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SRQ DAILY Jan 19, 2024

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"When you look at these paintings, knowing their story, you're also seeing a struggle."

- Mary Davis Wallace, Public Art Manager, City of Sarasota.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Palm Avenue Embraces the Fantastic with Milan Art Gallery
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

The resurgence of the Downtown Sarasota gallery scene continues this evening with the grand opening celebration of Milan Art Gallery, the latest in a string of openings transforming the southern end of Palm Avenue, once again, into an Art Walk destination. And while those expecting a staid offering of Italian art from the grand city of Milan will be perhaps perplexed, those who have been waiting for their chance to buy a full-size oil painting of dueling pegasuses in the fine art tradition have seen the answer to their prayers.

A family gallery, the Milan in the name has nothing to do with Italy and, as such, the walls are free to be filled with absolutely none of those well-known and over-photographed castles or cathedrals. There are no charming scenes of the Italian countryside. Rather, the walls play host to the wild imaginings of the Milan family—husband-and-wife artists John and Elli, as well as their daughter Dimitra—all pouring forth in oil paintings of fantastical creatures and unexplainable juxtapositions, a phantasmagorical tableau of the surreal and the strange. It’s Old Masters meets Modern Madness and mermaids, unicorns, pink elephants and a bass-playing cat are all fair game for subject matter.

“You definitely don’t see this everywhere,” says Heather Davis, Artist Consultant for Milan Art Gallery. “But art doesn’t have to be the way it’s always been.” And there’s a certain democratization at play when professional artists eschew the norms of fine art while still practicing at a high level, elevating subject matter typically dismissed as childish or silly through their craft. It’s not altogether unintentional. “Everyone is creative and art is for anybody,” Davis says, and that’s a central message of the gallery.

Work from all three Milans will be on display at tonight’s opening, as well as several collaborative works that see the family working in pairs or as one. And with the artists in attendance, there will be live painting demonstrations, as well as an opportunity for visitors to try their hand at prying some of the secret meaning from the creators themselves. Guests will also have a chance to meet the gallery’s incoming art director, Jock Armour, formerly of Wyland Gallery in Maui, which was lost to the recent fires. In the role, Armour will be responsible for bringing in more artists to show next to the Milans in future exhibitions.

The rear room of the gallery will also be open to the public, where visitors are free to leaf through hundreds of original works in graphite, ink, oils and more, showing the artists at their most playful and illustrative.

“I hope people walk away knowing that beauty resides in all of us and everybody can be an artist,” Davis says. “Only our thoughts hold us back.”

Located on 72 S. Palm Avenue, Milan Art Gallery celebrates its grand opening tonight from 5-9pm. Catering will be supplied by Café L’Europe and live music provided by a cellist. 

Pictured: His Raisin Cakes Sustain Me by Elli Milan. Photo by Phil Lederer.

To learn more about Milan Art Gallery, click here.

[Arts & Entertainment]  A Glimpse into the Past at Sarasota's City Hall
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

Inside Sarasota’s City Hall, history awaits. Earlier this month, a collection of 26 paintings from the famed Florida Highwaymen went on display in the Cultural Heritage Exhibit in the City Hall atrium. The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, is on loan from Roger Lightle, a Highwaymen art collector and owner of the Highwaymen Art Specialists, Inc and will be on view for the next six months.

The paintings of the Florida Highwaymen, which range in date from the early 1960s to the 1980s are unmistakably beautiful. Sharp brush strokes of oil on canvas bring the landscapes of old Florida to life, the subject matter exploding with color and vibrancy, giving way to paintings that are somehow haunting and nostalgic all at once. But it is the story behind the paintings that makes this collection all the more special. The Highwaymen, which consisted of 25 men and one woman, were a group of Black landscape painters that arose out of rural Florida in the 1950s. Because of the color of their skin however, they weren’t afforded the opportunities that white artists in Florida were at the time–the Highwaymen were forced to sell their paintings out of the trunks of their cars, oftentimes on the side of highways. So came the name, the Highwaymen.

“The Florida Highwaymen were really not the Highwaymen at the beginning of their career. They were just 26 Black artists who were really struggling to gain relevance in the visual arts because of the Jim Crow era laws and social structure,” says Mary Davis Wallace, the Public Art Manager for the city of Sarasota. “They weren’t able to obtain any representation in the typical fine art galleries in Florida. Instead of abandoning what they loved, they found another way to sustain themselves financially by taking it to the streets.”

For Wallace and the rest of the team at City Hall, this exhibit is so much more than just the chance to showcase some beautiful landscape paintings. It’s an opportunity to tell the story, the whole story, of what Florida used to be like through the efforts of this seminal group of painters. “When you look at these paintings, knowing their story, you’re also seeing a struggle. This isn’t just a peaceful landscape–there is an intensity in these landscape paintings because these are paintings that are trying to survive,” says Wallace. “It’s a record of a time that needs to be processed with stories that need to be told.”

Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, Lectures with Roger Lightle will occur on Tuesday, February 13, Sarasota City Hall, 1565 1st St, Sarasota. 

Pictured: Backwater Sunset" by Livingston Roberts, painted on Upson Board, 24" x 36". Photo courtesy of The City of Sarasota.

To learn more, visit

[Arts & Entertainment]  Sarasota Jewish Theatre Adds a Performance of Fully Committed to its Schedule

Sarasota Jewish Theatre (SJT) announces that, due to Fully Committed by Becky Mode being nearly sold out three weeks prior to opening, they have added a twilight matinée performance to the schedule on February 4 at 5:30 p.m. The show runs from January 31-February 4 and will be presented at The Players Centre Studio 1130 at the Crossings at Siesta Key mall, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. To purchase tickets, visit ThePlayers.org or call 941-365-2494. For information, visit SarasotaJewishTheatre.org. Fully Committed is a riotously funny play that follows a day in the life of Sam (Doug Shapiro), an out-of-work actor who mans the red-hot reservation line at Manhattan’s number-one restaurant. Coercion, threats, bribes, histrionics—a cast of desperate callers will stop at nothing in their zeal to land a prime reservation at the right table. Directed by Gus Kaikkonen, Shapiro portrays 40 wildly diverse characters in an extraordinary acting tour de force. The season continues with the Florida premiere of M*A*S*H writer Larry Gelbart’s Better Late (March 13-21), directed by Carolyn Michel. The last play written by one of television’s most recognizable names, Gelbart’s riff on a December-December-December romance bristles with biting humor. When Nora’s ailing ex-husband moves in with her and her second husband to recover following a stroke, sparks fly. What should have been a short, sweet visit becomes an extended test of wills and patience. The season closes with Mark Harelik’s The Immigrant (May 1-12), a timely true story of a life fulfilled in the “Golden Land” directed by Gus Kaikkonen. A Russian immigrant finds himself at the Port of Galveston in 1909. A vulnerable and gentle man who speaks only Yiddish, he finds a way to build a new life relying on his strength of character and the kindness of strangers. For more information, visit SarasotaJewishTheatre.org. To purchase tickets to the performances at The Players Centre Studio 1130, visit ThePlayers.org or call 941-365-2494. 

Pictured: Doug Shapiro in Fully Committed at The Barnstormers Theatre, Tamworth, NH, 2023. Photo by Evelyn Lamprey.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Choral Artists of Sarasota Presents Choral Cinemagic

Choral Artists of Sarasota’s 45th season continues with “Choral Cinemagic!” featuring an evening of award-winning songs of the cinema, Sunday, February 4, 7 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church, 2050 Oak Street, Sarasota. Joining the Choral Artists chorus and soloists are professional area-based musicians. Tickets are $40, general admission; and $5 for students. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.ChoralArtistsSarasota.org or call 941-387-4900. 

Pictured: Choral Artists of Sarasota. Photo by Barbara Banks.

[Recognition]  The Hermitage Artist Retreat Announces Playwright Deepa Purohit as the 2024 Recipient of the Hermitage Greenfield Prize

The Hermitage Artist Retreat (Andy Sandberg, Artistic Director and CEO), in collaboration with the Philadelphia-based Greenfield Foundation, has selected playwright Deepa Purohit as the winner of the 2024 Hermitage Greenfield Prize (HGP). Purohit is an award-winning playwright who made her Off-Broadway debut in the Atlantic Theater Company's 2022-23 season with the world premiere of her play Elyria (2023 Drama League Award Nominee for Outstanding Production of a Play, 2017 NEA Commission, and 2019 Jerome Foundation support with Ma-Yi Theater Company). The Hermitage Greenfield Prize is awarded annually, rotating between the fields of theater, music, and visual art. Purohit will receive a six-week Hermitage Fellowship and a $35,000 commission to create a new work of theater, which will have its first public presentation in Sarasota in 2026. This year, the Greenfield Foundation and the Hermitage decided to increase the cash component of the award from $30,000 to $35,000. Purohit will be the first recipient of the HGP to receive this newly increased commission prize. Purohit was selected by a distinguished jury that included Obie Award-winning playwright Rajiv Joseph, Tony Award winner and Artistic Director of A.R.T. Diane Paulus, and Tony Award-winning actor, director, and writer Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Past winners of this distinguished honor in the discipline of theater include Aleshea Harris (2021), Martyna Majok (2018), Nilo Cruz (2014), John Guare (2011), and Craig Lucas (2009). 


[Arts & Entertainment]  Submissions are Open for The Sarasota Players New Play Festival

The Players is now accepting playwright submissions for its 23rd Annual New Play Festival from now until May 1, 2024. A committee of judges will select five plays to be presented in a “Reader’s Theater” style format during the week of July 8 - 12, 2024. One of the winning plays will be selected as "Best of Series" and will be workshopped and produced on the main stage Summer 2025. Guidelines: Entrant must be a resident of the Gulf Coast area (defined for this contest as extending from Tampa/Clearwater to Fort Myers) and over the age of 18; Full-length plays are preferred but one-acts will be considered; Maximum number of performers needed to produce the play is 8. Playwrights are asked to delineate if there are multiple roles that can be doubled; Manuscripts must be submitted digitally to npf@theplayers.org in 12-point font with playwrights’ biographies included in a single PDF; No evaluations will be rendered with any entries not selected; Author (and collaborator, if any) may submit only one script per year; Play must not have had a prior production, although those work-shopped before non-paying audiences are acceptable; Published plays are not eligible; Entries that have been previously submitted to The Players ARE eligible, but only if the work has been substantially re-written; Musicals are not accepted; Submission deadline is May 1, 2024; No submissions will be accepted past that date; Plays not following the guidelines listed above will be disqualified. Winning selections: At least five (5) entries will be presented in rehearsed readings at The Players from July 8 - 12, 2024. The five finalists will be announced via The Players website by June 3, 2024. Winning entries will have a director assigned and will organize at least two rehearsals. Playwrights are responsible for supplying updated and corrected copies of their script to their director and cast. Auditions TBA. Once finalists are selected, actor auditions for the staged readings will be held June 22 – 23, 2024. Staged readings will be held July 8 – 12, 2024. 

To learn more, visit

[Arts & Entertainment]  George Thorogood & The Destroyers Come to the Van Wezel

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome GEORGE THOROGOOD & THE DESTROYERS to Sarasota on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at 7:30pm. Tickets on sale Friday, January 19 at 10am EST. Tickets start at $41.50 and can be purchased at www.VanWezel.org, by calling the box office at 941-263-6799 or by visiting the box office Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Groups of 10 or more should contact 941-263-6726. 

For ticket information click here

[Arts & Entertainment]  The Pops Orchestra Presents I Love You to the Moon and Back

The Pops Orchestra, under the direction of music director Robyn Bell, continues its 48th season with “I Love You to the Moon and Back,” a Valentine’s Day themed program featuring vocalists Anne Tormela and Nick Palance. Conductor Robyn Bell said of the guest artists, “Anne and Nick will be amazing together. Anne has sung in Carnegie Hall, Germany, Italy, France, Sweden, and Israel, and Nick has been hailed by critics as the new ‘American Bocelli.’ In addition to having sung private concerts for William Shatner, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Jon Voigt, he can often be found performing at Las Vegas’s Caesar’s Palace. When the two shared their repertoire catalog with me, I quickly saw a unique theme emerge: one of the moon, stars, sky, and all things cosmic. Musical highlights for this show include Moon River, Fly Me to the Moon, Blue Skies, A Piece of Sky, Stella by Starlight, Dancing in the Moonlight, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, and so many more that you will quickly recognize and sing along to! That’s amoré!" The concerts are on Sunday, February 11, 3:00 pm, at Riverview Performing Arts Center (1 Ram Way, Sarasota, FL 34231) and Monday, February 12, 7:30 p.m., at Neel Performing Arts Center on the SCF campus (5840 26th St W, Bradenton, FL 34207). Single tickets start at $30. Contact our Box Office at 941-926-7677 or visit www.ThePopsOrchestra.org. 

[SRQIST]  Sue Zipay Throws Like a Girl
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

SUE ZIPLAY THROWS LIKE A GIRL | Baseball lifer Sue Ziplay wants women to have a professional league of their own once again, January 2024. 

Read Here!

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Fresh Harvest Farmers Market at Wellen Park , June 25 – December 29, 9 am to 1 pm

Visit Fresh Harvest, the newly launched weekly farmers market in Downtown Wellen. Fresh Harvest offers a selection of local goods from nearly 40 local vendors. Fresh Harvest takes place every Sunday in Downtown Wellen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees can peruse different vendor booths and stock up on a variety of goods. Vendors will offer a wide variety of locally grown and produced food, including herbs, spices, cut flowers, teas, canned and preserved fruits and vegetables, syrups, baked goods, pickled foods, fresh seafood, meats, poultry, eggs, milk and prepared food and beverages. A limited selection of craft vendors also participate in the farmers market. For a listing of participating vendors and more information on Fresh Harvest Farmers Market, visit wellenpark.com/events/fresh-harvest-farmers-market. Downtown Wellen, 19745 Wellen Park Blvd., Venice.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sights and Sounds at Waterside Place , July 28 – May 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Head out to Waterside Place for a rocking evening as part of the Lakewood Ranch Sights and Sounds Program. Enjoy a live concert in partnership with Easterseals and EveryoneRocks, featuring artists who are rocking their spectrum. This event is free and open to the public; there is limited seating at the Plaza, but attendees are welcome to bring their own seats. Food and beverages will be available from numerous Waterside Place merchants. For more information on shows, dates, and times, visit lakewoodranch.com/sights-sounds/. Waterside Place, 1560 Lakefront Dr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Siesta Key Rum Distillery Tours , September 2 – September 30, Various times

Siesta Key Rum runs free year-round tours for guests to learn the story of the craft distillery, the awards they have won and the secret to how they make their rums taste so good. During our 30-45 minute tour we will discuss the following topics: history of Siesta Key Rum, an overview of the awards our small company has won, what makes our rums taste so good, the rum-making process from mashing and fermentation to distillation, barrel aging and bottling of our rums. After the tour, we welcome you to sample a freshly made Siesta Key Rum cocktail, stock up on your favorite rums and browse our gift shop. 2212 Industrial Blvd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch , September 3 – September 30, 10am-2pm

Experience some of the best food and flavors of the region with more than 100, and still growing, curated vendors. The Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch has fast become a favorite weekly tradition for people from all over the region seeking farm-fresh produce, delicious prepared foods, and specialty items and gifts. Aside from all the goodies you can shop at the Farmers Market, find your flow in a free yoga class or have the kiddos get creative during weekly-hosted workshops. 1561 Lakefront Dr., Lakewood Ranch.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Bradenton Market Returns , October 7 – May 25, 9am-2pm

Realize Bradenton is happy to announce the return of the Bradenton Market to its weekly schedule. This beloved community gathering will be held Saturdays through May 25, 2024 from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm on Old Main Street in Bradenton. Founded in 1979, the Market has expanded to include more than 90 local vendors. In addition to the weekly shopping and music, the Market hosts special event days throughout the season. Halloween at the Market will be held on Saturday, October 28. This family-friendly event includes trick or treating with vendors, face painting with Manatee School for the Arts Academic Team from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, and a dance performance by Slick Motion Studios at 10:00 am. For more information, visit RealizeBradenton.com.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Manatee County Fair , January 11 – January 21, Various times
The Manatee County Fair returns Jan. 11-21, 2024, and for the first time, fair lovers can purchase admission tickets online. Daily admission and parking prices are unchanged from recent years with adults 13 and older, $10, active duty military, $6, children ages 6-12, $6. Children 5 and under are admitted free. Parking near the Fair is available in several locations for $10. Adult tickets can be purchased at a $1.50 discount per person online at www.manateecountyfair.com and clicking on the Buy Tickets button at the top of the page. An individual ticket price is $8 and a 50-cent-per-ticket fee is added at checkout. The Fair begins Thursday, Jan. 11 when gates open at 5 p.m. Daily hours are listed on the website. This Fair theme is Fun is in the Air at the Manatee County Fair. The 2024 Fair is packed with fun activities for families of all ages including livestock shows, a petting zoo, camel rides, a one-man band, circus performers, pig racing, blacksmith demonstrations and more. To learn more about the 2024 Manatee County Fair, visit www.manateecountyfair.com.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Kenny G , May 5, 7pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome Kenny G to Sarasota on Sunday, May 5, 2024 at 7pm.  Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased at www.VanWezel.org, by calling the box office at 941-263-6799 or by visiting the box office Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Groups of 10 or more should contact 941-263-6726. Pre-show dining is available through Mattisons at the Van Wezel which is located inside the theatre. Reservations can be made on VanWezel.org or through the box office.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Expressions of Experience, Two Generations, Two Perspectives. , January 17 – February 29, 11am to 4pm daily
Please join us to experience this unique exhibition featuring father/daughter local artists, Pamela Olin and Richard Olin. This premiere exhibition features three-dimensional works that offer a glimpse from the perspective of two distinctly different generations. The pieces address the transitions they have experienced over the last several years, making them relatable to all ages. As a duo, this public exhibit is both a curiosity and an insight into the self-expression of two generations of artists linked by DNA. Plymouth Harbour Gallery, 700 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. Visit www.pamelaolin.com and www.olinrich.com to learn more.
[SOON]  GALLERY: Odyssey , January 11 – January 23, Various times
SPAACES is proud to present Odyssey, featuring works from the Ringling College of Art and Design Fine Arts graduating class of 2024. Odyssey features eight artists who explore the nuances of human connection through painting, fiber arts, and time-based media. Each artist delves into individual odysseys of their own experiences to create a harmonious group exhibition. A reception will be held on Thursday, January 11th 2024, 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm, SPAACES, 2051 Princeton St., Sarasota, https://spaaces.art/.
[SOON]  SEMINAR: Downtown Sarasota, Hindsight, Insight and Foresight , January 24 – February 28, 6-7:30pm
Downtown Sarasota: Hindsight, Insight and Foresight is a four-part speaker series conceived to spark an informed and constructive community-wide discussion about the future of our downtown. The six-week series will take place at Art Ovation Hotel and explore the evolution of downtown Sarasota over the last two decades with a group of four distinguished speakers, Andres Duany, David Houle, Mitchell Silver, and Victor Dover. Speakers will address vital topics including the current downtown master plan and how it was shaped two decades ago, how downtown has developed since then, the macro-level forces affecting the city, effective current downtown planning practices, and insights drawn from successful urban planning in other locales. Lectures will be held on Jan. 24, Jan. 31, Feb. 14 and Feb. 28. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit architecturesarasota.org.
[SOON]  GALA: SRQ Social Valentines Formal , February 10, 7:30 to 10:30pm
The SRQ Social Valentines Formal on February 10th will be held in the exquisite Sarasota Art Museum lobby. This exclusive event promises an enchanting evening filled with waltzing, live music, and sophisticated entertainment, creating a classy affair with formal attire, a live violin performance, a photo booth, delectable food and drinks, and even a touch of poker. SRQ Social is a group dedicated to building a vibrant community of young adults in Sarasota. To learn more, visit facebook.com/groups/srqsocial or instagram.com/srq.social.
[SOON]  GALLERY: Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O Keeffe at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , February 11 – June 30, n/a

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will present Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O Keeffe as the eighth iteration of its annual Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition, which examines the work of major artists through the lens of their connection to nature. The exhibition, which will be on view from February 11 through June 30, 2024, at Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus, will explore the unexpected yet profoundly impactful mentoring relationship that developed between iconic artists Yayoi Kusama and Georgia O Keeffe. The theme of the upcoming Goldstein Exhibition is the latest announcement of programming planned for Selby Gardens 50th anniversary season. For more information, visit selby.org.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Rick Springfield Returns to The Van Wezel , March 13, 7:30pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome Rick Springfield back to Sarasota on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased at VanWezel.org, by calling the box office at 941-263-6799 or by visiting the box office Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Groups of 10 or more should contact 941-263-6726.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Jazz Festival , March 17 – March 23, Various times

The Sarasota Jazz Festival returns this March. The event will feature concerts, the jazz trolley pub crawl, late-night jazz jams, jazz films and more. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit jazzclubsarasota.org.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Wild About Nature Festival , April 6, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Join us for a day of fun and outdoor adventure at the Wild About Nature Festival on Saturday, April 6, 2024 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Reconnect with the great outdoors and help foster a love of nature in the next generation as you spend a day in the sun on the beautiful shores of Little Sarasota Bay at Bay Preserve. Families of all ages are encouraged to take part in this fun-filled day of nature-based education and exploration. The wide variety of activities includes dip-netting, face painting, hula-hoop lessons, crafts, games, and more. There will be live music and food trucks making this a guaranteed good time. This is a FREE family festival open to all. Registration is not required. The event will take place at our Bay Preserve headquarters located at 400 Palmetto Ave. in Osprey. For more information, visit conservationfoundation.com.
[SOON]  FOOD: Cooking for Wishes , February 22, 6pm
Save the date for the 14th Annual Cooking for Wishes 2024, presented by Exceptional Dentistry of Sarasota. The event features an interactive cooking dinner where guests at each table will prepare a one-of-a-kind 4-course meal led by Chef Jamil Pineda and Phil Mancini of Michaels on East. Guests will also enjoy specially-selected wines curated by Michael Klauber. The dinner and Wizard of Oz-themed gala will feature an exciting raffle and Live Auction for a festive evening of cooking, fun, and fundraising. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.cookingforwishes.com.
[SOON]  GALA: Celebrate 75 Gala and Concert , February 15, 6pm
Celebrate 75 years of inspiring music all season long, and our Celebrate 75 special concert and gala experience will be the party to top them all. We invite you to support 75 more years, and beyond, of enriching lives through music by purchasing tickets to Celebrate 75. For access to the best seats and the full celebration, opt for a Gala ticket, which includes pre-concert cocktails and a gourmet dinner after the performance. Concert-only tickets are also available for purchase. The concert program, led by Creative Partner Peter Oundjian, captures all the euphoria of reaching this milestone in our history as Florida’s oldest continuously operating orchestra. After two stirring fanfares written by Aaron Copland and Joan Tower, legendary pianist Garrick Ohlsson joins Sarasota Orchestra for the monumental Piano Concerto No. 3 by Rachmaninoff. Paired with An American in Paris by Gershwin, a rhapsodic portrait of a stroll through the City of Lights, this one-night-only program promises to thrill. Gala begins at 6:00 pm, and concert begins at 7:00 pm. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, sarasotaorchestra.org.
[SOON]  THEATER: A Night in November , February 21 – March 15, Various times
One of the most highly acclaimed Irish comedies, A Night in November is a hard and humorous look at The Troubles in Northern Ireland during the 1990s. The play follows Kenneth McCallister, an opinionated government clerk who, barely, tolerates his wife, his in-laws, and his Catholic boss. On one fateful night in Belfast, as the Republic of Ireland qualifies against Northern Ireland for the World Cup, Kenneth finds himself watching the fanatical hatred of the crowd rather than the match, an event that profoundly changes his life. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit floridastudiotheatre.org.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Under the Sea ALSO Youth Annual Prom , February 3, 6-10pm
The ALSO Youth Annual Prom is the most highly anticipated event for our LGBTQ youth each year. Youth from Sarasota County, Manatee County and beyond attend this unique celebration where they are free to come as they are, with whoever they wish, without fear of judgment or needing to mask who they are. We anticipate between 250-300 youth sending their RSVP to attend the ALSO Youth Prom on Saturday, February 3, 2024. Attendees will enjoy fun music, dancing, games, themed crafts, an awesome photo booth, and so much more. alsoyouth.org
[SOON]  FOOD: Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival , January 25 – January 29, Various times
The 2024 Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival, hosted by the Sarasota Manatee Originals, will take place January 25 to 29. Grand Tasting tickets go on sale in October. A full five day slate of food and wine themed fun is planned, including the University Master Classes, wine dinners at area restaurants, wine shop tasting events, a trade tasting and the much anticipated Grand Tasting at The Ringling Museum of Art. Due to the unprecedented demand for tickets, ticket sales for The Grand Tasting launch on two consecutive Tuesdays: On October 10 at 9 a.m. there is a presale of the VIP and Early Access tickets and on October 17 at 7 p.m. General Admission tickets will be available and historically have sold out in a matter of minutes. All Forks and Corks Grand Tasting tickets will be available online only. For more information, please visit www.eatlikealocal.com.
[SOON]  SEMINAR: Listening to Women Series , January 18 – February 22, 1pm

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College, OLLI, presents its fifth annual Listening to Women, a six-session series that recognizes women whose brilliance and fortitude have reshaped industries and who are making a difference in our communities. The series takes place on Thursdays at 1 pm, from Jan. 18-Feb. 22, 2024, at Sarasota Art Museum, the Ringling College Museum Campus, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Registration for the complete series is $81 for OLLI Gold Members and $90 for OLLI Silver Members and general admission; register at www.OLLIatRinglingCollege.org.

[SOON]  FOOD: Liberty Smokehouse Pop Up Kitchen , January 21, 5-9pm
Bring your appetite to The Liberty Smokehouse Pop-Up Kitchen at 99 Bottles on Sunday, January 21st from 5 - 9 pm. This is the first in a series of pop-ups with Liberty Smokehouse and Chef Bryan Jacobs, a former USF Sarasota student and staff. He started this project as a way to support a non-profit he started years ago called Vets 2 Success. As a former vet himself, he hires and trains military veterans in culinary arts. To learn more, visit 99bottles.net.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Music Mondays , January 8 – March 25, Various times

The 2024 season of Sarasota Institute of the Lifetime Learning Music Monday Series presents performances and lively conversations with renowned and emerging performers, January 8-March 25, on Mondays at 10:30 a.m. at Church of the Palms in Sarasota; and Mondays at 3 p.m. at Venice Presbyterian Church in Venice. https://sillsarasota.org/index.htm.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica , January 6 – January 21, Various times
Natural wonders of the tropical rainforest as depicted on the handcrafted masks of the Indigenous artists of Boruca, Costa Rica will be on view in the Museum of Botany and the Arts from January 6-21, 2024. The cultural practice of mask-making honors the heritage of the Borucan people and reflects the strong connection they maintain with their beautiful natural environment. This exhibition will highlight the history and tradition of Borucan mask-making, as well as celebrate the 20th anniversary of displaying masks at Selby Gardens. Since it was first launched in 2004, this popular annual event at Selby Gardens has brought the beauty of a unique art form to a wider audience, while also empowering the artists to earn income from mask sales that help support their village and their growing conservation efforts. Proceeds from mask sales support the Borucan village and also benefit Selby Gardens education, research, horticulture, and scientific work. Learn more and purchase tickets at selby.org.

SRQ Media Group

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