Grants, scholarships support youth in performing arts

Contributed photo/ At a check presentation to the Pop-Up Project from the Performing Arts League (PAL), from left, are PAL board members Becky Pope and Linda Thompson; Jules Downum, executive and artistic director of the Pop-Up Project; Louie Marin-Howard, director of outreach and education, Pop-up Project; and PAL board members Cathie Kasch, Ana VanCura and Patricia Daniel.

The Performing Arts League (PAL) recently award its 2023 grants and scholarships totaling $28,887 to support youth involvement in the performing arts, according to a news release.

This year, PAL awarded grants to nine area nonprofit arts organizations to pay for and support instrumental, vocal, dance and theater programs that recruit, develop and train young performers. PAL also awarded scholarships to 22 aspiring high school performers to encourage their development and training in the instrumental, vocal, dance and theatrical arts.

"The mission of the Performing Arts League is to promote youth involvement in the performing arts," Karen Wilson, president of the organization, said. "We do this by supporting meaningful projects and opportunities for young performing artists, both individually and as part of a group experience. At PAL, we consider our support for these students essential to their growth and well-being of our community."

Grant recipients this year include: dance: Center for Creative Arts, Chattanooga Ballet, Pop-Up Project; instrumental music: East Lake Expression Engine, String Theory; theater: Chattanooga Theatre Centre, Christian Family Theater Youth Theater; vocal music: Chattanooga Boys Choir, Chattanooga Girls Choir.

Scholarship recipients are: dance: Abigail Anselmi, Jubilee Elliott, Elise Giles, Lilly "Kate" Heckaman, Finley Holmes, Addison McMullin, Isabella Moore, Layla Reed, Skylan Sapore, Julia Steffner, Eric Sumner, Lauren Weiss, Riley West; instrumental music: Elisa Velasques Aguilar, Alvisio Barioli, Charlie Miller, Jasper Sewell, Harrison Wells; voice and musical theater: Julian Ramirez de Arellano, Margherita Barioli, Luke Bryant, Nadia Giles.

"The PAL Scholarship was such a gift to me," ninth-grader Finley Holmes said in the news release. "I simply would not have been able to dance this summer without it, and I cannot express how appreciative I am."

Founded in 2011, the Performing Arts League is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging and supporting youth involvement in the performing arts throughout Chattanooga and Hamilton County.

Since 2014, the Performing Arts League has awarded nearly $200,000 in grants and scholarships.