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ArtsBridge Foundation Announces 2021 Shuler Award Winners

Re-imagined awards ceremony – also streaming online – also honored scholarship winners.

In a special broadcast with partner Georgia Public Broadcasting, this evening ArtsBridge Foundation announced the winners of the 13th Annual Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards during "Shuler Awards 2021," a special pre-recorded co-production that aired statewide.

Presented as the Shuler Hensley Awards-also known as the Shuler Awards or The Shulers and named for the Marietta-born star of the stage and screen-winners and nominees are recognized as the best of the state's high school musical theatre students and schools. The complete broadcast of Shuler Award winner presentations and scholarship announcements is available online via GPB.org/events/television/2021/05/20/2021-shuler-awards.

Fashioned after Broadway's Tony Awards, this year's Shuler Award winners span seven public and private schools from six counties across the Peach State from a pool of 17 nominees from 20 competing schools. The winners are:

· Overall Production - Ringgold High School, Ringgold, Ga. (Catoosa Co.) for "Anastasia"

· Direction - Jané Ellis, Ringgold High School, Ringgold, Ga. (Catoosa Co.) for "Anastasia"

· Music Direction - Jané Ellis, Ringgold High School, Ringgold, Ga. (Catoosa Co.) for "Anastasia"

· Orchestra - Tim Hinck, Heritage High School, Ringgold, Ga. (Catoosa Co.) for "Into the Woods"

· Best Performance by a Leading Actress - Isabella Chaney, Greenbrier High School, Evans, Ga. (Columbia Co.) for "Carousel"

· Best Performance by a Leading Actor - Ari Mikels, Lakeview High School, Atlanta (DeKalb Co.) for "Urinetown"

· Best Performance by a Supporting Actress - Kaylan Gaines, Gordon Central High School, Calhoun, Ga. (Gordon Co.) for "Little Women"

· Best Performance by a Supporting Actor - Cody Ogle, Ringgold High School, Ringgold, Ga. (Catoosa Co.) for "Anastasia"

· Best Performance by a Featured Performer - Catherine Hughes, Gordon Central High School, Calhoun, Ga. (Gordon Co.) for "Little Women"

· Choreography - Jade Lambert-Smith/Briana Bunkley, Tri-Cities High School, East Point, Ga. (Fulton Co.) for "Fela!"

· Ensemble - Ringgold High School, Ringgold, Ga. (Catoosa Co.) for "Anastasia"

· Scenic Design - Cody Ogle, Ringgold High School, Ringgold, Ga. (Catoosa Co.) for "Anastasia"

· Costume Design - Sarah Grace Fries, Ringgold High School, Ringgold, Ga. (Catoosa Co.) for "Anastasia"

· Showstopper - Duluth High School, Duluth, Ga. (Gwinnett Co.) for "Sister Act, Jr."

· Show-Must-Go-On Spotlight Award - Tri-Cities High School, East Point, Ga. (Fulton Co.) for "Fela!"

As the leading actress and actor, respectively, Chaney and Mikels will represent Georgia in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards program named The Jimmy Awards and participate in this year's virtual awards show on July 15, with merit scholarships and professional opportunities up for grabs.

"ArtsBridge Foundation congratulates this year's Shuler Award winners from across Georgia," said Jennifer D. Dobbs, executive director of ArtsBridge Foundation. "We wish current events made it possible for a full roster of 75 schools statewide to complete their performances for competition, and we appreciate everyone's support in honoring the hard work of all competing schools and our volunteer adjudicators who were very generous with their time and expertise."

In 2020-2021, 20 high schools across the state enrolled and competed to determine the 17 Shuler Award nominees, with a team of more than 50 Georgia-based arts professionals evaluating the student productions. The accounting firm Bennett Thrasher tabulated the results for the 2021 Shuler Hensley Awards.

"While public safety mandates again prevented us from gathering in person to celebrate this year's outstanding students and school performances, the ArtsBridge team worked tirelessly with its partners to make an awards announcement not only possible but also very special," said Dobbs. "We are optimistic the 2021-2022 academic year will enable more schools to participate in the Shuler Awards competition, and in spring 2022 we'll be celebrating the 14th Annual Shuler Awards in person again on the stage of Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre."

ArtsBridge Foundation and GPB also have another milestone to celebrate: Nomination of the 2020 Shuler Awards broadcast for a regional Southeast Emmy Award, marking the fourth consecutive shared Emmy nomination for the live awards broadcast. ArtsBridge and GPB previously won Southeast Emmy Awards for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Shuler Awards broadcasts in the event's ninth, tenth and eleventh years, respectively. The current, fourth nomination is for the twelfth Shuler Awards broadcast which aired in May 2020.

Since 2009, the Shuler Awards engaged over 60,000 students from 142 schools and 38 counties/school systems. This year's registration process was amended to provide flexibility for schools to complete the competitive application process. The 2021-2022 Shuler Awards competition will commence in August 2021 with the 14th Annual Shuler Awards presentation slated for April 2022. More information will be available on the ArtsBridge Foundation website at ArtsBridgeGA.org/programs/Shuler-Awards/.

The broadcast also included the names of students chosen to receive theater- and performing arts-related monetary or in-kind scholarships. ArtsBridge Foundation and its partners presented over $18,000 in scholarships, with the individual scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000 each. Winners were chosen from a competitive pool of applicants.

Scholarship winners include:

· Alliance Theatre Summer Intensive Scholarship

o Moriah Bone, Heritage High School, Ringgold, Ga. (Catoosa Co.)

o Matthew Cooper, Greenbrier High School, Evans, Ga. (Columbia Co.)

· The Aurora Theatre Summer Scholarship

o Ana Cox, Flowery Branch High School, Flowery Branch, Ga. (Hall Co.)

· Broadway Dreams Foundation Summer Intensive Scholarship

o Isaiah Byrd, Lakeside High School, Atlanta (DeKalb Co.)

o Arin-Ranee Francis, Holy Innocents' Episcopal School, Sandy Springs, Ga. (Fulton Co.)

· Dobbs/Berntson Family Educational Excellence Scholarship ($500)

o Isaiah Byrd, Lakeside High School, Atlanta (DeKalb Co.)

· The James Carlos Family Musical Theatre Performance Scholarship ($5,000)

o Marlena Collins, Duluth High School, Duluth, Ga. (Gwinnett Co.)

· Jubilee Cultural Arts Alliance Scholarship ($1,600)

o Nathan Weaver, Holy Innocents' Episcopal School, Sandy Springs, Ga. (Fulton Co.)

· Lockstep Technology Group Jimmy Awards Scholarship

o Isabella Chaney, Greenbrier High School, Evans, Ga. (Columbia Co.)

o Ari Mikels, Lakeview High School, Atlanta, Ga. (DeKalb Co.)

· The Kakkasseril Family Fund ($1,000)

o Ben Bingham, Calhoun High School, Calhoun, Ga. (Gordon Co.)

· The Orbit Arts Academy Broadway University Scholarship

o Ben Bingham, Calhoun High School, Calhoun, Ga. (Gordon Co.)

· Ron and Bea Scholarship Fund ($2,000)

o Arin-Ranee Francis, Holy Innocents' Episcopal School, Sandy Springs, Ga. (Fulton Co.)

· Smiley For Kylie Scholarship ($3,000)

o Moriah Bone, Heritage High School, Ringgold, Ga. (Catoosa Co.)

o Matthew Cooper, Greenbrier High School, Evans, Ga. (Columbia Co.)

o Ana Cox, Flowery Branch High School, Flowery Branch, Ga. (Hall Co.)

The 2020-2021 Shuler Awards are made possible by the generous support of the following sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor-Georgia Lottery

Silver Sponsors-Bennett Thrasher LLP, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, The Fabulous Fox Theatre, Fifth Third Bank Broadway In Atlanta, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Georgia State University TV

Bronze Sponsors-Delta Community Credit Union, Jimmy & Helen Carlos, Scicom Infrastructure Services, Inc.

Star Sponsors-Kia Motors America, Inc.

Friend Sponsors-Alliance Theatre, Andrews and Flanders Families, Benson Family Foundation Fund, Broadway Dreams Foundation, Georgia Council for the Arts, John & Mary Franklin Foundation, Jubilee Cultural Arts Alliance, Lockstep Technology Group, National Endowment for the Arts

Patron Sponsors-Aurora Theatre, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, The Dobbs/Berntson Family, The Job Kakkasseril Family, Orbit Arts Academy

In-Kind Sponsors-Chick-fil-A, Clear Channel Outdoor, Cobb Galleria Centre, Diaz Foods, Encore Atlanta, Fine Line Productions, Gibbs Creative, Manning Entertainment, Music Theatre International, Nicholas Wolaver/NEW's Public Relations, Pamela Pimpleton, Subway

Additional corporate donations or private contributions to the Shuler Awards are appreciated and may be submitted online at ArtsBridgeGA.org/get-involved/donate.


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