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Arts Advocates Awards $55,000 in Scholarships to 10 Local Students for the 2024-2025 School Year

| Suncoast Post Staff |

Arts Advocates is pleased to announce that 10 Sarasota and Manatee county students have each been awarded $5,500 scholarships for the 2024-2025 school year. The $55,000 total is the largest amount awarded in one year and marks the celebration of Arts Advocates’ 55th anniversary. Since 1969, the scholarship program has awarded over $1.1 million to students whose studies include visual and related arts, dance, writing, music, theater, and architecture. All scholarship monies are generated through Arts Advocates activities and donations.

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Artwork by the winning visual arts students will be on display in the window of the Arts Advocates Gallery throughout July. Also in July, the gallery will feature photos and bios of all the winners and a video of winners’ performances from the scholarship award event that was held at Sarasota Yacht Club. The Arts Advocates Gallery, located in the Crossings at Siesta Key mall, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, is open Saturdays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Maria Medina Almaguer is a two-year Arts Advocates scholarship awardee studying piano at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. During her first year at Berklee College, Almaguer collaborated and composed music with special attention to her Cuban heritage. Almaguer, an accomplished pianist, declared her major in contemporary writing and production.

Emmalee Bunnell graduates from Venice High School this spring and will pursue a B.F.A. in dance, with a minor in arts in communities. For the past 10 years she has been actively involved in competitive dance. She has received numerous state, regional and national competition awards.

Miracle Deveaux graduates this spring from Booker High School’s Visual and Performing Arts Program. She enjoys songwriting, producing, and performing and plans to major in music production in college. Deveaux has been involved with the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, showcasing her talents in dancing, singing, and acting. She is also a member of Girls Empowering Girls Everywhere.

Lillian Fox is a three-time Arts Advocates scholarship awardee. She will be a junior at the University of South Florida where she began her studies as a double major in dance and studio art. She has narrowed her focus to painting and design and added printmaking into her skill set.

Hong Nguyen graduates from Booker High School this spring with plans to attend Ringling College of Art and Design in the fall. Nguyen has already been attending Ringling College as a pre-college student. His interests are painting, illustration, and digital art, and his dream is to be an illustrator with a gaming company. He won the Winning Portfolio award of the 2024 Florida State Fair Contest.

Colin Leonard is a four-year recipient of the Arts Advocates scholarship. This fall he enters his final year at Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he studies jazz saxophone, flute, and clarinet. He is a member of the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble and has participated in more than six jazz combos ranging in style including fusion, free jazz, soul, samba, New Orleans jazz, and more. In addition to music, Leonard will graduate with a minor in environmental studies.

Noelle Prouty is a two-time Arts Advocates scholarship awardee. She will continue her studies at the University of Florida, majoring in both art and biology with a minor in entomology. Her focus of study this year is drawing, three-dimensional art, art history, entomology research, and chemistry. She plans to study in Thailand to learn more about Asian art and explore the biodiversity of the region. Upon graduation she hopes to pursue a career in medical or biological illustration.

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John Quigley is a multi-year recipient of the Arts Advocate scholarship. This fall, Quigley enters his final year at Ringling College of Art and Design where he majors in illustration and digital art. His goal is to have a career as a concept/storyboard artist. Quigley exhibited his work in the Arts Advocates Gallery twice over the last twelve months: once in the student scholarship exhibition and again during the exhibition featuring veterans. In his body of work, Quigley displays numerous pieces that represent experiences from his military service.

Samantha Tanelli is a second year Arts Advocates scholarship awardee. Tanelli, who describes her artwork as “whimsical wildlife art,” attends Ringling College of Art and Design. Her primary goal is to illustrate children’s books and realize the dream of owning a children’s art studio. In 2023, she secured both first and third place in the Sarasota County Spring Art Show. She was also a recipient of the Sarasota Chapter of the National League of American PEN Women’s Betty Altman Art Award of Excellence.

Danae Tran is a second year Arts Advocates scholarship awardee. She will continue to study violin performance at Stetson University. Tran is a first violin of the Stetson University Symphony Orchestra and Stetson University Chamber Orchestra, and she is a leader of the prestigious chamber music ensemble The Barron Quartet. The quartet was the winner of the Stetson at Carnegie Hall Chamber Music Competition 2023. In March 2023, the quartet played Grieg’s Op. 27 in G minor at Carnegie Hall.

Deb Altshul-Stark, co-chair of the Arts Advocates scholarship team along with Tonya Eubank, stated, “Members of Arts Advocates are proud to support these students in furthering their educations. We are impressed by the work, optimism, and drive of our awardees. We look forward to following their careers.”

To learn more about or become a member of Arts Advocates, visit Arts Advocates

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