A $2,500 grant, issued from the Leslie and Margaret Weller Fund, and a $2,500 grant from the Charles L. Huisking Jr. and Lillian Huisking Donor Advised Fund, will go to the center’s Slice of Art program, which provides free, guided, visual art field trips to students from area public schools.
(Sarasota, FL) The Community Foundation of Sarasota County recently awarded Art Center Sarasota two grants to help fund the center’s Slice of Art program. A $2,500 grant, issued from the Leslie and Margaret Weller Fund and a $2,500 grant from the Charles L. Huisking Jr. and Lillian Huisking Donor Advised Fund, will be used toward this vital program, which provides free, guided visual art field trips of Art Center Sarasota for students in grades three through 12 in Sarasota County.
“These grants will go a long way to provide memorable—and fun—arts experiences to at least 400 area students during the 2014 season,” says Lisa Berger, Art Center Sarasota’s executive director. She explains that the program offers guided tours of the center’s changing exhibitions, along with hands-on art activities. This grant- and donor-funded program has been offered since 2006. Grant funds pay for bus transportation, art supplies, pizza, a substitute teacher, and Art Center Sarasota’s Slice of Art instructor.
Berger shares that, “Slice of Art tours are age-appropriate and designed to spark young people’s imagination and curiosity. These tours include connections to science, social studies and other subject areas.” She adds that Elizabeth Goodwill, the education director at Art Center Sarasota, who also oversees the Slice of Art program, works with teachers to develop curriculum connections and discussions that are relevant to their daily lives.
“Students learn that making and experiencing art is fun,” says Goodwill. “That’s one of the main lessons.” She notes that, after the gallery tour and discussion with their peers, students enjoy a pizza lunch and refreshments, followed by an art-making workshop. “Ultimately, we’re helping to instill a passion for the visual arts we hope will stay with these students for a lifetime,” says Goodwill.
According to Berger, the Slice of Art program receives qualification under Sarasota County’s EdExplore SRQ program, an education outreach program connecting students to area art resources. This qualification includes a series of learning objectives for teachers to apply to student art experiences.
“Thanks to the support of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and donor participation, we should be able to provide at least 10 tours in the 2014 season,” says Berger, adding that the organization seeks more funds to be able to provide the program to all of the teachers who request them.
For more information about Art Center Sarasota, call 941-365-2032, or visit www.artsarasota.org.
About Art Center Sarasota
Art Center Sarasota was the first arts and cultural institution in Sarasota. It was founded in 1926 as the “Sarasota Art Association” by Marcia Rader, the art supervisor for the Sarasota County schools district. In the early years, the group met monthly and sponsored exhibits in rented facilities. The Association was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1943 and has been in its current location in the Sarasota Bayfront Cultural District since 1949. Art Center Sarasota is now a membership-based organization that offers curated and juried exhibitions, adult and youth education programs, outreach initiatives for underserved youth, and culturally related public programming. Art Center Sarasota’s mission is to inspire individual creative expression, nurture artistic talent and provide the community with accessible and diverse visual art opportunities.
About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County
The Community Foundation is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. With assets of $239 million in more than 1,100 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling more than $15.8 million dollars this past year in the areas of arts, culture and humanities; education; civic engagement; health and human services; animal welfare; and the environment. For more information, call 941-955-3000 or visit www.CFSarasota.org.