Last night, some of the greatest creative leaders of our time came together to celebrate today's most talented teen artists and writers.
The 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Ceremony happened at the iconic Carnegie Hall in New York City on June 2, 2016 - and it was awe-inspiring.
Watching 660 teens simultaneously stand and take a "bow" for their prestigious work evoked a feeling of joy and pride for every audience member in Carnegie Hall.
Some highlights from last night's event included:
- A surprise introduction from award-winning actor Alec Baldwin amongst the crowd of teen Gold Medalists.
- Scholastic CEO Dick Robinson revealing that if his mother never won a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards poetry medal for her work, she would have never worked for Scholastic or met his father Maurice Robinson.
- Producer, writer and YouTube personality Hunter March ran the "social media command center" throughout the evening, including a fun, emoji "red carpet" segment with Tim Gunn.
- Emmy award-winning writer, actor and children’s author Sonia Manzano introduced this year's 16 Gold Medal Portfolio winners.
- Former U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, introduced this year's National Students Poets.
- Emmy award-winner and bestselling author Tim Gunn provided a wealth of knowledge to this year's honorees in his closing remarks, including embracing the "good" and "bad" of feeling fear.
Filmmaker Ken Burns, the recipient of this year's 2016 Alumni Achievement Award, said it best about what these creative teen artist and writers can provide to our society.
"I hope you'll realize, as I have over the many, many years that I have been working, that the arts have absolutely nothing to do with the defense of our country, they just make the country worth defending."
Check out this video below some wonderful moments from last night's event.
To learn more, visit www.artandwriting.org and follow the hashtag #GoldKey
Photo by Stuart Ramson/AP Images for Scholastic