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season preview+culture primer


After a year of postponements, cancellations, experiments and half-measures, Sarasota’s arts and culture scene rebounds with a season full of world premieres, big ideas and joyous reunions of old friends. Written by Andrew Fabian + Phil Lederer | Photography by Wyatt Kostygan. Culture Primer highlights not-to-be-missed performances for the 2021-22 season. Compiled by Madison Mursch

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Contents october 2021

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october 2021



srqist 10

In an industrial playground, Marianne Chapel and a band of local artists build SPAACES. A year of service with Miss Florida 2021, Leah Roddenberry, as she looks to represent in the 100th Miss America Competition. Meet Janus and Iclyn at The Bishop Museum’s newly-renovated and expanded manatee rehabilitation exhibit.

WOMEN WHO ROAR FLIPBOOK SHE ROAR | FALL 2021 Prominent, leading women in the Sarasota and Bradenton Area region share their stories of giving back, building community, launching businesses, cultivating resilience, overcoming challenge and ultimately finding their pathway to success.

culture city


The newly-created Rosemary Art + Design District (RADD) finds fresh identity at the intersection of history, art and space-making.



From boot, baggy, flare and straight-leg cut, this is your denim jean trend guide. Delight your sensibilities with Kenzie Fisher’s ÉLU Parfums, inspired by the Mediterranean coast of the French Riviera.


Cover: Season Preview, left to right:

Juliana Cristina, Dancer, Sarasota Contemporary Dance; Calvin Falwell, Clarinet, Sarasota Orchestra; Ariel Blue, Singer, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe; Christopher Riley, Bass, Venice Symphony; and Monessa Salley, Dancer, Sarasota Contemporary Dance. Previous page: Sarasota Contemporary Dance, photo by Sorcha Augustine. This page: Leah Roddenberry, photography by Wyatt Kostygan; ÉLU parfums, image courtesy of Kenzie Fisher; and the Mezze Platter at Bodrum Restaurant, photography by Wyatt Kostygan.


The rich history of the Aegean coastline comes plated at Venice’s Bodrum Restaurant. Savoring the leafy, pungent basil herb in a multitude of ways.

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Wyatt Kostygan SENIOR EDITOR

Brittany Mattie




Andrew Fabian, Phil Lederer, Jacob Ogles CONTRIBUTING EDITORS AND ARTISTS

Ariel Chates, Chris Leverett, Olivia Liang, Abby Weingarten, Woody Woodman DESIGN CONTRIBUTOR Winona Nasser EDITORIAL INTERNS Grace Castilow, Chloe Cuyler, Madison Mursch

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/SRQDAILY






Suzanne Munroe Julie Mayer Magnifico Rob Wardlaw CLIENT SERVICES ASSOCIATE


Shpresa Mehmeti

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. LOCAL PUBLISHERS OF SRQ MAGAZINE, LIVING LAKEWOOD, ROCKETKIDS, SRQ TOP DOCTORS MEDICAL RESOURCE GUIDE, SRQ ELITE TOP ATTORNEYS PROGRAM, SRQ HOME & DESIGN, SHE ROARS, LIVING BRADENTON AREA, LOVE LOCAL GUIDEBOOK AND SRQ DAILY.

331 South Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236 | Phone 941-365-7702 SRQMAG.COM / @SRQMAG

SUBSCRIBE TO THE PRINT AND DIGITAL EDITION Join our readers in the pleasurable experience of receiving SRQ magazine in your mailbox every month during season and bimonthly during the summer. To reserve your subscription, provide your information and payment online. You can set up multiple addresses, renewals and special instructions directly through your online account. When you subscribe online, your first print issue will arrive in your mailbox in 6-10 weeks. Subscribe online at SRQMAG.COM/SUBSCRIBE. Contact us via email at Vol. 24, Issue 238 Copyright © 2021 SRQ MEDIA. SRQ: Live Local | Love Locall. Sarasota and Bradenton Area is published 10 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 20 issues. Single copies are $4 at area newsstands.

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941-924-6629 Please Visit Us At ROBERTDAVIE.COM

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Thinking Green for Over 35 Years.

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MISS SUNSHINE Leah Roddenberry represents our Homteown as Miss Florida in the 100th Miss America Competition. Olivia Liang | Photo by Wyatt Kostygan

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Below: Leah Roddenberry (@leahkrodd/@missamericafl) rides into her hometown in proper style. Special thanks to Sarasota Classic Car Museum for the use of their 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz.


high school at Cardinal Mooney, she kept her head down, sporting a low braid and headband while reviewing AP History facts and focusing on getting good grades. “There was always this fear of what people thought of me,” says Leah, describing an anxiety that has slowly atrophied thanks to, as she calls it, “The Organization.” Beginning with The Sunshine Princess Program, the entryway to the Miss America realm, Leah stepped into a world of mentorship and rigorous self-investment, eventually inspiring a dream with notso-mild stepping stones. Not one, but two, victories as Miss Florida Outstanding Teen in both 2013 and 2015 was only the beginning, leading the way to Miss University of Florida, which Leah won as a sophomore in 2019, then Miss Tampa, conquered in 2020 at the age of 20. And it was only in June that Leah was named the 85th Miss Florida, set to contend in the 100th Miss America Competition this coming December. In her first month on the job, Leah Roddenberry traveled 3,000 miles to sketch wardrobe designs to the World Championship of American Cornhole in Manatee County, from retirement homes to elementary schools, committing a supportive and spotlighted face wherever it may be in need. “It’s a platform to do good in my community and throughout the state,” she says, acting as her own booking agent, cold-calling nonprofits and local organizations by day and sending hundreds of emails by night. She calls it her “year of service,” evoking a grit and resilience that combats the outdated visions of swimsuit competitions and girls with nothing but a smile and a sash. Instead, at 22 years old, Leah Roddenberry is the founder of Be a LeadHER, a nonprofit organization encouraging young girls to find their voice, express their opinions and pursue their goals unapologetically, as well as the author of the children’s book, Leah Goes to Washington, for the politically ambitious and civically oriented. “Being politically ambitious doesn’t just mean waiting until you’re 18 to vote or running for office,” she says. “It means getting involved in your community, finding out what you’re passionate about and knowing that there really is no age limit to make a difference in your community.” The proceeds of her book contribute to the Ignite Your Spark Scholarship fund, which Leah hopes to one day award to one girl in every state, honoring what she says is no longer a pageant, but a scholarship competition. “We’re changing as society is progressing,” she says, “focusing now on what the young women are doing in their communities, their academics and career goals and who and what they stand for.” Throughout her career, Leah has won over $37,000 in scholarships as part of The Miss America Foundation which is the largest provider of women’s scholarships in the nation. She plans to attend Belmont University College of Law in Nashville next fall though, she admits, her year of service may divert her path one way or another—as she hopes it does. SRQ

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In an industrial playground bordered by Ivy League names, Marianne Chapel and a band of local artists build a community of collaboration. Phil Lederer

WHAT MAKES A COMMUNITY? What is the difference between audience engagement and community

involvement? These are the questions constantly caroming through Marianne Chapel’s brainspace since she made the decision in 2019 to pivot from running a personal gallery/studio in M.Chapel Projects to shaping a community as the founder of SPAACES—Sarasota Project Aligning Artists Communities Exhibits Studios. The goal? “A place where we can come together,” Chapel says. “Where we can have conversation about art and how art plays a part in what’s going on in the world.” And on any given day, a stop by the Princeton Street location provides an opportunity to join the conversation, either through an exhibition within the SPAACES gallery, a hosted panel discussion or a chat with one of the local artists, such as Laine Nixon and Cassia Kite, utilizing the attached private studios. (Just be sure to ask permission before barging in on an artist at work. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but paint will stain your clothes.) And with SPAACES adding four more artist studios for rent, the community is only growing. SRQ The SPAACES season begins this month with an

Left to right: Transforming an industrial neighborhood with artistic streaks of creativity. Marianne Chapel featured in the SPAACES studio space.

exhibition by sculptor and installation artist Vanessa Diaz, followed by a two-artist show in November with Diana de Avila and Julie Kanapaux, and a December show featuring Kate Hendrickson, Kathy Wright and Mary GrandPré. 12 | srq magazine_ OCT21 live local

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Wild manatees rehabilitate back to health at the bishop museum. Madison Mursch FRIENDLY GIANTS OF THE BISHOP MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND NATURE—precious and plump Iclyn and Janus—slowly loll about in their lushly

green cypress spring habitat—befriending freshwater turtles with a touch of a whisker and through-the-glass visitors with a wave of a flipper. The wilder the better when it comes to these marine mammals. The Bishop is spearheading a renovated initiative to rehabilitate manatees suffering in the waters of Sarasota. Both Iclyn and Janus were rescued by ZooTampa. Iclyn was found in Whitaker Bayou this January with cold stress syndrome—a condition similar to human frostbite. Janus was found unhealthily small at 295 pounds, compared to more than 420 pounds today, trapped in the Phillippi Creek canal after being separated from her mother. After the rescue and critical care of these cold-intolerant mammals, Iclyn and Janus were transferred to The Bishop for second-stage rehabilitation. Janus and Iclyn are deserving of a little R&R after cold shock and confinement, and The Bishop offers just that, with a wildlife transitional habitat for animals to gain weight and exposure to natural diet and feeding strategies. The museum teaches the manatees to interact with rough sea surfaces, changes in depth, wild plants and other marine animal species. “Having more animals in the habitat makes manatees more comfortable,” says Animal Care Director Virginia Edmonds . “Janus will swim over and touch the turtles with her mouth, just to check them out. Manatees are sensory with their whiskers, so this interaction between species is beneficial.” Visitors will find Iclyn and Janus swimming among two freshwater turtle companions, who further immerse them in a truly stimulating spring setting. SRQ


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culture city


Rosemary Art and Design District hopes to craft a fresh identity at the intersection of history, art and space-making. Andrew Fabian


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Left to right: Willie Rogers posing in front of the historic Ace Theatre. Walter Gilbert reveals the identity of the first mural’s subject.


Gilbert was in search of blank walls in the Rosemary District and he was in a bit of a hurry. The fourthgeneration Sarasota native was in a race against the rapidly developing neighborhood to preserve some of said history. And, as a self-proclaimed history buff with an encyclopedic knowledge of Sarasota’s Black history, he was well-positioned to pass down the stories he heard and lived. “I was born in ‘52 and was involved in a lot of big changes,” he says, “beach boycotts, desegregation, election law changes; but since 1917, that history—my history—has slowly been obliviated.” Armed with gripping stories of perseverance and excellence, Gilbert sought to secure the support of some property and business owners in what was once called Overtown, hoping to use some of their blank walls for murals to memorialize the neighborhood’s original Black settlers. “I just felt like the city’s Black history wasn’t being counted, recorded and known,” says Gilbert, “so I thought what better way to honor the history in a loud and meaningful way than with murals?” PHOTOGRAPHY BY WYATT KOSTYGAN / COURTESY OF DREAMLARGE.


Some owners were more receptive than others, none more than Anand Pallegar. “I got a call from a guy who I’d never met before, asking if I’d be interested in putting some murals on a building I owned downtown,” says Pallegar, “and it didn’t take long to realize there was a big opportunity here.” Pallegar is a serial entrepreneur whose portfolio of businesses includes DreamLarge, an events and marketing outfit that focuses on nonprofit and community-improvement work. Equally important, Pallegar owns the building at 513 Central Avenue, formerly the site of the Payne Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church built in 1908—a building Pallegar restored into an office suite. According to Gilbert, it’s one of the few remaining original buildings of Overtown, which meant the first walls he secured were arguably some of the most important. But bigger than the acquisition of these prized walls, Gilbert enlisted a champion of the cause who, coincidentally, had been brainstorming for years about ways to give Rosemary District its own identity. “Anand was looking for ways to turn the Rosemary srq magazine_ OCT21 live local | 17

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culture city

This page, left to right: A closer look at Willie Rogers in RADD’s first mural by Tim Jaeger. The team stands RADD and proud in front of its first mural, painted by Tim Jaeger at 600 Central Ave in the Rosemary District.Group shot, left to right:Tim Jaeger, Jarred Wilson, Julia Groom, Anand Pallegar, Susan McLeod, Walter Gilbert and Mark Zeitouni, images courtesy of DreamLarge.

District into an art and design destination,” says Gilbert, “and he understood how this could give the neighborhood an identity and a purpose.” Rosemary Art and Design District (RADD) is that identity and purpose. The acronym for RADD—possibly the most fortuitous acronym in human history—was devised a few years ago by a group of Rosemary District community activists, including Pallegar and Susan McLeod, a real estate agent with a background in the arts who was eager to raise the profile of the neighborhood’s creative vibes. Along with painter, curator and current RADD member, Tim Jaeger, conversations were had about how to bring more visual art to the area. “That first go around didn’t work out,” says McLeod, “but once Walter spoke with Anand, we felt like we had our mission now. So RADD was just a really organic thing.” With Gilbert’s mural idea reanimating the group into action, RADD settled on a flagship goal, the roots from which the whole endeavor could branch: The Gilbert Mural Initiative, a multi-year campaign to commission murals in the Rosemary District that will celebrate its Black history. And within RADD’s branches are festivals,

art walks, markets, seminars and all manner of mindexpanding, soul-enriching programming centered on inclusivity, diversity, creativity and, of course, art. “It started out with the mural initiative, but we’ve really expanded the focus to cultivate creativity,” says Julia Groom, director of DreamLarge and one of RADD’s founding members. On any given day, Groom might help a client with a marketing strategy, plan a symposium from scratch or apply paint to a wall alongside a group of kids creating a mural. She brings that same anything-goes mentality to RADD when deciding on what’s next. “Five to 10 years down the road, we think we can elevate this neighborhood for everyone that lives around here,” says Groom, “and when you build it on the history, it has an opportunity to connect people.” Gilbert shares a similarly rosey outlook for the future that RADD can help create. “In the end, we want to educate people about Sarasota’s Black history,” says Gilbert, “we want to bring people together, and we’re gonna do it with art.” SRQ

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S R Q M A G A Z I N E | S P E C I A L C O N T E N T M A R K E T I N G F E AT U R E | O C T O B E R 2 0 2 1

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David Ahrens RE/MAX Platinum Realty c: 650.288.7661 |

RONI-MARIE GOLD Fine Properties c: 941.487.0105 |

LINDA STOWE Michael Saunders & Company c: 941.228.5685

MARK BOEHMIG Michael Saunders & Company c: 941.807.6936 |

TRACY AND ERICk JONES RE/MAX Platinum Realty Tracy Jones c: 941.376.3405 Erick Jones c: 941.402.3186

KIM VOGEL Premier Sotheby’s International Realty c: 941.254.1996

andree huffine Coldwell Banker Realty c: 941.232.4053 |

LINDA STOWE Michael Saunders & Company c: 941.228.5685

STUART AND LAURA LAURENCE Michael Saunders & Company c: 941.894.4001

SHELLIE YOUNG Premier Sotheby’s International Realty c: 941.713.5458

DANIELLE DIETRICH Coldwell Banker Realty c: 603.767.9166 Heuerman ESPOSITO GROUP Coldwell Banker Realty Judy Heuerman c: 941.356.5260 Valerie Esposito c: 941.809.3541

TOMA AND REBECCA MILBANK Michael Saunders & Company c: 941.907.9595

RONI-MARIE GOLD, P.A., GRI Roni Gold is originally from Syracuse New York but planted her roots in Sarasota with her family in 1984. Basically a native to Sarasota, she first entered into the real estate industry in 2004 assisting in the purchase and sale of apartment buildings and converting them into high-end condominiums. She continued in Real Estate with Lennar Homes on the East coast of Florida. She has since become a top producing Realtor® in Sarasota and Manatee Counties focusing on ranches, investment properties, sellers and buyers. A UCF graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Roni of-

fers her customers a diverse professional background encompassing international business. Roni also shares a love for the arts and the unique circus background of Sarasota. She performed in the Sailor Circus for over 10 years and continues to support the Circus Arts Conservatory. Honesty, attention to detail, communication and listening skills has not only earned Roni great professional success, but most importantly the respect of her customers and colleagues. To every real estate transaction she brings a genuine concern for people’s needs, combined with excellent guidance, and product knowledge. Roni’s strong business management and negotiation talents, refined from her international background, support customers when making the most important financial decision of their life – the purchase or sale of property. Roni is a member of the Sarasota Board of Realtors and an elite Graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI). In her spare time, she enjoys practicing yoga, traveling, spending time with her husband and two sons at the beach, or on their 5-acre horse ranch in Sarasota.

Roni-Marie Gold c 941-487-0105 or 321-482-2771 | 5224 Paylor Lane, Sarasota, FL 34240 |

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DAVID AHRENS My mission is to make each client feel like they’re my only client in every real estate transaction.This mission is underpinned by my hallmark traits of being responsive, attentive and highly available to answer any questions or concerns. For Buyers, your searches will be curated, seamless and informative. For Sellers, you will receive exceptional marketing plans, flawless execution and maximum value.

Florida provides just about everything you could ever want, or dream of, to love where you live. As a resident of The Lake Club in Lakewood Ranch,

I am a trusted local resident and resource for anyone looking to explore and discover all their options when buying or selling a home. As a former marketing executive, and now as a REALTOR®, I know how to uniquely connect with clients and create win-win situations through the entire real estate engagement. From luxury properties to income properties, I can work with you seamlessly to achieve your goals and desired outcomes. Simply put, my goal is to focus on what is best for the client, always. Under-pinned by outstanding communication, collaboration and negotiation skills, plus high integrity and a little creativity, I enjoy working together with my buyer clients to find their luxury retreat where they can live life well. For sellers, it is paramount that I provide a white-glove experience to drive a cohesive plan to list and market their property, while efficiently attracting buyers and ultimately maximizing return on investment. My clients regularly and effortlessly provide shining testimonials describing their enjoyment in working with me on one of their most highly valued assets. This has created an effective referral network across the spectrum of buyers and sellers. Personally, I love playing tennis and participating in triathlon events (I’ve even done 18 Ironman races, so I understand how to be disciplined about what I do). My partner, our Labrador Charlie and I stay active with all this great weather in our exceedingly gorgeous community. I’m also a licensed REALTOR® in Ontario where I focus on lakeside homes and cottages in the Kawartha Lakes region. I look forward to engaging with you on your next real estate journey.

RE/MAX Platinum Realty d. 941-822-8362 c. 650-288-7661

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Known for stellar results, integrity, and gentility, Mark Boehmig sets himself apart

MARK BOEHMIG To Mark, real estate is about relationships and his purpose in the industry is to help those who want to buy or sell property. For every customer he serves, Mark looks for the small details that make the experience important to the individuals so they can have an exceptional experience, as well as every need met. His promise to his customers is connection, commitment, and communication on every level. Supported by his experience and completion of the Ninja Selling Training, Mark ensures goals are accomplished and bonds are forged beyond contracts.

from other real estate professionals in Sarasota, Bradenton, and Lakewood Ranch just by being himself. His portfolio of customer success stories has placed him in the upper echelon of agents for leading Gulf Coast broker Michael Saunders & Company – named the highest performer for the company’s Bradenton office before transitioning to the Lakewood Ranch office. Mark’s recent success throughout Lake Club alone has resulted in numerous multi-million-dollar sales. As your advocate, Mark works tirelessly to promote your best interests working toward the goal of minimizing inconveniences associated with the home selling process. He does this through what he considers an integral part of his business, maintaining an open line of communication to keep you always informed. When selling, he works with you to achieve success by using his proven “Mark it Sold – Home Value Maximizer.” Using his knowledge of digital and traditional media he covers every type of communication your potential buyer could receive. Bringing his sellers phenomenal results through leading advantages, innovation and consistency. Mark champions his customers for success through an established network of qualified buyers and by optimizing property exposure through his YouTube channel that generates international leads. More than a real estate agent, Mark’s value is hard to duplicate. Mark’s active community involvement and connections serve him two-fold, allowing him a window into the agricultural, government, educational, and corporate facilities that allow our region to prosper and developing a strong network for his customers. He is a member of the Downtown Redevelopment Committee, ECD for the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance, and is involved with the Global Business Council. Additionally, he served three years on the Board of Directors for Realize Bradenton and is a 2017 graduate of Leadership Manatee.

Mark Boehmig, REALTOR®, GRI c 941.807.6936 |

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Danielle Dietrich, PA As the uncertainty of the real estate market builds, it is important to work with a luxury REALTOR® that has skin in the game, experience, elite negotiation skills and serves her clients whether it is buying, selling, or investing, Danielle’s passion to exceed her client’s expectations and commitment to serve each client with exceptional services is demonstrated by her results, ethics, and her in-depth local market knowledge of the Greater Sarasota real estate market.

Danielle Dietrich, PA began her career in Real Estate in Brentwood (in Los Angeles, CA),

in 2009, where she began working for The Solomon Team specifically as their marketer, while creating and branding them at the highest National level. Danielle’s luxury real estate background began at a young age, right out of college, yet never intimidated her. She won several awards in her 20’s and nothing was stopping her. In 2016, Danielle had made what she thought would be a hard decision, moving to Sarasota, FL to be closer to her parents who reside in Venice, FL and starting her career over from scratch in a new territory and on a different coast. Danielle’s success in real estate upon moving to Florida only floored and she quickly became named amongst the top 15% agents nationwide. As she made the adjustment to beautiful Sarasota, FL Coldwell Banker Realty was the firm that would allow her to grow exponentially as she had done in CA, except this time individually not in a team atmosphere. Danielle brought not only her Marketing and Advertising Degrees with her, but her strong work ethic along with her celebrity business management expertise from the most cut-throat industry in the US, Los Angeles, CA. Danielle’s highest priority has always been her clients. She values her relationship with her clients and prides herself in guiding her clients to that close table successfully and making sure her clients trust in her every step of the way. The communication, support, services, and expertise that Danielle provides to her clients is of an elite status. The commitment she has to her clients shows in her numbers, Danielle has closed out over $16 million in sales YTD as of August 2021. Danielle’s global connections set her apart from other agents and her exceptional guidance makes her invaluable to her clients. There is never a situation or a transaction that Danielle will not think outside the box and do all she needs to get the deal done. Locally she specializes in the Sarasota, Venice, Nokomis, LWR, AMI, LBK, Bradenton, Parrish, Palmetto, Englewood areas. Nationally throughout the entire US and yes, she is a Global real estate expert as well! She just sold in the Dominican Republic and is selling in Mexico as well! Call Danielle to assist you with all your real estate needs.

MISSION STATEMENT The Mission of Coldwell Banker Realty is fulfilling the Dream of Home

Since 1906. The Coldwell Banker brand is the oldest and most established residential real estate franchise system in North America. Founded by young entrepreneurs in 1906, Coldwell Banker changed the way people bought and sold homes across America, ultimately becoming one of the most trusted real estate brands in the world. More than 100 years later, the Coldwell Banker network is still continuously recognized for its innovation and leadership across 3,000 offices in 49 countries and territories. Danielle Dietrich’s mission will never waver--to deliver the treasure of home ethically and honestly to her clients.

Coldwell Banker Realty 331 W. Venice Ave. Venice, FL 34285 c: 603.767.9166 | o: 941.493.1000 e:

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HEUERMAN ESPOSITO GROUP There’s a reason that their clients have called them “The Dynamic Duo.” Judy and Valerie have an undeniable chemistry that leaves an impression wherever they go. Individually, these two are strong, but together, they are a force! You really do have to meet them to understand their uniqueness; they bring such positive, high energy to the people they work with. A native of Ohio, Judy has a BS in Marketing, and a strong background in sales and marketing. She found her love of Real Estate after relocating to Lakewood Ranch and realizing how challenging it can be to navigate a home purchase in a new environment. She strives to simplify the process of buying or selling a home for her clients, whether they are relocating from out of state, or making a local move. Valerie is (almost) a Florida native,

as her family moved here when she was just 3-years old! She grew up in the Sunshine State and can’t imagine living anywhere else! She has 22 years of experience in Business and Accounting, and has worked with all facets of Real Estate, including investors, new home buyers, relocation, short sales and REOS. She has extensive knowledge of the Southwest Florida market. Together, Judy and Valerie have earned the prestigious “International Diamond Society” and “International President’s Circle” Awards for exceptional sales performance. They believe that their emphasis on customer service and the fact that they absolutely love working together with their clients is the key to their success. They are very involved in the community and served for 3 years as the Coldwell Banker CARES representatives, leading fundraisers for local charities.

Coldwell Banker Judy Heuerman, Realtor c: 941.356.5260 o: 941.907.1033 Valerie Esposito, Realtor c: 941.809.3541

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The husband-wife duo are residents in Sarasota where they have just opened their own real estate school to teach and mentor the next generation of real estate agents on how to duplicate the successes they have experienced. Currently classes are offered online but will add in person classes in the near future. You can learn more about their school, Shore Real Estate Academy at

Tracy Jones is a Broker Associate licensed for over 18 years and closed over 1000 transactions. She has served in every capacity from Salesperson, Investor, Broker Associate, Licensed Instructor as well as Managing Broker. She holds the industry’s most prestigious awards and designations including RE/MAX’s Hall of Fame, Lifetime Achievement and The Best of Instagram for her marketing efforts. She has a passion for marketing and technology and has been invited to several national conferences to speak on property marketing and is also a contributing writer to articles for publications at, ApartmentTheraphy. com,, Residential Specialist to name a few. Erick Jones is a US Army Veteran and former Sheriff Deputy with a heart for serving. With his experience in civil service, he has developed his problem-solving skills which serve their clients well in their real estate transactions. Erick is also a Broker Associate licensed since 2004, licensed real estate educator, and FAA licensed drone photographer/videographer.

RE/MAX Platinum Realty Shore Real Estate Academy Tracy Jones, c. 941.376.3405 Erick Jones, c. 941.402.3186 Broker Associates

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ANDREE HUFFINE Not many of us get to say this—I love what I do. It is easy to be successful when you love what you do, and in my view, there is no better place to do this than the Sarasota area. I want to make every transaction fun and rewarding for my clients, and nothing brings more joy than a happy Buyer or Seller. At the same time, buying or selling a home is serious business and I approach every day and every client with a focus on innovation, customer service and in-depth market knowledge.

andree has lived in sarasota for over 30 years and has garnered a deep knowledge of the area. Eighteen years ago she elected to pursue her passion for real estate. Since then, Andree has consistently ranked among the area’s top producers, using her MBA in finance and her background in marketing and management as the foundation for her success. Clients benefit from her extensive local knowledge, far-reaching connections and excellence in marketing. She has a keen understanding of how important it is to deliver outstanding customer service. Every client, from the first-time homebuyer to the luxury homeowner receives her personal attention, 100% of the time.

Andree’s knowledge of the local market and community allows her to advocate for her clients and achieve the best possible outcome in every transaction. She understands the challenges and nuances that exist in every sale, the unique variables that define every neighborhood, the true, intrinsic value of any given property and the underlying appeal of the Sarasota area. As a result, over 60 percent of her sales come from former clients and referrals. She believes Sarasota offers the best of Florida lifestyles and loves to showcase our area. ACHIEVEMENTS

Coldwell Banker Realty | Downtown Sarasota 100 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota Fl 34236 941.232.4053 |

– Luxury Property Specialist – Coldwell Banker International President’s Elite – Coldwell Banker International Presidents Circle – MBA in Finance

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r future.


STUART AND LAURA LAWRENCE “Stuart and Laura Lawrence are exceptional Realtors® and among our most trusted advisors. They are always courteous, honest and candid, and they listen.”— Ceal C.

2020 President’s Club 2019 Masters Award Recipients 2020 | 2019 Top Producers

Your Experience Matters. We get it.

Whether you are selling, searching for your forever or secondary home, or looking for an investment property in one of the country’s most livable cities (Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota!) you need to count on your agent to be professional—get the deal done, take away the headache. It’s not just a transaction. It’s a relationship. We customize your experience, pivot quickly, creatively market and bring high energy to the deal. The Lawrence Team’s two principals are Stuart and Laura Lawrence. Stuart’s cornerstone of doing business are trust, integrity and communication. This focus, combined with his 30 plus years of sales experience, enables him to help you get top dollar for your home and help you find a new home with ease. Laura’s two decades of experience with IMG Academy and other global brands in marketing and brand strategy set the stage for her real estate career. Clients have the utmost confidence that their most important sales and purchases are being handled by a creative, diligent, passionate and competent professional. With years of experience living and working both in the UK, Europe and the U.S., Stuart and Laura are able to connect with people from diverse cultural backgrounds in their real estate practice. Stuart and Laura take the time to get to know their clients and their needs, and put their energy, enthusiasm and knowledge of the real estate industry to work for their buyers, sellers and investor clients in the Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota and Manatee county areas.

Own Your future.

Michael Saunders & Company 8325 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. Lakewood Ranch FL 34202 c: 941.894.4001 | 941.737.3808

STUART AND LAURA form an exceptional, established and formidable team in Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota real estate. Teamed with the local market leader, Michael Saunders & Company, Stuart and Laura optimize award-winning marketing strategies, global connections and skilled negotiating. Together, they exceed expectations and provide an exceptional real estate experience.

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TOMA + REBECCA MILBANK Toma and Rebecca believe that understanding the needs of a client

and walking them through every step of the process, whether they are buying or selling their primary home, a vacation home or an investment property, is paramount to providing the highest level of service. This informed, pressure-free approach is appreciated by everyone they work with. Toma and Rebecca understand that real estate is one of the most important financial investments one can make and approach every transaction with the highest level of care. They are dedicated to achieving the best results on behalf of their clients and are always willing to go the extra mile. Toma joins Michael Saunders & Company with a wealth of real estate experience. He began his real estate career while studying at the University of Western Ontario where he bought, sold and managed several investment properties. He soon established himself in Manhattan’s real estate world after joining Edward Lee Cave, a boutique luxury real estate firm. He later joined Brown Harris Stevens where he made a name for himself as a top agent by achieving record prices for many of his clients. He has represented Fortune 500 clients and has a large network of international clients. Mixed with Toma’s intense work ethic is a softer but equally genuine appreciation for beauty and aesthetics. Having worked as a gallery manager for an acclaimed Manhattan gallery he is accustomed to fine art. It is undoubtedly this synthesis of talents that has fostered his success in the competitive real estate industry. Toma was born and raised in New York, but spent his summers in the South of France visiting family. After vacationing on the Gulf Coast for several years, Toma and Rebecca, along with their two young children, decided to make Lakewood Ranch their permanent home. Toma and Rebecca believe strongly in giving back to the community and are involved with and support several local organizations including Selah Freedom, Habitat for Humanity, Mote Marine Laboratory, Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue, the Police Athletic League of Manatee County, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Sun Coast, Mothers Helping Mothers and the Boys & Girls Club of Manatee County.

Together, Toma and Rebecca bring 20 years of residential real estate experience and have represented buyers and sellers in transactions in excess of 300 million dollars. They attribute their success to superior personal service, extensive experience, a broad international network, marketing savvy and sharp negotiation skills.

Michael Saunders & Company, Lakewood Ranch 8325 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 o: 941.907.9595 | d: 941.720.5174 | c: 941.720.5174 Languages Spoken | English and French (fluent)

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Linda has 14+ years of local real estate experience. Her commitment

to the real estate industry and her customers is demonstrated by her continuing education, including the GRI (Graduate REALTOR Institute, CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist), RSPS (Resort and SecondHome Property Specialist), ALHS (Accredited Luxury Home Specialist), CHMS (Certified Home Marketing Specialist), and TRC (Transnational Referral Certification designations. She has earned the prestigious designation CRS (Certified Residential Specialist), awarded to only 3% of realtors. Linda holds two BS degrees from Lock Haven (PA) University: a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science and a BS in Business Administration. Combined with her 25-year career with Procter & Gamble working in Customer Business Development, she offers market knowledge, the ability to listen to her customers and provides unparalleled customer service to you

Michael Saunders & Company 5100 Ocean Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34242 Languages Spoken | English 2020 Circle of Excellence Award Recipient c: 941.228.5685

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KIM VOGEL “I’m very analytical and enjoy sharing those insights with my customers as I help them find a home that’s just right for them.”– Kim Vogel

HOME IS WHERE YOUR STORY BEGINS. Kim brings a healthy dose of business acumen to her career as a licensed Realtor, which has really helped her serve a host of satisfied clients over the last decade. “I was a business analyst for a financial company up north,” she said. “I’m very analytical and enjoy sharing those insights with my customers as I help them find the home that’s just right for them.” Kim also welcomes meeting a challenge head on. Originally from western Massachusetts, she moved to Florida and got her real estate license during — of all times — the economic downturn of 2007-2009. She is a local full-time agent and has been selling real estate for more than a decade now, specializing in residential home sales with an emphasis on new construction, waterfront, and luxury homes. “I believe the key to success in any business is the three D’s”, she said.” Drive, Determination, and Dedication”, making her a top producer in the Venice area year over year. In addition to her financial expertise and thorough knowledge of the Sarasota County residential housing market, Kim places strong attention on the personal relationship she builds with her clients. “I have formed great friendships with many of them and we stay in frequent contact,” she said. “I bring a personal touch to all of my business relationships, which is very important to me.”

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty 215 W. Venice Ave., Venice, FL c: 941.254.1996

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“My mission is to provide each of my clients with extraordinary quality of service in the buying and selling of real estate and to always act with honesty and integrity. The homebuying and selling process can be very stressful. You can be assured you will experience discreet, conscientious attention as you search for the perfect home or are in pursuit of selling your home.”– Shellie Young


Premier Sotheby’s International Realty 517 Bay Isles Parkway Longboat Key, Florida 34228 Additional Private Office in Anna Maria, By Appointment Only o: 941.383.2500 | c: 941.713.5458 e:

properties since 2004. She is driven to be the very best in her field and breaking sales records is something that she has become known to do. Notably in Anna Maria, Shellie specializes in Luxury Real Estate, Second Home, Vacation Investment properties and Waterfront properties. Her clients praise her work ethic, professionalism, attention to detail, depth of expertise, dependability and being trustworthy, as she handles confidential information and matters with complete discretion. She is ranked consistently in the top 1% in Sarasota & Manatee counties, Top 10 within her company and achieved the top 1.5 % of All Realtors in the Nation for 2021. “I make Dreams come true,” says Young. “Whether it’s buying your dream home or dreaming about selling your home. Not a day goes by that I am not being productive for Every Single one of the Dreams that I have the Privilege to be a part of.”

MISSION Premier Sotheby’s International Realty is the market leader throughout the markets we serve, recognized as the real estate company of choice, and committed to setting the ultimate standard for excellence within the luxury real estate market. As a Sotheby’s International Realty affiliate, we are recognized throughout the brand as the distinctive model that our peers aspire to duplicate.

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Pardon Kenzie Fisher’s French. she swears on the silent, seductive power of fragrance. Brittany Mattie

Left: Founder and Perfumer Kenzie Fisher basking in the Provincial scented warmth of Élu. Sweet mandarin and peaches, creamy sandalwood, vanilla, and powdery blooms of lilac and violet linger in luxury on the skin. Source It: Provence eau de parfum, $165/ bottle; eluparfums. com, @eluparfums. “The pace unhurried, attitude laissez-faire —a scented story of treasured memories of the French Riviera, seduced by the sun in a state of endless summer bliss.”

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AS A FAMOUS COCO ONCE SAID, “No elegance is possible without perfume. It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory.” Kenzie Fisher sides irrevocably with the queen of Chanel. “Fragrance has a silent power, one that we rarely notice but is always there,” Fisher says. The Bradenton native can recall the exact moment she fell in love with the insatiability of fragrance and the aromatic south of France. Upon flying into Nice Côte d’Azur airport on one of her many solo trips, she decided to stay on a whim at a romantic, little hotel located directly under the incredible Château de Nice (a former medieval fortress). “Accompanied by just a bottle of rosé and Edith Piaf singing La Vie En Rose, I had the most magical moment,” she shares. “Looking out from my window at the Promenade des Anglais, the city at night was so quiet, yet so full of soul, sparkle, lust. The intoxicating combination of the Mediterranean, mixed with the sweet bouquet of lavender and violet traveling from the fields of Provence, overwhelmed me with a sense of calm that I had never felt before. And that’s when the love affair began.” Fisher’s wandering soul led her to rendezvous down to charming chateaus in the historic town of Grasse, France—the perfume capital of the world. Transposing a redolent allure adored by distinguished artists and writers, fashion luminaries and hopeless romantics alike, it was here—on the cobblestone streets and vineyard-lined hills—that the evocative nature of parfum hit Fisher right on the nose. The air in Grasse, she says, encapsulated the botanical scents of fresh roses, olive groves and lavender fields, intertwined with an effervescent sea breeze. Harnessing her deep connection to the water and the laissez-faire way of coastal living, paired with the ethereal imprints of the French Riviera, Élu Parfums was born.

SRQ: Curiosity is at bay, what does the name Élu mean? Kenzie Fisher: Élu simply means “chosen” in French and “full of grace/ beauty” in Cherokee. I wanted to pay homage to my Cherokee Indian heritage and to the French history of perfume making.

What does perfume mean to you? Perfume is so powerful, it evokes memories when you spray it on yourself and when others smell you. Once I became more present, I noticed the olfactory system working symbiotically with influential moments of my past to create these vivid recalls in my mind. I noticed that vanilla reminded me of my mom, warm-brewed coffee brought me to my grandmother’s house and the smell of lavender took me back to the day I vowed to become a perfumer. I start every morning with perfume, it immediately boosts my mood. I love to first apply fragrance-free moisturizer—this helps act as

a bonder and makes perfume last longer—on my pulse points (wrists and décolletage neck area), then spray Provence. Dab, never rub.

Is Élu’s signature scent Provence entirely inspired by the locale? Absolutely, the entire region is filled with lavender fields, honey bee farms, fresh fruit trees and sun-drenched warmth.

Sounds like your illuminating trip to Grasse began such a journey. Why do you think the French Riviera speaks to you so? There is so much history rooted in that small town, so much craft and the scent that goes through the town is simply intoxicating. After spending time there, I really discovered what fragrance and perfume was all about. That’s when I decided I wanted to create a fragrance myself that originated from this area and gave respect to its ancient traditions. My fiancé (and business part-


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ner) and I are actually getting married in the South of France this coming rose season (May).

So how did it all get started? We started working with suppliers and one of the oldest perfume houses in the Grasse region to find a truly inspiring scent. They start with the concentrate and send over samples for me to try. There is some iteration and back and forth that goes on until finding just the right combination of sustainable ingredients and notes. Once decided on the scent, the perfume itself is manufactured by adding alcohol (this process is called maceration). It is then bottled and packaged in France and shipped to the US to our distribution center in LA. We work with some other incredible teams as well: a small, family-owned, sustainability-focused box supplier in Canada and our amazing design team in Barcelona. We have been building ever since, with sustainability at the core. SRQ srq magazine_ OCT21 live local | 39

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Below: Freshly made falafel comes drizzled with savory, nutty tahini. Bodrun Restaurant, 225 Maimia Ave. W., Venice, 941412-0090,


At Bodrum Restaurant in Venice, it’s all meat and mezze.

Andrew Fabian

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Below left to right: A nautical, Santorini-style look to the interior pays homage to Irsel’s roots on the Aegean coast. A mezze sampler offers diners a broad survey of Turkish appetizers, from smoky baba ganoush to ezme salad.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE SUGGESTS THAT THE AEGEAN COASTLINE OF TURKEY has been continuously settled by humans for over 40,000 years. Anatolians, Thracians, Greeks, Romans and Ottoman Turks all colored the history of the region, sharing cultures, languages and cuisines, the latter congealing into a cohesive style during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. Ersen Irsel, owner-operator of Bodrum Restaurant in downtown Venice, is a product of this rich history.

Born in Edirne in Northwest Turkey, a place where his family goes back generations, Irsel and his wife Yuliya founded Bodrum five years ago, naming it after the seaside district and port city in Southwest Turkey to celebrate the rich, broad culinary heritage of the Eastern Mediterranean. While steeped in the ancient culinary history of his home country, Irsel also worked in the cut-throat restaurant industry of Manhattan, slicing, dicing and sauteeing his way through the kitchen of Amaranth, a contemporary Mediterranean restaurant nestled between Madison Avenue and the south end of Central Park. With his feet planted firmly in the traditional and the modern, Irsel put together a white tablecloth establishment where elevated Aegean staples can be enjoyed in a fine dining atmosphere. And it all starts with mezze. The most notable and savory mezze includes the carrot tarator and “mom’s” potato dip. The tarator sees shredded carrots sauteed in extra virgin olive oil then mixed with Greek yogurt, walnuts, 42 | srq magazine_ OCT21 live local

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garlic and spices. Immensely creamy, a tad sweet and unapologetically rich, the tarator spread is a Turkish specialty not found in any other restaurant in town. The same goes for the potato dip—yes, his mother’s recipe—another silky and savory spread seasoned with dill and cucumber that tastes somewhere between tzatziki and potato salad. For adventurous parties of four or more, a sample mezze platter offers the best opportunity to explore the wonderful world of Aegean appetizers. All through Greece, Turkey and the Levant, appetizers like hummus, baba ganoush or tabouli feature prominently as snacks or a first course. Bodrum offers two of the aforementioned mezze with notable and delicious tweaks compared to the most commonly found versions in the US. Unlike most tabouli, which is composed primarily of chopped parsley, the Turkish style (kisir) is heavier on the cracked wheat. More savory than tangy, the tabouli eats more like couscous than it does a salad. For the baba ganoush, an admittedly healthy and hearty

dip, Irsel makes use of smoked eggplant and ample garlic, giving it a whole new dimension of flavor that most Mediterranean or Middle Eastern restaurants strive to achieve. Entrees lean heavily on land-dwelling creatures of the ungulate variety, with two standout lamb dishes. The beyti kebab takes grass-fed ground lamb seasoned with Irsel’s blend of Turkish spices like sumac and red pepper flakes, then skewers and grills the meat before wrapping it in lavash. Topped with a drizzle of three different sauces— yogurt, tomato and butter—the kebabs look something like enchiladas but possess the pastoral flavor of the grass-finished meat. Sourced from New Zealand, the lamb chop entree has been winning over skeptics since day one. “A lot of people say they hate the smell of lamb when it’s cooking,” says Irsel, “but everybody that tries it here seems to order it again and again.” Seasoned modestly with salt, pepper and rosemary leaves, the four chops come with rice and a salad of romaine, onion, tomato, cucumber and shredded carrot. PHOTOGRAPHY BY WYATT KOSTYGAN.

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Top to bottom: Chef Ersen Irsel stands in the breezeway dining area of his restaurant, a popular spot amongst regulars. Bodrum has won over many a lamb skeptic with its simple grilled preparation seasoned with salt, pepper and rosemary.

Of course, no cuisine from a country with as much coastline as Turkey would be complete without a seafood entree. Both a chargrilled swordfish and salmon enjoy permanent homes on the menu, but the halibut and caper sauce stands out. A seasonal special, the light, firm and buttery fish comes topped with a creamy, tangy sauce seasoned with lemon juice and spices, with tomato and olives mixed in. Though the mild taste of the halibut serves as a worthy canvas for the sauce, it would be interesting to see it served atop a Gulf-caught fish like yellowfin, tuna or grouper. Still, the food exudes something timeless, as though the eons of civilization in Western Turkey helped to distill everything tasty into a single cuisine. Vegetables and legumes abound, as do high doses of protein and fiber, nothing too hefty with excess calories, all of it seasoned delicately with spices in use for thousands of years. It’s all filling, but not in that weighty, three-day food coma kind of way. The menu might accurately be described as Turkish with Greek sprinkled in, yes, but it’s also more universal than that. Call it food for building civilizations. SRQ

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BASIL OR BUST Savoring the leafy culinary herb Basilicum. Brittany Mattie

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BANGKOK BASIL CHICKEN | SPICE STATION Famous in the streets of Bangkok, sautéed ground chicken, bell peppers, onions, and holy basil leaves in light garlic chili sauce. Topped with an over-easy egg. Spice Station, 1438 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, 941-343-2894, EGGPLANT CAPRESE + MARGHERITA PIZZA | VINO BISTRO Roasted eggplant rounds stacked with fresh mozzarella and whole garden-fresh basil leaves, drizzled with house truffle oil. Brick oven personal ‘za topped with chunky basil, only available late-night. 1419 5th St., Sarasota, 941-952-3172, VEAL SALTIMBOCCA | PESTO Veal cutlets topped with prosciutto, wild mushrooms, Pecorino mascarpone, fontina, aged provolone, served in a basil pesto sauce. 8799 Cortez Rd. W, Bradenton, 941-201-4167, LEMON BASIL VODKA MARTINI | CAFÉ VENICE RESTAURANT & BAR Made with Deep Eddy’s Lemon Vodka and a housemade basil syrup, this martini comes garnished with a twist of lemon, fresh basil leaf, and a dry basil-sugar rim. 101 W Venice Ave., Venice, 941-484-1855,

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STUDIO PHOTO BY WYATT KOSTYGAN Left to right: Juliana Cristina, Dancer, Sarasota Contemporary Dance; Calvin Falwell, Clarinet, Sarasota Orchestra; Ariel Blue, Singer, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe; Christopher Riley, Bass, Venice Symphony; and Monessa Salley, Dancer, Sarasota Contemporary Dance.

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SEASON PREVIEW After a year of postponements, cancellations, experiments and half-measures, Sarasota’s arts and culture scene rebounds with a season full of world premieres, big ideas and joyous reunions of old friends.

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Season of SAM Though the Sarasota Art Museum unfortunately had to postpone the site-specific installation art of Carlos Bunga, previously scheduled for this month but on hold because of the pandemic, the rest of the season continues apace as one of ambitious concepts and monumental efforts– and one that puts the audience right in the middle of the action. “The exhibitions people have really enjoyed are the ones they participate in,” says Assistant Curator Emory Conetta, “and the ones they feel like they have an influence on or they’re a part of.” November 26 brings the opening of Judith Linhares: The Artist as Curator, which sees the museum hand over not only space but curatorial discretion to the artist. Steeped in the LA-based psychedelia-meets-social-consciousness scene of the ‘60s and ‘70s, before a cross-country exodus to the New York City scene to soak it all in, Linhares’ paintings defy categorization, indulging in both the figurative and the abstract, with long-limbed nudes and wild animals populating trippy dreamscapes from Linhares’ unconscious mind. She’s been recording her dreams since 1972—journaling them upon awakening and sketching them later—letting the feeling or meaning of her dreams guide her, if not the images themselves. And acting as curator, Linhares will populate the gallery walls not only with her paintings, but some of those journals and those sketches, as well as the works of five chosen artists whom she views as particular inspirations, allowing the audience to wander among her paintings, her dreams and her muses all at once, unraveling their collision. Opening a couple weeks later, Danner Washburn’s Effigy: Hemric comes to SAM in the form of a large-scale installation piece dominating one of the third-floor galleries. The second in the artist’s series exploring rural American subcultures, Washburn utilizes both space and sound in his immersive sculptures, using found objects from the Yadkin Valley region of North Carolina, where tobacco farmers have worked the land for generations, to create great hut-like structures for audiences to explore, while pumping interviews and oral histories through the gallery speakers. The exhibition comes as part of the museum’s initiative to provide institutional support to artists of this generation. March will see the unveiling of another massive sculptural work in Daniel Lind-Ramos’ Maria, Maria. First conceived for the Whitney Biennial but ultimately hampered by size and space restrictions, the project sees the Puerto Rico-based artist commenting on the devastation left by Hurricane Maria, which struck the island in 2017, by creating a monument comprised of found objects left in its wake, including everything from rescue tarps to personal items dragged into the street by the passing storm. —P.Lederer Sarasota Art Museum


RIght: Danner Washburn, Fertile, 2021. Porcelain figurine, NC 95 tobacco seed, collards seed, summer squash seed, sweet corn seed, neutral pH adhesive. 3 x 1 ¼ x 2 in. Courtesy of the artist. Danner Washburn (b.1994, North Carolina) utilizes sculpture, painting, sound, and installation to study the junctures between consumerism, folklore traditions, and the built environments of rural American subcultures. Effigy: Hemric is the second iteration of a series where the artist fabricates the lives of Yadkin Valley North Carolina tobacco farmers through domestic spaces. Washburn first investigates the histories, cultures, and lived experiences of these tobacco farmers before constructing their narratives through found and reclaimed objects, both natural and manufactured. The immersive installation explores how intangible qualities—psychologies, beliefs, traditions, and politics— materialize in constructed space. Washburn has exhibited in the United States and Italy, with recent exhibitions including: Tobacco Mosaic Virus (Effigy: Dinkins), whitespec (whitespace gallery), Atlanta, GA; SECAC Juried Exhibition, UT Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN; Gathered IV Juried Exhibition, MOCA GA, Atlanta, GA. He currently resides in Winston-Salem, NC.

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RIght: Mark Morris Dance Group, photo by Mat Hayward, courtesy of Sarasota Ballet


In With the New | Sarasota Ballet Presents Mark Morris Dance Group After a long year of pivoting into virtual programming, the Ballet returns with a full season of cherished classics and a continued commitment to celebrating contemporary choreographers. This March, the company presents the Mark Morris Dance Group, a Brooklyn-based outfit headed by one of the best and brightest choreographers of the last century, Mark Morris. Known for his craftsmanship and eclectic style, Morris is a living legend amongst dance aficionados. “I’ve admired Mark for years and tried to commission him when I worked in Japan,” says Iain Webb, executive director of The Sarasota Ballet Company, “and he’s just a real icon of ballet and dance today, so we’re excited to show our audience what else is going on in the world of ballet.” Another notable show is the world premiere of a commissioned piece by Sir David Bintley based on Shakespeare’s “A Comedy of Errors.” The full-length ballet represents the company’s largest production of its 31-year history, with an original score to boot. —A. Fabian Sarasota Ballet Left: Xaviera Simmons, The structure the labor the foundation the escape the pause, 2020. Steel, wood, concrete, and acrylic, in three parts: a. 17 × 4 × 12 ft.; b. 14.8 ft. × 10 in. × 7.5 ft.; c. 12.5 × 9 × 26 ft. Courtesy of the Artist, Socrates Sculpture Park, and David Castillo, Miami; Originally commissioned by Socrates Sculpture Park, New York. Photo: Sara Morgan. Xaviera Simmons (b. 1974, New York) engages her sweeping practice of photography, painting, video, sound, sculpture, and installation to explore the construction of landscape, language, and complex histories in the United States and its empire building globally. Courtesy of the artist and David Castillo, Miami; Originally commissioned by Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, with support from the Ford Foundation.

Commissioned Conversations As the Ringling Museum continues to broaden its offerings socially, aesthetically and in medium, it presents the work of renowned multidisciplinary artist Rhodnie Désir. The Afro-Canadian dancer and choreographer with a social activist bent was commissioned by The Ringling to create “Conversations.” The exhibition opens November 14 and will feature several immersive video installations in the Monda gallery that include sculptural elements. “In my time here, we’ve never asked a dancer to do a visual arts exhibition, and it’ll be a first for Rhodnie too,” says The Ringling’s assistant producer of performance, Sonja Shea. Inspiration for the commission came from Désir’s documentary work, which explores the dance and history of the African diaspora in the Americas. Désir then returns in December to perform accompanying choreography and also work with Booker High School students to explore the intersection of art, social justice and history. —A. Fabian Ringling Museum

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Below: Sarasota Contemporary Dance, photo by Sorcha Augustine.

Modern Works In its seven seasons producing blackbox theater in Sarasota, Urbanite Theatre has gained a reputation for pushing boundaries and tackling the heavy issues in sometimes very heavy ways. But when programming the 2021-22 season at Urbanite Theatre, artistic directors Summer Dawn Wallace and Brendan Ragan knew that perhaps a lighter touch would be appropriate. “The plays are meaningful and culturally significant,” says Ragan, “but it was important to us to have plenty of fun this year as we celebrate reconnecting.” And nothing says “fun” like wakes, AIDS, and dead drag queens. Kicking off the Urbanite season, Terry Guest’s At The Wake of a Dead Drag Queen gives the audience a front row seat of a celebration of life for a fallen star of the drag queendom, dead from complications due to AIDS. But far from a somber affair, this Georgia-based tale takes the audience far from Philadelphia for an exuberant one-act exploration of a life certainly lived. Next comes The Smuggler, a mischievous one-man comedy about an Irish immigrant struggling to become a writer in America, who accepts a shady stranger’s offer to help, with mixed results. Featuring 9,000 words in rhyming verse, Urbanite fans may recognize playwright Ronan Noone from 2021’s Thirst. And then comes the world premiere of A Skeptic and A Bruja, opening April 1. The fun begins when Priscilla buys a house in the middle of nowhere. When that house ends up being haunted, Priscilla calls in the experts—the hosts of a ghost-hunting show called “A Skeptic and A Bruja.” Together, the three women face down the haunted house. Written by Rosa Fernandez and directed by Patrice Amon, the premiere also marks the first play from Urbanite’s Modern Works Festival to receive a full production at the theater. “We’re bringing Sarasota playful stories and inclusive narratives,” says Wallace, who directs the final show of the season, Athena, a comedy about two Junior Olympian fencers caught between friendship and competition. “But, as usual,” she says, “there’s a lot of heart.” —P.Lederer Urbanite Theatre

Something To Marvel At Ringling College of Art & Design welcomes home one of its own this season with POW! The Comic Art of Mike Zeck. Once a student of The Ringling School of Art, Zeck went on to become a seminal figure in the comic book world, working early with such celebrated characters as Captain America and GI Joe, before lending his illustrative talents to one of the industry’s most iconic superheroes—Spider-Man—and cementing one of its most controversial antiheroes—The Punisher. Career highlights include The Punisher: Circle of Blood, a limited series that vaulted the violent vigilante to star status, and Kraven’s Last Hunt, today considered essential reading for Spider-Man fans and the definitive take on the villain, Kraven. In this exhibition, designed in part by Ringling students, audiences will get a look at a special collection of Captain America covers from the ‘80s, whole walls dedicated to page-by-page layouts of Zeck’s work in Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars, comic art featuring characters like Batman and Wolverine, and a video interview with the man himself. “When you walk into it, it’s going to be a temporal experience. It’s not just going to be, ‘Look at the art then look at the next one,’” says Tim Jaeger, Director and Chief Curator of Galleries at Ringling College. “We want you to feel like you’re part of the comic book.” —P.Lederer The Galleries at Ringling College of Art and Design

Dancing for the Diaspora Building off of a successful year of obstacles overcome, Sarasota Contemporary Dance (SCD) returns with GRIT, a season that sees the company continue to go beyond its legacy performances and champion new works. “Voices” and “Dance Makers” include all-new choreography from home-grown and nationally recognized performers, while a celebration of Duke Ellington’s music includes choreography by Leymis Bolaños Wilmott. But in April, SCD unveils “The Cuban Project.” Inspired by the real history of Wilmott’s Cuban family, the program explores themes of displacement and trauma through the lens of Operation Peter Pan, which saw the forced migration of parents and children fleeing the violence of Cuba’s communist takeover. “It’s such an important story about sacrifice and heritage,” says Wilmott, “and I’m really excited to share that with Sarasota.” The performance includes original music from visiting New College Professor, José Martinez. —A. Fabian. Sarasota Contemporary Dance

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Below: Knoxville and The Great Leap, courtesy of Asolo Repertory Theatre. Young Bok Kim in 2007 Attila , Sarasota Opera. Photo by Deborah Hesser.

On The Road To Knoxville A Little Opera For Everyone The high drama (and even higher notes) of the Sarasota Opera returns this month, as the 2021-22 season kicks off with Gioachino Rossini’s The Silken Ladder. Light, funny and upbeat, the breezy one-act comedy about husbands and lovers and silken ladders leading to ladies’ bedrooms clocks in at about 1.5 hours and runs without intermission. Last year, due to the pandemic, the Opera began experimenting with such shorter productions, something it had been hesitant to do before but found to be quite well-received. “People came out bubbly,” says Richard Russell, Sarasota Opera’s general director, and the opera found new fans that they hadn’t known were there. “It allows us to address a part of our community and a part of our audience that we hadn’t before,” he says. But those longing for that epic opera experience, complete with monumental sets to rival the outsized emotions and soaring arias, need look no further than the Winter Opera Festival. Opening with a production of Puccini’s Tosca, audiences will find the kind of set design that performers and audiences alike dream of, with elaborately detailed and dramatic settings ripped from Italian history and recreated on stage by Sarasota Opera’s scenic designer, David Gordon. “It’s stunning,” says Russell. “This is one of the best.” From there, the festival revives a comic opera that the company has not performed since 1987—The Daughter of the Regiment. Featuring both spoken word and singing, the production is notable for an aria in the first act that demands the tenor hit nine high Cs. Next comes a production of George Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, which Russell remarks “has become a company specialty,” being performed many times over the past two decades. But the music is beautiful, he says, and the audience has grown to love it. “As soon as they hear it start, they just kind of sigh in contentment,” he says. And it wouldn’t be Sarasota Opera without a little Verdi, as the festival closes with Attila. —P.Lederer

Also delayed by the pandemic, the long-awaited world premiere of Knoxville, the latest from Tony Award-winning playwright and director Frank Galati, is back on the schedule for Asolo Repertory Theatre’s coming season. An adaptation of James Agee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, A Death in the Family, the story revolves around a young man coming of age in the small town of Knoxville, Tennessee, in the year 1915, as he grapples with a personal tragedy that rocks his faith. “His story goes to the core of the American soul,” Galati once said, “where faith abides as well as doubt.” The production also marks the tantalizing reunion of Galati with the Olivier Award-winning musical pairing of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, with whom Galati created one of Broadway’s biggest hits—the Tony Award-winning Ragtime. —P.Lederer Asolo Repertory Theatre. Opens April 23, 2022.

Sarasota Opera

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The Ultimate Mixtape For Venice Symphony’s 2021/2022 season, music director Troy Quinn put together a smorgasbord of styles and themes that showcase his broad tastes. Beginning in November with Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, Quinn also found a spot for a Beach Boys number in the same program. “That’s kind of a sampling of my full palette,” says Quinn. Pulling from his background in film and his connections in LA, each of the programs also feature musical pieces from popular scores. “A Night at the Oscars” in February sees the symphony tackle numbers from Titanic, Lord of the Rings and Forrest Gump. Meanwhile, other programs in the season include performances of pieces from “Game of Thrones” and the Marvel Universe. “We have a really diverse and receptive audience that allows us to do these really fun forays into different genres,” says Quinn. —A.Fabian. The Venice Symphony

World Premieres At Westcoast As Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe gears up for another season, audiences will find all of the electrical musical performances they’ve grown to expect in revues like Eubie! and Broadway in Black, but they’ll also find something altogether new—a handful of world premieres that have never graced any stage until now. The first, Ruby, was scheduled to debut last year but was delayed by the pandemic. Inspired by a true story and written by WBTT Founder/Artistic Director Nate Jacobs and his brother, Michael Jacobs, the musical transports audiences back to August 3, 1952, when Ruby McCollum, a black woman, shot a white doctor in the small community of Live Oak, FL. With Ruby’s conviction seemingly a foregone conclusion, writer Zora Neale Hurston travels south to cover the trial for the Pittsburgh Courier. The show is currently scheduled to run Jan. 12 – Feb. 27. And in May, the WBTT New Playwrights Series brings the world premieres of two one-act plays, From Birmingham to Broadway and Float Like A Butterfly. From Birmingham to Broadway celebrates the life and times of Nell Carter, the award-winning singer and actress known for Broadway’s Ain’t Misbehavin, for which she won a Tony Award and later an Emmy Award for a television reprisal. Playwright Tarra Conner Jones also stars as Carter. Float Like A Butterfly features Earley Dean as none other than Muhammad Ali, paying homage to the legend as more than just one of the greatest American athletes but as one of its greatest activists. Written by Michael Jacobs and Nate Jacobs, with music by Derric Gobourne Jr. and Henry Washington. —P.Lederer Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

Above: Tarra Conner Jones has written and will star in a one-act ode to Nell Carter, ‘From Birmingham to Broadway,’ to close out Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s 2021-2022 theatre season. Photo by Sorcha Augustine.

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Of Democracy, Farce and the Limits of Elvis Impersonation Florida Studio Theatre comes out bopping this season with Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, tracking the icon’s legendary career through a musical revue with more than 20 of his greatest hits, followed by a homegrown world premiere in Jason Odell Williams’ America In One Room. A featured play in FST’s August Play Reading Festival, America In One Room sees eight characters of different ethnicities, ages, religions, races and political affiliations, all invited to attend a convention where they will try to talk through the hot-button political issues of the day. Tempers flare and strange alliances abound as insecurities and blind spots are laid bare. Inspired by the 2019 convention of the same name, which saw 500 voters attend, it explores the limits and powers of civil conversation and democracy itself. For those in search of a laugh, The Play That Goes Wrong opens in January as a classic comedy of errors about an inept company’s disastrous attempt to mount a production of The Murder at Haversham Manor, followed by The Legend of Georgia McBride in March. Initially scheduled for last season, this Florida tale tells the story of a down-on-his-luck Elvis impersonator who finds himself out of work when a drag show takes his slot at the local bar. Facing destitution and the death of his dreams, he steps out of his comfort zone and into some platform pumps. —P.Lederer Florida Studio Theatre. Opens April 23, 2022.

Mid-Century Master Fresh off of creating the newly minted Architecture Sarasota, executive director and visionary Anne-Marie Russell, who led the creation of the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College, promises to use her expertise and passion to celebrate Sarasota’s rich architectural history. In addition to continuing the tours, lectures and exhibitions that were the bread and butter of previous architectural organizations, Architecture Sarasota put together a MOD Weekend for mid-November that explores the life and legacy of Phillip Hiss. Designer, sailor, intellect and one of the most sought-after bachelor’s of his time, Hiss left a mark in Sarasota by establishing a regional Mid-Century architectural style that came to be known as the Sarasota School. Informed by a deep dive into historical research, the weekend includes fun events that educate and enrich the region’s understanding of Hiss’s contributions.—A.Fabian Architecture Sarasota

Clockwise: Buddy Holly, Guitar Girls, Laughing Matters and Travis K. Battle in The Wanderers, courtesy of Florida Studio Theatre.

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Below: Seeing The Invisible: Sculpture by Mohammed Kazem and Water Organ, by Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Selby Gardens. Bottom: Daniel Jordan, Concertmaster, Sarasota Orchestra, photo courtesy of Matthwe Holler.

Hiding in Plain Site Of all the technologies bemoaned for compromising the richness of the lived human experience, augmented reality offers a promising blend of virtual and real world components. The technology allows someone to exist in and experience the real physical environment around them while at the same time viewing virtual elements overlaid on it through the screen of a smartphone or tablet. This fall, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens presents just such an exhibition to show how augmented reality can even make a lush tropical garden more interesting. Called “Seeing the Invisible,” the exhibition features virtual works sited around the gardens using GPS technology. Visitors download an app on their smartphone or tablet and walk the grounds, occasionally looking down at their screen in search of the virtual sculpture. Once found, the virtual artwork appears on the screen overlaid on the existing botanical elements. Presented at the Historic Spanish Point campus, the exhibition features works by world-renowned artists like Ai Wei Wei. “It’s going to feel like a treasure hunt,” says Dr. David Berry of Selby, “and we’re confident it’ll be a very compelling and dynamic experience.”—A.Fabian. “Seeing the Invisible” at Selby Gardens.

High Time For High Noon If ever there was a time in the last 50 years to need a joyful escape from the gravity of real life, the past year and a half is it. And Sarasota Orchestra offers just that with its Great Escapes series. Featuring intimate and informal programs that celebrate popular themes and styles, the series brings lighthearted fun to audiences. A Roaring 20s-themed performance kicks off the season this month, with holiday events through the winter and spring. In April, grab your cowboy boots and lasso for “Saddles of the Silver Screen,” a celebration of music from popular Westerns conducted by wunderkind Enrico Lopez-Yañez. The guest conductor from the Nashville Symphony is known for his ability to bring fun and theatre into his productions. “He does a fantastic job of really engaging with the audience and making it fun,” says director of artistic planning, Kerry Smith. “I think that’s what we’re most excited about this season and with Great Escapes,” says Smith, “is to connect with people again and let them know how grateful we are to still be here sharing music.”—A.Fabian. “Great Escapes: Saddles of the Silver Screen” Sarasota Orchestra

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530 Burns Gallery

Art Ovation

Open since November 2009, 530 Burns Gallery is a renowned contemporary art gallery beneath the banyan tree in Sarasota’s historic Burns Court. Known for featuring art and jewels by emerging and established artists and jewelry designers, the gallery is committed to showing fine art and curating cross cultural events within the community and beyond. By constantly evolving and displaying new, innovative work, 530 Burns Gallery helps clients find pieces that not only fit into their collection, but will be cherished for years to come.

Through such expressions of the arts and artists, Art Ovation Hotel furthers its mission to serve the community as an active host, facilitator, patron and partner for the arts. With this and many new and varied initiatives, an exciting palette of artistic opportunities and experiences are presented for the enrichment of our guests and our community.

ArtCenter Manatee Founded in 1937, ArtCenter Manatee stakes its claim as the nexus of Downtown Bradenton’s visual arts scene. Within the 10,000-square-foot complex, three galleries bring new exhibits monthly, five classrooms provide arts education to more than 3,000 students and the gift shop offers singular and handcrafted items from local artists. All exhibits are free to the public.

Art Center Sarasota Located off Tamiami Trail, Art Center Sarasota has made a name for itself as the community gallery for the city and county. Between bringing artists from across the state and beyond for solo and collaborative exhibitions, and the Center’s many open and juried competitions seeing submissions from hundreds of local artists across the region, Art Center Sarasota keeps all four of its galleries filled as much as possible, with multiple shows each Cycle, free and open to all visitors.

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Artist Series Concerts With a mission to present concerts to the community that promote both enjoyment and cultural appreciation, Artist Series Concerts presents primarily classical music programming, with a focus on piano and voice, but its versatile performers regularly expand the repertoire to incorporate Broadway, cabaret, opera and even the sounds of cinema.

Jonathan Gentry, Oboe; and Fernando Trava, Bassoon Oct 17-18 Principal musicians with the Sarasota Orchestra, oboist Jonathan Gentry and bassoonist Fernando Traba, are joined by pianist Joseph Holt for an intimate musical exploration. The musicians will play with the distinct tones, characters and complexities of woodwind “cousins,” the oboe and bassoon during this performance to remember. Both soiree performances will be followed by refreshments at the Fischer and Weisenborne Residence. A Classic Christmas with Frission Dec 5 Frission; a shiver or thrill, a sudden burst of excitement. This eight member ensemble is anticipated to live up to their name as they offer a night of holiday musical perfection. Their Christmas program features classical

and classic holiday favorites, featuring works such as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, O Come all Ye Faithful, and more. This ensemble of the best and brightest of classical music’s rising stars is not to disappoint. BoyGirlBoyGirl Mar 23 Offering some of the greatest four part vocals in the history of the jazz charts, BoyGirlBoyGirl has been hailed as ‘Milwaukee’s Manhattan Transfer.’ Joined by pianist Joseph Holt, the group will perform a variety of tunes, from the greatest hits of the Rat Pack to the tender and nostalgic harmonies of old-time radio. Dinner will be served prior to the performance held at the Plantation Golf & Country Club. 2 Hot 2 Tango May 22 During a night of energetic music and Argentine tango, the acclaimed bandoneónpiano duo Ben & Winnie takes audiences on an emotional journey through the history and treasures of Argentina’s greatest tango composers. Accompanying them are World Tango Champion and Tony Award winner Fernanda Ghi and her partner Silvio Grand, gracing the stage with sharp movements, sultriness, romance and drama.

Art Uptown Gallery As part of the thriving Sarasota Florida art community since 1980, Art Uptown is the longest-running fine art gallery in the heart of downtown Sarasota, offering a constantly changing, diverse selection of art in a wide variety of mediums.

Cortez, The Fishing Village Oct 30 - Nov 26 This photography exhibit captures the beauty, energy and determination of the historic village and its people by Frank Bibbins. Public reception on Friday, Nov. 12, 6-9pm. Transition Nov 27 - Dec 31 Transition exhibit features silver hand-forged and fabricated art jewelry created by Donna Carrion. Public reception on First Friday, Dec. 3, 6-9pm. Glass Shapes Jan 1 - 28 Esther Jensen features her fused glass designs. Public reception on First Friday, Jan. 7, 6-9pm. The Imaginarium Jan 29 Feb 25 Melanie Carlstein designs whimsical creations by using paper clay and recycled found objects, shown at Art Uptown in The Imaginarium exhibit. Public reception on First Friday, Feb. 4, 6-9pm. Painted Words Feb 26 Mar 25 Liz Cole’s colorful paintings with layers of color, patterns and markings provide as rich a dialogue to the viewer as the written word. Public reception on First Friday, March 4, 6-9pm. Art of Losing Mar 26 Apr 29 Paintings by Evelyn McCorristin Peters reflect on the isolation of 2020 and her journey back in this moving exhibit.Public reception on First Friday, April 1, 6-9pm.

Building Sarasota’s Stories Through Oct 29 An exhibit that features Marlane Wurzbach’s acrylic paintings of Sarasota’s historic architecture, paying homage to Art Uptown’s downtown roots.


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Asolo Repertory Theatre A leading artistic force on the creative coast. Asolo’s theatrical scene is a major contributor to Sarasota’s rich cultural atmosphere and is well known for its diverse spread of yearly productions. With inspiring and engaging performances, the theatre never fails to envelop its audience in a vibrant and entertaining environment. Every season, Asolo Rep revives old classics and brings brand new productions, providing both escapist entertainment and needed social commentary.

Hair Nov 17–Jan 1 Vibrant, evocative and quirky, the love-rock musical Hair tells the story of a joyous rebellion that claims love as the heart of what it means to be American. The musical follows youth protesters as they fight against war and the military, intolerance, brutality and the dehumanization of society. With a pertinent plot and fun-loving music, Hair addresses many social issues of today through the lense of yesterday. This season the iconic musical score has a retelling, continuing  Asolo Rep’s mission to feature newly reimagined American musicals. Our Town Jan12–Mar 26 Celebrating love, family and community, Our Town is a three act play about an ordinary community in a small American town in the 1910’s. As the story follows character love and loss, it causes us to consider the monotony of our day to day and the way in which we live our lives without appreciating what it truly has to offer. One question remains: “Do any human beings ever realize life as they live it?”  Grand Horizons Jan 19–Apr 1 As Bill and Nancy settle into retirement in their new home in Florida, the couple realizes the nature of their relationship following 50 years of marriage is

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rather predictable. Delightfully – and sometimes provocatively honest – Grand Horizons follows a seasoned couples’ journey through divorce. As their two adult sons are forced to question everything about the role model love relationship they thought they knew best. The Great Leap Feb 9–Apr 2 A play about family, history and second chances, Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap tells the story of Manford Lum, a basketball star on the sidewalks of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Lum’s skills and force land him a spot on a college team travelling to Beijing for a “friendly” exhibition game. Though he is born in the United States, Lum finds himself tied to China during the friction of the post cultural revolution. As the story bounces between 1989 and 1971, audiences follow present and past relationships and revelations as they collide right up to the final buzzer. Knoxville Previews Apr 15-22, Apr 23–May 11 The world premiere of the new musical Knoxville is based on the autobiographical novel A Death in the Family by James Agee, and also based, in part, on the play All the Way Home by Tad Mosel. The opening scene is set as Agee struggles to write his greatest work—about the event that touched his young life, and the effect it had on his mother, town and future. Knoxville is a coming-of-age story about family, faith and love—and the boy who will grow up to write it.  Eureka Day May 11–Jun 4 The Eureka Day school in Berkeley California, is a rather progessive student body, emphasising ideals such as, representation, gender identity, social justice. The hilarious, relevant play follows five characters as they attend weekly board meetings to preserve their school’s inclusive culture. When a mumps outbreak spreads across the campus, the community must confront the question: How do you build consensus when no

one is willing to agree on the truth? A comment on community and acceptance, Eureka Day exposes the secrets, lies and hidden truths that remain every present even in a “safe space.”

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature The South Florida Museum is now The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature. This is the largest natural and cultural history museum on the Gulf Coast and puts the world, both past and present, in context for its visitors through permanent collections, traveling exhibitions, a state-ofthe-art planetarium and numerous community activities and educational outreach programs. Explore fossil evidence of Florida’s oldest animal inhabitants (including marine life) and peruse the Montague Tallant collection of prehistoric and post-contact artifacts. Other permanent exhibits showcase maritime history and the history of Spanish colonization (including full-scale replicas of a 16th century manor house, chapel and Hernando DeSoto’s birthplace).

Battled of the Boneless They may be spineless but marine mollusks are no pushovers. In fact, the gastropods that live in our oceans have fierce and fascinating lives employing a wide variety of superhero-like powers that make them more than just pretty shells. Go beyond the beautiful shell to learn the real stories of these cool and complex animals in its newest special exhibition, “Battles of the Boneless.” This comic-book themed exhibition explores the adaptations that have allowed mollusks to become one of the largest and most diverse animal groups on the planet, with more than 93,000 species.

Chasen Galleries Chasen Galleries Sarasota offers an abundance of the highest quality contemporary fine art, sculpture, and art glass available today. Featuring world-renowned artists, old master prints, and cutting edge glass art techniques, our collection offers something for all tastes and budgets.

Circus Arts Conservatory The Circus Arts Conservatory’s mission is to engage and educate students using unique and innovative learning programs, to measurably improve the quality of life for individuals in care facilities; and to advance the extraordinary legacy and heritage of the circus.

Florida Studio Theatre Located in the heart of downtown, Florida Studio Theatre is one of Sarasota’s oldest and funkiest professional theaters, filling its veritable village of theaters—the historic Keating and Gompertz Theaters, the Parisian-style Goldstein, the John C. Court Cabaret stage and the Bowne’s Lab Theatre—with productions both original and classic. With an ongoing dedication to the improvisational and cabaret arts, audiences can find everything from the traditional straight play to a night of impossible-topredict shenanigans.

Juke Box Saturday Night Through Oct 31 In this jazzy musical, the Swingaroos put a dynamic twist on the Jukebox’s greatest hits, including “Get Your Kicks on Route 66,” “Heart and Soul,” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” as they bring back the reminiscent sounds of countless musical genres.


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The Wanderers Through February 6 Fall in love all over again with the music of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Honoring the dynamic harmony groups of the mid-20th century—from The Four Seasons and The Platters to The Beatles and beyond, The Wanderers will transport you to simpler times with their tight harmonies, smooth moves, and, of course, matching jackets. Featuring such timeless hits as “At the Hop,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” and “With A Little Help From My Friends.” Cinderella Oct 9 - Nov 6 Have a ball with FST’s all-new adaptation of Cinderella. This magical production brings the classic fairy tale to life with a contemporary twist. Enjoy the story you love with even more added fun, including a soundtrack of contemporary pop hits, audience interaction, slapstick humor, and more. Will Cinderella be able to escape her cruel stepmother and stepsisters and finally get her happily ever after with Prince Charming? Find out in this music-filled reimagining of the timeless tale. The Buddy Holly Story Nov 3 - Jan 2 Experience the true story of Buddy Holly’s meteoric rise to fame, from “That’ll Be the Day” hitting the airwaves in 1957 to “The Day The Music Died” two years later. With over 20 of Holly’s greatest hits brought to life by performers playing their own instruments, this show celebrates the legend who changed the face of Rock & Roll forever. Featuring Holly’s “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” and “Oh Boy,” plus Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” and The Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace.”

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Friends in Low Places Nov 17 - March 27 Friends in Low Places celebrates the contemporary country musicians who transformed their genre and rocketed to the top of the charts. Artists like Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, and George Strait spiked their honkytonk with Rock & Roll flair, and yet, they never strayed from country music’s core: truthful, authentic storytelling. Featuring such songs as “Could I Have This Dance,” “Bluebird,” and “Good Hearted Woman.” America in One Room Dec 8 - Feb 27 When eight strangers receive an invitation to the America in One Room convention, nobody knows what will happen. However, as each attendee files into the aptly-titled Liberty Room, their insecurities, strengths and beliefs are soon on full display. As everyone is convinced they are right – sparks fly, tempers flare and humor abounds. Can these eight people find a way to bridge the divide?

Key Chorale Key Chorale, the Suncoast’s premier symphonic chorus, is dedicated to transforming lives through innovative programming, artistic excellence, educational outreach and service to the community. The spirit of the group is led by Artistic Director Joseph Caulkins.

Sheer Grace Nov 26 Grace and beauty combine in an alluring program featuring Key Chorale and The Sarasota Ballet’s Studio Company and Trainees. The elegance and dreaminess of Eric Whitacre’s Five Hebrew Love Songs, and his setting from the beloved children’s book Good Night Moon, contrasts with the cinematic drama of Ola Gjeilo’s Dark Night of the Soul and John

Rutter’s tuneful and brilliantly colorful Magnificat. Crystalline soprano Mary Wilson adds her soaring voice to a perfect afternoon of ethereal beauty. Holly Jolly Holiday Dec 17-18 Your holiday season won’t be complete without attending this time-honored tradition as Key Chorale joins Music Director Troy Quinn and The Venice Symphony for “A Holly Jolly Holiday.” Classic carols O Come All Ye Faithful and O Holy Night, beloved standards Sleigh Ride and White Christmas, and music from The Nutcracker are just a few of the highlights. Key Chorale will bring you to your feet with Handel’s majestic Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah. A sing-a-long with surprises, Chanukah music and holiday film favorites round out this festive program. Choral Splendor: In 40 Parts Jan 14 A concert 450 years in the making, featuring 40 voices of the Chamber Singers and special guest Les Canards Chantants, a solo-voice ensemble specializing in music of the Renaissance. Experience a rare opportunity to hear Thomas Tallis’ Spem in alium (Hope in any other) considered one of the greatest compositions of all time and Alessandro Striggio’s Mass in 40 parts, a masterpiece lost for more than 400 years! These rarely performed works are scored for 40 independent vocal parts, and as many as 60 parts for Striggio’s final Agnus Dei – a feat unequaled to this day. Experience an unforgettable program of polychoral extravagance and unparalleled splendor. A.D 387 Feb 11-12, According to ancient legend, in A.D. 387 the Te Deum was spontaneously composed and sung alternately by St. Ambrose and St. Augustine on the night St. Ambrose baptized St. Augustine in Milan. Experience this ancient text from its origins

of Gregorian chant, to trumpets and timpani of the Baroque, to the soaring melodies and rich harmony of the Romantic period. Cirque des Voice: The Next Decade of Wonder May 18-20 Cirque des Voix® is Key Chorale’s dynamic collaboration with The Circus Arts Conservatory. Join us as we celebrate the next decade of Cirque des Voix®! Experience this unique fusion of the circus and musical arts in a performance unlike any other. See world-class circus artists combined with the 100+ voices of Key Chorale and the musical mastery of the 40-piece Cirque Orchestra in the biggest and boldest production yet. American Roots Blueglass Featuring the Lubben Brothers April 8, 10 A genre-bending fusion of Bluegrass and folk meets choral music featuring the tight vocal harmonies and virtuosic playing of The Lubben Brothers. The Lubben Brothers is an acoustic group made up of triplet brothers, Michael, Tom, and Joshua. The brothers specialize in sublime vocals as well as a unique blend of folk instruments including banjo, mandolin, tin whistle, accordion, hammered dulcimer, and fiddle. Classically trained at a young age, their modern songwriting style incorporates folk roots, pop and bluegrass.

La Musica Specializing in chamber music presentation and production, La Musica has carved a place in its decades-long tenure as a musical meeting of the minds, bringing esteemed performers from Europe and the US together for collaborative performances. La Musica continues to explore this season. They produce an annual La Musica Chamber Festival every April.


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Manatee Players – Manatee Performing Arts Center Housed in the Manatee Performing Arts Center, the Manatee Players reign as Bradenton’s most prominent theater and performing arts troupe. With Producing Artistic Director Rick Kerby at the helm, the Manatee Players showcases the area’s extensive talent pool through comedies, dramas and musicals, sometimes wrangling it all together for one big community event.

Theatre Odyssey’s 3rd One-Act Play Festival Oct. 14-17 For this festival, plays are submitted by authors from throughout the United States and then scored by readers engaged by Theatre Odyssey. The produced plays are new, original, and have not been produced in the state of Florida. Only 100 plays are considered, and the four top scoring plays are then performed by the company and a Best Play is selected. Three theater professionals, different from those who scored the plays, then choose the best of the four, which is announced following the final performance—the Sunday, October 17 matinee. Mamma Mia Oct 14-31 ABBA’s hits tell the hilarious story of a young woman’s search for her birth father. This sunny and funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, creating an unforgettable show.

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Cinderella Dec 2-19 The smart and beautiful Ella lives in the care of her wicked, self-absorbed stepmother Madame and Madame’s two daughters, Charlotte and Gabrielle. Ella’s only friends in the world are the animals in the woods. Expect the unexpected in this clever retelling of the beloved fairytale. Chaplin: The Musical Jan 20- Feb 6 He came to America unknown. He left amidst scandals and controversy. In between, Charlie Chaplin became one of the best-loved and most famous entertainers in the world. Chaplin provides a captivating close-up of the man who changed motion pictures forever. Neil Diamond Tribute Feb 19 Experience the feel of Neil as Allynn unveils the story of Diamond’s life through Neil’s own songs from the ‘60s through today while weaving through his own comedic career change from an international top 10 Elvis to Neil Diamond, all for the love of a woman. Come see the story unfold live along with the story of Neil Diamond’s struggles and triumphs. Danny, King of the Basement Mar 3-13 Danny, King of the Basement tells the story of 10-year-old Danny, the “king of moving.” In two years, he and his unemployed mother have moved more times than most kids lose teeth; there’s just never the money to pay the rent. But far from being overcome by his homelessness, Danny is thriving. When Danny moves into a basement apartment on upscale Clinton Street, the kids he meets have more material things, but they seem to have bigger problems than just being hungry. This heartwarming story about a boy who creates an imaginary world to deal with the instability and hardship of his daily life is a powerful, yet playful, play that truthfully explores issues related to child poverty and homelessness and ultimately demonstrates how the power of friendship can change lives.

The Will Rogers Follies Mar 10-27 The curtain rises on a Follies-style tribute to the man whose daily newspaper column sent America on its way each morning with a smile on its face. Will was a multimedia sensation, performing a weekly radio talk show as well as starring in motion pictures. Will Rogers stands out among musicals because of the magic of its protagonist. The musical version is an upbeat celebration of this folk hero who made the world a whole lot better place than it was before he entered it. Titanic: The Musical April 29- May 8 Based on real people aboard the most legendary ship in the world, Titanic The Musical is a stunning and stirring production focusing on the hopes, dreams and aspirations of her passengers who each boarded with stories and personal ambitions of their own. Go Ask Alice May 12-22 Alice is a fairly typical girl from an average family with parents who love her. What makes Alice different is that she’s tricked into trying drugs and then becomes addicted. She fights against her addiction, but by the time she has learned the answers, it’s already too late. Using almost no scenery, this powerful play explores the mind and experience of a high school girl who inadvertently gets into drugs.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Originally the home of William and Marie Selby, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens today is an urban, bayfront oasis showcasing a living collection of rare and beautiful tropical plants. The Gardens is also a respected world leader in the study and conservation of plants, particularly epiphytes–plants adapted to live in the tree canopy, including orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns.

The Players Centre for Performing Arts The Players Centre for Performing Arts, Sarasota’s oldest performing arts organization, is celebrating 90 years of putting the community on stage. With the annual Broadway series bringing some of the biggest musicals to town and the intimate and edgy Backstage at The Players series, there’s plenty to experience at the theatre.

[Title of Show] Oct 6-10 Yes – that’s the actual name of the show. Jeff and Hunter, two struggling writers, hear about a new musical theatre festival, however, the deadline for submissions is three weeks away. [Title of Show] — taken from the space on the festival’s application form which asks for the [Title of Show] — follows a journey through creative self-expression. In the span of 90 minutes, they write and perform their show at the festival, learning lessons about themselves as people, friends and artists. The Marvelous Wonderettes Dec 8-19 This marvelous Off-Broadway hit takes you to the 1958 Springfield High School prom, where we meet four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts. As we learn about their lives and loves, the girls serenade us. Forbidden Broadway Jan 19-30 Broadway’s greatest musical legends meet Broadway’s greatest satirist in this hilarious, loving and entertaining tribute to some of the theatre’s greatest stars and songwriters. Beehive: The 60s Musical Feb 16-17 Big voices with big hairdos! Beehive celebrates the powerful female voices of the 1960s. Told from the perspective of six young women who come of age in this decade, Beehive takes us from the first Beehive Dance to the challenges faced as a nation.


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Some Enchanted Evening March 16-27 The songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein have become an integral part of our everyday lives. This collection of their compositions places five performers in a theatrical setting: first ‘backstage,’ where the songs are sung as personal interplay, and then ‘onstage,’ where the songs are presented to an audience. Offering its performers an opportunity to explore timeless songs within their own styles and sensibilities, delighting the audience with a parade of genuine hits.

POPS Orchestra With conductor Robyn Bell wielding the baton, the Pops Orchestra gears up for its latest season as Sarasota-Bradenton’s community orchestra, showcasing local musical talent and giving the town’s hidden gems a chance to shine.

Sgt. Presley and the Pops Pay Tribute to our Nation’s Veterans Nov 14-15 Elvis tribute artist Ted Torres Martin performs in this patriotic tribute to the nation’s veterans. Get rid of those G.I. Blues, bust out of your “Jailhouse Rock”, don’t forget to “Love Me Tender”, and let’s go to “Viva Las Vegas!” The Pops Orchestra perform the Armed Forces Salute, God Bless the USA, and many more Americana favorites recognizing the audience’s veterans. Ring In the Holidays Dec 12-13 The Pops Orchestra is teaming up with Sarasota’s premiere handbell ensemble, Ring Sarasota, for the annual holiday extravaganza. The concert includes a 65-piece orchestra and over 200 bells rung by 15 ringers performing many holiday favorites.

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Copacabana Valentines FEb 13-14 The Pops Orchestra welcomes the Josie Music Awards “Tribute Artist of the Year,” Mark Sanders, to the stage singing all your favorite Barry Manilow hits from “I Write the Songs” to “Copacabana.” The Choice is Yours March 27-28 The Pops Orchestra is letting the audience become the concert producer for its Grand Finale. Each audience member will use their cellphone to choose the music we perform by majority vote. From categories like “John Williams Film Scores” (where choices might be between Star Wars, Harry Potter or Raiders of the Lost Ark) and “Favorite Audience Participation Song” (where choices might be “YMCA”, “Sweet Caroline”, or “Friends in Low Places”), and lots more.

Realize Bradenton A nonprofit organization dedicated to invigorating Bradenton’s cultural scene, this community-focused organization seeks to create a more active and culturally connected downtown for Bradenton, regularly organizing large-scale events in conjunction with private businesses, public resources and local artists, celebrating the city’s heritage and place within the cultural fabric of the Suncoast.

Galleries of Ringling College of Art and Design The Galleries program of Ringling College of Art and Design includes exhibitions and activities that celebrate the work and production of students, faculty and alumni. Our six on-campus galleries also host one person, group and thematic exhibitions

that include locally, nationally and internationally known individuals. You will always find an exciting new exhibition, artist talk, lecture, or event to attend. Whether you’re an aspiring artist or someone who is curious about new forms of creative expression, we welcome you to expand your perspective. Discover awe-inspiring work and thought-provoking insights from the art world.

Tom Casmer: Con•Structs Through Oct 22 Through it all, he displays his same selfproclaimed fascination with mechanical forms. In “Con. structs,” Casmer explores his fascination with these themes in three dimensions and in yet another medium in his use of wood to sculpt the circuit-like blueprint illustrations he became known for. At times mimicking the building blocks of modern electronics, while at others evoking the geometric incisions of Mesoamerican peoples, Casmer invites viewers to bridge the gap between the organic and inorganic. POW! The Comic Art of Mike Zeck from the Costas Collection Oct 11-Dec10 When the style of comic books began to transition toward more sophisticated realism, it was illustrators like Mike Zeck on the cutting edge of that shift. After attending Ringling College in the late 60s, Zeck made a name for himself illustrating the horror stories of Charlton Comics before turning his talents in both illustration and storytelling into one of the most successful careers of The Bronze Age of comic books. His talents served him well for both Marvel and DC. Zeck is credited with creating the alternative black costume for Spider-Man that would eventually become the character Venom, and his work on Kraven’s Last Hunt is considered one of the best stories in the Spider-Man canon. In the DC universe, he helped modernize

Batman into the flawed and dark knight he would become in the modern era. With “POW!” Ringling College Galleries has compiled the best of The Costas Collection, featuring over 60 original illustrations of Zeck’s most iconic storylines and covers. Lois & David Stulberg Gallery is located at 118 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, inside the Basch Visual Arts Center. Gallery Hours: MondayFriday, 9am-3pm. For more information or to explore the virtual exhibition, please visit:

Ringling Museum Situated along 66 acres on the bay, The Ringling boasts an impressive array of classics and works from the Old Masters, with a Rubens collection of note, as well as regularly hosting traveling exhibitions on the forefront of contemporary art in the United States and abroad. The on-site Circus Conservatory houses the area’s local circus history, in addition to exploring the form’s greater reach. The historic Ca d’Zan mansion stands freshly renovated by the water, with tours available. Rich in history, the museum’s roots date back to 1924, and the establishment serves as a legacy of the original owners, John and Mable Ringling..

Hard Bodies: Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture Oct 31-Jan 23 Since Neolithic times, craftspeople across East Asia have used the sap of the lacquer tree to coat and bond together wood, bamboo, textiles, and ceramics to make articles for daily and ritual use. Since the late 1980s, a small circle of lacquer artists have pushed the medium in entirely new and dynamic directions.


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Rhodnie Désir: Conversations Nov 14-April 3 Dancer/ choreographer Rhodnie Désir explores the dances and rhythms that enslaved people produced, understanding these dances as a means of surviving enslavement, evading cultural genocide, and cultivating strategies that would lead to liberty and emancipation. Metadata: Rethinking Photography from the 21st Century March 6-Aug 28 Metadata: Rethinking Photography from the 21st Century is an exhibition that explores new paradigms for understanding the ecology of the photographic image.

Sarasota Ballet Under the guidance of director Iain Webb, the Sarasota Ballet has grown by leaps and bounds, continually adding to a repertoire that includes both iconic and uncommon ballets from renowned choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Antony Tudor and more, in addition to commissioning new works from up-and-coming choreographers and established greats. Garnering an international reputation, the Sarasota Ballet regularly compounds its performances with guest performances from traveling companies, bringing ballet from around the world. The Company’s 2021-2022 Season will once again feature extraordinary works from some of the great choreographers of the 20th century.

New World Oct 22 – 24 Program #1 will feature Appalachian Spring choreograhy by Martha Graham, music by Aaron Copland and World Premiere, choreography by Ricardo Graziano.

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Day & Night Nov 19-20 Program #2 features Summertide, choreography by Sir Peter Wright, music by Felix Mendelssohn and Nine Sinatra Songs, choreography by Twyla Tharp and music by Frank Sinatra. Giselle Dec 17-18 Program #3 is a production by Sir Peter Wright, Giselle with original choreography by Jules Perrot and Jean Coralli and music by Adolphe Adam Love & Betrayal Jan 28-31 Program #4 showcases Valses nobles et sentimentales, choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton, music by Maurice Ravel, The Rake’s Progress choreography by Dame Ninette de Valois, music by Gavin Gordon and Napoli Act III, produced by Johan Kobborg, choreography after August Bournonvill, and music by Edvard Helsted & Holger Simon Paulli. Mark Morris Dance Group March 4-7 The Sarasota Ballet presents Mark Morris Dance Group for their 5th program of the season. A Comedy of Error March 25-26 A Comedy of Errors’ World Premiere includes choreography by Sir David Bintley, music by Matthew Hindson (commissioned score) and designs by Dick Bird for the Sarasota Ballet’s Program #6. Serendipitous Movementr April 29-30 Program #7 includes Serenade with choreography by George Balanchine and music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, The Letter V (company premiere), Choreography by Mark Morris and music by Joseph Haydn. As well as, Elite Syncopations choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, with music by Scott Joplin et al.

Sarasota Contemporary Dance Bringing the best in contemporary dance to the region and creating new works right here, Sarasota Contemporary Dance is recognized in the area for its collaborative performances and eclectic choreography, which fuses various dance styles—traditional, modern, Middle Eastern, aerial, Afro-modern and even technologically-infused work. In addition to a variety of community collaborations and performances at local venues, the Sarasota Contemporary Dance Company has also been presented at the Alabama Ballet Center for Dance, John F. Kennedy Center, Merce Cunningham Studio Theatre and the Aily Citygroup Theatre.

Voices Oct 14-17 Opening Sarasota Contemporary Dance’s 16th Season is Voices – Rising Choreographers, a showcase of budding choreographers and movement makers, including guest artists and SCD’s own company members. Voices presents rising choreographers who were selected by adjudication from SCD’s Summer Intensive Programs, chosen by Artistic Director Leymis Bolaños Wilmott. CD + Duke Ellington in collaboration with Shane Chalke B.E. Jazz Dec 1- 5 Duke Ellington was one of the most impactful musical forces of the 20th century, influencing classical music, popular music, and, of course, jazz. Ellington is also famous for his leadership: by spearheading his own jazz orchestra and igniting a cultural shift in jazz internationally, not only did his musical genius flourish, but Ellington exhibited a prowess in leadership by guiding the success of his orchestra by himself for over 50

years. “As a leader,” comments Artistic Director Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, “I admire Ellington’s ability to make his community of fellow musicians shine and evolve while impacting the world of music. I am honored to reunite with Shane Chalke B.E. Jazz to bring tribute to an icon who shaped the world of music.” Dance Makers Jan 24-30 This year, Dance Makers features new imaginative dance pieces created by nationally acclaimed contemporary choreographers. This year’s program includes dances from Dazaun Soleyn (San Francisco, CA), Jennifer Nugent (NYC), and Christal Brown (NYC) who was recently in residency at Jacob’s Pillow. Excitingly, Dance Makers will also revive Kinda Cagey, the fanfavorite grand piano and dancer duet from SCD’s 2nd season, performed by Leymis Bolaños Wilmott and Francis Schwartz. The choreography is diverse, the impact profound, and the dancers utterly captivating. Cuban Project Apr 28-May 1 “Mi Historia, Tu Historia, y Nuestra Historia” (My Story, Your Story, Our Story) It was shortly after 1959 when Fidel Castro began nationalizing industries, closing churches, and sending children to study on collective farms in the Soviet Union. Desperate parents, much like my own maternal and paternal grandparents, sent their unaccompanied children to the United States with the hope to protect them and eventually reconnect in the near future. Through movement and live music, this production explores personal stories, decisionmaking, displacement, and the Cuban-American experience.


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Sarasota Cuban Ballet School Founded by Wilmian Hernandez and Ariel Serrano, the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School teaches the curriculum of the Cuban Ballet School of National Ballet of Cuba. Husband-wife team Serrano and Hernandez were influenced by the great master teachers in Cuba— Fernando Alonso, Estele Garcia, Aurora Bosch and Ramona de Saa, among others. In the Cuban tradition, they were selected at a young age to learn the art, and through their diligence, intense training and natural talent emerged to become principal dancers with various companies throughout the world.

The Nutcracker featuring the Musicians of the Venice Symphony Dec 10-11 SCBS and the Venice Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Joseph Caulkins, come together, to usher in the holiday season through this classic tale. Join Clara and her Nutcracker Prince on their adventures in the whimsical Kingdom of Sweets. Featuring brand-new scenery designed by Steve Rubin especially for The Sarasota Cuban Ballet School. As a special treat, don’t forget about a Cookies with Clara event at the matinée performances.

Sarasota Opera Sarasota Opera returns for its latest season staging sumptuous classic opera and reviving rarely produced works from notable composers. Additionally, the company remains dedicated to youth opera education through its Sarasota Youth Opera program, which is currently the most comprehensive youth program of its kind in the nation.

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The Silken Ladder (La scala di seta) Oct 29 - Nov 13 Operatic comic farce in one act ,with music by Gioachino Rossini and libretto by Giuseppe Maria Foppa. This spirited one-act comedy begins with a wellknown overture, and goes on to spin a seductive story of a secret husband and would-be lovers who scale a silken ladder into and out of a lady’s room. Tosca Feb 12-Mar 16 Operatic comic farce in one act, with music by Gioachino Rossini and libretto by Giuseppe Maria Foppa. This spirited one act comedy begins with a wellknown overture, and goes on to spin a seductive story of a secret husband and would-be lovers who scale a silken ladder into and out of a lady’s room. The Daughter of the Regiment Feb 19-March 18 Opéra comique in two acts, with music by Gaetano Donizetti and libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jean-François Bayard. Love for Marie, a girl raised by a French regiment, will lead the young Tonio to unexpected lengths in this colorful comedy set in the Tyrol during the Napoleonic Wars. The Pearl Fishers March 5 - 19 Opera in three acts with music by Georges Bizet and libretto by Eugène Cormon and Michel Carré. Set in legendary Ceylon, longtime friends Nadir and Zurga are reunited. Their friendship faltered when they shared the same forbidden love for the priestess Leila—a love they swore to renounce. Attila March 12-22 Opera in a prologue and three acts with music by Giuseppe Verdi and libretto by Temistocle Solera. Attila the Hun has conquered most of Western Europe and is about to take Rome itself, but is brought to his knees by his love for a female warrior, Odabella.

Sarasota Orchestra An 80-member orchestra performing more than 100 concerts in a given year, the Sarasota Orchestra has made a name for itself in the area as both entertainer and educator, offering concerts and experience to the community through a variety of performances designed to engage and enthuse. A celebrator of the classics as well as contemporary gems, Sarasota Orchestra holds the distinguished title of being the oldest continuing orchestra in the state.

Portraits in Sound Nov 5-7 Brazilian composer Mozart Camargo Guarnieri spices his Festive Overture with flavors of South America. Superstar violinist Blake Pouliot is featured in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. The program concludes with Mussorgsky’s orchestral showpiece, “Pictures at an Exhibition”, showcasing ten vivid, short musical interludes that were influenced by works of art. The final movement, “The Great Gate of Kiev,” stands as one of the most majestic moments in orchestral music. American Voices Dec 10-12 Maestro Teddy Abrams makes his Sarasota debut in a program of time-treasured works and brilliant American music. Abrams composed “Overture in Sonata Form” as a genredefying wonder. Pianist Conrad Tao performs Beethoven’s treasured “Piano Concerto No. 1.” “Petrichor” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid surrounds the audience in sound. Beethoven and Tchaikovsky Feb 3-6 This program presents two captivating young stars to Sarasota. Grammy Awardwinning violinist Augustin Hadelich performs Beethoven’s serene, yet astoundingly difficult “Violin Concerto”. Maestro

Yaniv Dinur has a reputation for dynamic and passionate performances. Opening the concert, “Gabriella Smith’s Field Guide” features rhythms and sounds of the natural world. the audience in sound. Fairytales and Fireworks Feb 25-28 Grammy Awardwinning conductor JoAnne Falletta returns to Sarasota for this colorful program. Ravel originally composed his beloved “Mother Goose Suite” for the children of dear friends. The sounds of the Charleston, ragtime, and blues pervade Gershwin’s unforgettable “Piano Concerto”. Pianist Aaron Diehl brings the work’s infectious rhythms and melodies to life. New World Feb 25-28 Maestro Thomas Wilkins conducts a captivating program of music born in and inspired by America. The concert opens with James Beckel’s symphonic showpiece Toccata for Orchestra. American violinist Simone Porter returns to Sarasota for her solo debut with Barber’s passionate Concerto for Violin. The Concerto combines lyricism with virtuosic technical demands. Breaking Boundaries April 1-3 Maestro Bramwell Tovey leads a program of works by composers who fearlessly charted their own paths. British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s ”Ballade for Orchestra” is alternately tender and highly dramatic. Violinist Angelo Xiang Yu stars in the cinematic Concerto for Violin by Korngold, the first composer of classical music who was also renowned for his career writing Hollywood film scores. The program concludes with the glorious “Symphony No. 7” by classical music’s most famous “bad boy,” Beethoven.


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Urbanite Theatre Founders Summer Dawn Wallace and Brendan Ragan make a statement each season with sold-out, cutting-edge shows performed in the black box style, shifting effortlessly from heavy drama to heady comedy. Intimate, independent and unexpected.

Van Wezel Playfully dubbed “The Purple Cow” by locals, this distinctive Frank Lloyd Wright creation abuts the Sarasota Bayfront, where it serves as Sarasota’s primary connection to the world of national and international touring performance, bringing storied performers and productions to the local stage as a regular stop on the regional, national and international touring circuits

Marie, a girl raised by a French regiment, will lead the young Tonio to unexpected lengths in this colorful comedy set in the Tyrol during the Napoleonic Wars. The Pearl Fishers March 5 - 19 Opera in three acts with music by Georges Bizet and libretto by Eugène Cormon and Michel Carré. Set in legendary Ceylon, longtime friends Nadir and Zurga are reunited. Their friendship faltered when they shared the same forbidden love for the priestess Leila—a love they swore to renounce. Attila March 12-22 Opera in a prologue and three acts with music by Giuseppe Verdi and libretto by Temistocle Solera. Attila the Hun has conquered most of Western Europe and is about to take Rome itself, but is brought to his knees by his love for a female warrior, Odabella.

Come From Away Nov 23 This New York Times Critics’ Pick takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Don’t miss this breathtaking new musical written by Tony® nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and helmed by this year’s Tony-winning Best Director, Christopher Ashley. known overture, and goes on to spin a seductive story of a secret husband and would-be lovers who scale a silken ladder into and out of a lady’s room. The Daughter of the Regiment Feb 19-March 18 Opéra comique in two acts with music by Gaetano Donizetti and libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jean-François Bayard. Love for

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Sarasota Orchestra An 80-member orchestra performing more than 100 concerts in a given year, the Sarasota Orchestra has made a name for itself in the area as b oth entertainer and educator, offering concerts and experience to the community through a variety of performances designed to engage and enthuse. A celebrator of the classics as well as contemporary gems, Sarasota Orchestra holds the distinguished title of being the oldest continuing orchestra in the state.

Portraits in Sound Nov 5-7 Brazilian composer Mozart Camargo Guarnieri spices his Festive Overture with flavors of South America. Superstar violinist Blake Pouliot is featured in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. The program concludes with Mussorgsky’s orchestral showpiece, Pictures at an Exhibition, showcasing ten vivid, short musical interludes that were influenced by works of art.

American Voices Dec 10-12 Maestro Teddy Abrams makes his Sarasota debut in a program of time-treasured works and brilliant American music. Abrams composed Overture in Sonata Form as a genre-defying wonder. Pianist Conrad Tao performs Beethoven’s treasured Piano Concerto No. 1. Petrichor by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid surrounds the audience in sound.

Orchestra is alternately tender and highly dramatic. Violinist Angelo Xiang Yu stars in the cinematic Concerto for Violin by Korngold, the first composer of classical music who was also renowned for his career writing Hollywood film scores. The program concludes with the glorious Symphony No. 7 by classical music’s most famous “bad boy,” Beethoven.

Beethoven and Tchaikovsky Feb 3-6 This program presents two captivating young stars to Sarasota. Grammy Awardwinning violinist Augustin Hadelich performs Beethoven’s serene, yet astoundingly difficult Violin Concerto. Maestro Yaniv Dinur has a reputation for dynamic and passionate performances. Opening the concert, Gabriella Smith’s Field Guide features rhythms and sounds of the natural world. the audience in sound.

Urbanite Theatre

Fairytales and Fireworks Feb 25-28 Grammy Awardwinning conductor JoAnne Falletta returns to Sarasota for this colorful program. Ravel originally composed his beloved Mother Goose Suite for the children of dear friends. The sounds of the Charleston, ragtime, and blues pervade Gershwin’s unforgettable Piano Concerto. Pianist Aaron Diehl brings the work’s infectious rhythms and melodies to life.

Playfully dubbed “The Purple Cow” by locals, this distinctive Frank Lloyd Wright creation abuts the Sarasota Bayfront, where it serves as Sarasota’s primary connection to the world of national and international touring performance, bringing storied performers and productions to the local stage as a regular stop on the regional, national and international touring circuits

Founders Summer Dawn Wallace and Brendan Ragan make a statement each season with sold-out, cutting-edge shows performed in the black box style, shifting effortlessly from heavy drama to heady comedy. Intimate, independent and unexpected.

Van Wezel

New World Feb 25-28 Maestro Thomas Wilkins conducts a captivating program of music born in and inspired by America. The concert opens with James Beckel’s symphonic showpiece Toccata for Orchestra. American violinist Simone Porter returns to Sarasota for her solo debut with Barber’s passionate Concerto for Violin. The Concerto combines lyricism with virtuosic technical demands. Breaking Boundaries April 1-3 Maestro Bramwell Tovey leads a program of works by composers who fearlessly charted their own paths. British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Ballade for

Come From Away Nov 23 This New York Times Critics’ Pick takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Don’t miss this breathtaking new musical written by Tony® nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and helmed by this year’s Tony-winning Best Director, Christopher Ashley.


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CULTURE PRIMER 2021-22 Beautiful – The Carol King Musical Jan 18 The musical tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation. An American in Paris Feb 2 Gershwin’s soaring melodies are matched by gravity-defying dance as the world rediscovers the power of love in this breathtaking production. Hoping to start a new life, World War II veteran Jerry Mulligan chooses newly-liberated Paris as the place to make a name for himself as a painter. But Jerry’s life becomes complicated when he meets Lise, a young Parisian shop girl with

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her own secret—and realizes he is not her only suitor. Fiddler on the Roof April 19 The original production won 10 Tony Awards, including a special one for becoming the longestrunning Broadway musical of all time. You’ll be there when the sun rises on this new production, with stunning movement and dance from acclaimed Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins. A wonderful cast and a lavish orchestra tell this heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the timeless traditions that define faith and family.

Venice Symphony Since its inception in 1974, the Venice Symphony has grown from a passion project playing three concerts a year in the Venice High School to the town’s premier musical performers, still

playing at the Venice High School, but at its state-of-the-art Venice Performing Arts Center. In recent years, as the symphony continues to grow, the introduction of a PreConcert Talk Series has brought the community even closer to the people behind the music.

Brahms and The Boys Nov 19-20 The 47th season opens with the epic Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, “a visionary masterpiece” ranked sixth of all classical symphonies by the BBC. Showcasing the mastery of Thomas Hooten, principal trumpet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, on Haydn’s tour-de-force Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat Major. A Holly Jolly Holiday Dec 17-18 The holiday season won’t be complete without attending this time-honored

tradition with a twist. Classic carols “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “O Holy Night”, beloved standards “Sleigh Ride” and “White Christmas”, and music from The Nutcracker are just a few of the highlights. Sarasota’s Key Chorale, the Suncoast’s premier symphonic chorus, returns to the stage for Handel’s majestic “Hallelujah Chorus” from Messiah and a sing-a-long with surprises. Under the Big Top: A Tribute to the Circus Jan 14-15 Celebrate the community’s ties to the circus with this captivating concert of magical music inspired by life under the big top, accompanied by video and images from the Ringling Circus Museum. Step right up for a stupendous show beginning with the booming brass-infused Overture from Gypsy and ending with Elton John and Tim Rice’s powerful finale from The Lion King. Along the way Maestro


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CULTURE PRIMER 2021-22 Troy Quinn and the orchestra will Send in the Clowns visit Swan Lake and defy you to stay seated for Offenbach’s Galop, better known as The Can-Can. A Night at the Oscars Feb 4-5 ”My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic is one of the most unforgettable songs in the history of music in the cinema. A Night at the Oscars” will feature acclaimed piper Eric Rigler reprise his original soul-stirring performance in person. The Venice Symphony orchestra will play the Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning music you love from Forrest Gump, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, The Godfather, Rocky, The Magnificent Seven, La La Land, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and more. Superheroes and Schumann Feb 25-26 What do you get when you team Batman, Thor, and Captain America with Finland’s greatest composer,

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Jean Sibelius, and symphony master Robert Schumann? An unbeatable concert that will appeal to all ages in all galaxies. Schumann doesn’t need a cape to triumph with his Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, an epic work, featuring Concertmaster Marcus Ratzenboeck’s serene solos in the work before an explosive finale. Game of Romes March 18-19 The rousing score of Ben-Hur opens the program, followed by gorgeous intermezzos from Mascagni and Puccini, the theme from HBO’s Game of Thrones and Rossini’s masterpiece, the Overture from William Tell. Finally, you will see Italy through the eyes of Felix Mendelssohn, whose “Symphony No. 4” is an homage to the German composer’s blissful time spent touring the country in his 20s.

Venice Theatre Charming, wowing and moving audiences since 1950, Venice Theatre stands as, per capita, the largest community theater in the United States. From classics and musical favorites on the main stage to the daring and raucous productions populating the theater’s Stage II, Venice Theatre pulls out all the stops for a theatergoing population always looking for something new. The annual cabaret festival brings countless productions to the stage for weeks of musical and dramatic entertainment.

Almost, Maine Sept 24Oct 10 Spend a magical evening in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine where the residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and comical ways.

The Great American Trailer Park Musical Oct 29-Nov 28 Starke, Florida has everything: agoraphobia, ‘80s nostalgia, spray cheese, road kill, hysterical pregnancy, a broken electric chair, kleptomania, flan and disco. Ain’t Misbehavin’ Jan 14-Feb 6 The inimitable Thomas “Fats” Waller rose to international fame during the Golden Age of the Cotton Club with a jumpin’ new beat. Ain’t Misbehavin’ evokes the infectious energy of this American original as a versatile cast struts, strums and sings the songs that Waller made famous. Winner of the 1978 Tony Award for Best Musical. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Feb 15-March 27 Travel to a French provincial town where you’ll meet smart and beautiful Belle, arrogant Gaston, a castle full of talking


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CULTURE PRIMER 2021-22 inanimate objects, and a Prince under a beastly spell.Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature, the stage version includes all of the wonderful songs from the movie, along with new songs by Alan Menken and Tim Rice. The original Broadway production ran for over 13 years and was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. To Kill a Mockingbird Apr 15 - May 1 The facade of a seemingly peaceful Alabama town begins to crack when a young black man is accused of a terrible crime. Lawyer Atticus Finch defends him in a trial that rocks the community. As told through the eyes of Atticus’ daughter, this hard-hitting work explores prejudice, compassion and courage.

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Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Founded in December 1999, by performer, director and playwright Nate Jacobs, this nonprofit theater is the only professional black theater company on Florida’s west coast. Through musicals—both Broadway and Jacobs’ originals—as well as comedies and thoughtprovoking dramas from such notable playwrights as August Wilson, Charles Smith and Katori Hall, WBTT explores the AfricanAmerican experience onstage every year in a five-show season. Since its inception, WBTT has mentored and inspired many African-American youth and young adults through participation in the company’s productions. Many aspiring professional artists who trained with WBTT have gone on to work with regional theaters and national

touring companies, on Broadway and on national television, and with major record companies.

Eubie! Oct 6-Nov 21 Eubie! is a toe-tapping revue of songs by Eubie Blake, legendary composer, ragtime pianist and “father of Black Broadway.” The show stormed Broadway in the 1970s and was nominated for three Tony Awards. Blake’s infectious style is evoked in over 20 memorable songs, including the classic “I’m Just Wild About Harry.” With its sizzling score and energetic dance numbers, Eubie! is a crowd-pleasing salute to a Broadway pioneer. Broadway in Black Mar 10 - Apr 24 Broadway musicals have charmed the world for decades. WBTT salutes that genre with an original revue by Nate Jacobs, first presented in the summer of 2017. Sing

along with your favorite songs from Tony-Wward-winning shows and breakthrough roles that helped launch the careers of such African American artists as Melba Moore in Purlie, Ben Vereen in Pippin, Jennifer Holliday in Dreamgirls and Nell Carter in Ain’t Misbehavin’. From Birmingham to Broadway & Float Like a Butterfly May 4-29 A tourde-force tribute to Broadway singer and TV actress Nell Carter by powerhouse performer Tarra Conner Jones, the play portrays Carter’s determination to excel in entertainment despite her non-traditional appearance. Combining music, comedy and drama in the play she penned and in her performance as Carter, Tarra Conner Jones embodies the never-give-up spirit of this shining star of stage and screen. SRQ


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contents she roars 2021

4 DRAWN TO COMIC ART Ten Ringling College of Art and Design illustration students narrate ten inspiring women artists’ stories to create a comic series for Smithsonian American Art Museum. Written by Brittany Mattie | Images Courtesy of Ringling College of Art and Design

14 SIDEHUSL SUPERHERO As Creator, CEO and Editor of, a website that provides information on hundreds of ways to make money in the gig economy, Kristof is putting the power of online information in consumers’ hands by helping them to achieve financial freedom safely. Written by Ashley Grant, Photography by Jonathan Young

18 ROAR OF AN ENTREPRENEUR Cyma Zarghami, CEO of MIMO Studios, has made a name for herself as a multifaceted veteran in the world of children’s television and franchise development. As the president of Nickelodeon and Viacom Media Networks Kids & Family Group from 2006-2018, Zarghami steered the Nickelodeon ship to become the leader in children’s programming and the number one kids cable network. Written by Ashley Grant

women who roar 23

Dianna Manoogian

Diane Schaefer



Elizabeth Fisher Good

Dr. Rachel Shelley



Melissa Larkin-Skinner

Sara Hand




Anna Gonce

Jessica Rogers

Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld




Brenda Boyd May


Ping Faulhaber

Cassie L. D’Addeo

Erika Wise Borland Suzanne S. Wise Courtney Wise Snyder



Michelle Pennie Chelsea Duggan PARADISE DERMATOLOGY



Nikki Taylor KIVITY, LLC



Dolly Jacobs


Marybeth Hansen PARADISE GRILL



This page left to right: Women Who Roar Cyma Zarghami, 2022 Trailblazer Award Recipient; Kathy Kristof, 2022 Keynote Speaker. This page right: Do You Think I’m Hiding; A Comic About Romaine Brooks, by Abigail Rajunov. Cover: Kathy Kristof at her home in Southern California, photo by Jonathan Young.

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Ten Ringling College of Art and Design Illustration students narrate ten inspiring women artists’ stories to create a comic series for Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Drawn to Comic Art BECAUSE OF HER STORY. The words are the name of a funded project spearhead-

ed by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative. The initiative aims to create a more equitable America by researching, disseminating and amplifying the histories of American women. And after a series of conversations between the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) and Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD), an aligned creative collaboration sparked with board members from either side. “We thought, ‘how cool would it be using the fund that’s intended for female empowerment to actually put together a team of student artists to each tell and illustrate the story of a female artist within their special collections?’” says Kendall Brugger, Professor for Business of Art and Design and the INDEX Director for RCAD. The essence of the INDEX program at Ringling College, which stands for ‘Industry Experience,’ Brugger explains, is to provide students with an experiential opportunity in their field by connecting them with leading brands and clients—teaching them foundationally how to develop creative solutions to business challenges, speak with clients, gain familiarity with industry best practices, work against deadlines and produce deliverables. This year’s INDEX program saw 29 illustration students enter the Ringling College of Art and Design INDEX competition. A winning group of ten female illustration students were ultimately chosen. Their task? To create a series of biographical sketches based upon the lives of ten select women artists. “This INDEX project with the Smithsonian American Art Museum has been a phenomenal career-advancing opportunity for our students,” says Ringling College of Art and Design President Dr. Larry R. Thompson. “Working to tell the stories of these important women artists has drawn upon our students’ talent, creativity and ability to work collaboratively.” Unique to note, the commonality of these artists selected by SAAM is that they’ve all, for various reasons, been heedlessly overlooked—unfortunately not garnering the attention they deserved in their lifetime. “The similarity across all of their stories is that they didn’t actually have a ton of recognition for their work while they were actively producing artwork, or alive,” says Brugger. “It’s kind of sad, we see it in the creative field constantly—fame tends to happen after an artist passes on. So, this project was essentially a way of giving them a platform of recognition that should have been given, and deserved, while they were still alive or producing work.”

written by brittany mattie

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This spread, clockwise: Threads of History- A Comic About Anni Albers, by Emily Fromhage; In Awe of the Straight Line- A Comic About Carmen Herrera, by Ezra Gaeta; Do You Think I’m Hiding A Comic About Romaine Brooks, by Abigail Rajunov (excerpted to the upper left of the girl riding the bike); Picturing a City- A Comic About Berenice Abbott, by Maddie Kneubheul; Beneath the Holly Tree- A Comic About Alma Thomas, by Lauren Lamb; and The Weaver’s Weaver- A Comic About Kay Sekimachi, by Emily Ehlen. Images courtesy of the student illustrators, Ringling College of Art and Design and Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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This page, clockwise: A Life in Color- A Comic About Corita Kent, by Micaela Borovinsky Botta; Portrait- A Comic About Mickalene Thomas, by Shayna Cohen; A Garden-Thirsty Soul- A Comic about Maria Oakey Dewing, by Kippy Sage; and Breaking the Marble Ceiling- A Comic About Edmonia Lewis, by Rachel Bivens. Images courtesy of the student illustrators, Ringling College of Art and Design and Smithsonian American Art Museum. See more of each story at Learn more about “Because of Her Story” at

The SAAM exhibition, titled “Drawn to Art: Ten Tales of Inspiring Women Artists,” is made up of a series of short comics comprised of 12 to 16 frames apiece. Each comic in its own right represents the artworks of the ten women artists from around the world while the RCAD student-illustrators were prompted to visually convey their telling stories. Their designs were inspired by graphic novels, utilizing illustration to share short takes on the artists’ lives—giving these ten young creatives the opportunity to identify with the struggles and triumphs of their paired female visionary, to see themselves reflected and to draw strength from that visibility. “Students read their biographies, studied their work, they each found a woman they personally connected to. And, we tried our best to pair them with the artist of their choice,” shares Brugger. “It was amazing to see their affinity grow for their artist’s story—whether it was because they were both from the same country or race, maybe shared similar backgrounds or could relate to similar life experiences. They all seemed to find a synergy that helped to conceptualize their comic’s narrative.” SHE ROARS 6 | srq magazine_ OCT21 | SHE ROARS MAGAZINE live local

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SHARE WITH OUR READERS A BIT ABOUT YOURSELVES AND THE ORGANIZATIONS YOU REPRESENT. JESSICA ROGERS, VICE PRESIDENT OF PHILANTHROPY, CHILDREN FIRST I’m the Vice President of Philanthropy for Children First. We are the exclusive Head Start and early Head Start provider for Sarasota with 15 locations across the county, proudly celebrating our 60th anniversary this year. Our mission is strengthening children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to education, health, and wellbeing. Our core service population includes

those who are living just below the federal poverty level—those most at risk. We work with moms when they are pregnant and children through five years of age, ready to start kindergarten. MELISSA LARKIN- SKINNER, REGIONAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, CENTERSTONE: I’m the Chief Executive Officer of Centerstone of Florida. At Centerstone, we provide mental health and addiction treatment and prevention services. We have 15 locations amongst six counties of Florida, serving about 19,000 individuals and countless families every year. Partly because of COVID, we provide a lot of

services, not in any kind of clinic or building location, but virtually. So our mission is to deliver care that changes people’s lives, and helps our communities thrive. DR. CAROL PROBSTFELD, PRESIDENT, STATE COLLEGE OF FLORIDA: I am the proud president of the State College of Florida. I’ve been in this position for about eight years. Our mission is to be that institution for people who aspire to get a higher education. We are open access, which means if you have a high school diploma or a GED, you can come to the State College of Florida to pursue baccalaureate degrees, certificates, two year degrees, and

personal enrichment programs. We started as a community college and evolved to the State College when we started offering baccalaureate degrees. We are still this community’s college.

HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC CHANGED YOUR MODEL? LARKIN-SKINNER: It’s changed it in a positive way. The unfortunate thing is demand is higher than ever, but the fortunate thing is that because of COVID and the need to be distanced and protect each other, some barriers that were previously in place that kept us from doing services via televi-


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ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS MELISSA LARKIN-SKINNER IS THE REGIONAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER FOR CENTERSTONE, a not-for-profit health system specializing in mental health and substance use disorder treatments. As Regional Chief Executive Officer, Larkin-Skinner is responsible for the leadership and oversight of Centerstone’s operations in Florida. Larkin-Skinner has 25 years of experience in all aspects of mental health and addiction care. As a licensed mental health counselor, she has worked with children and adults of all ages in diverse treatment programs including inpatient, outpatient, crisis intervention, intensive community-based care, and child welfare. She has designed and operated innovative programs to meet community needs such as the Children’s Community Action Treatment Team (CAT), which was adopted as a statewide model of care for Florida’s youth and their families. Larkin-Skinner serves as a persistent voice bringing aention to the opioid epidemic, regularly providing state and federal policy feedback and engaging in legislative advocacy as a mental health and addiction subject-maer expert in Tallahassee, Florida, and Washington, D.C. She also serves as the sole behavioral health provider on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission. She is a recipient of the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association Administrator of the Year Award for her efforts combating the opioid epidemic.Larkin-Skinner serves as Chair of the Florida Behavioral Health Association Board and is Immediate Past-

deo have been removed. I look at what we do as kind of a menu. We provide all kinds of services in different locations. The televideo portion is just another piece of that menu. It has a lot of benefits—convenience, preference, choice, not to mention being able to view a home because it tells you a lot about someone and their situation, that you might not otherwise know in an office setting.

JESSICA AND CAROL, IT APPEARS THAT A LARGE PROPORTION OF YOUR SERVICES INCLUDE KIDS AND STUDENT IN-PERSON LEARNING. DID YOU GO REMOTE? HOW DID YOU OPERATE AND HOW ARE YOU OPERATING NOW? ROGERS: Yes, when the world and our schools shut down, we went to a virtual format. However, just over a third of our families don’t have any access to virtual supports, so we really had to pull things together for these families. Working by phone or remotely gave us the opportunity to be in touch on a very frequent basis. A huge portion of our work is family strengthening services. That includes providing access to opportunities to strengthen the family’s financial position. And we had about 175 of our parents either lose their job or work on reduced hours, so having this component as a part of our overall model was helpful to us in being responsive to their needs quickly. We were no longer relying on just one way to deliver our services, but really saying, we’ve got to expand that model to be the best that we can in support of our parents. We work so hard for parents to build a confidence in being their child’s first teacher. PROBSTFELD: I’m very proud of what we do as an institution, because whether by luck or genius, years ago we put our entire software system in the cloud for every

class to have a virtual component. So to transition from face-to-face to virtual in totality was a little bit easier for us, as we were partially there already. Our SCF Go Live format allows students to have that face-to-face interaction virtually with both the professor and students, as opposed to the old asynchronous online learning where you’re pretty autonomous. Students are using that modality to get to know their classmates and their professor from the comfort of their home.

OUR READERS WOULD LIKE TO GET KNOW YOU EACH PERSONALLY. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY TO THE ROLE YOU’RE IN NOW. I THINK IT HAS TO BE A BIT OF A CALLING TO WANT TO HELP PEOPLE. LARKIN-SKINNER: Twenty-seven years ago, I started as a volunteer at my organization. Back then it was called Manatee Glens. I was in college, a biology major originally, but then I had an intro psychology course with a professor who actually worked in the field. I was essentially mesmerized and changed my major halfway through my junior year and got my bachelor’s in psychology. While I was in school, I worked in my family’s construction company, managing the office work, including the accounting and payroll. So I had this parallel development early in my adulthood of management and clinical. I got a Master’s Degree in rehabilitation counseling and became a licensed mental health counselor. And since then, I’ve worked in every clinical area in my organization, going from being a volunteer to therapist. I went into management within my first two years and have progressed from there. I’ve been CEO now for over four and a half years and yes, I have a passion for it. That’s what keeps me going. We are a

nonprofit organization that’s been here for 66 years and I take my responsibility very seriously— to our communities and to the people who work here to make sure that this company continues, grows and is sustainable because we have a responsibility and accountability to our communities. ROGERS: I was born and raised in Mississippi. My mother died at age 39 from lupus, a devastating disease and it really impacted my life, as I saw firsthand the support that she was able to receive through her journey. This inspired me on my path through life to want to help people. I thought initially I was going to be a nurse but that changed. After college, I was working in the finance world. Hurricane Katrina hit and I made the move to Florida. I decided to pursue the nonprofit sector, which has been my passion through past volunteerism, working in service and learning in graduate school. I ended up in higher education for about 12 years, working on the private foundation side, helping students, many who are first generation in attaining education. For me, I believe that is one of the most important factors in equity in society, to have access to education. When this opportunity with Children First arose, it allowed me to step into a space where I could use my skill set and my purpose to help elevate the work that’s being done here. Being able to work for an organization that is truly focused on a mission, from the board to our donors and our staff is a fulfilling, once in a lifetime experience. PROBSTFELD: I was a firstgeneration college student. It was always understood that we were going to college because my parents were depression-era children who never had the opportunity. My mother was one of the first women Marines and my father was in the Navy during WWII. They were both very intelligent

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people who aspired to do more than the depression allowed and they definitely wanted their children to have more. So when I had the opportunity to come to the State College of Florida, which was open access—available to students and affordable, it really spoke to me personally as a mission. I came into this role in an atypical way. I was the chief business officer at the college and we were going through a tumultuous time, an acrimonious separation between the previous president and the board. I came in at the board’s request. They felt comfortable with a known entity, somebody who understood finance. I was able to create some calm, steady-hand leadership and build relationships. So I’m proud to say that eight years later, we’re in a very different place. We have a very strong foundation board and board of trustees and we have a college where people are proud to work.

LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES AS A FEMALE LEADER. LET’S START WITH MENTORS. ARE THERE PARTICULAR MENTORS WHO WERE VITAL TO YOU? LARKIN-SKINNER: I believe that I can learn from everyone who comes in and out of my life. Whether I like them or agree with them, I can learn something from them. So I have a lot of mentors, but I’ve had a number of them that were really integral to my career progression who challenged me. And one thing I never did was say no to an opportunity within my organization and I think that has made a big difference of why I am where I am today. It gave me the opportunity to grow and learn so that I could be prepared for whatever was coming my way next. And what does it mean? It means the world, but it’s never enough for me. My husband gives

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me a hard time and says, “Look, you’re so successful, but it’s never enough for you.” And that’s true. I always want to do more. I always want to make a bigger difference. And the last several years, one of the things I opened myself up to was legislative advocacy because I realized how important it is for experts in a particular field to lend their voice and their expertise to the decisions made by our lawmakers. And that is a lot of what I do today—locally, state and nationally—I try to make a difference and make sure that whatever policy or funding decisions are being made are good for Floridians and good for people who live in the United States and need access to our types of services. That I think is probably what means the most to me—being able to take what I’ve learned and experienced in my career to do even more with it. PROBSTFELD It was the greatest gift to me when I stepped into this role that Sarah Pappas was in this community and willing to be my mentor. She was and still is a great friend and sounding board. Oftentimes when you’re sitting in this role, you don’t have a lot of people you can talk to about the challenges you’re dealing with. So it was wonderful to have her there to be that close comrade. And for a time, I had Steve Korcheck, before he passed away. So I couldn’t ask for two better mentors and past presidents to help me when I found myself in this role.

IS THERE A PIECE OF WISDOM THAT YOU LEARNED HARDFOUGHT THAT YOU WISH YOU HAD HEARD AT THE EARLIER PART OF YOUR CAREER? PROBSTFELD: I would tell people to just the open to all alternatives, never say never. I had once said, “A college presidency isn’t for me” and here I am. But to say, “I’m happy doing what I’m doing right now and this is the pinnacle for

me” shuts down a lot of possibilities. One of the things I try to tell students is take advantage of every opportunity—be part of student government, join a club, become the president of that club. Just take advantage of the things that are put before you. You never know where they’re going to lead. You may not have a grand plan but you’d be surprised at what doors that might open for you. ROGERS: I think as we grow and mature and have experiences, obviously our thinking around this evolves. I think probably one of the things that I could go back to when I was starting out was really to have more confidence. I’m a very curious person and when I found my voice to ask more questions and let that curiosity flourish, I found that it’s helped the teams that I’ve worked on, whether professionally or as a volunteer. I believe there are always opportunities within everything that we face. And I have had many mentors in my professional and personal life. The title doesn’t matter, there are leaders in everything that we do every day and being able to connect and listen to those voices. has helped me. I also feel like from a mentorship standpoint, I learn from other people’s mistakes and apply that to my decision-making process. LARKIN-SKINNER: I don’t know if there’s something I wish I would’ve heard more than I wish there were things I would have accepted. My latest learning journey is truly the idea of accepting the things I cannot control. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I’ve always had my fingers in everything I was doing and moved it along. But as CEO, you can’t do that yourself. You have to be more outward focused than inward. That transition has been difficult for me in the last four and a half years until finally I just accepted it. And people said things, like, it’s lonely at the top. I didn’t know what that meant until I was there

and letting go of the things I couldn’t control and focusing on the things I could. I’ve also learned to be compassionate with myself, granting myself the same compassion and grace that I grant other people. That’s still difficult for me.

COULD YOU SHARE THE CHALLENGES YOU MAY HAVE EXPERIENCED AS A WOMAN PROFESSIONAL? PROBSTFELD: I think we’ve come a long way. When I first started at higher education, women looked at each other as a competitor or an adversary. I don’t see that as much anymore. And I see women in higher education who are in atypical roles. I was a business officer and in the Florida college system 20 years ago, I was one of the only female business officers. Now probably about 40% of the business officers are women. A colleague that we have, Cammy Abernathy is the Dean of the department of engineering at UF—a very atypical role for a woman. We see more women who are presidents right now in our Florida college system, so I think we’ve started to crack that ceiling in some ways. But one of the things that really stands out in my mind is that across the nation, about 60% of students in college right now are women, but still more than 60% of those leadership roles are held by men. And so it’s kind of to me, very special that this month we will be installing our first female board chair in 50 years, Tracy Knight. We have a female chair of our foundation board, Dorothy Carson, and we have a female president. And that’s the first time that’s happened in the 65 years this college has been in existence. ROGERS: Early in my career, I would see male counterparts who were the same age as me, being promoted into higher leadership

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Chair of the Florida Council for Behavioral Health Board. She was recently appointed to the Florida Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse by House Speaker Chris Sprowls, and elected to the Board of NATCON (National Council for Wellbeing), representing Region IV nationally. Larkin-Skinner holds a master’s in healthcare administration from Saint Leo University and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from the University of South Florida. DR. CAROL F. PROBSTFELD, PRESIDENT, STATE COLLEGE OF FLORIDA, MANATEESARASOTA. Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld is the sixth president of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. Established in 1957, SCF is the area’s oldest and largest public college with more than 50,000 graduates. With campuses in Bradenton, Venice and Lakewood Ranch and an online presence, SCF serves 14,300 credit students annually and another 11,600 noncredit participants. Dr. Probstfeld was named SCF president in January 2013. Dr. Probstfeld came to SCF in 2003 as vice president of business and administrative services where she oversaw the budgets and administrative operations for SCF, a $100 million enterprise that makes a $432 million annual economic impact on the region. The College prepares students for university transfer with its Associate in Arts degree or for immediate employment with 30 workforce Associate in Science degrees, 5 Baccalaureate degrees and 36 certificate programs. As SCF president, Dr. Probstfeld is commied to building and nurturing relationships and focusing on enhancing the student experience. Her 25 years of higher education experience

roles and being told, “Okay, it’s not your time, but your time will come in a few years.” That has been one of the things that has stood out for me as a female. Obviously, that has shifted. I think that women are team oriented, so setting yourself apart as an individual, and having the confidence to share your achievements, and what you add as an individual to the larger collective, sometimes we have a hard time articulating that. When talking to women I mentor, I’m very clear to be supportive of how they articulate their individual contributions to the larger effort. As women, it’s our responsibility to help nurture that with other women in the workforce. LARKIN-SKINNER: I sometimes wonder if I’m just oblivious, but, I didn’t ever believe anyone could hold me back, and it may be somewhat related to the fact that my organization for most of my career, had a female CEO. My family business was in construction, and that was dominated by men. And, I just never believed anyone could hold me back. I had my path and I kept pushing forward, kept finding opportunities. And, thankful to the people who offered me those, both women and men. I found is that if somebody says something that bothers me and I find it condescending, related to my gender, or anything else, it’s because they’ve hit some nerve. I try to get control of it, because I’m a big believer in, and, this probably comes from being a therapist, I can’t control my emotional responses; however, I can control how I respond. The last thing I want is to be my own worst enemy, and we can really, as human beings fall into that trap. If there was ever someone that tried to hold me back, I clearly didn’t give them any second thought.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF OUR REGIONAL PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY AS A PLACE FOR A YOUNG WOMAN WHO’S HARD CHARGING AND WANTS TO SUCCEED? LARKIN-SKINNER: I think it’s fantastic. There’s tremendous opportunity, and there are tremendous female leaders, and a lot of them in our community. From my perspective, what young women have as a definite advantage right now is examples, proof that you can achieve anything. I think we’re all exceptional in our own way, and having more examples of people we can identify with, helps us believe we’re exceptional like they are, and that we can achieve anything. PROBSTFELD: I think there’s a lot of opportunity here, partially because I see a lot of the young women on campus who are freer than I felt in my day to be entrepreneurial, to start their own businesses. They don’t see the kind of limitations I felt that we saw when I was a young person. I think there’s much more of an idea that the sky’s the limit and you’re very much in control of your own destiny—you can make it what you want it to be. Particularly with the growth that we have in our region, with the industry that we’re bringing to this area, the opportunities are whatever you can imagine them to be. ROGERS: Over the past 10 years, our community has really grown its opportunities for younger professional women. In Sarasota, we have a depth and breadth of women examples, women who are willing to give of themselves and to share time with other women who are eager to learn. We also have a growing sector of younger women who are being raised here and growing up in this community, or who are moving here because of all of the things that Sarasota offers. I think, it’s great for them, but it’s also really great for Sarasota.

IN YOUR RESPECTIVE FIELDS, YOU INTERACT WITH INDIVIDUALS WHO FACE TREMENDOUS BURDENS AND CHALLENGES. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST DIRE CHALLENGES THAT YOU HAVE SEEN WOMEN IN OUR COMMUNITY STRUGGLE IN OVERCOMING? ROGERS: At Children First, we are focused on women, children, and families that are living in poverty. And so, that carries all sorts of challenges—socio economic, toxic stressors, and mental health. Just the fact that we’re able to provide education and support for working moms knowing that their children will be safe with us, that’s just one aspect of it. For women in our community who are facing these kinds of challenges, self care, access to resources, and our helping them connect through our partnerships in the community is really critical. With COVID, on top of everything that they may be dealing with on a daily basis, having ability to access support is important. LARKIN-SKINNER: There are a lot of challenges, all of which seem dire at the moment. Even though the focus isn’t COVID, you can’t really talk about the present and near future without mentioning it. It has overturned so many things, everything’s a bit topsy-turvy, there’s so much uncertainty, I think that’s what’s hardest for human beings. Along with COVID ,we’ve had an epidemic of suicide, addiction and overdoses, so people are dealing with a lot of trauma and grief. And then, there’s the trauma of losing loved ones, events, accidents that are unexpected, the hurricane that just hit Louisiana. The list kind of goes on and on, it’s almost like we don’t get a break anymore from constant bad news. I think we have a lot of people here who care, and who provide the resources to support. I’m an optimist and, I believe that

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at small private institutions and large public colleges includes a track record of fostering collaboration and community partnerships. JESSICA ROGERS, VICE PRESIDENT OF PHILANTHROPY, CHILDREN FIRST Jessica Rogers believes access to opportunity for all is the base for building a strong community. This belief has transformed her passion for helping women, children, and families into a professional career focused on the well-being of humankind. As a mother, she raises her daughter the way that her mother taught her, to strive to make a difference in the lives of those within her community. With 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, finance and education, Jessica Rogers serves as Vice President of Philanthropy at Children First, Sarasota County’s exclusive Head Start Program, which ranks in the top 1% of Head Starts nationwide. She represents the agency in advocating for the support of early childhood education and breaking barriers of poverty. During her tenure, she has transformed fundraising and outreach efforts allowing the agency to serve the greatest number of children and families in its 60-year history and being named WEDU PBS’s Nonprofit of the Year. Rogers’ volunteer and philanthropic engagement is wide ranging. She serves on the Sarasota County NAACP’s Freedom Fund Awards Gala commiee and is a former board director for the Junior League of Sarasota, most recently receiving their 2020 Sustainer Community Service Award.

getting through times like what we’re working through now, we’re going to feel bad, we’re going to feel pain, we’re going to feel anxiety and depression, we’re going to be angry. But, I do believe we’ll get through it, and ultimately, we will be in a better place, I have to believe that. So, as a CEO of an organization like mine, that’s one of my goals is to help our communities survive this, and really develop our resilience and come out of it better somehow. I don’t know what that’ll be yet, I just believe that we’ll get there. PROBSTFELD: One of the things I’m most proud of is that many of the students that come here never even thought that college was for them. We try to be that place where people are safe and where they can access resources that they need. We once had a young girl, a high school dropout. She was a single mother and pregnant. She got her GED and came to an open house for our biotech program. The professor in the program told her, “You can do this.” He told her she was very smart. She took the class, excelled and went on to an internship. That professor was the first person who ever told her she was smart enough to do anything. And so I think it’s that ability that we have to make every interaction with a student a positive interaction, and to give them the belief in themselves and the support they need to realize their dreams. Our big challenge is getting them here, but we’re reaching out to the communities and helping potential students to overcome challenges, whether financial, transportation, childcare, domestic violence, mental health—we have strong connections across the community to help make students successful.

IS THERE A MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER WHERE YOU WERE STRUCK BY HOW MANY PEOPLE YOU HAVE BEEN PART OF HELPING, HOW MANY PEOPLE’S LIVES YOU HAD CHANGED? LARKIN-SKINNER: I’ve had people over the years who’ve come up to me, and who I hadn’t thought about in years to say, “Thank you, you really made a difference. Your organization made a difference.” But I think that probably for me, what makes me realize that I must have done good things in my career, I must have helped people in our communities is that now, people seek me out—other professionals, our local politicians, the law enforcement—for information. So, what that tells me is that I am trusted, which is important to me, because integrity is number one to me. People recognize that the years I’ve been around, that I really am doing it because I care about people, because I want to help others thrive, I want to do what’s best for our community. Yeah, I’m the CEO of an organization, but I’m not all about this organization, and how much money we can make. It’s not about that for me, it’s about doing the right things that help make us all stronger, and happier. ROGERS: My mother and grandmother were big believers in making sure that their children and grandchildren were the same people when no one was looking as to when spotlight may shine on them. And that, attitude is something I really strive to carry through to my personal life and to my professional life. Recently, where it really hit me that my actions are directly contributing to positive change in the lives of others was when I received an email from the National Head Start Association, to say that I had been nominated

by a member of our staff for the NHSA Bold Leadership Award, for my contributions to the agency during COVID. The nomination came from an individual who works on the program side of our house. For me, that was kind of the aha moment that said, “You’re making this difference right now, and we can see that.” PROBSTFELD: There are so many stories. It’s hard to just pick one, but I think of a young lady who I met early on when I became president. She and her mother were victims of domestic abuse. They made the decision to to leave their home in the Northeast and they landed in Bradenton. She came to us on a whim and we helped her get her GED. She spoke at my inauguration and that day, she was notified that she had been selected to go to Columbia University. We were here when she landed to help her realize that dream. And every day, I hear the stories about students whose lives have gone from what it was to what it could be. And that’s what makes it worthwhile. Come and walk on my campus and stop any student. You’ll walk away saying, “The future is in good hands.” SRQ

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written by ashley grant | photos by jonathan young

Women Who Roar Keynote Speaker

SideHusl Superhero


join us for the srq annual women who roar leadership and awards luncheon on may 13, 2022 at the hyatt regency and meet kathy kristof in person.

If Kathy Kristof were a storybook character, she would be the crimson-caped, super sleuth reporter wearing turbo-powered spectacles and fearlessly wielding a lightning bolt-infused pen poised to strike against the misdeeds of corporate bad actors. Think Sherlock Holmes meets Superwoman with a bit of Hermione Granger thrown in for good measure and you’ve got the picture. GOOD FOR US SHE’S THE REAL DEAL. A regular su-

perhero in the digital information age where a bad Google review is mightier than the sword. The veteran award-winning financial journalist and author has used her uncanny talent and passion for sniffing out the truth and protecting consumers from deception for decades. Now as Creator, CEO and Editor of, a website that provides information on hundreds of ways to make money in the gig economy, Kristof is putting the power of online information in consumers’ hands helping them to achieve financial freedom safely. Kristof spent 19 years at the Los Angeles Times providing sage advice to her loyal fans through her syndicated financial column with a reach of roughly 40 million readers nationwide. After leaving The Times in 2008, she wrote for MSN, CBS News, Kiplinger, Forbes, Reuters and dozens of other publications. She’s the author of three books, including Kathy Kristof ’s Complete Book of Dollars and Sense; Taming the Tuition Tiger; and Investing 101. She is the recipient of numerous awards including Consumer Federation of America’s Betty Furness Media Service Award and the CACE Award for Excellence in Consumer Education. As the honored Keynote Presenter at SRQ Magazine’s Together We Roar Leadership Luncheon this coming May 2022, she is sharing her insights on opportunity, advocacy and the power of gratitude.

Kristof says she has always been passionate about writing and originally wanted to be a novelist. A journalism class in college and subsequent internship in the business section at the Los Angeles Times forged her path as a super sleuth who helps people to understand the information she uncovers in an easy to digest way. “Everything clicked. I knew business writing was what I wanted to do because I could use both my verbal skills and the analytical side of my brain to explain things that other people found complicated,” she says. “When you’re doing financial reporting, normally you’re either a verbal person or you’re a math person. And if you’re a little bit of both, it’s a great opportunity to help the verbal people understand the math side and vice versa. If you understand the rules well enough to know how supply, demand and economic forces can push things in a particular direction you can dive into the details of how something works and predict what will happen. I graduated from college in the middle of a recession and so understanding what was going on economically was fascinating.” More than just understanding the rules of the money game, Kristof has a larger mission when it comes to her chosen subject—financial freedom. “I write about money because freedom is incredibly important to me,” she says. And until you get a handle on your money, you are a slave to others, be they bosses, creditors or the people who pay your

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bills. When you are a slave to money, you lose all perspective about what is important in life, which, of course, is not money. I write about money because money is a tool. If you know how to use it, it can make you free.” While researching and reporting on the burgeoning gig economy for numerous publications, Kristof became aware of the risks and rewards of the various online platforms. An ‘aha’ moment inspired by her children’s online experiences during college made her realize people were being taken advantage of. “I started researching different sites that pay you to take college notes and upload them,” she says. “The first site I reviewed paid $25 per upload. Another site looked identical to the first one, but “When you are a you got 25 points for uploads. You would slave to money, you think points are the same as dollars but lose all perspective it turns out the points on this other site about what is important are worth less than a penny each. So if you sold your notes to the first site you in life, which, of course, would get $25. If you sold to the othis not money. I write er site, you get about 20 cents. ‘Wow, I about money because thought, that is so exploitative’.” money as a tool. If you Kristof was getting pitched daily with know how to use it, it a plethora of online money making opportunities and to keep track of them can make you free. ” she created her own directory and real— Kathy Kristof ized she had to make it public. “There was no comprehensive directory of all the things you can do but more importantly, there were no consumer reports,” she says. “There was nobody warning people about abusive online platforms that would steal their earnings and put their assets at risk. I ended up dropping everything else and going after this market, spending a lot of time researching, reviewing, and rating all the online platforms to tell people where the good opportunities were and wave them away from the really abusive platforms.” From that inspiration, was born. researches, reviews and rates more than 400 online gig platforms and provides standard disclosures for pay, commissions, fees, risks, rewards and requirements. Kristof ’s passion project is now the ultimate source for people looking to make extra cash or explore a side interest and has been featured in publications ranging from U.S. News and Inc. to NerdWallet and NextAvenue. In keeping with Kristof’s consumer advocacy focus, SideHusl is successfully providing real opportunity for its users while mitigating the inherent risk. “I’m really proud of the work we’re doing,” she says. “I started Sidehusl because I felt that freelancers were being put in an untenable situation and at risk of being exploited by giant multi-billion dollar companies. In the early days people were taken advantage of because the whole business model was based on churn and I felt that was insanely unfair.”

Rather than just put the spotlight on bad actors in the business, Kristof is advocating for change and the transparency she believes is necessary in this industry. “My big goal in the world is to make the companies play fair and the only way I can do that is through disclosure,” she says. “Instead of implementing dumb freelance laws, I wish the government would just demand clear and unequivocal disclosure like they do with other financial contractual transactions like credit cards, mortgages and mutual funds. By creating standard disclosure people will avoid the abusive platforms and go to the good ones. As a result, the abusive platforms will either improve or go under because that’s how a good market works. Disclosure actually levels the playing field. The good companies survive and the bad ones do not. Great information gives people the ability to go where they’re treated fairly. That’s what I’m hoping to do.” Impressively, some abusive platforms have already changed their behavior as a result of her efforts. She says, “A company was upset that I wrote a critical review about them and it was tracking really highly on Google. So they called me and said they were going to sue me to take their review down. I said, ‘Great, go for it, but first tell me if I’ve written something that’s inaccurate, I’m happy to correct it.’ But it wasn’t inaccuracy they were upset about. So I just told them again, ‘Sue me. You’ll just make me famous. And more people will find that review’. After they talked to their attorneys they came back and said, ‘What is it going to take for you to change your review?’ And I said, ‘That’s easy. You have to change your policies so that you treat people fairly.” Kristof has seen increasing interest in side gigs during the pandemic with people trying to make money through alternate work options and selling household items for extra cash. The online platforms have been a huge resource for those whose income has suffered and she wants to make sure that everyone knows no matter what their situation, there’s a SideHusl for them. “There are some people for whom the traditional economy works really well but there are a lot of people for whom it doesn’t—whether it’s because of a disability or family obligations or people who are not retirement-ready,” she says. “For whatever reason, if that traditional nine to five work doesn’t fit you, the best thing about the burgeoning freelance economy is that you’ve got a zillion different options and right now, today you can take action that can put you in a better spot.” To make the whole process easier, Kristof has compiled all of her research and data into an online quiz that will narrow a person’s interests, skills, resources and goals into the perfect opportunity for them. “My goal is within five minutes of starting our quiz, you will have suggestions of things that you can do and in 24 hours, turn around and start making money.”

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Previous spread and this page: Kathy

Kristof photographed at her home in Southern California. Photo by Jonathan Young.

Kristof is a huge proponent of the flexibility gig work provides and in larger context believes the recent workfrom-home culture we experienced during the pandemic is the wave of the future and can be hugely beneficial to employers and staff alike. “I think that if we’re thoughtful about how we approach that post-pandemic era, we could actually really make working conditions better for everybody and make businesses more productive at the same time,” she says. “A big benefit companies have realized is that remote work saves them a fortune and gives their workers a lot more flexibility. When you have the flexibility to work in the structure that suits you then you’re most productive. It’s a classic win-win. I started working from home when my daughter was born and it changed my life. It allowed me to do what I loved career-wise and still have time to pick up my kids from school and volunteer in their classrooms. Remote working allows you to save that time for the people who are most important to you, and I think that’s a wonderful thing for society.” Kristof believes that success comes down to the basics. She says, “Regardless of the economy, follow your passions but along the way work hard, be honest, kind

and responsible because those actions have a way of coming back to benefit you and will pay off no matter what. If you don’t do those things because that’s your character then do them because it’s practical.” Her mission is to make a difference in the world in whatever way she can and she believes small actions are incredibly powerful. “I have this theory that nobody actually has to be the giant superhero,” she says. “If we all just did little things to make the world a better place like helping somebody with their groceries or just smiling at someone who’s having a bad day, all those little tiny things make up the fabric of our world. And so, my philosophy is just do what you can. If everybody picks up their one little grain of sand, you’ve got a beach, so it’s worthwhile.” As for her superpower, Kristof says its gratitude, and notes being thankful has been her key to navigating life’s challenging times. “I am immensely grateful so whenever I get down about something I start thinking of all the things that are right in my life and that list is so long that I never actually get to the end of it. I recommend instead of looking at what you don’t have, look at what you do have. You’re going to find amazing gifts.” SHE ROARS srq magazine_ OCT21 | SHE ROARS MAGAZINE live local | 17

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written by ashley grant | photo courtesy of cyma zarghami

Women Who Roar Trailblazer Recipient

Blazing Television

join us for the srq annual women who roar leadership and awards luncheon on may 13, 2022 at the hyatt regency and meet cyma zarghami in person.

Cyma Zarghami, CEO of MIMO Studios, has made a name for herself as a multifaceted veteran in the world of children’s television and franchise development. As the president of Nickelodeon and Viacom Media Networks Kids & Family Group from 2006-2018, Zarghami steered the Nickelodeon ship to become the leader in children’s programming and the number one kids cable network with high-ranking programs like SpongeBob SquarePants, iCarly, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dora the Explorer and PAW Patrol.


Studios, a sleek children’s storytelling factory for the streaming age. The recipient of the SRQ Magazine’s Women Who Roar Trailblazer Award, presented to women who are passionate and undaunted in pursuing their dreams, Zarghami was born in Iran to a Scottish mother and Iranian father. Her family immigrated to the United States when she was a child and she spent her formative years in New Jersey. She explored teaching and writing as possible career options before heading to New York where she found her place at fledgling startup, Nickelodeon. She says, “I loved the people. I loved the product, I loved the idea of it. And it seemed like a great company. So I stayed for 33 years.” Zarghami learned the business from the ground up starting as a programmer and quickly moving up the corporate ladder. “With each new business that we did I like to say, I got an MBA because I learned as we grew

and I helped build a lot of it,” she says. “Eventually, I got the seat at the head of the table and we enjoyed incredible success for many years”. She notes that amidst many career highlights, the pinnacle of her time at Nickelodeon was taking SpongeBob SquarePants to the bright lights of Broadway. “That was really a great moment for me. We had done movies, consumer products, games, theme park rides, and we’d gone around the globe. Taking SpongeBob to Broadway was a fantastic crowning achievement.” In 2018, Zarghami left Nickelodeon and took some time to plot her next course. She realized with all of her experience there was one facet of the business she had yet to conquer. “Putting projects together and bringing them to the marketplace was the one thing that I never actually did at Nickelodeon. I oversaw all of it. I never actually did it.” So she decided to start her own company and do just that.

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MIMO Studios, named for the mini movies that are the company’s signature, launched with a vision to create a pipeline of animated and live action content in a TV-length movie format for kids 11-years-old and younger. The studio is producing its family-focused offerings from original content in the categories of preschool, animation, live action and podcast and will be available through traditional and digital outlets. MIMO is focused on developing long lasting hits in children’s entertainment and the studio has an impressive pipeline. MIMO’s first project out of the gate is the live-action feature, The Kid Who Only Hit Homers, based on author Matt Christopher’s children’s book and is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. MIMO has also partnered with Gurinder Chadha and Paul Berges of Bend It Like Beckham fame to write a live action film adaptation of the book, Maggie & Abby’s Neverending Pillow Fort. MIMO Preschool has acquired the rights to develop NY Times best-selling preschool book franchise, The Pout-Pout Fish into a series of CGI animated, TV-length original movies. Meanwhile, MIMO Animation is developing an animated, TV-length film adaptation of the award-winning, serialized kids podcast, The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian from Gen-Z Media and MIMO Sports announced its first podcast miniseries, Heroes of the Game in partnership with Baron Davis and UWish. The studio has plans to develop Heroes of the Game into a TV movie which Davis will executive produce. Zarghami believes that MIMO Studios is poised to be a forerunner in the industry because of the experienced team she has put together and the innovative approach they are employing to address the changing nature of the industry. “I have surrounded myself with a group of people who know kids better than anybody else and can say that, having been at Nickelodeon for 33 years, we understand the audience quite well. I think the model has changed completely and the streaming services have disrupted the way that kids are using content,” she says. “There hasn’t been a big hit in the kids business for seven years, eight maybe. There are a few reasons for that, but I do think it’s because the streaming services have come online and subscribers, who are the most important thing, are primarily adults. It’s going to take a few years before people realize how important the kid audience is to this sort of media business.” Zarghami notes that MIMO will employ a new take on franchise development. She says, “The toolkit for making great franchises is different now. Publishing is having a moment as a source of great IP. Podcasts have come online and the toy business is in a completely different state than it’s been,” she says. “The way we’re going at it is to deeply understand the emotional state

of kids today. We’re trying to make a contribution, if we can, to their overall happiness by bringing them something they’re going to love and get it to market faster and more efficiently. At the end of the day the content is what drives the larger business. So we’re making the content and hopefully if we make good enough content, kids will gravitate to it and emotionally respond to it so that everything else can fall into place. If you think about the Dora the Explorers or the SpongeBob’s of the world, there hasn’t been anything that has resonated like that in a long time. So I feel like we have a good shot in finding the next one,” MIMO’s larger mission is providing a happy refuge for kids in an uncertain world and Zarghami believes that great stories and characters are the way to do that. “I think that the best thing that we can do for kids today is create a level of escapism for them. Because of social media, COVID and the last four years politically, kids are exposed to way too much of the real world,” she says. “I think that they’re fiercely aware of their parents’ economic position, they’re exposed to the news in real-time in a way that they never were in the past and they’re under incredible pressure and stress. So the most value that kids businesses can offer right now is really high quality, really low stress, really good escapism.” Having embraced the leap into entrepreneurship, Zarghami says that having her own company is much more fulfilling compared with her corporate experience. “It is more gratifying in every way at the moment. I was an executive and now I’m a producer and an entrepreneur. I am at the core fiercely competitive and I don’t like to fail, so I would like to be successful and I’m fairly ambitious about what I think we’re going to be able to do. Everything is just so much more efficient and I think that’s a combination of having my own business being in charge of my own schedule. Nobody wants to waste time. Most meet-

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Left: Cuddly soft toys from the kids TV shop Paw Patrol for sale in a gift shop, Gary Perkin / Salma Hayek at the Dora The Explorer 10th Anniversary Celebration with Launch of Beyond The Backpack Campaign, Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Burbank, CA, s.bukley /,

ings are 30 minutes now. I haven’t been in an hour-long meeting in two years,” she says. Another benefit she notes upon reflection is that at the helm of her own company she now has the opportunity to create and implement her visions in her own way and on her own terms—something she thinks can be a challenge in the business world. “ I put the brand, the organization, the people and the company first for my entire career,” she says. “And I would say — Cyma Zarghami at the end of the day, the one thing I probably didn’t do well enough was advocate for myself. I think I was naive and believed that if the company was successful, that I would be successful. I saw this sort of ‘rose-colored glasses’ idea in all the women I was working with. I missed an opportunity to advocate for myself better. I wouldn’t say I regret it, but I would say it was a lesson that I learned.” As MIMO embarks upon a fresh approach to producing children’s programming, Zarghami notes that she is committed to making female leadership, diversity and family-centric values a huge part of MIMO’s culture. She says the support she received from female executives at Nickelodeon was integral to her success. “I think that being a female executive in any corporation is an ongoing hurdle. But Nickelodeon was a female-led organization. It was sort of a unicorn in Viacom,” she says. “And the great thing about it was, while there were a lot of men there, we were surrounded by strong women in leadership positions. When I worked for Judy McGrath, who was the head of MTV networks, everywhere I looked I saw women. It was a really unique and special environment. So as I build my new company, one of the things that I am determined to do is have a female owned, female-run company and support the cause for female leaders, every chance I can.”

“I saw this sort of ‘rose-colored glasses’ idea in all of the women I was working with. I missed an opportunity to advocate for myself better.

Likewise, citing her husband and three sons as her life’s greatest accomplishment she recognizes the positive impact of working for a company that recognizes the importance of family. “One of the reasons I appreciated my career at Nickelodeon so much is because I really do think that being in the kids business and in a leadership position has allowed me to create a place where family could remain super important,” she says. “I would put my kids and my husband above all else, because that is what’s important and always has been.” Since leaving the corporate world, Zarghami notes that the unprecedented events of the past few years have changed people’s approach to work and will have a lasting impact on business. “I think that the worklife balance has shifted now, at least for the near longterm,” she says. “People got a taste of what life could be like without feeling like they had to be working around the clock and they are leaving the workforce in droves at the moment so I would imagine that the entrepreneurs are going to come out of the woodwork.” A side benefit of being an entrepreneur in this new world according to Zarghami ,is the opportunity to create a more balanced and successful life. To do that she says everyone just needs to slow down. “I was in a hurry for probably 35 years. I think one of the huge benefits to this new world that we’re living in is everything takes a little bit more time and it’s great,” she says. “You spend a little bit more time having conversations, a little bit more time thinking. It’s really nice not to be in a hurry at the moment. And I feel like I’m better for it. I’m a better friend. I’m a better mother. I’m a better executive. I’m a better thinker. I think going slower is really important. And I think people forget to take care of themselves. That’s part of the slow down. Make sure you’re exercising, make sure you’re getting some alone time. You have to figure out how to make yourself feel good. Because if you feel good, everybody around you feels good.” For Zarghami, feeling good means thriving in her business, spending quality time with family, a decadent novel and chocolate chip cookies. She says, “I love to bake. I’ve been making fabulous chocolate chip cookies for about 30 years now. And it’s one of my little secrets” With MIMO, Zarghami has found a perfect outlet for her experience, passion and talents. Happy at the helm of MIMO, she’s excited for the possibilities on the horizon and says, “Now that I’m on the other side of the table,” she says. “I’m having a really good time and I’m excited to have a company that brings to life the quality of content that I think the next generation really needs. I’m having a ton of fun.” SHE ROARS

srq magazine_ SHEROARS21 live local | 21

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NOMINEE | 2021


"We are the oldest same-family, same-owner company in Manatee County, Est. 1952."

I WAS REARED IN A FAMILY THAT HAS "ROARED" FOR GENERATIONS. My mother, Fay Boyd was well known in Manatee and Sarasota counties for her philanthropy. My father, Wilbur Boyd and my grandfather, H.E. Boyd served in the Florida Legislature for many years. My cousin, Senator Jim Boyd is serving today, so I grew up in the Florida Senate. My children grew up in Major League Baseball. I met my husband, Milt May at Manatee Community college, when he was a rookie with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Milt has spent the last 8 years as hitting instructor for the Orioles in Sarasota. He is a 30 year veteran player and coach in the major leagues. It’s great for him to be home and work with young players. Today, my personal focus is on Christ centered philanthropy. I am proud to support The Paul and Toni Azinger Compassion Center. I am the owner of Boyd Realty, LLC., the oldest samefamily real estate company in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. It was established by my father in 1952. We aren’t the biggest fish in the sea but we swim with the sharks everyday. I’m proud to be the leader of bright young professionals who use their energy to better our community. To percolate in this competitive business, I have chosen to put my whimsical personality in the Boyd logo. Our “Fun Fish For Sale” signs stick out in the sea of Navy blue! An old attorney friend once told me “Brenda, you are like a good old boy in a skirt!“ Yes, that’s exactly who I am!

RIVER DISTRICT OFFICE 2200 Manatee Ave W., Bradenton, FL HISTORICAL ANNA MARIA OFFICE 409 Pine Ave. Anna Maria, FL 941-750-8844 |


9/14/21 7:05 PM

"I often find myself thinking and saying

'this too shall pass'. My next thought or

statement is always about moving forward and finding solutions."

NOMINEE | 2021


I BELIEVE I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR MY OWN HAPPINESS. Things happen in life that are beyond my control (like COVID) and as much as I want to be in control of them, I know I cannot. However, I know that I can control the actions I take in response. I may temporarily experience uncomfortable emotions; I may be confused, upset, or in shock. No matter how deep the pain, I force myself to focus on my belief that although I am uncomfortable right now, I know it is temporary. I know I will eventually feel less uncomfortable. I think about what I can learn from my experience and how I can use that knowledge in the future. In a way, I share this philosophy with others through my work–our work in behavioral health is centered around helping people see and respond to the world and their experiences; we offer people support and solutions for thriving.

391 Sixth Avenue W. Bradenton, FL 941-782-4299 |


9/14/21 7:05 PM

NOMINEE | 2021



and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."—Jane Goodall. DAILY LIFE “Never

underestimate yourself. Who is going to stop

you?” PROFESSIONAL “Looking ahead is important. It

helps you determine your steps now to get there."

JESSICA ROGERS BELIEVES ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL IS THE BASE FOR BUILDING A STRONG COMMUNITY. This belief has transformed her passion for helping women, children, and families into a professional career focused on the well-being of humankind. As a mother, she raises her daughter the way that her mother taught her, to strive to make a difference in the lives of those within her community. With nearly 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, finance and education, Jessica Rogers serves as Vice President of Philanthropy at Children First, Sarasota County’s exclusive Head Start Program, which ranks in the top 1% of Head Starts nationwide. She represents the agency in advocating for the support of early childhood education and breaking barriers of poverty. During her tenure, she has transformed fundraising and outreach efforts allowing the agency to serve the greatest number of children and families in its 60-year history and being named WEDU PBS’s Nonprofit of the Year. Rogers’ volunteer and philanthropic engagement is wide ranging. She serves on the Sarasota County NAACP’s Freedom Fund Awards Gala committee and is a former board director for the Junior League of Sarasota, most recently receiving their 2020 Sustainer Community Service Award. Jessica is a member of the National Council of Jewish Women Sarasota-Manatee chapter, the USF Tampa Digital Marketing Certificate Program Steering Committee, and past Troop Co-Leader for the Girl Scouts of Southwest Florida. She is a proud graduate of both the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance Executive Academy, and the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership program where she currently serves on their Leadership Alumni Committee.

1723 North Orange Ave. Sarasota, FL | 941-953-3877


9/14/21 7:06 PM

NOMINEE | 2021


PRINCIPAL/COO, FAWLEY BRYANT ARCHITECTURE (FBA) AMANDA CAN'T SPELL. Her right brain is far stronger than her left, and her inability to catch a movie reference has turned into an office-wide joke. She is comfortable with all of that. Amanda Parrish is authentic, and as a Principal and COO at Fawley Bryant Architecture (FBA), her positive, transparent approach has helped the company effectively navigate significant organizational changes. With a marketing background and a master's degree in Organizational Leadership, she oversees the human resources, marketing/businessdevelopment, and administration departments at the 27-year-old architecture and interior design firm. With an unwavering belief in teamwork, Amanda harmoniously integrates the major functions of the business to keep FBA moving forward. Since being hired in 2016, Amanda has helped FBA successfully transition to new ownership, create and update firm policies and procedures, intentionally recruit and hire new team members, and roll out the company’s seven core values. Integral in the development of company culture, she leads teambuilding activities such as a book club, a monthly core value conversation, quarterly volunteer activities, and a weekly “It’s Fine Lounge” where the team toasts the week’s accomplishments. This internal success has spilled over to allow her to confidently engage with clients, broker new strategic partnerships, launch an advisory board, and focus on FBA’s business plan. She may not be a movie buff, but Amanda most certainly understands how to cultivate a community. In addition to her role at FBA, Amanda currently serves as Chair of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and, most importantly, is a wife and mother to two young daughters. 5391 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. N. Suite 300, Sarasota, FL 941-343-4070 | “Teamwork makes the dream work. I look for ways to

cultivate the unique skills and talents of those around me. One of our core values at FBA indicates that we rise by lifting others, and I wholeheartedly believe that.”


9/14/21 7:07 PM

"I dedicated my career to helping children and adults through their most vulnerable

moments. My goal is to help clients realize the struggles they are experiencing today are developing the inner strengths they need for tomorrow."

NOMINEE | 2021

CASSIE L. D'ADDEO OWNER, GREEN COUCH COUNSELING, LLC CASSIE L. D’ADDEO, HAS BEEN A LICENSED MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST for over ten years and Certified School Counselor in Manatee County, Florida. Cassie is the owner of Green Couch Counseling, LLC, a private counseling practice serving children, adolescents, and adults. Cassie has a passion for helping people and dedicated her life work to assisting people through life’s most difficult challenges. At Green Couch Counseling, Cassie strives to create a warm, non-judgmental environment in which clients feel understood and comfortable exploring issues, while cultivating self-awareness and coping skills as they embark upon the journey to create positive change. In April 2021, Cassie published her first children’s book, Riley & Milo: A Puppy’s Story of Coping with Grief and Loss, after tragically losing her canine companion and co-therapist, Riley. The book Riley and Milo leads young readers through the stages of grief such as: denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and acceptance. Cassie wrote this publication to help normalize the emotions and experiences of young readers who are coping with grief and loss. When not busy at the Green Couch Counseling, Cassie is an advocate for mental health awareness in our community, a Youth Mental Health First Aide instructor and a strong believer that all young learners should have access to social emotional learning opportunities in our schools. Cassie is an avid reader, a beach lover, and a dog mom to a golden retriever named Kai.

6400 Manatee Ave West, Suite L 101, Bradenton, FL 941-500-3600 |


9/14/21 7:08 PM

NOMINEE | 2021


DIRECTOR, CLIENT SERVICES, MARINER WEALTH ADVISORS “MY MISSION IN LIFE IS NOT MERELY TO SURVIVE, BUT TO THRIVE; AND TO DO SO WITH SOME PASSION, SOME COMPASSION, SOME HUMOR, AND SOME STYLE.” —Maya Angelou. This quote is so empowering to me and has all the reminders I need to strive to live my best life each day. It compels me to take steps to pursue my passions in a meaningful way and allows that energy to naturally flow to those I interact with and serve. Kristina Eastmond made a promise to herself that to achieve great things, she must live in the moment with gratitude, laugh a lot, make deep and meaningful connections and let go out of outcomes not in her control. This philosophy has given her the motivation and grit needed to honor her past and rebuild a new life with hope and intention. Her success story exists because of resilience, as her “why” was reborn out of personal tragedy: the loss of her husband at a young age. When one visualizes their future and it changes overnight, fear can certainly be paralyzing, but pure love and determination helped her move forward. She started a new life in Sarasota in 2004, raising two wonderful children on her own, building a fulfilling career and giving back to the community. Kristina’s level of passion is shared by the comprehensive team at Mariner Wealth Advisors. She feels it’s a privilege to be a part of a company with a mission of putting clients first. She enjoys supporting individuals and families as they discover their own “why” while the firm advocates for them to make the most of their own lives and navigate life events, both the expected and the unexpected.

Allegiant Private Advisors is now Mariner Wealth Advisors 240 S. Pineapple Ave., Suite 200, Sarasota, FL 941-365-3745 |

“Past results are not indicative of future

returns” applies to so much more than just your portfolio. There are no guarantees in life but

when you lean into it with clear and attainable

goals and surround yourself with individuals who care about your well-being, you can certainly worry less and start enjoying your journey.”


9/14/21 7:09 PM

NOMINEE | 2021



“We aim to make all our patients feel better about their skin and about themselves. We

understand that sun, stress and time all take

lowed her to build a business based on her values–patient centered, compassionate, caring and family-friendly. Since this early beginning in a small five exam room clinic, Paradise Dermatology has expanded to two modern offices in Sarasota and Englewood. The team includes Dr. Chelsea Duggan, four midlevel providers, and over 30 staff members–several who have been with Dr. Pennie since the beginning. “We aim to make all our patients feel better about their skin and about themselves,” said Dr. Pennie. “We understand that sun, stress and time--all takes its toll on our skin. We help our patients undo this damage, so that their skin reflects the youthfulness they feel inside.” Additionally, Dr. Pennie is a founding member of Premier Dermatology, a Florida-based, physician-owned dermatology group formed to protect medical practices from corporate competition. Physician-owned practices can place patient care and staff well-being above financial returns and productivity metrics. Premier Dermatology has thrived under this model and has added multiple practice locations on the west coast of Florida. Dr. Chelsea Duggan joined the Paradise team in 2018 and was a natural fit–empathetic, kind, friendly and passionate about dermatology. Dr. Duggan enjoys international medicine and was able to spend time in a dermatology clinic in Malawi. Along with her international travels, Dr. Duggan has been published in dermatology journals and values research that helps expand knowledge in the field of dermatology.

SARASOTA 3355 Clark Road, #101, Sarasota, FL | 941-921-4131

a toll on our skin. We help our patients undo

ENGLEWOOD 699 S. Indiana Ave., Englewood, FL | 941-474-8811

youthfulness they feel inside.”— Dr. Michelle Pennie

this damage, so that their skin reflects the


9/15/21 5:05 PM

"Everything is a lesson and if you can stand there you will begin to see your path unfold right before you.”

NOMINEE | 2021


THIS LAST YEAR HAS TAUGHT ME MANY LESSONS, none more important than answering the question, “What is really important in life?” For me, it’s about serving others. As we were all forced to put our lives on hold, this offered up a huge opportunity to take an in-depth look at what was working and what wasn’t working in my life. With so many isolated over the last year and half, Salt of the Earth became a lifeline for many. I was already serving the wellness community via Salt of the Earth Sarasota, but what I didn’t realize until we reopened, was that I was also serving their souls. Many clients had become my friends— eagerly sharing their lives as friends do. But during the past 14 months things changed. People were sharing on an even deeper level. Salt of the Earth became a safe sounding board for all the upheaval that was happening around us. Clients could express their fears, sadness and more knowing they were supported. Many clients became friends to each other as well, sharing similar experiences over the past year. Finding strength in each other, knowing they weren’t alone. Salt of the Earth became much more than a wellness center, it became a beacon for those needing a place to talk openly, safely and be reassured. Wellness means many things to many people. We not only provide healing for the body but also heart, mind and soul. I’m honored that these trying times have clarified my life’s work for me."

"Breathe Better - Feel Better - Live Better” 4037 Clark Rd., Sarasota, FL 941-702-8300 |


9/15/21 10:56 AM

PERSONAL MANTRA “Every trial we endure is the

perfect preparation for our true calling and purpose. My prayer

isn't, 'Lord steady my plaform,' but rather 'teach me how to stand!”



WHAT INSPIRES ME AND DRIVES ME EVERY DAY is my passion for protecting and sparing children from horrific trauma and secrets. I often think about my own life and what took me off track and stole my confidence as a child. If I had one advocate, one adult, or one system that knew how to unpack the textbook issues I was experiencing, I would have avoided years of pain, hiding, and covering up. Instead, I would have lived in freedom, not shame and secrets. My greatest desire today is to give children that freedom from the very beginning. From the moment we are conceived, there is a fight for our destiny. Unfortunately, most children are not equipped with prepared adults to protect and defend their destiny. So, I am excited about making a difference in the lives of countless children and adults on a global level because children desperately need true advocates to rise up on their behalf.

P.O.Box 5576, Sarasota, FL | |


9/14/21 7:18 PM

NOMINEE | 2021


FOUNDER/CEO, SPARK GROWTH I GREW UP SURROUNDED BY THE MOST INCREDIBLE, INTELLIGENT, GRACIOUS, AND COMPETENT WOMEN. Yet, while I was told that I could do anything, it was clearly evident that I could not. I love the question, "What would I say to my younger self?” You are smarter than you think. You are stronger than you know. You are more capable than you can imagine. Live with grace and compassion; always forgive, appreciate your contributions, and treasure your time. Practice authenticity, yet be careful with your heart: not everyone recognizes how valuable you are. Know that you are more than enough to fulfill your calling, yet you are entirely incapable of doing this alone. Every day choose life. Choose to be thankful. Choose to live boldly in the present, respecting the past and anticipating the future. Speak words of life to those around you, and look for the gifts that reside in each person. Don't expect everything to be easy because life rarely is. While people are troubled, at the same time, they are still wonderful. Life is beautiful in all its messy details. So I imagine and work daily towards a world where young people have access to resources that cultivate mindsets of lifetime learning, that encourage potential, and that connect and support regardless of gender, ethnicity, or any other labels. Therefore one day, one girl at a time, we may move towards a future where all girls take pride in being strong, bright, bold, and maybe even funny. If I don't know who I am, someone will tell me who I should be. Therefore, I live by a few simple truths:

• My life changes when I do • If I don't apply structure to my time someone or something else will • The only things I have control over are my own choices

912 7th Ave E. Bradenton, FL | 941-877-1599 |

“Every day choose life. Choose to be thankful.

Choose to live boldly in the present, respecting the

past and anticipating the future. Speak words of life to those around you, and look for the gifts that reside in each person.”


9/14/21 7:21 PM

NOMINEE | 2021



make history.”— Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

KNOWN TO MANY SIMPLY AS DR. P., CAROL PROBSTFELD IS A VISIONARY who leads our local state college with strategic business planning while wearing her heart on her sleeve. She joined SCF in 2003 as the vice president of business and administrative services and was inaugurated as its sixth president in 2013. Under her leadership, the college is boldly leading its students, community, faculty and staff, and donors to create a future that allows the college to grow, adapt and achieve. The college has updated its infrastructure; expanded workforce degrees and certificates; launched its first-ever capital campaign and built a new Library & Learning Center; added three flagship academic programs at SCF Venice; purchased a Parrish campus; and created a Leadership Academy to foster future campus leaders. She is and always will be the students’ and institution’s biggest fan! She has traveled thousands of miles and logged hundreds of hours to sit discreetly on the sidelines to cheer on SCF students at their games, concerts, plays, competitions and upper-level graduation ceremonies. A first-generation graduate herself; Dr. P. believes in leading by example, lifelong learning and investing in our children’s future. As a local philanthropist, she has donated more than $200,000 to the State College of Florida Foundation for student initiatives, capital projects and the Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld Commitment to Academic Excellence Fund.

5840 26th St. W. Bradenton, FL | 941-752-5201 |


9/14/21 7:24 PM

NOMINEE | 2021


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND CO-FOUNDER, SUNCOAST SCIENCE CENTER THE LEGACY LEFT BY MY LATE HUSBAND, DR. FRITZ FAULHABER, continues to inspire me and the difference I aim to make in our community. Fritz’s passion for making Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) education hands-on, accessible and enjoyable for people of all ages was unmatched. My desire to make an impact is continually fueled by the special moments when I get to see that legacy live on through the unique community we’ve built at the Faulhaber Fab Lab. There is nothing quite like watching a child’s eyes widen as they experience science in a way they never have before, or hearing a student volunteer express genuine gratitude for creating a safe space for them to flourish. I believe we can create a brighter tomorrow locally and globally by supporting and empowering our youth to tackle anything that

comes their way. Instilling the technical skills students need to be competitive in future pursuits is a crucial part of what we do at the lab, but even more significant are the real-world opportunities we provide for them to build life skills, confidence and grow as individuals. Equipped with these tools and with a supportive community behind them, there is no limit to the difference they can make in our world. I try to live by the belief that failure is nothing to be feared. It is through our failures that we discover ourselves and strive to do and be better the next time around. We weave this idea throughout the entire fabric of the Fab Lab, with the hope that our youth, in particular, will learn to take a moment to pause and be gentle with themselves in moments of stress. From that pause, growth blossoms.

“I try to live by the belief that

failure is nothing to be feared. It is through our failures that we discover

ourselves and strive to do

and be better the next time around."

4452 S Beneva Rd. Sarasota, FL 941-840-4394 |


9/14/21 7:24 PM

“Our family wants to care for your family.

Because everyone deserves the best in care.”



THE WOMEN-LED TEAM AT TAKE CARE “ROARS” IN THEIR OWN WAY: with purpose, polish, professionalism, kindness, composure, expertise and—above all—immense care. Originally motivated by her mother who was also a registered nurse, Susanne Wise discovered her passion for nursing decades ago. She founded Take Care Private Duty Home Health Care in 1995 and has continued to blaze the path for home care in our community. Her business acumen, compassion as a nurse herself, and commitment to providing the best care possible have led to the company’s success and positive impact in the lives of Take Care’s clients and their family members. Susanne never expected Take Care to become a family business. However, as the company grew to meet the community’s needs, her daughters Courtney and Erika earned their respective, specialized degrees to contribute to the company’s leadership and future. Courtney helped launch the RN geriatric care management and advocacy program with the creation of Take Care Advisor. There was a need to educate the community about how the agency’s services could help their families, and Erika was prepared to share Take Care’s story. Together, they support local causes, uphold the highest standards, provide leadership and constant encouragement to Take Care’s team of 500 caregivers and staff throughout Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties. Susanne, Courtney and Erika are a dynamic trio with unique qualifications: a nurse with her MBA, a masters in gerontology, and a masters in publishing and writing. United by their devotion to their clients and desire to give back, their individual strengths as business leaders are matched by their big hearts.

3982 Bee Ridge Road Building H, Suite A, Sarasota, FL 941-927-2292 | HHA License:#299991405 | #21657096


9/14/21 7:27 PM



CO-FOUNDER/CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER, KIVITY, LLC NOTHING IS A GIVEN. Each day is a gift. Nikki Taylor intends to make it count. Whether with family, volunteering, or in the board room Nikki likes to fully engage and be of service. If history is any indication, she is pretty serious about it. Although Nikki is still an avid volunteer in the health and human-services areas, her days are quite different as she and cofounder Skye Fischer have been busy launching their new business, Kivity. Nikki says “It feels amazing to be a woman in tech empowering parents to take back that resource in such short supply, their own time." For those not in the know, Kivity is a free resource for parents and businesses. Similar to a ‘Google for Kids Activities’, Kivity brings all the extracurricular activities that Sarasota has to offer to parents’ fingertips where they can search, discover and enroll. For local businesses it’s used as a free class- management software tool that powers their programs while also helping grow their business. Continuing on the path of staying engaged and aligned with core values Nikki continues to mentor in the community and serves on several boards such as: Glasser/Schoenbaum-Board, National Charity League-Board, Southside Elementary PTOBoard, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Foundation, & Donors of Distinction Advisory.

MANTRA Start Today & Live Your Dreams

DAILY LIFE ““Strength does not come from the

physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will” —Mahatma Ghandi PERSONAL “A woman is like a

tea bag. You can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water."—Eleanor Roosevelt BIZ “I

would like to be remembered as someone who

used whatever talent she had to do her work to the best of her ability”—RBG 1680 Fruitville Rd. Ste 310 Sarasota, FL 941-587-9060 |


9/14/21 7:35 PM

NOMINEE | 2021




spread hope like fire!”


“We treat each

home as its own special canvas bringing our

client’s lifestyle

and color palette

to life. When we step

away, the painting

LISA MOORE, FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR AND COMMUNITY HOPE DEALER. Tragedy turned to HOPE. I was beautifully blessed with a little boy named Blaze and while his time on Earth with me was short, his life has so much meaning! Blaze inspires me every day to reach out and spread hope to our community, to love others, and to help parents in their most desperate hour. I want families to be able to spend more time with their sick child and less time worrying about their bills. My motto is simple: Bless and be blessed. And don't forget: Chin Up, Chest Out, and Smile. It's what Blaze would do! MISSION STATEMENT To provide financial assistance to families of children with a life-threatening medical condition while hospitalized, to enrich lives with HOPE, to build community, and raise awareness.

BLAZE OF HOPE 501c3 | 941-232-4568 Childhood Cancer Awareness


is complete and yours to enjoy.”

DIANE’S PASSION FOR ART & DESIGN BEGAN AS A CHILD. Her elementary teachers quickly realized her gifts in the arts, and encouraged her attendance at the Carnegie Melon University Gifted Arts Program. She finished her Interior Design Education at Art Institute of Chicago, and her career in design has been thriving ever since. Diane’s ultimate dream of owning her own Interior Design firm finally came to life in 2015, and she has been elated to bring life to our community through her business. Diane’s passion for design and care for her clients touches every project she picks up. As a one-stop-shop interior decorating service, Diane’s business helps clients bring their home decor visions to life. She strives to create unique, cohesive and harmonious spaces that make clients truly feel at “home”.

DECORATING DEN 614 Cypress Ave. Venice, FL 941-484-3596

9/14/21 7:40 PM

NOMINEE | 2021


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HUMANE SOCIETY OF SARASOTA COUNTY “Transparency, honesty, kindness, commitment, teamwork— these are the values of a great humane organization.”

TWENTY YEARS AGO, I DROVE FROM ALABAMA TO COLORADO to interview for a job with a national animal welfare organization—in person. On that journey, I dedicated my life to working with animals. Over time, I have realized that this work is just as much about helping people as it is caring for animals. Animals are our teachers, our friends, and for many, our family. Animals provide unwavering support and unconditional love. Through laughter and tears, they are always there, and they are always overjoyed to see us. My mission in life is to help people connect with a dog or cat that desperately wants a home and a family. At HSSC, we have been making love matches for nearly 70 years. Now, with our state-of-the-art facility, we are ushering in a beautiful new era of lifesaving and innovation for our community, our state, and our country. HUMANE SOCIETY OF SARASOTA COUNTY 2331 15th St. Sarasota, FL | 941-955-4131 |

NOMINEE | 2021


“Smiles emulate the beauty of one’s


soul. Our passion is to define the natural beauty of the smile.”

DR. MICHELLE SCALA IS A NATIVE FLORIDIAN inspired by the natural beauty of the Florida beaches, warm sun and tropical environment. She became an honors graduate earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology/Biochemistry in 1995 and graduated from the University of Florida College of Dentistry in 1999. She has perfected the “Art of Smile Design” by combining her passion for natural beauty and dentistry. As a result of joining the American Academy of Facial Esthetics and the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry she uses a non-surgical approach to create and bring out the very best in your facial features. Dr. Scala has practiced in the Lakewood Ranch area with her custom designed, state of the art Smile Studio for 8 years. She shares her passion for cosmetic dentistry with Dr. Brandy Rubinski and Dr. Jensen Bouton. Together, their combined techniques, continuing education and state of the art equipment have made them the ultimate dental trio in Cosmetic Dentistry. LAKEWOOD RANCH FAMILY AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY 8430 Enterprise Cir., Ste #100 Lakewood Ranch, FL | 941-907-4777 Left to right: Dr. Jensen Bouton, Dr. Michelle Scala and Dr. Brandy Rubinski.


9/14/21 7:47 PM

NOMINEE | 2021


“Every day I am thankful for the opportunity:

the opportunity

to inspire; the opportunity to encourage; and the opportunity to motivate our students, our staff and our community.”

I AM DR. RACHEL SHELLEY, THE PROUD PRINCIPAL OF BOOKER HIGH SCHOOL and the co-founder of Booker Promise Foundation, a program providing college scholarships to economically deprived Booker High School students. Booker Promise is my promise to our students to help them navigate their futures successfully. Their journey doesn’t end upon crossing the stage while clutching a diploma. It continues until they have the skills necessary to live the life of their dreams. My story is one of someone who came from low-income housing to become a community leader, a popular and successful principal, and a woman on a mission. I want all my students to know they can do it too—whatever their passion or goals—they can overcome life’s obstacles. I look forward to the day when the Booker Promise becomes the “Sarasota Promise” and our entire community steps up and replicates our efforts at Booker Promise.

BOOKER PROMISE FOUNDATION 3201 North Orange Ave. Sarasota, FL | 941-928-0567 |

NOMINEE | 2021


CO-FOUNDER, CIRCUS ARTS CONSERVATORY "Sometimes people help you and they don't even realize how

they're planting seeds in you that will last forever. I want to honor this incredible world of the circus and to honor all those great

artists that came before us and laid the foundation for the rest of us, it's upon their shoulders we stand.”

CIRCUS ARTS CONSERVATORY CO-FOUNDER AND 2015 NEA NATIONAL HERITAGE FELLOW, DOLLY JACOBS is a world-renowned circus aerialist as well as a dedicated coach, sharing the tradition of circus arts through teaching and performance. She was born into a family of circus royalty and became known as “Queen of the Air” for performing on the Roman Rings and Aerial Straps, showcasing acts of grace, strength and daring. Dolly holds her circus legacy close to her heart and believes in passing her knowledge of the circus arts onto the next generation by coaching at The Sailor Circus Academy, a training program that she participated in as a child. Dolly worked incredibly hard to accomplish all that she has. She’s never felt that she got there on her own; it's through the help of others.

THE CIRCUS ARTS CONSERVATORY 2075 Bahia Vista St. Sarasota, FL | 941.355.9335 |


9/15/21 1:30 PM

NOMINEE | 2021


“How can I help?” — I am MaryBeth Hansen and that is my Mantra

MY WHOLE LIFE, I HAVE BEEN PASSIONATE ABOUT HELPING OTHERS and bringing people together with food. Growing up, I watched my mother feed nine children and my hardworking father every night. Her compassion and generosity inspired me to open my first restaurant in Lansing Michigan at the age of 23. From then on, I have always been a restaurant owner and entrepreneur, all while being a single mother and raising my two wonderful children. I owned 10 Peach’s Restaurants from Ellenton to Venice and all points in between but wanted to be settled in Nokomis. In 2016 I opened the Paradise Grill in my community of Nokomis and have not looked back. I believe women need to have strong mentors and provide leadership roles. I hope I have been able to do that and that is why I support the Women's Resource Center, as well as the South County Food Pantry. Over the course of the pandemic, Paradise Grill has donated over 15,000 meals those in need through our Free Food Friday program. I have built Paradise Grill into a community destination and am very proud of my Paradise Family.

PARADISE GRILL 1097 N. Tamiami Trail Nokomis, FL | 941-786-1524 |

NOMINEE | 2021


OWNER, SIRIUS DAY SPA, SALON AND MEDSPAS “Everyday our mantra is to make someone’s day better

through healing, confidence and/or beauty-it’s all connected. Going above and beyond to help others lifts everyone upand that’s what the world needs”

OUR MISSION AT SIRIUS DAY SPA, SALON AND MEDSPAS HAS ALWAYS BEEN “TO BUILD CONFIDENCE THROUGH WELLNESS AND BEAUTY. Truly, nothing is more heartwarming than seeing our guests and members with an extra pep in their step and beaming glow on their face after receiving a treatment. Whether it be a pain relieving neuromuscular massage, acupuncture treatment, B12 shot, teeth whitening or a new hair color/style, the smile on their faces is why we love what we do. The incredible team at Sirius (42 of them!) live here with their families and community engagement is key. We love seeing our guests and members at the grocery, in the mall, schools, church or temples, and we love to give back. Through our many fundraisers or even or annual spa day for the Sunshine Kids (local children affected by cancer), our goal is to make a positive difference.

SIRIUS DAY SPA SALON & MED SPAS LAKEWOOD RANCH 11585 E State Road 70 Lakewood Ranch, FL THE SHOPPES AT UTC 8512 Cooper Creek Blvd #107 University Park, FL 941-357-4611 |


9/14/21 7:48 PM

NOMINEE | 2021



CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, THE FLORIDA CENTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD “You cannot please all people all the time. Just be your authentic self and make the best decision you can for that moment or situation. If you make a mistake, 'oh well’. Fix it and move on. No well-intended mistake cannot be repaired. ”

I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED IN THE POWER OF RELATIONSHIPS. It is no wonder that my entire career has focused on the overwhelming importance of our earliest relationships, those between parents and children. As someone whose early childhood was filled with change and uncertainty, there was always someone in my life I could count on. These “first relationships” in my life were critical in building strength and resiliency, allowing me to thrive as a young child, then into my teen years, and into adulthood. I believe my life’s journey has prepared me to be the leader I am today. I believe we must embrace our past, continue to learn from it, and find ways to alter our course when necessary. My hope is that we can all take time to understand one another, be genuinely curious, value authenticity and make the world a better place because of how we are with one another.

THE FLORIDA CENTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD 4620 17th Street | Sarasota, FL | 941-371-8820 Fax: 941-377-3194 | |


9/14/21 7:56 PM


WOMEN WHO ROAR 2021-22 NOMINEES AND PAST YEAR'S LEADERSHIP CIRCLE WINNERS We recognize all the women doing incredible work in our hometown!


Melissa Larkin-Skinner CENTERSTONE-FLORIDA


Jessica Rogers

Nikki Taylor



Amanda Parrish

Lisa Moore





Kristina Eastmond

Dr. Rachel Shelley



Dr. Michelle Pennie Dr. Chelsea Duggan

Dolly Jacobs


Dianna Manoogian

Diane Schaefer


Anna Gonce



Elizabeth Fisher Good

Dr. Michelle Scala



Sara Hand






Erika Wise Borland Suzanne S. Wise Courtney Wise Snyder

Marybeth Hansen Karen Medford SIRIUS DAY SPA, SALON AND MEDSPAS


9/15/21 5:07 PM

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