NEW YORK -- From Alaska to Florida, California to New Hampshire, 900 creative teens will gather in New York City with their teachers and families for a National Celebration in their honor spanning nine days, beginning June 5. As winners of the national 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the country's longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for students in grades 7–12, these talented teens will be honored at an awards ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall with special guests Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation; Emmy and Tony-nominated actor and star of Fox's Glee Matthew Morrison; Jennifer McAllister, YouTube star (also known as JennXPenn); and Donald Lipski, award-winning sculptor and an alumni of the Awards. In addition, students will participate in events throughout Manhattan promoting the arts. This series of programming, hosted by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, is unparalleled in its mission to celebrate the bold ideas of today's youth.
In the 2015 program year, a record breaking 300,000+ works were submitted for adjudication at the regional level, spanning 28 categories such as photography, journalism, comic art, poetry, sculpture and video game design. More than 1,900 teens from 47 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and American schools abroad received national recognition in the 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Notably, 16 high school seniors received the program's highest national honor, the Portfolio Gold Medal, which includes a $10,000 cash scholarship. All national Award-winning high school seniors gain access to a scholarship pool of more than $10 million through Alliance partnerships with esteemed colleges and universities across the United States.
"As a teen, 50 years ago, I won a Scholastic Art & Writing Award. That validation opened my mind to the possibility that I could have my life as an artist," Donald Lipski, Award-winning Sculptor and Scholastic Art & Writing Alumnus, said. "I am thrilled for all the amazing, talented young artists and writers being recognized this year. I hope that one day they will look back and remember it as fondly as I do."
"Being surrounded by the enormous talent of the 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Award winners in New York City is a privilege," Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, said. "The energy and passion that these students bring to their work is unparalleled, and we are honored to be able to recognize them at this stage in their lives. Teen artists and writers continue to push the boundaries of their creativity, as they have for many generations, and we hope that they find confidence in themselves and their work through the Awards and the community that surrounds them."
The 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Celebration schedule includes:
- June 5 to 14 – Art.Write.Now.2015 National Exhibition: Free and open to the public, the Art.Write.Now.2015 National Exhibition at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons School of Design at The New School and Pratt Institute's Pratt Manhattan Gallery will contain more than 1,000 Scholastic Art & Writing Award-winning visual and literary works. For many students, this will be the first public exhibition of their work as they walk in the footsteps of notable Awards alumni including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Sylvia Plath. More recent alumni include Stephen King, Richard Linklater, Zac Posen and Lena Dunham. For more information, visit: http://www.artandwriting.org/student-showcase/art-write-now-2015-national-exhibition
- June 10 – Art & Writing @ Night Annual Benefit: This annual fundraising event at the Metropolitan Pavilion recognizes the program's 92-year-old legacy of supporting the vision, ingenuity and talent of our nation's youth. All proceeds benefit the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Media wishing to cover the event should RSVP to the contact on this release. To purchase tickets for the gala, visit: http://www.artandwriting.org/benefit
- June 11 – National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall: National Scholastic Art & Writing Award winners will be honored at this inspiring ceremony at Carnegie Hall. Chelsea Clinton will make a keynote speech, sculptor Donald Lipski will be presented with this year's Alumni Achievement Award, Matthew Morrison will present the Portfolio Gold Medalists, and for the first time ever, this special event has a new social media twist! Photos and messages from the winners tagged with #GoldKey will be featured throughout the show by social media correspondents Jennifer McAllister and Michelle Tan, Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen magazine. The National Ceremony is invite-only. Media wishing to cover the event should RSVP to the contact on this release.
- June 11 – Empire State Building Lit in Gold: In honor of the talented National Scholastic Art & Writing Award winners, the iconic Empire State Building will shine its tower lights in gold throughout the night.
- June 11 – Maker Prom: Students will also participate in a digital retro dance party. At this teen-only interactive event, co-presented by Hive NYC and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, attendees will have the opportunity to hit the dance floor, create sonic portraits, print 3D frames and more. Maker Prom is invite-only. Media wishing to cover the event should RSVP to the contact on this release.
- June 12 – Student Showcase: Throughout the day, student readings, art talks, film screenings and hands-on workshops will highlight student work while engaging audiences of all ages during the Student Showcase at the Art.Write.Now.2015 National Exhibition. This event will be free and open to the public during regular gallery hours at both the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons School of Design at The New School and Pratt Institute's Pratt Manhattan Gallery.
The Alliance is grateful for its generous sponsors, who provide funds to support and produce all programs, including the Awards: Scholastic Inc., The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, Command Web Offset Co., The New York Times, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, The National Endowment for the Arts, Blick Art Materials & Utrecht Art Supplies, The Gedenk Movement, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Golden Artist Colors, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Duck Tape®; numerous other individual, foundation, and corporate funders; and, for the National Student Poets Program, the Bernstein Family Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
To learn more about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Celebration and to view the winning student work, visit http://www.artandwriting.org.