The $50,000 grant will fund various aspects of the organization’s year-round educational initiatives.
(July 25, 2022) Sarah Wertheimer, the executive director of Embracing Our Differences, recently announced that the organization has received a $50,000 Arts Appreciation grant from the Helen Hamilton Fund at the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. The grant will fund various aspects of the organization’s year-round educational initiatives.
“Our ongoing arts education programs represent the most important aspect of our efforts – reaching and impacting the lives of thousands of students and teachers locally and around the world,” says Wertheimer. She explains that, since 2004, more than 529,000 students have participated, including 52,274 students and 1,808 teachers during the 2021-2022 school year alone.
EOD partners with local educators and arts organizations to create a variety of educational programs, including free school field trips to EOD’s annual outdoor exhibit and two reading day programs for pre-k through third grade students in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Programs created for high school students include docent training as part of the Coexistence Club experience and the Unity Day program, a full-day workshop that promotes empathy and respect through team building activities. Teacher workshops that provide area educators with skills, strategies and resources relating to arts appreciation, character building and diversity education are also offered.
“Through the transformative power of the arts, Embracing Our Differences educates and inspires to create a better world—a world that embraces diversity, respects differences, and actively rejects hatred and prejudice,” says Wertheimer. “We believe these values are more important now than ever and we are grateful to the Gulf Coast Community Foundation for so consistently supporting this vital mission.”
For 19 years, Embracing Our Differences has drawn on the passion and perception of artists, students, writers, and others to create powerful statements of diversity and acceptance in its annual outdoor public art exhibition consisting of 50 billboard-sized works of art and accompanying quotes. The scale and impact of this outdoor exhibition has continued to grow, attracting more than 4 million visitors since its inception. This exhibit is the heart of a year-round program of activities designed to use art as a catalyst to create awareness and promote diversity. Next year’s Bayfront Park exhibit runs January 18-March 12, 2023. In addition, for the first time, the exhibit will also be displayed at Butler Park in North Port, March 22-April 19, 2023; and at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, April 26-May 29, 2023.
For more information about Embracing Our Differences, call 941-404-5710, or visit www.embracingourdifferences.org.
About Gulf Coast Community Foundation
For 25 years, together with its donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation has transformed our region through bold and proactive philanthropy. Gulf Coast is a public charity that was created in 1995 through the sale of the Venice Hospital. Since then, it has become the philanthropic home of nearly 1,000 families, individuals, organizations, and businesses that have established charitable funds there, and has invested over $370 million in grants and initiatives in the areas of health and human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture, and the environment. Learn more at GulfCoastCF.org.
About Embracing Our Differences
Embracing Our Differences is a not-for-profit organization that uses the transformational power of art and education to celebrate and promote the diversity of the human family. It accomplishes this through an annual, large-scale outdoor juried art exhibition and a comprehensive series of educational initiatives, programs and resources designed for teachers and students. Visit www.embracingourdifferences.org.