FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
PRINCETON, NJ; June 28, 2017 — On Wednesday, May 24, Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania (YA), the area’s largest arts education non-profit, honored artists, colleagues, and funders alongside students at the 37th 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. Young Audiences’ Distinguished Arts Leaders awardees included YA Trustee Liz Fillo, teaching artist Marilyn Keating, D.A. Graham on behalf of the Trenton Board of Education, and Jeffrey Vega on behalf of The Princeton Area Community Foundation.
“It’s an honor and privilege to receive this wonderful award on behalf of the Trenton Public Schools, especially for the important work of arts education,” expressed D.A. Graham. “This recognition underscores the hard work of all our teachers and our partners at Young Audiences whose lessons of mutual respect, artistic spirit and enjoyment will continue to propel our school district forward.”
“We are honored to receive the NJ Governor’s Arts in Education Philanthropy Award,” said Jeffrey M. Vega, President & CEO, who accepted the award on behalf of the Princeton Area Community Foundation. “We want to create communities where all children thrive, and the arts play a vital role in enriching young lives. We are happy to support programs like Young Audiences, which provides all children with opportunities to experience the arts.
Young Audiences Teaching Artist, Marilyn Keating shared, “I thank Young Audiences for enabling an artist like myself to bring special projects to students who would otherwise not get these opportunities. It’s a win, win, win!”
“I think it’s vitally important that the state acknowledges those who bring the arts to the children of New Jersey, creating better citizens for tomorrow. And I feel privileged to be one of those so acknowledged,” shared Young Audiences Trustee Liz Fillo.
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, a 2016 student awardee participating in a Young Audiences’ 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 recognizing and honoring outstanding young artists and educators with New Jersey Governor’s Awards in Arts Education,” shared Michele Russo, YA’s President & CEO. “The Governor’s Awards also provide a venue for Young Audiences 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.”
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 www.yanjep.org. 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.
Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania