student speaking
Awards & Recognition


The Perpich Center for Arts Education:
  • was awarded in 2014 with leadership in Minnesota for the national Turnaround Arts initiative by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities
  • was tapped by Americans for the Arts in 2014 to lead a three-year national pilot project studying arts education policy.
  • was awarded substantial funding through the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (2012-2017) to deliver Arts Integration Programs to help transform urban, suburban and particularly rural Minnesota schools through K-12 teacher professional development and funding to schools and to support Turnaround Arts: Minnesota.
  • spearheaded the first Minnesota Arts Education Survey in 2012 to provide status of arts education in Minnesota as a benchmark for the state.
  • was presented with the College Board’s inaugural Midwestern Regional Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts in 2013.

scholastic art & writing awards logo

Perpich Arts High School:

  • was one of only three schools in the state to achieve 100% graduation in 2014.
  • received The Midwestern Regional Award for Excellence and Innovation, in part for the high school’s exemplary programming in arts education, from The College Board in 2013.
  • has a member of the faculty, Mary Harding, who has served on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (along with a colleague from Perpich Outreach, Jeremy Holien).
watercolor portraits


Our students lead the state in Scholastic Arts & Writing awards, including numerous gold and silver keys received each year at both the state and national levels.


  • Sherrill Zheng, senior from Roseville in visual arts, received a National Gold Key and the Herblock Foundation Award. Also winning National Gold Keys were Tobio Cooperman, junior in visual arts from Edina; Abby Griffin, senior in visual arts from White Bear Lake; and Sophie Peterson, junior in literary arts from Minneapolis. Winning National Silver Keys were Allison Baxter, junior in visual arts from Chisago City; Renee Roth, senior in media arts from Bloomington; and Carmela Simione, junior in media arts from Minneapolis.
  • In keeping with tradition, 2015-16 Perpich students were leaders in the state-level awards with 105 gold, silver and honorable mentions in visual, media and and literary arts.
  • Twenty-six state-level Gold Keys were awarded Perpich students; 35 Silver Keys; and 44 honorable mentions.

2014-15 HONORS

Perpich student wins national composition award
Music senior Ian Underhill-Cady was named one of six high school students nationally to win the inaugural 2015 “NextNotes” high school composition award from the American Composers Forum.

Music students win Schubert Club Composer Mentorships
Sam Hoch and Riona Ryan, seniors in music, won two of only four slots in the Schubert Club’s Composer Mentorship program for 2014-15..

Perpich media student had work in Reel Youth Film Festival
Michael Hansen, senior in media arts, created a video that was selected as part of The Reel Youth Film Festival. The piece screened at the prestigious Vancouver International Film Festival and went on tour across Canada and beyond during this school year.

2014 graduate’s artwork is being displayed this year in Washington, D.C.
Tom McCallie’s work, “Behold,” is on display at the U.S. Department of Education as part of ART.WRITE.NOW.D.C., a special exhibition of national award-winning work from the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Perpich students’ video makes “Top 10 Must See” list at City Pages
City Pages named the video, “Spine Diving,” one of the “Top 10 must-see Minnesota music videos” for the week of Aug. 21-28, 2014. Senior media students Jae Shin Cross and Satya Varghese Mac created the music video for the band Origami Bones, composed of producer Adriatic and Perpich alum Shatter the Primate (Mackenzie Monk, ’14 music).

Four Perpich students win National Merit honors
Four Perpich seniors made the coveted National Merit Scholarship list of semifinalists and commended students in the fall of 2014: Anna Boguszewski, music, was a National Merit semifinalist and Mary Buie, theater; Io Irvin, visual; and Riona Ryan, music, were named commended students. Boguszewski has now been named a finalist for 2015.

Perpich seniors in media arts win national recognition
Satya Varghese Mac, Max Hart and Michael Hansen, all seniors in media arts, received top awards in the National YoungArts 2015 Competition. Max and Michael were named photography finalists. Only 10 students are finalists in the photography discipline. Satya received a Merit Award for cinema. Only 21 students received merit in the cinema discipline.

Perpich students dominate the awards in honors exhibition at Concordia
Four of the top five awards at the 12th Annual High School Honors Exhibition at Concordia University in 2015 went to Perpich visual and media students. Allison Michaellyn, senior in visual, won first place for her painting “The Wanderer.” Eva Janke-Furman, a visual arts senior, won second place for her watercolor triptych.

Jae Shin Cross, senior in media arts, won third place for her photography book, “Safety.” And Astraëa Smart, senior in media, won fifth place for her digital diptych, “Ambiguous.”

Receiving honorable mentions were Scarlett Searle, Catherine Trombley and Diana Ganado Ramos, seniors in visual; and Rosie Amato Bauer, senior in media.

Music students win accolades
Riona Ryan, Thanasi Pantazides, Sam Hoch and Cynthia Heck, all seniors in the music program, won recognition in two different Minnesota music competitions. Riona Ryan won the 2014 Eric Stokes Song Contest. Cynthia Heck, Sam Hoch and Thanasi Pantazides were three of only five composer finalists in the 2014 Minnesota Varsity Competition, sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio.

Media arts students do Perpich proud
Works by media arts seniors Rosie Amato Bauer, Satya Varghese Mac and Jae Shin Cross were shown at the Walker Art Center in February 2015. Satya and Jae won Audience Pick for their music video, “Spine Diving.” The screening was part of the Twin Cities Youth Media Network’s All City Youth Film Showcase.

Hopkins exhibition showcases Perpich talent
At Hopkins Center for the Arts, Rebecca Silberfarb, Ashley Brewer and Avery Ellis , media arts seniors, and Carl Forsline, media arts junior, were selected to exhibit their photography in the 2015 Youth Art Month Student Exhibition. Rebecca Silberfarb’s cyanotype, “Detailed Memories,” received first place in the high school division.

Perpich literary arts senior makes national spoken word team
Samantha Daiker, senior in literary arts, is one of six Minnesota youth poets on the 2015 Be Heard Brave New Voices team representing Minnesota at the 2015 Brave New Voices international poetry slam in Atlanta in July.

Two students win recognition in Congressional Arts Competition
Two advanced media arts students, Shannon Clancy and Sophie Deutsch, had works chosen for the Keith Ellison Congressional Arts Competition. Their images are currently on display at the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach Center (UROC), 2001 Plymouth Ave. N., Minneapolis.


Other awards/accolades in recent years

  • The 2013-14 Minnesota Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards for Perpich included 67 arts awards and 16 writing awards. Of those, 19 were Gold Keys, 26 were Silver Keys and 45 were honorable mention. Tom McCallie (visual ‘14) received a Gold Key and aSilver Key at the national level, the only Minnesota student to win two national keys.
  • Perpich Arts High School made an exceptional showing in 2012-13 at the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards. Juniors and seniors in visual and media arts received 65 awards, including 26 Gold Key Awards, more than any other school in the state. In the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards writing category, three students received gold keys and two silver keys.
  • A senior in visual arts scored in the top 3% of more than 160,000 African- American students who requested consideration of their SAT/National Merits Scholarship Qualifying Test scores with the National Achievement Scholarship Program.
  • Perpich was represented at the Say Word Youth Poetry Festival by a team of senior literary arts students. The festival featured nearly 20 teams, reached 400-500 Minnesota youth and included dance ciphers, workshops, guest hosts and spotlight performances. The Perpich team advanced to the finals, finishing third, and swept the individual competition for highest scoring individuals. Perpich students placed first and second.
  • Two media arts students received West Photo Cash Awards for their photographic works at the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards Ceremony at the Minnesota History Center.
  • Three students were named semi-finalists for National Merit Scholarships in 2013.

Students have shown artwork/received accolades at:

  • the annual All Youth Film and Education Day
  • film festivals in Minnesota, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles
  • Best Student Feature at the national Indie Spirit Film Festival in Colorado
  • Youth Showcase at the PipJazz Sundays concert series and named Youth All- Stars on the Jazz Police website
  • City and Neighborhood Film Festival for three-minute films or videos that described his/her city or neighborhood
  • Minnesota Historical Society as part of the “Being a Teen in Minnesota” exhibition
  • Do It Your Damn Self!! 16th Annual Film Festival. Youth curated, this festival receives over 200 submissions nationally. Almost 1,000 youth and adults view screenings at the festival each year.
  • Newport Beach Film Festival Youth Film Showcase. The 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival received over 2,000 films from around the world.
  • Cine Youth Film Festival at Columbia College Chicago featured seven films by Perpich media students.
  • Resolution JGS website gallery, winning Certificates of Artistic Merit for work submitted to the Resolution Contest from the Joy of Giving Something Foundation
  • Youth Art Month Exhibition at the Minnesota state capitol
  • 19th annual Los Angeles Film Festival in the Future Filmmakers Showcase (High School Shorts). Named the number-one film festival in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Film Festival draws an audience of over 90,000 people.
  • U.S. Congressional Art Competition hosted by Congressman Keith Ellison of 5th District
  • Canvas Teen Art Center Showcase, part of the St. Paul Art Crawl
  • 2013 EDU Film Festival in Minneapolis, with 10 videos by Perpich media arts students. Perpich students won Best of the Fest Narrative, Overall and Best of the Fest Music Video. Another video won Best Comedy at the Cineyouth Festival.
  • Chicago International Film Festival (in conjunction with Cineyouth)
  • Vancouver International Film Festival (in conjunction with Reel Youth)
  • Visible Verse Festival in Vancouver, B.C.
  • 2012-13 Reel Youth Film Festival
Music class

Perpich Arts High School faculty and the arts education outreach staff practice their art and support the arts by writing for national professional journals, winning competitive fellowships, publishing poetry, showing at area and national galleries and film festivals, composing music for respected ensembles, performing in area venues and serving on national educational standards reviews. Here, in alphabetical order, are just the more recent awards, honors and arts activities of the faculty and staff of Perpich Center for Arts Education.

  • 2011 Artists Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to study Brazilian music
  • 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Award, Outstanding Educator
  • Award of Excellence from the American Juried Art Salon
  • Residency at Toronto School of Art
  • 2014 Award of Excellence in the Four Points Contemporary 3rd Annual Competition
  • 2015 Artist grant recipient in Best Buy Made Here Youth Edition Artists Mentoring Program
  • 2014 National Arts Educators National Conference presenter
  • 2013 Visual Arts Education Exhibition, Moorhead, MN
  • 2012 Robert Rauschenberg Power of Art Award
  • 2011 Co-wrote article on media and religion published by “Religious Education Journal”
  • 2010 CINE Golden Eagle Award for work as associate producer on the documentary, “Ida’s Story”
  • 2010 Keynote speaker at the Religious Education Association’s annual meeting on the topic, “Media Literacy: Living in the flows of media and religion”
  • 2009 Article, “The Power and Impact of Gender-Specific Media Literacy” in “Youth Media Reporter”
  • 2008 Keynote speaker at the Children’s Youth Summit at Luther Seminary College on “Power of Media”
  • 2008 Presenter at TIES Education Technology Conference, “How the Media Works: Visual Literacy”
  • National Endowment for the Humanities grant for “Teaching Shakespeare”
  • 2012 Education Minnesota Foundation for Excellence in Teaching Grant
  • 2013 Fulbright Award to study in Germany
  • 2015 American Composers Forum Showcase
  • 2015 Composer mentor for NextNotes Program of the American Composers Forum
  • 2013 MacPhail Commissioning Grant
  • 2011 Jerome Fund for New Music Grant
  • 2014 Artist Initiative Grant
  • 2013 Published book of fiction, “Invisible Daughter” (firthFORTH Books)
  • 2013 Published volume of poetry, “Psychedelic Norway” (Coffee House Press)
  • 2011-12 McKnight Fellowship
  • Ongoing: Publisher of “Sprout” literary journal
  • Ongoing: Member of the experimental music band, Astronaut Cooper’s Parade
  • 2015 Redesign Scholarship from The College Board
  • 2015 National Endowment for the Humanities Teachers’ Workshop, “Empires of the Wind”
  • Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Summer Seminar at Stanford University
  • 2004 Andrew Mellon Foundation ARTstor digital image database tester (only secondary school teacher involved in U.S.)
  • 2014-15 Served as writer for dance standards on national committee of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards
  • 2012 Published article, “Assessment in the High School Technique Class: Creating Thinking Dancers,” in the “Journal of Dance Education”
  • 2008 Sister Ann Harvey Action Research Award
  • 2002 National Dance Teacher of the Year Award from the National Dance Association
  • 2002 SURDNA Arts Teachers Fellowship
  • 2014-15 Served as writer for media arts standards on national committee of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards
  • 2012 Named artistic director of Twin Cities Women’s Choir
  • 2004 SURDNA Foundation Arts Teachers Grant
  • 2014 Presented at the national Communication Theater Assocation conference, “Literacy and Theater”
  • 2012 Received Dedicated Lifetime Award “for exemplary and inspirational career dedicated to advancing theater education in the state of Minnesota,” from the Minnesota Educational Theater Association
  • 2008 Received Outstanding Individual in Communication and Theater Award from the Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota
  • 2008 Received the Teatro del Pueblo Award “for your outstanding contributions and your dedication to Latino theater”
  • Trustee, The College Board
  • Chair, The College Board Academic Council
  • Past Chair, The College Board Arts Academic Committee
  • Director, State Policy Pilot Project, Americans for the Arts
  • Minnesota representative, State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education
  • Member, Advisory Committee of the Arts Education Partnership
  • Member, Leadership/Governance Team for the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards
  • Part President, National Dance Education Organization
  • Past President, Minnesota Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • 2007 Gilkder Lehrman Teachers Institute
  • 2003 SURDNA Foundation Arts Teachers Grant
  • 2001 Animating Democracy Grant
  • 2016 Volume of Poetry, “Unbearable Splendor”
  • 2016 Book of essays, “A Peculiar Price: New Writing on Race in Minnesota”
  • 2014 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers (Poetry)
  • 2012 Volume of poetry, “Rough and Savage” (Coffee House Press)
  • 2011 Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant, The Loft Literary Center
  • 2010 Artist Initiative Grant (literature), Minnesota State Arts Board
  • 2007 Volume of poetry, “Skirt Full of Black” (Coffee House Press)
  • 2006 Book of essays, “Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption” (South End Press)
  • 2004 Bilingual illustrated book for children, “Cooper’s Lesson” (Lee and Low Books)
  • 2003 Jerome Artists’ Grant, SASE, The Write Place
  • 2002 Artist Grant, Asian American Renaissance
  • 2014, 2011 Live Music for Dance Minnesota (with choreographer Deborah Jinza Thayer)
  • 2009, 2003, 1994 McKnight Composer Fellowship
  • 2003 Minnesota State Arts Board Individual Artists Fellowship
  • Twice honored with Bush Artist Fellowship
  • Lili Boulanger Award, the Women’s Philharmonic, San Francisco
  • Meet the Composer (NY) New Residencies Grant over three years with four organizations: Minnesota Chorale, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Chamber Music Society of Minnesota and Perpich Center for Arts Education
  • Jerome Travel-Study Grant
  • Commissioning composer grants from Chanticleer, Dale Wareland Singers, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, New Zealand String Quartet, Kitka Women’s Choir of San Franscisco, Minnesota Orchestra, Houston Symphany, Glen Ellyn Children’s Choir in Chicago, Guthrie Theater
  • Author of “Music by Kids for Kids,” a composition curriculum published by the American Composers forum
  • 2011 Minnesota Education Foundation for Excellence in Teaching Grant