Learn About Embracing Our Differences

By Brenna Wilhm
Director of Education, Embracing Our Differences

Embracing Our Differences is much more than “just a walk in the park.” From its very beginning, Embracing Our Differences has espoused Gandhi’s philosophy that, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Together, we can create a vibrant community where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated.

Embracing Our Differences’ educational initiatives represent the most important aspect of our efforts – reaching and impacting the lives of our children. A linchpin of our education program is providing totally free field trips to our exhibits, focusing on art appreciation, character building and diversity education.

30,077 students participated in 2015, another record year!

Since 2004, 200,000 students have participated in our education initiatives.

Make-A-Day of It! Program – EOD is proud to collaborate with local education organizations such as Florida Studio Theatre, Selby Gardens, Mote Marine Laboratory, Ringling Museum, Van Wezel or the Sarasota Film Festival. Through this unique asset-sharing program, 13,320 students benefited in 2015.

Embracing Dr. Seuss’ Differences – On Wednesday, March 2, 2016, Embracing Our Differences will be partnering with Sarasota & Manatee County schools to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

Over 300 volunteers will read to more than 6,000 students in 337 classrooms.

In addition to free field trips, a variety of resources are provided which include workshops presented by nationally recognized educators and professionally developed lesson plans relating to art appreciation, character building and diversity education.
Art Teacher Retreat – A two-day retreat for Manatee and Sarasota County art educators is designed to reinvigorate educators’ teaching practices while inspiring their art and art integration skills. Teachers participate in the creation of art as they learn new skills and strategies for inspiring their students.

Annual Teacher Workshops – Our annual workshops are designed to provide teachers with everything needed for not only a great field trip, but also a well-planned curriculum that can be presented before, during and after their students’ visit to the exhibit.

Summer Diversity Institute – A newly developed three day workshop where educators, while developing skills to teach their students the importance of safely standing-up for victims of bullying and discrimination, will learn that anti-bias education is not a linear, one-way delivery of knowledge, but an interactive process that requires adapting to shifting contexts, demands of content and student input.

The centerpiece of Embracing Our Differences is an outdoor juried international art exhibit featuring 45 billboard size images created by local, national and international artists, writers and students reflecting their interpretations of the theme “enriching lives through diversity.”

2015 Attendance: 271,000
Overall Attendance (2004-2015): 2,100,000

On display during March 30 – May 31, 2016, at Sarasota’s Island Park.

To learn more about Embracing Our Differences, Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter; or contact us directly at info@embracingourdifferences.org.

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