Sunday, August 12, 2012

News from Artists for World Peace

Artists for World Peace is pleased to announce the recipients of their 2012 scholarships for
Middletown high school students pursuing the arts. They are Xavier graduate Andrew Moore,
Mercy graduate Megan Garrity and Middletown High School seniors Erin DeLeon and Ava
Varszegi. Andrew will use his scholarship towards the study of architecture at Roger Williams
University. Megan Garrity will use her funds to purchase art supplies for her dual major in art
and psychology at the University of Hartford. Ava and Erin will use their funds to help defray
the costs of supplies for Advanced Placement Art.

Artists for World Peace is a nonprofit organization that feeds, clothes, shelters and educates
those in need with the goal of promoting peace. Founded by jewelry designer Wendy Black-
Nasta, the story began when Wendy was asked by a reporter what should be done with all the
European coins once the Euro was used. Wendy designed the International Peace Belt, a sterling
silver belt with coins and gems representing 155 countries. The belt has traveled to 25 countries,
on five continents. During those travels great needs were seen. The organization responded
to those needs by engaging in projects such as helping to build a community health center in
Tanzania, building a safe house in Cambodia and providing 500 pairs of shoes to children in

In 2009, Wesleyan professor Rob Rosenthal's sociology class conducted a study on the needs
of students pursuing the arts. The researchers found a significant economic divide in resources
for art students. Not all have the ability to pay for lessons or supplies. Artists for World Peace
decided to help these students through scholarships. In January, Artists for World Peace
established the Dr. Yoram Kaufmann Scholarship at Middlesex Community College. This
month the four Middletown high school students will be the first secondary students to receive
scholarships from Artists for World Peace. Scholarships are granted in the amount of $100 to

This year Middletown lost a great humanitarian and arts supporter, Michael Bellabuono .
Artists for World Peace decided to honor this man through establishing the Michael Bellabuono
Scholarship fund. This year’s recipient is Andrew Moore. Priscilla Harnesk, chair of the
Scholarship Committee, said “When the committee saw Andrew’s work, transcript and
community service work there was no question that the scholarship should go to Andrew. The
committee was blown away by his work”.

On August 15th the four high school scholarship recipients will gather at First and Last Tavern
for an Awards Ceremony. State Representative Matt Lesser and Deputy Majority Leader Tom
Serra will be on hand to congratulate the students.

Those wishing to learn more about Artists for World Peace or the scholarships may go to

1 comment:

Wendy Sheil said...

Congratulations, Erin! So proud of you and your awesome talent