Fine Arts Center for New River Valley wins national recognition

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:17 PM EDT
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PULASKI, Va. (WDBJ) - The Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley has been nationally recognized. The center received the Gold Key for Excellence.

The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers awarded the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley its Gold Key Award for Excellence in the field.

Christopher Wisniewski, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, presented the award to the Center in acknowledgment for its work over the past year as an affiliate in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The awards are the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative students in grades 7–12.

The Fine Arts Center coordinates the ‘Scholastic Art Awards’ for students in Southwest Virginia that encompasses a region comprising schools and arts education programs in 23 counties in the Commonwealth.

During the online awards ceremony, Wisniewski said the board of the Fine Arts Center demonstrated, “resilience in the face of adversity; stepping up when they could have stepped back.”

The center was acknowledged for its use of technology to promote student artists and their teachers during the pandemic.

Also in celebration of this year’s regional and national finalists, the Fine Arts Center has prepared an online gallery on its website.

John Ross, President of the Board of Directors for the center, acknowledged how the all-volunteer board of the organization pulled together and rallied to the challenge of ensuring student artists in Southwest Virginia and their teachers continued to have this opportunity this year, a period when almost all students were participating in some form of remote learning.

Scholastic reported this year nearly 230,000 works of art and writing were submitted to more than 100 Affiliate Partners across the country. This year, students in Southwest Virginia submitted approximately 300 works, and of those, 82 received awards that qualified them for national competition. Six students from Southwest Virginia received recognition at the national level for their art.

The Fine Arts Center of the New River Valley has been the official affiliate of the Scholastic Art Awards for Southwest Virginia for nearly twenty years. They are supported, in part, by funding from the Town of Pulaski, Pulaski County, the C. E. Richardson Benevolent Foundation, the Randolph Foundation, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts, as well as through membership and donations.

More information about the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards can be found by visiting the Scholastic News Room at

For more information about the Fine Arts Center, visit its website at

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