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The Marriage of Arts, Economics, & Education

Posted by Tim Mikulski

The NABE Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), and Americans for the Arts will present Paul Vancea with the the 2013 NABE Foundation Americans for the Arts Scholarship Award later today in Washington, DC.


The Scholarship Award was established in 2008 to encourage the integration of the arts into the economic education process. Recipients of the scholarship must come from economically disadvantaged households and have attended public school. Successful candidates demonstrate long-term participation in the study of, creation in and/or performance in one or more art forms, including dance, music, theatre, literary, visual/media arts; excel academically; and have formally declared the intent to study economics for policy purposes, or in applications in the private and public sectors.


The scholarship recipients are selected following a competitive review process which begins with a pre-screening of applicants by Americans for the Arts, followed by a review of finalists by a sub-committee, and ratification of recipients by the NABE Foundation Board.


Vancea is receiving a scholarship in the amount of $5,000 to support the study and application of economics in his undergraduate studies and professional career. He is currently a junior at Brandeis University, majoring in Economics, Business, and Film. 

Upon graduation, he hopes to find a way to combine economics and finance with film, whether this means making videos promoting certain policies or socially conscious businesses, short economics educational tutorials, or a meaningful feature film depicting and encouraging new, more socially responsible business models.


Last year’s scholarship recipient, Amy Serrano, recently shared her thoughts on what the scholarship meant to her over the past year:


“First, I just want to thank the National Association of Business Economics and American for the Arts for providing this scholarship targeted at students just like me, students who merge the music and the arts portion with business and economics. It truly was the highlight of my life last year. It was a model and award that I was beyond blessed to have been selected and given.


Since receiving the scholarship, many lives have been changed and will be affected well into the future. The direct support of the award helped me finance my MBA degree at Point Loma Nazarene University. Through the MBA program, I have been learning applicable strategies and principles of economics and business. Right away, I have been able to apply these conceptual economic models to plans for my startup music business.


The music studio that I started several years ago has now blossomed into a live performance business. We provide live music, musicians, DJs, and bands for weddings, private events, and parties. As I near my MBA degree, I have been applying all the information I learned to my once small startup. It has grown tremendously, and we are looking forward to all of the expansion and change underway. The plan is to grow a bilingual music conservatory where we can provide music lessons, performing opportunities for musicians, and a recording studio for growing artists.


Looking into the future, the scholarship will continue to reap rewards from its investment into the MBA program. I am also partnering with my fiancé in another startup company. Sustainable Organic Foods is a food production system involved with aquaponics and hydroponics. It’s an innovative business in which they raise fish, leafy greens, and sell to local businesses. Through this innovative model we plan to train people and send them to developing countries to teach how to run their own economic systems of fresh water, fish, and greens.


It is because of the support of American of the Arts and NABE that I have been able to almost complete my MBA degree and apply the knowledge to those in my community and around the world.


From here on out, I will have the opportunity to share their work and be an ambassador anywhere I go—letting everybody know, especially those looking to pursue economics, business and the arts, about this great blessing to have been awarded the scholarship, and that its possible for them as well!”


We are very proud of Paul, Amy, and the previous scholarship winners and we hope to continue this important collaboration with The NABE Foundation for the forseeable future.


*This article was originally posted on ARTSblog.

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