FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK, NY — More than 660 creative teens from across the country will gather at Carnegie Hall in New York City tomorrow evening to be recognized as national recipients of the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the country’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for students in grades 7–12 – administered by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Special guests honoring these teen artists and writers include: Alec Baldwin, Billy Collins, Tim Gunn, Sonia Manzano, Hunter March (Awesomeness TV) and more. Award-winning filmmaker and documentarianKen Burns, who received a Scholastic Art & Writing Award when he was 17 years old, will be presented with the Alumni Achievement Award.
In addition, students will have their works on display at the Art.Write.Now.2016 National Exhibition. This curated exhibit of the National Medalists’ work will be free and open to the public from June 2-12 at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons School of Design at The New School and Pratt Institute’s Pratt Manhattan Gallery. The exhibit will feature more than 1,000 original visual and literary works. The “Student Showcase,” held on June 3 at the galleries will engage audiences of all ages with student readings, art talks, and film screenings highlighting student work, as well as hands-on art workshops. To view the work, visithttp://www.artandwriting.org/galleries.
- 2016 Program Year: A record-breaking 320,000 works of art and writing were submitted for adjudication at the regional level in the Awards’ 29 categories, which include poetry, photography, sculpture, humor, editorial cartoons, video game design and more. 2,500 teens from 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and American schools abroad received national recognition.
- Gold Medal Portfolio recipients: 16 high school seniors received the program’s highest national honor, the Gold Medal Portfolio, which includes a $10,000 scholarship. In total, the Alliance awards more than $250,000 in scholarships annually to top Awards recipients. The Alliance also partners with art institutes, colleges, and universities to earmark scholarships for college-bound Scholastic Awards recipients.
- Notable Alumni: Since the program’s founding in 1923, the Awards have fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students, including renowned alumni who have gone on to become leaders in their fields, including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Philip Pearlstein, Stephen King, and Sylvia Plath. More recently, Richard Linklater, Zac Posen, and Lena Dunham received Scholastic Art & Writing Awards when they were teens.
- Sponsored Awards: The first-ever Editorial Cartoon category, sponsored by The Herb Block Foundation, celebrates the legacy of four-time Pulitzer Prize–winning political cartoonist Herb Block and his remarkable contribution to American history and free expression with a $1,000 scholarship to 3 teen artists. The Neiman Marcus Awardsprovide one $1,000 scholarship for outstanding work in Fashion and one $1,000 scholarship for outstanding work in Jewelry. The RBC “Flaunt It” Award, sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada, is a $1,000 scholarship that celebrates teens’ outstanding work, whether in art or writing, that explores the theme: “The things that make me different, make me, me.” Additional Awards and scholarships for students are made possible through the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, The New York Times, and the Gedenk Movement.
Ken Burns, Filmmaker
“I could not be more honored than to join these young men and women on this extraordinary night. Little could I have imagined when I was 17 and submitted my essay that I would be standing here today. But that essay did, in some ways, influence everything that has come since, both my professional work of course but really every part of my life. The arts and humanities are an essential part of who we are as a people. But as Scholastic so often reminds us, they are equally important to us as individuals. They make our lives richer. I’d like to thank the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers for the recognition tonight – and for that recognition many, many years ago. But most I applaud the Scholastic Awards and the Alliance for all that they do to educate our youth and to keep the arts alive for all us.”
Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers
“It’s a true honor to see the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Award recipients walk onto the iconic Carnegie Hall stage and be recognized by their fellow teen creative leaders, families, mentors and educators for their awe-inspiring works of art and writing. The talented teens are the voice of their generation and we are privileged to celebrate them on a national level for their unique vision. I know we are witness to the next Andy Warhol or Sylvia Plath or Ken Burns.”
The Alliance is grateful for its generous sponsors, who provide funds to support and produce the National Scholastic Awards: Scholastic Inc., The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, Command Web Offset Co., The New York Times, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, The Herb Block Foundation, Blick Art Materials & Utrecht Art Supply, the Royal Bank of Canada, Golden Artist Colors, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Neiman Marcus, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Gedenk Movement; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; numerous other individual, foundation, and corporate funders; and, for the National Student Poets Program, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
For more information about the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, visit the Scholastic media room:http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/artandwriting.