Press Release: Young Audiences Honors Artists, Colleagues, Funders, and Students at the 2016 Governor’s Awards in Arts Education


Young Audiences Honors Artists, Colleagues, Funders, and Students at the 2016 Governor’s Awards in Arts Education

PRINCETON, NJ; June 14, 2016 — On Thursday, May 26, Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania (YA), the area’s largest arts education non-profit, honored artists, colleagues, funders, and students at the 36th annual Governor’s Awards in Arts Education. The Prestigious Governor’s Awards are co-sponsored by the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership and the New Jersey Department of Education. YA awardees included teaching artists Liliana Attar, Patricia Flynn, Laura Marchese and Darrell Wilson and YA Trustee and former board chair, Richard Goldman receiving Distinguished Service Awards. Lenora M. Green, on behalf of Educational Testing Service, received a Corporate Philanthropy Award and students Sean Albertson, Isabela Ertel, and Veronica Rodriguez each received an Arts Education Award.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized for work that I feel is so important, and a privilege to share arts integration experiences in schools through out NJ”, shared master teaching artist and awardee, Laura Marchese. “This work is critical for the future of our children and it’s wonderful to have it acknowledged. Much gratitude to the teachers and administrators throughout the state who facilitate and support out efforts.”


From left to right: Liliana Attar, Darrell Wilson, Isabela Ertel, Veronica Rodriguez, Sean Albertson, Lenora M. Green on behalf of Educational Testing Service, Laura Marchese, Maureen Heffernan, Patricia Flynn, and Michele Russo.

YA Trustee, Richard Goldman said, “I feel humbled and honored to receive the Governor’s Award. I join with so many others who have dedicated their lives and efforts to bring the arts and creativity to our children. Exposure to the arts enhances learning and inspires children in all areas of education. It is essential to “build a better child” and a great adult. I have been fortunate to have had over twenty-five years as a Trustee of Young Audiences to pursue this vital mission.

“The arts play a very important role in providing our students with a quality educational experience that can transform their lives”, expressed Lenora Green who accepted the award on behalf of Educational Testing Services. “The amazing student performances I saw at the awards ceremony are a testament to this. To have the opportunity to help expose students to the arts and make that transformative experience possible for them is a great privilege for ETS.  We are honored and grateful to be recognized with the NJ Governor’s Arts in Education Corporate Philanthropy Award for our work supporting arts education, and we thank Young Audiences for their passion and dedication to the important work of ensuring that all children have access to the arts in their schools.”

The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education began in 1980 to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Each year, awards are presented to approximately 20 educators and 80 students. National and statewide organizations select the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and visual arts and the leaders for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education. The program also recognizes arts educators and arts education advocates, whose leadership has helped nurture the development of students in the arts across the state.

Veronica Rodriguez student awardee participating in YA’s teen arts program said, “This award meant so much to me because it gave me the confidence to continue my work and show it to others. It was great to see my friends get the award also. We represent the new generation of artists and we’re happy to present our creativity to everyone.”

“Young Audiences is grateful to the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership for the opportunity to recognize outstanding young interdisciplinary artists with New Jersey Governor’s Awards in Arts Education”, shared Maureen Heffernan, YA’s Director of Arts & Education. “In most schools and organizations, interdisciplinary student artists often go unnoticed for their achievements. The Governor’s awards also provide a venue for us to honor master teaching artists and both individual and corporate leaders for their distinguished service to provide equal access to the arts for all students. YA is delighted to be a cosponsor and serve on the planning committee of the New Jersey Governor’s Awards in Arts Education.”


Founded in 1973, Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania is the premier arts-in-education resource in the region, providing high-quality performances and artist-in-residence programs to nearly 700 schools each year. Young Audiences’ extensive professional artist roster represents all art forms—from dance and theater to music, language and visual arts. The organization annually reaches nearly 500,000 children pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

A not-for-profit organization, Young Audiences’ programs are accessible to all socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and geographic communities, and are designed to strengthen the arts in schools, meet local and state curriculum standards, involve families in arts activities, and enrich cultural life in New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities.

Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania is the first arts education organization designated as a major service organization by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and, as part of the national network of Young Audiences, Inc., was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. Young Audiences programs are made possible in part through a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. Additional funding comes from foundations, corporations and generous individuals. To learn more, visit To be “social” with us, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @YANJEPA and on Instagram @young_audiences_njepa.

The Governor’s Awards event is a partnership of the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by: the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; Art Educators of New Jersey; Art Administrators of New Jersey; Dance New Jersey; New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; New Jersey Forensic League; New Jersey Music Educators Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; VSA New Jersey and Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government. – See more at:


Denyce Mylson

Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania

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