Arts Advocates

Arts Advocates Awards $20,000 in Scholarships to 10 Local Students

Arts Advocates is pleased to announce that 10 Sarasota and Manatee county students have been awarded scholarships totaling $20,000 for the 2022-2023 school year. Since 1969, the scholarship program has awarded over $1.1 million to students whose studies include visual and related arts, dance, writing, music, theater, and architecture. All scholarship monies are generated through Arts Advocates activities and donations.

The students will be celebrated during the Arts Advocates general meeting luncheon on May 19, 11:00 a.m., at Bird Key Yacht Club, 301 Bird Key Drive in Sarasota. Several awardees will give presentations or perform: Pablo Gonzalez will discuss his recent commission for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles; John Quigley will engage in a moderated Q & A about his path from U.S. Army to the artist Luca Stine will play the trumpet. Cost is $35 for members and $38 for non-members, and registration is required at

Sophia Coscia is finishing her first year at Carnegie Mellon University, pursuing a B.F.A. in theatrical production and design. She plans to be a projection designer for theater and other spaces such as exhibitions, installations, and immersive experiences. Carnegie Mellon’s annual Playground Festival included a creation by Coscia, which was the only freshman submission to be granted a fully supported piece. Coscia is a second-year Arts Advocates scholarship winner.

Thaleia Dasberg is a student at Barnard College of Columbia University and a third-year Arts Advocates winner. Dasberg’s dream is to create and participate in the interdisciplinary movement and poetry-based performance, exploring how each distinct form can become one onstage.

Lillian Fox is a senior at the Manatee School for the Arts who will attend the University of South Florida.  She is a ballet dancer and a gifted visual artist with a keen eye for detail and design.

Pablo Gonzalez is a student at Parson’s/The New School in New York City, and 2022 is the fourth year he has received an Arts Advocates scholarship. Gonzalez wants to combine his multiple artistic pursuits into producing experiential work, such as audio-visual installations. He was recently a commissioned artist for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles’ First Friday event.

Azure Heck is a senior at North Port High School who will attend Ringling College of Art and Design, majoring in-game art. She hopes to work in places such as Disney or Pixar; her dream job is to work for Nintendo in Japan. She is active in her community and works with the North Port Arts Advisory Board. 

ARts Advocates

Colin Leonard studies at Oberlin Conservatory of Music. This is his second year as an Arts Advocates scholarship awardee. He is a saxophone major studying jazz, but he plays in many different genres on various instruments, including flute, clarinet, voice, piano, guitar, and percussion. Leonard plans to obtain a minor in environmental studies to promote conservation through music.

Emma Pritchett is a student at the University of South Florida working toward earning a dual degree in architecture and urban design. She was an Arts Advocates scholarship awardee in 2020. Her interests include painting, design, architecture, and photography.

John Quigley is a non-traditional student at Ringling College of Art and Design, majoring in illustration with a goal of a career as a storyboard artist. He served in the U.S. Army for eight years with two deployments and an honorable discharge. He continued to work overseas as a private security contractor for the U.S. Department of State for another five years. Quigley stated that it was not until the end of his military career that he realized he could finally consider following his dream of becoming a storyboard artist and concept designer for a major studio. 

Luca Stine is a student at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, where he is majoring in jazz trumpet performance and minoring in classical composition. This is his third Arts Advocates scholarship. Stine was named a National Young Arts winner in jazz composition and has performed at the Newport Jazz Festival. He writes a jazz-classical crossover album with unique instrumentation – trumpet, string quartet, piano, bass, and drums – which he hopes to record soon. 

Katherina Zdravkov will be a fifth-year student at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture.  Upon graduation, she would like to design with a firm in an older American city like Boston, then return to Sarasota to design in a way that expresses the character of her hometown and communicates its traditions and rich history.

Deb Altshul-Stark and Tonya Eubank, Arts Advocates scholarship team co-chairs, agree: “Members of Arts Advocates are proud to support these students in furthering their educations. We are so impressed by the work, optimism, and drive of our awardees. They are bright lights in our collective future.”

To learn more about Arts Advocates, visit

Arts Advocates was founded in 1969 as The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to inspire creativity, advance education, and connect the community to the arts. Arts Advocates has the foremost collection of works by Sarasota Art Colony artists on public exhibition anywhere. The organization awards scholarships to local students pursuing careers in the arts and offers arts-related luncheons, workshops, educational tours, and visits to private collections. To learn more, visit Arts Advocates.

Photos from Arts Advocates

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