Scholar-Artist Awards

For more than a decade, LIAA’s Scholar-Artist Awards program has recognized students judged to be “the best of the best” on Long Island in both academics and in the arts. The LIAA Scholar-Artist Program is presented by the New York Community Bank Foundation and is produced in cooperation with Newsday.

The LIAA Scholar-Artist program salutes its sponsors: New York Community Bank Foundation and Arts Reach Fund at Long Island Community Foundation. Additional thanks for LIU Post for offering scholarships to qualifying Scholar-Artist Honorees. Contact for more information about scholarship opportunities.


Arts Reach Fund
News Day

Program Background

In 2007, Long Island’s school arts administrators launched a collaboration with Long Island Arts Alliance, Newsday, and New York Community Bank Foundation, one designed to recognize students judged to be “the best of the best” on Long Island. The Scholar-Artist program mirrors the regions’ Scholar-Athlete programs. High school seniors are nominated by their school districts, and ten each from Nassau and Suffolk receive the program’s highest honor. The current class of Scholar-Artists is the program’s tenth.

Program Details: (Calls For Nominations For The Class Of 2020 Will Open In May Of 2019)


  • Nominations May Only Be Submitted By An Authorized School Official; E.G. Principal, Superintendent Or Art Teacher. Applicants Must Be Graduating Seniors And Must Represent Excellence As Practicing Artists Within Their Chosen Discipline. Applicants Must Demonstrate Superior Academic Achievement With An Un-Weighted Grade Point Average Of 90 Or Above.
  • Every Long Island public, private, or parochial high school may nominate up to five Juniors, one in each of the following disciplines: Music, Visual Arts, Media Arts, Theater, or Dance.
  • Students who meet the program’s academic criteria are invited to submit performance recordings, or portfolios of visual or media arts. Panels of leading artists and arts educators review submissions, and 20 students are then named LIAA Scholar-Artists. Up to 20 additional students may receive Awards of Merit. Program applications can be found on this website’s right hand column.

Student nominees must meet the following minimum criteria

  • Each must be a graduating senior during the following academic year. Applications are to be submitted by a district administrator.
  • Students must represent the highest level of artist excellence and superior academic achievement with an unweighted grade point average of 90 or above.
  • School arts teachers may nominate students who meet these criteria. Students submit a performance recording or portfolio of their work, and an essay. Final selections are made by panels of artists and arts educators.

Scholar-Artist and District Superintendent awards

  • The program’s most prestigious awards. Twenty students are named LIAA Scholar-Artists each academic year.
  • Photos and profiles of Scholar-Artists, one each from Nassau and Suffolk counties, appear in monthly features in Newsday.
  • Individual portfolios of each Scholar-Artist appear on
  • Scholar-Artists receive a framed copy of their Newsday profile. These are presented at LIAA’s annual Gala at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Superintendents are presented with a copy of their student’s framed Newsday profile at the Gala.

Awards of Merit

  • A secondary honor for up to twenty additional students.
  • Students are listed on the Newsday website.
  • Students receive an award at the Gala.

Dr. John J. Gallagher, Chairman, Longwood Schools; Kevin Bayen, Hewlett-Woodmere; Shirlene Blake, Board Member, New York State Dance Education AssociationCarol Brown, Eastern Suffolk BOCES, Ret.; Dr. Judith Chen, Scholar-Artist Liaison; Dr. Diana Cook, Middle Country Schools; Louisa Eiermann, Bayport-Blue Point Schools, Ret.; Ava Favara, Long Island High School for the Arts, Ret.; Lisa Fernandez, Westbury Public Schools; Cynthia Gerard, Longwood Central School District; Marc Greene, Ithaca College; James Incorvaia, Usdan Center for the Arts; Beth E. Levinthal, Hofstra University Museum, Ret.; Dale Lewis, Dir., Arts Reach Fund, Long Island Community Foundation; Dr. Kim Lowenborg-Coyne, North Babylon Schools, Donna Manning, Seaford Schools; Susan Radin, South Huntington Schools; Joanne Spencer, Nassau BOCES; Susan Weber, Uniondale Schools, Ret.