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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

A VISION REALIZED

Siesta Seafood and Music Festival Get your seafood fill at this island festival. PAGE 6

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‘My Barking Dog’ Urbanite Theatre offers an unnerving performance. PAGE 10

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Music Matinees Sarasota Concert Association spotlights local world-class musicians. PAGE 8

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Nick Friedman

The Elling Eide Center opened in October. Currently open to scholars, leadership is looking for more opportunities to share Elling Eide’s collection with the public.

With the opening of the new Elling Eide Center, a local Sinologist’s legacy is cemented.

NICK FRIEDMAN

E

A+E MANAGING EDITOR

ntering the 72-acre property along Little Sarasota Bay is like taking a step back in time. One of the largest undeveloped waterfront properties in Sarasota County, it remains mostly untouched, looking as it might have when its earliest prehistoric Native American settlers fished its waters. Nearing the bay, almost out of nowhere, a stark contrast emerges, breaking the illusion. Clean horizontal lines in crisp white and black cut through the dense monochromatic expanse of OldFlorida green. Finally, the sleek, minimalist structure appears in full view, standing three stories high and elevated a floor above the ground. It’s an impressive sight — and without prior knowledge, one would never know it existed. The Elling Eide Center, located at 8000 S. Tamiami Trail, opened its doors Oct. 20. With its ample Zen spaces and remarkable views, it hosts Chinese and Asian scholars from around the world and is home to one of the largest SEE PAGE 2

Chinese artists and calligraphers signed their work with characters representing their lives. Eide’s personal stamp, above, features the words “book” and “house,”roughly translated to mean “library.”


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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

A VISION REALIZED FROM PAGE 1

personal collections of EastAsian literature, poetry and art in the United States. The collection — some 75,000 volumes of reference materials, poetry and rare books dating back to the 13th century — is on par with that of a mid-sized university. But the impressive assemblage belonged to just one man: Sarasota native Elling Eide, who hand-selected its contents over 60 years, with hopes to one day house it in his own library. Unfortunately, he never lived to see his vision realized. The center’s completion, a project 13 years in the making, comes four years after Eide’s death. It marks the final chapter in his decadeslong quest to house his collection of ancient books and artifacts. Its intentional stylistic juxtaposition is the yin to its location’s yang — a modernist testament to one man’s thirst for knowledge and love for Asian cultures of the past.

A RICH HISTORY

It’s an early Thursday morning, and Harold Mitchell, the center’s president and CEO and Eide’s first cousin, is strolling the grounds of the property, recounting its history. He and Eide’s grandfather, Oliver Luther Mitchell Sr., purchased the land, then known as Indianola, in 1935. The following year, he bought a home in Bradenton and paid to have it floated via barge to the property, where it remains today. “Elling lived for most of his life in our grandfather’s house,” says Mitchell. “But I know that was never the type of house he wanted. He wanted a place to store his collection.” Mitchell makes his way to the entrance, where Zen-like rock gardens adorn the space beneath the elevated first floor and an original antique bell from the house is displayed as a testament to the center’s new-meets-old motif.

Spending much of his career in finance, Mitchell says he was never much interested in Sinology — the study of Chinese language, literature and culture — at least not the way his cousin was. But in the 13 years it took to see the project to completion, through extensive archiving, financing and permitting issues, and Eide’s ever-changing vision, he’s become well versed in the collection in his own right. Inside, passing ancient tapestries and statues, Mitchell rattles off their historical significance with ease. In one hallway, there’s a glasshoused foot-binding display. In another room, a Persian ceiling painting, circa 1850, hangs installed above the table, whose reflective surface offers guests a view of its ornate detail without having to crane their necks. “This is something you might’ve found in the home of an upper-middle class family in Iran,” he says. “Elling really want-

ed the reflective tabletop.” “I had no background in any of this,” he continues. “But through all this, I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve come to find it all fascinating. That begs the $1 million question: How did Elling get started in all of this?” Born and raised in Sarasota, the son of two doctors, Eide graduated from Sarasota High School in 1953 before studying at Harvard University. He graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Far Eastern languages, despite his parents’ wish that he become a lawyer. “He was always interested in world travel and in language,” says Mitchell. “He was fluent in several languages in high school. He told me, ‘I don’t want to do all the things that other people want to do.’ I think he found Far Eastern languages in college, and he decided to give it a try. He fell in love with it all, and that’s where he made some of his closest lifelong friends.”

Courtesy Photo

Above Left: Elling Eide on a trip to China. Eide’s extensive collection of East Asian art, literature, poetry and other artifacts now has a permanent home at the Elling Eide Center. Nick Friedman

Above: Eide’s collection includes more than 75,000 volumes, including 350 rare books dating back to the 13th century.

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Courtesy Photo

Above: A 19th-century Persian painting required labor-intensive restoration and installation. Left: Harold Mitchell, the center’s president and CEO, and Eide’s cousin, says the completion of the Elling Eide Center was an emotional moment. File photo

After graduation, while stationed around East Asia and studying in Taiwan as a Harvard Junior Fellow, Eide began preserving and collecting literature. In 1984, he published a translated book of poems by eighth century Chinese poet Li Po — his favorite. Today, the collection, including thread-bound publications, wood-block printings and ancient rubbings, is properly preserved and available for use by scholars from around the world. Before that, the majority of the collection was stored in

containers, under beds and piled in various historical buildings on the property. The effort to build a permanent library began in earnest in 2003, when Eide contacted architect Guy Peterson, who designed the center. By 2011, when the construction was fully underway, Edie’s health had begun to deteriorate. He had experienced a minor stroke, which affected his speech and vision. Mitchell recalls walking him down to see the progress. “He told me, ‘Harold, I can hear it. But I can’t see it.’”

Realizing he might not live to see the project’s completion, he considered giving up. “We spent a good few hours talking about his legacy,” he says. “I told him, ‘You’ve got all these materials, and you finally have the opportunity to share them with the world.’” EMOTIONAL ACHIEVEMENT

From Nov. 10 to 12, the Elling Eide Center hosted its first conference for the T’ang Studies Society. When the bus arrived, and scholars from around the world unpacked and loaded into the

conference room, Mitchell says the emotional weight of the journey hit him. “Here were professors from the top universities from all over the world, coming here to see the Elling Eide Center,” he says. “It just washed over me. I thought I knew him. But through this, with every page I turned, I saw another side of him — his intimate thoughts filling in all the gaps. I walked away from this with a closer connection to my cousin, and to me, that makes it all worthwhile.”

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

STEP INTO THE

SPOTLIGHT Young choreographers showcase their work through Sarasota Contemporary Dance. NIKI KOTTMANN BLACK TIE REPORTER

Photo by Niki Kottmann

Natalie Robison will debut an emotional, personal piece in “Voices.” Courtesy photo

NATALIE ROBISON Natalie Robison comes from a traditional dance background: she’s a trained ballerina who got her professional start at Columbia Classical Ballet of Columbia, S.C., and freelanced on the East Coast before landing in Sarasota. During her time in New York City, Robison befriended an opera singer named Miram Leah. Her days spent listening to Leah perform in Central Park are her fondest, most peaceful memories of living in New York City, and it’s Leah who will accompany her on stage to sing for the debut of her first piece of choreography. The piece is set to Leah’s “Saudade,” a dark, emotional piece that Robison knew she wanted to choreograph the moment she heard it. The song perfectly embodied a personal struggle

that Robison was going through at the time, and she says creating the piece was her way of working through that obstacle in her life. “It was just about letting it go into the easel of the studio — the movements came out of the emotions that I was feeling at that exact moment,” she says. The piece is intimate, but Robison hopes it’s open for interpretation. It’s set as a solo, in which she uses her long skirt as a prop. She hopes these two elements create a piece of art people don’t feel the need to have explained. Transitioning from a dancer to a first-time choreographer, Robison realized that she became more critical of her work, but also was more liberated in who she can be onstage. “This is the first time that I’ve felt like I’m truly being myself in a piece,” she says.

SAMANTHA PAZOS Samantha Pazos is one of the two emerging choreographers who were picked from the SCD summer intensive. She trained in Cuban classical ballet in Miami, but it wasn’t until she got her MSA in choreography at Florida State University that she was exposed to the creative process behind dance. The piece Pazos will showcase is more than a year in the making and was inspired by her travels to Spain. Pazos has always been a fan of Spanish playwright Federico Garcia Lorca, and after traveling to his home region, the idea finally began to take shape. Inspired by his mix of Arabic and Spanish themes, Pazos picked one work, “House of Bernada Alba,” to re-create as a dance.

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Dance pays for the entire production of the show and choreographers have a 10-person company of dancers at their disposal. The idea for the show began when various members of the company came to Bolanos Wilmott and said they were interested in pursuing choreography. The platform became a means of fostering their creativity. Watching their work come to life, Bolanos Wilmott says, makes her feel like a proud mom. Three of the five choreographers for this year’s production are members of the SCD company: Natalie Robison, Ben Howe and Melissa Hull. The other two, Wendy Rucci and Samantha Pazos, were selected as emerging choreographers from the company’s summer intensive. Each derived his or her inspiration from unique experiences, and each had a different idea for how his or her vision would come to life. We spoke to three of this year’s choreographers to learn more about their creative process.

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Some messages are better told without words. For painters, the medium is canvas. For sculptors, it’s clay. For dancers, it’s a stage and an audience interested in watching performers pour their souls into every movement. Five choreographers will give Sarasotans a look into their creative processes this weekend in Sarasota Contemporary Dance’s latest show, “Voices.” This annual performance, now in its fourth year at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, gives emerging choreographers the chance to showcase work that might otherwise go unseen. “It’s hard as a first-time choreographer,” Artistic Director Leymis Bolanos Wilmott says. “I wanted to make it easier for them — create a vehicle for them.” By showcasing an original piece through “Voices,” young choreographers can bypass the stress of trying to find dancers, costumes and all the other elements that go into planning a dance performance. Sarasota Contemporary


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BENJAMIN HOWE Benjamin Howe’s dance background is anything but typical. He didn’t start dancing until he was 15 and didn’t take his first formal class until 25. He’s a hiphop and house dancer at heart, but his style has since expanded to mirror his mixed identity as a half-Caucasian, half-Puerto Rican man who’s now trained in various dance styles. “I don’t stick to one thing,” he says. “Similar to not belonging to a world. I take from whatever I can.” This is Howe’s fifth season as a SCD company dancer and his second time choreographing for “Voices.” This year, his piece is inspired by the refugee crisis in Europe and the struggles of indigenous people all over the world. His wife comes from a family of refugees who fled Laos, and as a male dancer defying the norms of masculinity, he drew from various places to tell the story of a group’s struggle to be true to themselves.

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Pazos only had four days in Sarasota to work on the piece with her dancers before returning to Miami, and it wasn’t until she had all the bodies in one room that she says she was able to work through certain aspects, like what to do with the fans that she had bought in hopes of using them. Pazos describes the piece as part contemporary and part flamenco (she even sent the dancers flamenco videos to watch in her absence) with some touches of classical ballet inevitably thrown in. She is also a singer, so having a live musical element to the piece was important to her. Dancers Natalie Robison and Jahrel Thompson were up to the task and will sing throughout the piece. One unusual element is the use of group chanting as a means of feminist activism. At one point, the women dancers walk together in a circle, repeating lines about how being born a woman is an inconvenience. “There’s this whole idea of gender and exploring your sexuality,” she says. “It’s this constant battle of trying to live up to society’s — and maybe your family’s — expectations and trying to fight against it.”

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

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ART AFTER 5 5 p.m. at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Road $15; free for members Call 359-5700.

AMERICAN FINE CRAFT SHOW 10 a.m. at Robarts Arena, 3000 Ringling Blvd. $11; $10 for seniors; $6 for students; $13 weekend pass; Children free Call 355-2400.

Explore permanent and specialexhibition galleries, plus the Circus Museum at a discounted rate.

The event, now in its eighth year, features works in ceramics, glass, leather, wood, painting, photography and sculpture by more than 100 national artists. Runs through Sunday.

G2H2 5:30 p.m. at the Starlite Room, 1001 Coconut Ave. $10 Call 702-5613. This monthly gay happy hour will raise money for World AIDS Day and celebrate the launch of new LGBT website Sarasotaout.com. CHRIS COPE AND J.B. BALL 7 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theater, 1923 Ringling Blvd. $15 to $19 Call 925-3869. Chris Cope and J.B. Ball co-headline this show. Cope is known for his sharp material and downhome sensibilities; Ball has a flair for the ridiculous. Runs through Sunday. ‘VOICES OF SARASOTA CONTEMPORARY DANCE’ 7:30 p.m. at the Jane B. Cook Theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail $46 Call 345-5755. This annual performance features works by emerging choreographers, including company members and featured guests. Runs through Sunday.

‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’ 7:30 p.m. at the Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W., Bradenton $27 to $37 Call 748-5875. The Manatee Players brings this classic fairytale story to life. Runs through Dec. 18.

THE AUSTIN VICKREY BOP LEGACY QUINTET​ 2 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Road $15; $10 for Jazz Club of Sarasota Members Call 366-1552. The Jazz Club of Sarasota presents the Austin Vickrey Bop Legacy Quintet, which pays homage to jazz legends of the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. Hear bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz and Latin jazz.

DON’T MISS

ART BATTLE 7 p.m. at Payne Park Auditorium, 2100 Laurel St. $25 Visit Artbattle.com. Painters have 20 minutes to create their best work in this live art competition. Guests can enjoy the action up-close, moving around the easels to watch the creative process. Following each round, the audience votes on a favorite painting, which then goes up for bid in a silent auction. ‘THE NUTCRACKER’ 7 p.m. at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave. $35 to $50 Call 328-1300.

MASTERWORKS II: ‘THE NEW WORLD’ This concert features two iconic American works with greatly varying perspectives: Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” and Dvořák’s symphony “From the New World.” Featuring renowned violinist Vadim Gluzman. Runs through Sunday. IF YOU GO When: 8 p.m., Friday Where:The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail Tickets: $33 Info: Call 953-3368.

The Sarasota Cuban Ballet School premieres its holiday production, featuring dancing by the students and choreography by the school’s artistic directors, Ariel Serrano and Wilmian Hernandez, master teacher Delia Ballart Arcia and resident choreographer Tania Vergara.

SARASOTA KARAOKE NIGHT 9:30 p.m. at Tavern on Main, 1507 Main St. Free Call 953-6777. Put your pipes to the test at this karaoke event. This week’s theme is a little bit country — and a little bit hip-hop.

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SATURDAY ELKEY TRIO: 'ENTRE MUNDOS: BETWEEN WORLDS' 7:30 p.m. at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road $45 Call 306-1202. Using a unique variety of instruments, including guitar, viola, charango and Andean panpipes, this trio plays classical and folk music from South America.

WEDNESDAY

NICK’S PICK

THE ART OF CHOREOGRAPHY AND ITS DESIGN 1 p.m. at Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail $10 to $12 Call 365-2032.

SIESTA BEACH SEAFOOD AND MUSIC FESTIVAL Enjoy food, music, arts and crafts and libations at the Siesta Beach Seafood and Music Festival, which features seafood and drinks from top Siesta Key and Sarasota restaurants and performances by local and regional musicians. Continues Dec. 4.

Robert de Warren, a ballet director, choreographer, designer and master teacher, draws from his collaboration and friendships with performers including Rudolf Nureyev, Margot Fonteyn, Pavarotti, Mirella Freni and Maria Calas and Laurence Olivier, to provide an inside look at how masterpieces are born.

IF YOU GO When: 10 a.m., Saturday Where: Siesta Key Beach Tickets: Free Info: Visit seafoodfestivals.com. – NICK FRIEDMAN

SUNDAY

MONDAY

TUESDAY

BALLROOM TO BROADWAY 7 p.m. at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave. $20 to $45 Call 922-1444.

FESTIVE CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT 7 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 1031 S. Euclid Ave. Free Call 870-9885.

GUIDED ART AND BACKSTAGE TOUR 10 a.m. at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail $5 Call 953-3368.

Sarasota Musica Viva presents this concert with special guest artist and Boston Symphony Orchestra harpsichordist, Mark Kroll, with flutists Betsy Hudson Traba and Linda Bento-Rei.

Take a rare look behind the scenes of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in this tour, hosted by the Fine Arts Society of Sarasota. See the movable orchestra pit, dressing rooms, hydraulic lifts and green room, where visiting performers relax between shows.

Sarasota Dancing Stars presents this event, in which professionals and students dance to Broadway classics. THAT ’70S PARTY 7:30 p.m. at the Gator Club, 1490 Main St. $10 Call 366-5969. Dig out those bell bottoms — LDG Productions presents this throwback party, featuring live music by The Hydramatic, plus funk and R&B by DJ Rus Deep.

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GREAT ESCAPES II: ‘SLEIGH RIDE’ 5:30 p.m. at Holley Hall, 709 N. Tamiami Trail $38 Call 953-3434. Get in the holiday spirit with the Sarasota Orchestra, which will present an evening of holiday classics. Runs through Dec. 10. ‘LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL’ 7:30 p.m. at the Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 N. Tamiami Trail $12 to $30 Call 365-2494. Follow Elle Woods, a sorority girl who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her exboyfriend Warner. Along the way, Woods manages to surprise her contemporaries and stay true to herself. Runs through Dec. 23.

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Music in the afternoon SCA’s daytime series shines a light on homegrown musical talent.

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Sarasota Concert Association is best known for bringing worldclass classical musicians to our area as part of its Great Performers Series. What’s less well known is that it also showcases the world-class musicians who live here. That’s the thinking behind the Music Matinee Series, SCA’s long-running, community outreach program showcasing the talents of regionally based musicians who represent a vast array of musical styles, including classical, folk, jazz and pop. Sylvia Eckes coordinates the series. As she sees it, the series shines a light on the hotbed of musical talent in Sarasota. “So many gifted musicians live in our area,” she says. “It’s rewarding to have the opportunity to support them — and to offer their performances at no cost to the community.” These free concerts happen at noon, usually at Sarasota’s Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center. Eckes adds that SCA expanded the series’ reach this year, with two additional concerts in Venice and Lakewood Ranch. The next concert features the talented mother-son duo of Avis and Aaron Romm — both Siesta Key residents. Aaron is an accomplished trumpet player; Avis is a Steinway piano artist whose “love affair with piano began at age 3.”

In a recent conversation, Aaron shares that, “We’re normally part of a trio with my father, Ronald Romm — he’s a founding member of the Canadian Brass. This time around, it’s just the two of us.” Aaron and Avis have been rehearsing steadily for the past few weeks. “We practice at my mother’s home,” says Aaron. “She’s got a beautiful Steinway, and the acoustics are great.” The program includes J.N. Hummel’s “Concerto in E-flat Major,” the “Queen of the Night,” aria from Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” several arrangements by pioneering trumpet composer Rafael Mendez, H.L Clarke’s “Carnival of Venice,” Ravel’s “Pavane,” Lee Norris’ arrangements of “What Child is This?” and “O Holy Night,” and Harry James’ “Concerto for Trumpet.” Triumphant pieces in the spirit of the holidays. But no easy pieces. “Trumpet literature is getting better, but it’s still limited in scope,” says Aaron. “For this concert, we’ll be dipping into works created for other instruments and other styles, using transcriptions of the original compositions created for our instruments. I’ll be playing the soprano’s line on the trumpet; my mother will play the part of the entire orchestra on the piano.” The piano score is the foundation; the voice of Aaron’s trumpet builds on that. “For every note I play, my mom plays about 10,” he says with a

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

IF YOU GO MUSICAL MATINEE CONCERT: AVIS AND AARON ROMM When: Noon, Dec. 21 Where: Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail Tickets: Free Info: Call 209-7742 or visit scasarasota. org.

laugh. “That’s OK. I learned at a very early age that my part isn’t the most important. Every note I play serves the whole.” Their methodical rehearsal process always builds on the piano score. Once Avis perfects a clean run-through, Aaron adds the trumpet passages and finetunes the timing. With lots of practice, they make it look easy. Of course, it’s not. And it doesn’t happen overnight. As Aaron describes it, “For our early rehearsals, my mom and I practice around the clock. As we get closer to the performance, we’ll practice at the same time as the concert. We’re teaching our bodies: OK, now’s the time we’re going to play.” Repetition is key, Avis says. “We’ll play each piece again and again until it’s as natural as breathing.” That may sound mechanical.

But playing each piece exactly the same way isn’t their goal. A fluid performance is. “We want to be smooth, but not robotic,” Aaron says. “My mom and I play off against each other; we’ll talk, make jokes. It’s a relaxed, informal presentation.” Aaron adds that their relaxed attitude goes hand in hand with a serious commitment to the music. Do they find it intimidating? Never. “These songs are our old friends,” says Aaron. “My mother was the music director for many operas. I grew up listening to these pieces.” Right now, he’s off to his next practice. Eckes remarks on the duo. “The Romms are living treasures,” she says Eckes. “And they’re not alone. We have so many musicians in our region deserving of more recognition. Our series creates that recognition. It gives credit where credit is due. That’s the purpose of the series — and that’s the joy of it.”

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

‘My Barking Dog’ takes a bite out of civilization MARTY FUGATE

IF YOU GO

THEATER CRITIC

‘MY BARKING DOG’ When: Through Dec. 18 Where: Urbanite Theatre, 1487 Second St. Tickets: $28; $20 for under 40; $5 for students Call: 321-1397

Eric Coble’s “My Barking Dog” isn’t tame, safe or housetrained. Actually, it’s not a dog at all — it’s a coyote. (The Latin name for which is Canis latrans, i.e., “barking dog.”) Dog or coyote, the beast is taking a bite out of civilization at Urbanite Theatre. Let’s begin at the beginning. Two social misfits speak alternating monologues, occasionally joining their voices in unison. Toby (Miles Duffield) is an unemployed corporate drone. He wanders his apartment, laptop in hand, seeking a free Wi-Fi signal like a lost soul. Melinda (Caitlin Hargraves) is an employed drone, feeding paper into hungry presses on the solitary night shift at a 24-hour printing plant. Their realistic drudgery and alienation quickly veers into absurdism. The photo on Melinda’s employee badge is as ageless as the portrait of Dorian Gray. She tells of another employee who aged so rapidly he needed a new photo taken every hour. Until he died. Coble’s play starts off in Ionesco territory, then swiftly cuts across the field to the land of “Fight Club,” like a dog chasing a squirrel. A magical coyote appears! This coyote catalyst sparks

their souls with a hunger for wildness. Melinda starts leaving it raw meat on their apartment complex steps. The beast gobbles it up, sometimes returning, other times not. The two obsess about the critter with a quasi-religious fervor. Maybe something more. No sooner do I scratch the words “Coyote porn” in my notebook, when a funny thing happens … Maybe something mystical, maybe something physical. I guess we’ll never know. A romantic interlude, let’s say. Melinda is burning down abandoned buildings, tearing up old tennis courts, planting apple seeds and spreading compost. To make room for the wild things, of course. And that’s just the beginning. Like Tyler Durden and the Joker, Melinda wants to see the world burn. Cobin’s play starts off at a low flame that gradually rises to white-hot intensity.

Ryan Finzelber

Caitlin Hargraves and Miles Duffield portray misfits drawn to the wild — and the destruction of civilization.

Director Daniel Kelly slowly turns up the flame and lets the play’s mad dialectic play out. Duffield and Hargraves nicely embody a shuffling loserturned-feral-beastman and a robotic-pieceworker-turnedrevolutionary-firestarter. Their doomed dance plays out in Mark Beach’s set of disconnected urban puzzle pieces. Not a dull moment. Not a derivative moment. Great writing, performances and directing in a play about two slightly unhinged people who turn into two seriously crazy people. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Don’t get me wrong. Crazy is the nitroglycerine of drama.

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Yes, it gets an impact. Jack Torrance’s ravings; Norman Bates’ love for his mother; the list goes on. The nameless hero of Chuck Palahniuk’s “Fight Club” had a split personality (aka Tyler Durden) who eloquently expressed his desire to rewind civilization to the Stone Age. He makes a good point. But Pahlunik never entirely buys it. He keeps his distance between Tyler’s crazy gospel and some semblance of sanity. The playwright of “My Barking Dog” doesn’t. The actors express their disorienting journey with Coble’s soaring, poetic language. Everything’s keyed to a fever pitch — with occasional gags

and giggles when it gets too heavy. Each fever-pitch monologue is also a sales pitch — for the destruction of civilization, naturally. Toby and Melinda resemble alt-right caricatures of tree huggers — worshipping nature instead of God, and all that. A satire of the ecologically over-sensitive, perhaps. Either that, or Coble really would like to see cities burn. This hit me on a gut level and rattled my cage. Urbanite Theatre doesn’t play it safe. What else is new? It’s a philosophical play. I disagree with the philosophy — assuming I’m reading it right. See it yourself and make up your own mind.

THE PERLMAN MUSIC PROGRAM/SUNCOAST

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ON THE FLIP SIDE: A+E Literary Legacy: Elling Eide Center houses Chinese art collection. Party at the Point: Historic Spanish Point hosts a roaring good time . 6

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

KILLER SHOES This year’s Most Marvelous Shoe of the Day award, chosen by designer Adrienne Vittadini, was awarded to Shani Walker and her Christian Louboutin Electropump spiked black pumps.

Chairwoman Sally Schule and Chairman Terry McKee

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Photos by Niki Kottmann

Shani Walker reacts to the news that she won best shoes, decided by designer Adrienne Vittadini.

2 0 1 6 S I G N AT U R E L U N C H E O N Friday, Nov. 18, at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota Benefiting Forty Carrots Family Center NIKI KOTTMANN | BLACK TIE REPORTER

T

he commanding sound of stilettos hitting tile echoed throughout the halls of the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota on Friday, Nov. 18, when 585 guests gathered to drink wine, show off their most fashionable footwear and raise money for Forty Carrots Family Center at the Wine Women & Shoes Signature Luncheon 2016. Cocktail hour featured various wine, shoe and accessory vendors, a pop-up spa and a unique magazine cover-style photobooth. Before lunch was served, everyone in the ballroom was treated to an electric violin performance by Jared Burnett. Guests then got the chance to bid on several live auction items — one being a three-night stay in a

SEE ON PAGE 2

DECADENT DESSERT The wine didn’t stop flowing after the main course was over. Guests enjoyed special macarons flavored blueberry cabernet, strawberry rose and orange pinot grigio, complete with mini winefilled basters to pump their own desired amount of alcohol into the desserts.

Below: Michelle Senglaub and Kay Mathers


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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

BY THE NUMBERS

Photos by Niki Kottmann

Far Left: Kelly Van Vliet and Bianca Lawrence Left: Solemen perform their annual dance.

57 solemen 585 guests 38 Zang Toi looks modeled by 13 professional models 3,700 clients served free parenting education & child and family therapy sessions 1,081 free Parenting Education and Mental Health classes 8 representatives from charities in cities across the U.S. visited to learn more about the event so they can replicate it 12 hours of rehearsal for the 16 solemen who participated in the dance performance 70 volunteers 200 slides (approximately) clicked through during the luncheon

13 participating wineries 11 retail partners 850 selfie sticks made for 54 tables 27 props kept backstage for the production

132,243 people engaged with photos on Facebook from Wine, Women & Shoes Sarasota in the month of November Over 200 slides clicked

FROM PAGE 1

five-star hotel in Tuscany — while savoring a herb marinated grilled mahi mahi entree as their main course. Attendees then enjoyed assorted macarons while listening to a spoken word piece about a story of survival made possible by Forty Carrots Family Center, performed by actress Jessica Garret. Afterwards, a Saks Fifth Avenue fashion show showcased the latest designs by Zang Toi. The event then concluded with a special dance performance by 16 of the solemen. Proceeds from the event benefited the parenting programs (classes, mental health services and other programming) at Forty Carrots.

Melissa Martinez, Jamie Irwin, Zoli Miller, Punchie Teal and Diane Fields

DIVINE DESIGN Attendees at Wine Women & Shoes were treated to the same Zang Toi fashion show as guests at the designer’s New York Fashion Week show in September. What did we learn? Floral embellishments are all the rage.

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Pardon the Interruption

Special Welcome … Everyone was all smiles at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County’s Honoring Champions for Children gala Nov. 19. Why? Every guest was greeted at the valet stand by a child club attendee who introduced him/herself and walked guests to the check-in table. Some were even lucky enough to snag a hug from the adorable escorts ... A Sweet Surprise ... Equality Florida Suncoast went all-out for its enchanted forest-themed celebration Nov. 20. Attendees were treated to not only various delectable desserts at the sweets table,

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

- Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald Tribune

l Fable A Musica

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Cobie, 12, Ariana, 7, Lavondre, 11, and Sydney, 10, served as the welcome/escort crew for the event.

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but also to a special appearance by model Virginia Hughes seated in the middle of the table, blending in as a member of the forest foliage ... Seeing Double ... Shani Walker was awarded the Most Marvelous Shoe of the Day award at this year’s Wine Women & Shoes Signature Luncheon. However, another fashionable guest was also wearing Christian Louboutin Electropump spiked black pumps. The five judges didn’t seem to realize that Ashley Kozel’s shoes were the exact same — or they knew and decided to play a game of “Who Wore it Better?”

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Wine Women & Shoes is known as one of the rowdier events of the season, but the ladies at this year’s event on Nov. 18 started getting too loud for one guest’s liking. At one point, actress Jessica Garret was performing an elegant spoken-word piece that highlighted some of the struggles that Forty Carrots Family Center can help families overcome when Marko Radisic came onstage and politely asked Garret to pause. He expressed his disappointment with the women in the room who weren’t listening to the performance and reminded them that “this is what we’re here for.” Garret then resumed her performance, but not before a chorus of loud applause from those who appeared to agree with him.

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

LET Blu Mangrove MAKE YOUR HOLIDAY CELEBRATION ONE TO REMEMBER

Community AIDS Network 25th Anniversary Thursday, Nov. 17, at The Mary Ann Robinson Wellness Center Benefiting Community AIDS Network Sarasota

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by Patrick A. Jackson and Caroline Kaiser

SATURDAYS Dec. 10, 17, and 24

You’ll hear a host of popular holiday favorites, and even though “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is among them, this show will heat up the Historic Asolo Theater for sure!

ALICE WITH A TWIST & THE DRAGON VS. THE HICCUPS

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Wine Women & Shoes VIP Vintners Reception

DISCOVER

Thursday, Nov. 17, at Michael’s Wine Cellar Benefiting Forty Carrots Family Center

HOLIDAY SPLENDOR

WHAT’S ON NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE: THE THREEPENNY OPERA

DEC 1, 5:00 – 8:00 PM Free with one toy per guest Enjoy holiday music and performances by local schools. Help support the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots.

ART AND A MOVIE: RISING SUN

DEC 3, 1:30 PM, $5 / Free for Members This film exemplifies how the fear of other cultures can deter the process of learning to understand others. A post-screening discussion will follow.

The Ringling will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

BOLSHOI BALLET IN CINEMA: THE NUTCRACKER

DISCOVER MORE

ringling.org

Left: Michelle Kapreilian, executive director of Forty Carrots Family Center, and Taber Chadwick Above: Rick Gomez, board president, with Bob Koski

DEC 2, 1:00 & 6:30 PM $20 / $18 for Members A darkly comic take on Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s raucous musical.

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

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Photos by Niki Kottmann

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Join us for an Evening of Beauty! Where: When: Time:

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

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TRUNK SHOW DECEMBER 8 - 9 10AM - 6PM ONE OF A KIND KANTHA JACKETS AND VESTS IN BOLD VINTAGE SARI FABRICS

David and Marla Yaegers with Suzanne and Jon Anderson

Party at the Point Friday, Nov. 18, at Historic Spanish Point Benefiting Historic Spanish Point

COME EARLY FOR BEST SELECTION!

ADDITIONAL CUSTOMER PARKING LOCATED IN BACK

Photos by Niki Kottmann

Above: Historic Spanish Point Executive Director John Mason with Scott George Left: Jeanne Davis and Co-Chairwoman Marjorie Floyd

364 St. Armands Circle Sarasota (941) 388 - 1974 dreamweavercollection.com like us on facebook

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SARASOTA

Thursday December 8th, 2016

PINC is People. Ideas. Nature. Creativity. An all-day, immersive conference featuring 16 speakers who deliver an experience you will never, never, never forget! Here are four of the thought-leaders you will meet and be inspired by at PINC this year:

GIOVANNI FRAZZETTO

Writer and Neuroscientist The More You Look at Yourself, The More You Can Change Your Life

DAVID EDWARDS Creator, Writer and Harvard University Professor How to Be Creative in Science

TEMPLE GRANDIN

Professor of Animal Science How I Changed Views of Animal Behavior

DAVID LAPORTE Clinical Psychologist Fear vs. Paranoia

Visit www.PINCsarasota.com to see the entire lineup. Thursday December 8th 9:00 am to 9:00 pm

AT THE SARASOTA OPERA HOUSE

Tickets at www.PINCsarasota.com or call (941) 548-9889

Presented by:

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

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Wit and Wisdom of Aging Luncheon

Co-Chairwoman Gerri Aaron with Pines of Sarasota Foundation President Estelle Crawford and CoChairwoman Jane Hunder

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Wednesday, Nov. 16 , at Michael’s On East | Benefiting Pines of Sarasota Rehabilitation and Senior Care Community

Tom Koski, Wendy Surkis and Sherry Koski CEO of Pines Sarasota John Overton and his wife, Pam Overton.

EMPIRE BALLROOM STUDIOS PRESENTS

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ENROLL NOW FOR JANUARY 1 education@sarasotaballet.org 941.225.6520 | www.SarasotaBallet.org Photo by Frank Atura


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Champions for Children Saturday, Nov. 19, at Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club Benefiting The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

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Blind

4801 S. Tamiami Trail, Acr mmwallcoveringblinds.com 4801purchases S. Tamiami Trail,Across SF-1746130 The (100%) made-to-measure combines soft, casual, comfortable from: *The PowerView App and additionalBritalia equipment Collection™ required for programmed operation. the **Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifyingChoose made 7/2/16-9/12/16 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. For certain rebate10:32:59 eligible of products, the purchase of multiple units of such product is required to receive a rebate. cut of the Italian, with the more fitted silhouette the English. ADVERTISER: M&M WALLCOVERINGS & BLIN PROOF CREATED AT: 9/27/2016 AM PROOF O.K. BY:___________________________ O.K. CORRECTIONS BY:________________________ If a consumer purchases fewer units than the required multiple, he or she willWITH not be entitled to a rebate; partial rebates will not be awarded. Rebate willSuitings be issued in the SALES PERSON: SFSR01 form of a prepaid reward card NEXT RUN DATE: 09/29/16 and mailed within 6 weeks of rebate claim receipt. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed Owners Sports Jackets Enjoy the unmatched experience of custom clothing made to your individual against card balance 6 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY • SUBMIT CORRECTIONS ONLINE SIZE: 3X5.25 PROOF DUE: 09/28/16 09:59:55 specifications, off-the-rack prices.used Choose from hundreds of orEnglish and Italian ©2016 Hunter Douglas.at All rights reserved. All trademarks herein are the property of Hunter Douglas their respective owners. Trousers PUBLICATION: SF-HERALD TRIBUNE fabrics. Our slimmer silhouette never compromises the wearer’s ease and comfort Shirts SF-1738904 (100%) of movement, so he’ll look and feel incredible. SF-1739009

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With qualifying purchase

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MATTSON & MATTSON

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$150 rebate 4801 S. Tamiami Trail, Across from The Landings • mmwallcoveringsblinds.com $150 rebate

Robb Darnell and Mary Li

iami Trail, Across from The Landings • (941) 925-7800 • mmwallcoveringblinds.com

SF-1739009

and additional equipment required for programmed operation. **Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made WALLCOVERINGS & PROOF CREATED AT: 7/20/2016 PM a private appointment. participating dealers in the U.S. only. For certain rebate eligible products, the purchase of multiple units of ADVERTISER: such product isM&M required to receive a rebate. Come inBLIN for a free custom fitting, or call to2:53:19 schedule SALES PERSON:Rebate SFSR01 NEXT RUN DATE: 08/07/16 ses fewer units than the required multiple, he or she will not be entitled to a rebate; partial rebates will not be awarded. will be issued in the ard card and mailed within 6 weeks of rebate claim receipt. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicableSIZE: law, a2X5 $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed PROOF DUE: 07/20/16 15:59:55 6 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details MAG and rebate form. PUBLICATION: SF-STYLE and Betsy Williams as. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the propertyJasmine of HunterAkins Douglas or their respective owners.

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SF-1739009 (100%)

Kathy Bavely and Alice Sample

SF-1746130 (100%)

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PRO

SALES PERSON: SFSR01

NE

SALES PERSON: SFSR01

SIZE: 3X5.25 PROOF CREATED AT: 7/5/2016 6:36:47 AM PUBLICATION: SF-HERALD TRIBUNE NEXT RUN DATE: 07/07/16

SIZE: 3X5.25

PROOF DUE: 07/06/16 09:59:55

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PRO

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75 South Palm Ave. Sarasota, FL

(941) 953-2948 www.MartinFreemanClothing.com

222932

Whitney, 14, and Jasmine, 13, serve hors d’oeuvres to guests.

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CRAFT SHOW

PROOF CREATED AT: 7/5/2016 6:36:47 AM

SARASOTA

Wednesday, December 7 • 5:30-7pm

NEXT RUN DATE: 07/07/16

Join Dr. Holly Barbour and her cosmetically trained staff PROOF DUE: 07/06/16 09:59:55 for an educational and fun evening.

THIS WEEKEND

Enjoy light bites, mini cosmetic consultations and information on the ONLY FDA approved, long-lasting (retention through 5 years!) volumizing filler.

The Suncoast’s Premier Indoor Fine Art & Craft Show

RSVP 941.951.2220 Space is limited.

Amazing giveaways and discounts for attendees! Bring a friend!

120 Jury Selected Contemporary Artists & Designers

HOLLY L. BARBOUR, M.D. Pratt Institute, Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree

HOURS Fri & Sat Dec. 2 & 3: 10am-5pm Sunday Dec. 4: 10am-4pm

Case Western Reserve University, MD and Residency in Ophthalmology

ADMISSION Adults: $11 • Seniors: $10 (65+) Students: $6 • Wknd Pass: $13 Children under 10 Free

Duke University Medical Center, Fellowship in Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

The Skill of a Surgeon The Eye of an Artist and The Understanding of a Woman 1250 South Tamiami Trail | Sarasota 941.951.2220 | www.hollybarbourmd.com

CASH ONLY AT THE DOOR

ROBARTS ARENA (AIR-CONDITIONED) 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota

BUY TICKETS ONLINE & SAVE

SU GRIGGS ALLEN

SarasotaCraftShow.com

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GS & BLIN

AMERICAN FINE

You’re Invited to a Special Night of Beauty

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YourObserver.com

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

P EO P LE W IT H PUR POSE LISA BECHTOLD The single mother of three also looks out for hundreds of at-risk youth. NIKI KOTTMANN BLACK TIE REPORTER

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here is compassion, and then there’s Lisa Bechtold. At work, Bechtold spends her days building relationships with area nonprofits to serve more than 220 lowincome students in Sarasota County. At home, she spends her time caring for the three boys she’s been raising alone for the past two years. Bechtold hasn’t always been a single mom, and it wasn’t until after her husband died that she became the mother of her oldest son, Jeremy. Take Stock in Children, the nonprofit for which Bechtold serves as the Sarasota County executive director, brought Jeremy into her life six years ago. TSIC offers a program in which local low-income and at-risk students are mentored by community volunteers and college success coaches. When they met, Jeremy was a fifth-grader at Emma E. Booker Elementary School, one of the first elementary schools to be a part of the program that typically targets students in the sixth through 12th grades. Bechtold was immediately drawn to the small boy who

Niki Kottmann

Lisa Bechtold has served as the executive director of Take Stock in Children for 16 years.

winked at every woman who walked by. After learning more about his story, she knew she wanted to be his mentor. The two forged a deep connection throughout the next two years, during which Bechtold met with him once a week to bring him lunch and give him a chance to speak about what she calls “kid things” — things that are hard to talk about in a household

that often requires children to act beyond their years. When Bechtold’s husband died in 2014, just 18 months after he was diagnosed with cancer, her life changed drastically. In an instant, she found herself raising a 8-year-old and an 11-year-old on her own. About a month after her husband’s death, her life changed yet again when she received a text message from

Jeremy asking if he could live with her. Jeremy had sat down with his mother and grandmother and decided that, if he wanted a shot at the future he envisioned, he needed her full support. Bechtold agreed, and her two sons were eager to welcome him as their new adopted brother. “What’s amazing, having two kids and having just lost

my husband, I had absolutely no idea how much he was going to change our lives,” she says. “My boys think that the sun rises and sets on him.” Jeremy raised his GPA to well above a B average. Now, he’s a junior at Venice High School with his eyes on a college football scholarship. “If he stays focused and he keeps doing what he’s doing, there’s no question that he will do whatever he wants to do,” says Bechtold. Jeremy is just one of many children whom Bechtold has helped through the gift of mentoring and education. TSIC is a statewide nonprofit that gives low-income children mentors and full-ride postsecondary school scholarships if they maintain a 2.5 GPA. As the first member of her family to attend college, Bechtold is a firm believer that education is the one thing nobody can take away from you. “If we can educate students, not only academically but also in what else is out there, it’s going to make for a better Sarasota, a better Florida and a better U.S.,” she says. The love that Bechtold has for her job and her employees is boundless. She speaks highly of her fellow TSIC staff members, and she cites a deeprooted belief that every child’s story deserves to be heard as her driving force. It’s her own story, however, that’s previously gone unheard.

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