Center for PAInT

Initiatives & Events

The Center for PAInT provides opportunities to affect positive change by building an arts-integrated infrastructure in Florida schools. Through Education Outreach Programs, PAInT offers a variety of resources that are designed to integrate multiple forms of the arts curricula, using the following goals:

  1. Collaborate with interested arts organizations and Florida school districts in the development of frameworks for arts integrated courses in schools and professional development activities, using multiple delivery methods for arts integrated teaching in different content areas.
  2. Collaborate with arts, civic, school, and community organizations to provide Florida schools with a sustainable arts-integrated teaching framework.
  3. Expand visibility and disseminate best practice arts integration models/programs.

All educational leaders, educational practitioners, and staff in the Center for PAInT partnerships follow the Florida State Standards. PAInT:

  1. Seeks agreements that provide technical assistance and support to the Florida Department of Education, school districts, private schools, charter schools, and educator preparation programs in the implementation of evidence-based arts integrated instruction, assessment, programs, and professional development.
  2. Provides continued technical assistance and support of arts-integration for ongoing use.
  3. Conducts a gap analysis and plan a structure for school districts, schools, and education preparation programs to implement evidence-based arts integration programs.

Diversity, Access, Inclusion, and Equity

The Center for PAInT provides resources that lead to equal access to arts integration pedagogy in Florida’s Pre-K through 20 educational institutions by:

  1. Offering arts-integrated teaching support to Florida schools and school districts with disproportionately low rates of arts programs.
  2. Replicating successful arts integration programs in Florida’s Title I schools, and
  3. Removing barriers to the implementation of arts integration in all Florida Schools.  

The Center for PAInT provides systemic and rigorous content that leverage critical and creative thinking for Florida’s students and teachers by promoting, encouraging, and supporting the arts as an essential part of education and lifelong learning.

The Center for PAInT Programs

Careers in the Arts - The Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE) partnered with The Center for PAInT at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus to host a FREE workshop designed to inspire and guide middle and high school students in the pursuit of creative careers.

See Photos | See Videos from the 2018 Careers in Arts workshop.


Careers in the Arts

The PAInT across Florida

The PAInT across Florida program provided arts integration professional development opportunities to school districts and arts and cultural alliances throughout Florida. The Center for PAInT, in collaboration with the Florida Arts Educators Alliance, provided professional development for Florida educators that were led by teaching artists in Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Lee, Leon, Sarasota, and Manatee counties to help teachers apply techniques of arts integration and provide a setting for practice and reflection.

Lee County – March 2, 2019 

Arts Integration Strategies, TBA 
North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts 
1856 Arts Way, North Fort Myers, FL 33917
See Photo and Video Gallery

Manatee County – March 9, 2019 

Focus 5 Acting Right with Jessie DiLorenzo 
University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus
8350 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243 
See Photo and Video Gallery

Duval County – March 22, 2019 

Arts Integration Strategies in the Math Classroom 
Lavilla School of the Arts
501 N Davis St, Jacksonville, FL 32202
See Photo and Video Gallery

Broward County – April 3, 2019 
Early Learning Arts Integrated Reading Readiness Strategies 
Florida Center for Arts Integration (Gulfstream Early Learning Center) 
120 SW 4 Ave, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
See Lesson Plan
See Photo and Video Gallery

Hillsborough County – April 27, 2019 

Hillsborough County Public Schools Instructional Services Center 
2920 N 40th St, Tampa, FL 33605
See Photo and Video Gallery

Leon County – June 5, 2019 
Opening Nights at FSU
FSU Turnbull Conference Center, 1st Floor
Ballroom 555, West Pensacola St., Tallahassee
See Workshop Handout
See Photo and Video Gallery


Circus Science


The PAInT Circus Science Program 

The PAInT Circus Science Program - a partnership with The Circus Arts Conservatory. STEAM lessons are all Arts Integrated, bringing together typically disconnected subjects so that students can arrive at a more meaningful and authentic understanding. The learning activities promote collaboration, critical thinking, and knowledge retention with motivation to learn. All lessons follow the Florida State Standards for Force and Motion.

CreatED Crayola

The PAInT CreatED by Crayola workshop

The PAInT CreatED by Crayola workshop helped supervisors and coaches in Manatee County to explore the parallels between written and visual literacy. They reviewed the crosswalk between Art Standards and Language Arts Standards; used the Art Elements and Principles of Design to decode illustrations; and used an author and illustrator crosswalk to see parallels in how they use symbol systems to convey meaning; decode visual insights and extend stories.

Business of Creativity

The Business of Creativity

The Business of Creativity was a series of six seminars that focused on innovation and the arts in the business and technology sectors. The seminars were held for the Cross College Alliance (CCA) faculty and community to actively discuss how creativity can be incorporated in CCA classrooms by using new technologies for student engagement. The universal language of the arts in promoting the Business of Creativity engaged participants to learn new and future technologies for future innovations. The sessions enabled extensive engagement related to the use of technology in designing sustainable products, processes, and elements for circular global economy. The Business of Creativity Seminars afforded opportunities for participants to share and contribute their classroom experiences, develop new skills, expand pedagogy, and diversify teaching and learning formats.

The Future of Eco-Innovation

The Future of Eco-Innovation, a Business of Creativity Mellon Grant seminar was presented by Joel Thompson, Eckerd College and Dr. Sally Chambers, Selby Gardens, who discussed new business models in green growth to address the global environmental challenges enhanced by advanced technologies. Radical systematic eco-innovations emerging from the exponential increase in devices create the need for universities to educate and prepare participants for a future workforce driven by green jobs supporting natural science, botany, ecology, marine biology, and special technologies.

The Business of Computer Games

The Business of Computer Games was a Business of Creativity Mellon Grant seminar, which provided a solid foundation in the computer gaming industry. The facilitators helped participants design computer games that support environmental technologies and make global connections.  Giti Javidihas worked to develop new curricula and programs for computer science education with the goal of engaging a wider audience and bridging the gender gap in STEM Fields. Her primary research is grounded in methods found in the field of Human Computer Interaction and its intersection with data visualization with many dimensions over a wide variety of data types. FUNducation supports and empowers communities to engage children in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, S.T.E.A.M. Their goal is to launch, develop, and sustain S.T.E.A.M. programs that inspire children to learn to go beyond conventional solutions and become innovative thinkers in S.T.E.A.M. fields.

The Business of Robotics

The Business of Robotics was a Business of Creativity Mellon Grant seminar, which focused on technical jobs fostering green transformation are growing in the US and globally. Strategies are being developed in Green Technology both nationally and internationally to improve existing technologies. This seminar introduced the use of robotics for careers in autonomous technology, smart manufacturing, and ecologically-sound industries. The seminar also emphasized transforming technology for recognizing and/or creating patterns, shapes, audio, video, content, graphics, and data using robots. This seminar motivated participants to employ robotics in artistic product design and development. The presenters were: Dr. Ehsan Sheybani, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus, and Kuniko, Origami Air Art Studio.

Michael Lasser, Music Historian: America’s Songs I and II

Michael Lasser, Music Historian: America’s Songs I and II was a PAInT/Arts and Cultural Alliance community event that helped to promote understandings of the benefits of Arts Integration pedagogy and arts in schools and community. Michael Lasser talked about how songs illustrate historical moments and historical change in the 20th century. His topic was “Illuminating History: The American Popular Song.” 

The Arts Literacy Program

The Arts Literacy Program was presented to Early Learning Teachers for Grade Level Reading. PAInT supports the focus on ELC’s mission to prepare children for lifelong success through quality early learning. In that regard, PAInT worked collaboratively with Embracing our Differences to ensure that Sarasota and Manatee Counties’ Early Learning Teachers received training. The presenter was Shelly Dorfman from Grade Level Reading.


The play, the [M]others - a collaborative effort of the USF Office of Multicultural Affairs, the PAInT Center at USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, and New College of Florida, resulting in a presentation of a Preview Stage Reading of the documentary play, "The [M]others", written by Nikki Yeboah. The [M]others explores the stories of four women brought together by the unimaginable experience of losing a loved one at the hands of police. This documentary performance weaves together their interviews to explore the traumatic effect of the event on their lives. Through their memories, we are introduced to a young man with dreams of playing professional football, a new father just getting to know his son, a former addict on the brink of turning his life around, and a sixteen-year-old boy shot just a day before his seventeenth birthday. The [M]others brings their untold stories to the stage.

PAInT Arts Integration Miami

The PAInT Arts Integration Miami afforded students to build upon their knowledge of the instrument families by learning to compare and contrast the sizes, shapes, science of sound, and timbres of the instruments and associate their sounds with the Prokofiev melodies partnered with ARTZ OUT LOUD and the South Florida Symphony Orchestra to create a lasting memory of the dynamic language arts and musical lessons of Peter and the Wolf for students in Miami-Dade County.

Historically-Speaking and the Write a Play Program

The Historically-Speaking and the Write a Play Program was provided to teachers and students in collaboration with PAInT and the Florida Studio Theatre. These programs brought lessons in literacy, theater, and arts integration to Florida’s classrooms.  

PAInTing the Pictures of Autism

PAInTing the Pictures of Autism was a collaboration with PAInT, USF Sarasota-Manatee campus Office of Disabilities, the USF Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs, Easter Seals, The Haven, and Embracing Our Differences. The workshop featured the talents of students/adults from Sarasota Manatee who are diagnosed on the Spectrum. The topics included Awareness, Acceptance, and Misconceptions about Autism. This event was a part of Autism Awareness Month. It included student performances, artwork, and discussions. The speakers were: Denise Davis-Cotton, PAInT, Jacque Ruch, Easter Seals, and Sarah Wertheimer, Embracing Our Differences.

PAInT Center Hosts Summer Arts Camp July 15-19, 2019

 Booker Middle School students will attend a Creativity and Innovation Summer Arts Camp at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus. Twenty Rising 7th Grade students will make discoveries and learn new skills through use of a variety of arts-integrated techniques that include circus science, creative writing, origami, environmental arts, and STEAM. The Florida center for Partnerships for Arts Integrated Teaching (PAInT) will find a new adventure led by the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus professors and teaching artists. Explorations of the tortoise habitat by Dr. Edie Banner will be combined with experience to create environmental art with David Skaggs. Creative writing enrichment discussion by Dr. Su Senapati will be incorporated with the magic of math and origami by teaching artist, Kuniko Yamamoto. Students will make connections with technology and Persian Art through the process of coding led by Dr. Giti Javidi and make t-shirt designs with professional artist, Samira Dehghania. They will earn, grow, create, and connect with STEAM robotics lead by Dr. Ehsan Sheybani. PAInT’ Center Director, Dr. Denis Davis-Cotton says that the one-week camp will generate unforgettable exciting learning experiences in arts integration. The students will produce art and share their knowledge about English, math, social studies, and science.


PAInT and USF Sarasota-Manatee Go WILD!

The Florida Center for Partnerships for Arts Integrated Teaching (PAInT) at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus will host Project WILD/Aquatic July 30, 2019. USF Sarasota-Manatee campus professor, DR. Edie Banner will workshop using curriculum by Florida Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The Project WILD/Aquatic workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 30, 2019 in the Selby Auditorium. The workshop is based on arts integration principles— “Arts integration is a diversity of knowledge, programs, experiences, and inspirations that bring meaning to ideas and content through human interactions.” Dr. Eddie Banner will incorporate the art, science with the environment. Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton will lead a session on art integration pedagogy. The Project WILD/Aquatic workshop engages educators in hands-on, teacher-friendly wildlife-based conservation and environmental instructional activities. Teachers will focus on Florida’s wildlife and habitat. Upon completion of the workshop, teachers will receive the WILD/Aquatic curriculum and activity guides that contain innovative and interdisciplinary ready-to-use classroom and outdoor activities. This workshop is open to K-12 Florida educators. The $10 registration includes breakfast, lunch, and free curriculum materials.

Undoing Racism®: Transforming Communities through the Arts

The PAInT Center, in partnership with New College of Florida invited The People’s Institute to facilitate the Undoing Racism®: Transforming Communities through the Arts, to be held at the Selby Auditorium July 12-13, 2019, and the Cooke Auditorium and at New College on Sunday, July 14, 2019.

PISAB will strive to provide the following anticipated outcomes, using the arts to transform communities.

  • Develop a common definition of racism and an understanding of the different forms it takes - individual, institutional, linguistic, and cultural;
  • Identify ways that the arts and arts education communities can create change in school and community cultures.
  • Identify ways that arts educators can lead the way in achieving equity and equality across all cultures and races.
  • Focus discussions on what racism is, where it comes from, how it functions, why it persists and how it can be undone.
  • Develop a common language and analysis for examining racism in the United States;
  • Understand one's own connection to institutional racism and its impact on his/her work;
  • Understand why people are poor and the role of institutions in exacerbating institutional racism, particularly for people and communities of color;
  • Understand the historical context for how racial classifications in the United States came to be and how/why they are maintained;
  • Understand the historical context for how U.S. institutions came to be and who they have been designed to serve;
  • Understand how all of us, including white people, are adversely impacted by racism every day, everywhere;
  • Surface assumptions about how your work is (or is not) affected by racism;
  • Develop awareness and understanding about ways to begin undoing racism®;
  • Gain knowledge about how to be more effective in the work you do with arts education constituencies, arts organizations, Sarasota-Manatee communities, and families;
  • Understand the role of community organizing and building effective multiracial coalitions as a means for undoing racism®.


Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., June 29-July 4 and July 6-9, 2017

The Florida Center for the Partnerships for Arts Integrated Teaching at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus (PAInT)  in partnership with Circus Arts Conservatory (CAC) demonstrate the transformative power of teaching science through arts integration at the 50th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Images and video from the most recent festival are available on the Smithsonian Folklife Festival blog. Visitors explore language, engineering, math, science, theatre, and visual arts, using circus vocabulary and applying circus activities to unify their learning discoveries through active demonstrations. Students, parents, and educators participate in 45-minutes inside fun, energetic, and creative learning spaces! They certainly want to do more within an environment of artistic and academic excellence. Lesson topics are: Circus Lingo; The Circus Machine; Calder Activities; The Teeter Board; and The Flying Trapeze.  Participants explore and learn about the works of Alexander Calder, a renowned artist and sculptor, whose explorations of motion in “Calder’s Circus” introduced “mobiles” into his sculptural and pictorial compositions. They analyze Calder’s mobiles to develop an understanding of his artwork and reflect on the culture of his works.

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is a free 10-day, research-based, educational, living cultural exhibition, organized by the Smithsonian Institution on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol. Attracting more than one million visitors annually and reaching another 40 million through the media, the Festival features a variety of traditions, cultures, peoples, and occupations. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is scheduled so that it always falls during the Fourth of July Holiday and in 2008, the Festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage’s philosophy is to join high-quality scholarship with strong community service and educational outreach. This has led to activities that have affected policies and practices at local, national, and international levels. Programs and products have earned serious scholarly review, popular acclaim, broad media attention, and professional recognition in forms such as Academy, Emmy and Grammy awards. The Center focuses on providing specially-designed marketing programs to meet the needs of sponsors through the well-known Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Smithsonian Global Sound, Cultural Research and Education, Cultural Heritage Policy, the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives, and its signature event – the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

For more information about activities from the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, or for additional lesson plans, please contact:

Denise Davis-Cotton, EdD
Coordinator of the Florida Center for PAInT

To learn more about the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, check out:

Professional Development

The Florida Center for PAInT seeks to provide and connect faculty, educator preparation candidates and P-12 teachers and administrators with professional development opportunities that foster their ability to effectively integrate the arts across the curriculum. From workshops with teaching artists, to guest lectures and special events, the Center helps develop the ability of educators at all levels to explore arts integration as a means to transform teaching and learning.

Arts Schools Network, Jacksonville, Florida, October 22 – 25, 2019

Science Circus

Circus Science? Yes!

Experience the thrill of physics, gravity, force, and motion integrated with Circus Arts! Engage in hands-on activities that reinforce science concepts through model lessons.  Sarasota, Florida’s treasured institution, the Circus Arts Conservatory (CAC), engages in partnerships with the Florida Center for Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT) Center at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus to make learning meaningful and memorable. Interact with professional clowns from the circus as they demonstrate important science concepts for K-8 learners using the circus arts. Explore the wonders of circus science and apply circus activities in your classrooms to unify learning discoveries through active demonstrations. The PAInT Center is Florida’s state resource for arts integration instruction and high-quality community partnerships Presenters: Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton, PAInT Center Director, Karen Bell, Education Manager, Circus Arts Conservatory, and Robin Eurich, Circus Arts Conservatory

Florida Alliance for Arts Educators (FAAE) Summit

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, June 19 – 22
Arts Integration: PAInT across Florida                                   

Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton and Karen Bell Circus Arts Conservatory, Participate in outcome-based arts-integrated instructional practices provided by the Florida Center for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT). Participants will engage in Circus Science explorations, a model example of PAInT Center activities! These experiential learning experiences ensure that students are actively engaged while learning essential skills needed for enduring success in school and in life. PAInT is a Statewide Center at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus that provides a collaborative university/community infrastructure for developing partnerships that support arts-integrated teaching.


Arts-Integrated Teaching: PAInT, Circus Science, and the Magic of Puppets

Daytona Beach, Florida, June 22-24, 2017                         

Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton, Coordinator, FL Center for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT) at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus
Larry Engler, Poko Puppets
Karen Bell, Circus Arts Conservatory

The powerful form of discourse arts-integrated teaching is demonstrated through collaborative partnerships.  Davis-Cotton, Engler, Bell and Eurich present outcome-based arts-integrated instructional practices provided by the Florida Center for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT). The session includes how PAInT forms partnerships with local schools, professional artists, cultural and university institutions to offer professional development and strategy trainings. Participants are fascinated by the explorations of constructing the creative art of puppet making and bringing puppets to life! They also learn how to make simple machines through the wonders of circus science. PAInT is a Statewide Center at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus that provides a collaborative university/community infrastructure for developing partnerships that support arts-integrated teaching.

For more information about the Center for PAInT events, contact:
Denise Davis-Cotton, EdD
Director of the Florida Center for PAInT