Tony Kushner, Philip Pearlstein Honor Creative Teens at the 2009 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards at Carnegie Hall

New York, NY (May 27, 2009) – Pulitizer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner will address young artists and writers from across the country at the 86th annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards ceremony to be held at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, June 4th. Poet and spoken word champion Patricia Smith will present novelist and Awards alumnus Thane Rosenbaum with an “Alumni Achievement Award.” Sculptor Tom Otterness will receive his “Alumni Achievement Award” from fellow alum and artist Philip Pearlstein.

The national program offers early recognition to creative teenagers and scholarships for graduating high school seniors. This year more than 500 Award winners will travel to New York City to have their achievements celebrated by family, industry leaders, educators and patrons, along with actors Paul Giamatti, Lili Taylor and Jesse Eisenberg who will read selected works by Award recipients. Patricia Smith will also perform an original piece written especially for the ceremony.

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the nonprofit organization that presents The Awards, will also offer national recipients special workshops in New York City, including “A Conversation with Zac Posen” who won a Scholastic Art & Writing Award in high school; “The Art of Revision” with author Rick Moody; and “Art for Social Change” at the Action Center to End World Hunger. Some recipients will meet with Philip Pearlstein and Tom Otterness in their art studios. Other cultural and career seminars will be presented at professional institutions, such as Parsons PETLab, The New York Public Library, Atlantic Theater Company and The New Yorker, Rolling Stone and People magazines.

Visitors can enjoy the Award-winning artwork and writing at two New York City galleries: the World Monuments Fund Gallery (June 4-24) and the Arnold & Sheila Aronson Gallery at Parsons (June 4-22). An audio tour of the young artists discussing their work will be available to exhibition visitors. The public is also invited to Bryant Park on June 4th at 2:00 p.m. to hear the young writers read their Award-winning work.

Since Scholastic founded the program in 1923, The Awards have recognized such distinguished past recipients as Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Robert Redford, Sue Miller, Robert Indiana, John Lithgow, Joyce Carol Oates, Bernard Malamud, Sylvia Plath, Sherley Anne Williams and Kay WalkingStick, who all received awards when they were in high school.

Each year, the Alliance receives tens of thousands of works of art and writing, submitted through regional affiliate programs across the nation for consideration in 25 categories of art and writing. The submissions are evaluated locally and nationally by a panel of jurors comprised of renowned artists, authors, educators and arts professionals. This year, jurors included Paul Giamatti, Rick Moody, Francine Prose and musician and Tony Award-winner Stew.

Visit the online press kit for more information about The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

For tickets to the Gala Benefit and National Student Art Exhibition Preview on Wednesday, June 3rd and the Carnegie Hall Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 4th go to or call 212.343.7717.

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Jennifer Boggs, Scholastic, 212.343.6619 or
Cathy Lasiewicz, Scholastic, 212.343.6570 or