'Embracing Our Differences' honors teen's words about tolerance

March 5, 2013 

About 2,000 people submitted quotations for consideration in this year's "Embracing Our Differences" art exhibit.

The one that came from 13-year-old Grace Castilow, a seventh-grader at Booker Middle School in Sarasota has been named "Best in Show."

"No one deserves to be limited by another's perspective" are her winning words.

Exhibit organizers were impressed that such a young person could express a profound sentiment so simply.

"To be able to express such a complex thought in a few words at a young age is priceless to us," said Gisele Pintchuck, the associate executive director of Embracing Our Differences.

The annual "Embracing Our Differences" exhibit pairs quotes with billboard-sized artworks that celebrate acceptance and diversity. The pieces in this year's exhibit were chosen from about 4,000 submitted from all around the world.

Pintchuck said it hadn't been determined which piece of art would be paired with Castilow's quotation.

Embracing Our Differences, the Sarasota-based non-profit that organizes the exhibit, conducts workshops in local schools to help children learn how to express their feelings about tolerance and diversity in pithy statements.

"A lot of children know what they want to say," Pintchuck said. "They just don't know how to say it."

The free outdoor exhibit will be on display March 31-June 2 in Sarasota's Island Park, for the 10th straight year. This year, for the first time, It's also coming to the Anthony T. Rossi Waterfront Park downtown Bradenton (March 31-April 29) and to North Port High School (May 1-June 2).

Information is available at 941-323-1010 or www.embracingourdifferences.org.

-- Marty Clear

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