Jeffery Kin, Executive Director and CEO of Sarasota Rising, Joins the Club

Jeffery Kin, Executive Director and CEO of Sarasota Rising, Joins the Club

You might know him as the former Producing Artistic Director at the Players Centre, but Jeffery Kin has a new job and mission and he wants to share it with the world.
Join Robyn Bell and Jeffery Kin as they both talk about their new jobs, the vision of Sarasota Rising, and their plot to get the Benderson Corporation to explore one more philanthropic initiative, this one for the arts organizations of Sarasota County.
All that and more on this episode of the Suncoast Culture Club Podcast.
Come along and join the club!

• Sarasota Rising Facebook & Instagram

• SCF Foundation Website & Facebook & Instagram

The Pops Orchestra of Bradenton and Sarasota Website & Facebook & Instagram

• The Players Centre for the Performing Arts Website & Facebook & Instagram & YouTube

• Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County Website & Facebook & Instagram & Twitter 

Support the show


Robyn Bell: We have a repeat guest with us today, but he hasn't been on the podcast since August 3rd, 2020. I didn't interview him and so much has changed in his life and quite frankly, mine. That I felt we needed to have another sit down. Some of you may know him from his time as the artistic director at the Player Centre, but for over a year or so now he has been serving as the executive director and CEO of Sarasota Rising, an organization we will all need to know about very, very soon. So Jeffery Kin, welcome back to the Club. 

Jeffery Kin: Thank you very much. It seemed that was a long time ago. 

Robyn Bell: it's a blank of an eye though. Really? 

Jeffery Kin: Does I, It does seem like a long time ago and, and I've had some changes in my life and someone else sitting across from me right now has had some changes in her life too. So look at us. This is a brand new conversation. 

Robyn Bell: It certainly is. 

Jeffery Kin: We're gonna start fresh right now. 

Robyn Bell: don't, just don't get fresh. But yes, we're gonna start fresh. 

Jeffery Kin: I'm fresh. I can't help it. , 

Robyn Bell: y'all deodorant. Eyes, doctor. 

Jeffery Kin: Better than being stale.

Robyn Bell: I love it. I love it. So yeah, we both have some changes. 

Jeffery Kin: We do. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. 

Jeffery Kin: And, and for the better, I think. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. 

Jeffery Kin: We have to grow. 

Robyn Bell: The only thing that remains the same is everything changes. 

Jeffery Kin: How are you with change? 

Robyn Bell: I'm good. Don't good change. 

Jeffery Kin: Don't go change. 

Robyn Bell: To try. Try a place. Man. That's my favorite, Billy Joel.

So you want, You want me to go first? 

Jeffery Kin: I embrace change . I do. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah.

Jeffery Kin: I think it's important. And some people don't and they want things to say the same. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. 

Jeffery Kin: And what a dull world that would be.

Robyn Bell: The only place I struggle with that is my hair. I would like for my hair to remain the same. 

Jeffery Kin: Your hair looks good.

Robyn Bell: Well, but tomorrow might not.

Jeffery Kin: Well, I just want my hair to stay in. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. . Oh, the plight of the men. 

Jeffery Kin: The men I know, but that receding the hairline. My forehead keeps getting taller and taller.

Robyn Bell: But think of all the money you save in shampoo. 

Jeffery Kin: Yeah, that's true. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. 

Robyn Bell: Look on the bright side. 

Jeffery Kin: I know, I, I, I'm not complaining.

Robyn Bell: My, my dad says it moves from my head down to 

Jeffery Kin: other, Well, I know , get those clippers out. , 

Robyn Bell: Uh, I don't know if anybody wants to hear this out. Okay, so who wants to talk about the new job first? 

Jeffery Kin: Okay. Uh, rock, paper, scissors, . 

Robyn Bell: We can't bang on the desk. It'll make a sound. 1, 2, 3. Oh, we tired. Oh, it's 1, 2, 3. 

Jeffery Kin: Ah, you were late

Robyn Bell: I'll go first. 

Jeffery Kin: Okay. You go first. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. Um, so yes, I had a pretty big job. I had two big jobs, right? And I was in the music program here at the State College of Florida and the faculty for 12 or 13 years, 2009, whatever that is, 

Jeffery Kin: doing a brilliant job. 

Robyn Bell: Well, that, that's kind of you. It was hard work. Yeah, it was. It was rewarding work. It was, it was hard work. And, um, I found this when I taught high school band that I had created kind of, Three-headed monster that I could not keep sustaining myself. And there was no, no, help, you know, a high school, a school district's not gonna give you a secretary or assistant or whatever. And, and so that took nine years until I went, Oh, I gotta, I have to change something in my life. And. Some of this same feelings were coming up for me and the faculty, but most important, number one reason I have, uh, two parents as most people do . I have, I have a mom and a dad. They divorced when I was three. So, um, they, they've, you know, have not been together for 45 years. Wow. But both of them have followed a similar health pattern in that they have both had multiple back surgeries. And 

Jeffery Kin: interesting. So this might be a hereditary something, something something, you know. 

Robyn Bell: Uh, I don't know, but it's concerning to me because, you know, I conducted the symphonic band at the college and at pre pandemic there were about 60 people in that group. Mm-hmm. , hour and a half rehearsals twice a week. The, uh, Bradenton Symphony Orchestra is a orchestra I founded here, which is combination of, college students and community members. 

Jeffery Kin: Right. 

Robyn Bell: We rehearsed once a week on Wednesday nights. Three hours, seven to, by the time I got home, you know, it was 10 o'clock and then the Pops Orchestra on Monday nights the same rehearsal schedule seven to like nine 30. But when I would go home at night, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, I'm like, Where is the Advil? Get me my heating pad. 

Jeffery Kin: Well, well, but you're just holding this little baton. So what? There's noth So you're not doing any heavy lifting? 

Robyn Bell: Well, you wouldn't think No, No, actually. Part of the job was here's a grand piano. It needs to be moved across the stage. Oh, here's a broken tube, but you need to haul it to the shop.

Jeffery Kin: No one understands Yeah. That we as engagers, we roll up our sleeves. Mm-hmm. and we work together and to accomplish things. 

Robyn Bell: There was 65 chairs and stands to set out on big tall racks. I used to tell people don't stack 'em taller than 10 cuz I can't get 'em off. And you're, So, some of this for me was seeing my parents' health decline the past couple of years. And going, Whoa, I need to take physically better care of myself. And so that was really a big concern. The other thing, when I started teaching in 1999, I would say I was. 80% making music and 20% administrating, maybe even 90 10.

Jeffery Kin: Okay. 

Robyn Bell: That divide. 

Jeffery Kin: Yeah. 

Robyn Bell: And the last couple years, complete opposite. Like if I was getting ready for a rehearsal that started at seven, I was lucky if at six o'clock in the evening I had time to open my score and study. And. How I wanted to be. Right? Right. I'm a musician. , I needed better balance there. If I'm gonna be administrating all day, then I need to be an administrator. Right. Right. And so that 

Jeffery Kin: it's all those hats. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Yeah. And the imbalance of it. Yeah. And the sometimes it over overwhelming feelings. And I think I'm gonna attribute the pandemic to this because during the pandemic, the Pops wasn't functioning. And I started the podcast, 

Jeffery Kin: Right. 

Robyn Bell: But I, I didn't have that other added element of what I was doing. And so, the administrating of all of. Actually became more because of the advances in technology. 

Jeffery Kin: It's crazy, right? 

Robyn Bell: Yes. 

Jeffery Kin: Yeah. 

Robyn Bell: You have less and less help and you're expected to do more and more and 

Jeffery Kin: Yeah.

Robyn Bell: You know, I always say if I got paid by the email, um, , but through all this for the past 12, 13 years, I, I have been working side by side with the College Foundation, and their wonderful team here. We've raised so much money for student scholarships and music. We raised so much $7 million for a new studio for the performing arts.

Jeffery Kin: Congratulations and applause. Applause, because that's no small feat. 

Robyn Bell: Yep. We, raised money to start the Bradenton Symphony Orchestra and to fund that. Right. Uh, so programs. I established these two community outreach groups, the Presidential String Quartet and the Presidential Jazz combo, and we started sending them all over the places to perform and, be our community outreach for the foundation and for the community. And, I had reached full professor, which is a fantastic accomplishment. 

Jeffery Kin: Do do, do. 

Robyn Bell: Right? That'd blow my horn. Yeah. I mean, I had gone up the levels gone up the levels. Yeah. And then I realized once I was there, I was tapped out. As far as salary goes, the State College of Florida doesn't have, Steps, You know, they might, I guess, in the future, but just in, in that moment I was like, Well, this is great, but as a, as an only child of two ailing parents and some financial, you know, I might have to care for them 

Jeffery Kin: angst and

Robyn Bell: Yep, yep. I said, You know, I, I need to maybe look at long term, down the road at other possibilities. And, and 

Jeffery Kin: don't you also think that sometimes when you love what you do, you, you're not doing it for the money and so you don't pay as much attention to that paycheck cuz you're like, I'm doing this for the community and I feel better because I'm helping these students. And I mean, I'm bad at that, you know, I, I would be in the poor house. Had it not been for some forward thinking when you realize, yes, I have value, I have. Mm-hmm. and I deserve to be, paid for that. 

Robyn Bell: Um, you know, in my instance is somebody had to set me down and say, 

Jeffery Kin: Oh, you had a, you had a company I had a talking to.

Robyn Bell: Yes. With a donor. That is worth an incredible amount of money, right. To say you. And she would tell this to all of our students as well, that she mentored. You have to start thinking like this and you know, was like, Whoa, yes, this is true. 

Jeffery Kin: I don't think people are out to take advantage, but when you do kind of give it up for free, um, you know, when you give it away, give it away, give it away.

Robyn Bell: Right. 

Jeffery Kin: Hello? Red Hot Chili Peppers reference for all you red hot Chili Pepper fans out there, . Um, no. You do, you have, you have to realize your net worth. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. Yeah. 

Jeffery Kin: And, and, 

Robyn Bell: and potential. 

Jeffery Kin: And potential. 

Robyn Bell: And potential. Right. And so, as I was thinking about this over the last year or so, And I started looking at, well, what are some other options? And I started thinking about all these ancillary things that we get through our jobs as musicians and administrators, if you will. And I thought maybe one day I'd like to be an executive director of an arts organization or a foundation. And how can I. Get those further skills that I need in that. And, um, the college for about the past five years has been looking at this new position, this , manager of community outreach. And because of the pandemic, they hadn't pulled the, you know, the trigger on it yet, so to speak. And so this summer there was another colleague here, uh, in the foundation that had posted on LinkedIn. Here's this job. And I looked at the job description. I was like, Boy, this is what I do for 

Jeffery Kin: sounds, Sounds like me.

Robyn Bell: Sounds familiar. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. This is what I do for the music program. Maybe I could extrapolate this to the whole college and so yeah. I, I just didn't know where it was go. I was fine to stay. Right, right. Uh, where I was. But let's just see, And, and lo and behold, we sit here today in my, new office.

Jeffery Kin: Yeah. Yes. There's there's no art on the walls. 

Robyn Bell: Not yet. It's coming. It's coming.

Jeffery Kin: It's the first thing that comes. You notice that the first thing that comes is like, where's the art?

Robyn Bell: I know it's, I know it's coming. It's, I have, I have some things.

Jeffery Kin: You have a bugle lamp, in honor of Angela Lansbury. You have a bugle horn from Mame that you turned into a. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah, my mother bought that for me when I was a sophomore in high school at an antique shop. It is good meaning

Jeffery Kin: it is probably worth a fortune and you don't even know it like you could, you could bankroll the entire college because that was made by Stravinsky or , 

Robyn Bell: something, Civil War Boot Bugle or something. Yeah. I don't know. Anyhow, so, 

Jeffery Kin: but we digress. 

Robyn Bell: What does my new job. 

Jeffery Kin: What does no, Well, you, you're being tapped for doing something that you already were kind of doing because people that donate, they wanna know the art, they wanna know the creativity, they want to be in the know about why things happen. Don't, don't. Do you feel like they wanted to? Because at the theater, a lot of the donors wanted to talk to me. They. It wasn't, it wasn't philanthropy. It was people that wanted to know how this works, right? And how you do what you do and, and, and get through the problems and the challenges that you have, 

Robyn Bell: right? So, and this, and the amazing relationships that we are able to build with those interested people and something that I really, really value. 

Jeffery Kin: But they value you. Yes. Because they can't do what you do. And we take it for granted.

Robyn Bell: Now, one of the things, when you say I work in the foundation, that's the first thing that pops into mind. People, Oh, you must be raising money. But I'm gonna say, Position, The number one task I've been given is to establish a robust volunteer program for the college. 

Jeffery Kin: Interesting. 

Robyn Bell: So we have volunteers here at SCF, but they are very siloed into different, whatever they do. A good example might be ushers for the theater program, right? That's all they know. We have, these associate of science. And they all have advisory councils, and those are all volunteers, but that's all that person comes to campus to do, is that 

Jeffery Kin: right? 

Robyn Bell: We have a dental hygiene program and you can come here and get your teeth cleaned. 

Jeffery Kin: Are you saying something to me?

No. , No. Is that the hint?

Robyn Bell: But there are people that do that and they're regular volunteers. 

Jeffery Kin: Right.

Robyn Bell: You know, for our dental hygiene students to practice hygiene. And, um, is that the. I've just made that up, but there, there's no crosspollination. And so my first task is to get everyone into one platform. So I've been spending some time, finding out, I think I sat through 12 different sales presentations and now. I'm making the tour for all the people that already have volunteers. How can I set up what you do into this platform? Get the people to sign up here, 

Jeffery Kin: right? 

Robyn Bell: And then second step, go get more volunteers,

Jeffery Kin: right? 

Robyn Bell: So, just this week at the college, three different sections sent out three mass emails to everyone at the college looking for volunteers for this or that. And so I will take that. As we go forward, so volunteers first. Second of all, the college really likes this podcast thing that I, that I've created. 

Jeffery Kin: Really 

Robyn Bell: They do. 

Jeffery Kin: And why 

Robyn Bell: they, because it's fun and informative 

Jeffery Kin: because we're so interesting, . 

Robyn Bell: And I said, How can we do this for SCF? And so I'm going to develop an SCF branded SCF now podcast. So we'll be, you know, making announcements talking. People that do various jobs, things that students need to know, people that students need to know. So we'll be doing that. I go to a, a lot of Chamber of Commerce events. I didn't know there were so many coffee clubs. 

Jeffery Kin: Wow. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. 

Jeffery Kin: Yeah. And don't drink coffee, so wa wa 

Robyn Bell: wait. I have that awesome 

Jeffery Kin: Debbie Downer. 

Robyn Bell: But you know, the State College of Florida, because we are in Bradenton, we are in Venice. We are in Lakewood Ranch. We belong to I think four or five chambers. 

Jeffery Kin: Yeah. 

Robyn Bell: So, adds a lot still. 

Jeffery Kin: And still people don't know what you do. 

Robyn Bell: Right. 

Jeffery Kin: Have you found that people still don't know? Well, what is. SCF. What? What? And yes, you're all over, but what are you?

Robyn Bell: So I have the, an elevator sales pitch that I've come up with. 

Jeffery Kin: What is that? 

Robyn Bell: We, well, we are, Hi. We want you to know I'm in an elevator with you right now. Your children and grandchildren can enroll here. Your employees can enroll here. We can do classes for you. You can donate to the State College of Florida Foundation for student scholarships, for programs, for general need. You. volunteer here at the State College of Florida, and you can work here at the State College of Florida. We have 66 jobs right now available for people. 

Jeffery Kin: So do you feel like you're having a, a little bit of a housing crunch crisis like everyone seems to be having where you have great people but they can't afford to live in your town or live in your area or live in your.

Robyn Bell: I don't get that far in the weeds with HR stuff. 

Jeffery Kin: Okay. 

Robyn Bell: Now the problem is people think to work at a college you have to be a teacher, but we have a whole administrative staff side of the college that also has jobs. Bradenton, I think maybe a more affordable than Sarasota to live.

Jeffery Kin: Of course. 

Robyn Bell: And then we have a lot of people, of course, we're building a Parrish campus and that is the most affordable place to live. As a matter of fact, I was telling people the other day, someone we were talking about, they were wanting to buy a house. And of course it, it, it's easing a little bit, but right now, if you wanna buy a house and you don't have cash, you have to get a home construction loan. And that's why there's so many new houses going up.

Jeffery Kin: Interesting. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. Because if you wanna buy a house and you don't have the cash, you have to get a loan. The only way to do it is a, a new construction loan. 

Jeffery Kin: Oh, that makes total and complete sense. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. 

Jeffery Kin: And it's also why everyone wants my house in Southgate. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. 

Jeffery Kin: Every day. 

Robyn Bell: Oh yeah. 

Jeffery Kin: Every week a phone call. Thank you people.

Robyn Bell: But where are you gonna go? 

Jeffery Kin: That's exactly right. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Yeah. Stay put. 

Jeffery Kin: And half my roof is gone. So now they really don't want it. 

Robyn Bell: So really? 

Jeffery Kin: I, Well, no, I just, I lost a, a section of shingle, I can't say it, a section of Shing. I slit a sheet, a sheet I slit. Um, yeah, I'm down to the bare wood on my roof.

Robyn Bell: Wow. 

Jeffery Kin: Ian took off like all the way down through the tar paper. 

Robyn Bell: I'm so sorry, 

Jeffery Kin: Bearwood. I know, but you know what, In the scheme of things, it, it's, it's nothing. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. They are seeing what other people have done. 

Jeffery Kin: Exactly. Anyway, I 

Robyn Bell: digress. Well, that's okay. I was just gonna say, the other thing that I do in this job is I assist with the many events that the foundation here at the college. interacting with donors and potential donors, faculty and staff. 

Jeffery Kin: And you're not good at that? 

Robyn Bell: No. Well,

Jeffery Kin: that's not a good quality for you, right. To get along with people and talk to them and you are so awesome on stage. I always 

Robyn Bell: Oh, thank you Jeffery.

Jeffery Kin: I have always, I have always been enamored with how easy and casual, and you tell jokes and mean 

Robyn Bell: sometimes they're not always funny. I have a friend, a, a friend that from a long time ago, we've been friends for 25 years and she used to say to. You talk to a bag of cement and I, It's a little true. I think I, yeah, I would talk to a bag of cement, 

Jeffery Kin: cement, , 

Robyn Bell: bag of cement. 

Jeffery Kin: When you say, I say cement, let's call the whole thing off. No, you're very good. You, There are people that are very good in front of a crowd and, and I was always good in front of a crowd. If I wear. Character like on stage as an actor. Okay. And it took a long time for me. It was moving here to Sarasota, that got me out of that, that I could be comfortable as Jeffery talking to a group of people or standing up in public or seeing 

Robyn Bell: as yourself 

Jeffery Kin: as myself. That's different. You almost have to put on a little bit of a facade sometimes, um, because it's stressful. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. And you, and you have to go home and you turn it off, you know? And it's not the same. Yeah. Okay. But the last thing, and I'm really excited about this cuz I have been given some special projects in this new, all what I know. So we have, uh, the Parrish Chili Cookoff, I'm in charge of, Very exciting. The big dis

Jeffery Kin: Do you need a judge? 

Robyn Bell: The, I don't know. I'll let you know. If I do, 

Jeffery Kin: I would love to eat chili. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. the, uh, the huge DeSoto Parade. We always have a float for that. I'm in charge of that. Uh, the things like out at the UTC Mall, there's a big food truck festival. We're gonna have a table at that. I'm in charge of that. 

Jeffery Kin: When is that? 

Robyn Bell: November 12 and 13, it's the same as the Food and Wine Festival. 

Jeffery Kin: Oh my gosh. That I just posted about. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. 

Jeffery Kin: Yep. 

Robyn Bell: But here's one of the really big things I'm exciting about for the first time here at State College of Florida, and really I think a decade in Manatee County. We are bringing the Embracing Our Differences art installation to our campus. Very excited about that. 

Jeffery Kin: I am a big, big fan. Yeah. And actually I'm talking to them about Sarasota Rising and the festival, about doing something creative and interesting because they, Yes,

Robyn Bell: Sarah Werthheimer's great. 

Jeffery Kin: Oh my gosh. They're great. They're, they're great and they have this amazing event that is, For only a short time in one space. And so when, when we get to 

Robyn Bell: about a month, 

Jeffery Kin: when we get to me, I'll talk about that, that I've had some thoughts about how to further their, engagement in the community because what a great mission.

Robyn Bell: And this, it makes so much sense for us here because they bring truckloads, I should say, bus loads of students, uh, to see this art installation and what do we want on our campus students. 

Jeffery Kin: But where would you do it? 

Robyn Bell: It's gonna be, there's a big field across, on the other side of. Music building on, there's a parking lot and then there's a big open field and there's bathrooms out there cuz of our collegiate school.

Jeffery Kin: Oh. , 

Robyn Bell: that's where kind of their, you know, PE fields or whatever. 

Jeffery Kin: Okay. 

Robyn Bell: And so it's gonna go right there. It's gonna be great. 

Jeffery Kin: That is impressive and exciting and, I, I, what a great, 

Robyn Bell: And it's their 20th anniversary, and so we, Oh, yeah. We're having a big donor reception thing. I'm in kind of in charge of that. So this job, . It has tentacles, but it's all related and connected. And I, I, it's really been a nice transition. I've, I've been, I'm enjoying it so far. 

Jeffery Kin: You seem excited. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. And they, and they are still supporting the podcast, which is great.

Jeffery Kin: Right? But then do you, does a part of you feel. Your music is going to take a, a backseat. Do you feel, I mean, how do you feel about that? 

Robyn Bell: Well, because I'm still doing the Pops, 

Jeffery Kin: right? 

Robyn Bell: No, and in some cases, because I was doing three groups, right? Which isn't just, you know, the concerts, it's picking out the music, it's stuffing the folders, it's organizing the people. It's the seating auditions. It's the marketing of it. It's the planning 

Jeffery Kin: you need. Be cloned. 

Robyn Bell: Well, it, it would hit gotten It was a lot. Yeah, it was a lot. And so now that I can focus musically on one group, I think it's gonna be better for me and better for that group cuz I'm not so spread out. Right. Um, so that's what I'm hoping 

Jeffery Kin: then. And then going back to self care. 

Robyn Bell: Oh yeah, 

Jeffery Kin: because, because you do, you start to burn that candle at both ends, and then things start to suffer, and that's the last thing I know you would ever want. Right. But yeah, sometimes you can burn yourself, uh, burn yourself out, and it's, And then you're no good to anybody.

Robyn Bell: Yeah. It's easy to do here in the arts because there's so much going on, and I think that's a really great. Transition. Segue into you, Mr. Kin. What? Mr. Kin?

Jeffery Kin: Oh my gosh. That's my dad. 

Robyn Bell: So . Jeffery. 

Jeffery Kin: Jeffery.

Robyn Bell: Three syllables. 

Jeffery Kin: Kin. 

Robyn Bell: 3, 2, 1, 

Jeffery Kin: 3, 2, 1.

Robyn Bell: Uh, that's really your mom. 

Jeffery Kin: She, My mom, she was special mousey. She is 91 and she's still kicking butt. Oh my gosh. What a, I am such a mama's boy. 

Robyn Bell: She must be so proud of you. 

Jeffery Kin: She is. We talk every night. So since my dad passed, I got her a phone that we can FaceTime each other. Oh. And I said, Mom, all you have to do is press this button. And so for the last two years, 

Robyn Bell: every night 

Jeffery Kin: between 9 45 and 10 15, 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. She goes, well, what happened to your hair, Jeffery? 

Jeffery Kin: She tells she yeah. What are you doing? Where's your bunnies? How are your butterflies house Marcos? She's, you know, Yeah. Yeah. And we just get caught up on what we're doing and, and of course this job, I mean, Sarasota Rising is, is a company that I, I basically started because the downtown improvement district came to me. Um, Dr. Mark Coffin, um, actually he didn't come to me. , he was the landlord for the Player's studio, and we had a window leak. Last August, I went to talk to him about this window leak. And then he said, Jeffery, do you have an extra second? And I said, Sure. He said, You know, you know everybody in town. I think that Sarasota is long past having an organized arts festival that will build camaraderie amongst the organizations, build cultural tourism, get some butts in seats, and I need somebody who's, uh, who understands our community, who's goal driven, and. Consensus and can common sense. And he starts naming all these qualities and I'm doing just what you're doing. Yeah. I'm nodding my head. Mm-hmm. . And then finally I'm thinking to myself, he's describing me. And so I raised my hand, and I said, Dr. Kaman, you're describing me. And he said, Oh my God, if you are interested in this, It's done. Done. Wow. We, we want you. And cuz he never thought, you know, sometimes, uh uh, we artistic directors, you know, we get constant to an organization and you stay. Right. Um, and I had just had 15 year, my 15 year anniversary was July 3rd, and I had asked the universe for what's next. And that's always, I think, important to do sometimes. Mm-hmm. is to put out. I appreciate the values that I've learned I, and the issues and the things that I've accomplished and overcame, but at some point you do sometimes have to say, What's next for me? And there it was. And so I've taken the last year and created Sarasota Rising along with a group, um, of people, I call them my startup team. And these are people that are part of, not part of any one particular arts organization. Um, I have everything from a Ringling student to an EXC city commissioner. We met every. All, all this past year and we came up with a mission and a vision and a value statement and, you know, we're moving towards, uh, finding a, a board so that this will be our own 5 0 1 cun three.

Robyn Bell: Okay. 

Jeffery Kin: So that we can. Kind of elevate. I'm an all boats rise person. Mm-hmm. , you know, Roxy J used that phrase with me several years ago. All boats rise, Jeffery and I loved it and I've used it a lot. And it's actual, Sarasota Rising kind of goes back to that all boats rise. 

Robyn Bell: Did you come up with the name of the organization?

Jeffery Kin: I, I did. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. Um, I, because I like, you know, I think Phoenix rising, so it's the same concept

Jeffery Kin: and it is, it's just, it's us coming together and doing great things. Um, we're, we're about to announce the name of our festival, um, that will happen next month. So in November, I can, I'll give a little teaser. We are talking November of 2024 for the very first. Festival, 

Robyn Bell: you have to have the time to get it right. You can't rush something like this. 

Jeffery Kin: And if you're dealing with arts organizations, theaters, operas, museums mm-hmm. , they plan a year out. Right. So, and, and really the best news ever, I just want our arts groups to be fabulous and create something great in the timeframe that we're giving them. They don't have to do anything special because they're all amazing. Right. They. Everything that we want at a festival is already here. 

Robyn Bell: But, Okay. So this is interesting cuz you and I are talking before we started recording because when I think of a festival, I think of one location where everybody would go and you have done something amazing to circumvent that because we don't really have that and that's asking a lot of all these organizations to pack up and go. So tell, tell us the concept here,

Jeffery Kin: literal. , and I've been using these percentages and they seem to work. 50% of our festival is everyone staying in your lane and doing something awesome in that timeframe, really. And if you're not producing something in that timeframe, so let's say for example, you know Richard at the opera, I'm a week off. Well then. Rent your space so that another group can utilize it. So that's half of the festival is just being awesome in which we already are, right? And, you know, very entrepreneurial spirit here in in our cultural coast. The other thing that we want people to realize is this isn't just Sarasota, it is a cultural coast event. I'm, I'm casting a very wide net about who's involved and who's engaged, and I expect that it will grow over time as well. But that's half of the festival. About another 25% is me. , , and I've done this, I've met with 98.8% of the arts groups, one on one tea coffee. Mm-hmm. soda. Lunch and met with them and, and what a great group of people that we have. Well, 

Robyn Bell: yes, you don't, you don't get the greatness we have without the great people behind it. 

Jeffery Kin: And, and, talk about self care, you know, I was busy producing. Shows I didn't have time to go see everybody else. Right. And get to know everybody else. And you run into each other at the, the, the Women's Exchange event. Yeah. once a year. You know what I mean? And that's it. And that's it. I mean, that's how I met most my friends. 

Robyn Bell: It's so true.

Jeffery Kin: It's true. That's when you see them. So I've taken the time, talk to them, What's their mission? What's their struggle? So 25% of what I wanna do is say to create art Latino. Hi. Why don't you work with LAIs at Contemporary Dance? And. What about strings Cambrio and the three of you come together and create something incredible for the festival? So I think a part of it, of what I wanna try to. Is to engage people to work together and then step away, let them do it. I'm not the producer, but I'm the motivation behind collaboration. 

Robyn Bell: And to me, it sounds like if the organizations wanna do something on their own, that's fine too. Yeah. But if organically, there's collaborations that happen. All the merrier. 

Jeffery Kin: Well, I feel like sometimes doing stuff on your own. Is exhausting. Mm-hmm. , and we're all looking for that new audience member. We're all looking for that new board member. We're all looking for that new friend. And when you work together, you meet more people, more people are engaged. All boats rise, you know, And so then the other 25% is that we will produce, so, Fascinating. So for example, I'm looking at the Bay. The Bay is going to be mostly, they're gonna have an outdoor amphitheater. Mm-hmm. as part of the bay in 2024. So may I activate that space or Payne Park or taking, um, do you remember Arts Day when people used to do Arts Day in Sarasota?

Robyn Bell: It, it sounds familiar to me. 

Jeffery Kin: It a long time ago. It was performing arts downtown Sarasota. Five points. So a part of me wants to at some point get to a point where, students, , from the high schools and, and then all the junior programs from, you know, the ballet and all these, you know, all these people have educational wings. When can we get them involved and engaged? Mm-hmm. . So there's the other 25% is producing some great events where we can pull in some of the educational aspects and then of. Bring in a star, bring in a band, bring in a, a dance competition. You know, do something that is unique just for that week. I want it to be special. Mm-hmm. . But I also want to just embrace who we are, and celebrate festivals are celebrations. 

Robyn Bell: Right? 

Jeffery Kin: And we have so much to Celebr. 

Robyn Bell: And in your timeframe for the festival is a week 

Jeffery Kin: is a week. 

Robyn Bell: So it's interesting cuz I was just at the event that dreamers endures, you know, a non pell's thing, uh, last night where Mark Pritchett of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation gave a great talk and they said that today, cuz we're recording this, we should, in full disclosure, on Friday, October 14th, today starts the 10 days of the Bay. And I thought, well, that's an unusual timeframe, 10 days. But I guess cuz they can incorporate two weekends. Right? So is seven days had you thought, can we, can you stretch the up two weekends? 

Jeffery Kin: So literally I'm talking Sunday to. Okay. Is, are, are the dates that I'm, that we're floating, that we are not solidified yet because I am, you know, talking to the city and the county about any issues or anything that problematic that might come up? Um, for using spaces, I wanna be able to create something in a great alleyway. You know, , I wanna have a great wine tasting with, with caviar and champagne, and then an opera singer or an orchestra, you know, a a, a trio. And, and someone dancing. I want to create some of these, one of a kind cool events that we can be really super proud of, that kind of embraces who we are. 

Robyn Bell: And you, you said this a while ago, but I just wanna be clear, even though it's Sarasota Rising, it would include Bradenton and Maria Island, 

Jeffery Kin: cultural coast 

Robyn Bell: cultural culture.

Jeffery Kin: So really, I have been talking with the folks at, Visit Sarasota and the edc. This, even though. It sounds very Sarasota, but people felt like it needed to get branded to Sarasota. Mm-hmm. . But the outreach and the arm stretching is really cultural coast I think branding us as an area to come to allows people to fall in love with everything from the museums to great places for their schools. Restaurants, , part of this is a cultural tourism, you know, there is a, a facet to it that we want people to come here just like they do for spoleto, just like they do for art basil, Right. You know, we want a branded, , event 

Robyn Bell: and it's performing arts and visual arts 

Jeffery Kin: right now, and culinary arts.

Robyn Bell: Culinary arts. 

Jeffery Kin: It's, it's good, you know, because. There's lots of creativity in our area. Mm-hmm. and, and again, I can't get too far into exactly what we will be because I want it to kind of happen organically. Mm-hmm. . But I can't imagine having a street fair and bringing in a Carney funnel cake truck. That's not what I wanna do. Right. I wanna promote, you know, Sage, you know, a great restaurant that has. You know, I, I wanna make sure that we're supporting the restaurants and the hotels and, the organizations that have made Sarasota great 

Robyn Bell: local lo support, local,

Jeffery Kin: keep, keep, keep it, keep it to being creative, keep it, uh, quality. Mm-hmm. over quantity at first. So, you know, we need place to grow into, 

Robyn Bell: Well, as I. Quality breeds quantity. Right. If it's really good, more and more people will want to be a part of it. Either as a patron or as a participant. 

Jeffery Kin: Right.

Robyn Bell: Right. 

Jeffery Kin: And the other thing that keeps coming up, and I think you're gonna appreciate this, is. Somebody had come to me and said, Well, you know, a lot of our patrons stay in their own lanes. Mm-hmm. , they, they really, they support the, the groups that they support. So a part of Jeffery likes a challenge and I really am looking for ways of, of helping. Are some of our patrons who may have been, you know, enamored with a single group to maybe explore a little bit. So part of it's not in my mission, but it does seem to be an initiative where I would love for there to be, I would love for someone to fall in love with another group or another entertainer or another. You know, I, I think, you know, we get into a. And I think Sarasota Rising at our festival could really help, um, shake things up a little bit. Right? And, and introduce some new flavors and some new ideas.

Robyn Bell: Sometimes I think visitors come here and they do the beach by day, and then they looking for, you know, arts stuff, cultural stuff to do at night. But this, with so many organizations, it's gonna be morning, noon, and night. I would imagine

Jeffery Kin: there's, there is that Yeah, we'll have, um, I've already kind of set up this idea that there will be, awards so that people that will have the competition, that will have judges go out and there would be perhaps a, you know, a best collaboration. And there would be, you know, on the closing Sunday there would be a party where people get awards for having the best, you know, the most innovative right, or the best use of technology. 

Robyn Bell: Best dressed. 

Jeffery Kin: Best dressed. Always 

Robyn Bell: totally gonna win that one. 

Jeffery Kin: No, you will, , of course, we are wearing the same pants today. We're both wearing our skinny, We're both wearing our skinny mustard jeans. 

Robyn Bell: Yours might be smaller than mine.

Jeffery Kin: Skinny jeans. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. Let me ask you this. Yeah. Where's your budget come from? 

Jeffery Kin: Well, the initial money came from the Downtown Improvement District, and they have been great and supportive. I, I have had an knock wood very. Several donors have stepped up and said, We believe in this project as well. , I am in the process, of course, needing to raise more funds to make sure that we can continue our missions. So I'm, you know, I'm, I am, I'm, I'm searching for people who are looking for a way of engaging the community. Mm-hmm. and literally how can you help everybody? Well, the festival will help everybody. It's a great use of, 

Robyn Bell: And when I think about things, you have to spend money on marketing, always. Number one website, part of part of marketing. You're gonna have to have printed maybe material, uh, by ads places you have salaries, I guess. Right? How many people are working for Sarasota Rising? 

Jeffery Kin: Jeffery , 

Robyn Bell: You're it? Well, you're not gonna get the group insurance discount . 

Jeffery Kin: Uh, no I'm not. Um, no. 

Robyn Bell: Where do you have a vision for that? How many people do you Yes, 

Jeffery Kin: there will likely be four.

Robyn Bell: Okay. 

Jeffery Kin: Of us. And then lots of contracted labor and then a lot of volunteers. And you mentioned volunteers. I met with a group called Event E. Um, and they're part of, uh, they do a lot of festivals and events and they have a great thing that you attach to your website and it keeps your volunteers organized. You can, uh, do site maps. You can sell tickets. Hmm. So I'm looking at technology as being a, a major way of us, a small group of people being able to accomplish a lot. And I'm not the best with technology, he says out of the side of his mouth, but I can learn. You know, I, I was the person that could not program their vcr. Could never do it. 

Robyn Bell: You and my mother, she wanted to tape Princess Diana's wedding. 

Jeffery Kin: Who didn't? 

Robyn Bell: To Prince Charles. 

Jeffery Kin: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: And we got home and I remember we had just gotten to vcr. Yeah. Four hours. Yeah. Of the weather channel . So I'm with you,

Jeffery Kin: Your mom and I would get along this. No, 

Robyn Bell: she can flow with everybody.

Jeffery Kin: I'm gonna embrace technology and really utilize so that we don't have spreadsheets, and I'm not handwriting emails and, and you know, these are things that nowadays, um, and I went and I, one of the best things that I've done, and I gotta pet myself on the back. I said, Why don't we learn from the best? I went to Spoleto, I went to the International Festival and Events Association conference in Texas. Oh, wow. I went to the, the Florida. Events, festival, learn from some of these other people. They have been doing it for many years. There aren't a lot of people starting festivals now, so I gotta tell you, not that Jeffery's a little bit of a celebrity, but it never failed when they would say, you know, How long have yours festival? And I'm like, Zero. Zero. And how many employees do you have? Me? And I'll say, Sarasota. They're like, Oh, you're the Sarasota. Ah, you're the Sarasota guy. Yeah. So people are starting to know that we are on this mission, that there's momentum going. Mm-hmm. and I gotta tell you, nice people, a majority of festival and events, people all wanna help.

Robyn Bell: You haven't met any mean people along your way? 

Jeffery Kin: Well, yeah. Okay. , I have,

Robyn Bell: just go the other way. 

Jeffery Kin: Orlando French. Um, 

Robyn Bell: no. 

Jeffery Kin: Orlando Fringe. What did you, What did you say? Orlando Fringe. What? 

Robyn Bell: Who's that? 

Jeffery Kin: No, they just weren't nice. 

Robyn Bell: Orlando. French Fringe. 

Jeffery Kin: Fringe Festival.

Robyn Bell: Fringe. Oh, Orlando Fringe. I had no idea they 

Jeffery Kin: wouldn't return my emails. I reached out on social media. 

Robyn Bell: They're really busy. 

Jeffery Kin: Well, I gotta tell you, but then I went to their festival and they don't, they they's not well attended, so, Okay, Well they've got problems. Explains a lot. They explains a lot. Learn from the, learn from the best and, And guess what? Everyone makes mistake. 

Robyn Bell: I wanna talk more about the budget because Yeah, once you have a festival in place Yep. Is the concept you will sell tickets and people have a pass for the whole seven days, or maybe they just want to go to certain events. How does that work

Jeffery Kin: long term? There will likely, after a about five years, be a central ticket. Location. It's hard to do that now because as you know, everyone uses a different ticketing system.

Robyn Bell: Yes. 

Jeffery Kin: So, theater manager, tessitura, there's everyone's, So right now what would happen is everyone would be selling their own tickets. So they're making the money off of these tickets. I would of course need a little bit of money for, you know, marketing, Marketing and such. Mm-hmm. . Um, and we'll do a magazine, we'll do a, you know, where you can buy ads and things like that.

Robyn Bell: Well, let me, let me put this idea by you because I, um, moved here from Chattanooga, and Chattanooga has this festival every summer called the River Bend Festival. Okay. And it's along the Tennessee River and what they've done, and I, I think Sarasota should look into this some way, or maybe Bendon Park or something, or Bay, the Bayfront, um, they have three or four barge. And the groups perform on these barges, and the audience sits on the sideline. But ticketing how they do this is you buy the river bin pin. Mm-hmm. . And so you buy a pin that you wear. And at the time, I think it was like $40 for the week long festival. I'm sure it's more now. And uh, it would get you in every night to everything.

Jeffery Kin: Wow. 

Robyn Bell: But if you didn't wanna do that, now this is a festival where you went someplace. Right? So this, this thing that you're describing is different, but maybe you. Hand your pin off to someone. I'm not going tonight. You wanna use my pin? That kind of thing. Uh, so there's a thought I just went through out there too.

Jeffery Kin: So here's what some folks have done. They, they, you buy tickets to individual events, but to get into the event, you need the $10 pin. Oh, so you need, and that $10 goes to. . The organization. And then the money for the ticket goes to the, So there's, there's a, 

Robyn Bell: That's a makes sense.

Jeffery Kin: Again, learning from what works for other people. Yeah. Um, and again, we're a five, we're gonna be a 5 0 1 C three, you know, we just want to be consistent. Mm-hmm. , we, we wanna make sure that we're sustainable. You know, we had very few things given to us, um, sustainable, not in season. And engage the entire community. Mm-hmm. , Those were really the three things that were given to me. And then I've, it's taken a year, and we're just about ready to, release the website. We have our first, 

Robyn Bell: I love your logo. 

Jeffery Kin: Oh, thank you. 

Robyn Bell: It's really great. 

Jeffery Kin: It is. It's, And then I, 

Robyn Bell: And you gotta pay for a graphic designer, I'm sure to do that.

Jeffery Kin: Yep. Next, Marketing. I, I, I align myself with, with Joe Grano. At next Mark, he's the ding. Oh, do they? Is he gonna gimme money? Now, before that, for that plug, 

Robyn Bell: maybe that's the next step for the podcast. I don't have any sponsors. 

Jeffery Kin: And now you will, as we drink our Coca-Cola Diet Coke. It's refreshing. 

Robyn Bell: I'm on a Mac yeah, they don't need, Yeah, they don't need marketing . 

Jeffery Kin: Yeah. So we're gonna drop names and, and every, every time. I love that ding. Yeah. I'm so glad that, that ding is not within my reach because, you know, I would be dinging. Yeah. I'm gonna not ding that. I'm gonna give you control. 

Robyn Bell: Hands off, hands free. 

Jeffery Kin: I will.

Robyn Bell: Yep. I will. I'm excited. I really am excited about this concept.

Jeffery Kin: It is a no-brainer win-win for everybody. Yep. I don't, there's no way anyone except for, Oh, we don't need more traffic. But in November it's gonna be, it's already preseason. And, it's gonna help us. It's gonna brand us.

Robyn Bell: Yeah. 

Jeffery Kin: All boats rise.

Robyn Bell: All boats rise. And to bring people here, cuz nobody ever comes here anyway. I'm kidding. Kidding. 

Jeffery Kin: But give them a reason and maybe bring different people here. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. Yeah. 

Jeffery Kin: New people. 

Robyn Bell: No, it's really, really cool. So thank you for sharing all that with us and we'll have you back on in 2024 when it's time to start hawking the thing.

Jeffery Kin: And, and I'll look like 20 years older. Yeah. Then too. I'll be completely. And my beard will be down to my waist. 

Robyn Bell: He's sucking the life out of me 

Jeffery Kin: ruin in my day. We , I feel like a kid again here producing this festival. . 

Robyn Bell: Well, you have a lot of organizations such as the Sarasota Orchestra who's trying to build a new home and you know, I'm sure in conversations and you're looking far out, they, they have to be wondering, how does this look for me and. Let's talk about another organization that you were involved. With's also looking for a new home. I'm gonna make a segue here. Yeah. Uh, you were, I know you're not involved with the Player Centre anymore, but they're plight as to where their next home will be. Seems to be in the paper and media every week. Mm-hmm. . So I wanna throw an out idea out to you cuz I feel like you and I are very two ideal people. Yeah. In mind, brother from another mother.

Jeffery Kin: Yeah. And just so you know, I am a product of community theater. Yes. Community theater has a value, it has a place, and I will always be a strong supporter of the of Community theater and what it does for your area. It is the Quilt

Robyn Bell: and Me Community band. Community orchestra, that's right. Community choirs. I mean, let's take it past the theater. 

Jeffery Kin: Exactly.

Robyn Bell: Really, all the performing arts there is community involvement here. And so Carrie Sideman, Jay Handleman said Seedman, so I don't wanna say her name wrong, I see it printed, but I'm gonna call her Carrie Sideman until she says it's Seedman. It is s e. Carrie , Sarasota Herald Tribune. Mm-hmm. put out a, an all call for people to email her, you know, should, Players take over the municipal auditorium or should the Bay take over the municipal auditorium and people emailed it. And then the next week she put in, you know, her findings and her thoughts on that. Unfortunately, it was a really busy week for me. Oh. That week cuz I, and I, I screenshotted her email address and I was gonna send this to her and I didn't get it in in time. Wow. I didn't realize it was a one week turnaround. Oh. Sunday, I, I read that and then Monday I sent her my thoughts and we went back and not even back and forth. She just got right back to me. And then that's it. But, I have an idea and I want you and I to talk about it, and I either want you to tell me you only have two choices. This is the best idea ever. 

Jeffery Kin: Okay. 

Robyn Bell: Or you're an idiot. Those are your two choices. 

Jeffery Kin: Okay? I won't say idiot because I think.

Robyn Bell: I've been called much worse.

Jeffery Kin: That's a little harsh . So this idea goes beyond the Player Centre and really it impacts many, many organizations and maybe even it could impact Sarasota Rising, but you know, thinking community, the Player's Centre is currently producing their shows in the old Gap. Retail store at the almost defunct, I'll call it Sarasota Crossings at Siesta Key Mall. 

Robyn Bell: It's a long name. Yep. Um, and Benderson has just bought this mall, Benderson very famous for our UTC mall area. 

Jeffery Kin: The rowing facility. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. Now the Player Centre is not the only arts organization that is working out of that mall. In addition to the Player Centre, we also have katherine, Michelle Tanner's. Mm-hmm. Tree Fort Production. Yep. We have the Rise Up Academy. Yeah. That is sort of like, School for musical theater kids. Yep. Yep. We have the Arts Advocates, which is a art gallery, and they used to have all their art at the Van Wezel. They've taken it out and they've put it into an old, maybe Talbot store, Something I don't know. And Strings Con Brio, who you've already mentioned, love they have, they're rehearsing there, that sort of thing. , and there may be some others that I'm not familiar, 

Jeffery Kin: there's other people talking about that space. So literally I found that space, and it was two owners ago now, where I said we need a spot. And I, it was part of it was taken from Katherine Michelle tens space and then rise above and. Coordinated that, that space temporarily while we were building out in Lakewood Ranch. So since that's no longer happening, you know, it's become our, home. The initial owners were great, the secondary owners were awesome and continued the movement of that space, activating that kind of mall where nothing was really happen. And I think it's on the resurgence now. 

Robyn Bell: It is. 

Jeffery Kin: And they have, and there is more room there. 

Robyn Bell: Well, here's what I know for certain, the Benderson Corporation has proven that they are very philanthropic. people know about Nate's honor rescue for pets. Mm-hmm. , But they may not realize. Listen carefully, Nate. Is Nathan Benderson. That is their, 

Jeffery Kin: Wow. 

Robyn Bell: That is their philanthropic thing. And then we all know, as you mentioned, Benderson Park and the amazing, the rowing facility, the Finish Tower. They built the miles of pathways for cyclists and roller bladers and walkers and runners all out by that UTC mall. So Jeffery, I think there's some worry about what Benderson wants to do with this crossing game. I'm sure. They could make a lot of money if they built some condos and mixed space use and that kind of thing, but, I want to appeal to them. I'm gonna give you my idea and you tell me if we should appeal. 

Jeffery Kin: I, I'm open, I'm listening.

Robyn Bell: I think that they could, they really have a unique opportunity here to help the arts community create like an arts hub at that mall that they just bought. So, and this is not the Sarasota Orchestra. They have couple billions of dollars. It's not the opera, it's not the ballet, it's not the Asolo. It's not FST. They don't need this, but, It's rehearsal space. Mm-hmm. performance space. Mm-hmm. teaching space, Office space for those kind of second tier organizations. 

Jeffery Kin: Mm-hmm. and third.

Robyn Bell: Yes. Not, not the ones pulling in millions of dollars. Donations and grants and tickets, but those hovering maybe between that 50,000 and $500,000 budget, you know?

Jeffery Kin: Right. 

Robyn Bell: So I made a list, I'm gonna be very selfish and start with the Pops Orchestra. Mm-hmm. , we, we are running everything here outta the college and it's fantastic. But if there was a dedicated rehearsal space, In performance space, the Sarasota Concert Band. Mm-hmm. , they need the exact same thing we do.

Jeffery Kin: Yep. 

Robyn Bell: Chairs stands, percussion equipment. Yep. Right. Key Choral, Theor Group, Choral Artists, Another choral group, Law, Musica Chamber Music, the Artist series, Concert Chamber, Orchestra of Sarasota Diversity, The Voices of Sarasota. Another choir, Guitar Sarasota Ensemble, New S rq, The Jazz Club of Sarasota, Sarasota Rising. Mm-hmm Musica Sacre, The Pearlman Music. Sarasota Music Club, Dingbat Theater. Mm-hmm. , Am I leaving any of these performing groups out? 

Jeffery Kin: Yeah, absolutely. Sarasota Jewish Theater, Theater Odyssey. There's, there's, there's dozens of organizations all having the same issue. And in fact, Marlon Brown of the Sarasota, city manager met with several of us and said, Hey, you know, the city cares. What can we do? What came out was we need rehearsal space. Yeah. We need performance space. We, the Van Wezel's too big. 

Robyn Bell: We need administrative space. 

Jeffery Kin: We need administrative space. Yeah. So, so I think it's on people's radar. Mm-hmm. that this is a need. I don't know who's listening. 

Robyn Bell: Well, okay. So the concept to me is turn those big box stores. So there's, 

Jeffery Kin: is that macy's? Is there. 

Robyn Bell: And that there was a Dillard's. I know it's a gym. It's,

Jeffery Kin: it's a gym in the, and and it's that, um, Whole food, not Whole Foods. Um, it, yeah, all, Yeah. Dillard's got divided up pretty much. Okay. There's not much left of Dillards,

Robyn Bell: but I'm gonna tell you, there's nothing that can't change.

Jeffery Kin: True. 

Robyn Bell: So anyhow, take those big box stores, turn 'em into large performing halls. You would need one for musicals cuz you guys are dealing with sets. You need a space that stays the same for quite a while. Yeah. And then another one for Symphony. Choir, large chorus concerts, right? That, you know, people can run in and out. We just need a shell and, uh, you know, clouds you right? And lights. Mm-hmm. . Um, the larger stores could be maybe more intimate recital halls for chamber music, solo performances. You could have a couple of shared rehearsal spaces so that maybe the Pops rehearsals on Monday night, the Sarasota Concert Band on Tuesday night, et cetera. fill in with chair stands, percussion equipment. You could have a space for shared music library. One huge music library. Yeah. Where we go, Oh yeah, do you have this piece? I wanna borrow this piece. Some people like that. Some people when they stay on my Mel library. 

Jeffery Kin: Yeah, I know. 

Robyn Bell: A shared box office. One place like you were talking 

Jeffery Kin: That's right.

Robyn Bell: That you could not just sell the tickets, but market everything that's happening there. Administration spaces for these organizations, and then restaurants for the patrons and the artists to dine at before and after. Um, you could have additional art gallery spaces. This would be huge continuing education spaces. Mm-hmm. , you know, you could take art classes, you could take music classes, private music lessons. Okay. And I know there's a whole money side of it, but, Well, and that's why. Is this something you think 

Jeffery Kin: it makes sense? It that makes sense. You have no idea though. So number one, we don't know why they bought that space. We don't know. They had already owned, they owned that space that used to be Home Resource. Ding. Um, and then they, Yep. And then they owned that. They owned the Aldi space, I believe. I believe they owned Dillards. Benderson did. Okay. And then the other part of the mall was owned by somebody else, and then that's what they ended up buying. I wonder what their thinking is. What do, What are their plans? It's central. It's why I fell in love with that space. It is a great, there's great, and this is what we need. We need power parking. And potties. 

Robyn Bell: the three P's. 

Jeffery Kin: That's what I was, That's what, And do you know how hard I, I searched for a year to find a inexpensive, because everyone wanted to charge me $14 a square foot with a camp fee. And I mean, it was crazy. And these places were. Literally dumps like there was holes in the floor. Oh, wow. And I mean, these places were some of the places I looked at and no one cared that we were a 5 0 1 C three. So there's gotta be a couple of things that happened and I wonder if it's not, you know, my first thing that starts coming is to the community foundations, 

Robyn Bell: Right.

Jeffery Kin: Who have smart boards. Mm-hmm. , they're fiscally responsible. They understand that this is a major undertaking and to. Come up with the organization that would organize and pull together to make something like that happen. And then

Robyn Bell: they also have their finger on the pulse of all the donors that would 

Jeffery Kin: Right.

Robyn Bell: Contribute to something like this. 

Jeffery Kin: That, that's right. 

Robyn Bell: And I'm not saying Nathan should just hand over the mall to the arts organizations. 

Jeffery Kin: He could

Robyn Bell: well, certainly. The arts organizations could, you know, have some buy-in. We sell tickets, we do have income. Mm-hmm. , we could rent this space. Mm-hmm. , we already are renting spaces. Uh, we, you know, they would absolutely have a, maybe a portion of the tickets went to whatever. Um, but we're, we're just like, when Nathan Benderson Park, you just turn it over to the city. Mm-hmm. and let. Run it, you know? Yeah. Um, this is, this is a side I'm probably not good at, but there's a way to make this happen financially for certain.

Jeffery Kin: Yeah. It, it does make sense. And again, especially if I hate to see vacant. Places. Yes. I hate, you know, that is a blight. Mm-hmm. . And we were so fortunate that we kind of happened into that great space where there's, you know, Connor's restaurant is right there. Yep. And ding. Um, cuz we love Connor's ding. 

Robyn Bell: Um, a server at Connor's lives a couple of doors down for me and he was my server and we went there.

Jeffery Kin: Nice. 

Robyn Bell: I was like, oh my gosh. Hello neighbor. 

Jeffery Kin: Uh, hi. Hello neighbor, Won't you be my neighbor? Uh, so there are, I th and I think build it and they will come. I think if you start something like that, then those restaurants will pop up. And then those other, these, those other amenities that survive off of the arts would, be a natural, they would make money off of those new tenants. Um, yes. Let's get some momentum going. 

Robyn Bell: I know I wanna be, What is, what do they say in Hamilton in the room where it happens? I, I wanna a seat at the table. Yeah. I don't know how to do that. Yeah. Where are they located out? They're headquarters. Is that the UTC mall area, isn't it? You don't know.

Jeffery Kin: I, I really? I don't know. 

Robyn Bell: You have to help me. I need help. 

Jeffery Kin: Okay. Let's, let's continue.

Robyn Bell: I have a new job and I'm really busy. 

Jeffery Kin: I know . Yeah, me too. . But you know what, sometimes it's verbalizing something and putting it out there. Yeah. And maybe someone listening is gonna be like, You know what? Let's, let's take this up. And I gotta tell you, the Arts cultural Alliance of Sarasota County might be a great facilitator. Yep. They're an organization that already works with all the arts groups. They already have. Um, 

Robyn Bell: they're about to have a new leader. We don't know, 

Jeffery Kin: Well, we don't know 

Robyn Bell: what's going on there yet, but Jim Shirley, Shirley's retiring in December.

Jeffery Kin: We love Jim Shirley, but he, Oh, wait, he gets this. It's even better than a ding. 

Robyn Bell: We love Jim Shirley. 

Jeffery Kin: We do love Jim. 

Robyn Bell: He has his own podcast episode. If anybody wants to know who Jim Shirley is, Oh. Yeah,

Jeffery Kin: great guy and has done a lot for our community, but yeah, there's new blood going to be going in into there, but yeah, perhaps they are, 

Robyn Bell: are, I mean, they could actually just relocate to the mall too. Like they could absolutely run. Okay, now we're going further than I thought, but, uh, I don't know, I just have a real clear vision of how this could work. So, 

Jeffery Kin: and, and interested parties with great ideas. Should, should reach out to Robyn Bell. Yes, at 

Robyn Bell: Robyn with a 

Jeffery Kin: There. 

Robyn Bell: There you have it.

Jeffery Kin: Ding. I know 

Robyn Bell: I have a friend who says he can't listen to my podcast at home because this dog goes crazy every time. , because you want 

Jeffery Kin: treat, treat,

Robyn Bell: treat. 

Jeffery Kin: Type for, treat type for a treat. 

Robyn Bell: I think you and I should get together every week, Jeffery, and just brainstorm ideas here on this podcast. 

Jeffery Kin: We just need to fix the world and I think 

Robyn Bell: they would just left it to the two of us.

Jeffery Kin: I think so. 

Robyn Bell: Problem solved. 

Jeffery Kin: Yep. King and Queen of America. 

Robyn Bell: You just, you know, the only thing is you just have to agree with everything I say and then we'll be fine 

Jeffery Kin: and I won't. Okay. . I'll nod and say, I'll nod yes, but I'll be saying no with my eyes and my mouth. 

Robyn Bell: Jeffery, 

Jeffery Kin: um, Jeff Darling, 

Robyn Bell: I am very excited to continue to watch the growth of Sarasota Rising and how this organization is gonna provide an amazing arts festival for Sarasota. They could, did not have picked a better person. to lead it. 

Jeffery Kin: Oh, thank you. 

Robyn Bell: And to be its only, and sole employee , uh, you are absolutely the person please know I'm here for you. Thank if you need me for anything. Thank and thanks for coming to campus today to visit with me.

Jeffery Kin: I, I love your campus and I, and congratulations on your new digs and your new, and your new position. And, you know, uh, what is it? Bona? Fortuna. I just hope it's a great experience for you in that you're able to just share That smile. Yes. Some smile and 

Robyn Bell: ear to ear. 

Jeffery Kin: You are, Yeah. You, you, you. You have a really awesome personality and a and that reads on stage and off, so 

Robyn Bell: thank you, Jeffery.

Jeffery Kin: I'm wishing you the very best. 

Robyn Bell: Thanks. 

Jeffery Kin: You're welcome.