Actor Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver, The Fault in Our Stars) poses with Gold Medal Portfolio recipients backstage at the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Ceremony held at Carnegie Hall in New York, Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Alliance for Young Artists & Writers)

Actor Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver, The Fault in Our Stars) poses with Gold Medal Portfolio recipients backstage at the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Ceremony held at Carnegie Hall in New York, Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Alliance for Young Artists & Writers)

Nearly 800 students, their guests, and more than 100 educators from across the country traveled to New York City in early June for our National Events: a celebration of the 2018 National Medalists. National Events is the culmination of our program year, which begins in September when we open for submissions. For three days, teen creativity is recognized and exhibited and educators are shown appreciation for encouraging their students to create.

The 2018 National Events began on June 6 with Check-In and Ticket Pick Up where students and educators arrived at The Roosevelt Hotel to receive their tickets to the National Ceremony, get their official portraits taken, participate in a fun, creative activity, and buy some Scholastic Awards souvenirs.

2018 Check-In & Ticket Pick Up

That night, parents and their students headed to the AICAD reception to meet with colleges and universities from across the country and learn about their art programs.

2018 AICAD Reception

Then it was time for Maker Prom: a teens-only party for National Medalists! A dance party that includes making-stations, Maker Prom is always a good time! More than a dozen organizations and individuals setup stations throughout the the venue where students could create art, make music, try out new technology, and so much more! Rica Takashima helped students design their own manga buttons; Museo del Barrio was on hand to help students use the traditional Mexican technique of repujado to create a token of appreciation for someone special; Farjana Jasmine and the Scholastic Awards provided DIY henna tattoos; Building Beats showed kids how to create their own music tracks; Lesley Ware of The Creative Cookie used stamps to help teens stamp out their own style; Savannah College of Art and Design showed how to create a simple toss repeat pattern by hand; KoKo NYC made boutonnieres and corsages out of recycled materials and LED lights; NYU Tisch Department of Photography and Imaging provided an interactive photo booth; the 92nd Street Y guided students through the process of cutting and stamping brass pendants to create on-trend, personalized necklaces; Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls had a Create Your Own Song Station where students used iPads and Garageband to create and listen to their own original songs; Art Force 5 had a mosaic-making station; The Metropolitan Museum of Art gave students the chance to make collage buttons; and Minneapolis College of Art and Design demonstrated a printmaking exercise showcasing two 3D printed miniature open-source printing presses and linocut blocks where students had the chance to explore these devices, learn about the process of block printing, and make a miniature print of their choice.

Music was provided by DJ P.U.D.G.E. and a surprise dance performance by Mini Zhang, Taquan Gresham, and Kenneth Herrera kept the party going!

2018 Maker Prom

The event everyone had been waiting for–the National Ceremony–occurred on June 7 at Carnegie Hall. Marc Brown, the Emmy® Award-winning children’s author, illustrator, and creator of the children’s book and television series Arthur, received the 2018 Alumni Achievement Award, which was presented by R.L. Stine, author of the worldwide bestselling Goosebumps series. Throughout the ceremony, Golden Globe®-nominated actor Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver, The Fault in Our Stars), third poet laureate of Philadelphia Yolanda Wisher, and contemporary artist José Parlá encouraged students to pursue their innovative visions, and congratulated them for joining the ranks of notable Awards alumni such as Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath, Kay WalkingStick, and Stephen King.

June 8 started with a breakfast just for educators at Pratt Institute where New Yorker cartoonist Amy Kurzweil led a presentation on using editorial cartoons in the classroom. Afterwards, Student Showcase began! Art and writing from the 2018 National Medalists were on display at Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute’s Pratt Manhattan Gallery. Gold Medal Portfolio recipients gave talks about their creative process, the National Student Poets discussed their year as poetry ambassadors, students participated in a VR drawing workshop, and writing Gold Medalists were invited to read excerpts of their work out loud.

2018 Student Showcase

Although National Events are over, we hope the students and educators will always feel like they are a part of the Scholastic Awards family!

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