Sarasota News Leader

03/28/2014

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Since 2004, the annual juried art exhibit of the organization Embracing Our Differences "has graced downtown Sarasota's bayfront with billboard-sized images created by artists, writers and students from around the world, reflecting their interpretation of the message, 'enriching lives through diversity,'" a news release points out. The 11th annual Embracing Our Differences (EOD) show of art and quotes will be pre- sented simultaneously in Sarasota's Island Park and at Bradenton's Riverwalk from March 30 to June 1, the release says. According to Michael Shelton, executive director of Embracing Our Differences, more than 275,000 people visited the Sarasota and Bradenton exhibits in 2013, including more than 25,000 students from 180 area schools, the release continues. "Ninety percent of the visitors who responded to our survey said that the art had favorably influenced their opinions on diversity," notes Shelton in the release. "We look forward to more opportunities to deepen community awareness. By standing up to hate and prej- udice and respecting the views of others, we really can make this a better world for every- one." Shelton explains in the release that the organization received submissions of more than 6,000 artworks and statements from peo- ple in 52 countries, including South Korea, Greece, Israel, Serbia, China, Canada, India, Portugal, Scotland and the United States. Students from 110 elementary, junior and high schools submitted both art and quotes. wePhones by Elise Raimon was a co-winner for Best in Show among student entries. Contributed image ANNUAL EMBRACING OUR DIFFERENCES EXHIBIT TO OPEN MARCH 30 A&E BRIEFS

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