Photo credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Robert Redford is an Oscar-winning actor, director, producer, environmentalist, philanthropist, founder of the Sundance Film
Festival… and an alumnus of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards! Today we join many in wishing him a very Happy 75th Birthday.

Robert Redford grew up in Santa Monica, California. While in high school, he was active in both sports and the arts. Redford looked up to writer and artist Henry Miller and hoped to follow the same path. Read More

Photo Credit: Austin Irving

You might recognize Waris Alhuwalia from his appearances in the Wes Anderson films The Darjeeling Limited and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Or, you might be familiar his jewelry line, HOUSE OF WARIS. Here at the Alliance, we know him as one the fantastic jurors of our 2011 American Visions award.
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Tony Hawk

This year, we were lucky to have Tony Hawk as a judge for the Video Game Design category of the Scholastic Awards. Tony brought enthusiasm and expertise to an already exciting award. Click through to hear what Tony has to say about creativity and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
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The Decades at "Now Showing," March 9, 2011. Photo by Ronnie Wright.

Recently, the Alliance and some of its good friends got together for a night full of art, fashion, music and fun. Now Showing, which took place on March 9, was a silent auction featuring emerging artists, beats spun by DJ Gilles Wasserman, live music by Max Vernon and a performance by chamber-rock trio Rasputina. To top that all off, there were also literary readings by Lili Taylor and Jesse Eisenberg.
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Years ago, when Richard Avedon was a teenager, his father warned him he’d be “joining the army of illiterates” if he pursued the artist’s way. Avedon went on to make his mark in the fashion industry as a renowned photographer, shooting for Harper’s Bizarre, Vogue and even political and civil rights movements. But before he achieved fame and fortune in the fashion world, Avedon won a Scholastic Award – though not for the category you would think.

Avedon won in 1941 for the poem Wanderlust, written the year before he enrolled in the Merchant Marines as a photographer. What did his father think of this?

Avedon spent the next two years with the Merchant Marines shooting identification photos of his fellow crewman –  using a Rolleiflex camera his father had given him.

American author John Steinbeck found his writing voice during the Great Depression. In this open letter to all aspiring writers, he shares the best writing advice his teacher ever gave him.

Dear Writer:

Although it must be a thousand years ago that I sat in a class in story writing at Stanford, I remember the experience very clearly. I was bright-eyes and bushy-brained and prepared to absorb the secret formula for writing good short stories, even great short stories. This illusion was canceled very quickly. The only way to write a good short story, we were told, is to write a good short story. Only after it is written can it be taken apart to see how it was done. It is a most difficult form, as we were told, and the proof lies in how very few great short stories there are in the world.

The basic rule given us was simple and heartbreaking. Read More