The Monmouth Arts Education Awards recognize outstanding achievement in the field of arts education

At the end of each school year, Monmouth Arts recognizes outstanding arts educators, arts advocates, and arts organizations and leaders in Monmouth County who support the mission of enriching the community by inspiring and encouraging the arts.

The Monmouth Arts Education Awards will take place on June 9, hosted by the Monmouth Museum on the campus of Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, according to a press release.

Monmouth Arts will welcome students, parents, teachers and community arts supporters for a special evening honoring and recognizing the power of arts education in Monmouth County.

The evening will honor four individuals and organizations with four awards.

The 2022 Arts Education Community Champion Award will be presented to Domenica Donna Como, owner of Color Chips, for her efforts in arts and education advocacy.

The 2022 Arts Education Advocate Leader Award will be presented to Jeremy Martin, Supervisor of Visual, Performing and Industrial Arts at Long Branch Public Schools, for his support of educational arts programming in the community.

The 2022 Outstanding Visual Arts Educator Award will be presented to Brittany James, art teacher at Inspired Minds Fine Art School, Lincroft and Brielle, and art629 Gallery, Asbury Park, for her dedication to budding artists.

The 2022 award for Best Performing Arts Educator will go to Michael Penna, drama and English teacher at Collier High School, Marlboro, for inspiring many young artists.

Additionally, three high school students will receive Monmouth Arts Emerging Artist Scholarships to support their higher education arts studies, according to the press release.

The 2022 MC2 Performing Arts Scholarship, for music, dance and theater students, will be awarded to Amya Johnson-Ashe of Monmouth Regional High School, Tinton Falls, for her achievement in vocal music.

Amya, who is a senior at Monmouth Regional, will study political science and music at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

In 2022, Amya won the Count Basie Center for the Arts Special Appraisal Award for her role as Audrey II in “Little Shop of Horrors”.

Her passion for singing allowed her to perform at McDonald’s Gospelfest at the Prudential Center in Newark for three seasons, performing on stage in front of thousands of people, including notable singers Donnie McClurkin, Cissy Houston and Fantasia, according to the press release.

The Grunin Foundation for the Arts Scholarship 2022, for students in fashion, film, photography and visual arts, will be awarded to Emma Ekberg of Communications High School, Wall Township, for her achievements in the visual arts.

Emma is a senior at Communications High School. She will attend the Fashion Institute of Technology for fashion design. Emma hopes to bring about positive changes in the fashion industry, including more inclusive body representation and size in clothing production and modeling, as well as consideration of the environmental impact of trend cycles and fast fashion, according to the press release.

The 50th Anniversary Emerging Artists in Literary Arts Scholarship will be awarded to Dakim Randolph of Asbury Park High School for his achievements in the literary arts.

Dakim is a senior at Asbury Park. He would pursue a career in creative writing and journalism at Brookdale Community College and Seton Hall University upon graduation.

Dakim is an active member of his school community. Besides being a talented writer, he is also on the track team and is a member of the National Honor Society and the Student Council. He hopes to discover the world by expressing his thoughts through writing, according to the press release.

The Emerging Artists Scholarships were made possible with funding from the Grunin Foundation, MC2 Funding the Arts and Sarah Fischell, according to the press release.

Monmouth Arts is an independent arts advocacy organization that provides programs and services to artists, member organizations and arts affiliates to ensure the prosperity of the arts in and throughout Monmouth County. Its mission is to enrich the community by inspiring and encouraging the arts, according to the press release.

Monmouth Arts programs are made possible in part by funding from the Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

To purchase tickets for the June 9 Arts Education Awards, visit

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