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Dec 23, 2010

SRQ Scene

SRQ = Sarasota, Florida. :::: Now for a bit about the hometown of ZIGZAG...

Sarasota may be small, but it shall emerge as a juicer of concentrated creativity. Upon a first impression, Sarasota looks to be a quiet condo-colony to spend a season ogling at shiny baubles and seashell statues. On a double-take, it may seem like a big facade - a storefront of luxury distracting from urban sprawl and desperation. After a year of living in Sarasota as a student, my initial judgments have been crumpled and tossed in favor of positive foresight. For artists and entrepreneurs, this place will soon be ripe for the pickin'. Here are five reasons why Sarasota is fruitful:

5. The recession/depression is breaking down the tourism-based economy, encouraging resourceful innovation. The gift shops may suffer, but enterprises offering affordable goods and practical services will prosper. Think cheap food, live entertainment, thrift shops, printing, and art supplies.

4. Downtown Sarasota is compact and chock full of media outlets. I like to cruise down the Boulevard of the Arts and pass by hot spots like the HuB, SRQ Magazine, WSLR, Sarasota Film Festival, and Burns Court Cinemas. All we need is an Infoshop.

3. A prevalent underground of street art and hip hop is about to boil to the top. In the spring, SRQ will see its first youth culture festival: The Take Over. Simutaneously, there will be another Noise Ordinance showcase/concert as well as a highly anticipated Vinyl Music Festival.

2. New investors in art and entertainment, such as Sanborn Studios LLC, are moving in and are ready to produce television and film in Sarasota. Also, a new art museum is in the works. Once SMOA (Sarasota Museum of Art) opens to the public, Downtown will be wedged between two major art museums. In the mean time, there are more galleries here to peruse than I care to count.

1. There will always be talented people shipping in from around the world because of Ringling College of Art & Design. The college receives millions of dollars in support of its film and computer animation departments. There are students graduating every year ready to be employed as art directors, illustrators, photographers, curators, animators, interior designers, etc. Any studios that move in can count on Ringling to recruit the best of the beast.

It might be a nice place to die, but its an even better place to live. It's the time for Sarasota to transform once again. Let's make it happen!

Photographs by Van Jazmin

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