For Immediate Release
March 18, 2011

Students honored during the 29th annual Illinois Arts Education Week

Poster contest winners recognized at Governor’s Mansion in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education honored student winners of the statewide arts education poster contest on Thursday at the Governor’s Mansion, a highlight of the 29th annual Illinois Arts Education Week that runs March 14 through the 20th and celebrates the importance of the fine arts. Students across the state competed to create posters reflective of this year’s theme, “The Arts Rock!.”

“Art education is a critical component of a students’ development,’’ said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Whether they’re learning to play a new instrument, choreographing a dance routine or designing a stage, they’re accessing their creative talents while increasing new skills and confidence. We congratulate these winners as well as their teachers and parents for celebrating the arts.”

The statewide poster contest celebrating Arts Education Week alternates between elementary and secondary students each year. The contest was only open to students in grades 9-12 this school year.

Nicole Maslow - Winning PosterNicole Maslow, a senior at Hinsdale South High School in Hinsdale School District 86, was chosen as the winner of the 2011 statewide poster contest. Nicole’s painting features various symbols of the arts, including a playbill, backstage pass to a dance performance and a film strip.

“My goal was to have all the arts images (Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts) in my art work,’’ said Nicole of Darien. “I wanted to do this in a creative, neat way that portrayed my style of art.”

“We’re encouraged to see so many students and schools still offering great art programs even in these challenging economic times,” said Becky Blaine, IAAE President and Art Teacher at St. Charles East High School. “The benefits of participating in a fine arts program lasts long beyond a student’s school days.”
While celebrating Arts Education Week, ISBE also commends Adlai E. Stevenson High School, SD 125, Lincolnshire, one of five schools in the country to win the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts National Schools of Distinction Award for their work during the recent 2009-10 school year. The award recognizes schools that have made the arts an essential part of their students’ education.

Illinois Arts Education Week 2011 is sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education in conjunction with the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education and the Governor’s Office. The IAAE is a member of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network, receiving support, award recognition programs and professional development opportunities. ISBE is also a partner with the Illinois Arts Council.

Nicole Maslow, senior
Greg Gardner, Art Instructor
Hinsdale South High School
Hinsdale Township High School District 86
Darien, IL
Second Place
Stella Tu, junior
Glenbrook North High School
Glenbrook High Schools District 225
Northbrook, IL
Third Place
Ariel Koprowski, senior
Hinsdale South High School
Hinsdale Township High School District 86
Darien, IL
Honorable Mention
Lena Biedrzycki, junior
Hinsdale Township High School District 86
Hayne Ryu, sophomore
Champaign CUSD 4
Josh Whalen, freshman
Farmington Central CUSD 265

Additional posters can be requested by contacting the Illinois State Board of Education’s Curriculum and Instruction division at (217) 557-7323;; or via mail at 100 N. First St., Springfield, IL 62777-0001. The back of the poster contains references to the Illinois Learning Goals and Standards for the Fine Arts, upcoming art events for 2011, Internet resources and more. To view the winning posters online, please visit