Today, with high-quality phone cameras readily accessible and the rise of online platforms for creators like YouTube, Instagram, Dribbble, and others, creative pursuits are becoming more and more readily available.
However, the flip side of this is that, with the hypersocialized and Twitterified world that we have today, it has never been easier for anyone to chime in and thoughtlessly criticize artists’ work. When anyone can be an armchair critic, becoming a creator can be an intimidating task.
And yet, it is often the work of artists, creators, and innovators that drive our culture, empathy, and societal conversation forward each day.
Students with strong exposure to the visual and performing arts are more likely to achieve better grades, graduate university, volunteer, vote, engage with local politics, read the newspaper, and more.
Despite this, arts programs continue to go underfunded.
My mother, Kim Beneschott, is an amazing watercolor artist. She has faced many hardships throughout her life, but instead of allowing anything to drag her down, she has always channeled her energy into creative pursuits and a powerful career as a school psychologist and educator with the most generous, kind heart you can imagine.
She never hesitates to give her time and support to anyone who needs it, and to this day I still get contacted by people who tell me what a positive effect she’s had on them.
She recently returned to her passion for art, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. Her kindness, generosity, and creative spirit is the inspiration for this scholarship.