Cindy Balistreri, FMEA Hall of Fame

Cindy Balistreri, well-known Sarasota music educator and arts advocate, received the 2022 Florida Music Education Hall of Fame Award that honors individuals for outstanding contributions over an extended period of time to music and education in Florida and throughout the nation.

Cindy believes that music and arts are for all students and a vital part of a complete education. She retired as Fine Arts Program Specialist for Sarasota County School District in 2009 after 38 years of service.

She taught elementary music education at Booker Elementary, Phillippi Shores Elementary and Brookside Middle School, before assuming the role of Fine Arts Program Specialist in 1997. She was named Teacher of the Year for Sarasota County in 1992. She received the Arts Leadership Award for Arts Education in 2008 from the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County.

In addition to her roles with Sarasota County Schools, Cindy consulted with several arts organizations, including Sarasota Orchestra, Perlman Music Program and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe.

During her career she served on committees developing local and state curriculum standards and assessments. She was president of the Florida Elementary Music Association, Florida Music Supervision Association and the 4,000+ member Florida Music Education Association. She has presented at local, state and national conferences and authored articles for multiple publications on music and arts education.

When she retired from Sarasota Schools in 2009, the Community/Schools Partnership initiated the Cindy Balistreri Arts Leadership Award, presented annually to an outstanding Sarasota teacher for achievements in arts education.

From 2010 – 2017, Cindy became the Arts Education manager for the Arts & Cultural Alliance, working with schools, teaching artists and community organizations.

When The Patterson Foundation contracted with the Arts & Cultural Alliance to develop education tours, curriculum and program guides, Cindy created the materials and training on the themes of patriotism, service and freedom.

She was co-initiative manager for, an online platform for arts and cultural opportunities in Sarasota County, including field trips, classroom experiences, speakers and virtual activities for K-12 students.

Cindy earned a Bachelor of Music Education form Florida State University in 1970 and a Master of Science in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of South Florida in 1985. She is a classical pianist and clarinetist.