The Belin-Blank Center features a window installation by renowned artist Lawrence Weiner.

The Belin-Blank Center features a window installation by renowned artist Lawrence Weiner.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ national office in New York City is dedicated to growing and supporting our Affiliate Partners across the country. Our Affiliate Partners 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 Belin-Blank Center at The University of Iowa, which manages a statewide art and writing program as well as the Midwest Region-at-Large program. Here’s what the staff at the Belin-Blank Center had to say about Awards activity in their region:

The mission of the Belin-Blank Center is to empower and serve the international gifted community through exemplary leadership in programs, research, and advocacy. For more than 25 years, we have identified gifted, talented, and artistic learners, and offered specialized educational opportunities for these students. Our outreach to students has always included those whose gifts are in the area of arts and humanities. Read More

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Guests at the 2015 Delaware Exhibit admire the art and writing on display.

Guests at the 2015 Delaware Exhibit admire the art and writing on display.

Last week we announced our February Local Highlight: The Delaware Writing Region! This week we continue our feature and take a deeper look at the recognition that students receive in the region. Local ceremonies and exhibitions are such an important part of the Awards for students who participate. Being celebrated in their communities is a big moment for anyone, and this local program does a great job at showcasing these students talents.

The Delaware Writing Region 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards ceremony took place on February 7th. The Art & Writing Awards exhibit opened on January 20th. As always Delaware State University in Dover, the Delaware Art Region affiliate, generously provides a venue. Each year, families, teachers and community leaders fill the meeting salons at The Martin Luther King campus center. At the Art Center Gallery, laced among the award-winning art works on walls and columns are the mounted excerpts from Gold Key-winning poems, essays, short stories and plays. Read More

1Delaware student takes the stage at Art.Write.Now.Tour 2013 in Washington D.C.

Delaware students take the stage at Art.Write.Now.DC 2013 in Washington, D.C.

I first reached out to JoAnn Balingit about having the Delaware Writing Region as our February Local Highlight because of their awesome Facebook posts. The program does such a great job of showcasing the talented young writers in the region and really engages with the community to bring their work to the public. In our February Highlight, we’ll learn more about how the local program began, who the passionate people are behind the scenes, and what the awesome opportunities for Delaware writers are!

During the 2011 Scholastic Awards season, Kristin Pleasanton, a juror for the Delaware Art Region, was surprised to find our state wasn’t hosting a Delaware Writing Region. As an arts administrator, she knew how valuable a state-level writing contest could be. “The Delaware Division of the Arts is dedicated to cultivating and supporting the arts across our state,” says Pleasanton, the agency’s deputy director. “Encouraging and recognizing the writing talents of middle and high school students is vital to the promotion of the literary arts, and to a lifelong involvement with them.” She contacted JoAnn Balingit, Delaware’s Poet Laureate. Read More


The Scholastic Awards national office is dedicated to growing local affiliate programs across the country, and we are grateful for our long-standing local affiliates who have built strong programs that recognize the talents of creative teens in their communities. The Miami Valley Art Region in Ohio is dedicated to recognizing, showcasing and exhibiting their region’s young artists. We were lucky to catch up with Rebecca Sargent, TEJAS Director, to hear about what’s new in the Miami Valley region, and they’re up to a lot!

Read on to learn more about the Miami Valley Art Region, and  if you are an artist in the region, you can still submit your artwork to the Awards! The deadline for all Miami Valley art submissions is this Friday, January 9, 2015. Read More