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96th Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Exhibition at Kutztown University

by Kutztown University

Mar 06, 2019

Please note: Original date of March 3 was postponed due to weather forecast. New date is Saturday, March 16.

KUTZTOWN, PA – Presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a non-profit organization, Kutztown University will host the 96th Scholastic Art & Writing Awards on Saturday, March 16, at Schaeffer Auditorium beginning at 1 p.m.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the country’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative students in grades 7-12. In celebration of this year’s regional award recipients, an exhibition and awards ceremony will take place at KU.

The awards ceremony for students, families and teachers will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, during which the scholastic exhibition will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The exhibition is on display in the Miller Gallery in the Sharadin Arts Building from Feb. 24 to March 15. The exhibition is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“We see the talent in our region and are inspired by the commitment these students have to the development of their skills and artistic styles,” said Karen Stanford, director of Kutztown University Galleries and Community Outreach. “Our local art teachers should be commended for their tireless dedication, and the students should be proud of the work that they entered for this competition, even if they did not receive an award this year.”

Stanford served on the jury this year and worked alongside longtime affiliate director, Dennis Danko, to bring the exhibit and ceremony to Kutztown University.

“Having your work jury-selected and perhaps given an award proves that you have talent for success in the visual arts,” said Danko. “We applaud your imagination and skillful creations.”

This program year, nearly 340,000 works of art and writing were submitted to more than 100 Affiliate Partners across the country. 186 creative teens from 24 different schools from Berks, Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties received regional honors, including Gold Keys, Silver Keys and honorable mentions from the local affiliate.

Edna Creelman, a student at Emmaus High School, was recognized with nine awards for her ceramic work: five Gold Keys, three honorable mentions and a Gold Key for a portfolio of work. Creelman studies under art teacher Lisa Caruso. 56 awards were given to students at Emmaus High School this year.

Crystal Santana from Reading Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center received five awards for her paintings and drawings: four Silver Keys and one honorable mention. Santana studies under art teacher Steven Simmons.

Fatima Montero from Liberty High School received 12 awards, including the American Visions Nomination for her digital painting “Coleman.” The American Visions Medal, the highest regional honor, is awarded to one artist from each region. Montero studies under art teacher Heidi Landis.

Other American Visions Medal nominees include Corinne Mammarella from Brandywine Heights High School, Nate Garcia from Emmaus High School, Julie Rears from Exeter Township Senior High School and Eli Dunham from Southern Lehigh Middle School.

Since the program’s founding in 1923, the awards have fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students and garnered a distinguished list of alumni including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Philip Pearlstein, Sylvia Plath, Stephen King, Richard Linklater, Zac Posen and Lena Dunham, all of whom received recognition in the Awards when they were teens.

“We partner with an amazing network of Affiliate Partners who bring the program to life by recognizing and encouraging creative teens across America,” said Virginia McEnerney, executive director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. “Over the course of the program’s nearly century-long history, we’ve learned that this recognition can be life-changing. For many creative teens, their regional Scholastic Award leads to recognition at the national level, where opportunities for exhibition, publication, and millions of dollars in scholarships await those who receive top honors.”

Gold Key works of art and writing in the Awards’ 29 categories will have further opportunities for recognition when they are juried again on a national level by a panel of leading creative professionals. 59 students from the Eastern Central PA region will go on to compete at this level with talented teens from across the country.

National Gold Medalists will be announced in March and will be honored during a special awards ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York City in June. All national medalists are eligible for a wealth of additional opportunities such as inclusion in the Art.Write.Now.Tour traveling exhibition.

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers is grateful for its generous sponsors who provide funds to support and produce the Scholastic Awards at the national level, including Scholastic Inc., The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, Command Web Offset Co., The New York Times, The New York Life Foundation, The Herb Block Foundation, Blick Art Materials & Utrect Art Supplies, Golden Artist Colors, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Entertainment Software Association Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Amazon Literary Partnership; numerous other individual, foundation and corporate funders; and, for the National Student Poets Program, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Poetry Foundation and the Academy of American Poets.

To date, local sponsors include the Allentown Art Museum, Christine Oaklander, Sandy Corpora, The New Arts Program, the Kutztown University Arts Society and Colorfin Ltd.

A complete list of 2019 regional Gold Key Scholastic Art & Writing Awards recipients is available online at For more information about the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, please visit

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