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The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ Best-in-Grade Award, generously sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is given to two writers and two artists as the most outstanding works in their grade levels. All students who submit to the Scholastic Awards are eligible for this special recognition. Each Best-in-Grade recipient receives a $500 cash prize, and the educators of these gifted students receive a $250 award. This year’s recipients represent the best and the brightest writers and artists in grades 7-12.

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One, Mixed Media by Ella Corwin

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers’ partnership with Grammy Award-winning artist Miri Ben-Ari and her organization The Gedenk Movement continues to flourish. For the 2015 Scholastic Awards, we wanted middle- and high-school students to explore their roles in creating a more tolerant society. The students were asked to create original works of art and writing that reflect upon the lessons learned from the Holocaust and other genocides, with the intent to raise awareness of the importance of increasing tolerance to safeguard a peaceful society. This year, we received more than 5,000 submissions that were self-identified for consideration for a Gedenk Award! Six talented young artists and writers were honored with the 2015 Gedenk Award for Tolerance, along with a $1,000 cash scholarship from Gedenk! The Alliance, Miri Ben-Ari, and Gedenk would like to congratulate the winners. They are:

  • Ella CorwinOne, Grade 8, Age 14, Northshore Christian Academy, Everett, WA
  • Jo de WaalLet Light In, Grade 10, Age 16, Greenwich Academy, Greenwich, CT
  • Lilianna HarrisLegs, Grade 11, Age 17, American Heritage School: Plantation Campus, Plantation, FL
  • Mya NunnallyA House of Leaves Moments Before the Wind, Grade 11, Age 17, Red Bank Regional High School, Little Silver, NJ
  • Lisa QianSquint, Grade 12, Age 17, Home School, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Cadence SeegerVictory, Grade 12, Age 17, Yorktown High School, Arlington, VA

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Anatomical Dissemblance- #3

Anatomical Dissemblance #3, Omar Wiseman

The work of Hannah Richter and Omar Wiseman seems to ask all of us to pause, for just a moment, and appreciate the world around us. These artists want to touch others with their work and for people to walk away with the memory of their drawings and words saved for another day. They use twists of phrases and shifting lines to turn the simple pleasures of life into something much more poignant. Read More

Feel the Burn by Max Johnson via Alliance for Young Artists & Writers on Vimeo.

Comedy is a difficult medium. What’s funny to one person can be a bore to another. This week’s Gold Medal Portfolio recipients, Max Johnson and Ron Anahaw, took a chance with using humor in their art and writing, and it really paid off. What’s really impressive about Max’s work is his distinctive animation style–as soon as you see the title card, you know it’s from Max. Ron infuses his writing with a lightheartedness that makes his characters feel like someone you already know, or want to know. Both of these students know a good joke when they hear it, and are experts at using humor to enhance their work. Read More

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Courtney Buckland, the Alliance’s Associate Manager of Affiliate Services, at the 2015 National Art Educators Association Annual Convention in New Orleans.

As an artist, the National Art Educators Association Annual Convention (NAEA) is my favorite event–I feel like when I arrive I am with my tribe. Big jewelry, rainbow-colored hair, and thousands of art educators, administrators, and even some students about to begin the path to becoming art educators themselves. The fact that this year’s convention was in New Orleans was particularly welcome after the long, cold winter we had in New York City. I was continuously pleased by how much NAEA was able to bring the feel of New Orleans to the convention. There was no shortage of masks, Mardi Gras beads, and sunshine! Read More

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The Youth Poetry Ambassadors pose after a day of performances at the Poetry Foundation. Represented are the National Student Poets Program, Young Chicago Authors, Poetry Out Loud, and the Philly Youth Poetry Movement. Photo by George Gong.

In Chicago, on April 2–3, the National Student Poets Class of 2014 convened at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago to kick off National Poetry Month with a Youth Poetry Assembly. The National Student Poets were joined by their peers representing other programs throughout the nation: Poetry Out Loud, Young Chicago Authors, and the Philly Youth Poetry Movement. The performances were electric, as each of the eleven writers, readers, and performers took to the stage to share their poetry with one another and an open audience of poetry lovers.
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