Two Franklin High School Seniors Among Statewide Arts Award Winners

FHS seniors Josephine Sesay and Kalimah White, left to right, are among 90 student performers to be honored at the 37th Annual Governor’s Awards in Arts Education. Photos: New Jersey Arts Education Partnership.

Two Franklin High School seniors are among 90 student performers who will be honored May 24 at the 37th Annual Governor’s Awards in Arts Education ceremony.

Franklin students receiving awards are Josephine Sesay for performing arts and Kalimah White for dramatic monologue and performing arts.

Sesay said in her biography for the awards that she plans on pursuing bio-medical studies in college, with an eye on medical school, and also pursuing her love of music.

White said in her biography for the awards that she plans on pursuing degrees in television production and dramatics in college, with hopes of starting an acting career.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in The Patriot’s Theatre at the War Memorial in Trenton. There will be a reception immediately following the award ceremony.

Sesay was nominated by the NJ State Conference of the NAACP’s ACT-SO Program, and White was nominated for the performing arts award by ACT-SO and for the dramatic monologue award by the Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey.

The awards are “recognized nationwide as the states highest honor in arts education,” according to a press release about the awards. “Honoring excellence, promoting awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners.”

“The Council is proud to support this event and the work in arts education advocacy that we do all year long, shining a light on the incredibly talented student artists and the educators who help them soar” Nick Paleologos, executive director of The NJ State Council on the Arts, said in the release.

This year’s awards will be presented to 90 students and 18 education leaders, according to the release. National and statewide organizations selected the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and the visual arts. Education and arts professionals were chosen for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education.

“These young men and women have shown that creativity sparks a passion for learning,” Bob Morrison, co-director of the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership, said in the release. “They serve as great examples as we recognize the critical role arts education plays in the development of our young citizens.”

This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts a founding agency of the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership.


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