Our Mission: Awards Program
“Launching Leaders in the Arts” Awards
Chairperson: Marie Garafano
Music Co-chairs: Dawn Spritz and Alice Moerck
Art Co-chairs: Sue Cotton, Pat Robertson, Joan Peters, Audre Marans
Letters Co-chairs: Francesca Simon, Maddy Ginsberg, and Judy Allen
The Sarasota Branch Annual Awards Program has been our main community service mission for more than three decades. The primary purpose of the program is to encourage, promote, and award high school seniors who choose to pursue a college education the fields of creative writing, music and art. These competitions are open to graduating seniors in all public high schools in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Sarasota Pen Women are committed to encouraging our youth in self-expression, creativity and to fostering further interest or education in the arts. Working with teachers in the fields of writing, music and art, students are encouraged to enter our competition to win monetary awards, to support their first year of college.
The winning students take center stage at our Annual Awards Luncheon, exhibiting their art, reading excerpts from their literary work and performing their musical compositions. Our 2021 winners will receive their monetary awards and ribbons at the Bird Key Yacht Club, at the luncheon attended by teachers and parents on a date to be announced. Additional opportunities will be afforded to the winners to display their art work, have their writings in print and participate in musical performances as we help to “launch” our students in the arts. Complete information, competition rules and entry forms will be posted here.
This community outreach program was the brainchild of Pen Woman Betty Altman, an artist, who served as the first Program Chair for the Student Incentive Awards Program, which began in 1987. She generously supported the awards program with an annual check. When she passed again in 2013 her family continued to support our program. We are grateful that Gene Altman, son of our Beloved Betty, continues to contribute toward the Visual Arts Awards and presents them to the students at our luncheon, through the Altman Foundation. We welcome corporate and private contributions, which will enable us to increase the number of awards given to our college-bound youth pursuing careers in the arts.