NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to recognizing the nation's most talented teen artists and writers, has launched its call for entries for the 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The Awards competition, entering its 89th year, is the nation's longest-running, most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for student achievement in the visual and literary arts.
Creative teens in grades 7-12 are invited to submit work in 28 categories of art and writing, including film and animation, video game design, sculpture, photography, fashion design, poetry, journalism, humor, dramatic script and science fiction. Student submissions are first judged on the regional level by the Alliance's 115 affiliates, with top winning works then presented to national panels of creative leaders to determine which receive the highest honors. This year, joining author Edwidge Danticat as a juror will be curators from major museums, leading journalists, gallerists, artists and established alumnae. Past jurors have included Tony Hawk, Lesley Stahl, Wangechi Mutu, Bill Murray, Judy Blume, and Nikki Giovanni.
"Amazing partnerships with committed organizations are key to the success of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards," said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. "The regional affiliate network, outreach partners, schools, teachers and funders who support our work share our commitment to young people, and affirm that creative accomplishment is a gateway to success in many different fields. Our students thrive with the support of scholarship partners including Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Kenyon College, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Carnegie Mellon University."
Fifteen graduating high school seniors will be awarded with Portfolio Gold Medals, which include a $10,000 scholarship for each winner. Additional scholarships are made available to Portfolio Silver Medalists and through sponsored awards and stipends to summer arts programs. The Alliance will offer more then $270,000 in direct scholarships and awards this year. Teachers of award winners also receive recognition, and hundreds of high school senior award winners are eligible for nearly $4 million in scholarships through a network of more than 60 colleges and universities that recognize the significance of the Awards.
Since 1923, nine million students have been recognized through exhibitions and publications and have shared in more than $25 million in awards and scholarships. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has a long list of distinguished alumni who rose to the top of their creative fields since they won their awards in high school, including Andy Warhol, Robert Redford, Sue Miller, Richard Avedon, Zac Posen, Joyce Carol Oates, Tom Otterness, Sylvia Plath, John Lithgow, Ned Vizzini, Philip Pearlstein and John Baldessari. As the program prepares for its 90th anniversary in 2013, the Alliance is calling all alumni to reconnect and join in the celebration.
The Alliance is proudly supported by Scholastic Inc., the Maurice R. Robinson Foundation, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, AMD Foundation, Command Web Offset, The New York Times, Blick Art Materials, Ovation, New York Life Foundation, Amazon and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
2012 award winners will be announced in early spring. In the meantime, a traveling exhibit featuring work from the 2011 winners, ART.WRITE.NOW, will tour cities across the country. For more information about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, how to enter, reconnecting as an alumni or exhibit details, visit www.artandwriting.org. Plus, find us on Facebook and Twitter.