Skip to main content
Performing Art
Michael M. Kaiser, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, City of Sarasota Mayor Suzanne Atwell and Superintendent of Schools Lori White
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Jun. 22, 2011 6 years ago

Scene and Heard

by: Loren Mayo Black Tie Editor

+ Kennedy Center selects Sarasota for arts-education program
A new partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will let every child in the Sarasota County School District dig deep into the rich cultural opportunities here.

Michael M. Kaiser, president of the John F. Kennedy Center, announced June 15, at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, that Sarasota has been selected as the sixth partner city for Any Given Child.

The program, conceived by Kaiser, creates a long-range, arts-education plan for kindergarten through eighth-grade students and is as a way for a community to use its existing arts-education resources and ones from the Kennedy Center to ensure that every child receives arts education as part of a complete education.

The first step of the program includes a comprehensive audit of existing arts-education resources and a needs assessment. The community and school system will be reviewed to reveal what resources currently exist.

“Based on everything we’ve read, everyone we’ve met, everything we’ve heard and everything we’ve seen, I believe this can be a very successful endeavor for all concerned — for Sarasota, for the Kennedy Center, for the nation and, most importantly, for the children,” Kaiser said.

Superintendent of Schools Lori White believes the program will benefit students long after they graduate.

“It will serve our students well academically, but it also serves our children well in terms of the quality of their lives,” White said. “Not just in the short term, but forever. I think that says a lot about who we are as a community. And I look forward to the power of this new relationship that will continue to act out what we have to offer to our children.”

+ Rockin’ party pops up in Sarasota
If you’ve been dying to break out your Hannah Montana wardrobe or your tightest pair of leather pants, stud-stamped ears and teased ’do, the Pop Rocks Party may make your wildest dreams come true.

DJ Simplisstick and DJ Imminent will deliver music based on the crowd’s attire — the crazier the costumes, the more rock-dance remixes that will be played.

After recently holding a talent contest on the Pop Rocks Party Facebook page, Plush Entertainment is giving the three amateur performers with the most “likes” on their videos to rock out on stage before the audience. The performer who earns the greatest crowd response will be crowned “Sarasota’s Superstar” and win a rock star makeover and photo shoot, a studio recording session, Pop Rocks swag bag and bragging rights.

The party — which celebrates Veronica Pastore’s 27th birthday and benefits Suncoast Charities for Children — runs from 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday, June 24, at The Loft Ristobar, 5911 Fruitville Road. Tickets are $5 and are available at the door. VIP tickets cost $20. For information visit

+ Silver Stars add some sparkle
The Players Theatre celebrated the blending of two local performing-arts troupes — The Sarasota Senior Theatre and The Players Follies — Monday, June 13.

The newly formed troupe will be named Sarasota Silver Stars. The name is partly an homage to Irene Silver, founder of Sarasota Senior Theatre. The troupe features performers age 50 and older and meets three times a week.

“We are thrilled to be blending the two troupes,” said Michelle Bianchi Pingel, managing director of The Players Theatre. “We have been two organizations providing the same services in the same town. This just makes good business and theater sense. The board and staff of The Players Theatre are ecstatic about this opportunity.”

Membership in the troupe is a nine-month commitment beginning Sept. 6, with classes focused on acting, singing and dance. The annual fee is $150 and no experience is required. For information, contact Jolie Schroeder at 365-2924.

Becky’s New Car: A lot of you might be able to relate to this one. The old-fashioned romantic comedy “Becky’s New Car” will take a cruise on the Banyan Theater Company’s Stage June 30 through July 17.

Join the 50-something wife and mother as she meets her millionaire Prince Charming and faces a mid-life crisis. Is leaving her home and successful job for a glamorous new life really the thing to do? For information or to purchase tickets, call 351-2808 or visit

Contact Loren Mayo at [email protected].


Related Stories