Tag Archives: Alliance for Young Artists & Writers

Highlights from the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

The 2013 Portfolio Gold Medalists take their bow onstage at Carnegie Hall
The 2013 Portfolio Gold Medalists take their bow onstage at Carnegie Hall

What a weekend!

First of all, huge congratulations to the students who won National Medals in the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards! As always, we were absolutely blown away by the caliber of the student talent, and this year’s festivities felt extra-special as they marked the Awards’ 90th anniversary. Needless to say, the celebration that took place in New York City this past weekend was nothing short of awesome. More than 800 teens and their families and teachers gathered at Carnegie Hall on Friday night. Outside, the Empire State Building was lit in gold to honor the student winners, while inside, they were congratulated via video by First Lady Michelle Obama, and in person by Sarah Jessica Parker and surprise guest Usher. After the seniors took their bow onstage, Terrance Hayes recognized this year’s National Student Poets, and designer Zac Posen was presented with the 2013 Alumni Achievement Award.

Of course, the star-studded event was amazing, but perhaps my favorite part of the evening was feeling the energy of all those talented teens gathered in one (massive) room; their enthusiasm was practically palpable. Tucked away backstage, I listened as Dick Robinson, the Chairman, President, and CEO of Scholastic, took his place at the lectern to explain the history of the Awards. His father established the program 90 years ago “to give those high school students who demonstrate superior talent and achievement in things of the spirit and of the mind at least a fraction of the honors and rewards accorded to their athletic classmates for demonstrating their bodily skills.” Not that anyone should have to choose between the arts and sports, but as someone who grew up writing and doing theater instead of playing volleyball and soccer like my friends, a chill went up my spine as the audience of creative teenagers burst into appreciative applause. I clapped from backstage, not only for this year’s Award winners, but also for all the student artists and writers out there who could relate to that sentiment… and selfishly, maybe a little for my teenage self.

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90th annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards celebration starts TODAY!

button-2013WebcastAfter much anticipation, the national celebration of the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is finally here! The Awards have a rich, 90-year history of celebrating “students who demonstrate superior talent and achievement in things of the spirit and of the mind,” as Maurice R. Robinson (the founder of Scholastic Inc. and the Art & Writing Awards) once put it. Over the past 90 years, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students through recognition, exhibitions and publications, and the program’s reach only continues to grow. The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers–the nonprofit that has presented the Awards since 1994–now partners with 116 regional affiliates across the country to bring the Awards to local communities, and works with a network of more than 60 colleges and universities to increase the range of scholarship and award opportunities.

The national celebration officially kicks off today! All day long, two giant screens at 1515 Broadway in Times Square will feature the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and tonight, the Empire State Building will be lit in gold to honor the student winners.

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Sarah Jessica Parker and Zac Posen will help celebrate the 90th annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards!

Students will celebrate their accomplishments at Carnegie Hall on May 31!
Students will celebrate their accomplishments at Carnegie Hall on May 31!

2013 marks the 90th anniversary of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the country’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative teenagers. Established in 1923 by M.R. Robinson–the founder of Scholastic Inc.–the Awards are now administered by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and continue to provide students across the country with opportunities for exhibition and publication of their work.

With more than 230,000 submissions, this year’s Scholastic Awards attracted more participants than ever before, and next week, more than 800 of the 1,600+ talented teens who received national honors will make their way to New York City to attend the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall. There, the students will share the spotlight with actress and arts advocate Sarah Jessica Parker and fashion designer Zac Posen, who won a Scholastic Award in 1999 and will be presented with the 2013 Alumni Achievement Award. To top it all off, First Lady Michelle Obama and actress Lena Dunham of Girls (also an Awards alumna) will offer their congratulations via video. Plus–as if this news could possibly get more exciting–the Carnegie Hall ceremony will be webcast live in honor of the Awards’ 90th anniversary so that people across the nation can share in the celebration! For more information on how to register for the live webcast–or to hold an Awards viewing party in your hometown–check out this guest post from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

The national celebration kicks off on May 31 when two giant Times Square screens at 1515 Broadway will feature the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards throughout the day, and the Empire State Building will be lit in gold to honor the student winners. That evening, national medalists and their teachers will be honored at world-famous Carnegie Hall, and the following day, the Awards’ National Student Exhibition will open at Parsons The New School for Design and Pratt Manhattan Gallery. Select Award-winning student art and writing will be on display through June 15, 2013, and starting in the fall, a traveling exhibit of student work entitled ART. WRITE. NOW. will visit cities across the United States. (The exhibition and accompanying public programs are co-sponsored by the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design.) You can view examples of this year’s Award-winning artwork here.

Be sure to join in the national celebration via social media by following the Art & Writing Awards on their Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram, Tumblr, and blog. (Don’t forget to use the hashtag #AWAwards!)

Congratulations to all the winners and students across the country who submitted their art and writing this year. We can’t wait to celebrate your accomplishments next week!

For the first time ever, YOU can watch the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Awards Ceremony!

alliancewebcastEach year, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers awards teens from across the country. The National Awards winners travel to New York City for a breathtaking awards ceremony. (You can see some amazing examples of the award-winning work right here.) Alana Benoit from the Alliance is here with some news about this year’s event — which is also the 90th anniversary of the Awards!

For the first time ever, in celebration of our 90th Anniversary, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards will webcast the 2013 National Awards Ceremony LIVE from Carnegie Hall on May 31 at 6:00 p.m. EST/3:00 p.m. PST. That means YOU can join in! We’re working hard to make this event extra special for everyone, including those who are unable to be at Carnegie Hall. We’re broadcasting this event with all of you in mind!

On May 31, we will be joined by special guests Sarah Jessica Parker and Zac Posen to honor National Awards winners from across the country; recognizing their achievement and the commitment of teachers, friends and supporters that help make the Awards possible. We hope you’ll share this incredible moment with us by watching the Ceremony on our Webcast page.

You can also salute these talented students and engage your community around this one-time only event by hosting a Local Webcast Celebration! We’ve created a toolkit overflowing with fun tips and ideas to make planning a local event a success, no matter how large or small. If you have questions while reviewing this guide or organizing your event, email us at webcast@artandwriting.org. And be sure to tweet about the Awards and our 90th Anniversary Webcast using the hashtag #AWawards!

We’re continually inspired by the work we do and are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate the creative talents of young people.

We hope you’ll join us — from New York City with love!

Six months since Sandy

SandyIt’s been six months since Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast, destroying hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses, and schools, and leaving a devastating path of destruction in its wake. The damage was severe, but from the tragedy also came inspiring stories of courage and resilience. In the affected areas, the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps, a group of kid reporters ages 8-12, wrote about the stories coming out of their own neighborhoods, and we were overwhelmed by touching stories of communities coming together to re-build. In an effort to help the schools and libraries in the regions most severely damaged by the storm, Scholastic pledged to donate one million books, and did our best to supply parents and teachers with recovery resources.

We all respond to tragedies like Sandy in different ways: some volunteer to deliver supplies to those in need; others pledge their time to disaster-relief organizations or donate money to organizations like the Red Cross. And some respond with art or writing that beautifully encapsulates the experience itself.

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running recognition program for creative teens, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers (the nonprofit that administers the Awards) received dozens of submissions that dealt with Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath. One such piece was by Leigh Brooks, a 12-year-old student in 7th grade at Brooklin School in Brooklin, ME, who received a Gold Key for poetry in the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. As National Poetry Month draws to a close, we thought it’d be a perfect time to share Leigh’s poem:

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Creative teens get their due

2013NationalMedalists_AnnouncementThis time of year at Scholastic is always exciting, because we start to hear from teenagers across the country as they anxiously await news about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Today, the winners were announced!

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the country’s longest-running and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative teenagers. This year is their 90th anniversary (!), and today they announced the 2013 National Award recipients. In addition to 1,600+ of the most talented and ambitious students in grades 7-12 chosen to receive national medals, 15 high school seniors were honored with a Portfolio Gold Award, the highest level of achievement — which, apart from providing much-deserved recognition to these talented teens, also provides them with a $10,000 cash scholarship.

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2013 Portfolio Gold Medals: Luisa Banchoff, Arlington, VA; Leah Bydalek, Houston, TX; Christian Caraballo, Jersey City, NJ; Janay Alexandrea Crane, Walkerton, IN; Anthony DeSantis, Greenville, SC; Greg Dugdale, Carmel, IN; Isabella Giovannini, New York, NY; Katiuscia Gregoire, Miami Beach, FL; Patrick Hulse, Fairfax Station, VA; Kathleen Radigan, North Kingstown, RI; Alex Reynolds, Solon, OH; Samuel Root, Quarryville, PA; Emilie Sommers, Albuquerque, NM; Samantha West, Boise, ID; and Anna Xie, Boston, MA. A complete list of winners is available here.

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The relevance of poetry

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The First Family and the National Student Poets

Poetry has a long, enchanting history, but it seems to be dogged by this myth that it’s stodgy, dull, or even – gasp – boring. But if you read poetry like these kids write it, be prepared for that myth to be shattered.

Last year, we announced the National Student Poets Program, a joint program with the President’s Committee on the Arts & the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. The NSPP is the country’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work; through the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, five students from across the country were named. Now, they – the 2012 Class of National Student Poets – are on the ground, making poetry go viral. They’re participating in readings, book festivals and community service projects that will ignite others their age to read and appreciate poetry. And now, they’re on Facebook at National Student Poets Program, where they’ll be talking poetry, but also bridging generations between young and old, emerging and professional, readers and non-readers.

So who are these five poets?

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