The Arts Council of Johnson County (ACJC) announced today seven Gardner Edgerton High School students have been nominated for the 2016 Shooting Stars Awards.
The Shooting Stars Program honors Johnson County high school students for achievement in the literary, performing and visual arts through recognition and college scholarships. Shooting Stars award recipients will be announced at the 19th annual Shooting Stars Gala at Johnson County Community College on Sunday, April 3, 2016.
The seven Gardner Edgerton High School finalists and their nominating teachers are listed below.
Literature: David Shute nominated by Kelly Peterson Miranda
Production and Design: Connor Johnston nominated by Jeff Lady
Strings: Alexa Wilden nominated by Brian Scott
Theatre Performance: Trevor Thoelke nominated by Jeff Lady
Two-Dimensional Art: Sara Coble nominated by David Kalkman
Voice Classical: Abbie Lane nominated by Todd Burd
Winds & Percussion: Joseph Quigley nominated by Will Biggs
“Today, Shooting Stars not only celebrate the arts but is also an acknowledgement of the role the arts play in our future workforce,” said Abby Beckloff, president of the Arts Council of Johnson County board of directors.  “Adding the arts into the 21st century skills mix means adding creativity, ingenuity, and perspective to science, technology, engineering and math careers for the future. Many of our Shooting Stars scholarship recipients and finalists plan to pursue studies and careers in the arts; even if that changes over time, and these budding artists pursue other paths, their participation in the arts makes them uniquely qualified to contribute to wide variety of future endeavors.”
“This special recognition program was created in 1997 by former ACJC chairman Bob Endres,” said Sarah VanLanduyt, ACJC Executive Director. “Bob’s vision was to create a program that celebrated young Johnson County artists for their artistic excellence in high school. Only the best of the best high school artists are chosen to participate in the Shooting Stars Program.”
Since its founding, the Shooting Stars program has awarded more than $200,000 in college scholarships and almost $65,000 in teacher honorariums. At the Shooting Stars Gala on April 3, 2016, nine first place scholarships of $1,400 each, nine second place scholarships of $700 each and nine teacher honorariums of $350 each will be awarded. The program is supported by Johnson County and area foundations, corporations and individual donors.
Students are nominated by their Arts teachers for this recognition. Arts teachers from schools throughout Johnson County are invited to nominate two students each year. Students who live in Johnson County but attend school outside of the county also may be nominated by their Arts teachers.
To participate in Shooting Stars, students must meet these criteria: be in the 12th grade and will graduate in the spring; live in Johnson County; and be nominated by an arts teacher from their high school; and submit an application.
Nominations were accepted from October 12 – 23, and applications from October 12 – 26.  After being selected as a finalist, the high school seniors will audition or submit a portfolio of work for review by independent judges in various categories.