(left to right winners) Morgan Schragger, William (Liam) May, Alexandra Marcus and Sullivan Meyer

PENNINGTON – The Hopewell Valley Arts Council proudly awarded its annual scholarships to Hopewell Valley Central High School graduating seniors Alexandra Marcus, William (Liam) May, Sullivan Meyer, and Morgan Schragger. 

“These sixth annual scholarships are a critical part of our mission to encourage creativity in the Hopewell Valley community — fostering a lifelong participation in the arts,” said HV Arts Council Executive Director Carol Lipson.

Scholarships of $500 are awarded annually to four Hopewell Valley Central High School graduating seniors who illustrate an intent to further their education at a 4-year college, 2-year college, or professional school and continue to study any aspect of the arts, such as fine arts, performing arts, culinary arts, literary arts, or other forms of creative expression. Applicants provided a brief essay or other artistic representation in response to the following: Recognizing the value of creativity and expression in all of our lives, the mission of the Hopewell Valley Arts Council is to celebrate art in the everyday. 

This year’s HV Arts Council Scholarship award winners work in different media, but share a passion for art and its ability to influence people and ideas.  

Marcus, who plans to study graphic design in college, finds the creation of art a relief from the challenges she experiences with ADD. “I can spend hours straight working on art without veering off track,” Marcus said. Her passion is graphic design and its power to captivate. “Graphic designers show their work in so many ways. I find it impressive that art has such an impact on everyone.”

May has seemingly always been connected to art, and studied AP art and design at HVCH. “Art is, and has always been, such a huge part of my life,” said May, who grew up with two artist parents, both of whom went to school for art. “Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to do something with art … I knew that I needed to be part of this world of artistic expression.” May will attend NYU Tisch School of Arts to pursue film. 

Meyer, who describes himself as “a politics nerd on the robotics team,” is fascinated with the synthesis between art and engineering. He plans to attend Princeton University in the fall to study mechanical engineering with minors in design and public policy, exploring the intersection between those disciplines. “They all have a potential for impact, as engineers, designers, and policymakers all have immense power to affect our lives,” said Meyers. 

Schragger finds the performing arts skills she honed in high school have prepared her for much more — effective public speaking, confidence, and improved creativity so she can handle unexpected problems with ease. Her essay summed up a creatively successful day: “I stayed in character, displayed self-confidence, and used my improvisational techniques to avoid a potentially disastrous sixth birthday party.” Shragger will attend High Point University to major in broadcast journalism and minor in theatre.

Though their art and creative perspectives vary, the 2020 HV Arts Council scholarship winners share a bright future for the arts in Hopewell Valley.