South Florida Museum Weekly News: Upcoming events, programs and more, June 10

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Looking for Something to Do with Dad on Father’s Day?
The Museum is Open 12 – 5 pm on Sunday, June 15th!


Spend your day with with the special guy in your life at the South Florida Museum this weekend! What better way to celebrate Father’s Day than to make new family memories at the Museum and visit Snooty and his young manatee pals, see the fully upgraded Planetarium and all of the cool exhibits we have to offer? Admission to the Museum lasts all day – so you can go get lunch downtown and come back to spend more time having fun and learning all about Florida and exploring our universe. 


For more information about the Museum’s hours and admission fees, visit us online at or call 941-746-4131, ext. 0.


think + drink logo


June 11 at 7 pm

“Is There Anybody Out There? The Continuing Search for Extraterrestrial Life” with Jeff Rodgers


On the second Wednesday of each month, from 7 to 9 pm, we transform the Bishop Planetarium into a forum for discussions at think + drink (science), a place where you can grab a beer or a glass of wine (or a soft drink) and learn about cutting-edge science in a relaxed, informal setting. 


Wednesday, June 11, 7 pm: “Is There Anybody Out There? The Continuing Search for Extraterrestrial Life with Jeff Rodgers – Five years ago, Jeff presented the very first think+drink (science) program. The topic? The search for E.T. Half a decade later, extraterrestrial life still hasn’t been found. But we have made remarkable strides in the discovery of planets around other stars and refined our ability to detect the chemical signatures of life. We’ll talk about why Jeff thinks life should be plentiful, how we can best go about searching for it, and why actually finding it might be tougher than we thought.



Museum Members – $2
Non-Members – $4  

Paid reservations required; please RSVP by clicking here  or call us at 941-746-4131, ext. 17. 

Please arrive promptly: Pre-purchased program seats will be held until 5 minutes prior to program start time ONLY, at which time they may be released for re-sale.


Sponsored in part by


Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. 


The Museum was Named 2014 Arts, Culture and Humanities Nonprofit of the Year!

 The Tampa Bay Business Journal

Recognized the South Florida Museum as one of the most outstanding Nonprofits in the Tampa Bay region. 

Museum Staff, Board and Friends at Thursday’s Nonprofit of the Year Awards Ceremony – pictured left to right: Jessica Schubick, Chris Pennewill, Martha Wells, COL James A. Fraley, Jr., Brynne Anne Besio, Realize Bradenton Executive Director Johnette Isham, Carol Rice, Debbie Gigliotti and Jackie Barron. 


The South Florida Museum is proud to have been named the 2014 Arts, Culture and Humanities Nonprofit of the Year at an Awards Luncheon presented by the Tampa Bay Business Journal on Thursday, June 5th in Tampa. The 2014 Awards, sponsored by Mauldin & Jenkins, featured an independent panel of judges which selected 42 organizations as finalists for the 2014 Nonprofit of the Year Awards earlier this year. From these finalists, winners were selected in 8 categories in addition to a Judges’ Choice Winner and an overall Nonprofit of the Year winner.


There are a total of 9,219 nonprofits in the Tampa Bay, Manatee, and Sarasota regions. The Nonprofit of the Year Awards honor nonprofit organizations making a significant impact in the community every day. Since its inception in 2005, the awards program recognizes organizations that demonstrate strong financial best practices and lean management structures that support the delivery of their mission-driven goals. 


The Museum’s mission – to engage and inspire learners of all ages, we protect, interpret and communicate scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world and our universe – allows our staff, Board and volunteers the opportunity to educate the public and ignite a passion for learning and discovery in everyone with whom we interact. Our staff and Board of Trustees make it a priority to ensure the future of the Museum’s mission and to respect our responsibilities toward the preservation of knowledge, objects and our cultural and environmental history. 


“We are thrilled to be recognized as one of the region’s nonprofit leaders,

especially among such esteemed nominees, finalists and winners.  

Many thanks to our supporters who have helped us reach this level of excellence. The finalists in our category – Junior League of Tampa and the Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Inc. – are truly exceptional organizations that do great work in our area. We were so gratified to be in their company and appreciate the support of the Nonprofit of the Year Awards committee in naming the Museum as the outstanding Arts & Culture Nonprofit of the Year among the truly amazing array of organizations in the Tampa Bay area,” said Museum CEO Brynne Anne Besio. “We are particularly pleased with this award because it acknowledges the great care that our Board and Administrative staff take in maintaining a legacy of fiscal responsibility and preserving the mission and vision that our founders had for the Museum more than 66 years ago. Many thanks to all our supporters who have helped us reach this level of excellence.”


In addition to this honor, the South Florida Museum has also received the 2014 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor which requires that organizations maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the past 12 months. In 2013, the Museum was recognized with an “At your Leisure” People’s Choice Award by the State of Florida.


The South Florida Museum was one of five nonprofit organizations from Manatee County to be recognized in 2014 as winners among the eight award categories. We congratulate our community partners at Realize Bradenton for their win in the Public & Societal Benefit category, as well as our friends at the Manatee County Girls Club / Just For Girls (Children & Youth Services), Goodwill Manasota (Health & Human Services), and Southeastern Guide Dogs (Environment & Animals) – who also took home the overall Nonprofit of the Year Award. 


For more information, visit our website by clicking here, or call us at 941-746-4131, ext. 14.


“Lettuce” Thank You!

We truly appreciate all the support offered in conjunction with Carrie’s Match for the Manatees. Friends near and far have stepped up to the challenge to “double the lettuce” for the Museum’s Manatee Care Program and we need to ask you to continue thinking about lettuce – another generous donor was inspired to join Carrie and now every dollar donated will be doubled, up to a total of $50,000!


“On behalf of Snooty, his current guests Ace and Myakklemore, and the staff, I want to thank everyone who has supported us through Carrie’s generous match,” says Marilyn Margold, Director of Living Collections. “Our caring donors are invaluable and we can’t do our work without them.”


Snooty, Ace and Myakklemore will consume nearly 75,000 lbs. of restaurant quality romaine lettuce and vegetables this year. To match that rate, a 130 lb. person would have to eat 10 lbs. of lettuce every day – how much can you eat in a single day? 



Imagine eating this much lettuce in one day!


Carrie’s Match will raise $100,000 for the care and feeding of Snooty and rehab manatees Ace and Myakklemore. If you would like to Double Your Goodclick here to donate now or visit us online for more information here. Contact Martha Wells for more information at [email protected] or 941-746-4131, ext. 35.
Donate Button 2



“Coffee Culture: Theater Under the Stars”
The Last Five Years

Saturday, June 21 at 7:30 pm


Around the world, coffee stimulates conversation, creativity and art. Within the aromatic walls of the coffeehouse Dickens wrote novels, Van Gogh sketched masterpieces and Verdi composed magnificent operas. Join us in a celebration of this inspiring dark brew in the stimulating atmosphere of live theater. Little Grey Hat Productions, a Bradenton based production company, presents The Last Five Years, a modern musical* with an innovative twist. Indulge the senses as you taste exotic coffees, hear enchanting melodies and watch twinkling stars emerge in the twilight.  


The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown is a beautiful, intensely personal musical about the beginning, middle and end of a relationship. A successful writer named Jamie (played by Dylan H. Jones) meets an ambitious actress named Cathy (played by Anna Trinci), and through songs and scenes they unravel the story of their life together. 


Tickets $15 

Includes complimentary coffee

Doors open at 7:30 pm, show begins at 9:00 pm (twilight) 

Purchase tickets online here or call 941-746-4131, ext. 17. 


*This show contains strong language and adult situations. Viewer discretion is advised. The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited.


Sponsored in part by 


Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.  


Snooty’s 66th Birthday Card Contest


Send Snooty a birthday card for the chance to win great prizes!  (Deadline is July 5.)


Snooty’s 66th Birthday is quickly approaching and the South Florida Museum is excited to announce that the Annual Birthday Card Contest is officially open for entries! Students entering preschool through 6th grade may submit a birthday card for Snooty for the chance to win great prizes. The winners will be selected based on creativity and originality – so have fun! 


All submissions are due by 5 pm on July 5th, 2014. Late submissions and submissions without a completed entry form will not be judged. First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded in multiple age categories at noon at Snooty’s 66th Birthday Bash, Arts & Wildlife Festival at the South Florida Museum on July 19th, 2014. Winners will be notified at a later date if they are not in attendance. Submissions may be mailed to the Museum or dropped off in person. 


Click here for an entry form or visit the Snooty’s 66th Birthday Bash Page for more details. Entry forms may also be picked up at the Museum (201 10th Street West, Bradenton, FL, 34205). Call 941-746-4131, ext. 30 for more information.


***No Film This Week***
Please join us next week for The Magnificent Seven (1960)
 The South Florida Museum is pleased to present Film Fridays, our exciting film program presenting the best movies you’ve (n)ever seen – most Fridays at 6 pmDon’t forget to join us early for our selection of beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks available for purchase. Please note: the theater may be cold, sweaters or jackets are recommended.  


Current Series: “Recycle, Remake, Reboot” – Storytellers have been reusing material for centuries, retelling the same narratives and revisiting the same characters in oral traditions, written word, theater, and, yes, in filmmaking. This series examines the stories that we choose to tell time and again – from adaptations of classic literature to reboots of popular film series and remakes of earlier classics. Join us to see the same old stories evolve in new and wonderful ways. 


Remining Films in the Series:  

June 13: No Film Fridays screening this week. (The previously scheduled screening of To Kill a Mockingbird was canceled.)

June 20: The Magnificent Seven (1960) Not Rated, 127 minutes. 

June 27: The Wizard of Oz (1939) Rated G, 102 minutes. 

(Click here for more information and reservations.)  


Sponsored in part by


Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. 



Please consider supporting our  Corporate Partners

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In This Issue:
Happy Father’s Day
think + drink (science)
Nonprofit of the Year Award
Carrie’s Match for the Manatees
Coffee Culture Collaboration
Snooty’s Birthday Card Contest Open for Submissions
No Film Fridays This Week
Museum Hours
Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence
Program Calendar
Welcome New Staff
Volunteer Central
Museum Store
Snooty Cam
Museum Affiliations

Hours and Info

Current Museum Hours:

Tuesday through Saturday:
10 am to 5 pm
Sunday: Noon to 5 pm
 (Closed Mondays until July)

2014 Admission Prices:

Adults – $18
Seniors (65+) – $16 
Children (4-12) – $14  
Children 3 and under – Free with paying adult
Museum Members – Free
(click here for details)
Active Military / Florida Teachers – Free with proper ID
Combo Tickets are also available for the South Florida Museum and the Da Vinci Machines Exhibition, click here for more information.

For more info, call 941-746-4131, ext. 0 or visit


2014 Certificate of Excellence Winner
Have you rated the South Florida Museum on TripAdvisor yet?Click here or the image above to visit the Museum’s TripAdvisor page and read our reviews – or submit your own! 


Events & Programs Calendar
Click here to view our upcoming calendar of events and programs. Call 941-746-4131, ext. 17 for more information.
Upcoming June Programs:
Wednesday, June 25, 7 pm
“Summer Sun and Stars with Sam” 
Join us for  our exciting live star talk, with special guest presenter Samantha Sprague, Curator or Education. Each month, we take a look at the upcoming month’s night skies, then enjoy a discussion about current events in astronomy. Click here to RSVP.


Click here for a full schedule of public program events and for more information or call 941-746-4131, ext. 17 for info or to RSVP for any program.


Join Us in Welcoming Kris Williamson to the South Florida Museum Staff and Community Family!

Kris Williamson has joined the South Florida Museum staff as Museum Educator. Born in Michigan, Kris moved with her family to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, when she was eight. She graduated with her teaching degree from the University of Florida and brings 27 years of educational experience teaching elementary, middle and high school students. Most of that experience has been teaching high school science in Manatee County.


Kris is the proud mother of two adult sons, Brett and Blake, who share her interest in science. Working with our talented staff and volunteers has allowed Kris to blend her knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to share the resources of our wonderful Museum with all age levels. 


Kris Williamson can be reached at 941-746-4131, ext. 12 or by email at [email protected]


Volunteer Central
CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS! Snooty’s Birthday Bash Is Right Around the Corner and We Need YOUR Help

Snooty’s 66th Birthday Bash and Wildlife Awareness Festival is coming up on July 19th – and, as always, we’ll need all of our volunteers, supporters and community partners to help us celebrate his big day! Indoor and outdoor volunteer opportunities are available. Please contact us soon if you would like to help us throw a party for the world’s oldest manatee. We can’t do it without support from people like you! 


For more info, contact Sue McCarthy at 941-746-4131, ext. 13 or [email protected].


For more information about volunteer opportunities at the Museum, click here


Museum Store

Pick Up a Gift for Dad this Week!


Looking for a special gift for the father in your life? The Museum Store has a fantastic selection of nature and history books, astronomy models and star charts, manatee artwork and Snooty T-shirts to please all dads! 


And of course, don’t forget to browse all of the other great adult and childrens’ apparel, games, art, toys, and astronomy, history and science accessories that you’ve come to love. 


The Museum Store is open during all normal Museum hours (see above), no admission required.


For more information or to place an order, call the Store at 941-746-4131, ext. 28, email [email protected] or visit   


Snooty Cam graphic
Watch Snooty via the Snooty Cam

Check on wild manatees released from the South Florida Museum and other rehabilitation facilities at


South Florida Museum Memberships and Affiliations:






Staff List – 
Click name to email or call us at 
(941) 746-4131

Brynne Anne Besio  

Executive Director, ext. 18
Jack Balkan
Facility Director, ext. 26 

Marilyn Margold

Director of Living Collections, ext. 20 


Jeff Rodgers

Planetarium/Education Director, ext. 22 


Martha Wells

Development Director, ext. 35

Matt Woodside

Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator, ext. 37  


Tiffany Birakis

Assistant Curator of Exhibitions & Collections, ext. 16


Ellen Ferraro 

Visitor Services Manager, ext. 29 


Susan McCarthy

Program Coordinator, ext. 13


Scott Odell

Maintenance Technician, ext. 50


Annual Fund Manager, ext. 11


Jessica Schubick
Communications Manager, ext. 14


Curator of Education, ext. 31 
Administrative and Development Coordinator, ext. 17

Kris Williamson

Museum Educator, ext. 12

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The South Florida Museum’s Mission: To engage and inspire learners of all ages; we protect, interpret and communicate scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world, and our universe.

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