The Activist Newsletter (4/3 – 4/10)
Giulia Heyward/Catalyst

The Activist Newsletter (4/3 – 4/10)

Throughout this week (4/3 – 4/10), activists have the opportunity to participate in public meetings, lectures and community performances. Read on if you want to get involved in the community regarding environmental protection, education reform and LGBTQ+ rights.

Fri., Apr. 5, Project 180: Local Problem-Solving Courts @ 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Michael’s on East – 1212 S. East Ave., Sarasota.

Problem-solving courts, also known as treatment or specialty courts, exist to address underlying issues in a person’s life, like addiction or mental health disorders, that contribute to their involvement in the criminal justice system. Learn about the successes and challenges of four of Sarasota’s specialty courts with David Denkin of the DUI Court, Andy Owens of the Drug Court and Veterans Court and Erika Quartermaine of the Mental Health Court. Special guest Sheriff Tom Knight will join the panel to discuss the programs and specialty pods he has instituted at the Sarasota County Jail. Lecture tickets cost $35 and include the cost of lunch. Registration is available at

Sat., Apr. 6, Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations Monthly Meeting @ 9 – 11 a.m.

Waldemere Fire Station – 2070 Waldemere St., Sarasota.

The Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations was formed in 1990 to preserve and enhance city neighborhoods, address the needs of neighborhoods and stand in support of those needs. This meeting is free and open to the public.

Sat., Apr. 6, Save Our Bugs Eco/Art Event @ 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Village of the Arts – 1111 14th Ave. W., Bradenton.

The public will be introduced to a grassroots project for making the Village of the Arts a “Pollinator Sanctuary” by creating a positive sustainable environment in an urban area for native bees, butterflies, birds and beneficial “bugs.” Without the bees and other pollinators, food supplies would dwindle to just a few items. A grassroots group of artists, businesses and residents are creating pollinator gardens using native Florida plants and have erected 12 cedar Native Bee Nesting Boxes that will create an environment for bees to lay eggs and hatch offspring. Environmental groups and experts will be on hand to answer questions and educate.  Also, Florida native pollinator plants, orchids, artwork and Native Bee Nesting Boxes will be available for sale. This event is free and open to the public.

Mon., Apr. 8, Sierra Club Manatee Conservation Committee @ 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Manatee Public Library – 1301 Barcarrota Ave., Bradenton.

Help contribute to sound environmental policy in Manatee County. The meeting will focus on understanding the history behind Manatee County’s environmental issues, like the Mulberry Phosphate stacks at Port Manatee, the history of phosphate mining and permitting in the county, stormwater management and red tide. Bills filed in the 2019 Florida legislature will be discussed. The Manatee Sarasota Sierra Club seeks to protect the natural places in our community, teach others to understand and respect the fragile environment in which we live and promote the responsible use of Florida’s ecosystems and resources. This meeting is free and open to the public.

Tues., Apr. 9, Manatee County School Board Meeting @ 3 p.m.

School Board Administration Building – 215 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Join the Manatee County School Board to discuss issues affecting students, teachers and members of the community. Workshops will be held at 3 p.m. with the regular meeting beginning at 5:45 p.m. All meetings are open to the public and broadcast live on MSTV and METV.

Tues., Apr. 9, Faces of Change @ 7 p.m.

Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center – 525 Kumquat Ct., Sarasota.

“Faces of Change,” Asolo Repertory Theatre’s seventh annual community-based documentary theater project, is created from the real-life experiences of local residents and community members and is inspired by this season’s production of Bekah Brunstetter’s The Cake. Stories will not only showcase LGBTQ+ unions, but other “non-traditional” modern marriages, including those with racial and religious differences and blended families. Through the collection of stories (by way of story circles and interviews), Asolo Rep aims to provide an opportunity for local community-building: this process allows for an ongoing discussion and collaboration, and uses theater to create connections and to explore connections that already exist. “Faces of Change” is part of Asolo Rep’s IllumiNation Series. This event is free and open to the public.

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