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 Pinellas Committee

Lisa Lehmann (Chair)
PCS, Arts Integration Coordinator
Ajori Spencer
PCS, PreK-12 Performing Arts Specialist
Jonathan Ogle
PCS, Pre-K-12 Visual Arts Specialist
Meghan Alfaro
PCS, Performing Arts Staff Developer
Karen Haraminac
PCS, Pinellas Art Education Association, President-Elect
Amber Turcott
PCS, Pinellas County Music Education Association - President
Jeanne Reynolds
Florida Music Education Association, Government Relations PCS, PreK-12 Performing Arts Specialist, Retired
Sue Castleman
League of Women Voters PCS, PreK-12 Visual Arts Specialist, Retired
Linda Lerner
Retired PCS School Board Member
Steve Beaty
Crosslin Technologies, Chief Executive Officer
Kimberly G. Jackson, esq.
Institute for Strategic Policy Solution, Executive Director (ISPS at SPC) Community and Parent Advocate
Maria Cantonis
Clearwater Arts Alliance, Board of Directors
Susan Betzer
The Florida Orchestra, Development Committee Chair
Michelle Painter
Florida Orchestra, Education and Community Engagement Director
Maria Athanasulis
Retired PCS Music Educator
Karen Dietz
Imagine Museum, Guest Services
Peter Tush
The Dalí Museum, Senior Curator
Sumaya Ayad
The Dalí Museum, School Programs Manager
Julie Henry-Matus
The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, Director of Education and Public Programs
Nate Hettinger
The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, Executive Director
Terry Marks
St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, Chief Executive Officer
Kimberlynn Martin
Director of Education and Engagement, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg
Debbie Freeman
Retired PCS Music Educator

ACE is Supported by: