You Can't Escape the truth, Painting by Sydney Fleisher, Grade 10, Age 15.

You Can’t Escape the Truth, Painting by Sydney Fleisher, Grade 10, Age 15.

Do you have a strong point of view about political or social matters? Are you really interested in what’s happening in the news and want to make your voice heard? Well, great news! To encourage students to use their voices, the Scholastic Awards offers two new and exciting opportunities!
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The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ Best-in-Grade Award, generously sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is given to two writers and two artists as the most outstanding works in their grade levels. All students who submit to the Scholastic Awards are eligible for this special recognition. Each Best-in-Grade recipient receives a $500 cash prize, and the educators of these gifted students receive a $250 award. This year’s recipients represent the best and the brightest writers and artists in grades 7-12.

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One, Mixed Media by Ella Corwin

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers’ partnership with Grammy Award-winning artist Miri Ben-Ari and her organization The Gedenk Movement continues to flourish. For the 2015 Scholastic Awards, we wanted middle- and high-school students to explore their roles in creating a more tolerant society. The students were asked to create original works of art and writing that reflect upon the lessons learned from the Holocaust and other genocides, with the intent to raise awareness of the importance of increasing tolerance to safeguard a peaceful society. This year, we received more than 5,000 submissions that were self-identified for consideration for a Gedenk Award! Six talented young artists and writers were honored with the 2015 Gedenk Award for Tolerance, along with a $1,000 cash scholarship from Gedenk! The Alliance, Miri Ben-Ari, and Gedenk would like to congratulate the winners. They are:

  • Ella CorwinOne, Grade 8, Age 14, Northshore Christian Academy, Everett, WA
  • Jo de WaalLet Light In, Grade 10, Age 16, Greenwich Academy, Greenwich, CT
  • Lilianna HarrisLegs, Grade 11, Age 17, American Heritage School: Plantation Campus, Plantation, FL
  • Mya NunnallyA House of Leaves Moments Before the Wind, Grade 11, Age 17, Red Bank Regional High School, Little Silver, NJ
  • Lisa QianSquint, Grade 12, Age 17, Home School, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Cadence SeegerVictory, Grade 12, Age 17, Yorktown High School, Arlington, VA

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Miri

You’re all familiar with the Gedenk Award for Tolerance and the inspiring work of The Gedenk Movement, but we wanted to give you a closer look at the inspirations of co-founder Miri Ben-Ari! Miri took the time to answer some of our most wondered questions, giving us a look into her passions and hopes, and also gave words of advice to all of us that work creatively.

Through the Gedenk Award for Tolerance, students create original works of art and writing to show the importance of cultivating tolerance and safeguarding a peaceful society, based on the lessons learned from the Holocaust and other genocides. You can see the work of last year’s recipients here!

Now let’s hear from Miri!

Alliance:  What inspired you to co-found Gedenk?

Miri: I founded the The Gedenk Movement seven years ago because I discovered the urgent need to expand youth education about the Holocaust in order to promote tolerance. As a third generation to Holocaust survivors, I was appalled by studies showing that 50 percent of kids graduating high school in America don’t even know what the Holocaust is. What’s even more concerning is the fact that the young generation doesn’t think that the Holocaust is “relevant” to their lives. I explain more about this in my recent blog on the Huffington Post A World Without Tolerance. Read More

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Laura Fennessy, 1942, Grade 10, Age 15, Auburn High School, Auburn, NY

Last year, with The Gedenk Movement, co-founded by CEO Miri Ben-Ari, Grammy award-winning violinist and producer, we launched The Gedenk Award for Tolerance. We saw so many powerful and stunning works! The Gedenk Award for Tolerance saw an unprecedented number of submissions in its first year, many students created original works of art and writing to show the importance of cultivating tolerance and safeguarding a peaceful society, based on the lessons learned from the Holocaust and other genocides.

We’re excited to see what is submitted by students for the 2015 Awards, and are sure that the examples from last year will serve as inspiration. Take a peek at all of last year’s Gedenk Award for Tolerance recipients! You can even hear from some of the medalists themselves. Read More

scholastic_awards_logo_rgbGedenk

This year we partnered with Grammy Award-winning artist Miri Ben-Ari and her organization The Gedenk Movement to present a brand new award opportunity for Scholastic Art & Writing Awards participants. This new award asked middle and high school students to create original works of art or writing that reflect upon the lessons learned from the Holocaust and other genocides, with the intent to raise awareness of the importance of increasing tolerance to safeguard a peaceful society. In just this first year, we received over 2,500 submissions from creative teens around the country, and six young artists and writers whose work exemplified this mission were presented with the 2014 Gedenk Award for Tolerance along with a cash scholarship sponsored by Gedenk! The Alliance, Miri Ben-Ari, and Gedenk would like to congratulate the winners. They are:

      • Ross Cardillo, Value, Grade 12, Age 18, Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto, CA
      • Alissa Damato, Religious Rifle, Grade 12, Age 18, Centreville High School, Centreville, VA
      • Laura Fennessy, 1942, Grade 10, Age 15, Auburn High School, Auburn, NY
      • Lily Gordon, Reconstruction Wings, Grade 9, Age 14, Bard High School Early College, New York, NY
      • Elodie Nix, Dust, Grade 7, Age 11, John Jay Middle School, Katonah, NY

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