Two students from Woodstock are among 10 recipients of this year’s Helen Wright Scholarships awarded by the Woodstock Fine Arts Association.
Caroline Arnold of Woodstock High School and Hannah Paulson of Marian Central Catholic High School each received a $1,500 scholarship. The scholarships are awarded to McHenry County high school seniors who exhibit talent in the arts.
The annual talent showcase, when each scholarship recipient performs on the stage of the Woodstock Opera House, has been canceled because of the coronavirus.
The purpose of WFAA is to champion the arts in McHenry County. The scholarships reward young men and women who have demonstrated talent in the performing, visual and literary arts. Helen Wright was a founding member and leader of the WFAA.
Arnold, a 2020 graduate of Woodstock High School, was honored for her creative writing talents. She is the daughter of Dr. David and Deidre Arnold. Her early education was at Olson Elementary and Creekside Middle School. She will attend Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, where she will pursue a double major in math and data science, with the goal of working as a data scientist.
While at WHS, Arnold was captain and a member of the dance team, and she held officer positions in Blue Planet Club and National Honor Society.
“I’m so thankful to the Woodstock Fine Arts Association for providing me this opportunity,” Arnold said. “I’ve been writing short stories since I was a kid, and it was an honor to be able to share my work.”
Paulson, a 2020 Marian Central graduate, was awarded a scholarship for her voice talents. Her parents are Peter and Terese Paulson. She attended Crystal Lake Montessori School for elementary and middle school education. She will attend St. Olaf College in Minnesota.
Paulson’s activities at Marian Central included being president of the Tri-M Music Honors Society, student-director for the Madrigal Choir, and performer in many school musicals and plays.
“Receiving this scholarship is a blessing and an honor,” Paulson said. “I cannot wait to continue my artistic education in college.”
“We were very impressed by Caroline’s writing samples and Hannah’s performance video,” said Nan Cibula-Jenkins, a member of the WFAA scholarship committee and emeritus professor of theater at DePaul University. “The scholarship recipients are an outstanding group of talented high school seniors. It was a real pleasure to review their artistry.”
WFAA’s Gay Mather and Maggie Amis were co-chairwomen of the 2020 Scholarship Committee.
The WFAA has supported the arts in McHenry County since 1961. In addition to its annual spring luncheon, which funds the scholarships, the group hosts the talent showcase, children’s programs, Creative Living speaker series and more.
Current officers are Mary Ellen Prindiville, president; Kristie Moynihan, first vice president; Ellen O’Rourke, second vice president; Becky Kent Medins, treasurer; and Barb Neely, secretary.
For more information, email Prindiville at email@example.com.