COCA Announcements 
Got Summer Camp Info?
We'll promote it for FREE!

It only takes a few minutes to post your arts related summer camps, workshops, and classes on COCA's Tallahassee Arts Guide.

Simply, click the "register" button in the upper right corner and set up your own free account if you haven't already. Then list your summer camps as events. We'll promote them directly to parents, grandparents, and caregivers for free.
Questions? Contact Amanda Thompson at

Online events are now a category on our

List all your virtual arts classes, workshops, and more in the "Events" category on our site. 

All online events will be listed and featured in our weekly Monday Tallahassee Arts Guide "This Week" email that goes to over 13,000 individuals. Anyone in the 100-mile radius around Tallahassee can add listings to the Tallahassee Arts Guide.

 Questions? Contact Amanda Thompson at

Order the arts license plate and let your support show wherever you go.

Purchasing a State of the Arts license plate is an affordable way to make a direct contribution to arts and culture in Leon County.

COCA gets $20 from the sale of each arts tag in Leon County and those funds support arts education programs in our community.

COCA Arts in Education Articles
‘A Town Divided’ educational film sparks powerful student discussions
March 31, 2021

In February of 2020, the Southern Shakespeare Company made a serendipitous decision. They’d been presenting “A Town Divided,” an original interpretation of “Romeo and Juliet,” for live audiences of students since 2017 and they wanted to capture it on film. A month after the recording was made, all live theater shut down. 

“In the fall, when it was evident that we definitely would not be doing it live for students in 2021, we decided to create a fully formed education program surrounding the recording. We
created a completely digital option for our schools,” said Robin Jackson.

As the education and outreach director for the Southern Shakespeare Company and the co-director of the organization’s junior company, The Bardlings, Jackson got to work making the “A Town Divided” experience accessible in the era of COVID. 

The play had already gone through a long incubation period. Several playwrights working collaboratively sought to examine the racial divide in our city in an authentic way. “The stories are taken directly from interviews with Tallahassee locals who really formed the story for the writers,” explained Jackson.

Though “A Town Divided” was modeled on a play written more than 400 years ago, the themes in "Romeo and Juliet” remain relevant. This new interpretation offers a way to teach Shakespeare in contemporary times and opens a dialogue about difficult topics.

Read the rest of the story here. Check out our archived articles on the COCA blog.
Leon High ceramics students put their best shoe forward
March 17, 2021

Not even the pandemic can thwart the forward momentum of life. We are constantly on the go and our shoes lead us along our personal journey.

The shoes we wear can be considered a self-portrait, whether they’re designer heels or work boots worn thin with age. They are items of utility and a means for self-expression. They can also be art as Leon High School students recently learned. 

Art teacher Victoria Munsell presented her 75 ceramics students with a design challenge. “I wanted them to pretend they had been hired by Nike or Converse to come up with something original. I asked them to think about certain personality traits or a current issue in the world that they wanted to stand up for and put those elements into this shoe,” she said. 

Munsell received an Arts Education Grant from the Council on Culture & Arts (COCA) to implement this lesson. This year, the grant was made possible through philanthropic support from the Duke Energy Foundation’s Powerful Communities program. The funding was used to purchase clay, sculpting tools, glazes and paints for the project. 

Read the rest of the story here. Check out our archived articles on the COCA blog.
Hooray for Art Day: Artists clock in to continue school tradition
March 10, 2021

Each spring, Montford Middle School’s art teacher Donald Sheppard invites community artists to participate in an annual Art Day event. Local painters, sculptors, photographers, and graphic artists descend on the school’s media center to display examples of their artworks and the materials used to create them.

Class by class, every sixth, seventh, and eighth grader tours the space and spends time with each artist, discussing their work, creative process and inspirations. 

This time-honored tradition was originally conceived in 1984 by retired art teacher Al Williams. Over the years, Williams nurtured young artists at several schools and, no matter where he taught, Art Day was part of the curriculum.

Eleven years ago, Sheppard took over the Montford art room when Williams retired and nothing, not even a global pandemic, will stand in the way of Sheppard carrying on the Art Day legacy.

This year the event had to be completely reimagined. Sheppard confessed “the new normal was making it seemingly impossible to have this event but I figured if there was a way for students to learn remotely, there must be a way for Art Day to happen. If the students can Zoom in every day, why can’t the artists Zoom in?” 

Read the rest of the story here. Check out our archived articles on the COCA blog.
Teaching Resources

Please share these resources with others and if you've found resources that could help other arts teachers, please email them to Amanda Thompson at

Click here to visit our Pinterest page for a huge, COCA curated list of creative, educational, and entertaining arts activities in all disciplines. These resources are sure to keep little ones, tweens, and teens learning and growing artistically.

Congressional Art Competition (Deadline: April 14)
Each spring, a nation-wide high school arts competition is sponsored by the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The contest is open to all high school students in our District. The winning artwork of our district's competition will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol. The exhibit in Washington will include the winning artwork from all participating districts from around the country. The winning artwork is also featured on's Congressional Art Competition page. Click here for more details.
STAR: State Teacher/Artist Residency (Deadline: April 15)
The STAR program is designed to honor and nourish the artist in the educator by providing five public school educators from Florida with the opportunity to pursue their artistic work in the inspiring environment of the prestigious Hermitage Artist Retreat. Four-week residencies will be offered to two visual artists; two writers (fiction/non-fiction/poetry/playwriting); and one composer. Click here to learn more.
FMEA - Music Education Scholarship (Postmark deadline: April 20)
FMEA is soliciting scholarship applications for the 2021 June M. Hinckley Music Education Scholarship. The Association will award $1000 scholarships to selected 2020-2021 graduating high school students who participated in a Florida All-State ensemble and who intend to major in music education at a Florida college or university. Please see the application here.
Dollar General Youth Literacy Grants (Deadline: May 20)
Schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations that help students that are below grade level or having trouble reading are eligible to apply. Grant funding is provided to assist in the following areas:
  • Implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs
  • Purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives
  • Purchasing books, materials or software for literacy programs

Click here for more details.
Philanthropic Arts Program
This initiative launched in 2019 to help catalyze non-profit, tax-exempt public charities, accredited schools and universities, and government or public agencies to implement or enhance programs utilizing art and art education in daily curricula, early childhood education and to assist underprivileged learners. Click here for more.
Professional Development & Artistic Planning Grants (Deadline: Rolling)
Grants are available for organizations to support the professional development needs of Southern presenters, programmers, or curators, strengthen program design, and increase organizational capacity. This funding can support staff's travel expenses to conferences, festivals, exhibitions, workshops, and other professional development opportunities, or artists' travel expenses for onsite planning meetings with presenting organizations. Click here to learn more. 
Awesome Tallahassee (Deadline: Rolling)
Each month Awesome Tallahassee awards a $1,000 grant to people doing awesome things in our community. If you have a great idea for the Tallahassee area apply for a grant today! Click here for more details.  
To learn about other opportunities and resources, visit the Classifieds section of COCA's Tallahassee Arts Guide
Professional Development
"Passion Mapping" webinar presented by the FSU Art Ed. Department (April 21 at 7pm)
This webinar highlights a five-lesson art-making unit created by art educators Victoria Mendenhall and Sarah Myrick, with inspiration from a series of contemporary collage artists. The unit is suitable for students in intermediate elementary to upper secondary and encourages them to discover who they are and who they want to be through layering processes. The webinar explores how teachers can help students navigate their layered identities. Click here for more details.
HERC and TCC present the Holocaust Education Seminar (July 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 7-8:30pm at TCC or Zoom)
This seminar is for K-12 educators who will engage in an interactive learning experience to discuss challenges for teaching the Holocaust and strategies for planning appropriate activities for students. This is a facilitated opportunity for teachers to share and learn from one another. Topics covered include resources, choosing which Holocaust related topics to cover in your classroom, and ideas for answering difficult questions. This group will be limited to 30 participants and registration will open soon. For more information, visit the HERC website or contact Barbara Goldstein at
With Appreciation
Around Town
New ONLINE content on Tallahassee Arts Guide 
Check out all the family-friendly, local, virtual offerings including events, classes, workshops, and lessons. Please visit us at to access our resources and to add your own arts-related listings.
Sounds of Tallahassee - Call to Musicians
Vibrant and diverse, creative and innovative - Tallahassee's music community has long been one of our greatest assets. "Sounds of Tallahassee" serves as a portal to the unique musical offerings that make the Big Bend region so special. In partnership with Moose Magnificat Radio and Cat Family Records, COCA offers this auditory adventure. We invite you to be part of "Sounds of Tallahassee," an initiative that promotes area musicians and connects them with new audiences. Any musician living in a 100-mile radius of Tallahassee is eligible for this opportunity. More info here
LeMoyne's Zerbe Zelebration
The Zerbe Zelebration is a citywide multi-media exhibition of Expressionist Movement artist Karl Zerbe’s works marking the 50th anniversary of his retirement from FSU. This Zelebration will kick off LeMoyne's Chain of Parks Art Festival for 2021. LeMoyne Arts will be showing eight never-before-seen pieces for the Zelebration, along with hosting lectures and round table discussions on civil rights, Zerbe’s art journey, and birding. Additionally, the community will encounter engaging social media activities, video interviews, and educational material on the website and social platforms. Teachers can access the free educational materials for use in their classrooms by clicking here.
Student and Adult Volunteers needed for Chain of Parks Art Festival (April 15-18)
The Festival would not be the success it is without the many volunteers who share their talents, their time, and their passion for arts in our community. Sign up to volunteer for just a few hours or every day – either way, join the group of dedicated volunteers who often return each year because it’s rewarding and fun. The 2021 festival will be very different from past years, so your help will make all of the difference. We appreciate your help and flexibility.
As a volunteer you get:
-Proof Brewing personal hand sanitizer
-2021 Cover Art/ Capital City Bank face mask
-You can enjoy the festival for 1 shift after you have completed your volunteer shift as long as you have on a yellow wristband. Click here for the volunteer sign up page. Want to get even more involved? Email to get started.
Southern Shakespeare Company's Sonnet Contest 2021 (April 16)
Students in middle and high school, as well as adult/college aged individuals can enter their original sonnets into the 2021 Sonnet Contest for a chance to win prizes valued at over $1000. To learn more, or to enter the Southern Shakespeare Company’s 2021 Sonnet Contest, click here.
Call for Video Poetry: Emancipation Day Poets for Freedom (May 1)
LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library would like to invite poets aged 18+ to participate in our recognition of Florida’s May 20th Emancipation Day. This day marks the anniversary of when the emancipation was proclaimed in Tallahassee on May 20, 1865.
We are seeking poets to speak about freedom and invite you to create a video of you reading your original poetry to be featured on @LeonCountyLibrary’s Instagram. Click here for more info.
Florida Housing's Statewide Art Contest (Deadline: May 3)
Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) invites kids and teens to submit their visions on the theme: What does home mean to you? The contest aims to increase awareness on the importance of having a home by encouraging kids across the state to use their imaginations to illustrate the meaning of what their home truly means. A Florida Housing committee will review all designs and select the top 40 to be prominently displayed in the Florida Housing Finance Corporation building in Tallahassee in honor of National Homeownership Month in June. Find more info here
Calling all Dancers - USA Dance (Sign up Deadline: May 7)
USA Dance is hosting a 2-day event, to include a Live (in-person) Dance Talent Show. COVID guidelines set by the CDC, State, City & County will be enforced.
Come show us what you’ve been working on for a year and 1/2. Awards will be presented to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place winners. Everyone will get a participation certificate. Click here for more.
KCCI Art of the Box Call for Submissions (Deadline: May 15)
The Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI) is commissioning local artists to transform utility boxes into three-dimensional artwork through the Art of the Box program. Student, emerging, or professional artists are invited to submit original art to be featured on Leon County Utility Boxes (UB). There is no application fee for artists. The UB vinyl wraps will be installed at no cost to artists. Stipends of $200 and $500 will be awarded to the selected artists. Artists younger than 18 years old must have a parent or guardian submit a letter of permission. Click here for more information and to apply.
Tallahassee Youth Orchestras 2021-2022 Auditions (May 23)
Tallahassee Youth Orchestras is now accepting auditions for the 2021-2022 orchestral season for the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Intermezzo Strings. Full details and audition sign-up available here.
CityWalk Shelter Needs Visual Artists and Performers 
CityWalk Shelter is seeking artists who would like to donate their skills to a good cause. We have lots and lots of wall space and invite artists of all mediums to come in and decorate our walls with their art. Click here for more.

CityWalk Shelter is also seeking performance artists and musicians who would like to donate their skills to a good cause. We have lots and lots of space, which means we have plenty of room for concerts, plays and other events. We invite dancers, actors, musicians, and performance artists of all types to come put on a show in our community room. Click here for more.
Opening Nights Presents: Black Violin’s Virtual Student Project
Black Violin enters the student virtual space with an all-new, high-energy, performance that takes their unique blend of classical music, hip-hop, jazz, and pop to new heights. Recorded at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, this engaging, high-definition multi-camera video covers themes of perseverance, exploration, and unity with songs like Rise, Unbreakable, Believer, Dreamer and Impossible is Possible. Embedded in the performance is a message for students and educators about challenging stereotypes and status quo conventions, and that pathways to success require commitment, practice, and unwavering dedication.
Please contact Calla MacNamara at Opening Nights at FSU to receive access to this opportunity at
Thank you Centennial Bank for supporting arts education!
Viral Voices: Sharing Your Pandemic Experience
The Viral Voices: Sharing Your Pandemic Story project empowers Leon County citizens in grades K-12 to share their personal narratives about life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Make your voice heard; we’re looking for your stories, poems, letters, photographs, artwork, spoken word, music and short videos. Share your experience, whether it is inspirational, funny, sad or frustrated. Your stories are part of our County’s history. Click here to learn how to participate.
The "A Town Divided" Education Program
Intended for use by high school teachers, the A Town Divided Education Program features a downloadable package that includes access to the FULL video production of A Town Divided, Southern Shakespeare Company’s original adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – set in Tallahassee, Florida.
The A Town Divided Education Program also offers an accompanying educational video and a classroom resource series which takes a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of A Town Divided and discusses the issues it raises while exploring Romeo and Juliet. Click here for more details.
Art Therapy Services
Mosaic Creative Counseling is accepting new clients for art therapy services! Mosaic is committed to helping clients put the pieces of their lives back together again through art therapy and counseling. We offer a creative and safe space for individuals, families, and partners to discover themselves and move forward in their lives. Mosaic is dedicated to offering trauma-informed and culturally inclusive services to address a variety of client concerns. In addition to art therapy and counseling, we also offer education and training to the community. Click here for more info. 
Call for Arts Mentors at Raa Middle School 
In partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend and Raa Middle School, COCA seeks local visual artists, musicians, dancers, and theater professionals to provide mentoring to middle school arts students in Raa's Magnet Program. These students know they want a life filled with arts experiences and you can show them how. If the arts have been an important part of your life and you want to pass that on, this is the perfect opportunity for you. The commitment is very low, just one hour per week, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend takes care of all the rest at no cost to you. Support these students by helping them develop communication and social skills, positive relationships with adults, as well as a life-long love of the arts. If you are interested or want more details, here or contact Raa's Magnet Coordinator, William Sahely at Visit to sign up to be a mentor.
Did You Know?
April is National Poetry Month and we congratulate all the young, local poets who are spreading their creativity with determination. American writer E.E Cumming’s published a book in 1935 titled No Thanks, a collection of 70 poems. His title was in reference to the 14 publishers that had turned it down before he could finally publish it. He was already an established poet that had written a novel, poetry collections, and plays. He also created a concrete poem on the dedication page of his book in the shape of a funeral urn, listing the names of every publisher who had rejected him.

Click here to learn more about some of our favorite poets.
About the Arts in Education Newsletter
Amanda Karioth Thompson
Assistant Director
Education & Exhibitions Manager
Council on Culture & Arts
To submit listings for COCA's Arts in Education Monthly Newsletter, send a description of 50 words or less to Amanda Karioth Thompson at COCA reserves the right to include or exclude any listing at its discretion and to determine the content and placement of all listings. Deadline for submission is 5:00pm on the fourth Monday of the month.

COCA does not endorse any artists, organizations, or programs listed herein, nor imply stature through their inclusion in this newsletter. While we have made every effort to ensure that this information is correct, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the information.