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National Teen Recipients Of The 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Celebrated At Carnegie Hall

Contact: Allyson Barkan, abarkan@scholastic.com, 212-343-3469 

Celebrity guests Tina Fey, Rose Byrne, Zac Posen, Tracy K. Smith and Astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz honor America’s most creative teen artists and writers

NEW YORK, NY – June 7, 2019 – More than 800 teen artists and writers were celebrated Thursday evening at the world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York City as National Medalists in the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards—the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning actress, writer and producer Tina Fey (SNL, 30 Rock) opened the ceremony by giving insight into her experience as a creative individual working in the arts, as well as advice for the students as they move forward in their lives, regardless of the paths they choose. Lucianne Walkowicz, prominent Astronomer at the Adler Planetarium and co-founder of The JustSpace Alliance, received the 2019 Alumni Achievement Award, which was presented by fellow Scholastic Art & Writing Awards alumnus Zac Posen, fashion designer and founder of luxury brand House of Z. During the ceremony, Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actress Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids, Damages) and 22nd poet laureate of the United States Tracy K. Smith took the stage to congratulate students for their exemplary work, encouraging them to remain true to their craft. 

“The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are honored to continue their long history of celebrating and empowering our country’s young student artists and writers,” said Christopher Wisniewski, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. “This year, we saw nearly 340,000 works submitted to the program and felt the honesty, authenticity, power and beauty in the work. Teen artists and writers continue to push the boundaries of their creativity and create discourse on the issues and topics most important to them. We are proud to provide a platform for them and honor them with this recognition.”

More than 2,700 teens in grades 7–12, ages 13 and up, from the U.S., Canada, and American schools abroad received national recognition, including 16 high school seniors who received the program’s highest national honor—the Gold Medal Portfolio—along with a $10,000 scholarship. The Alliance annually provides more than $300,000 in scholarships to top Awards recipients and continually partners with esteemed colleges and universities to make scholarships available for college-bound National Medalists. 


From 2nd left to right, 2nd row, Tracy K. Smith, 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress, writer and producer Tina Fey, Chairman and CEO of Scholastic Richard Robinson, fashion designer Zac Posen, astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz and Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actress Rose Byrne, are pictured with Gold Medal Portfolio recipients backstage at the National Ceremony for the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards held at Carnegie Hall in New York, Thursday June 6, 2019. (Stuart Ramson/AP Images for Alliance for Young Artists & Writers)

For more photos and video from the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Ceremony, visit: http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/artandwriting#downloads

2019 National Ceremony Quotes

Tina Fey, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress, writer and producer: “Having the experience and achievement of what you’ve already done, the great thing is that no matter what you end up doing, you’ve already accessed the creative part of your life and of yourself. You have all had the experience of making something where there once was nothing, so you know that anything is possible.”

Lucianne Walkowicz, prominent astronomer, multimedia artist, former chair of Astrobiology at the Library of Congress, and 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Alumni Achievement Award Recipient: “As someone who’s made their career in the sciences as opposed to the arts, I really have found it challenging at times to maintain space for my artistic practice in my life. In part that’s because there are 24 hours in a day and you’re supposed to eat and sleep some of that time, but also it’s because we live in a world where people sometimes try to put us in boxes so that we can be easier to define. And that is to be resisted at all costs.”

Rose Byrne, Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actress: “Know your power, know that your vulnerability can also be your power, keep asking questions, keep listening, keep being creative and keep striving.”

About the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and are made possible through the generosity of Scholastic Inc., The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, New York Life Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, Command Web Offset Co., The New York Times, Blick Art Materials & Utrecht Art Supplies, The Herb Block Foundation, Golden Artist Colors, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Entertainment Software Association Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Amazon Literary Partnership, and numerous other individual, foundation, and corporate funders; and, for the National Student Poets Program, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Poetry Foundation.

For more information about the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, visit www.artandwriting.org

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