Young Audiences Honors Artists and Arts Supporters at the 2023 Governor’s Awards in Arts Education

On Friday, June 2, 2023, Young Audiences Arts for Learning NJ & Eastern PA (YA), honored artists and arts supporters…


Date: June 5, 2023

PRINCETON, NJ – On Friday, June 2, 2023, Young Audiences Arts for Learning NJ & Eastern PA (YA), honored artists and arts supporters at the 43rd Governor’s Awards in Arts Education at The College of New Jersey in Ewing Township, NJ. The prestigious Governor’s Awards are co-sponsored by Arts Ed NJ, the New Jersey Department of Education, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.


Young Audiences is on the steering committee of the awards, which are the highest honor in arts education in the state. Initiated in 1980, the awards recognize the creativity, talent, and leadership of those impacting arts education in the region.

Young Audiences sponsors leadership awards for those who have made a significant impact on arts education in various roles both volunteer and professional. Many unsung heroes work diligently behind the scenes to ensure students of all ages experience the arts. The Governor’s Awards shines the spotlight on the amazing contributions of teaching artists and school partners that played a critical role in arts education.

Governor’s Award 2023 Recipients, In Order of Appearance: Summer Dawn, Charlotte Blake Alston, Pat Cannon, Dr. Anne Marie Pai for Broad Street School of Bridgeton, and Principal, Daniel Sanacore for the Developmental Learning Center of Warren.

The Arts United Award recognizes an individual who has contributed to the advancing principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in arts education through their artistry, thought leadership, program development, or organizational leadership. This year’s awardee is Young Audiences Teaching Artist Summer Dawn, an actor, writer, founder, and director of In Full Color.

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who have committed their professional lives or volunteer their time, talent, and treasure to the cause of arts education. This year’s awardees are:

  • Charlotte Blake Alston, Teaching Artist
  • Pat Cannon, Teaching Artist

The Arts in Education (AIE) Residency Grant Program Champion Award recognizes schools who have successfully completed a minimum of two years of the AIE Residency 1-year Grant Program and have participated and successfully completed the 3-year AIE Arc Program. For each year of their engagement in AIE, these school partners have implemented teaching artist residencies of 20 or more days, that have had a significant impact on students arts learning, community, and school culture. This year’s awardees are:

  • Broad Street School – Bridgeton, NJ, Dr. Anne Marie Pai accepted the award.
  • Developmental Learning Center – Warren, NJ, Principal Daniel Sanacore, accepted the award.

“We are thrilled to recognize these incredible individuals! Thousands of students in New Jersey have danced, told stories, made original theater pieces, created self-portraits, and transformed their own school communities because of these Governor’s Awardees. We celebrate them and celebrate each and every student’s creative expression!” states Michele Russo, CEO and President of Young Audiences.

About the Governor’s Awards

The day is sponsored by the Grunin Foundation, The College of New Jersey, NJEA, ArtPride New Jersey, NJP Associates/Kingsview Asset Management, University of Arts, Rider University, and OceanFirst Foundation, and Nina Mitchell Wells. This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a founding agency of Arts Ed NJ.

The event is a partnership of the Arts Ed NJ, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by the New Jersey Governor’s Awards in Arts Education Planning Council: Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics Program; Art Educators of New Jersey; Art Administrators of New Jersey; Dance New Jersey; New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; New Jersey Speech and Debate League; New Jersey Music Educators Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey, NJ Poetry Out Loud Program; Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey Thespians, and Appel Farm Music & Arts Campus.