Van Wezel Foundation and the Sarasota Performing Arts Center supports education programs for our community.

Now more than ever, students need our support to thrive in these uncertain times. Throughout the year, school districts, early learning centers and community partners have had to pivot to adapt to virtual and in-classroom learning in a COVID world. Through it all, arts education and integration programs from the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Education Department continue to positively impact educators, students and their families. By emphasizing arts-based opportunities for the whole child, students adapt their learning and processing for core subjects such as reading, math and science. In addition, they are learning new social and emotional skills such as empathy, confidence and teamwork.

You can help change the life of a student by bringing these arts-based programs to life.

The following are just a few recent ventures from the Van Wezel Education Department that are deserving of investment:


Van Wezel Programs such as classroom visits and Artworks Anywhere videos are developed specifically to meet the need of 0-5-year-old learners. Van Wezel teaching artists are trained in early learning standards and best practices to develop workshops and resources to address early literacy, math and social emotional learning. Artworks Anywhere videos can be accessed at home and teach parents how to engage with their children through the arts.


Feelings Addressed Mindfully is an SEL project exploring the intersection of mindfulness, mental health and the arts. Through a series of videos exploring mindfulness, movement and drama, students will explore the 5 CASEL competences taught as part of the SEL curriculum. In addition to the videos, a professional development for educators, virtual workshops and family activities round out this pilot program.

MORE THAN AN IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access)

Introducing a multifaceted arts-based approach to culturally relevant education and engagement for students, teachers and families. The initiative, which brings together school districts, community partners and arts educators, will serve as a catalyst of change to ensure cultural diversity is a priority in classrooms, schools, communities and beyond. Using IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity and access) as a basis, this initiative includes a virtual arts residency featuring Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow and world-renowned Hip Hop artist, OLMECA. In addition, a series of virtual events will take place for students, families and the community, including a program featuring Grammy nominated, Black Violin and a viewing of the acclaimed performance, Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom, as part of the Van Wezel’s virtual Schooltime Series.

Consider making a donation today to ensure students, families and educators continue to thrive in our community.


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