Arts in Education

Encouraging Students to Engage in The Arts

Charlotte Arts is pleased to offer grants in support of teachers within Charlotte County Public Schools who incorporate arts and humanities into their curriculum. Charlotte Arts has awarded a total of $143,195 in grants, providing arts and cultural programs to more than 52,600 students. Charlotte Arts is anticipating offering additional grants in January for the 2022-2023 school year with support received from the Florida license plate. Learn more.

For more information, email

Charlotte Arts advocates for the preservation of arts education in public schools by maintaining an open dialogue with the Charlotte County School Board and state representatives.

Annually, Charlotte Arts sponsors awards for the annual High School Art Show, held at the Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda. Awards are presented to student artists from Charlotte High School, Port Charlotte High School, and Lemon Bay High School.

“When schools include art programs in the curriculum, children do better with math.”

— Kelly Borshein

Feature: 2019-2020 Grant Recipient Tiffiny Coffey’s Class Project at Port Charlotte High School


“Students in Mrs. Coffey’s Photo 2 and Advanced Placement Studio Art classes had an exceptional opportunity to express themselves in March 2020, just before the COVID19 pandemic cut everything short, with help from an Arts in Education grant awarded by Charlotte Arts. The project was just getting started, when it was severed. Students made quick progress- but weren’t done!

Students learned about the genre of contemporary street art, by studying artists such as Banksy and Shepard Fairey.  They then learned the reductive process of stencil making, and proceeded to hand cut original images, layering and experimenting with the exhilarating, immediate results that only spray paint can provide.

We look forward to expanding on this beginning in future units in the classroom. Many many thanks to Charlotte Arts for the grant!”

— Tiffiny Coffey
PCHS Fine Arts
AP Art And Photography
National Art Honor Society Advisor

Grants awarded in the 2019-2020 school year

Due to COVID-19, some of the teachers will complete their projects during the 2020-2021 school year.

Teachers: Once your project is completed, please complete the online report here.

group photo of lead teachers

SEATED: Shawn Martinez, Peace River Elementary; Debra Klaholz, Meadow Park Elementary; Jennifer Harris, L.A. Ainger Middle; Christine Broyles, L.A. Ainger Middle; Mary Murnighan; Fawn Cox, L.A. Ainger Middle; Kristina Kelch, Myakka River Elementary; Allyn Shelatz, Peace River Elementary
STANDING: Scott Courtney, Punta Gorda Middle; Carrie Dillmore, Myakka River Elementary; Jennifer Bruno, Punta Gorda Middle; Samantha Gentrup, Murdock Middle School; Edward Sagarese, Charlotte High; Heidi Strand, Charlotte High; Valerie Guenther, Charlotte Arts; Kevin Erickson, The Academy; Elizabeth Starkweather, Deep Creek Elementary; Virginia Aynes, Vineland Elementary; Sule Tugmen, Port Charlotte High School; Tiffiny Coffey, Port Charlotte High School

Grants received by teachers at public schools in Charlotte County will directly involve nearly 4,000 students and another 5,000 students will benefit from the projects.

  • Creative Expression for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities, $400, Charlotte Harbor School
  • Yoga: Using Music and Breathing to De Escalate, $200, Charlotte Harbor School
  • Authors as Illustrators, $400, Deep Creek Elementary School
  • Grooving Through Ancient History, $665, L.A. Ainger Middle School
  • Dali Museum and James Western and Wildlife Museum, $280, L.A. Ainger Middle School
  • Drama in Literature, $700, L.A. Ainger Middle School
  • Cougar Literary and Art Magazine, $279, L.A. Ainger Middle School
  • Andy had it all wrong. You have unlimited time, $276, Meadow Park Elementary School
  • Eco Friendly Reusable Bags – Borrow and Go, $200, Murdock Middle School
  • Readers of the Arts Take 2!, $700, Myakka River Elementary School
  • STEAM Family Night Fun!, $500, Myakka River Elementary School
  • Student Museum, $400, Peace River Elementary School
  • Stairwell Murals, $612, Peace River Elementary School
  • Study Tour of Stained Glass and Restoration, $700, Port Charlotte High School
  • Self Portrait Stencils, $394, Port Charlotte High School
  • Honor Band, $500, Punta Gorda Middle School
  • My House, $194, Punta Gorda Middle School
  • Greenland Style Kayak Paddle Project, $200, The Academy
  • Literature as a Springboard to Music, Movement, and Art, $400, Vineland Elementary School

Grants awarded in the 2018-2019 school year

AIE 2018-19 Group Photo

Front row: Lori Schumtz, Amanda Linneweber, Leah Wilson, Deb Klaholz, Heather Buck, Grace Shepard, Charlotte Arts Board President Valerie Guenther, Scott Courtney; Back row: Alan Klispie, Cara Stefanik, Tim Ostrow, Daryl Konrardy, Virginia Aynes, Stephanie Derocher

Grants received by teachers at public schools in Charlotte County involved more than 3,600 students.

  • A solo Performance for 8th Grade, $600, L.A. Ainger Middle School
  • Honor Band, $1,000, L.A. Ainger Middle
  • Veteran’s Day Celebration, $640, Liberty Elementary
  • Clay Texture Turtles, $799, Meadow Park Elementary School
  • Words and Pictures: Connecting to Text through Visual Art, $305, Murdock Middle School
  • Carnegie Recorder Link Up, $400, Myakka River Elementary School
  • STEAM Family Night Fun, $658, Myakka River Elementary School
  • La Traviata, $400, Port Charlotte High School
  • Terrier Thespian Productions 2018-2019, $400, Port Charlotte Middle School
  • Traveling Library Expansion, $1,000, Port Charlotte Middle School
  • The Music Supply Project 2018-2019, $398, Punta Gorda Middle School
  • Ozobot Evo Robotic Creative Arts Maze, $1,000, Sallie Jones Elementary School
  • Reader’s Theater, $400, Vineland Elementary

Grants awarded in the 2017-2018 school year

Grants were received by teachers at half of the public schools in Charlotte County, including three high schools, three middle schools, and five elementary schools. These projects involved more than 8,300 students.

  • Performing Arts Class Tech Equipment, $435, Murdock Middle School
  • Artist Trading Cards for an Emerging Art Community, $692, East Elementary School
  • STEAM Family Night, $950, Myakka River Elementary School
  • Math and Art Make the World Go Around! $390, Murdock Middle School
  • Mirror Mirror on the Wall, $449, Charlotte High School
  • The Addams Family Musical Collaborative Stagecraft, $379, Punta Gorda Middle School
  • Readers of the Arts, $999. Myakka River Elementary School
  • History of Art in Jazz, $689, Punta Gorda Middle School
  • Sculptures of a Human Head, $400, Port Charlotte High School
  • Ceramics and the Scientific Method, $392, Sallie Jones Elementary School
  • Create, Publish, & Perform, $391, Punta Gorda Middle School
  • The Music Supply Project, $400, Punta Gorda Middle School
  • Can You Spot the Leopard? African Masks, $399, Meadow Park Elementary School
  • Micropipette Art, $942, Lemon Bay High School
  • Art Therapy Garden, $93, L.A. Ainger Middle School

Grants awarded in the 2016-2017 school year

  • Raised on Radio, $1,000, The Academy
  • Art Therapy Garden, $398, L.A. Ainger Middle School
  • Greek Art is Symmetrical, $700, Peace River Elementary School
  • Performing Arts Ensemble, $440, Murdock Middle School
  • Camera Obscura Classroom, $660, Port Charlotte High School
  • Punta Gorda, Past and Present, $397, Punta Gorda Middle School
  • The Traveling Library $700, Port Charlotte Middle School
  • Hearfones, $700, Peace River Elementary School
  • Chihuly Legacy Project, $383, Meadow Park Elementary School
  • Dali Museum Trip, $300, L.A. Ainger Middle School
  • “STEAM” Plants a Folk Art Garden, $695, Port Charlotte Middle School
  • Single Ring Melody Bells, $400, Myakka River Elementary School
  • Through a Florida Native American’s Eyes, $667, East Elementary School
  • “STEAM” Camp, $300, Liberty Elementary School
  • Dream Weavers, $376, Meadow Park Elementary School
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