2023 Scholarship Recipients

Every year the AAAC awards scholarships to graduating art students at EO Smith High School – one for the performing arts, one for the visual arts and one for literary arts. These students are chosen because they have taken two or more courses in their area; exhibited enthusiasm, interest, honesty, and integrity; and produced quality work viewed or open to the public. The recipients plan on pursuing their interest vocationally or as an avocation.

Elizabeth Morris.  Elizabeth is receiving her award for her role in the Performing Arts.  All her life she has lived Connecticut, but this fall she will be moving to New York City to study musical theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.  She started participating in theater at ten years old with her first show being a production of Peter Pan Jr.  Since entering high school at E.O. Smith, she has had the roles of Alice in Alice in Wonderland, Rebecca Nurse/Mary Warren understudy in The Crucible, Juniper (acting) and Genesis (vocals) in a student written musical, Antlersong, The Singing Woman in Beowulf, Amy in Bad Auditions by Bad Actors, and most recently she was a featured singer in the student-arranged cabaret One Last Show.  She is very excited to be continuing her work in the performing arts and is grateful for everyone that has supported her.

Zhiyu Liu is receiving her award for work in the visual arts.  Her artwork depicts her life’s journey as an English Language Learner (ELL) affected by a language barrier.  When she was an ELL freshman, she felt she was isolated from those around her because she was unable to communicate.  It made her feel nervous, anxious, frustrated and sad.  Her art is about depicting her story, expressing her feelings and conveying her feelings to an audience.  She usually uses acrylic and digital painting software and graphite, mechanical, and colored pencils for her drawings.  She also enjoys working with oil paint.  During high school she has taken Drawing 1, Drawing 2, Painting 1, Painting 2 and AP Art.  She is grateful for Aiyana Wazer, Amanda Ross, Mrs. Andrews, Mrs. Mocanu and Mrs. Mamunes at E.O. Smith who encourages her passion for making art.  She will attend the University of Connecticut where she will major in Motion Design and Animation in the Digital Media and Design Department and minor in Computer Science. 

Nora Brown is receiving the scholarship award for her work in the literary arts.  She says that she has clung to a strong love of writing since she was very young. It had always been a way for her to tell her stories without speaking, and as someone who grew up very quiet, being loud, without needing to fight to be heard, was priceless. However, she didn’t stay quiet. She eventually joined the theatre club at E.O. Smith, which is where she likes to think she really found her voice. It was the merging of both her love of writing and her love for this theatre program that inspired her to write Cirque du Macabre. In October 2022, she was honored at ECSU’s Literary Festival to receive a Distinguished Writing Award for an excerpt from the script-in-process. Cirque, as a show, initially started out as a way to highlight the talents of the incredibly artistic individuals she has had the pleasure of working with for the past three years. Only once she began writing it blossomed into the full-fledged script for a feminist, 1920s murder mystery, which she then had the incredible privilege of adapting into a show that the E.O. Smith Drama Club was able to perform in March 2023. She truly believes that creating Cirque du Macabre with a community of people who she has grown to really love has been a once in a lifetime experience. It has given her the courage to continue pursuing art and creativity. While the girl who wrote instead of using her voice would have been too scared, she is braver now, and proud to say that she is an artist. Moving into the future, she will study film, theatre, and media at Mount Holyoke College