Manatee Festival of the Arts expands — but keeps its local focus
The family of Alejandra
Carmona, the four-year-old
who lost her life in a mobilehome fire in Ruskin Feb. 14,
is still accepting donations to
help with funeral costs and
personal items to help the
family get back on its feet.
to give securely online.
6, 2014 • VOLUME 58
RUSKIN, FLORIDA 33570
PERMIT NO. 8
Beth Shields Middle School
teacher Julia Sarmiento was
named the 2014 Ida S.
Baker Diversity Educator of
the year. Page 2.
$4.5 million Gibsonton wetlands
restoration project almost complete
■■ By Kevin Brady
kevin brady photo
Roy Lewis III, president of Riverview’s Lewis Environmental Services, the company behind the design of the $4.5-million wetlands
restoration project, at the launch of the project last year.
A massive project to restore
wetlands in Gibsonston should be
completed next month.
Almost a decade in the making,
the program started last summer
to restore mangroves at two plots
along U.S. Highway 41.
“We should be finished on
schedule next month,” said David
Townsend, an assistant vice
president at Mosaic.
Work on restoring 10 acres of
mangroves and adding new oyster
reefs, part one of the project,
started in July at Giant’s Camp,
a stone’s throw from the Alafia
River Bridge on U.S. Highway
41. Part two, a similar project just
north of the Giant’s Camp on U.S.
Highway 41, began in the fall.
Mosaic, the world’s largest
phosphate company, is footing
the bill for the project as part
of a compensation package
When Lew Resseguie moved to
Sun City Center after a 30-year
career in theater, television and
commercials, he expected to
spend most of his time playing
“But as time passed, my need to
pound the little white ball began
to diminish, and I started looking
around to find some theater
activity in the area,” he said.
Some heard of his effort, and he
was contacted by Shirley Jones,
one of the founders of the Pelican
Players, who asked if Resseguie
would direct a show.
“Without any hesitation or
thought, I said ‘yes,’” Resseguie
said in an interview by email
earlier this week. “Right around
that time I started to try and
put together a group who were
interested in building a new
theater somewhere in the South
County area close to I-75.”
Resseguie said nothing came
of that effort, except that he
met Ed Brown, who had similar
background and interests.
At first, a Performing Arts
Club was formed, with the help
Manatee Festival of the
Arts expands — but
keeps its local focus
The 22nd annual running of the popular event will take
place this weekend at the TECO SouthShore Event Center
in Apollo Beach
ff Continued on page 9
Performing Arts Company
does more than perform
■■ By PENNY FLETCHER
Take The Current with you!
of Walt Cawein, who was then
president of the Sun City Center
Community Association Board
ff Continued on page 10
There are still a few performances you may attend in the Rollins
Theater before the current show, “Valentine’s on Route 66,” closes. Proceeds from opening night and from items still on sale at the
shows are slated to go to the American Cancer Society.
MITCH TRAPHAGEN PHOTO
Pamela Vasquez, a teacher for gifted students at Doby Elementary
School and an increasingly well-known fine-art photographer, will
be among those displaying art at the festival. Vasquez’s stunning
photography, primarily displayed on canvas, will allow visitors to
bring home a beautiful moment captured in time from the Tampa
Bay area and beyond.
Melanie Morrison. “This is a community event.”
The event will be held at the
South Hillsborough is blessed
Tampa Electric SouthShore Events
with festivals. And like the area
Center near the TECO Manatee
itself, the festivals have changed
Viewing Center on Saturday and
over the years: They have grown
Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
bigger, attracting an ever-larger
The festival itself has become
audience as well as garnering
a big event on the art scene with
attention from vendors around
a growing — and glowing —
the nation. But while they have
reputation as a
grown to be“I just want people to enjoy my
juried art show.
come regional in
images. I hope people get out of
size, they have
it something that brings them a
moment of happiness or calm.”
local focus. That
— Pamela Vasquez, teacher from New York
is largely thanks
to the chambers
to display their work.
of commerce that organize them.
“People come from all over the
The Manatee Festival of the Arts
country to entertain us, but this
in Apollo Beach, coming up this
weekend, is most definitely among is for us,” Morrison continued. “I
think a lot of people will come out
this year. It is our last time doing it
“With all of the new growth
at this spot, so I’m hoping lots of
that is coming down here, from
people will come out to see us.”
commercial to medical, this is
Morrison is expecting 10,000
still the Southshore community to
visitors to the annual art festival
me,” said SouthShore Chamber
of Commerce Executive Director
ff Continued on page 23
■■ By MITCH TRAPHAGEN
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