Sarasota Art Center and Sunshine From Darkness Present “Off The Wall” Next Month

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week (October 2-8), Art Center Sarasota and Sunshine from Darkness are collaborating on “Off the Wall,” a joint fundraiser to benefit work in support of art and Mental Health Wellness (Friday, October 7, 6-8:30 p.m.). This charity event follows a special panel discussion held earlier in the week on “Art and Childhood Development” which explores the role art plays in the emotional well-being of young people (Wednesday 5 October , 5:30-7 p.m.). Both events will be held at the Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For more information, visit or call 941-365-2032.

Kinsey Robb, executive director of the Art Center Sarasota, said that when Marlene Hauck, executive director of Sunshine from Darkness, approached her about working together to highlight the importance that art plays in mental well-being, she was delighted. “The more we talked, the more obvious the opportunities for meaningful collaboration became as well as the importance of incorporating it into future programming. In addition to these two events, ACS added monthly wellness journaling workshops with Joyce Zimmerman to Education 2022-2023 We fully intend to develop further opportunities to focus on the importance of the visual arts for mental health and well-being.

Robb hopes these events will be a model for the future. “Identifying how the respective missions of nonprofit organizations align can inspire the development of programs and fundraisers that benefit the whole community,” she says. “I believe there are endless possibilities for organizations to work together to create exciting opportunities for meaningful programs and collegial support.”

Off the Wall: Friday, October 7, 6-8:30 p.m.: Art Center Sarasota joins Sunshine from Darkness to present “Off the Wall,” a benefit event for both organizations that offers a range of artistic experiences, including the opportunity to select original works of art on the walls of the gallery. “Off the Wall” also features two interactive art exhibition spaces that encourage participants to express their emotional and creative life experiences. Guests who purchase $150 VIP tickets will take home original artwork donated by over 100 local artists. Guests also have the chance to enter a draw to win a one-of-a-kind sculpture (valued at $3,000) created by renowned architect and sculptor Carl Abbott. Tickets range from $25 (students) to $250, and sponsorships are always available. proceeds support the missions of Art Center Sarasota and Sunshine from Darkness. For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, visit

According to the American Art Therapy Association, artistic expression can decrease anxiety, feelings of anger and depression. Additionally, the creative process can improve cognitive abilities, foster greater self-awareness, and help young people regulate their emotions. Art Center Sarasota and Sunshine from Darkness will explore this potential in art and childhood development: Wednesday, October 5, 5:30-7 p.m. The roundtable examines the role that art plays in the emotional well-being of young people. Panelists include art therapist Lisa Richardson, LMHC; neuropsychologist Amie Austin, Ph.D; and Ethan Weiss, MS, LCSW, child and adolescent psychotherapist. The host is Jane Harris, director of education at the Art Center Sarasota. The event is sponsored by the Lee and Bob Peterson Foundation/Sunshine from Darkness. Registration is $5. To register, visit or call 941-365-2032.

Art Center Sarasota is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide Sarasota with opportunities for creative expression and cultural programs.

Sunshine from Darkness is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for local charities that provide health and addictions disorder treatment services in the Sarasota community and fund cutting-edge mental health research.