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BIG Arts presents scholarships to six local students

By Staff | Jun 1, 2011

Pictured at last week's ceremony, from left, is Lee Ellen Harder, Kacie Phillips, Lauren Davis, Christian Allison, Anna Craig and Dick Riley.

Last week, BIG Arts’ Phillips Gallery was the scene of a moving ceremony as six local students received scholarship awards to pursue academics in their chosen arts-related field.

On May 24, BIG Arts/Patricia Thurber Scholarship Trust Scholarships were awarded to Lauren Davis, Kacie Phillips and Blake Sobczak.

Davis is at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla., working towards a Bachelor of Music degree. Phillips is majoring in Music at Belmont University, in Nashville, Tenn. Sobczak is studying abroad in South Africa, in Medill’s Journalism program at Northwestern University.

In addition, BIG Arts/Robert Rauschenberg Scholarships were presented to Christian Allison and Anna Craig.

Allison will be a freshman at University of Central Florida, in Orlando, Fla., studying Creative Photography and Graphic Design this year. Craig will begin attending Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, Fla. this fall, majoring in Illustration.

Also, the BIG Arts/Robbie Snipes Dance Scholarship was given to Deidre Rogan. This fall, she will travel to New York City and attend Fordham University and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, studying dance.

“The scholarship program was initiated more than 10 years ago to encourage artistic talents,” said Lee Ellen Harder, executive director at BIG Arts. “Through the generous support of many people, including Deborah La Gorce, Laverne Phillips, Robert Rauschenberg, Joy Schein, and Patricia and Davis Thurber, the program has been able to help many students through the years.”

These scholarships are awarded, following a rigorous interview and selection procedure, to high school seniors and college students majoring in visual arts, music, dance, theater, creative writing or film.

“The portfolios submitted by the students were so outstanding, it was hard to narrow it down to these few,” added Scholarship Committee Chair Dick Riley. “We’d love to have an increase in funding, to be able to give more scholarships away next year.”

For more information about the BIG Arts Scholarship Program, call 395-0900, send an e-mail to info@BIGARTS.org‘>info@BIGARTS.org or visit www.BIGARTS.org‘>www.BIGARTS.org.