APPLETON AWARD AND MERIT SCHOLARS

ABOUT THE APPLETON ARTS INTEGRATION AWARD

The Appleton Arts Integration Award honors an individual who best incorporates the arts in their work to better our community. The Award is made possible by a legacy gift from Mrs. Louise Appleton, a local philanthropist who had a passion for arts and its connection to education. This year the Appleton Arts Integration Award winner will be honored for their outstanding work in serving the needs of the community in arts and mental well-being.

Stay Tuned!

The 2023 winner will be announced soon.

Applications now open for the Merit scholarships.


2023 APPLETON ARTS INTEGRATION AWARD​

Portrait of Maria Schaedler-Luera.

Maria Schaedler-Luera
Van Wezel Teaching Artist

Maria Schaedler-Luera is a Brazilian-born educator and artist with extensive experience in theater, music, arts and literacy, and cross-cultural engagement. She has taught classes focused on Theatre of the Oppressed techniques at a number of arts organizations, nonprofits and schools, including American Repertory Theater, Harvard Extension School and Harvard Art Museums, where she developed and facilitated multilingual arts initiatives and community programs. Here in Sarasota, Maria designs and pilots teaching models and workshops for county schools and nonprofits, focusing on culturally relevant teaching, bilingual programs, and mental health. Maria recently launched Van Wezel’s new arts and mindfulness program, ARTself. Also, she has worked collaboratively with the Resilient Retreat to lead first responders and helping professionals in the creative process to address trauma. By utilizing creative exploration and self-expression, these adults are empowered and given tools that will assist them in coping with and beginning to heal from trauma, abuse and loss.

ABOUT THE APPLETON MERIT SCHOLARSHIP

The Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation (also known as Van Wezel Foundation) and Van Wezel Performing Art Hall are committed to supporting meaningful, high-quality arts integration across our region. Appleton Merit Scholarships recognize the achievements and potential of educators using Arts Integration in their classrooms or community. Winners receive a scholarship to attend an approved National Conference in Arts Integration (Experienced Category) or a local or virtual conference (Emerging).

Experienced ($2,500 award): Educators have significant knowledge in Arts Integration and have been utilizing successful strategies in their classrooms or in the community. This scholarship will allow them to attend and/or present at a national conference to learn advanced skills in arts integration and disseminate their successful strategies. This scholarship will cover registration, airfare, accommodations, and a daily stipend to attend the conference.

Emerging ($1,000 award): This scholarship is for teachers who have expressed interest and demonstrate potential for excellence in Arts Integration or Education implementation in the classroom or in the community. Designed to foster a stronger foundation and support growth, this scholarship supports attendance at either a virtual or local conference and covers registration only.

Requirements: Open to all Teachers/Educators serving the scope of the Van Wezel’s work. Recipients will be asked to share their experience as a Merit Scholar upon conference completion.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

  1. Must be a full time or part time educator in arts integration or arts education.
  1. You must work within Sarasota, Manatee, Desoto and/or Charlotte Counties in Florida.
  1. You must be available to attend the Van Wezel Foundation Inspiration Gala on March 10th, if selected for a scholarship.
  1. You must be willing to share your experience and what you have learned through the professional development scholarship with the Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation (also known as Van Wezel Foundation).
 

 

Deadline for submission: Feb 3rd. Winners will be notified by Feb. 10th and publicly announced at the Van Wezel Foundation Gala on March 10th.
 

 
Questions? Contact Kelli Maldonado, Executive Director, Education & Lifelong Learning.

Past Recipients

Portrait of Maria Schaedler-Luera.

Appleton Arts Integration Award

Maria Schaedler-Luera
Van Wezel Teaching Artist

Maria Schaedler-Luera is a Brazilian-born educator and artist with extensive experience in theater, music, arts and literacy, and cross-cultural engagement.

Here in Sarasota, Maria designs and pilots teaching models and workshops for county schools and nonprofits, focusing on culturally relevant teaching, bilingual programs, and mental health. Maria launched Van Wezel’s new arts and mindfulness program, ARTself. She has worked collaboratively with the Resilient Retreat to lead first responders and helping professionals in the creative process to address trauma.

EXPERIENCED EDUCATOR
Merit Scholar

Jillianne Abbott
Art Instructor, The Haven

Jillianne currently serves as a special needs educator at The Haven, a non-profit organization whose facility is designed for adults and children with disabilities. As the organization’s Art Instructor, she uses her background in fine arts to positively impact the lives of her clients.

Jillianne is currently earning her Master’s degree at University of Florida in Arts in Medicine. She intends to take the skills learned in her continued education to adapt teaching styles, materials, and lessons to create rich and innovative curriculums through the arts.

Portrait of Talia Casey.

EMERGING LEADER
Merit Scholar

Talia Casey
Case Manager, Girls Inc.

Talia is a Sarasota native who volunteered in high school for a program that integrated dramatic arts to foster community and identity among adults with disabilities. Now, Talia serves as a case manager and facilitator at Girls Inc.

Talia plans to attend an expressive arts conference to expand her practices with her students and create a comprehensive and accessible curriculum for social emotional growth.

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