PHOENIXVILLE, PA — During the first week of May 2020, the University of Valley Forge (UVF) hosted a Virtual International Fine Arts event for high school students in grades 9-12. This event was created after the decision was announced by AG Youth to cancel the National Fine Arts Festival (NFAF) due to COVID-19 in order to keep participants and their families safe.
By hosting a virtual Fine Arts event, UVF created the opportunity for students to showcase their gifts and talents from Christ – honed in the entries they submitted – and receive feedback from distinguished faculty and staff at UVF on their presentations and scholarship awards should they choose to attend UVF.
Out of the over 80 categories that the AG Fine Arts Festival usually puts on, UVF hosted 16 solo entry categories in which students could participate: group categories were not offered during the quarantine period.
Fifty students from multiple states participated in UVF’s Virtual Fine Arts event – entering most of the 16 categories offered. Scholarships were awarded to students based on the evaluations from UVF’s faculty and staff.
These scholarships ranged from $750-$2,500 based on the evaluated rating of the individual entries, with one full-tuition scholarship being awarded to a music entry.
Some of these categories included graphic design; short film; children’s lesson; short sermon; instrumental solos on piano, violin, and guitar; male and female vocal solos in English and Spanish; first-person essay; and poetry, among others.
One of the professors evaluating short sermons was Dr. Jerry Ireland, the chair of the Intercultural Studies and Ministry Leadership and Theology departments. About the short sermons he said, “I found all of [them] to be extremely good; I especially noted how effectively and biblically they addressed our current cultural crisis. The sermons were well thought out, thoroughly biblical, and delivered with passion and conviction. I found myself extremely encouraged about the future of the church: there are some great preachers in the making!”
UVF expressed being extremely blessed by the students who submitted entries to UVF’s first ever Virtual Fine Arts event, appreciated the opportunity to evaluate and award scholarships to these talented students, and hope to see many of the participants as UVF students on campus in the near future.
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