Local Arts Organizations Unite to Curate and Deliver Free Online Resources for Families, Educators and Caregivers

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Free online activities are now available.

Local arts, education and philanthropic organizations have come together to create the Suncoast Arts REACH Task Force, a team of leading arts education specialists, to curate and share arts-based remote learning content for students, parents, teachers and caregivers. With remote learning a necessity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the goal of the task force is to tap into each organization’s area of expertise, open opportunities for collaboration, and provide free online resources to the greater Suncoast community.

Members of the Suncoast Arts REACH Task Force include the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Circus Arts Conservatory, Embracing our Differences, Manatee Arts Education Council, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, The Ringling, the Van Wezel Foundation, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Venice Theater, the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County, Manatee County School District and Sarasota County Schools.

The initiative is being supported by the Van Wezel Foundation, and the collective effort of the task force is making an immediate impact as trusted online content is curated and produced for local area school districts, art teachers and early learning centers while being accessible for families.

“We are overwhelmed with gratitude that the Arts & Cultural Community came together to provide such meaningful and engaging experiences for our families, now more than ever,” commented Dr. Laura Kingsley, Assistant Superintendent/Chief Academic Officer, Sarasota County Schools.

Together, the task force has launched an online resource calendar that includes daily arts-based activities across multiple art disciplines for learners of all ages.

“These arts integration experiences are a wonderful resource for preschool teachers to intentionally plan art activities with children whether in the classroom or online through ZOOM meetings,” said Janet Kahn, Executive Director, Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County. “The activities build a teacher’s toolbox for use now during these uncertain times and in the future and help facilitate positive connections with the families they serve.”

Every Friday on an ongoing basis, the Suncoast Arts REACH Task Force will have new, daily activities posted for families, teachers and caregivers to use at home or anywhere. Activities range from videos on how to make a costume to museum tours, storytime reading events and virtual art lessons, to name a few. They are a wonderful resource for families looking to play and learn together.

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