Emma Munson Memorial Scholarship

One of our favorite things to do as part of our foundation is recognize young people that truly inspire us. We are so blessed to be able to award 3 unique scholarships each year that help to celebrate Emma's life and spirit. We award an 'inclusion' scholarship for Acting, an 'individuality' scholarship at her high school and recognize oustanding artistic acheievement as part of the Scholstic Art & Writing awards.

Each year students from around the country 'submit' their art for consideration as part of these annual awards. In 2017, over 331,000 pieces were submitted - 2,320 from our region (which includes Allegheny and Butler counties). Of the locally submitted works, 299 Gold keys, 471 Silver keys and 598 Honorable Mention awards were given. This recognition has the chance to change lives as these young artists dabble in their craft - some trying to decide what role art will play in their lives. A local or national award may be just what they need to validate their skill/talent and help them decide their future.

Rewinding a few years, we always knew that Emma had artistic talent. Her love of the performing arts and how she embraced the stage were what helped 'get her through' high school. But it wasn't until she was challenged in Art class to 'find a room' and paint it (a project insprired by Van Gogh's The Bedroom painting) that she realized how much of a passion art had become. Like many teens, she delayed in finding the right subject (we have lots of photographs that she's taken of rooms at home that didn't make the cut) and was pressed by her teacher and mentor at NASH to get moving. Handed a camera by Mrs Hawbaker, she went out into the high school to find her subject. In the end (and with the help of a friendly custodian) she snapped pictures of a boys bathroom - and the rest is history. Her painting The Room won a National Gold Medal and was selected along with a small group of artwork to tour the nation. It even hung in Pittsburgh's Warhol museum after her death.

The award she won was part of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and it was this recognition/confirmation that helped her dive into her art and decide to go to VCU Arts in Richmond in the fall of 2013. She was inspired by the program and knew that following this passion would be her future.

In the spring of 2014, the first memorial scholarship was awarded to 3 seniors from across the Pittsburgh area that demonstrated the skill and depth in their artwork which was recognized locally. We were so honored when this was done without our encouragement, and have since joined forces locally to help endow this program for the past 3 years.

This year the awards ceremony was held on Sunday February 19th at LaRoche College in McCandless, the day was beautiful. Touring the gallery a few nights before, we were amazed at the unique talents expressed by students from across the Pittsburgh Area. It was hard to believe that kids under 18 created much of the art - and so unique!

We'll keep you posted as this program continues and hope you'll check out the art next year. For now, we're looking forward to our next scholarship to be awarded in May!
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Emma Munson Foundation, Inc
436 Seventh Avenue, 26th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

+1 (412) 945-7363

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