Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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You mean, besides the Arts & Crafts fest downtown, the triathlon on Siesta Key, or just good old-fashioned beachgoing? 🙂 Well, yes. We thought we’d let you know about two great offerings on tap in and around Sarasota over the next couple days—one for the family, and one the kiddies are better off sitting out.

The first—

Got bikes? Then grab the whole family to join Sarasota County and Carlton Reserve volunteer David Reynolds and his family for an off road wilderness bicycle ride through the beautiful T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve (Carlton Reserve) on Sunday, May 15, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. for approximately 1 to 2 hours. Expect to see lots of wildlife!

More information can be found here.

Then, on Monday, Ringling Museum of Art continues its Monday night movies series with the classic chiller Silence of the Lambs. For those who haven’t seen it, the Oscar-winning flick stars Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins in iconic roles that you won’t soon forget…let’s just say eating Fava beans or sipping a nice Chianti will never be quite the same. Movies are screened at the historic Asolo theater beginning at 7pm and only cost 7 bucks. For more info, click here.

Have a great weekend!


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Our apologies for being a bit tardy with this post, but we’ve had stars in our eyes! Now that the opening ceremonies, which included a performance at Van Wezel by Harry Connick and his orchestra as well as a film screening at the Sarasota Opera House, are over, the main program of the festival is under way. Lots of great films are waiting to be discovered, some by local students—the next big thing could be here in Sarasota right now, and what’s cooler than being able to say you knew them before they were famous?

Here’s a brief description and history of the festival taken from the official website:

In July 1998, international and independent film enthusiasts founded the Sarasota Film Festival, Inc. (SFF). They sought to create a balanced festival of foreign and domestic film complemented by the participation of the film and entertainment industry.

The following January, SFF launched its first festival. The “mini-festival” featured eight independent films, two premiere screenings, two educational symposiums and a gala fundraiser. Since then, SFF has grown in length (from three days to ten), attendance (from 2,300 attendees to over 45,000) and scope (from 10 screenings to hosting over 200 films and adding nationally-recognized education programs, dozens of  special events, talkbacks and panels with some of the leading voices in film today). Beyond the Festival, SFF has expanded to include year-round activities like the free outdoor Moonlight Movies series in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Venice; Monday Night Movies at the newly-restored Asolo Theater; Screenwriters’ Circle; and more.

Got questions? Want to know more? Here are some answers, also straight from the source.

When is the 2011 Sarasota Film Festival?
The 13th Annual Sarasota Film Festival will take place April 7, 2011 through April 17, 2011

How do I purchase tickets to films and events?
Tickets to all of our films and events are available for purchase online. You may also visit our box office, located in the lobby of the Regal Hollywood 20 Theater at 1993 Main Street. Additionally, Passes and Special Event tickets can be purchased at (941) 366-6200 or Toll Free at 1-866-575-FILM.

When is the Box Office open?
March 18th – April 3rd | Mon-Fri: 11am-6pm, Sat-Sun: 12pm-5pm
April 4th – 8th | Daily: 10am-8pm
April 9th-17th | Daily: 10am-10pm

Where are all of the film screenings and events?
You can find all of our locations and venues listed here.

How much do film tickets cost?
We have a variety of ticketing options for our audience:
MATINEE FILM TICKET: $8 Matinee prices are available Mon-Thurs before 5pm
Children age 12 and younger enter free to youthFEST family films. Tickets required.

STUDENT PASSPORT: $20 Any 4 regularly-priced film tickets. Student ID required.
DISCOVERY PACKAGE: $50 Any 5 regularly-priced film ticket
FILM BUFF PACKAGE: $90 Any 10 regularly-priced film tickets
FILM FANATIC PACKAGE: $120 Any 15 regularly-priced film tickets
CINEPHILE EXPRESS PASS: $1,000 Unlimited, with preferred seating and access to the Filmmaker Lounge. Also includes: 1 ticket to the Opening Night Film and Party, 1 ticket to Cinema Tropicale Celebration, 1 ticket to Night Under a Thousand Stars – Beach Edition, 1 ticket to Filmmaker Tribute, 1 ticket to Late Night After Party, 1 ticket to the Closing Night Film, 1 ticket to each “In Conversation With” event

What if a film or event I want to see has limited space?
For films with limited space, there is a cash only RUSH line. On a first-in-line basis, people in the RUSH line may be able to purchase seats that are open moments before the film begins.

How can I learn more about all of the SFF films and events?
Information about all of our events and films can be found in our Film Guide. It is availableonline, at our box office, and at many of our local business partners throughout Sarasota.

Does SFF offer any educational programs to students?
Yes. The SFF Outreach & Education Department offers FREE 12 educational programs to students in elementary school through college. To learn more about our educational programming click here.

Can I volunteer to work at the Sarasota Film Festival?
Absolutely! Our volunteer work force is key to the success of festival. You can find out more information about how to volunteer here.

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Anyone who follows baseball knows that the American League East is arguably the most competitive division in the majors. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, with their long histories and deep pockets, garner most of the headlines, but the Tampa Bay Rays have joined them the last few years as an elite franchise. And now the Toronto Blue Jays and Sarasota’s own Baltimore Orioles, who train each spring at the newly renovated Ed Smith Stadium, have loaded up with young talent and are threatening to make the division even more difficult.

Interestingly, the spring training sites of all five teams are spread out along Florida’s gulf coast, from Dunedin to Fort Myers, meaning that even in spring training they can’t get away from each other! This week, the O’s have home games against the Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, and New York Yankees. For tickets and other information, visit their spring training site.

Ed Smith Stadium, located at 2700 12th Street, is easily reachable from Laurel Park via bike, bus, or car. You can call them at 941-954-4101 for more information.

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Tomorrow is election day here in Sarasota, with three out five commission seats up for grabs. That means if you live in districts 1, 2, or 3 (that means everyone in the city of Sarasota) your vote counts!! In 2009, when two at-large commission seats were up for election, only 20% of registered voters—not total residents, only registered voters—came to the polls. In the end, the difference between being elected and not being elected was a mere 104 votes.

Your vote is critical for a number of reasons. With so few ballots cast, your vote really does count. More than that, though, and no matter how you vote, voting is a cornerstone of democratic society. The less we vote, the less democratic our society is. Also, while we might be electing officials to represent us, those officials do not constitute “the city” on their own. We, the residents, the citizens, are the city. Voting is a privilege, but it is also the responsibility of citizens. If we are the city, it is up to us to inform ourselves and exercise our authority as citizens.

Civic involvement is one of the qualities that makes Laurel Park a special place. You don’t have to live here long to know how passionate our residents feel about their neighborhood (us included!). When passion leads to action, anything is possible. So speak with your vote tomorrow and do your part to make Sarasota as good as it can be!

Okay, I’ll climb off the soapbox now. For all election-related information, visit sarasotavotes.com

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Think you know Laurel Park? Take a stroll on the Laurel Park Historic Walk and discover little-known stories about the ground beneath your feet and the houses next door. Here’s all the info you need, courtesy of This Week in Sarasota.

WHEN: Saturday February 19, 2011 @ 09:00 AM (and, really, every other day)
WHERE: Orange Ave. & Oak St. Sarasota FL 34236
COST: Free

Take a Walk in Laurel Park! – A self-guided tour of the National Register of Historic Places District. Tour map and information is available on the website: www.laurelparkhistoricdistrict.com

Laurel Park is one of Sarasota’s oldest downtown neighborhoods. Located between Orange Avenue and Washington Boulevard south of Morrill Street, it is approximately 50 acres stretching over nine city blocks. Single-family homes, duplexes and small apartment buildings dating back to the 20s line the original brick paved streets. Architectural styles include Frame Vernacular, Masonry Vernacular, Bungalow, Mission Revival, Colonial Revival, and Mediterranean Revival. While primarily residential, the neighborhood includes some businesses and was once the home of Sarasota’s County Courthouse and Sarasota’s daily newspaper, The Sarasota Herald Tribune. The district is generally associated with events that were important to the early development of Sarasota from 1920-1957. Its architectural styles and varied pattern of development additionally contributed to making it a resource for the City and the State of Florida to preserve.


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2011 Winter Forum

You don’t have to be a marketing guru to know that youth sells. Everything it seems, including cities, are sold to the youth. Picture crowded sidewalks in the vaunted Creative City—a bunch of stylish 20 and 30 somethings, right? But as important as the energy and innovation of youth is, there’s something really important that the young don’t have: the wisdom of experience. Isn’t this an area where Sarasota could perhaps shine even brighter? Could it be that the Sarasota’s “silver sector” is the key to economic growth?

SCOPE, our exceptional local think tank, thinks so.

Since early 2005, SCOPE’s initiative, Aging – The Possibilities has focused on the role of older adults as untapped assets in our community. How do we maximize both the substantial talent of this population and the opportunities for individuals to age in place while retaining an active and independent lifestyle?  Over 900 residents participated in this initiative.

SCOPE’s annual Winter Form on Aging will be held on Friday, February 25, at the Chelsea Center in Sarasota. Featured speakers are Drs. George Vaillant from Harvard Medical School and Helen Kivnick from the University of Minnesota. Interested in how Sarasota might be able to grow its economy on the strength of its senior citizens? Check out SCOPE’s website for more information and to sign up for the winter forum.

SRQ has always attracted successful retirees from diverse professional backgrounds. And in recent years, anchored by the success of New College and Ringling School of Art & Design, a young creative class has indeed been developing. Aren’t there ways to bring them together more (through mentoring, or even collaborative efforts)? To encourage a greater sense of community across boundaries such as age (and, likely, aesthetics)? To involve everyone who’s willing in the building of an urban village? We’ve seen glimpses of it first hand in Laurel Park, where hipsters, families, and retirees live cheek to cheek. But couldn’t different demographic groups combine their respective strengths and leverage them into something really dynamic?

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There’s a Greek proverb that says, “A city grows great when men plant trees under whose shade they will never sit.” The idea, of course, is that for future generations to thrive present generations must be proactive. If done right, change in cities happens gradually. Better to plant a tree and let it grow than to install a full grown one. But think about it this way—if a few dozen neighbors got together and spent a weekend planting southern live oak seeds, Sarasota would be a city of canopy roads by the time our children are grown and having their own children. Such a simple act as planting seeds (and of course tending to the growing trees) would make Sarasota more beautiful, keep it cooler in the summer, encourage walking and bicycling (and hence sociability), improve air quality, and raise property values, among other benefits.

This post isn’t about planting trees, however. It’s about starting 2011 off right by renewing our commitment to ourselves, each other, and our city as neighbors and citizens. Those of us who live in Sarasota, whether year-round or seasonally, know how fortunate we are. Our humble hamlet has two top colleges (New College of Florida and the Ringling School of Art & Design), an opera house, a symphony orchestra, the splendid Ringling Museum and adjacent Asolo Conservatory of Performing Arts. We have gorgeous beaches (including Crescent Beach on Siesta Key, which has been named one of the world’s most beautiful), keys, a bay ideal for sailing, and several extraordinary urban parks including Island Park and Arlington Park. We have a botanical wonderworld in Selby Garden, a community-oriented thinktank in SCOPE, a homegrown weekly farmer’s market, and a quintessential American downtown anchored by Main Street, the Selby Public Library, and Whole Foods.

The list of Sarasota’s amenities goes on and on, but we’ve left out the most important one: us. The residents of a city are always its most essential and influential amenity, and the role of Sarasota’s citizens increases in importance as the economic crisis in Florida continues. Cities have less money to spend even as the issues requiring their attention increase. So it falls to us, the residents, to be more involved, more collaborative, more proactive. We at Laurel Park Management will continue to do everything we can to honor the gifts Sarasota gives to us all—we will continue to participate in local issues, communicate with our neighbors, and work to make Sarasota as good a place to live, work, and play as it can possibly be.

Won’t you join us? Will you make a New Year’s resolution to be the best neighbor and citizen you can be?

A recent article in Grist offers seven suggestions as to how such a resolution might be put into practice:

1. Plant something

Green, living things can radically change people’s moods and health. It’s an idea that biologist Edward O. Wilson explored in his book Biophilia, and it has been backed up in many studies since. A tree or a flower brings great happiness, and it can connect you to the people in your neighborhood. I have a small container garden outside my house, and people often stop to tell me how much they enjoy it.

2. Pick up litter

This one is dead easy. Sadly, no matter where you live, there’s likely to be litter. Maybe it’s blowing around on the sidewalk (that’s nearly always the case here in Brooklyn). Maybe it’s dumped by the side of a beautiful country road. Maybe it’s in the parking lot of your local mall. Maybe (I hate this) it’s on a favorite hiking path.

3. Get to know your neighbors

Really, even the irritating ones. I’ve lived on the same block for 10 years, and when I moved in, I had some ugly conflicts with the raucous (understatement) extended family that lives a few doors down. But I stuck to saying hello and letting them know I wasn’t going anywhere. Now they look out for my kid when he hangs out and plays on the street. I’ve been to the wakes of two of the family members in the past year. We care about each other in our weird, neighborly way.

4. Find out who your government representatives are

All of them. State, federal, city, town. Selectman, alderman, sheriff, dogcatcher — whatever they have in your part of the world. Then, when you have a problem, you know who to lean on to get it fixed. You are paying these people’s salaries. They work for you. Boss them around a little. You might be surprised how they listen to direction. {keep reading at grist.org}

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