New Trier Fine Arts Association awards $42,000 in grants benefitting student artists

Winnetka, Ill. - For four decades, New Trier Fine Arts Association (NTFAA) has supported New Trier arts students. Recently, the parent volunteer group approved $42,000 in grants that benefit 1,950 students who take at least one class per day in Art, Dance, Music and/or Media, Speech & Theatre.

NTFAA supports three important programs: grants to arts departments for visiting artists, master classes, workshops and annual school-sponsored arts events; confidential student financial assistance to allow every student to fully participate in school-sponsored trips and events; and merit-based summer scholarships.

"These kids are learning to work together to put on a play, concert or exhibition, to juggle their art with their academics, and to work through the inevitable failures that occur along the way," Board President Wendi Williams said. "That's why Fine Arts board members are so proud to support the excellent work created by New Trier students. It's a bonus that their practice and passion bring so much beauty and joy to the community."

All student artists will benefit from $4,000 grants made to each of the four arts departments for visiting artists and annual arts events, including:

Art: Students will explore how to bring their work off the computer screen using 3-D printing, sequential art and animation; talk to Caldecott Award winner, illustrator and New Trier Alumni Achievement Award recipient Paul Zelinksy about illustration and process; participate in an annual all-day workshop in Raku, a Japanese pottery firing technique; attend sessions on portraiture and public art with Chicago artist Steve Musgrave; and learn torch-working techniques with glass artist and New Trier alum Sam Ruderman.

Dance: Students will dance with professionals from around the world. They will explore partnering; hip-hop; how to use writing to inspire movement; performing modern dance in traditional and non-traditional spaces; and male-specific choreography. Advanced dance students will perform original choreography in a professional theater in Chicago.

NTFAA also supports Dance Day, a day-long event on each campus in which students choreograph and perform their own creations for fellow students, faculty, staff and parents.

Music: As part of New Trier's Annual Invitational Concert, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, along with two guest high school bands, will perform at Symphony Center in Chicago. This is the concert hall where the Chicago Symphony Orchestra regularly performs, and it provides an unparalleled opportunity for all participating students to experience professional acoustics in a world-class setting.

NTFAA will also support the 34th Annual New Trier Jazz Festival, which hosts about 50 visiting high school and middle school jazz ensembles from around the country and Canada. Students spend the day performing for world-renowned jazz clinicians, attending workshops and master classes and taking in concerts. This year's headliner will be Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra.Media, Speech & Theatre: To foster relationships with outside organizations offering training and experiences not traditionally available to New Trier students, the Theatre Department, in conjunction with the Acting Studio of Chicago, hosted an on-camera acting workshop and a playwriting workshop with Northwestern University's National High School Institute. Experts will also teach the history and style of Kabuki and Commedia dell arte.

NTFAA also supports the New Trier Debate Season Opener tournament, in which 200 students from 42 schools - including one international team - competed in three days of policy debate. New Trier debaters volunteered at the event.

In addition, NTFAA will support students with confidential financial assistance to attend a variety of trips sponsored by the arts departments: Concert Choir will perform at Washington's Kennedy Center; Jazz 1 Ensemble will tour New York City during Spring Break; and Advanced Glass Art students will explore Corning, N.Y.

Dozens of New Trier arts students will also immerse themselves in a variety of summer programs thanks to NTFAA's Summer Scholarship program, which awarded 58 scholarships for summer 2016.

Founded in 1976, the NTFAA is a nonprofit parent organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing the student experience in the Fine Arts. For more information, visit