Visual Arts

SRQ Daily Jan 4, 2021

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Street Cafe Grant Program Extended Through 2021

Jacob Ogles,
[email protected]

The pandemic made many consumers wary to dine and shop through much of 2020, particular at indoor businesses. But a special program in Sarasota’s Downtown Improvement District made it easier for businesses to spill into the sidewalks and the open air. Now, leaders for the DID have extended the “Storefront and Sidewalk Café Grant Program” through all of 2021.

Of note, the program exists to do more than create a safer place to do business during the current health crisis. The official purpose of the program is the “create a more attractive pedestrian atmosphere, commercially vibrant environment through street level storefront sidewalk café settings.” Participating businesses can be awarded up to $5,000 in reimbursements for such improvements as new awnings and outside lighting, fixtures for window displays, landscaping, are barriers and outdoor items such as furniture, heaters, umbrellas and trash cans.

The project is only open to businesses within the bounds of the DID and owners must submit receipts for reimbursements within six months of an application approval. But up to that $5,000 limit, business owners can get back 100% of the money they spend.

The first applications for the program were received in late October, and since then 14 companies have taken advantage.

“About half of the applicants have been restaurants,” said John Moran, operations manager for the DID. That includes eateries like Brick’s, Smokin’ Joes and Tsunami Suski & Hibachi.

But there have also been a range of other businesses including art galleries, fashion retailers and spa services. State of the Arts Gallery, Camilyn Beth and Elan Skin Spa all applied and had at least some of their costs reimbursed. Some companies that did small improvements, like Krakowiak Gallery doing $1,100 worth of improvements to awnings and signage, ended up having the grants cover the entire cost of the project.

Then there’s companies like Pastry Art, which did more than $13,000 worth of improvements as it set up outdoor tables with new chairs and umbrellas. Most of that came out of pocket, but a $5,000 grant from the DID eased the cost as the business oriented itself for my sidewalk service. 

Photo courtesy Sarasota DID

[New Birth] 
Sarasota Memorial Hospital Welcomes The First Baby of 2021

Sarasota Memorial Hospital celebrated the start of a new year, welcoming the first baby of 2021 at 1:39am. New parents Jordan Sawmiller and Quay Mays from Bradenton, Fla. welcomed a 7 pound, 12 ounce baby boy named Messiah Mays on January 1, 2021. “We knew we might have the first baby of 2021, but we weren’t sure. Then he was born and everyone was just congratulating us and so excited,” said Sawmiller. The delivery team included Arunachalam Jothivijayarani, MD and John Abu, MD, along with labor and delivery nurses Katherine Strout and Melissa Tomanski.


Click here for more information.

[Registration ] 
The Hermitage Artist Retreat’s January Programs Are Now Open for Registration

he Hermitage Artist Retreat’s 2021 winter season includes a variety of community programs featuring Hermitage artists-in-residence, who present performances and conversations about their works-in-progress and their creative process. Registration is required for each event—and is now available on the Hermitage website at 

Click here for more information.

Virtual: Florida Public Relations Association: Writing Tools – Essential Strategies for Every Writer , January 13, 12pm

The Central West Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (CWC-FPRA) is hosting “Writing Tools – Essential Strategies for Every Writer” on January 13 at noon, featuring veteran writer Roy Peter Clark. During the virtual event, Clark will be discussing how all writers can improve their skills and gain a powerful sense of mission and purpose. Clark is a senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, the prestigious school for journalists that owns the Tampa Bay Times. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has served the newspaper as a contributing writer, donating his services as a weekly columnist. Clark has taught writing at every level since 1977, from school children to Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, and is the author or editor of 19 books. His most popular book is “Writing Tools” and his latest work, “Murder Your Darlings: And other gentle writing advice from Aristotle to Zinsser,” is a book about writing books. Tickets for the program are $10/FPRA members, $15/guests; cost includes access to the recordings after the event.

Virtual: Friends of Osprey Junction Trailhead: TreeJuvenation Florida , January 13, 11am-12pm

Join Friends of Osprey Junction Trailhead (FOJT) for their “TreeJuvenation Florida” webinar, a 1-hour workshop on January 13, 2021 from 11am to noon. A grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation is underwriting this webinar. We’re celebrating Florida Arbor Day by offering a workshop on the importance of trees. By attending this session you’ll learn about and discover the many benefits you and your community derive from trees. These benefits include improved physical and mental wellness, reducing carbon dioxide, lowering temperatures, mitigating heat-island effects, and how trees contribute to cleaner water and cleaner air.  This presentation will answer the many questions you might have about why adding trees to your landscape is important and how they add more life to your yard. 

Virtual: Bookstore 1 Sarasota: The Poetry Zoom Book Club led by Doug Knowlton , January 13, 2pm

This month we’re discussing A Map of the Lost World by Rick Hilles on January 13, 2021 at 2pm. A fee of $23 is required for participation. This includes a copy of A Map of the Lost World and the Zoom book club meeting. The fee is $28.50 to have the book shipped. The poems that make up A Map of the Lost World range from tightly-wrought shorter lyrics to longer autobiographical narratives to patterns of homage (in several forms) of poets that Hilles admires and emulates (including Richard Hugo, James Wright, James Merrill and Larry Levis) to extended voice-driven meditations, one in the voice of a German Jewish woman, a prisoner who would escape a French concentration camp and go on to fight in the French resistance, to other efforts to confront history and not be devoured by history, and to locate, even resuscitate, friends lost to death, if only provisionally. Ticket purchase required for Zoom link.

Virtual: Florida Studio Theatre: Discovering Heritage , January 14, 11am

FST audiences may remember the work of husband and wife creative team Jason Odell Williams and Charlotte Cohn from their Winter Mainstage play, Handle With Care. Now, we reconnect with the couple as they share about their latest work – a musical – which continues their creative exploration of Cohn’s Jewish heritage. As the Nazis plan to round up all of the Danish Jews for concentration camp assignment in the fall of 1943, one family of five attempts to elude capture by hiding in a fishing boat traveling to Sweden – and freedom. In this FST Forum on January 14, 2021 at 11am, we will examine what it takes to bring such an emotionally-charged story to life and how to tell a true story with justice, authenticity, and heart.

Sarasota Orchestra: Inspirations , January 14 – January 17

Great composers have always looked to other great composers for guidance and inspiration. This program, from January 14 until January 17, 2021, features music whose composition was influenced by other masters. American Caroline Shaw, the youngest-ever recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Music, was inspired to write her 2011 string quartet Entr’acte after hearing a performance of Haydn’s quartet, Op. 77, No. 2. Her captivating, cinematic writing has earned her widespread acclaim as one of the most important young voices in today’s music world. Antonin Dvorak had recently lost his mother when he decided to rework the slow movement from an earlier string quartet into the hypnotic Nocturne in B Major in 1883. Nine years later, Josef Suk, Dvorak’s student and future son-in-law, was challenged by his teacher to “lighten up” his melancholy music. Suk responded with the sunny and romantic Serenade for Strings, by far his most popular and enduring work. $10 Streaming Access from January 21 – 26.

Holley Hall, 709 North Tamiami Trail

Virtual: UNSCRIPTED+ Community Edition With Acclaimed Arts Educator Eric Booth , January 14, 7pm

The Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Van Wezel Foundation present “UNSCRIPTED+ Community Edition,” with arts advocate, educator, and author Eric Booth, on Thursday, January 14, at 7pm, via Zoom. This intimate, “off-script” series takes audiences on an insider’s journey of the artistic process, produced by award-winning writers, musicians, composers, choreographers, visual artists, educators, and other Hermitage Fellows from around the globe. Previous UNSCRIPTED programs have featured Hermitage Fellows Claire Chase (flutist, MacArthur “Genius” recipient, Avery Fisher Prize winner); Ann Patterson (visual artist, sculptor, author); Melissa Studdard (poet); Christopher Theofinidis (composer); and Patrick Harlin (composer, visual media artist). The event is offered via Zoom, and registration is required at

Urbanite Theatre: Outdoor Reading Series: Thirst , January 14 – January 16, 6pm

Thirst by Ronán Noone and directed by Brendan Ragan will be read outdoors on January 14, 15 and 16 at 6pm at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Downtown Campus. Set in the Tyrone family kitchen during Eugene O’Neill’s classic play Long Day’s Journey into Night, Ronán Noone’s Thirst explores the comedy, tragedy and triumph of two Irish immigrant servant girls’ search for love, success, and a sense of belonging in their new world. 

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Downtown Campus

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