Montgomery County High School Seniors Receive County-Wide Recognition for Creative Excellence

By Editorial Team on April 10, 2018

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) recently announced Albert Einstein High School seniors Amal Haddad and Astrid Dong as the 2018 Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award recipient and 2018 Ida F. Haimovicz Visual Arts Award recipient, respectively. Haddad, a 2018 YoungArts Silver Finalist, specializes in literary memoirs and fiction in her writing. Dong, an aspiring filmmaker, explores abstraction, space, and symbolism in her award-winning multimedia visual artwork. AHCMC will honor these accomplished local students and showcase their work during a joint Awards Presentation & Reception at the Betty Mae Kramer Gallery and Music Room in Silver Spring, MD on Thursday, April 19, 2018 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

The Ida F. Haimovicz Visual Arts Award was established by the family of the late Ida F. Haimovicz, a North Bethesda resident, to provide financial aid to deserving high school students. The Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award was established to celebrate Abrams’ more than 40 years of service to Montgomery County, including more than 20 years in non-profit organizations focused on early childhood education, arts and the environment. Both women have demonstrated a deep commitment to the local creative community, inspiring support for the next generation of creative individuals.

“Arts and humanities education enhances academic achievement across all disciplines and better prepares young minds for success in our 21st-century workforce,” noted Suzan Jenkins, AHCMC CEO. “AHCMC proudly empowers and encourages young, aspiring artists and scholars with the Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award and Ida F. Haimovicz Visual Arts Award. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to all!”

The awards presentation will include a public reading from Haddad of her winning work along with a selected reading from Tara Campbell, a professional writer and Abrams Award panelist. Dong will present the opening of her multi-media exhibition, Wick and Limb, on view from Thursday, April 19 through Friday, June 29, 2018 as part of her prize. Click here for event information and registration.

Photos from left: Astrid Dong, Amal Haddad, Tara Campbell.  Courtesy of Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.

ARTIST STATEMENTS
Amal Haddad is a self-described haphazard poet, artist, and wannabe novelist who hopes to one day finish writing her story set in the Upper Michigan Peninsula, a region she has an inexplicable fascination with and of which she has five maps on her wall, despite never having been there. Her favorite writers are Anne Carson and James Baldwin. Amal works at the Bethesda library and is currently a senior at Albert Einstein high school’s Visual Arts Center. For her art series about the AIDS epidemic and its ramifications today, Amal was named a 2018 YoungArts Silver Finalist and a semi-finalist for the Presidential Scholar in the Arts. In the fall, she will attend Swarthmore College and plans to study English. Amal would like to thank her friends, family, and her English teacher, Ms. Krauchi, for supporting her writing.

Astrid Dong is a senior at Albert Einstein High School and a resident of Rockville, Maryland. Astrid is the Vice President of the National Art Honor Society and has participated in Internship programs at the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum. She plans to study cinematography and media arts and pursue a career in the independent film communities working to amplify voices in media that are lesser heard. Her award-winning multi-media artwork explores abstraction, space, and symbolism through materials that either degrade over time, or transform as a part of their presentation.

Tara Campbell (www.taracampbell.com) is a fiction editor at Barrelhouse and an MFA candidate at American University. Prior publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Masters Review, b(OINK), Booth, Spelk, Jellyfish Review, Strange Horizons, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Her debut novel, TreeVolution, was published in 2016, and her collection, Circe’s Bicycle, has just been released this spring.

ABOUT THE AWARDS
The Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award honors both a high school senior who excels in creative writing and Fran Abrams, who worked tirelessly throughout her career to support the arts and humanities in Montgomery County. The Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award is a competitive award open annually to all Montgomery County high school seniors. The award includes a cash prize and an award reception featuring a reading by the winner and a local professional author. Learn more about the Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award.

The Ida F. Haimovicz Visual Arts Award was established by the family of the late Ida F. Haimovicz to support a Montgomery County high school senior intent on pursuing a visual arts career. At age 64, Mrs. Haimovicz, a resident of North Bethesda, attended a sculpture class at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. This class started Mrs. Haimovicz on a much-loved hobby, said her son Joseph Hamer. “She began sculpting at home, but the clay became heavier and heavier as she grew older. She realized that she should have started much earlier in life.” Mrs. Haimovicz wanted to provide financial aid to deserving high school students to enjoy their creativity while still young. The award comes with a cash prize and the opportunity to be curated by the Arts and Humanities council of Montgomery County in a solo art exhibition of the winner’s work. Learn more about the Ida F. Haimovicz Visual Arts Award.

(via the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. Photos from left: Astrid Dong, Amal Haddad, Tara Campbell. Courtesy of Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.)