In front of the NYCPF2013 official banner on my way in to the festival!!

In front of the NYCPF 2013 official banner on my way in to the festival!!

Hi! National Student Poet Claire Lee here. I hope everyone’s been having fun this summer and staying cool! I’m working with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers this summer and will be running a weekly blog called Poets on Poets—each week, I’ll be interviewing the other four 2012 National Student Poets Miles, Natalie, Lylla, and Luisa and writing about their year as poetry ambassadors! Anyhow, just wanted to share what I’ve been doing so far this summer, now that my term as a Student Poet is slowly coming to an end—no worries though, I’ll be a National Student Poet Emeritus in the fall—(hello there, two years of mandatory Latin.)

For those who are unfamiliar, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services have partnered with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers to present the National Students Poets Program, the country’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work. Five National Student Poets each represent a different region of the country and are selected through the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. I’m the current Student Poet of the Northeast Region and hail from New York City!

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An audience eagerly waits for Act 1 of Scholastic Awards alum Danna Hargett’s The Importance of Being Earnest to begin in the living room.

An audience eagerly waits for Act 1 of Scholastic Awards alum Danna Hargett’s production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest to begin in the living room.

It’s not exactly shocking to learn that Scholastic Art & Writing Award alums continue to be imaginative and innovative beyond our program—but we recently found one, through our LinkedIn Alumni Group who is “Wilde”-ly creative! We sent young cub reporter, intern and alum Ashley Zhou, to attend Danna Hargett’s unique production of The Importance of Being Earnest. Here’s her report:

“And how did you get in here, dear sir?” Algernon Moncrieff asks a giggling member of the audience.

“I believe your butler let me in,” he replies.

“Is that so? Lane! We must have a talk.”
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Many of us who work at the Scholastic Awards are artists and writers, including our interns! We’re proud to announce that artist Sazia Afrin will have three works on display in a NYC gallery starting tomorrow. Sazia, who has been working with us for two years, is also a fine arts student at Queens College and noticed a call for paintings by BLVCK SOVL Gallery, a pop-up gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Go Sazia!

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Here at the national office, we’ve been very busy processing Northeast Art Region-at-Large submissions, and are currently working with a group of exceptional artists (some of whom are past Scholastic Award winners) to adjudicate all the works we’ve received. We feel very grateful for all of the interns who’ve been helping us throughout the process. All of them are artists and writers too! Here’s what some of them have to say about their experience working here:

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Sophie Friedman-Pappas. Uncertainty. 2011 Gold Medal, Painting.

Sophie Friedman-Pappas applied her Award-winning artistic skills to a fascinating internship this fall. Teen artists and writers take note: According to Sophie, an internship can deepen your creative perspective! Read on to learn about Sophie’s approach to art and her internship at New York City’s Educational Alliance.

When did you first become interested in art and painting? Growing up, I was exposed to art galleries and openings because my mother was a painter. Due to my early experiences with the art world, my work originally consisted of drawings of fairies and dragons.

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From Alliance Summer Intern Rick Morgan:
As an intern with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, I’ve read some great examples of teen writing, and this piece was one of many that stuck out for me. This two-page short short story thrusts the reader into the middle of a dialogue that reveals the past through subtlety and implication. The dialogue in this piece is coupled by an array of minor actions that give the two characters away. The man’s smile, most noticeably, is an uneasy attempt to cloud grief with a fabricated feeling of indifference. Perhaps the most striking aspect of this story is the writer’s use of metaphor. Take, for example, the sentence, “Rocío García Sanchez lives on his back; she is a heavy pair of wings that do not inspire flight.” Though it’s a short piece, a startling amount is revealed about the characters by the end. Their pasts are intimately felt, and their futures are left to your imagination. Read More