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

The Giving Coast

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

The Van Wezel Foundation was pleased to present world-class violinist, educator and disability advocate Adrian Anantawan as keynote speaker to kick off a special professional learning day for more than 150 arts educators hosted by the School District of Sarasota County on August 8. The Foundation joined the School District of Sarasota County in underwriting the inspiring keynote as part of a day of learning, which was generously funded by 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 the stage as a disabilities advocate to raise awareness about issues of access and equity in arts communities. Anantawan holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Yale University and Harvard Graduate School of Education. As a violinist, he has studied with Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman. Notable moments of his career include performances at the White House and opening ceremonies of both the Athens and the Vancouver Olympic Games. He has played for Pope John Paul II and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Recognized among the Kennedy Center Next 50, Anantawan is a leader who creates a more inspired, inclusive and compassionate world. Since 1997, the Van Wezel Foundation has supported the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall’s arts-integrated professional development to area teachers as part of the John F. Kennedy Center's Partners in Education program. This special keynote allows the Foundation to advance its goal to deepen the current work in arts education and explore new platforms that enhance quality of life for children and adults through the arts. 

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

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