Art Rapids! Fine Arts Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to Elk Rapids eighth grade and high school students pursuing advanced studies in the visual or performing arts. This year, three scholarships have been awarded to students for summer studies.
Trumpet player Lauren Quinlan was awarded a $500 scholarship to be applied toward her participation in Blue Lake’s 2012 International Exchange Program. Lauren will tour with one of Blue Lake’s International performing ensembles this summer, presenting concerts in several communities while staying in private homes with host families. Before leaving on tour, Lauren will spend time at Blue Lake in intensive preparation for the concert series.
At Elk Rapids High School (ERHS), where she will be a senior next year, Lauren is a section leader for the Concert Band and plays with the jazz and marching bands. Music Director Dave McKeon calls Lauren “a strong musical asset to the program.” He adds, “She consistently demonstrates a very strong work ethic; pushing herself to improve her already solid musical skills.”
Speaking of her summer trip, Lauren says, “From this experience I hope to gain a new perspective towards trumpet playing, new experiences from foreign places I would otherwise never have a chance to visit, and a collection of memories that will last my entire life and inspire me to keep up with music and my dreams of traveling the entire world.”
Melanie Vandenberg was awarded a $300 scholarship to attend Take it to The Top, a weeklong musical theatre workshop offered at the Traverse City Old Town Playhouse this summer. The workshop is taught by working Broadway professionals and allows participants to advance their skills in music, dance, and theatre. The week culminates in a final recital for family and friends.
Melanie, who will be a senior next year, says her passion for musical theatre blossomed after attending a performance of Rent at the Old Town Playhouse. “Idina Menzel (from the Broadway version) became my role model. Her voice, acting ability and passion inspired me. Because of her influence, I knew I wanted to be in theatre.” This led Melanie to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp where she has studied for the past three years.
Melanie performed in the ERHS production of Seussical the Musical in 2011 and this year’s production of The Pajama Game. Rob Stow, ERHS Choir and Drama Director, says that while working on last spring’s production of Seussical, he was impressed with Melanie’s creative thoughts and approaches to her character. “She worked tirelessly to achieve success in her dance steps as well as memorizing her lines. Melanie is a student who cares deeply for her work.”
Grace Boyles, who will be entering high school in the fall, will be taking dance classes at Company Dance Traverse this summer. She was awarded a $500 scholarship to be applied to her lessons, which will include a two-week intensive training program. Grace has been dancing since the age of three and has been recognized for her dedication and talent, earning high honors and special judges’ awards in competitions throughout the Midwest. Company Dance Artistic Director Betsy Carr, says, “Grace is a very powerful performer who is always striving to improve.”
As a long-time student at Company Dance, Grace has had the opportunity to learn from professional choreographers and dancers. “The great Andy Pellick has made much of an impact on me as a dancer, artist, and person. He’s an inspiring teacher because of his dedication to help you become the best artist you can be. If I hadn’t gotten the privilege to take a class with Andy Pellick, I wouldn’t be the same artist I am today.”
About Art Rapids!
Established in 2006, Art Rapids! is a non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of arts-minded citizens. Its mission is to enhance and promote the arts and art education in the Elk Rapids area. Since its inception, nearly $38,000 has been given in the form of grants, scholarships, performances and artist awards. Art Rapids! receives income from two primary sources: donations from art-minded citizens and the juried art fair held annually on the last Saturday of June. (Source: Art Rapids! press release)