insuran e ounseling at a new lo ation S Serving ealth nsuran e eeds o lders ounselors are now roviding ree, un iased edi are ounseling at The indsor o eni e S ounseling sessions are availa le every onday y a ointment rom am until m ffered lo ally through the rea gen y on ging or Southwest lorida, S em owers seniors, their aregivers and amily mem ers to ma e in ormed de isions a out health are overage aaasw or

athryn ra er has een named the ames is her “ hild dvo ate o the ear” y anatee hildren s Servi es ominated by peers in her community, Graber had a ommemorative eremony earlier this year in her honor She demonstrated her ommitment to hildren in an e em lary manner, mu h li e ames is her, a dedi ated hild advo ate who s ent his li e ensuring anatee ounty hildren and youth were afforded a sa e and nurturing environment riteria or the award in lude dedi ated servi e or a minimum o two years, ma ing a differen e in the lives o hildren and demonstrating ositive im a t on ommunity ra er has a long areer in hild advo a y and wor s losely with hild rote tion Servi es as a ehavioral ealth onsultant with enterstone

Park Right In The ity o Sarasota o ened the St rmands arage this S ring The our story garage, onveniently lo ated within a short stroll to the sho s and restaurants along St rmands ir le, in ludes ar ing s a es, with additional s a es availa le in the sur a e lot ad a ent to the garage The garage is the result o the ity s olla oration with St rmands mer hants, property owners and residents to address parking needs in this world renowned destination o ated on orth dams rive, the new ar ing garage is the easiest way to find a ar ing s ot and en oy the sho s and restaurants on the ir le SarasotaFL.Gov/Parking

Boys & Girls Clubs 2019 Florida Youth of the Year t the eginning o this year, year old Riverview igh S hool Senior eonela Tase Sueiro re eived the lo al outh o the ear title or the oys irls lu s o Sarasota ounty ith this new title, Sueiro advan ed to the Southeast outh o the ear ele ration at the eorgia uarium on une in tlanta, she wins the Southeast outh o the ear title, she will then go on to the ational outh o the ear ele ration in Se tem er at the ational uilding useum in ashington, The national winner will e ome a role model, am assador and s o es erson or million oys irls lu s mem ers a ross the nited States, re eive a ademi s holarshi s and have o ortunities or li e hanging e erien es SarasotaFL.Gov/Parking

Free Medicare Counseling Seniors and adults with disa ilities who have on erns a out edi are and other health insuran e o tions an re eive ree insuran e ounseling at several new lo ations, as S Serving ealth nsuran e eeds o lders ounselors are now roviding ree, un iased health insuran e ounseling at oodwill anasota ommunity rooms at our lo ations in Sarasota ounty ffered lo ally through the rea gen y on ging or Southwest lorida S , S em owers edi are enefi iaries, their aregivers and amily mem ers to ma e in ormed de isions a out health are overage S is a volunteer rogram o the lorida e artment o lder ffairs and art o the national State ealth nsuran e ssistan e rogram networ

Glass in The Gardens Sel y ardens and the un an lellan allery will e ringing their se ond annual glass show to the gardens This uly, In Dialogue With Nature: Glass In The Gardens, will resent hand lown glass and eature le tures and tours s heduled throughout the run o the show The e hi ition rings together the natural eauty o Sel y ardens with the otani al ins ired glass artwor

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CREAM OF THE COCO THE BISHOP MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND NATURE: THE PLANETARIUM, THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM AND THE PARKER MANATEE REHABILITATION HABITAT. ONE— The meteorite in The Planetarium Lobby at The Bishop—called FeNi due to its composition of iron (Fe) and nickel (Ni)—is 4.5 billion years old. When you visit, please touch the meteorite! The oils in your hands keep FeNi from rusting. TWO— The mastodon skeleton in the Great Hall is actually a casting from a real skeleton unearthed at the Aucilla River in northern Florida. The archaeologists at the dig named

the skeleton Priscilla. Only as they found more of the skeleton over the course of the three-year dig did they discover that Priscilla is actually a male! Priscilla is one of the largest mastodons found in North America and lived during the Pleistocene epoch about 14,000 years ago.

THREE— The Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat at The Bishop has helped rehabilitate more than 35 manatees so they can return to the wild. Manatees need rehabilitation care because of cold stress (similar to frostbite), boat strikes, being orphaned and other factors. FOUR— The closest living relatives of manatees are elephants! Manatees have a prehensile snout—an upper lip capable of grasping—that works

the same way as an elephant’s trunk. If manatees didn’t have this ability to manipulate their muscular upper lip, it would be very difficult for them to feed.

FIVE— Did you know that you can get the inside scoop about many of these fascinating experiences at The Bishop right on your phone? Download the Pathways app before your next visit and you’ll rule the next cocktail party with surprising facts like these.





JULY 4 On Thursday, July 4, the annual Sarasota Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular will be held on Island Park. The annual event has been supported and funded by locals for the past 11 years. 2018 brought 26,400 a!endees to the fireworks show. This year, Suncoast Charities for Children will be partnering with Marina Jacks to host the event. The organization serves special needs children and their families in the Sarasota, Venice and North Port areas.

JULY 19 Rebel Heart returns to Friday Fest at the Van Wezel with some of today’s most popular country songs, mixed with a healthy dose of hits from pop, rock, dance and the blues! The five-piece band puts on a high-energy, powerful and melodic country rock act that you won’t want to miss. Bring along a blanket, lawn chair and have a good time.

AUG 16 Don’t miss Reverend Barry & The Funk at the Van Wezel Friday Fest on August 16. Featuring three Grammynominated musicians, this eight-piece band plays a high-energy set of originals and covers of funk and soul music including Earth, Wind & Fire, Commodores, Kool & the Gang and Prince.

SELBY’S SPLASHIN’ SATURDAYS JULY 6-27 Join Selby Gardens each Saturday in July for Splashin’ Saturdays! Cool off with fun waterthemed activities specifically geared towards toddlers and children up to 10 years old. Activities include water slides and games in the shade of the iconic Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ banyan trees and by the waterfall of the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden.

SRQ SB2 SYMPOSIUM: TRANSFORMATION IN PHILANTHROPY JULY 25 The SRQ Transformation in Philanthropy luncheon and panel discussion will explore the organizations and individuals who are changing the face of the nonprofit world through innovative approaches, strategic alliances and groundbreaking initiatives that foster and employ engagement to make a difference. How do nonprofits maximize their leadership to steer through change and make it stick?

MAKING STRIDES AGAINST BREAST CANCER KICK OFF CELEBRATION AUGUST 29 Join the American Cancer Society at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Kick Off Celebration on August 29 at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota from 5:30pm hen we join together, we can defeat breast cancer. More awareness and money raised allows ACS to continue to educate about reducing cancer risk and detecting it early, fund even more groundbreaking research, and deliver more crucial services that patients and caregivers rely on every day. RSVP to Bethany Lynch at 941-328-3756 or SRQ

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