It was quite the adventure being part of this competition and presenting my work on such a professional level. Winning this competition has made me more confident in my own work and will enable me to focus on pursuing my career as a professional dancer as well as taking advantage of every opportunity that may come my way. Thank you NSAL for this wonderful experience.
I am here to tell you that winning the first place Literature Award has made an incredible difference in my life. While this generous prize arrived at a most essential moment financially, the renewed energy I have drawn from it to continue my writing is of much more import.
NSAL gave me one of the most exciting, rewarding, and enriching experiences of my life. And most of all, my faith in the arts has been renewed. I realize that there are people out there (NSAL members) that truly care about seeing the arts flourish and supporting young artists.
The award from NSAL was such a relief - it meant that I could concentrate on my master's degree without having to divide my attention between school and a job. But even more than the financial assistance, the personal encouragement from the judges, NSAL members and my fellow contestants has meant so much to me.
Winning the NSAL Career Award Prize enabled me to fund my junior year of college and also introduced me to a wider audience for my work. I have completed 17 portrait commissions since May 2007 and have started a master’s program while continuing to draw and paint.
Winning the Naomi Winston Scholarship in Art gave me the opportunity to study traditional printmaking methods in Florence, Italy. Not only was I able to further my skills as a printmaker, but I also gained a broader perspective of the world. The Winston Scholarship has truly had a lasting impact on my development as an artist.
With our country's appreciation of the arts dwindling each year, it's wonderful to see NSAL continue to not only celebrate, but foster young artists. I will always be grateful for the generous award I received and I will never forget how it helped me to develop the career I have today.
Especially for a poet, who has little chance of garnering funds to fuel her work and her growth as a writer, this prize was an incredible gift. Likewise, and perhaps even more significant, winning this award provided me with a healthy dose of poise in a gritty literary world: what you told me, NSAL, was that I had possibility. I chose to believe you.
The years since winning the NSAL Piano Competition included some exciting concerts in Austria, Chicago, England, Germany, and New York. The support I received from NSAL has been invaluable. I wouldn't be where I am today without it.