Arts council recognizes the role of the arts in education

Red Bank Catholic High school Doo Wop Chorus Red Bank Catholic High school Doo Wop Chorus MIDDLETOWN – The Monmouth County Arts Council 2008 Art in Education Showcase and Awards Presentation took place at the township Arts and Cultural Center on May 15.

The council established the annual Art Education Awards program to recognize creative arts programming, talented faculty and arts-infused schools in Monmouth County. An annual event, the Art Education Awards has traditionally honored Monmouth County educators and schools that best exemplify the power of art in education.

One focus of the awards this year was the 20 county schools that have been identified as being in the “Top 10 percent of Exemplary Arts Achieving Schools” in the state by the New Jersey Art Education Census and Partnership.

Because great motivators often create great schools, recognition awards honor one individual nominated for recognition from three of the top arts-achieving schools – this year, Point Road School of Little Silver, Bangs Avenue School of Asbury Park, and Marlboro Middle School.

Deanna Ferlanti from Keyport High School next to her work "Body Dalle" Deanna Ferlanti from Keyport High School next to her work “Body Dalle” A second group of honorees, called Community Champions of the Arts, was recognized as being “members of the Monmouth County community who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and dedication to children and the arts.”

This year’s champions are Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield for support of the Teen Arts Festival, the Count Basie Theatre and its Education Director Yvonne Lamb Scudiery for the Basie Awards, and Ocean Township High School’s West Park Players, Director Bob Angelini and the cast for the production of “The Laramie Project.”

Highlights of the evening were musical and dramatic performances selected as “high achieving” by jurors at the 2008 Monmouth County Teen Arts Festival. Soloists and small instrumental groups from Middletown High School North, Shore Regional, and Eisenhower Middle School welcomed attendees during the reception.

Red Bank Catholic’s Doo Wop Chorus, Matawan High School Musical Theater’s “Annie Get Your Gun,” Mater Dei High School Musical Theater’s “Honk,” writers from Rugby School, Red Bank Regional High School and Communications High School presenting spoken word, and independent musicians performed.

A visual arts exhibition of more than 70 two-dimensional and three-dimensional pieces and high-scoring video productions rounded out the evening’s arts venues. A full listing of all performers, honorees and participating schools can be found on the new MCAC Web site,, under art education, art education awards.