Arts Education in Sarasota County


This is the first blog post of Arts Education Sarasota, a blog that will focus on arts education in Sarasota County Schools and the community.  Sarasota County has had a long history of supporting and celebrating arts education through the public school system, the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County (formerly the Sarasota County Arts Council), and the county’s many arts and cultural organizations.

This blog will share the news and events concerning arts education from the school district, higher education, and community arts organizations

The blog is being formed as a result of needs expressed by the members of the Arts Education Task Force (AETF).  Members wanted a way to share arts education events and news taking place in our county each month.  If you’d like to catch an AETF meeting, those take place the first Thursday of each month, 9:30AM, at the Center for Arts and Humanity, 1226 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236.  All that are interested in arts education are invited!

Organizations that work in and on behalf of arts and cultural education may submit short paragraphs (up to 300 words) each month at or following the AETF meeting summarizing their arts education activities for that month for the blog.

Active Arts Education Organizations in Sarasota County include:

 The Arts Education Task Force (AETF) – a standing committee of the Alliance since 1988.  The AETF brings together education directors from arts organizations in Sarasota County, Sarasota County School staff, community members, and interested citizens to support arts education in our schools and community.  Annual programs include a Principals’ Recognition Recognition Luncheon each November.

The Community/Schools Partnership for the Arts (C/SPA) – an official advisory committee for the Superintendent of the Sarasota County Schools.  This unique partnership between the Alliance and the school district was founded in 1996 and is comprised of school and district administrators, teachers, and community arts education advocates.  This group works to strengthen arts education within public schools, increasing the opportunity for all students to receive instruction from arts-certified teachers.

Any Given Child Initiative – a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  Sarasota County was the 6th site selected in the nation for this designation in 2011.  The initiative involves the community in collaborative efforts to provide equity and access in arts education for all students.

Artists in Schools Programa program of the Alliance that trains teaching artists to work in the public schools as a part of the website,  Teaching Artists become aware of educational state and national standards so that their experiences for students are aligned to appropriate benchmarks.  Teaching artists can also join the Association for Florida Teaching Artists, an organization within the Alliance formed in 2012 to provide ongoing support and networking among teaching artists.

EdExploreSRQ.coma website created in 2011 by school and community partners to promote and make available opportunities for K-12 students in arts and cultural education through field trips in the county, in-school experiences, teaching artists, and more.  The website is maintained and managed by the school district.

And, I’m Cindy Balistreri, the Business Coordinator and Arts Education Manager for the Arts and Cultural Alliance.  Please email me to submit news, articles, and your reports for consideration!