On March 16, 2020, the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers announced the national award recipients of the 2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, including the sixteen recipients of the program’s highest honor, the Gold Medal Portfolio Awards, which include $10,000 scholarships. The nation’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for young artists and writers in grades 7–12, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards serve as a launchpad for furthering students’ future success by providing them with access to scholarship programs and workshops, as well as the ability to have their work published and displayed in regional and national exhibitions. To learn more, and to find a complete list of the 2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards national recipients, visit: artandwriting.org.
The 2,900 works of art and writing receiving national medals were selected from the more than 18,000 works awarded regionally with Gold Keys. This year, nearly 320,000 works were submitted in total to the Awards by students from every state in the nation for adjudication. Students had the opportunity to submit to any of the Awards’ 29 categories—including short story, fashion design, photography, memoir, printmaking, poetry, and novel writing—as well as a variety of sponsored award scholarships, including the New York Life Award, which encourages students to explore themes of grief in their art or writing. The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers will hold a week-long series of events in New York City the first week of June, including a ceremony at Carnegie Hall on June 4, to celebrate the success of these talented students.
Chris Wisniewski, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, said: “The mission of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has always been to recognize creative potential and to give students a platform to explore their creativity, and it has been incredible to see how this year’s National Medalists have expressed themselves in such thought-provoking and innovative ways through their craft. Throughout our 97-year history, we have been proud to count visionaries like Tschabalala Self, Stephen King, Kay WalkingStick, Charles White, Joyce Carol Oates, and Andy Warhol among our esteemed alumni, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for this new class of National Medalists.”
2020 Gold Medal Portfolio Recipients
Gold Portfolios, Art:
- Drew Conrad, Franklin, MA
- Ariana Diaz, Miami, FL
- Val Jett, Louisville, KY
- Jasmine Mason, Richmond, VA
- Charles Rounds, Jackson, MS
- Jerry Sheng, Lakeville, CT
- Shi (Scott) Yan, Wichita, KS
- Jessica Yim, Granite Bay, CA
Gold Portfolios, Writing:
- Sam Bowden, Wyoming, OH
- Emory Brinson, Charlotte, NC
- Isabella Cho, Winnetka, IL
- Jeffrey Liao, Livingston, NJ
- Luz Manunga, Jacksonville, FL
- Ayush Noori, Exeter, NH
- Vitoria Sana Perez, New Orleans, LA
- Jieyan Wang, Moscow, ID
2020 Special Scholarships
- The New York Life Award: Provides six scholarships of $1,000 each to students whose work explores personal grief, loss, and bereavement, and exemplifies how the arts can act as a positive outlet to cope with these issues. This year’s recipients are: William Dondero, Summit, NJ; Nathan Ferency, Charlotte, NC; William Leggat, Andover, MA; Georgia Schill, Goffstown, NH; Imani Skipwith, Brookhaven, MS; Sky Stockton, Saint Joseph, MI.
- One Earth Award: Sponsored in part by the Salamander Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation, this award provides four students with $1,000 scholarships for creative works that encourage the awareness of, and meaningful responses to, pressing issues of human-caused climate change. Additionally, special awards are also available for two students from each of the following states: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. This year’s recipients are: Katherine Chuliver, New York, NY; Priya Dalal-Whelan, Golden Valley, MN; Andrew Kim, Palo Alto, CA; Minnie Zhang, Richmond, VA.
- The Herblock Award for Editorial Cartoon: Sponsored by The Herb Block Foundation, the Editorial Cartoon category celebrates the legacy of four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Herb Block and his remarkable contribution to American history and free expression. The three teen artists who will receive $1,000scholarships for their outstanding drawings, illustrations, or animations offering commentary on current events or political topics are: Gina Bae, Palo Alto, CA; Steve Dou, San Jose, CA; Yarlhin Lopez, New York, NY.
- Civic Expression Award: Underwritten by The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, this award provides $1,000 scholarships for original works of art or writing that promote responsible civic life. The six recipients are: Olivia Bigtree, Syracuse, NY; Camryn Dixon, New York, NY; Kathryn Hart, Richmond, VA; Jeffery Keys, Livingston, NJ; Faith Nguyen, Wexford, PA; Tiffany Onyeiwu, Meadville, PA.
- The Alliance/ACT-SO Journey Award: In partnership with the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO), this award provides travel stipends for up to ten select ACT-SO scholars who receive National Medals to attend the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall. This year’s recipients are: Jack Anderson, Washington, D.C.; Destiny Bocas, Towson, MD; Jeffery Keys, Livingston, NJ; Jacob Roberts-Baca, Albuquerque, NM.
- Additional Awards and scholarships for students are made possible through the support of Blick Art Materials & Utrecht Art Supplies, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Command Companies, the Kuehner family, The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, The New York Times, the Quadracci family, The Roome Fund, and Scholastic Inc.
2020 National Events (New York, NY)
- June 4, National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall: The national Gold Portfolio, Gold Medal, and Silver Medal with Distinction recipients will be honored at Carnegie Hall, with appearances by notable celebrities and creative leaders.
- May 29–June 5, Art.Write.Now.2020 National Exhibition: More than 1,000 of the top Scholastic Art & Writing Awards visual and literary works will be on display for the public at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York City.
All art and writing submissions are blindly judged based on the same three criteria that have been in place since the program’s founding: originality, technical skill, and emergence of personal vision or voice. Student works are first adjudicated regionally through more than 100 local Affiliates of the Alliance. Students receiving Gold Keys, Silver Keys, Honorable Mentions, or American Visions & Voices Nominations are celebrated within their communities through exhibitions and ceremonies. Gold Key works are then judged nationally by an impressive panel of creative-industry experts to receive Gold, Silver, American Visions & Voices, and Gold or Silver with Distinction Portfolio Medals.