Van Wezel Foundation Kicks Off 2020 [Giving] Season; James and Maryann Armour Family Foundation to Match Gifts for Arts Education

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Van Wezel Foundation Kicks Off 2020 [Giving] Season

James and Maryann Armour Family Foundation to Match Gifts for Arts Education


Sarasota, Florida – October 28, 2019 – The Van Wezel Foundation is thrilled to announce that it will launch its 2020 season with a matching campaign, thanks to the generosity of the James and Maryann Armour Family Foundation.


The Armours will match each new donation dollar for dollar up to $25,000 in support of the Van Wezel Foundation’s commitment to providing meaningful arts education for over 30,000 children and educators throughout Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, DeSoto and Hillsborough counties.


“We love the arts, we love Sarasota and we have seen how arts education can open a world of possibilities for children,” said Maryann Armour. The retired teacher and her husband have supported the Van Wezel Foundation since 2006. They share the organization’s belief that engagement in the arts is essential for a community to thrive.


Foundation grants will go toward multiple programs, including Van Wezel Schooltime Performances, a program that presents high quality, nationally and internationally renowned artists and performances for area students. The 2019-2020 season of Schooltime Performances features nine shows, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Pout-Pout Fish and Charlotte’s Web.


Each year, Schooltime Performances are complemented by Art Works for Schooltime learning modules. These in-depth lessons connect arts disciplines to other curriculum areas, including language arts, math, science and social studies. Each module series features a lesson guide for teachers, free professional development and optional in-classroom workshops with students and is available to educators from all four counties.


We thank the Armours for understanding the importance of arts integration to make learning achievable for every child,” said Van Wezel Foundation CEO Cheryl Mendelson. “The matching campaign helps us ensure that the arts are woven into the fabric of our community.”



Since 1987, The Van Wezel Foundation has partnered with the City of Sarasota to foster a connection between the people, the bay and the spirit of human creativity. Through this collaboration and the generosity of donors, the Foundation has provided grants of more than $14 million to invest in arts education and capital projects at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The mission of the Van Wezel Foundation is to create a world-class performing arts center that enriches the community, supports arts education and inspires young minds. For more information, visit To learn more about the many ways we can grow our vision for the community together, visit


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