ExcelinEd Celebrates 15 Years of Arts for Life! at the Adrienne Arsht Center
MIAMI, FL – Today, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) and former first lady Columba Bush celebrated 15 years of the Arts for Life! program during a luncheon honoring the 2014 Arts for Life! winners. The luncheon was hosted at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, an institution with a shared mission of investing in emerging local artists. Mrs. Bush – a passionate advocate for the arts and arts education – established Arts for Life! in 1999 to recognize the creativity and artistic talents of Florida’s high school students. In the program’s 15 years, over a quarter of a million dollars in scholarships have been awarded to more than 350 talented students in recognition of their achievement in the arts.
“I have witnessed firsthand the power the arts have to shape young lives in positive and inspiring ways, and I’m so excited to see what these talented scholarship winners will accomplish in the years to come,” said Mrs. Bush. “It is a joy to celebrate 15 years of the Arts for Life! program in Florida. The arts are a rich part of Florida’s history, and I know that talented young artists like the ones we honor today will ensure the arts play a key role in our state’s future.”
This year, Arts for Life! is awarding $2,000 cash scholarships to 25 of Florida’s graduating high school seniors who excel in the arts. The 2014 winners were selected from more than 600 exceptional high school seniors from 47 counties across Florida, with students in public, magnet, charter, private and home education programs vying for the prestigious award. Each year, scholarship winners are selected by a committee of respected experts in the scholarship’s five disciplines: creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual art.
Prior to the luncheon, students participated in the annual Arts for Life! Artist Symposium, a panel of professionals representing several arts disciplines offering guidance and advice based on their experiences. Winners in attendance also performed or displayed their art in the discipline for which they were awarded.
The 2014 Arts for Life! scholarship winners are:
Khadeine Ali – Cypress Bay High School, Broward County
Kristina Boyett – Manatee School for the Arts, Manatee County
Deeani Gonzalez – Chaminade–Madonna College Preparatory, Broward County
Jamal Parker – Colonial High School, Orange County
Cassidy Spaedt – Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Palm Beach County
Andrew Lott – Pine Crest School, Broward County
Thomas Nightingale – Ponte Vedra High School, St. Johns County
Hayley VerValin – Viera High School, Brevard County
Andrew Cheshire – Merritt Island High School, Brevard County
Kaila DeLany – Tarpon Springs High School, Pinellas County
Lyudmilla Fuentes – Kathleen Senior High School, Polk County
Nina Morales – Frank W. Springstead High School, Hernando County
Rebecca Tutunick – Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward County
Steve Aviton – Dillard High School, Broward County
Amy DeVries – Fort Myers High School, Lee County
Jamilette Diaz–Rivera – Lake Howell High School, Seminole County
Brynna Kaplan – Claire and Emanuel G. Rosenblatt High School at Donna Klein Jewish Academy, Palm Beach County
Laura Laufer – Design and Architecture Senior High, Miami–Dade County
Chloe Lewis – Cypress Lake High School, Lee County
Julieta Londono – Design and Architecture Senior High, Miami–Dade County
Samantha McVety – Pine View School, Sarasota County
Stephanie Navarrete – Design and Architecture Senior High, Miami–Dade County
Brandon Rodriguez – Design and Architecture Senior High, Miami–Dade County
Kevin Savillon – Design and Architecture Senior High, Miami–Dade County
Juan Urbina – Design and Architecture Senior High, Miami–Dade County
Arts for Life! scholarships are made possible through the generosity of Mr. Ronald O. Perelman.
The Foundation for Excellence in Education thanks the following patrons for their support of the 2014 Arts for Life! program: Maestro: William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust; Composer: Kyra InfoTech, Publix Super Markets Charities, Raymond James; Surrealist: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami–Dade County, Florida House on Capitol Hill, Jeanne Godwin, Robert & Margaret Rothman, Publix Aprons; Protégé: Britto Central, Florida Lottery, Hyatt Regency, Independent Living Systems, and Keiser University.