October 8, 2019
Art is a powerful tool to evoke social change. Without uttering a single word, artists can enlighten, educate and affect change around the world.
Since 2004, Embracing Our Differences has used the power of art and prose to promote diversity. The centerpiece of Embracing Our Differences is an outdoor juried art exhibit featuring 50 billboard size images (12.5 feet by 16 feet) created by local, national and international artists and writers. The display reflects the artists' interpretations of the theme "enriching lives through diversity." The exhibit is displayed annually at Bayfront Park in downtown Sarasota. The 2019 exhibit hosted 218,000 visitors to Bayfront Park, bringing total attendance, since 2004, to more than 2,920,000.
Embracing Our Differences invites you to participate in creating a world where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. Become a part of this exciting change through your visual art submission to the annual Embracing Our Differences international juried competition. The statements accompanying each artwork are also vital and provide insight into our common humanity—as well as the differences that make us all unique.
The 2019 exhibit received 11,791 submissions representing 111 countries and 44 states including such distant lands as China, Greece, India, Israel, Japan, Romania, and Thailand. More than 65% of the submissions were made by students from 239 schools.
The winning artworks combine a deep understanding of both medium and message. Awards are given for "Best-in-Show Adult," "Best-in-Show Student," and "People's Choice" categories, with the last chosen by visitors to the exhibit. Adult winners each receive $1,000; students receive $1,000 with $500 to be directed to the student and $500 to their school’s art program, if they worked under the direction of an educator.
Of great importance to furthering the mission of Embracing Our Differences is the impact of our education program which, in 2018, served 39,211 students from 227 schools. More than 357,000 students have participated during the past fourteen years.
The 2020 exhibit will be displayed January 18 – April 5, 2020 in Bayfront Park in downtown Sarasota.