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Upcoming winter and spring festivals

by Roger Pettingell

March multi-day festivals are highlighted

This weekend, jazz and Jewish film festivals updated in Part I of series

F.I.S.H. Festival 2019
Thousands attended the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival under sunny skies February 16, 2019

At this time of year you should be able to find a festival for all occasions on any given weekend. There are two and three-day seafood festivals, fine art and craft festivals are commonplace with different themes to keep them relevant. Different themes also keep them fresh and are introduced in different locations. This is one of the advantages of living in an area with sunny skies daily.

This weekend two of the most highly attended festivals of the year will attract thousands to Sarasota and Cortez. The Thunder by the Bay Festival, now in its 21st year, celebrates with three days of motorcycle revelry and concerts at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds starting on Friday. This festival benefits the Suncoast Charities for Children, an organization that supports special needs children and adults through construction projects.

Saturday and Sunday thousands will visit the tiny fishing village of Cortez for the annual Commercial Fishing Festival. You won’t miss the festivities if you travel on Cortez Road toward Bradenton Beach. In most recent years of this festival that is celebrating 37 years, there has been an average attendance of over 20,000 visitors. Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage. The non-profit F.I.S.H. organization supports the culture and environment of Florida’s fishing communities. The public is encouraged to visit for free, its education programs at the Florida Maritime Museum in Cortez, Tuesday through Saturday.

Mark March 3 for the start of the Sarasota Jazz Festival week

The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe building
The Jazz Festival gets rolling in the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe theatrical production of Lil & Louis the first Monday and Tuesday of the Festival.

Springtime is a time when this area really shines with multi-week festivals that have become renown worldwide. The 39th Annual Sarasota Jazz Festival kicks off March 3, noon, with a free concert of three bands at Phillippi Estate Park. There the festival moves to multiple downtown Sarasota venues for six days of theatrical productions, morning films and concerts.

The Lil & Louis theatrical production hits the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe stage in the newly remodeled Education & Outreach Building, March 4 and 5, at 7:30 PM. This is the story of Lil and Louis Armstrong, the First Couple of Jazz, developed and directed by Chuck Smith.

A live musical introduction by Jeremy Carter and John O’Leary will precede a presentation of the movie Round Midnight on Wednesday and Thursday, starting at 9:30 AM each day in the Burns Court Theatre. The 1986 acclaimed movie received several awards and nominations including an 1987 Oscar for Herbie Hancock who won in the Best Music, Original Score category. The tenor saxophone musician Dexter Gordon was nominated that year for an Oscar in the Best Actor in a Leading Role category. His role in the movie as sax player Dale Turner received multiple domestic and international film best actor awards.

Wednesday is also the day for a VIP reception in the Hyatt Regency Hotel marina boathouse at 5 PM and a meet-and-greet of the musicians backstage following a concert on the main stage of the hotel. Ken Peplowski presents the concert starting at 7:30 PM where sponsor Arbors Records introduces its newest recording artist James Suggs, on trumpet, with other professional jazz musicians. Peplowski returns Friday night for another main stage concert at 7:30. On Saturday he will present two concerts, the first will be a concert by the University of Miami Big Band in the hotel grand ballroom at 3 PM, another concert at 7:30 PM, followed by the presentation of the Satchmo award.

On Friday and Saturday, starting at noon each day, there will be four different themed jazz concerts performed concurrently on different stages. Blues, classic, contemporary and Latin performances will appear. As an added bonus during the festival, there will be five trolleys visiting 12 bands at different venues in the trolley and pub crawl on Thursday starting at 5:30 PM.

18 different movies in 11 days of the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Film Festival

Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel
Heading Home - The film festival opens March 6 in the Municipal Auditorium with special guests.

Before the Sarasota Jazz Festival concludes on March 9, The 2019 Jewish Film Festival begins its 11-day run with an opening night screening on March 6 with the film, Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel. It is the true story of Team Israel in its first season quest to become eligible for the World Baseball Classic. The film will screen in the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium at 7 PM, and roll again in the Hollywood 11 complex on March 12 where most of the films will be screened in theaters 5, 6 and 7. Opening night special guests include filmmaker Jeremy Newberger and baseball players Ryan Lavarnway, Dean Kremer and Jeremy Bleich.

The Optimists will be shown March 7, 11 and 14, the story of Palestinian Chemist Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed. The movie 93Queen is the 2018 film about Hasidic women living in a Brooklyn borough, on March 7, 11 and 15. Six other movies start on March 7, including Shelter, a Mossad agent called back for a new assignment under a different identity. The film returns for March 12 and 15 showings. Another award winning film beginning that day is the Light of Hope, which returns March 13 and 15. It is the true story of a woman who saved many lives during WWII. Keep the Change, appearing March 7, 11 and 12, is a story of coming to terms with autism. Past Life follows the story of two daughters of Holocaust survivors to be shown March 7, 12 and 13. A comedic drama featuring a teenage and his grandfather, The Samuel Project, appears March 7, 8 and 13. The Last Suit portrays the story of an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor, March 7 and 14 with a special screening on Longboat Key in the Temple Beth Israel on March 13.

Five films have their first runs on March 8, the first is a story of a German baker having an affair with a married Israeli man and the lies that continue after the death of the husband, in The Cakemaker, March 8, 12 and 13. The Fortunate Man on March 8, 13 and 15 tells the story of a man who escapes a deeply religious family only to be drawn back in when he becomes a prominent engineer. Three Israeli soldiers fight for the strength to live in the true story, When the Smoke Clears, March 8, 12 and 14. Who will Write Our Story tells the story of those who fought back against the Nazis in a 1940 Warsaw ghetto. It appears five times, once on March 8 and twice on March 11 and 14. Fanny’s Journey follows the story of a young woman who precipitates a trek of children to the Switzerland border. It returns to the screen on March 15.

My Dear Children opens March 11 for five showings in three consecutive days. It depicts the horror that a family ensues following the Russian Revolution of 1917. Life is Rich, a true comedic story of filmmaker Bonnie Rich will be shown March 11 and 12. She will host a Q&A after each screening. Back to Berlin, three consecutive days starting March 12, follows eleven motorcyclists who carry the Maccabiah torch from Israel to Berlin in the summer of 2015. The closing event in the Beatrice Friedman Theater is the southwest Florida premiere of the movie The Mamboniks follows the performances of Latin music and dance combining two cultures directly after WWII.

8380 Catamaran Circle
New listing at 8380 Catamaran Circle

In part II of this series on February 25 we pick up with The Sarasota Film Festival April 5 through 14 and three weeks of the Sarasota Music Festival, June 2 through 23. Manatee Heritage Festival Days is a month-long series of free and paid daily events in March that highlights the history of Manatee County, once 5,000 square miles that included Sarasota, Hardee, Desoto, Highlands, Charlotte and Glades counties until they were split off in 1887 and 1921.

Life at The Lake Club in Lakewood Ranch is an exceptional experience, and this gorgeous lakefront home that I listed last week at 8380 Catamaran Circle on more than a half-acre of lush property is the perfect complement. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
8380 Catamaran Circle $1,395,000 Video Photo Slideshow

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

Florida Maritime Museum in Cortez

by Roger Pettingell

Coastal Community Celebration last week

Admission is free to this little museum gem devoted to fishing culture

Burton/Bratton Store and Albion Inn
Little Drummer Boy — Someday this child may understand the significance of the historic Burton Store porch he was on during last week's celebration.

There are some great museums in Sarasota and Bradenton. The Ringling Museum and South Florida Museum immediately come to mind. There is a lesser known museum in Cortez that celebrates the history of the fishing town, the Florida Maritime Museum. Its celebration last week on the beginning of World Ocean’s Day featured the ribbon cutting for the Burton Store and the opening of the temporary interactive Meaning Behind Maritime exhibit.

The mission of this museum shares the town economic resource in that it is a fishing village. The importance is celebrated each year during the Commercial Fishing Festival in February that attracts thousands to this small coastal community in Manatee County. The museum's accomplishments in collecting, preserving and sharing maritime artifacts is deeply rooted in the mission.

Thursday marked the reopening of the historic Burton Store, the first commercial building within the village. Originally built in 1890 as a fishing dock storage shed, the store was enlarged and later expanded to become the Albion Inn. It was severely damaged by a hurricane in 1921. A portion was salvaged and moved in 2006 to its current location on museum grounds where the process of restoration began.

The Meaning Behind Maritime exhibit explores what maritime may mean to visitors. In one interactive display visitors use color string to tie together 24 different words to express the meaning of the word, maritime. So if the word boating is your choice, you can run your string between that and fishing. Continue to string as many words together until your maritime meaning is complete. Another part of this exhibit allows your toddler to be the captain of a boat. This exhibit ends July 19.

Cortez Coastal Community Celebration at the Florida Maritime Museum
Guest attendance was high during the Coastal Community Celebration at the Maritime Museum.

The next temporary exhibit will begin August 3 with a reception from 5:30 PM to 7 PM. It will feature the connection between Tarpon Springs and the Bahamas. Dr. Tina Bucuvalas will discuss the intertwined history of the Greek sponge industry of the two locations. Sponge gathering by the Greeks has been an important maritime business since the 19th century, explored in this exhibit that runs through February 2. Dr. Bucuvalas has been involved in writing five books on Greek culture.

There are permanent exhibits too in the one-time schoolhouse originally built in 1912. Have a docent guide you through the many artifacts of the museum or take a self-guided tour. Review the history of the village through photographs of what fishing meant to the citizens. Explore the use of their tools and commercial fishing gear.

Research Florida’s Gulf coast through the library of books in the museum. Museum members have the privilege of checking these manuscripts out of the library. The library houses many other records of the past. Start your journey on their website at FloridaMaritimeMuseum.org, where you can search the records and articles before your visit. The website displays many links to resources on coastal history.

Florida Maritime Museum 1912 Schoolhouse on the Cortez Nature Preserve
Florida Maritime Museum - On the grounds of the Cortez Nature Preserve, the renovated 1912 schoolhouse serves as a museum to preserve Florida fishing and maritime artifacts and knowledge.

Museum curators and experts give lectures on topics that reflect the Gulf coast heritage and its resources. Spaced about a month apart topics of dolphins, seagrass importance and SCUBA diving are scheduled. A traveling trunk is an interactive lecture for all ages, engaging those on an experience to explore an underwater archaeological find. There are also classes at its Folk School, starting with an interesting Painting With a Fish class tomorrow at 9:30 AM. Recipes are shared in their cooking classes. Other classes include such topics as Native Coastal Plants on June 22 at 10 AM. You can register for classes and pay tuition through FloridaMaritimeMuseum.org. If you have a topic to teach visit their website for an application.

The Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Courts sponsors the museum. Funding is also provided by donations and museum memberships. Volunteers aid the full-time staff of four in supporting the functions of the museum open daily from 9 AM to 4 PM. The museum closes on Sundays and Mondays, and Thanksgiving and Christmas weekends. The museum is also closed on Independence Day and at other times for maintenance. Kristin Sweeting is the museum supervisor, Alexis Schofield is the education & volunteer coordinator, Casey Wooster is the curator and Danielle Dankenbring is the visitor services coordinator. There are five members on the board of directors. Admission is free but donations are gladly accepted.

lionfish filet demonstration at Cortez Coastal Community Celebration
Invasive Species — A lionfish filet demonstration during the Coastal Community Celebration last week at the museum in Cortez.
Florida Maritime Museum displays
Large and small displays — There are many artifacts exhibited at the museum, some from local underwater archaeological discoveries.

Explore the museums in the area to better understand the culture and history of the area. Don’t forget this Manatee County gem that sits on four acres of land in the Cortez Nature Preserve. And when you are ready, please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

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