Elevate the Arts Contest Grant Winner

posted Sep 23, 2013, 1:07 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Oct 30, 2013, 9:00 AM ]

The St. Mary of the Lake 2012-2013 fifth grade (now the sixth grade) has been declared a runner-up in a collaborative art contest. The class won a $2500 grant for the art program for St. Mary of the Lake School. The grant contest, sponsored by American Girl, in partnership with Americans for the Arts, was inspired by American Girl’s 2013 Girl of the Year, Saige, an imaginative and spirited girl who turns her passions into action to save the arts at her school. 

The grants contest, which ran from January 1, 2013 to May 31, 2013, asked elementary art teachers and their students to creatively illustrate, both visually and verbally, the importance of having art in their schools. Each entrant was required to submit a 500-word essay conveying why art matters, along with an artwork piece that incorporated a hot-air balloon in some way to tie to Saige’s story. A judging panel comprised of representatives from American Girl and Americans for the Arts selected the top 13 winners on the basis of three criteria: effort, artistic merit, and effective expression of the theme.

“The Elevate the Arts School Grant Contest was our way of helping shine a light on a very real issue facing many schools today—the reduction or loss of funding for their arts programming,” said Jean McKenzie, executive vice president of American Girl. “As we reviewed the entries, it was clear that having arts in school was of vital importance to the teachers and students who participated in the contest. We were truly inspired by their hard work, creativity, and commitment to making their world—and the world around them—a better place through art.”