See You at The Met! – Friday March 24, 6-8 pm

Dear Students, Parents and Educators,
You’re invited to the Opening Reception of the Gold Key Art Exhibition at The Met on Friday March 24, 6:00-8:00 pm. The exhibition features Gold Key artwork and writing created by NYC’s most talented teens. All are invited and no RSVP required. Come celebrate the 2017 NYC award recipients and design your own tote bag too!
  • Was your 2017 Art submission awarded recognition at the Honorable Mention or Silver Key level? If so, your work will be displayed digitally at the Opening Reception!
  • Was your 2017 Writing submission awarded recognition at the Honorable Mention, Silver Key, or Gold Key level? If so, you’re encouraged to enter a lottery to read an excerpt of your work at the Opening Reception. Student readings will be limited to three (3) minutes and the countdown begins after you’re handed the microphone. Interested? Enter the lottery at the opening reception from 6:00-6:25 pm. The Honorable Mention/Silver Key and Gold Key lineups will be announced at 6:45 pm after the Welcome Remarks are concluded. Refer to the program schedule for more details.
  •  Design Your Own Tote Bag! A free workshop will be offered to all guests.
  • Free Admission Ticket! All guests will receive a free ticket to view the rest of the museum’s collections. We hope you check out the galleries after enjoying yourself at the Opening Reception.
Scroll down for more information about the Opening Reception.
Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
New York City Regional Exhibition Opening Reception
Friday, March 24, 2017, 6:00-8:00 pm
Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
6:00-8:00 pm
  • View the exhibition of Gold Key works of Art including Film & Animation and Writing from grades 7-12
  • Read Gold Key writing from grades 7-12 on iPads in the Exhibition and in bound notebooks in the Nolen Library
  • See Middle School, 3D and Oversize Gold Key works on a film reel in the Carson Family Hall
  • View a screening of Silver Key and Honorable Mention works of art from grades 7-12 in the Seminar Room
  • Meet Pratt Institute in the Carson Family Hall
6:30-6:45 pm
Welcome Remarks, Carson Family Hall, ground floor
6:45-8:00 pm
Honorable Mention and Silver Key Student Readings
Honorable Mention and Silver Key recipients read short excerpts from their works (up to 3 minutes) in the Carroll Classroom. Readers selected by lottery. Eligible readers may sign-up for the lottery in the Carroll Classroom, 6:00-6:25 pm.
Gold Key Student Readings
Gold Key recipients read short excerpts (up to 3 minutes) from their works in the Carson Family Hall. Readers will be selected by lottery. Eligible readers may sign-up for the lottery in the Nolen Library, 6:00-6:25 pm.
Make a Tote Bag!
Facilitated by The Met. Get creative by designing your very own tote bag in the Studio. Explore how words can become art by engaging with images of primary works of art from the Museum’s collection to spark tote bag design inspiration!
The Museum is open until 9:00 pm. We hope you will explore and enjoy the galleries!

Today (12/16) is NYC Submission Deadline

NYC Educators and Students,

Tomorrow December 16th is the deadline for submissions. Student work must be uploaded by 11:59 pm.

SUBMISSION FORMS MUST BE POSTMARKED BY DECEMBER 16th. The best way to ensure that a submission form is postmarked is to personally visit a post office and hand deliver your envelope to a window agent and request that your properly stamped envelope be postmarked to demonstrate compliance with a deadline.

LAST MINUTE RESOURCE: Do not despair if you’re scrambling at the last minute. The James Farley Main Post Office at 421 8th Ave in Manhattan is open until 10 pm.


Does the submission form have to be received by December 16th or postmarked by December 16th? It must be postmarked by December 16th.

Can I hand deliver my submission form(s) to the Scholastic office?  Delivery via snail mail is recommended, however, you may drop off your submission at the reception desk on the 1st floor of the Scholastic Inc. headquarter building at 557 Broadway. It will be staffed until 7 pm.

Does an educator need to sign the submission form? Yes an educator needs to sign the form irrespective of how and when the work being submitted was prepared. Any educator at a student’s school may sign the form.

I have an exigent circumstance. Can the deadline be extended? No. The deadline of 12/16, 11:59 pm is absolute for all NYC students.

Where can I find the submission form? After logging onto, you’ll see “Welcome to your dashboard”. Below, you’ll see 1. My Profile, 2. My Uploads and 3. Print, Sign & Mail Your Forms, and Pay For Your Submission. To the right there is a button labeled See My Submission Form And Payment Options. Click on that button to generate your submission form.


Reminder: Submission Deadline is December 16th

This is a reminder that the deadline for submissions is Wednesday, December 16th, only two weeks away!

Don’t forget about our newest award category, Editorial Cartoons.

The category, Editorial Cartoons, sponsored by The Herb Block Foundation, is designated for artwork that conveys a political theme or message. Up to three Medal recipients in this category will each be awarded a scholarship of $1,000. This is an incredible opportunity for teens to be recognized and celebrated for their talent and ideas. A fee waiver is available to any student with a financial need.

Editorial cartoons may be in the form of, but are not limited to single panel drawings with captions, sequential comic art, illustrations, digitally created drawings, or animated films with a political theme or message. I sincerely hope that all NYC teens share their unique perspectives about current local and world issues by participating!

YAWP Summer Workshops for Gifted Writers

The Young Artists and Writers Project (YAWP), created by Stony Brook Southampton’s MFA in Writing and Literature program, is dedicated to mentoring young people in the development of creative expression and critical thinking through writing.

The YAWP Summer Workshops pair seasoned writers with students, ages 13-18, in fiction, essay, poetry, playwriting and screenwriting.

Workshops include:

Creative Writing (Southampton & Manhattan)

Student writers in fiction, poetry and essay discover new ways to explore their ideas and have them heard. By week’s end, students have several pieces of completed work to submit or publish.

Scriptwriting (Southampton)

Five days of concentrated writing, during which each student creates a short, two-character script for stage or screen. The final day is devoted to a rehearsed reading of students’ work at the 2015 Summer Writing Conference.

Link to Application

Read work by past YAWP students here and learn more about YAWP in the video below!

Nov. 18th: Young Writers Reading In Celebration

Next week! Nov. 18th @ 5:30pm

Join us for a celebration of young voices. Every year, The New York City Scholastic Art & Writing Awards receive over 5,000 submissions from young writers in 7th-12th grade. As, the longest-running, most prestigious, recognition and scholarship program in the country, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards encourages young artists and writers to nurture their creativity and share it with the world. This evening celebrates the work of NYC students who have submitted to the Awards in the past.

Young writers will be sharing excerpts of their work, poetry, prose and everything in between! Meet these up and coming NYC writers, and hear what they have to say. Friends and family are welcome. We will be joined by professional writer Timothy Small, a professor at St. Joseph’s College.

Stay updated by RSVPing to the Facebook Event.

Tuesday, Nov. 18th, 2014

The Parlors
St. Joseph’s College
245 Clinton Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Enjoy this teaser, by Michael Shorris, who will be reading at the event.

Ordinary Travel by Michael Shorris

(2014 Gold Key, Silver Medal)

‘I seek a tourniquet for my mind’
says a man on the J train. 
I like his syntax and wonder if I could fashion my own version of such a device.
But his profusely bleeding left calf makes a more compelling case for aid,
so some police wrap him up and take him away. 
I think I’ll miss him.
He leaves a small pool of red that turns a gruesome brown on the speckled floor;
‘shit on the robin’s egg’ announces a man with a grey do-rag and a Brooklyn hat.
I seek his eloquence in my own writing.
It oozes from one side of the car to the other as we rock on the Marcy el.
I hear a woman scream Fuck me? No, fuck you! into a small plastic phone; 
I’m more taken aback by her cellular service in the subway than her language.
A drop into the tunnel 
while sweet Southern tones glide out of three middle-aged black men.
They entertain with eccentric clothes and eccentric expressions, 
performing caricatures of men I know they are not.
They have too much pride for this shabby occupation, and for that I admire them more.
They sing, and soul resonates against plastic seats and steel expressions,
the high treble of jangling change balancing warm baritone voices. 
I think this is urban peace. 
Tranquility was broken
as a higher being spoke to me.
The man was nearly a foot taller than I was, 
balding head delicately tucked beneath the air conditioning. 
His dry mouth spat prophetic words about a savior I didn’t know very well 
though vaguely hoped to meet.
Feeling guilty for lack of piety,
I offered a crumpled bill in an outstretched hand to one of the soul men;
thought I’d created my own tourniquet out of charity,
wondered if I’d bought my way into heaven.
[Crushed when I remembered I wasn’t religious,
I considered taking back my donation.]
Maybe I was unhinged, 
but it was then that it hit on a Broad Street-bound J train.
Charity wouldn’t buy redemption,
nor would it patch this slowly hemorrhaging mind. 
My tourniquet would need more than white guilt and spare change.
Until I’d made it, I’d never find my peace
and so I quietly hoped for some officers to take me away, too.

This Friday: Teens Take The Met


Have you heard?  This Friday, Oct. 17, from 5pm-8pm NYC Teens rule The Met.  That’s a full three hours of FREE Friday night fun.

The Met is bringing in 40+ of the coolest organizations around (think 3D Systems, The Intrepid, WNYC, The Roundabout Theatre Company…) to set up activity stations all over the museum for teens ages 13-18.TeensTakeMetFlyer

So, in addition to, you know, hanging out with the work of the most famous visual artists in the world and of all time, you can take a dance class with Ailey Extension, or just hit the floor with DJ Kakez from BETs Black Girls Rock.  Or there’s always designing military apparel and protective gear with the Intrepid, trying your hand at Chinese calligraphy, designing tattoos with MAD, creating and performing short plays, and much, much more.

No RSVP required, just enter through the Education Entrance of the museum on 81st street and show your middle or high school I.D.  Free food and drinks will be available in The Met’s cafeteria.

Visit The Met’s page for more details, including a detailed schedule and map of all the activities.

Dance break, courtesy of DJ Kakez and Trevor Jackson








Picture-Prose Mashup!

Self-Portrait by Sarah Gratz (Brooklyn, NY), 2014 Silver Key
Self-Portrait by Sarah Gratz (Brooklyn, NY), 2014 Silver Key

Excerpt from Scene 2 of the 2014 Silver Key Dramatic Script Sometimes We Lie For The Better by Emmeline Vickers Batzdorf (Brooklyn, NY)


Foundation by Heejung Koh (New Hyde Park, NY) 2014 Silver Key Portfolio
Foundation by Heejung Koh (New Hyde Park, NY) 2014 Silver Key Portfolio

Swelna: Daddy! There’s a man in my window!

Jason: Oh, sweetie. I am sure it was nothing. They were probably just cleaning the windows or something.
Swelna: No they weren’t, Daddy. They do that on Sundays. We used to watch them do it every other week when I was two.
Jason: Well they must have changed the schedule in order not to disrupt people. I am sure its fine.
Swelna: Daddy!
Jason: What is it, Sweetie?
Swelna: He didn’t have a bucket.

Jason: Oh, Swelna, my little Kenyan princess. Don’t worry about it. Now go back to

Foundation by Heejung Koh (New Hyde Park, NY) 2014 Silver Key Portfolio
Foundation by Heejung Koh (New Hyde Park, NY) 2014 Silver Key Portfolio

sleep.   No more bad dreams.  This is your home.  This will always be your home.  I love you.  We have to spend all morning setting up for the birthday girl’s party and you don’t want to be tired.

Swelna: Good night daddy. I love you.  Did you really buy me rainbow balloons?
Jason: Sleep tight. I love you too.
Swelna: Audrey says rainbows are for gay people.

Jason: Well I’m not gay, Swelna!  Rainbows are happy occurrences in nature that happen after storms.  You tell that Audrey to stop spreading rumors.  You hear me.

Swelna: Daddy, you’re yelling.

Jason: Cause I’m not gay.


Foundation by Heejung Koh (New Hyde Park, NY) 2014 Silver Key Portfolio
Foundation by Heejung Koh (New Hyde Park, NY) 2014 Silver Key Portfolio

Register NOW for Free Spring Dramatic Writing, Photography, and Filmmaking Classes at Tisch

When Autumn Comes, Can Spring Be Far Behind?

…Not if you want to attend NYU Tisch School of the Arts FREE high school programs in Spring 2015! If you’re a high school freshman, sophomore or junior and interested in filmmaking, photography, cinema studies, drama, dance, recorded music and—new this year—dramatic writing, you can apply to any of these 7 programs now !

Students from New Jersey, Westchester, Connecticut, Long Island, as far as Philadelphia and as close as NYC’s five boroughs may also find out more at an open house this Saturday, September 20 at noon. RSVP here.

Even if you can’t make it to the Open House, your applications are warmly welcome!Tisch2

Classes begin in February and run through mid-May and will allow you not only to develop your voice and vision but will also give you a great sense of how instruction works at one of the top arts schools in the country. All classes are held at Tisch and taught or supervised by full-time faculty.

Why write now about this opportunity? Because right now—almost—on October 15, 2014, applications (including transcripts and recommendations) are due! So let those autumn breezes inspire you to wake up and apply yourself toward an arts-filled spring. Why not?

Take a look at this video project featuring collaboration between filmmakers, film scholars, music moguls, and dancers from the program.

Free Year-Long Workshop for Young Playwrights in NYC

What an amazing city we are in — everywhere I look I find new wonderful opportunities for young artists and writers, and it’s my job to tell you about them!


This opportunity is for dramatic writers in high school.  Young Playwrights, Inc., founded by the inestimable Stephen Sondheim, is accepting applications for a FREE year long program for young playwrights.  The Advanced Playwriting Workshop meets Tuesday afternoons October, 2014 – May, 2015.  The program includes workshops with theatre professionals, outings to productions in the city (Broadway, Off-Broadway, and more!), and staged readings of student work in December and May.  Wow!!

To apply, print out and complete the application (which is available online HERE,) and send it in postmarked by Monday, September 22nd, 2014.

More info is available at

Young Playwrights

And now, for some Sondheim:  “Opening Doors” from Merrily We Roll Along.  This clip features America Ferrera and Stephen Sondheim himself!





The Night My Mother’s Lights Were Dimmed

Scene opens inside of a beautiful home. Three boys are sitting on the couch, while there is loud sobbing heard from another room. A young girl, MARY-JANE, emerges from the kitchen with four glasses of tea.The room is solemn and somber. Mary Jane hands each boy a glass of tea.

Drink up.

(The boys drink.)

Mother’s still crying. How long has she been up there?

It seems like its been hours.

I wish she’d stop. It’s not like Poppa’s gone forever.
Read More »