Expanding Opportunities for Young Artists and Writers

We are very pleased to announce that the Belin-Blank Center and Assistant Director for Student Services Jan Warren received the 2016 Gold Key for Excellence in the Field award from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.  This award is given annually to an Affiliate Partner organization that demonstrates extraordinary dedication to creative young people, perseveres through challenges over time, and expands the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program to reach more participants.

Jan Gold Key Scholastic-1

Virginia McEnerney, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, presented the award to Ms. Warren during the annual celebration of national award winners in New York City.  “The Alliance selected you and the Belin-Blank Center to receive this Award because the organization has gone above and beyond basic program requirements to provide additional opportunities for creative teenagers in the state of Iowa, as well as the thousands of students in the greater Midwest who do not have the same local opportunities for recognition.”

Jan Warren accepting Scholastic award

This past year, the Belin-Blank Center processed and adjudicated almost 10,000 pieces of art and writing from nearly 7,000 students.  In addition to the awards process, the Center has engaged community partners to provide additional scholarship opportunities and developed a blog (Freehand) for young artists and writers.  Students may begin submitting works for the coming year in September.

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