The orchestra serves as a model for society…you don’t have to like your stand partner, but you do have to start playing at the same time.

-Liz Schurgin, Executive Director of the D.C. Youth Orchestra.

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance approved the acquisition of the Arts for a Complete Education -ACE – program from the Pinellas Cultural Foundation to continue the mission to advocate for and support arts education in Pinellas County Schools, September, 2015.

The arts are basic to a complete education. ACE believes every child in every school should receive a well-rounded education that includes a comprehensive, sequential, high-quality program of arts instruction, taught by certified arts teachers.

The arts offer a perfect opportunity to teach our youth that all they have to do is try, and keep trying even when it’s difficult, a life lesson that will be carried with them forever. Preparing for exhibiting works and performing at public events encourages self-discipline, collaboration, perseverance and pride in accomplishment. The arts provide a healthy channel for emotions and self-expression. All of these benefits contribute to the academic and social development of young artists.

Arts Education is Vital*

  • Students with four years of art or music in high school average significantly better on their SAT scores.
  • Students of low socioeconomic status who are highly involved in the arts are five times less likely to drop out than their peers.
  • Students highly involved in the visual or performing arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement.
  • Students highly involved in the arts are 20 percent more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree and 17 percent more likely to volunteer.
  • Students succeed in the workplace: Arts education encourages and cultivates creativity; and 72 percent of business leaders say creativity is the number one skill they seek when hiring.

*from Americans for the Arts

St. Petersburg Arts Alliance is proud to include ACE Pinellas in its roster of programs and services for our community.

For more information, check out our Education Resources link, or email us at

ACE Pinellas Committee

Lisa Lehmann (Chair)
PCS, Arts Integration Specialist
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 County Arts Education Association ~ President
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 Beatty
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 Bezter
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

ACE is Supported by: