Coconut Grove Arts Festival 60Th

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Coconut Grove Arts Festival Awards $45,000 in Scholarships to Miami’s Most Talented Art Students 

Arts Festival Board & EngageLive join to honor and empower 15 promising young artists with $3,000 each to continue their studies  

MAY 31, 2023 – The Coconut Grove Arts Festival Board of Directors awarded $45,000 in scholarship funding to 15 talented Miami-Dade County high-school students at a June 10 ceremony and art exhibition. Hosted by the newly renovated Marriott Miami Coconut Grove on Bayshore Drive, Each student was jointly awarded a $3,000 check by the Coconut Grove Arts Festival Board of Directors and EngageLive, producers of the annual festival.  

Says EngageLive CEO Tony Abelo, “We are in the business of connecting people to create truly engaging experiences, so it is wholly fitting that we are now joining with CGAF to ‘connect’ brilliant young artists with educational funding that will help further their studies. And we are honored to do so.”  
According to CGAF President Monty Trainer, “Since 1963, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival has played a prominent role in promoting arts and culture in South Florida, most visibly through our efforts hosting the internationally acclaimed outdoor arts festival over Presidents’ Day weekend each year. 

In addition to coverage of the event by Miami’s Community News, two South Florida TV stations also broadcast the news on June 10:  

Proud History of Giving Back  
But behind the scenes, Trainer adds, the organization also has a proud history of giving back to the community through a range of arts educational and outreach programs offered throughout the year, including this highly anticipated scholarship program. 
According to CGAF’s Executive Director Camille Marchese, the annual initiative, although geared to motivate and support students with artistic talent, also provides many benefits to the Coconut Grove Arts Festival as a non-profit organization. “It’s a win-win scenario,” she says. 

Winners of the $45,000 scholarship program with President of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival Monty Trainer (center) and EngageLive CEO Tony Abelo (far right). 

An Eye on the Future 
“Funding scholarships for young aspiring artists not only fosters and motivates them to follow their dreams and become successful in their chosen fields, but it fosters important recognition throughout the art world that the Coconut Grove Arts Festival is an organization with an eye on the future of the professional community overall,” Marchese added. 
The initial slate of high-school scholarship candidates included 40 seniors enrolled in the Miami-Dade Public Schools recommended by their respective art teachers. Students from that group were then adjudicated by a committee of professional artists and art educators who closely and expertly reviewed their art portfolios, artists’ statements, and teacher recommendations to select the 15 final winners. 
2023 CGAF Scholarship Recipients: 
The following graduating seniors are the 2023 recipients of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival Scholarship program (school in parenthesis is where each student plans to next attend).: 

  • Daysi Alvarenga: Miami Senior High School – (Miami Dade College) 
  • Yasmin Benitez: Arthur & Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts High School – (School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University) 
  • Juliette Brooks: Dr. Michael Krop – (Miami Dade College) 
  • Nicole Carlin: Arthur & Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts 
  • Sophia Carrasco: Miami Senior High School – (Savanna College of Arts) 
  • Maday Celedon: Miami Senior High School – (Miami Dade Honors College) 
  • Mia Chiofalo: South Miami Sr. High School – (Florida International University) 
  • Michael Crenshaw: Miami Arts Studio Zelda Glazer High School (Florida International University 
  • Evangeline Marvin: DASH – (Fashion Institute of Technology) 
  • Enrique Oropoza: DASH – (MICA, Marilyn Institute College of Art 
  • Amaranta Ortiz: New World School of the Arts – (University of Miami) 
  • Savannah Jean-Pharuns: NWSA – (Cornell University 
  • Arysmel Rodriguez Polanco: NWSA – (New York University) 
  • Lee Valdivia: Arthur & Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts – (Pacific Northwest College of Arts)  
  • Selah Brown: NWSA – (Savanna College of Art and Design) 

Proudly displaying her work is scholarship recipient Sophia Carrasco, a recent graduate of Miami Senior High School. 

About The Festival 
Spanning three days over Presidents’ Day weekend, the annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival is the region’s premier art festival celebrating the fine arts with live performances and local flavors. 
As one of the largest art festivals in the United States, thousands of people gather each year along Coconut Grove’s waterfront streets to view the works of nearly 300 internationally known and jury-selected artists across 15 visual categories. 
Produced by the nonprofit, 501(c)(3), Coconut Grove Arts & Historical Association, festival proceeds are used to fund the Annual Scholarship Program and other education and outreach programs such as the New & Emerging Artists Program and the High School Mentoring Series. 
For information, visit the Coconut Grove Arts Festival website at 

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