Highest arts honors in the nation are Bestowed on New World School of the Arts As five NWSA students

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Highest arts honors in the nation are Bestowed on New World School of the Arts As five NWSA students earn the Prestigious NFAA award.
 MIAMI– New World School of the Arts once again excels at training and its talented students. The prestigious Nationaltwo pictures of a dancer and a visual artist side by side, the dancer has a caption, "Young Arts" Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) Award has been bestowed on five of its exceptional protégés for 2008 selected from a pool of 8,000 students nationwide. The finalists, which this year represents New World School of the Art’s Dance and Visual Arts divisions, are dancers Gentry George and Melissa Fernandez and visual artists Sheena Klimoski, Cathryn Garcia-Menocal and Roman Arevalo.
A disciplined and focused student, Gentry George, a young African-American native of Miami, is described by his teachers as “professional and intellectually mature”. With a superb performance rightfully titled “Prayer”, George delivered a commanding modern dance choreographed by Peter London, faculty and choreographer at New World School of the Arts. “The piece is about his [Gentry’s] art and his devotion. The movement expresses intense energy and focus to a point of possession…a feel of religious fervor as one might witness in a Sunday service led by an impassioned preacher but expressed through a contemporary dance movement” declared London.
Melissa Fernandez’s “Vespers for Frida Khalo”, also choreographed by Peter London, expresses the different stages and transitions in the life of Mexican painter Frida Khalo. In London’s words “The piece represents her [Khalo’s] great passion for living in pain and the suffering she endured, from both her accident and her personal relationship with her sister and her husband Diego Rivera.” Melissa, of Cuban descent and also from Miami, is compared by London to “a young Maria Calas” concluding “to witness one of her performances leaves one inebriant of air and almost in shock. 
            George and Fernandez will both be performing during NFAA’s youngARTS Week on Thursday, January 10 at 8:00 PM - Ransom Everglades Upper School Auditorium, 3575 Main Highway, Coconut Grove.
            “They’re all very different, yet all highly talented and disciplined” said Jim Hunter, Visual Arts faculty at NWSA, of the three winners in the visual arts category. Graduating this year in the top 1% of her class as Summa Cume Laude, Cathryn-Garcia Menocal, “articulate and intellectual”, is no stranger to recognition. As the 2007 Latin Arts Beat Competition National Winner, Menocal has been recognized for much of her artistic work and involvement with civic organizations including Amnesty International, NAHS and Zonta Club International. Menocal is also featured as the “Creativity” poster-child for Miami-Dade County Public Schools’  “It Takes…” campaign. Cathryn was born in Miami of Cuban and Puerto Rican parents.
            A “gregarious young artist with a sense of humor”, Sheena Klimoski, born and raised in Miami of Cuban and Polish descent has received numerous national awards and recognitions for her art as well as for her academic achievements.  Her work was showcased in the 2006 Art Basel Exhibition and the 2006 NWSA Rising Stars Exhibition and her honors and recognitions include the National K12 Ceramic Exhibition Award of Artistic Achievement and SECME Olympiad and Festive Certificate of Award.
             Earning a three-week scholarship from the Institute of Maryland College of Art, Roman Arevalo, “disciplined and reserved” spent three glorious weeks in Tuscany this summer exploring and developing his art and painting techniques. Also recognized by the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation in 2007, Arevalo was one of the 60 fortunate young painters to travel to the mountains of Colorado Springs to study with New York Master Artists during 2007. Currently Roman holds a 4.8 GPA and is entering the 2008 Scholastics Writing and Arts Awards competition.
With more than 200 NFAA Award recipients and 14 Presidential Scholars in the Arts, New World School of the Arts has become one of the most influential and prestigious arts conservatories in the nation. In 1984 the Florida State Legislature had the foresight to establish the New World School of the Arts to provide artistically talented high school and college students the means for achieving both an academic education and artistic training. As a result, NWSA opened its doors to trainees in grades ten through twelve in September, 1986. Over 3000 students of every ethnic and economic background have since benefited from NWSA’s acclaimed arts programs. New World School of the Arts is a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts, and operates in partnership with Miami Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida.
The United States Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by Executive Order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our Nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the Program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. Each year, up to 140 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the Nation's highest honors for high school students. The Scholars represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people. In honoring the Presidential Scholars, the President of the United States symbolically honors all graduating high school seniors of high potential. Only through participation in the NFAA ARTS program are young artists eligible for the honor of becoming a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, an honor that will give them the opportunity to meet the president of the United States.
The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) was established in 1981 to identify emerging artists and assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development, and to raise the appreciation for and support of the arts in American society. Each year since its inception in 1981, the NFAA, based in Miami and founded by Lin and Ted Arison of Carnival Cruises, selects more than 140 High School seniors from a pool of thousands of candidates nationwide and offers them the opportunity to travel to Miami to present their artistic talents and achievements. These fortunate few also receive cash awards of $100 to $10,000 per student, or scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 annually for four years to further enhance their artistic education. The objective of this institution is to identify talented arts students in their senior year in High School. The deadline to apply is October 1st of each year. More information about NFAA is available online at www.nfaa.org.
Photo Captions:
(IMG 1102.JPG)-Melissa Fernandez, NWSA high School senior in the dance division.
            (RAA(3).JPG)- mixed media artwork by NWSA visual artist Roman Arevalo.