Official Grant Press Release


Monica Shriver
Arizona School for the Arts

(602) 257 – 1444

Monica Shriver wins Surdna Arts Teachers Fellowship
For Arizona School for the Arts

Surdna Foundation Awards $77,000 to High School Arts Teachers
in National Competition

Phoenix, AZ, June 2, 2010 – Local music teacher Monica Shriver (Age 32) has been selected to receive a $5,500 Fellowship from the Surdna Arts Teachers Fellowship Program.  Arizona School for the Arts, where Ms. Shriver has taught for 6 years, also has been awarded a complementary grant of $1,500 to support post-fellowship activities in the school.

The Surdna Arts Teachers Fellowship Program (SATF), a venture of the Surdna Foundation’s Thriving Cultures Program, recently announced Fellowship recipients for the tenth round of its national awards. Fifteen outstanding arts teachers, representing 14 specialized public arts high schools and arts-focused magnet and charter high schools from around the country, were selected from an initial pool of 67 applicants.  The teachers excel in a broad spectrum of visual, performing, and literary arts.

Award recipients were evaluated by a peer review panel based on demonstrated excellence both as artists and teachers.  All permanently assigned, full- and part-time arts faculty in eligible arts high schools were invited to submit applications.

Ms. Shriver plans to use the money to further her understanding and application of jazz improvisation and form mentor relationships with jazz professionals in three different cities: Louisville, KY, Washington DC, and Chicago, IL. Ms. Shriver will be conducting interviews and posting her experienceson the blog:

“This is such an exciting and possible life-changing opportunity for me. The professionals that I am meeting and working with are so open and willing to share their love of jazz with me, which I will be able to pass on to my students. This fellowship is going to give me the opportunity to immerse myself in learning jazz improvisation ideas and techniques and will help me continue to inspire my students at Arizona School for the Arts. I am both humbled and honored to have been awarded this Fellowship.” said Ms. Shriver.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer these Fellowships to teachers of the arts.  By focusing on their own creative work and interacting with professional artists and colleagues, these teachers are exposed to new ideas and practices that they can carry back to the classroom.  After ten rounds of Fellowships—and close to 200 Fellows—we’ve witnessed the transformative effect of the Fellowship experience on both the individuals and the schools,” said Ellen B. Rudolph, Program Director for Thriving Cultures, Surdna Foundation.


About the Surdna Foundation

The Surdna Foundation, a national family foundation established in 1917, seeks to foster just and sustainable communities in the United States—communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by sustainable environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.

One focus of the Surdna Foundation’s Thriving Cultures program is to strengthen the artistic abilities of teens while addressing the isolation and lack of opportunities for artistic advancement for young people from disadvantaged communities. Surdna hopes that these teens will contribute to the artistic fabric of the United States and to the evolution of new art forms. The goal of the Surdna Arts Teachers Fellowship Program is to support the artistic revitalization of their arts teachers.  Surdna strives to help them increase their effectiveness as they guide and train young people for careers or advanced study.

For the next round of Fellowships, Letters of Intent to Apply are due by November 12, 2010.  For application information, go to:

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