Five Iowa high schoolers with a passion for the arts received Iowa Arts Council scholarships recently to support their interests as they pursue majors in the arts at Iowa colleges and universities.
The Iowa Scholarship for the Arts was founded in 1986 with the proceeds from a benefit concert performed by Simon Estes, a world-renowned opera singer and a Centerville native. The scholarship is also funded by organizations and private citizens to ensure young artists are recognized and educated in Iowa.
The scholarships are worth $2,500 each for tuition and related expenses as a full-time student in 2023-2024. They’re given to support students who have proved their ability in creative writing, dance, theatre, music, traditional arts or visual arts.
“This year’s arts scholarship recipients have demonstrated the highest level of artistic promise and a dedication to continue developing their knowledge and skills,” said Iowa Arts Council Administrator David Schmitz.
Johnnie Each, Cedar Rapids
Johnnie Each from Cedar Rapids is planning to double-major in journalism and mass communications and English/creative writing at the University of Iowa.
She was named the Iowa Student Poetry Ambassador for 2022-2023 and won a national gold medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing competition.
Each said she wants to use her words to tell human stories and create more beauty.
Jaiden Eisbrenner, Colfax
Jaiden Eisbrenner from Colfax is going to double-major in English and theater at Simpson College.
Eisbrenner plans to become a teacher, but theatre gave them the ability to express their passion for women’s and LGBTQ+ rights, the environment and mental health topics.
With theatre, Eisbrenner can introduce those topics and then discuss them with people after a performance.
Annastacia Iverson, Webster City
Annastacia Iverson from Webster City plans to study studio arts at the University of Northern Iowa.
When she was a child, she spent hours on coloring books and drafting her own stories, and now she dreams of opening a ceramics studio.
Along with selling her own work, Iverson wants to teach other people how to bring color and art into their lives.
Rhianna Koppes, Story City
Rhianna Koppes from Story City plans to double-major in English and theater at the University of Iowa.
She’s loved writing since she was 3 years old and her love of acting and newfound passion for playwriting with a focus on comedy have all combined to inspire her college career.
She hopes to attend the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for her master’s degree.
Nancy Nahra, North Liberty
Nancy Nahra from North Liberty wants to double-major in engineering and English at the University of Iowa.
Nahra’s poetry tying nature to human growth and development is inspired by Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise.” She also writes about her heritage and nationality as a member of the Lebanese diaspora.
Her goal is to publish a collection of poetry in the future and to become an active member in local poetry readings.
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