By Billy Thomas
The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, one of Olympia’s premier performing arts spaces since 1985, has announced their recipient of the Anacker Scholarship for the Arts.
The scholarship is provided each year to a graduating high school senior from Thurston County who plans to study and pursue a career in the arts. This year’s recipient is Megan Smith, who will be graduating from Capital High School in June.
Smith is a flautist who has played since elementary school. She performs with many ensembles including Capital High School Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band, Tacoma Youth Symphony, and the South Puget Sound Community College Jazz Band. She has worked part-time jobs to help pay for her instrument, lessons, music and accompanist fees.
Dan Lundberg, Capital High School director of bands, says Smith “is a very disciplined student and has a great mind set on the approach to the instrument.”
The selection process is not easy. Hundreds of applications poured in through late March, each highly qualified on the required bases of demonstrated academic ability, extracurricular activities or volunteerism, career goals and two letters of recommendation.
“Each application tells an amazing story about how art and music impact our lives,” says Jill Barnes, Washington Center Executive Director. “Megan has worked very hard to make the most out of challenges and overcome obstacles to follow her dreams to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education.”
Smith’s ultimate goal is to teach music, and she has a personal mission to provide music education to communities that need access. “Megan exemplifies the need for the arts and music in our schools,” says Barnes. “We’ve seen time and time again that the arts build skills in confidence, public speaking, risk-taking and creativity.”
The Anacker Scholarship was endowed by former Washington Center Board President Sally Anacker to from a belief that the arts exist to enrich our lives. Anacker says of the scholarship, “If the arts exist to enrich our lives…then The Washington Center’s mission must surely be not only to provide the various art forms but to nurture the pursuit of them in our young people.”
The Washington Center Anacker Scholarship for the Arts
Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St SE, Olympia
Applications reviewed annually, 2019′ deadline was March 29.
Awards are generally $1,000.