History

2016

  • Exhibit welcomes 209,000 visitors.
  • Submissions grow to 8,350 representing 104 countries, 44 states and 106 schools.
  • 37,977 students participate in Embracing Our Differences education programs.
  • Total student participation since 2004 exceeds 235,000.
  • Second annual Three-Day Summer Diversity Institute welcomes 51 participating educators.
  • Embracing Dr. Seuss' Differences Day involves 360 volunteers and 6,258 students.
  • More than 2,000 Dr. Seuss books distributed to Title 1 students in Sarasota County.
  • More than 5,000 students attend live performances from nationally acclaimed anti-bullying Allstar Nation Tour.
  • 12,469 students participate in the Make-A-Day of It! program. 
  • Recipient of State of Florida's Division of Cultural Affairs "Diversity and Inclusion" Award.
  • New Embracing Our Differences inspired sculpture at Orange Ave. and Main St. was unveiled. 

2015

  • Annual visitors grow to 271,000.
  • Submissions grow to 6,454 representing 80 countries, 42 states and 118 schools.
  • Total student participation since 2004 exceeds 200,000.
  • First annual Three-Day Summer Diversity Institute with 50 educators participating.
  • Embracing Dr. Seuss' Differences Day involves 219 volunteers and 3,006 students.
  • More than 3,600 students attend live performances from nationally acclaimed anti-bullying Allstar Nation Tour.
  • Recipient of 2015 WEDU "Be More Enriched" Award

2014

  • Bradenton's Riverwalk exhibit expands to two months - April & May.
  • Annual visitors to both exhibits exceed 250,000.
  • Submissions grow to 6,079 representing 52 countries, 44 states and 126 schools.
  • Total student participation since 2004 exceeds 165,000.
  • Creative writing and diversity teacher workshops expand to Manatee County.
  • First annual Embracing Dr. Seuss' Differences Day involves 121 volunteers and 2,798 students.
  • More than 4,300 students attend live theatrical performances through partnerships with Florida Studio Theatre, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.

2013 Tenth Anniversary

  • Second exhibit venue opens at Bradenton's Riverwalk Park.
  • Total exhibit visitors since 2004 exceeds 1,500,000.
  • Annual student participation grows to 25,464 representing 180 schools.
  • Survey of 191 participating teachers reveals that 89.6% rated the Embracing Our Differences education initiative as "excellent" or "very good."
  • Students benefiting from the Make-A-Day of It! Program grows to 13,877.
  • Patterson Foundation presents Embracing Our Differences with its 2013 "Collaborative Innovator" Award.

2012

  • Submissions grow to 4,502 from artists representing 53 countries and 40 states.
  • Make-A-Day of It! Program expands to eleven education partners benefiting 8,111 students.
  • First annual two-day Art Teacher Retreat presented in partnership with Ringling College of Art and Design.
  • Student docents provide tours to 10,910 K-8 students.
  • Artists attending Annual Artists & Quoters Reception travel from as far away as the Philippines.

2011

  • Sarasota exhibit expands to two months - April & May.
  • Total exhibit visitors since 2004 grows to 1,000,000. Patterson Foundation survey of teachers reveals that 57% have participated in our educational initiative — more than any other organization.
  • Embracing Our Differences continues to be one of the largest education initiatives in Southwest Florida.
  • First annual luncheon held at Michael's on East.

2010

  • Annual student participation grows to 20,000.
  • First annual “Writing About Diversity” teacher workshop in partnership with the Kennedy Center’s Partners-in-Education.
  • Make-A-Day of It! Program begins with five education partners benefiting 7,000 students.
  • Student Docent Program begins with 38 docents from Riverview High School IB program.
  • Riverview High School Co-Existence Club formed immediately becoming the school’s largest student organization.

2009

  • Total student participation since 2004 exceeds 50,000.
  • First organization to create and distribute teacher lesson plans using Sarasota County School’s ActivBoard system.
  • First organization to utilize Sarasota County school system Safari video confrencing system allowing teachers to participate in on-line training classes.

2008 Fifth Anniversary

  • Total exhibit visitors since 2004 exceeds 500,000.
  • Submissions grow to more than 2,000 from artists representing 30 countries.
  • Annual student participation exceeds 10,000.
  • Exhibit includes art submitted by a fourth grade student representing Sarasota Sister City - Xiamen, China.
  • Sister Cities Association of Sarasota becomes fourth Community Partner.

2007

  • Submissions grow to more than 1,000 from artists representing 12 states.
  • School based “education initiative” adopted as top priority.
  • Ringling College of Art and Design becomes third Community Partner.

2006

  • Annual student participation exceeds 7,000.
  • First education partnership established with the Sarasota Film Festival.
  • Gulf Coast Community Foundation and The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee become first two Community Partners.

2005

  • Annual visitors to the exhibit grows to more than 100,000.
  • Exhibit features art submitted by 124 artists from Southwest Florida.