Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior Olivia Feller was awarded a $1000 Arts for Life! scholarship on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. Feller was one of 25 Florida high school seniors to be given this scholarship out of 650 applicants.
The Arts for Life! Scholarship was established by former First Lady of Florida Columba Bush in 1999 to advocate for the arts and arts education. Since its establishment, Arts for Life! has awarded over 450 scholarships to high school seniors that demonstrate academic and artistic excellence in one of five categories: creative writing, dance, drama, music or visual art.
In order to be eligible for the Arts for Life! Scholarship, the applicant must be graduating from high school in the year that they submit the application, which was due Feb. 4, 2019. Students’ applications are then reviewed by a panel of judges from each of the five disciplines.
Feller was awarded the scholarship in the visual art category. Feller digitally submitted five art pieces as well as a short essay about how the arts have positively impacted her life.
“I am very happy to be given this scholarship,” Feller said. “With the money I am being given, I’ll be able to continue to take art classes in college and further my art career.”
Each year, the organization has a luncheon to present the winners with their scholarships. This year the Arts for Life! Luncheon, hosted by former Florida Governor Jeb and Columba Bush, will take place on June 14, 2019, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida.
At the luncheon, there is an artist symposium, which provides students with a professional role model. These professional artists serve on a panel to share advice on the arts, college and their own artistic journey. Last year’s guests included artists Daniel Andai and Xavier Cortada and Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Adrienne Arsht Center Jairo Ontiveros.
“I am very excited to speak to the artists about their experiences in the art world,” Feller said. “I definitely think I could learn a lot from them and their advice.”