2016 SHINE Mural Festival - Artist: Apexer



ACE, Arts for a Complete Education, began in 1989 as a collaborative effort among the Florida Department of State/Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Arts Council, and the Florida Department of Education. The overarching goal is to support and promote arts education. With the support of the Pinellas County Arts Council, and later the Pinellas Cultural Foundation, the ACE Pinellas coalition grew to be a model for other coalitions in the state.  In September 2015, ACE became a committee of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.

The ACE committee brings together artists, cultural organization staff members, business professionals, parents, school district arts educators and other community members. Meeting monthly, it is not surprising that over 26 years, Pinellas county schools and the arts community have built a strong, successful partnership.   ACE has been honored to present the work of this coalition at state and national conferences such as those presented by Americans for the Arts.

ACE’s mission is to promote arts education in Pinellas County Schools.

ACE goals include:

  • Serve as an advocate for arts education for all students
  • Monitor decision-making as it affects arts education
  • Educate the community about arts education issues
  • Develop and support collaborations among schools, artists, arts organizations and the community

The ACE – Pinellas County Schools’ partnership has positively impacted the lives of tens of thousands of students. Whether ACE is working with the school district to ensure that music and visual arts are taught in designated arts rooms, or working to ensure that school schedules allow all students access to the arts, ACE coalition members are seen as partners with the district.

Current Activities:

Annual Principal’s Appreciation Breakfast
Arts education is successful through the cooperation and collaboration of teachers, administrators, and especially the support of principals. This spring breakfast event celebrates that collaborative effort, with a program of student performances and noted speakers.

School Board Advocacy
Attendance and monitoring of all School Board meetings; meetings with newly elected school board members; annual meeting with area superintendents.

Legislative Advocacy
Meetings with current and newly elected legislative delegation members; attendance at School Board’s annual legislative delegation event.

Public Advocacy
Participation in Pinellas County Council of PTA’s Fall Workshop; distribution of ACE e-newsletters to principals & administrators; email recognition of National Arts Education Week; production & distribution of ACE brochure & advocacy reports.

ACE is Supported by:

2020 - 2021 ACE Principals Appreciation Thank You

2019 - 2020 ACE Principals Appreciation Thank You

ACE Pinellas Committee

Daryn Bauer
The Florida Orchestra

 Steve Beaty
Arts Advocate, St. Petersburg Arts Alliance Board Member

 Dr. Susan Betzer
Arts Advocate, The Florida Orchestra Board Member

 Maria Cantonis
Clearwater Arts Alliance and Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg Board   Member

 Sue Castleman
Retired Pinellas County Schools Visual Arts Supervisor, Arts Advocate

 Brenda Dannewitz
Retired Music Teacher, Pinellas County Schools

 Madeline Dunsizer
Retired Instrumental Teacher, Pinellas County Schools

 Kay Eaton
Pinellas County Council PTA Rep, Reflections Chair

 Vicky Hagedorn, PhD
Retired Elementary Music Teacher, Pinellas County Schools

 Kimberly G. Jackson, Esq.
St. Petersburg College Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions, St. Petersburg Arts Alliance Board Member

 Lisa Lehmann
Grants Manager, Elevate ARTS, Pinellas County Schools

 Kimberlyn Martin
Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg

Julie Matus
The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art

Jacob Merrett
Music Teacher, Lakewood High School, Pinellas County Schools

 Jonathan Ogle
Visual Arts Supervisor, Pinellas County Schools

 Joseph Papich
Arts Advocate, St. Petersburg Arts Alliance Board Member

 Judith Powers
Arts Advocate, Artist

Sharon Reid-Kane
VP Education & Outreach, Ruth Eckerd Hall

 Jeanne Reynolds
Retired Performing Arts Supervisor,  Pinellas County Schools

 Karen Santangelo
Visual Arts Teacher, Pinellas County Schools; PAEA Rep

 Ajori Spencer
Pre-K-12 Performing Arts Specialist, Pinellas County Schools

Frank Williams
Retired Instrumental Teacher, Pinellas County Schools

Meghan Alfaro
K-12 Performing Arts Instructional Staff Developer, Pinellas County Schools

Sue Castleman
Board of Trustees, Morean Arts Center, Visual Arts Supervisor PCS (retired)

Danielle Garcia
Director of Education at ArtsXchange

Kimberly G. Jackson
Arts Advocate

Michelle Kim-Painter
Museum of Fine Arts

Linda Lerner
Retired School Board Member, Pinellas County Schools

Lauren Reagan
Board Member, Pinellas Art Education Association, Art Teacher PCS

Jeanne Reynolds
Government Relations Chair, Florida Music Education Association; PCS Perf Arts Supervisor (retired)

Maria Athanasulis
Music Teacher

Karen Dietz
Imagine Museum

Sumaya Ayad
School Programs Manager, Dali Museum

Peter Tush
Curator of Education, Dali Museum

Julie Matus
Director of Education & Public Programs, The James Museum

Matthew Abernathy
Artistic Director, Master Chorale of Tampa Bay 



ACE Newsroom

January 11, 2021
Seventh-grader Eva Kohler's artwork, titled “Beach Fun,” was selected as the Pinellas County...
October 09, 2020
A nationwide effort for children, young adults, families and classrooms to write letters to...
September 22, 2020
Creative Generation is working to ensure that the next generation reaches their full potential to...
August 06, 2020
BACK-TO-SCHOOL Arts Education Roundtable Hosted by Harlem Stage & TYA/USA Monday, August 17 at 4...
July 14, 2020
The Arts are Alive in Pinellas County Schools! Arts Education in the time of COVID-19 Visual and...
May 18, 2020
This year from May 25-31, International Arts Education Week aims to increase the international...
February 18, 2020
Cheers to the teachers and students of Johns Hopkins Middle School for the beautiful new artwork...
April 03, 2019
Every year, ACE – Arts for a Complete Education, a program of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance,...
January 16, 2019
Dr. Michael A. Grego received the 2019 Florida Music Education Association’s Superintendent of the...
November 29, 2018
Cheers to the hard work and dedication of the Tarpon Springs Outdoor Performance Ensemble ! These...
September 12, 2018
Passed by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 designates the week beginning with the second...
February 06, 2018
The All-County Choral Concert was held on January 22, 2018 at Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall . It...
October 27, 2016
History ACE, Arts for a Complete Education, began in 1989 as a collaborative effort among the...
August 29, 2016
The ACE Pinellas mission promotes arts education in Pinellas County Schools. The Pinellas County...
October 27, 2015
“ The orchestra serves as a model for society…you don’t have to like your stand partner, but you...