In Your Mailbox: SRQ October 2017 Arts and Culture Issue is Here!



Sarasota and Bradenton’s 2017-2018 cultural season has begun and (lucky for you) we are here to guide the way. Our October 2017 Arts and Culture issue highlights all things visual arts, performing arts and culture —from sculpture to film, dance to theater and much more.

FEATURE copy.jpg

Culture Canvas: Between celebrating Leonard Bernstein with the Sarasota Orchestra and lamenting the star-crossed lovers on the Sarasota Opera Stage, expanding the mind at the fourth annual PINC Sarasota conference and diving into the political at the Ringling Museum of Art, this year’s cultural season expects nearly as much from the audience as the audience does of it.

17-18 copy.jpg

SRQIST- Local Heart & Soul Stories About the People, Places and Experiences that Define Our Hometown 

  • Heavy Lifting: Robrady and Lockhead Martin bring future tech to Sarasota.
  • CCA 2.0: Cross College Alliance enters its next phase.
  • Students on Set: Partnering with Ringling College of Art and Design and Semkhor Productions, Hollywood actor Dylan McDermott has for the last year worked with Ringling students in Ringling facilities to bring his latest project to life—a web-series called Sugar, about a young woman exploited by Florida’s sex trafficking industry and looking to rebuild her life—while working simultaneously with local nonprofit Selah Freedom to spread awareness in conjunction with the production.
  • The Greatest Match on Earth: The youngest two Ringling brothers each left indelible marks upon Sarasota, but armed only with their achievements and legacies, who will be victorious in the an SRQ Deathmatch for the ages between John and Charles Ringling?


27-28 copy.jpg

CULTURE CITY- Arts + Culture, Performing and Visual Arts, Portfolio, In Studio, Artsheet

  • Astral Art: Former astronaut Nicole Stott makes re-entry in the world of art.
  • Kaleidoscope City: Painter Ricky Otto interprets the urban landscape in vivid color.
  • Directing the Classroom: Ringling College’s Brad Battersby builds a Hollywood-worthy film program right here in Sarasota.



CARGO- The GoodS, Retail Therapy, Book Brand, NicNacs, Nest

  • The Goods: Explore your inner rocker with these Grunge-inspired pieces.
  • Beauty in Grief: More than 200 years later, the mourning of Dorothy Toplis endures.
  • Book It: From cookbooks to noir novels, check out the recently revamped cooking section at A. Parker’s Books and this month’s new release book recommendation, Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan.



FORAGE- At the Table, Crumbs, Restaurants, 5 Indgrediants, Pantry, Foodie Life

  • Crumbs: New fall menus grace the tables at Louies Modern and Libby’s Café
  • Five Keys to Our Heart: We catch up with 3 Keys Brewery, a new family-friendly pub in Bradenton.
  • Elodie: This French restaurant in Bradenton is growing family roots.


109-110 copy.jpg

RECONNOITER- Collaborative Dialogue, Dispatches, Case Study, Agenda, Rattlebag

  • Form Based Future: Can new city codes offer an accurate glimpse at Sarasota in years to come?

Check out the special Culture Primer Guide to the 2017-18 Season in print and in the online digital edition!

While we can’t wait for you to soak in the creativity within the October issue, we’d rather you get out there and experience for yourself the fire within the Creative Coast!

-The SRQ team


Click here to access the pages of the October SRQ digital edition.


SB2 RUMBLE Reports Out: Sarasota, How Does Your City Grow, September 26


Left to right: Debaters Eileen Normile, Mollie Cardamone, Kate Lowman, Wes Roberts (center, host/moderator), Javi Suarez, Kevin Cooper and Chris Gallagher battle it out at the SRQ Rumble. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan


On September 26, SRQ MEDIA hosted the second installment of our newest powerhouse initiative: SB2 Rumbles. Audience members turned out in droves to hear both sides of an impassioned argument as to whether or not public hearings should be required for all large-scale developments in the city.

Based on a modified Oxford Style debate, SRQ Rumbles tackle challenging topics relevant to the Sarasota–Bradenton region by presenting a thoughtful “for” and “against” position on a motion that distills the topic. The purpose of the SB2 Rumble is to provide the community with articulate, well-researched, presentations on both sides of the motion structured around transparent and civil public dialogue.


Rumble event sponsor, MaryAnne Young from the New College Foundation welcomes guests. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan


After opening remarks from event sponsor MaryAnne Young of the New College Foundation, event co-moderator, Jacob Ogles discussed the modified Oxford Style debate guidelines and presented the motion stating “Sarasota should require public hearings for all large proposals in the downtown development review process.”


Event co-moderator, Jacob Ogles presents the format of the Rumble and motion for the evening. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan


Debating For the motion were Eileen Normile, Kate Lowman and former City of Sarasota Mayor, Mollie Cardamone. All three women are founding members of STOP!, a civic group organized to advocate for specific changes in the City of Sarasota’s zoning code. STOP! has asked the City to adopt public hearings for large projects, standards for wide sidewalks and to pursue better traffic studies. Kevin Cooper, President of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Chris Gallagher, Partner of HOYT Architects and Javi Suarez, Principal of Apex-Studio of Suarez were on the opposing side debating Against the motion.


Kevin Cooper argues that Sarasota should not require public hearings for all large proposals in the downtown development review process. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan


Kate Lowman kicked off the debate by emphasizing that community input at hearings could ultimately benefit all involved including developers, landowners and members of the community. “That’s what public hearings are really all about,” she said. “They are almost never about stopping the project. Usually, they are about making a project fit better.” On the opposing side, Kevin Cooper argued that the current administrative review process does protect the rights of land-owners, including some 1,800 property owners who saw down-zonings with the approval of the Downtown Master Plan. “The other side of that was always administrative review, a simplified, stream-lined process,” he argued.

Former Mayor, Mollie Cardamone advocated that major developments should still land at public city hearings noting that elected officials often have to answer for projects approved without their input. An example of this would be The Vue, a project Cardamone said was attractive but had narrow sidewalks separating the building from the road. “There are some problems I would take issue with,” she said.

Chris Gallagher, a partner at HOYT Architects, however argued that more positive developments have come into place because of the master plan and administrative review such as the Aloft. Gallagher also noted that Sarasota’s WalkScore is the 4th best in America.


Eileen Normile emphasizes the importance of community input in the development process. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan 


With a massive copy of the city development code in hand, Eileen Normile noted that asking the public to be constantly involved in public conversation about the broader city code isn’t fair to citizens who simply want input on projects that affect their neighborhood or community. Normile also stated that though our region is rated the 4th best according to WalkScore, it is also ranked the 10th most dangerous for pedestrians by Smart Growth America.

Javi Suarez, emphasized that developers share concern for the community and assured that professional city staff involved in review provide the oversight needed to make sure projects serve community needs. “It cannot take away public input and allow the staff to make decisions,” he said. “What it can do is determine dimensional standards, building design standards and so forth.”


Event moderator/host, Wes Roberts facilitates audience Q & A. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan 


Audience members brought the heat, with hard-hitting questions directed at both debate teams during the Q&A portion of the evening. Nothing was off limits as many voiced their concerns on such a controversial topic. Both debate teams were begging for more time to answer each thought-provoking and concise question that was posed.



Kate Lowman presents closing argument supporting the motion that Sarasota should require public hearings for all large proposals in the downtown development process. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

In the end, the crowd swayed in favor of the motion and determined that Sarasota should require public hearings for all large proposals in the downtown development review process with a 5 percent sway of the crowd as opposed to the 3 percent sway on the other side. SRQ Rumbles serve as a reminder that we can disagree mightily, and then walk away friends through evoking change in our region.


Audience members at the September 26 SB2 Rumble. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

To view a full gallery of images from the September, 26th SRQ Rumbleclick here.

The next SRQ Rumble Parley will take place on Tuesday, February 27 at the Powel Crosley Estate discussing school vouchers, charter schools and school choice in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

Purchase your tickets at: and join us for the next “rumble!” Seats are limited at the location, so reserve yours early.

SRQ Magazine Launches 14th Annual Home of the Year Competition!

HOTY Digital Icon.jpg

Calling all builders, architects, designers and landscape companies —the 14th Annual SRQ Home of the Year Competition is officially open!

From serene water features to breathtaking bay views and green buildings, SRQ MEDIA is thrilled to produce this prestigious annual architecture and home design program, recognizing truly stunning spaces from Venice all the way to Anna Maria Island. Our panel of qualified judges hail from regions outside the geographic area of the HOTY competition and represent excellence in the areas of architecture and interior design. They will review entries based on innovation, functionality and overall design aesthetic to bestow SRQs Home of the Year Platinum, Gold and Silver awards.

Local professionals are invited to submit their best work in home design by the Call for Entries deadline of Friday, December 8, 2017. Winners in each category will be featured in the coveted SRQ Home of the Year awards supplement in the March 2018 issue of SRQ Magazine.

Select one or more categories for submission:

  • Overall Home: Over $2 Million
  • Overall Home: Between $1-$2 Million
  • Overall Home: Under $1 Million
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Great Room
  • Remodel/Renovation
  • Landscape Design/Pool
  • Sustainability/Green

With even more ways to showcase your brilliant work in architecture, landscaping and home construction there’s really no reason not to participate! The HOTY Official entry packet can be found at SRQMAGAZINE.COM/HOTY and includes all of the competition details.

The Call for Entries deadline is Friday December 8, 2017; the late deadline is Friday, January 5, 2018. Winners will be announced in the March 2018 edition of SRQ Magazine!

Best of luck to all of our participants, and may the best home win!

In Your Mailbox: September Trendsport Has Arrived!


Our September issue shines the spotlight on noteworthy trends in fashion, food, art and innovation, keeping you in the loop on local buzz. TRENDSPORT lets you live it all in style from the best beaches to the best bruschetta. Learn to make jerky, see what the South Florida Museum has in store and find out the secret lives of pets and their owners. Find out the secret to fidget spinners and why Longboat Key seems to be tapping the talent from nearby communities. Snorkel in the sun and roast s’mores in the moonlight. It’s season in Sarasota-Bradenton and time to get moving!

19-20 copy.jpg

SRQIST–Local Heart & Soul Stories About the People, Places and Experiences that Define Our Hometown

  • Steel Sips: The beverage holder that put Osprey on the map made a material change this April as Tervis added stainless steel cups to its inventory.
  • Jellyfish Innovation: From prototype to Kickstarter, the Grattons create a tabletop ecosystem.
  • Sarasota Bay Dolphin Record: Dolphin births enjoy record year.
  • Mote Marvel: Mote Marine Laboratory’s Dr. Tracy Fanara joined the ranks of superheroes last month with her inclusion in the Marvel comic The Unstoppable Wasp #5, which follows the adventures of super-scientist Nadia Pym and her all-female team of scientists, G.I.R.L. (Genius In action Research Labs) as they recruit more young women into the sciences.
  • New College, New Science: With the completion of the latest expansion to the Heiser Natural Sciences Complex at New College of Florida, students and faculty alike can look forward to a whole new experience this year.
  • Animated Affection: The senior thesis film from Esteban Bravo and Beth David, In A Heartbeat captured hearts nationwide and went viral overnight with its charming story, adorable animation and message of openness.
  • Turtle Power: Longboat Key volunteers help hatch amphibian friends.


35-36-cargo copy.jpg

CARGO–Hunting and Gathering Essential Goods, Retail Therapy, Book Brand, NicNacs and Nest

  • To the Sole: Charleston Shoe Company’s Neely Powell on her most important things in life.
  • Renaissance Revival: Bound to spark conversation and undoubtedly a historic addition of home décor, Sarasota Trading Company’s French Empire clock brings a piece of the past forward long after the style’s reign.
  • Layers in Denim: A fall wardrobe curated with denim, layering and timeless wardrobe essentials.
  • Book It: Recommended short stories and war stories for the ravenous reader.


43-48--forage copy.jpg

FORAGE–At the Table Imbibes, Restaurants, 5 Ingredients, Pantry and Foodie Life

  • Doctor’s Orders: Going to the Doctor’s Office just got a lot more fun.
  • Crumbs: Watermelon jerky may sound like a crazy idea, but Lynn Morris, founder of SaraFresh Juice, says it’s no big deal. Let’s Get Wicked gives us behind-the-scenes with founder Janice and Michael Dolan from Austin TX. The Rosemary District welcomes Italian Tradition to the ‘hood. 4 Reasons Why We Love Birdrock Taco Shack . . .


88-89 Reconnoiter spread copy.jpg

RECONNOITER–Collaborative Dialogue Dispatches, Case Study and Agenda

  • Sloppy Successes of the Sarasota CRA The question of who gets $4.7 million in local tax revenue normally can be solved with a simple call to the tax collector. But a tense disagreement over whether Sarasota County still owes the City of Sarasota that much money as part of a now-expired community redevelopment plan endured over most of the past year. 



SMARTgirl by the Numbers

SMARTGirl infographic.jpg

On April 14, SRQ Media hosted its inaugural SMARTgirl Leadership and Mentorship Summit at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. 84 grade school girls from the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota County, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of Gulf Coast Florida and the Sarasota YMCA participated in a curated mentoring program engaging the young women with 23 women leaders representing our region’s many diverse industries in an afternoon of soft skills training, mentorship and career imaginings including workshops, interactive programming and inspirational luncheon.

During the summit, SRQ Media asked our SMARTgirls a variety of questions about their experience and compiled an infographic representing our key findings.

  • 74% of our SMARTgirls feel that school is preparing them for securing a successful career.
  • 43% of our SMARTgirls would like to be able to work in the Sarasota-Bradenton region.
  • 55% of our SMARTgirls are strongly considering pursuing a technical or 2-year associates degree and 74% are strongly considering pursuing a post-secondary college education.
  • 100% of our SMARTgirls would recommend participation in SMARTgirl Initiative to a friend.

Supported through SRQ Women in Business, the SMARTgirl initiative is a collaborative effort to set local girls up for success. SMARTGirl fosters “curated mentorship” and engages middle school girls from Sarasota and Manatee counties in a program designed to educate them on career possibilities and provide the tools they need to succeed. The goal of SMARTgirl is to connect young girls with examples of excellence in our region and provide encouragement, advice and feedback on how to make their dreams happen.

Stay tuned for additional insights and findings gathered from the SMARTgirl Initiative and updates on the future 2018 SMARTgirl Mentorship and Leadership Summit.

For a full gallery of photos from the SMARTgirl Luncheon click here.

For more information on SMARTgirl and SRQ’s Women in Business Initiative, please visit

RESERVE YOUR TICKET: September 26—SB2 RUMBLE: Sarasota, How Does Your City Grow?



SRQ MEDIA invites you to attend the next installment of our brand new initiative, SB2 RUMBLE on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, at the Mildred Sainer Pavilion, New College from 5:30-7:00 pm.

Sarasota, How Does Your City Grow?
Prepare to have your preconceptions challenged when the rhetoricians take the stage at SRQ’s SB2 Rumbles!

STOP! is a group of citizens from all areas of the City of Sarasota concerned about zoning codes that create looming buildings with narrow sidewalks. Are citizens shut out of the decision-making process? Is there such a thing as bad growth? Do we risk losing opportunity with increased restrictions? Don’t miss this lively debate featuring civil discourse designed to sway positions through factual information and rhetorical skill.

Can You Rock The Sway?
Join us at the Mildred Sainer Pavilion, New College for a lively debate on an issue that some consider ‘too hot to handle’. Attendees are asked their position on the topic of the day before and after the debate. The success of the participants is judged on those they sway from their initial positions. SRQ launched SB2 to bring together our two sister-counties with collaborative programming, now, with our Rumbles, we will inspire a return to respectful disagreement, an admiration of the art of rhetoric and a reminder that we should always challenge our own preconceptions in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Tickets: $25/person; Students $15/person, use “GROWRUMBLE” for the promo code.

Buy your tickets today at SRQSB2.COM!

SB2 Reporting Out: GOOD HAND Building Capacity In Our Independent Sector, July 20


Left to right: Panelists, Veronica Brandon Miller and Stacey Corley, Event Sponsor, Jaime DiDomenico, Keynote, David Odahowski and Panelists, Susie Bowie, Heidi Brown and Roxie Jerde. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

On Thursday July 20, SRQ Magazine took our SB2 attendees on a journey into the minds, missions and hearts behind some of Sarasota’s most notable charitable foundations and organizations at SB2 GOOD HAND: Building Capacity in our Independent Sector. Hosted at The Francis in Downtown Sarasota, the discussion took a look at the ways to develop and improve donor relations.


Opening presenter, Jaime DiDomenico from Cool Today welcomes guests to SB2: GOOD HAND Building Capacity in our Independent Sector. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

After opening remarks from Event Sponsor, Jaime DiDomenico of Cool Today, David Odahowski, President and CEO of the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation gave a compelling presentation on innovation in giving and most importantly return on investment. “There is a sea of almost 84,000 non-profit organizations in Florida seeking funds from foundations, government and other non-profit funders,” Odahowski stated. 

With the non profit sector constantly innovating, the demand for effective use of dollars in turn requires nonprofit leaders then to stay up to date with the best practices and technologies utilized within the giving community. “Donors are consumers, and they want the Amazon Prime experience,” Odahowksi stated with regards to simplified giving.

According to local philanthropic leaders, today’s donors expect involvement in how their dollars get expended, a major shift from decades past when it comes to large sum donations. “If a donor has put in a life time of work, worry and risk, you better believe that the donor is going to expect more and ultimately get it,” Odahowksi stated in his address.


Keynote Speaker, David Odahowski of the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, talks about building capacity in our independent sector. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

Between sips of coffee and bites of maple coated bacon, guests were able to hear from non-for-profit movers and shakers in our region known as the ‘giving coast’. Panelists hailed from a variety of organizations: Roxie Jerde from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Stacey Corley from the Ringling College of Art and Design, Veronica Brandon Miller from Goodwill Manasota Foundation, Susie Bowie from the Manatee Community Foundation and Heidi Brown from the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the Suncoast. Panelists were passionate about donor relationship building and stressed that organizations who fail to work with those giving funds may see the resources head someplace else.


Left to right: Stacey Corley, Veronica Brandon Miller, Roxie Jerde, Wes Roberts (moderator), Susie Bowie. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan. 

Veronica Brandon Miller, Vice President of the Goodwill Manasota Foundation kicked off the conversation by explaining the shift in donor expectations. Organizations are no longer seeing the typical donor giving from generations past. Today’s donors, work hard for the money that they have earned. “You have to be part of that shift and understand the donors thinking because it is not the same. The donor of today has earned their money. They want to see a return on their investment and be part of this change,” she explained.

To that point, Stacey Corley, Vice President for Advancement at the Ringling College of Art and Design believes that donors to the college are truly committed to transformational change. “A lot of our donors really care about changing lives and seeing the impact of their giving. Many times we might be raising money for a building but its not about the bricks, paint or materials, it’s about what that building will do for students and community members. ”


Veronica Brandon Miller and Roxie Jerde discuss return on donor investment at SB2 GOOD HAND. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

Today’s donor also prefers to allocate their funds to a specific intention, but what happens when the intentions do not match the needs or mission of an organization? Roxie Jerde, President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County works closely and listens intently to those willing or currently donating to ensure funds match the non-profit mission and will remain useful for years to come. “People who work hard for their money, want to work hard giving it away and be smart about that,” Jerde explained.

Similarly, Manatee Community Foundation Executive Director Susie Bowie said her organization’s top goal remains honoring intent. “It takes a great deal of trust that the donor has to have in us that we know the community and we know the community need.”



Stacey Corley discusses the millennial generation’s giving patterns. Photo Credit Wyatt Kostygan. 

From an organizational standpoint, Heidi Brown, President of the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the Suncoast, feels it is more important to zero in on specific organizational needs to ensure resources get leveraged to best serve their clients benefiting from philanthropy. “If we are spread too thin or working in areas where we do not have the expertise and praise, then I’m not certain we’re serving the community or the donor,” she said.



Representatives from SB2 Series Sponsor, The Resort at Longboat Key Club. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan. 

We couldn’t have learned the incredible things from this engaging discussion without our incredible 2017-2018 series sponsors: CS&L CPAs, The Resort at Longboat Key Club, and the Sarasota-Bradenton International AirportThank you for supporting the SB2 series, but most importantly, thank you for the ways you give back and help people in our community each and every day. Your example inspires us.


Representatives from SB2 Series Sponsor, CS&L CPAS. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

Click here to read the article about SB2: GOOD HAND in the SRQ DAILY. A gallery of images from SB2: GOOD HAND is available online.

SRQ is pleased to announce that the 2017-2018 SB2 Symposia Series will move to lunchtime. Although many die-hard SB2 fans loved getting up at the crack of dawn for SB2’s signature compelling dialogue and content (not to mention the bacon) we want to share the conversation with an expanded audience and provide for a longer deep-dive into important conversations affecting both Sarasota and Bradenton.

We invite you to join us at the New SB2 Luncheon Symposia Series at The Francis, Sarasota from 11:15am-1pm on November 30, 2017, January 25, 2018 and July 26, 2018  for incredibly engaging afternoons of insight, illuminating facts and examples of game-changing innovation.

For tickets and 2017-2018 annual VIP member passes, visit

We hope to see you there!