For 20 years, Monmouth Arts has been celebrating the power of arts education in the county. And this year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, is no different.
The arts advocacy organization announced that the Monmouth Arts Education Awards will take place virtually at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
The awards will honor arts educators, organizations, leaders and advocates, as well as two high school seniors, who will be presented with scholarships to support their higher education art studies.
Honored this year are:
- Middletown Arts Center, Community Arts Education Organization
- Dr. Ryan Brandau of Monmouth Civic Chorus, Community Champion of the Arts
- John Dias, Michael Hurst and Kate Cordaro of Two River Theater, Arts Organization Leaders
- Norma Tolliver of Main Ave Galleria, Arts Education Advocate
- Jill Alexander of Wall High School, Outstanding Educator in Visual Arts
- Cindy Dwyer of Mater Dei Prep, Outstanding Educator in Performing Arts.
The two students honored are Liam Umbs and Anna Zimmer, who both attend Communications High School.
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Umbs, of Monmouth Beach, has studied piano for 14 years and is a student of Marina Strakovsky. He also serves as editor-in-chief of high school’s newspaper. He will study music at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. He was awarded the MC² Scholarship for Performing and Literary Arts, for students of music, dance, theater and creative writing.
Zimmer works under the instruction of Communications High School visual arts teacher Shelley Ortner. She will attend Stevens Institute of Technology this fall, planning to major in Visual Art & Technology. She hopes to design immersive art experiences through interactive technology. She was awarded The Jay and Linda Grunin Scholarship for the Arts, for students in fashion, film, photography and visual arts.
Monmouth Arts programs are made possible in part through funding from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Commissioners, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. For more information, call 732-212-1890 or visit monmoutharts.org.
Ilana Keller is an award-winning journalist and lifelong New Jersey resident who loves Broadway and really bad puns. She highlights arts advocacy and education, theater fundraisers and more through her column, “Sightlines.” Reach out on Twitter: @ilanakeller; [email protected]