Evan Mendoza is the scholarship winner of $500.00, to be given in the second semester of the student’s sophomore year. He has been attending Unadilla Valley Central School District since moving to New Berlin from Long Brach, New Jersey in sixth grade. Evan Mendoza was very much honored to be the recipient of the 2017 Art Forum Scholarship Award upon graduation this past June. He is currently enrolled at Elmira College, majoring in Visual Arts, and video creation looking forward to broadening his knowledge of various mediums to which he has yet to be exposed. Graduating third in his class, core academics always took a priority, but taking a Graphic Design and Film course in high school allowed for his innate curiosity of the Arts to be explored. Following his heart proved fruitful as he excelled in editing the morning announcements, year book cover design, short films presented during monthly assemblies, Commencement program design, and many other collaborations among his mentors and peers. Excited anticipation grows as Evan nears his departure date of September 1 and he has thanked the New Berlin Art Forum and the community around him for the tremendous support in his efforts thus far.
Michael J. Turner
Michael J. Turner
The New Berlin Art Forum congratulates Michael J. Turner, a life-long Unadilla Valley Central School District student, who has been awarded one of the 2017 New Berlin Art Forum Scholarships. Michael is the son of Donna and Richard Turner. This fall, Michael will be attending SUNY Broome pursuing higher education in music and music performance.
Michael has been very active in the performing arts for 10 years. He began playing clarinet at an early age later becoming the lead clarinetist in the high school marching band. In 9th grade, he participated in a drama club variety show where he won a lip-sync battle performing Single Ladies by Beyonce Knowels. That dance Michael referred to as one of his greatest accomplishments as the self-taught choreography was extremely complex. When he realized he was on stage performing, he was energetic and not nervous at all. He embraced the moment and the applause. In addition, Michael has been in the high school chorus.
In December 2016, he starred in the production, A Christmas Carol portraying the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. The production was on a very tight two-month rehearsal schedule. “It was really difficult to learn all of my lines, especially when I had a monologue. "I went outside of my comfort zone and portrayed a character who was impersonal, unlike myself. Once again, the audience was amazing. I thought that it would only be my family that would cheer for me. Instead, most of the audience was basically screaming once I walked out on stage during curtain call. I remember that I finally decided this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
On April 28, 2017, Michael performed in the production Annie portraying the role of Oliver Warbucks, again, to a most appreciative audience. “I was really excited because musicals are mixtures of the things I love to do most which is acting and singing.”
Michael will be attending SUNY Broome to major in music and pursue a music career. His future plans are to compose his own music and become a performer on Broadway. “I want my dream to become a reality. I am very grateful for this scholarship and I won’t take it for granted, and I will strive to do the best work I am capable of doing. I devote everything to the performing arts and I am serious about my future and long-term goals. "I know if I show myself to the world, if I'm persistent, and I try my best, then I will live my dream.”
When asked what excites him most about performing, Michael said "I just try to have fun. I had so much fun performing on stage, especially when I was learning the music and choreography for the production, 'Annie.' Once you forget about the 'What if's' and all of the stage fright inside of you, you just start to have fun and enjoy yourself!"
Michael is very grateful to the New Berlin Art Forum for this scholarship and the community for the ongoing support.