BIG ideas… Where do they come from? How do they start? How do you take a big idea and begin to turn it into something tangible? This summer we have asked recent alums to talk to you about their big ideas and how inspiration, process and creativity take their big ideas to the next level!

Seth Boyden was a 2011 Portfolio Gold Medalist in art and now works for Disney and attends the California Institute of the Arts. Above, Seth talks about his inspiration, creative process, current projects, and more! We’ll let Seth take it from here… Read More

Spring is here and with it, an opportunity to click and shoot with the pros at the International Center of Photography’s Teen Academy! NYC-area teen photographers, you have until tomorrow, Friday March 29, to sign up for these classes that begin mid-April and run through June. For film buffs: ICP Teen Academy is one of the few remaining photography schools in which you use real film and have access to a darkroom to develop your photos! Scholarships may still be available ( but you must act fast!

Still from the documentary When I Walk by 2011 Scholastic Awards Juror Jason DaSilva

In 2011, documentary filmmaker Jason DaSilva helped choose the National Gold and Silver Medalists in the Film category as one of our many remarkable jurors that year. Five years earlier, at the age of 25, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis after suffering from a bad fall while at the beach with his family. Doctors told him that the disease could lead to loss of vision, muscle control, and many other problems over the years. But that didn’t stop Jason from pursuing his love of making films and working with the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards to recognize and encourage talented young filmmakers. In fact, he created a documentary about his affliction and the incredible things he encountered along the way. The film, When I Walk, is being shown this week in Utah 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and is a true inspiration. Read More

From Scholastic’s On Our Minds blog. By Anne Sparkman.

Sarah Devlin is a talented filmmaker from New Orleans who took home the Gold in the 2012 Scholastic Awards – and a $10,000 scholarship – for her portfolio of films. They range from music videos to documentaries, from English to French!

A personal favorite among her videos is Writer’s Block. When I spoke to her about it she revealed she was only 14 when she made it – 14, do you believe it?

Check it out:

Read More

Yes, the autumn leaves are falling here in New York, but if you’re an aspiring high school filmmaker, photographer, dancer, jazz artist or simply multi-talented, this is the season to spring into action! Future Artists of the New York City area (that includes all boroughs, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut…you get it, as long as your distance from NYC is “commutable”) are invited to attend an open house at NYU Tisch on September 22, 2012. If you can’t make it, read all about it and apply here for one of the five fabulous free programs that will take place on Saturdays from February to May 2013.  Don’t dilly-dally—the deadline is October 15! For more information, please visit

A scene from Beasts of the Southern Wild. Photo Credit: Cinereach

When Michael Raisler put together his Gold Medal-winning Art Portfolio for the 2003 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, he wanted to share his belief in mankind’s ability to change the world for the better and also his fear of losing that belief. He wrote, “I am trying desperately to believe that communication still exists, that people’s minds can be changed, and that hate can be conquered.” Over time many adults give up on trying to change the world…that is partly what Rings I Can’t Reach represents for me, this idealism that is always present in my life, but seems to be gradually slipping away.” Read More