The Hermitage STAR showcase for families will take place on July 17th

Five art teachers from Florida public schools will present the work they developed during their residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in an interactive presentation on July 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The family event will take place on the Great Lawn of The Hermitage, 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood. It includes short presentations followed by hands-on and interactive activities. Customers can participate in ceramics, selfies and other activities.

The five teaching artists are laureates of the 2021 State Teacher Artist Residency (STAR) program, presented by the Hermitage in partnership with the Florida Alliance for Arts Education:

Megan Boehm

Megan Boehm, a professor of painting at Kissimmee Middle School whose works focus on history, reconstruction and time travel. She’ll talk about her job, then guide guests in a time-traveling selfie.

Kimberley Mullin

Kimberley Mullin, a creative writing teacher at Gainesville High School, will read excerpts from her new work in progress.

Jennifer rodriguez

Jennifer rodriguez, a ceramics teacher at JM Tate High School in Cantonment, will talk about her artwork, which reflects Florida’s flora and fauna, and then invites members of the public to create their own piece to take home.

Eric Troupe

Eric Troupe, professor of music at the Bellalago Academy of Kissimmee, creates original compositions during his stay at the Hermitage; he will perform and then introduce the audience to percussion instruments and invite them to sing and play at the same time.

Laura Wiswell

Laura Wiswell, a painting teacher at the Port Salerno Primary School in Stuart, will lead the group in the creation of an environmental installation that will remain temporarily at the Hermitage.

For more information or to register for the event ($ 5 per adult; children and students under 18 are free), visit

“We can’t wait to see what this latest STAR group will create,” said Andy Sandberg, Artistic Director and CEO of The Hermitage. “It is an honor to celebrate Florida’s leading arts educators, and we are grateful to the Florida Alliance for Arts Education for their continued collaboration, especially to Leiland Theriot for his passion, commitment and belief in the transformative power of arts education.

Florida art educators apply for the Hermitage summer residences through the FAAE. Applications are open to all art teachers in the state, including music, theater, visual arts, dance, creative writing, etc.

Since the program began in 2011, 53 teachers have represented 25 counties in Florida.

For more information on the Hermitage STAR program and how to apply, arts educators in Florida are encouraged to visit For more information on the Hermitage Artists’ Retreat, visit

A helping hand for preservation

The Hermitage Artist Retreat also recently received two major grants that will be dedicated to historic preservation efforts and the artists’ impact in the community.

The organization received $ 110,000 from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation to help restore and rehabilitate the historic Hermitage House. L’Hermitage also received a grant of $ 150,000 from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation for its “Artist Impact SRQ” initiative, an expansion of the Hermitage’s growing community outreach and education programs.

Submitted by Su Byron

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