(Sarasota, FL) Since 2004, Embracing Our Differences’ annual juried art exhibit has graced downtown Sarasota’s bayfront with billboard-sized images created by artists, writers and students from around the world reflecting their interpretation of the message, “enriching lives through diversity.” This year, a grant from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation enabled the organization to mark its tenth anniversary with an expansion of the exhibit to Bradenton’s Riverwalk.
“The enthusiasm with which we’ve been received in Bradenton has been heartwarming,” says Michael Shelton, executive director of Embracing Our Differences. “More than 10,000 people have visited the exhibit since it opened on March 29, including more than 2,000 students from Manatee County schools. With demands for more school tours and people still pouring into the park, it just made total sense to keep the exhibition open a few more days.”
The “Embracing Our Differences” exhibit will be at Bradenton’s Riverwalk through May 2; at Sarasota’s Island Park through June 2; and at North Port High School, May 5-June 2. For more information about Embracing Our Differences, call 941-404-5710 or visit www.embracingourdifferences.org.
In addition to its annual outdoor exhibit, Embracing Our Differences’ other education programs include:
o The “Make-a-Day-of-It!” program, providing free bus transportation for area students and teachers to the outdoor exhibit and to other cultural venues, including Florida Studio Theatre, Mote Marine Aquarium and Ringling Museum.
o An annual teacher workshop designed to provide teachers with a well-planned curriculum for use before, during and after their students’ visit to the annual exhibit.
o An art teacher retreat presented in partnership with Ringling College of Art and Design, designed to reinvigorate teaching practices while inspiring teachers’ art and art integration skills.
About Embracing Our Differences
Embracing Our Differences is a project of Coexistence, Inc., a local non-profit that began in 2004. The project showcases a community-based outdoor exhibit promoting positive, inspirational artistic and verbal expressions of inclusion, acceptance and respect. The mission of Embracing Our Differences is to use the arts as a catalyst for creating awareness and promoting, throughout our community, the value of diversity, the benefits of inclusion and the significance of the active rejection of hatred and prejudice.