Your Gift at Work

As we approach Thanksgiving, we wanted to share our gratitude for your continued support of our mission. Without you, our work in the community would not be possible. Together, we have made a difference this fall for those we serve. Currently, through our work with the Van Wezel Hall and our new Education & Lifelong Learning Department, we are currently serving over 20,000 learners, educators, and family members. This number will continue to grow throughout the year, and we look forward to updating you regularly as your philanthropic impact expands throughout the region.

Adrian Anantawan – Artist-in-Residence

On October 22, Jim and Susan Travers hosted a welcome event for the announcement of world-class violinist, educator, and advocate Adrian Anantawan as our 2022/2023 artist-in-residence. His residency officially kicked off on October 25th with a string master class at Venice High School. Adrian will focus his residency on accessibility in the arts, and what it can mean for our community. This will include partnerships and residencies with organizations serving individuals with disabilities, schools, general audiences and more. We look forward to sharing more information on his return to Sarasota in January.

Sharing the Benefit of Arts in Education

The Foundation was pleased to underwrite distinguished conductor, educator, administrator and motivational speaker Professor Larry Livingston as the keynote speaker for teacher professional development at the Manatee County Arts Education Council Rise and Shine Principal’s breakfast. The event allowed over 200 school district and community leaders, arts educators, and local arts advocates to engage with leadership in meaningful conversations regarding the advancement of arts education in Manatee County.

ArtSELF – Mental Health and Wellness Through the Arts

Therapeutic arts based workshops have become valuable resources in our community. Our partnerships with the Resilient Retreat and Harvest House for those experiencing toxic stress have helped individuals learn creative strategies for reimagining their lives. Trauma survivors, helping professionals, and families transitioning out of housing crisis have used drama, visual art, and journaling to engage in self-reflection and improvement.

“I left [the workshop] more positive but also more inspired to live with integrity” – Resilient Retreat Participant

Mr. Stevey & Friends – Community Engagement in Action

Mr. Stevey and Friends has returned to the Newtown Community. Teaching Artist Stevey Jones, along with other local teaching artists provide FREE arts activities to young people, while teaching the importance of being CALM & CARING. Our next event is Nov. 26th from 12-2pm.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall – Our Mission at Work

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall’s Education & Outreach Season has fully kicked off. New Director of Education Justin Gomlak and his team have provided diverse and well rounded opportunities for learners of all ages:
  • The first two Schooltime Performances of the season
  • Residencies in social service organizations, schools and more
  • Teacher professional development
  • The VERY FIRST Van Wezel Dance Masterclass!

Happy Thanksgiving,

Van Wezel Foundation - A vision for Sarasota Performing Arts Center