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December 08, 2006
Dr. William Henry Banchs, President, National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, 12-8-06
Headquartered in Miami, FL, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) was founded in 1981 and is supported nationally by a broad base of individuals, corporations, foundations and philanthropic institutions. NFAA encourages artistic growth and career development through workshops, public performances and exhibitions, internships, underwriting of creative projects and residency fellowships. These fellowships include stipends from Fellowships in the Visual Arts.
The foundation awards high school seniors more than $500,000 in cash prizes each year for achievement in the performing, literary and visual arts. It also nominates presidential scholars in the arts, and some colleges refer to its rosters for recruitment. The program draws from a diverse student population. The foundation sends out information to 26,000 high schools across the country. Applications come from every state, more than 90 percent of them from public schools. About one-third of the applicants and about 40 percent of winners identify themselves as members of minorities.
NFAA serves as a springboard for successful careers in the arts by helping young artists realize and pursue their dreams in the fields of Classical, Jazz and Popular Music, Voice, Dance, Film and Video, Photography, Theater, Visual Arts and Writing.
Past winners, have included the novelist Allegra Goodman, the actress Vanessa Williams, the dancer and choreographer Desmond Richardson, the actor Ron Eldard, at least 15 dancers from the New York City Ballet and eight members of the New York Philharmonic.
Last year 160 of the more than 6500 applicants were chosen to spend a week in Miami for the annual ArtsWeek, all expenses paid, working together and taking master classes with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Michael Tilson Thomas and Plácido Domingo, among others. From this group 38 winners were chosen to perform in New York; top prizes are $10,000 and $5000.
Dr. William Henry Banchs has been President of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts since 1991. Dr. Banchs received his B.A. in Physics and Chemistry (1970) from Harvard University, and his M.A. (1976) and Ph.D. (1978) in Music Composition and Theory from Harvard University. In 2004 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Posted by David Lemberg at December 8, 2006 08:31 AM Return to ARTSCAPE home page