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NYC Business Provides World Class Platform for Youth Creativity

Posted by Fransini Alberto Vasquez
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NYC Business Provides World Class Platform for Youth Creativity

Everyone faces challenges; but not everyone has the tools to overcome them. What happens when companies provide resources and recognition to young people to work through these issues in creative, safe spaces? Change.

 

Scholastic Corporation, a New York-based publishing, education, and media company, hosts the yearly Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, recognizing youth creativity in the United States. By combining their company’s mission and their brand, Scholastic has created a powerful platform for New York City’s young artists.

 

The Scholastic Awards were created just three years after the company’s inception in 1920 with the aim of “enlarging the student’s concern for and understanding of today’s world,” and promoting “excellence in creative expression in all fields of learning, literature, and art.” Participants, ranging from grades 7 through 12, submit original works each year in art and writing categories such as architecture, painting, flash fiction, poetry, print making, and video game design. Prominent past award recipients include: Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath, and Zac Posen.

 

Scholastic has attracted like-minded businesses, foundations, and scholarship partners at prestigious institutions like Parsons School of Design at the New School, School of Visual Art (SVA), and Purchase College SUNY, School of Art & Design. The New York Life Foundation Award, co-sponsored by the New York Life Foundation, recognizes “teens exploring issues of grief and bereavement in their creative work and provides six young artists and writers with $1,000 scholarships”. They also partner with major cultural institutions, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they have showcased hundreds of works of art and writing by recipients of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. This is the highest regional recognition, which selects works based on “originality, technical skill, and emergence of a personal voice or vision.’’ New York City students submitted nearly 11,000 works for the 2017 awards, representing more than 300 schools from all five boroughs.

 

The Scholastic Awards are remarkable in their drive to encourage and elevate young artists who choose to work through challenging current events, politics, identity, and emotions. Scholastic Corporation is not only a literary and media company, but an institution that recognizes the importance of elevating young voices, art, community, and their company.

 

Winners of the 2018 awards will be announced this month.

 

Photo: Ghost Realm, Painting by Amadi Rubie, Grade 11, Age 16. Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, Oakland Gardens, NY


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Art & Water: The Two Essentials

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Art & Water: The Two Essentials

It’s been a year since we featured LIFEWTR for their collaboration with artists for the design on their bottles of purified water. The company believes that its dynamic bottle labels is what will give the brand an edge over its competitors. In a Fortune interview, President Brad Jakeman stated “The brand’s purpose is to help emerging artists make it and be popularized and get into pop culture.” Since its launch in 2017, LIFEWTR has featured a new series of artists every three months: Public Art, Women in Art, and Fashion Designers.

 

The current series focuses on arts in education and highlights three young artists from the US and Canada. One of the selected artists, David Lee, has been involved with arts education programs through Inner-City Arts based in Los Angeles. Through this program, students have the opportunity to engage “in the creative process in order to shape a society of creative, confident and collaborative individuals.”

 

In addition to featuring the work of young artists, LIFEWTR recently announced a new partnership with Scholastic, Inc. to bring arts education to classrooms across the country. Teachers will be able to request Classroom Kits, filled with arts supplies selected by the Series 4 artists. With these resources, students are encouraged to create works and submit them to the Ignite Inspiration! Sweepstakes to have a chance for one of the featured young artists to come to their classroom. Considering this company believes “inspiration is as essential to life as water,” it seems natural that it would branch into arts education.

 

For this PepsiCo company, finding and sharing creativity is a hallmark. To see businesses highlight the work of emerging artists on their products is as refreshing as the product itself. 

 

Photo: LIFEWTR bottles with designs by Luis Gonzalez (Boston, MA), KRIVVY (Toronto, Canada), David Lee (Los Angeles)

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BCA 10 Spotlight: Scholastic Inc., New York City

Posted by Mariama Holman
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BCA 10 Spotlight: Scholastic Inc., New York City

Creative, innovative thinking, the hallmark of artists and writers, is fundamental to building economic strength, and new and better ways of seeing the world. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards validates the creativity of students in their teens to encourage them on a path to contribute great ideas that will benefit society.

-Dick Robinson, President and CEO, Scholastic Inc.

 

For more than 90 years, Scholastic Inc., through financial support, in-kind donations, pro-bono services, and employee volunteer hours, has contributed to the literary talents, artistic works, and recognition of children and teens. As the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, Scholastic has contributed tens of millions of dollars to the arts since the company was founded in 1920. Scholastic further encourages a love of reading, writing and art in areas of need by donating millions of books and resources through book grants. The company received a 2013 BCA 10 Award, nominated by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

 

In 1923, just three years after founding Scholastic, Maurice R. Robinson created the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards to recognize the exceptional creative talents of our nation’s youth. Mr. Robinson firmly believed it was important “to give those high school students who demonstrate superior talent and achievement in things of the spirit and of the mind at least a fraction of the honors and rewards accorded to their athletic classmates for demonstrating their bodily skills.”

 

Scholastic ran the Awards in-house until 1994, when a committed board of directors was assembled to start the nonprofit organization Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, which broadened the scope of the program and raised more money for scholarships. Teens nationwide have submitted more than 900,000 original works, and more than $45 million in scholarships has been earmarked for top regional and national Awards winners by partnering colleges. Scholastic has published several novels by teen writers discovered through the Awards and a number of winners have gone on to successful publishing careers, many of them with Scholastic.

 

Each year in the program’s history, Scholastic employees have donated hundreds of thousands of hours to the Arts & Writing Awards. From the very first year and continuing to today, they give their time and expertise by judging art and writing submissions, as well as providing operational, technical, legal, and public relations support. In 2012 alone, more than 150 employees volunteered their time to regional and national judging. More volunteers assist in the production of the Awards ceremony, held each year at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Scholastic has received tremendously positive feedback from staff involvement with the Alliance, finding that the partnership acts as a great tool to keep employees engaged in the workplace. Scholastic’s headquarters in New York City is lined with a collection of student artwork and the lobby of the building houses a rotating exhibition of current award-winning student work.

 

Beyond the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the company believes in the power of art to inspire children to further their literacy skills and embrace reading. This is embodied in the company’s global literacy campaign to support every child’s right to read, Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life., which includes engaging renowned children’s illustrators to create their artistic interpretation of the campaign message through posters.

 

Photo: National Portfolio Gold Medalists at Carnegie Hall with Alliance for Young Artists & Writers Executive Director Virginia McEnerney and special guests, Zac Posen, Terrance Hayes, Usher, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

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