World-Renowned Violinist Launches Van Wezel Foundation Program for Sarasota Arts Educators


The coast of the gift

Pictured: violinist Andrian Anantawan. Photo courtesy of Adrian Anantawan.

The Van Wezel Foundation was pleased to introduce world-class violinist, educator and disability advocate Adrian Anantawan as the keynote speaker to kick off a special day of professional learning for over 150 arts educators hosted by the School District of Sarasota County on August 8. The Foundation joined the Sarasota County School District in underwriting the inspirational speech as part of a day of learning, which was generously funded by the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. The title of Anantawan’s keynote presentation, “Excellence Without Exception: High-Quality Arts Education for All Students,” reflects his inspiring story. Anantawan, who was born without a right hand, has made an impact on and off stage as a disability advocate to raise awareness of access and equity issues in arts communities. Anantawan is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Yale University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. As a violinist he studied with Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman. Notable moments in his career include performances at the White House and the opening ceremonies of the Athens and Vancouver Olympics. He played for Pope John Paul II and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Recognized among the Kennedy Center Next 50, Anantawan is a leader who is creating a more inspired, inclusive, and compassionate world. Since 1997, the Van Wezel Foundation has supported the integrated professional development of the arts at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall for area teachers through the John F. Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program. This special address allows the Foundation to move forward in its goal to deepen current work in arts education and explore new platforms that improve the quality of life for children and adults through the arts.

Pictured: violinist Andrian Anantawan. Photo courtesy of Adrian Anantawan.

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