April 2015


Greetings from Any Given Child Sarasota and welcome to the April 2015 edition of our e-newsletter. Spring has arrived, but it's not just the flowers that are in bloom. As you'll see in this month's news, the change of season has brought with it an assortment of arts experiences and arts integration activities for Sarasota County students, teachers and the community that we want to share with you.

From professional development workshops and youth-inspired arts festivals to school concerts and a special wine-pairing fundraiser for Any Given Child sponsored by Mattison's, there is something for everyone in the weeks ahead. We hope you will join us for some of them!     


FAAE Arts Integration Symposium, April 18  

Any Given Child Program Director Brian Hersh will be one of the featured speakers at the Florida Alliance for Arts Education's (FAAE) "Arts Integration Pathway to Success" symposium in Sarasota on Saturday, April 18. The symposium, which is open to teachers and administrators from all disciplines, as well as teaching artists, arts organization representatives, college professors and students interested in arts education, and members of the local community interested in learning more about arts integrated learning, will be held at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. Cost is $25 for FAAE members and $35 for non-members. 

Find out more by visiting the FAAE website.    


Get "Inspired" in Downtown Sarasota on May 2  

The streets surrounding Five Points Park and Selby Library in downtown Sarasota will be alive with the creative and artistic talents of local K-12 students on Saturday, May 2, as the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County hosts InspireSarasota!

Formerly known as Youth Arts Fest, InspireSarasota! features four outdoor stages filled throughout the day with music, theatre and dance performances, as well as a visual arts exhibit in Selby Library's Gelbart Auditorium. New to the event this year are live poetry readings, author talks and other celebrations of the literary arts as well. Don't miss this incredible celebration of local arts and culture.

For more information, visit


Tour de France Wine Pairing Fundraiser for Any Given Child on May 15

Please join us at Mattison's 41 on Friday, May 15, at 6:30 pm as we celebrate spring with a multi-course wine-pairing dinner featuring a selection of Chef Paul Mattison's favorite wines from France. Chef Mattison and his staff are renowned for their culinary creations, and this event promises to be no exception. A special guest will guide participants through each course of the dinner, explaining the wine and menu selections and making this special evening a treat for both your palate and your mind. 

Tickets for the Tour de France Wine-Pairing Dinner cost $95/person, plus tax and gratuity, with proceeds from each sale going to support Any Given Child Sarasota. Seating is limited so reserve space early.

For reservation information, visit the
Mattison's website and select "Events."   


Notes from 2015 National Arts in Education Conference

Any Given Child Program Director Brian Hersh recently traveled to Bethesda, Maryland, for the U.S. Department of Education's 2015 Arts in Education Conference. The two-day conference, which is hosted annually by the department's Office of Improvement and Innovation, attracts project directors, their staff and evaluators from around the country who have received grants through the federal Arts in Education Program.

This past fall, Any Given Child received a 4-year, $1.2 million grant through the program to enhance arts-integrated instruction and learning in Sarasota County schools.

"It was an incredible experience to meet with colleagues and education leaders from around the country and learn how they are using arts programming and arts integration to improve student outcomes and performance in their communities," said Hersh about the conference, which was held on March 18 and 19.

Among the topics covered at this year's conference were "Building Responsive and Mutually Beneficial Partnerships," "How the Arts Can Enhance Instruction in Science," and "Leveraging Support: Federal Grant Opportunities Available through the National Endowment for the Arts."

For more information, visit the Arts in Education website.  


New Programs Gear Up for Year-End Concerts  

If you have been following Any Given Child Sarasota news, you know that one of our proud accomplishments this school year was the creation of new orchestra programs at Venice and Woodland Middle Schools. Throughout the year, students in those programs have been engaged in learning and practicing, and now it is time to showcase their talents.

Each school will be holding an end-of-the-year concert in the coming weeks, and all are open to the general public. Please come out and show your support for these talented young musicians and vocalists, as well as their teachers and schools who are helping make arts-integrated education a reality in Sarasota County.

  • Woodland Middle School Orchestra Concert
    2700 Panacea Blvd, North Port, FL
    May 20, 6 pm
  • Venice Middle School Orchestra/Band Concert
    1900 Center Rd, Venice, FL
    May 21, 7 pm

Won't You Help Us Create Masterpieces Every Day?

There are so many ways you can help Any Given Child Sarasota achieve its mission of developing and building high-quality arts education programs and instruction in our local schools. Whether it is sponsoring arts experiences for students, helping fund a new school program in the arts, or supporting professional development workshops for teachers, we can assist you in identifying giving opportunities that match your personal interests and goals.

Contact Any Given Child Program Director 
Brian Hersh at for more information. Or make a gift today by visiting our online donation page on the Community Foundation of Sarasota County website and selecting the "Any Given Child Fund."

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