With Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School art teacher Heather McCutcheon as the co-chair, New York State Youth Art Month has been announced as the winner of the top national Youth Art Month award for the first time ever.
“I have been working hard for the last seven years as the New York State Youth Art Month co-chair to bring advocacy, programing and events all year long, but especially during March for Youth Art Month,” McCutcheon said.
New York State Youth Art Month won the Council for Art Education’s 2022 Youth Art Month Claire Flanagan Grand Award. The co-chairs with McCutcheon are Tracy Berges, an art teacher at Suffern Central School District, and Donnalyn Shuster, a retired art teacher from Frankfort-Schuyler Central School District.
The Youth Art Month award winners will be recognized during the 2023 National Art Education Association Convention from April 13-15 in San Antonio.
“I am excited and plan on attending the National Conference during April Break in Texas,” McCutcheon said.
For the 2022 Youth Art Month, organizers reached out to the New York State Education Department and the New York State Union of Teachers and received their support for the first time. Both entities agreed to share Youth Art Month content on social media during March. They did so several times to highlight March as Youth Art Month and give examples of why the arts are important to children in the state.
New York State Youth Art Month was also recognized for adaptation. Since COVID-19, art teachers have been able to adapt and impacts continued in Youth Art Month in March 2022. When not able to have receptions, New York State Youth Art Month utilized staggered gallery walls, virtual shows and social media posts.
Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School art teacher Heather McCutcheon (left), who is a co-chair of New York State Art Month, poses with another one of the three co-chairs, Suffern Central School District art teacher Tracy Berges. The third co-chair is retired Frankfort-Central School District art teacher Donnalyn Shuster. New York State Youth Art Month won the Council for Art Education’s 2022 Youth Art Month Claire Flanagan Grand Award.