Other Educational Programs

The Van Wezel teaches in, through, and about the arts

  • Total Access is a program designed to provide local families with young children the opportunity to experience live performances at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall over the course of the season free of charge. After each show, families are required to complete and return a family survey to help us measure the impact of the program. Comments from parents have been extremely positive and heartwarming, and the Van Wezel is very grateful to our partners and supporters that so many children have been able to participate. Total Access to the Arts has been generously supported by the Cordelia Lee Beattie Foundation since 2010.

  • Designed to reach local seniors who might normally not have the ability to attend our performances, Senior Access allows the Van Wezel to provide meaningful arts experiences. Through partnerships with Casa Santa Marta and Jefferson Center, the Van Wezel encourages social activity and life-long exploration of the arts.

  • Access for Persons with Disabilities is a program building on the success of the Total and Senior Access programs. Access for PWD provides opportunities for a welcoming and engaging experience. Through partnerships with The Haven, Easter Seals of SW Florida, and Oak Park School we provide PWD and their families the experience of attending a professional live performance at no cost to them.

    Benefits of the program include:

    1. Creating special family memories of experiencing the arts, which allow for increased family communication and well-being.
    2. Increasing the sense of pride and improving the quality of life for Persons with Disabilities
    3. Providing once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
    4. Strengthening community ties and awareness.
    5. Establishing a love for the arts within NEW audiences.

  • This ongoing partnership between Oak Park School and Lakeview Elementary School 2nd graders provides opportunities for inclusion and shared learning experiences for students with and without disabilities. Through the program, students from the two schools will attend a shared Schooltime Performance, and participate in a shared arts based activity to foster dialogue, creativity, and an understanding of their peers.

    During the 2020-2021 Schooltime Performances season, the Van Wezel received a contract from the Kennedy Center - VSA Performing Arts Access for Kids Program to provide complete access to the arts and arts activities for 350 students with disabilities from the Oak Park School and other local schools serving students with disabilities.

  • This FREE outdoor summer concert series runs June-September and features local musicians. Held outside on Van Wezel's Bayfront lawn beautiful views, delicious food sold by local vendors, and great music, Friday Fest is a family friendly way to experience the best of Sarasota each summer. Watch our events page for dates and bands!