Weird meets worthy

L to R: Wendy Cavalari, Samantha Hammer, Jessica Hickey and Carol Gibson

A group of Valley women working to raise and award scholarship funds for art students are taking their cause to Spread the Weird studio in Phoenix this month.

Break the Mold was established in 2010 “to provide encouragement and financial support to young women desiring to further their art education and encourage them to pursue a career in the arts.”

Its founders describe themselves as “educators and artists, business women and creative souls, representing visual and performing artists and creative writers.” I get it. They’re weird good.

Break the Mold is “searching for young women who contribute whole-heartedly to both their school and local communities, who celebrate their identity and individuality, and who live and work passionately for the sake and sacredness of their creativity.” Their current scholarship deadline is March 23 and applications are already coming in.

The Break the Mold scholarship is intended to help the winner pursue her art education. Candidates must be female seniors attending high school in the metropolitan Phoenix area who are involved in any form of art. Think fine arts, music, film, web design, graphic design, theater, drama, dance and such.

They’re heading to Spread the Weird to share the love on Sat, March 24 for a pair of “make and take” sessions with a catered lunch in between. You can join them from 9:30am-12:30pm and/or 1:30-4:30pm for a lovely bit of repoussé work (think relief sculpture) at $25/session — and opt to join the catered lunch crowd for $10.

Jessica Hickey of Tempe, a Break the Mold founder who teaches art in Mesa, told me recently that the group has raised more than $600 of the nearly $1,000 they hope to award in their first scholarship round. When not making, teaching or advocating for the arts, Hickey enjoys hitting street fairs, art galleries and dog parks.

Break the Mold also includes Samantha Hammer (an elementary education major at ASU who rocked the thespian vibe in high school), freelancer Wendy Cavalari (who does the web design, Flash animation and graphic design thing), Carol Gibson (a film and theater buff working as a consultant, teacher and actor) and Jenny Evans (a painter who holds degrees in art education and art history from ASU).

Folks can explore Break the Mold musings at www.breakthemoldaz.org. Those of you eager to Spread the Weird can visit www.spreadtheweird.com.

– Lynn

Note: I recently heard from a father in my favorite Texas town (think “Keep Austin Weird”) who shared that his daughter’s high school took part in piloting “Spring Awakening: School Edition.” Click here to learn more about the Austin High School Red Dragon Players.

Coming up: Let’s talk trends, Art meets athletics

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