Harris County Teens Recognized in HCDE’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Ceremonies

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May 4, 2023 by HCDE Communications

Beaming smiles and proud parents poured into the Wortham Theater Center this week for the 2023 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards regional award ceremonies sponsored by Harris County Department of Education.

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards ceremony held at the Wortham Center, May 3, 2023.

To view the photo gallery and download photos, click here

Gold and Silver Key-winning students accompanied by their families and teachers attended the celebrations to view a selection of artworks and writing pieces in the grand lobby before proudly walking across the stage of the Cullen Theater.

Kyra Ezikeuzor, a 10th-grade student from St. Agnes Academy who is this year’s American Voices National Medalist for her poem, “My Nigeria,” attended the event.

“It feels good to be here, but also a bit somber because of what my poem makes me feel,” said Ezikeuzor. “My poem is about my love for the country, but also what I don’t like about the country and what I wish would change about the current state of things.”

For Ezikeuzor, participating in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has given her an outlet to work through difficult emotions and explore new pursuits.

“I just want to be heard,” said Ezikeuzor. “I want to be a doctor and write on the side, which I know is very hard, but one of my favorite authors, Grace D. Li, goes to Stanford Medical School and published ‘Portrait of a Thief.’ It was a New York Times Best Seller.”

Kelly Chen poses for a photo at a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards ceremony at the Wortham Theater Center, May 3, 2023.

For Kelly Chen, a fine arts teacher at Fort Bend ISD’s Clements High School and this year’s Blick Art Award recipient for her commitment to arts education, the ceremonies offer students growth and the opportunity for exposure.

“This competition helps students to push their self-confidence. Their artwork becomes an outlet and a source of inspiration for them,” said Chen. “I will tell them, ‘When you get National Medals, your name is alongside people like Andy Warhol and some of the most famous people in history.’”

Of the more than 12,900 submissions from our area, HCDE—the largest regional sponsor of the awards nationwide—awarded 407 Gold Keys in art, 571 Silver Keys in art, 700 Gold Keys in writing, and 1,156 Silver Keys in writing to students who brought a distinctive and authentic voice and perspective, originality, and technical skill to their work.

Artwork and written pieces by national and regional Gold and Silver Key winners will be on display May 8-15 at HCDE’s Conference Center (6300 Irvington Blvd., 77022).

To learn more about HCDE’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, click here.

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