Before celebrating the future, Embracing Our Differences staff, donors and patrons took a look back on Dec. 5 at Michael's On East during the organization's annual luncheon.
Embracing Our Differences, which aims to encourage diversity through art, organizes an annual juried art show at Bayfront Park. Since its inception, the submissions to the show have increased from 124 pieces from artists in Southwest Florida to 10,761 submissions from 115 countries, 48 states and 204 schools.
Executive Director Michael Shelton said in a release the increase is indicative of a national conversation — one that makes the work of Embracing Our Differences all the more relevant.
“Sadly, hate isn’t a thing of the past in our society," Shelton said. "Now more than ever, the message of inclusion matters ... Thanks to the passion and commitment of thousands of participants, patrons, and volunteers over these 15 years, ‘embracing diversity’ is no longer just an empty slogan.”