NJ Students & Educators to be Honored for their Creativity, Talent and Leadership at 36th Annual Governor’s Awards in Arts Education

Posted On May 25, 2016

The honorees have been announced for the 36th Annual Governor’s Awards in Arts Education, recognized nationwide as the states highest honor in arts education.Honoring excellence, promoting awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners.

Winners receive their awards on Thursday, May 26th 2016 at The Patriot’s Theatre at the War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey. There will be a reception immediately following the award ceremony. Mark Biedron, President of the State Board of Education and Nicholas Paleologos, Executive Director of the NJSCA will be on hand to present the medals to the award winners. Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick will be recognized with the Lifetime Contribution Award.

Special Performances By: Morgan Mastrangelo, Ridgewood High School, James Morris, Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy, Brandon Lyons, Hoboken High School, Ricky Persaud, Jr., Shepard High School, Ryan Hernandez, Governor Livingston High School, Danielle D’Abundo, Charter Tech High School for the Performing Arts, Kimberly Lee, Summit High School, Maressa Park, Mary Help of Christians Academy. Amanda Edore, Morris County Vocational School District, Candance Eason, The Wardlaw- Hartridge School, Julia Foti and Joy Giuffre, Passaic County Technical Institute, and Lianna Shimoun, Ridge High School.

Bob Morrison, Chair, New Jersey Arts Education Partnership, commented, “These young men and women have shown that creativity sparks a passion for learning. They serve as great examples as we recognize the critical role arts education plays in the development of our young citizens.”

Not only will the students be receiving awards but also parents, and leaders throughout the state will be recognized for their exceptional work in keeping arts education alive in New Jersey. As a nominee, “Rodney Gilbert is a parent who’s been an exemplary arts advocate/teacher/mentor. Through his work as a theater educator and as a catalyst in the Newark Mural Project, he has inspired countless young people to use their artistic talent to better the greater Newark community.” said ArtPride NJ

Past recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, Wendy Liscow of the Geraldine R Dodge Foundation stated, “So to all the past, present and FUTURE Arts Education awardees – revel in the limelight. You represent the creative potential and sustainability of our state. Enjoy this recognition and spread the word about the power of the arts to transform individuals, schools, and communities.”

The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education is grateful for its partnership with the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership, the New Jersey Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by: Art Educators of New Jersey, New Jersey Music Educators Association, Dance NJ, ACT-SO Program New Jersey, Arts Administrators of New Jersey, New Jersey Council of Teachers of English, New Jersey Forensic League, New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC); Writers Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; VSA New Jersey and Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government.


A Complete List of the 2016 Winners