The arts took center stage during the annual Rise and Shine Leadership Breakfast hosted by MAEC, The Manatee Arts Education Council.
The event was held on Wednesday at The Grove in Lakewood Ranch, and was well attended by school administrators, district leaders, and community leaders.
Each table had an art gallery centerpiece featuring works by K-12 students from the following schools: Ballard Elementary, Bayshore Elementary, Myakka City Elementary, Prine Elementary, Samoset Elementary, Braden River Middle, Haile Middle, Jain Middle, Johnson K-8, Rowlett Middle Academy, Braden River High, Manatee High, Manatee School for the Arts and Palmetto High.
Breakfast was sponsored by the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
MAEC Chairperson Jeramiah Bowman introduced Emma Durrence, a Braden River High School senior with a riveting performance of the National Anthem, and Mary Glass, President of the Manatee Education Foundation, who thanked the crowd for their support of the arts in our schools.
The next speaker, Dr. Jason Wysong, complimented the many arts-related programs he’s visited so far, and fondly recalls a moment with Lakewood Ranch High School’s band, who performed inside their school band room when the halftime show on the football field got rained out.
This year’s keynote presentation came from Bill Ferrell, an illustrator, designer and instructor for the School District of Manatee County and Ringling College of Art + Design.
He introduced a panel of Manatee County graduates who have gone on to successful careers in the arts.
Finally, the program concluded with Visual & Performing Arts Specialist Rhea Skaggs introducing the Palmetto High School Orchestra.
It was a tremendous performance, under the direction of music teacher, Helene Franco.
For more information about MAEC, please visit their website: https://maecarts.org/.