Students at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s monthly Art Club series where students connect with their peers to talk inspirations, sketch prompts, and ways to be their best creative selves.

Students at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s monthly Art Club series where students connect with their peers to talk inspirations, sketch prompts, and ways to be their best creative selves.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ national office is dedicated to growing and supporting our local programs. Our Affiliates are doing great work in their communities, and we love hearing about their outreach efforts, their students, and their programs. This month, we shine the spotlight on the Northeast Indiana/Northwest Ohio Scholastic Art & Writing Regions, which are overseen by the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Here’s what the staff at FWMoA had to say about Awards activity in their region:

The Northeast Indiana/Northwest Ohio Scholastic local program gains momentum each year. The FWMoA region is one of only 26 Scholastic Programs in the country to offer the full Art & Writing Program, giving more than 4,000 students in 52 counties the opportunity to compete in this prestigious program. Year after year, the students in our program go on to receive numerous National Medals–54 in 2015!

The 54 Medals ranks the NE Indiana/NW Ohio region as the fourth most decorated Scholastic region out of 115 nationwide. This is the eighth consecutive year FWMoA and its region have been ranked in the top-10 for National Medals given to its Scholastic participants, and the third consecutive year for a top-5 ranking in the same category.

In 2013, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art was awarded the Gold Key for Excellence in the Field by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. This annual award is given to only one organization that demonstrates extraordinary dedication to providing opportunities to creative young people; perseveres through challenges over time; and expands the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program to reach more participants, among other program attributes.

The Alliance selected the Fort Wayne Museum of Art because of its dedication to expanding access to the Awards throughout Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio, implementing innovative solutions to reach students in rural areas, and initiating program enhancements to further strengthen the abilities of participating students and teachers. Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers said, “It is clear that the Fort Wayne Museum of Art values deeply the students and teachers it serves and consistently strives to offer more opportunities and enhance their experience of the awards.”

Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s annual Formal/Funky event where students dress in either Formal or Funky attire to celebrate the National Awards announcements.

Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s annual Formal/Funky event where students dress in either Formal or Funky attire to celebrate the National Awards announcements.

No doubt the Northeast Indiana/Northwest Ohio region nurtures talented students. However, we saw that schools with more resources naturally produced more winners, and we had not traditionally seen success nor high participation from our region’s inner-city schools. In 2014, we set out to change that through an innovative new program called The Hope Gap. The Hope Gap seeks to show inner-city students they can be as successful in the Scholastic Awards as students from schools with more resources. With fewer resources, inner-city students often feel they have already lost. To address this problem, we connected with Scholastic alumni from inner-city schools that have since been successful in their art careers to present virtual lectures to inner-city students to offer encouragement and advice to students on how to create their best art and writing. The results of this new program are encouraging: 3 out of 4 schools that participated in Hope Gap programming in 2014-15 increased students receiving Scholastic awards by at least 50%.

Initiatives like The Hope Gap are hallmarks of the affiliate region directed by the Fort Wayne Museum of Art because we believe in showing students, regardless of income or circumstances, that their very own talents are worth nurturing and are powerful assets in their lives. We will never stop encouraging our region’s teens to put their creative skills to the test and that in doing so, the sky is the limit.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are proud to work with organizations like the Fort Wayne Museum of Art to help talented students receive recognition for their creative efforts. Programs like The Hope Gap help teens develop skills and confidence in their creative abilities. By working together, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and the Scholastic Awards give our youth the support they need to become lasting members of the art and writing communities.

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