Special Program Announced for July 15 in partnership between Hermitage Artist Retreat and Boys & Girls Clubs
Five exceptional Florida teaching artists were selected for a July residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat. This year’s recipients hail from Duval, Escambia, Hernando, Marion, and Volusia Counties.
These educators and artists recognized from across the State of Florida will present a hands-on, family-friendly showcase of their work on Friday, July 15 at the Hermitage.
(June 7, 2022) Five Florida public school arts teachers will spend part of their summer on Manasota Key while working on their own artistic endeavors. They are the winners of the 2022 State Teachers Artist Residency program (STARs) – now in its twelfth year – presented by the Hermitage Artist Retreat in partnership with the Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE). This year’s recipients were selected from dozens of impressive applicants, and the five teachers selected from across the State of Florida include three visual arts educators, a band leader and music theory teacher, and for the first time in the STARs program, a dance instructor. The five receive a residency at the nationally renowned Hermitage Artist Retreat, where they can focus on their own work and craft as creative artists. These five teaching artists will present a hands-on, family-friendly showcase of their work on Friday, July 15 at 2pm. This special event will be held outdoors at the Hermitage’s beachfront campus on Manasota Key; entrance at 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood, FL 34223. The program is presented in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. In addition to the students attending from the Boys & Girls Clubs, this Hermitage community program will be free and open to the public with a $5/person registration fee. Due to capacity limitations and safety protocols, registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
“These exceptional educators are also talented artists and creative minds in their own right,” says Andy Sandberg, Artistic Director and CEO of the Hermitage. “During the academic year, their attention is devoted entirely to their students, and this has been a particularly challenging time for educators throughout our nation. The STARs program offers five distinguished teachers from across the State of Florida the opportunity to experience what leading artists from around the world have come to the Hermitage for – to focus on their craft, their art, and their creative process. Over the years, the STARs have created some truly stunning works of art, music, theater, and literature during their time at the Hermitage. Many teaching artist alumni have shared that this program enables them to return to their students with a new fire and passion for arts education.”
The five recipients of this honor, selected among dozens of impressive applicants, include: Brooke Adkins, a dance instructor at Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange; Charles Eady, a visual arts instructor at Belleview High School in Belleview; Jessie Leasure, an art instructor at D.S. Parrott Middle School in Brooksville; Jennifer Rodriguez, a ceramics instructor at the J.M. Tate Senior High School in Cantonment; and Zoe Stayman, a music instructor at the LaVilla School of the Arts in Jacksonville. Full bios are included below.
Florida arts educators apply for the Hermitage summer residencies through FAAE. Applications are open to all Florida music, theater, visual art, dance, and creative writing teachers. Since the start of the program in 2011, 57 teachers have represented nearly 30 Florida counties. These distinguished residencies culminate with a free community program, this year hosted in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties.
“We’re excited to be partnering with the Hermitage to offer this special opportunity to our incredible Club members,” said Bill Sadlo, President/CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. “The Hermitage aims to inspire creative minds to achieve their greatest potential, and we’re excited to share this special summer program with our BGCSDC youth and families.”
The STARs program is one of the only Hermitage residency programs open to application; arts educators from public schools throughout the State of Florida are eligible. For more information about the Hermitage STARs program and how to apply, Florida arts educators are encouraged to visit www.FAAE.org.
“We look forward to seeing what this latest group of STARs will create,” says
Sandberg. “It is an honor to celebrate Florida’s leading arts educators, and we are grateful to the Florida Alliance for Arts Education for their continued partnership. We are also looking forward to collaborating for the first time with the Boys & Girls Clubs as we share the STARs talents with the members of our community and the next generation.”
For more information on the Hermitage and upcoming Hermitage programs, please visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
“2022 Hermitage STARs,” Friday July 15, 2pm Five of Florida’s best and brightest arts educators are coming to the Hermitage Artist Retreat to zoom in on their own creative practice. Hailing from across the state, their artistic disciplines range as widely as their geographic homes with three focused on different fields of visual art including ceramics, collage, and painting, a musician and band leader, and for the first-time-ever, a dance instructor. These five artists will collaborate to present a hands-on ‘art’s buffet’ with a sampling from each of their artistic practices on offer for the Sarasota community. This Hermitage community program is presented in partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties and is free and open to the public with a $5/person registration fee. Due to capacity limitations and safety protocols, registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
Hermitage 2022 STARs Teaching Artist Bios
Brooke Adkins has been the dance educator at Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange, Florida for the past nineteen years. Brooke graduated from The Academy of the Washington Ballet and Marshall University, and her focus in the private studio setting was Classical Ballet. Now, as a Public High School dance educator, Brooke exposes her students to a wide variety of dance genres, including many non-Eurocentric dance techniques. Brooke espouses the motto: “Dance for every child” and is working to introduce Dance into the public elementary schools in Volusia County. She has been the dance liaison for Volusia County Dance Programs and founded the Volusia County Dance Performance Assessment, now in its tenth year. She has choreographed over 300 dances over the years; she has had students accepted to prestigious college dance programs and go on to professional dance careers. Brooke is also a published poet and entrepreneur. She lives in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Charles Eady is an award-winning contemporary artist and author who uses art to analyze long-held beliefs about the South. His paintings examine little-known facts about Southern history, and for the past decade, his emphasis has been on the lives of those living in the South before the Civil War. He has a unique artistic language for layering art into history. In 2023, Eady will receive his first solo exhibit at the Appleton Museum in Ocala, Florida; a recent painting of his is a part of their permanent collection. He is the Grand Prize winner of ArtFields 2021 and authored the book Hidden Freedom. His works portray images of free Blacks before the emancipation proclamation. Eady endeavors for his art to give a clearer view of the South to reduce social conflicts. The thought-provoking pieces give voice to a population silenced from history.
Jessie Leasure has been creatively engaged since childhood. To hone her craft, she received her Bachelor’s degree from New College of Florida and her MFA from Jacksonville University (completed during the Covid pandemic). Working in a loose-realistic style, Leasure primarily uses acrylic paint and drawing materials to convey emotional content drawn from personal experience. To this end, she employs the human figure’s incredible capacity for expression, especially through body language. She has exhibited in shows and galleries and is featured in private collections throughout the state of Florida. Currently, she maintains a Florida-based studio and teaches art full-time. For more information and to view her portfolio, visit her website at jessieleasurestudios.com.
Jennifer Rodriguez became interested in art at an early age, as her mother taught her to draw and paint before she even entered school. As a native Floridian, Rodriguez has always felt deeply connected to the wildlife, land and waterways of her home, which informs much of her work. Rodriguez has worked in a variety of media, but most of her recent work has been in ceramics. She believes that the tactile process of working with clay itself creates a strong affinity with nature, as clay is derivative of the earth’s crust. She says she uses clay as a creative vehicle to explore biomorphic forms and their organic textures.
Zoe Stayman is a Delaware native and just completed her first year as a middle school band director in Jacksonville. Prior to teaching, she studied horn with Dr. Paul Basler and received the Russell and Brenda Robinson Music Educator Award for outstanding leadership, performance, and potential as a young educator. Zoe’s interests lie in diversifying public school music programs to better represent the way students interact with music in their own time. She holds a passion for teaching music technology and about the music industry. Last year Zoe was accepted to participate in the national Music Technology Leadership Academy sponsored by NAMM and used this newfound knowledge to mentor two of her students, who submitted for and presented at FMEA’s annual Digital Music Showcase in January 2022. She has been involved with both classical and commercial music in central Florida as a performer and with Soundview Multimedia, a company with which she recorded concerts for the Ocala Symphony Orchestra. In her free time, Zoe enjoys arranging pop music for French horn choir and posting to YouTube, following current events, and roller skating.
The Hermitage Artist Retreat
Artistic Director and CEO: Andy Sandberg
The Hermitage is a non-profit artist retreat located in Manasota Key, Florida, inviting accomplished artists across multiple disciplines for residencies on its beachfront campus, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Hermitage artists are invited to interact with the local community, reaching thousands of Gulf Coast residents and visitors each year with unique and inspiring programs. Hermitage Fellows have included 14 Pulitzer Prize winners, Poets Laureate, MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellows, and multiple Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar winners and nominees. Works created at this beachside retreat by a diverse group of Hermitage alumni have gone on to renowned theaters, concert halls, and galleries throughout the world. Each year, the Hermitage awards the $30,000 Hermitage Greenfield Prize for a new work of art, the newly announced $35,000 Hermitage Major Theater Award for an original theater commission, and the Aspen Music Festival’s Hermitage Prize in Composition.
For more information, visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
The Hermitage is supported by:
Hermitage programs are supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues; and by The State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture (Section 286.25 Florida Statutes), as well as the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties have played an integral role in the lives of local youth for more than 50 years, providing daily programs and services to thousands of young people. The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The vision is to provide a world-class Club experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who walks through our doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle. For more information, visit BGCSDC.org.
About the Florida Alliance for Arts Education:
Since 1981, Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE) has worked to bring schools and communities together to improve, enhance, and promote lifelong learning in and through the arts. The arts are essential to the vitality and quality of life in schools and communities. Education is even more powerful when it includes arts instruction and broad-based cultural programs. As the statewide umbrella organization for arts education, FAAE impacts thousands of lives each year, serving educators, administrators, students, families, and advocates in rural and urban communities throughout Florida. FAAE works with leading institutions such as the Florida Department of Education and Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs, and supports statewide campaigns such as the Florida Grade-Level Reading Campaign and the Florida Rural Economic Development Initiative, in addition to the annual Hermitage STARs program.