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Black Tie International
Center for Creative Education




John Pescosolido, Kenn Karakul, Dianne LaRoe, Tom Pilecki, Shawn Berry.

John Pescosolido, Kenn Karakul, Dianne LaRoe, Tom Pilecki, Shawn Berry.  Photo by:  Lucien Capehart Photography





            WEST PALM BEACH – Creating a Chinese-themed tile mural, writing and performing songs to learn how plants and insects interact, designing and sewing puppets representing key Harlem Renaissance artists, these are just a few examples of how Center for Creative Education artists incorporated art into the way area students learned subjects such as reading, math and social studies during the 2008 -09 school year.  To honor the artists for this year’s most outstanding projects in CCE programming during in- and after-school hours, CCE artists, board members, staff and friends gathered recently at "Portiuncula," the home of Tom Pilecki, Executive Director of CCE, for the annual Artist Awards Party.

            "The Artist Awards Party is a special evening to thank and recognize our artists for the hard work they do during the school year with area students," Pilecki began.  "Through our in-school and after-school programs, our artists enhance the way students are learning everyday subjects.  Each program is unique and special in its own way.  Annually we spotlight a few projects that made a huge impact on the children involved by recognizing the artists with the Ralph Hamilton Award – the most distinguished award at CCE that is named for the former director of development at the MacArthur Foundation and co-founder of CCE."

            The not-for-profit Center for Creative Education uses the arts to enrich and transform a child’s educational experience. The arts are infused into classroom curriculum and after-school settings to enhance the teaching of traditional subjects – improving each child’s learning potential and academic performance,  increasing overall enthusiasm about school and shaping more productive, responsible community members that exercise creative problem solving throughout life.   Since its inception in 1994, more than 70,000 students have benefited from CCE, inspiring their love of learning through the arts.  Currently CCE has more than 40 artists on their roster.  

            This year’s outstanding in-classroom project Ralph Hamilton Award went to John Carlile and Rae Randall for their Interdependence of Plants and Insects program with more than 120 third graders at Jupiter Farms Elementary School.   Honorable Mention went to Ronni Gerstel for her Harlem Renaissance project with the fourth grade students at UB Kinsey Elementary School.

            The Ralph Hamilton Award winners for the outstanding after-school project were Graciela Binaghi, Jean Hart Howard, Dave Tripp and Jashua SaRa for their Rites of Passage Celebration project at West Riviera Elementary Beacon.  Honorable Mention went to Kaki Holt for her Plant and Eat a Rainbow project at Belvedere Elementary School.

            For more information on CCE programming, please contact Shawn Berry, Director of Educational Programming for the Center for Creative Education at 561.805.9927 or




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