Maya Brown is honored to be receiving the ArtPride NJ Distinguished Arts Advocate Award from New Jersey Thespians for her Democracy Works Competition essay. Maya is a senior at GCIT in the drama program. She will be attending Florida Southern College next fall with a double major in Math and BFA Musical Theatre. She was previously seen in Chicago (Kitty), Big Love (Lydia), The Addams Family (Morticia), and All Shook Up (Mayor Matilda Hyde). Maya serves as the Arts Advocacy Chair for GCIT Thespian Troupe 5480. Maya’s job is to lead all advocacy efforts for the troupe. Maya became inspired by Advocacy after attending the National Arts Action Summit last year held virtually by the Americans for the Arts.


The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education began in 1980 to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Each year, awards are presented to approximately 20 educators and 80 students. National and statewide organizations select the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and visual arts and the leaders for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education. The program also recognizes arts educators and arts education advocates, whose leadership has helped nurture the development of students in the arts across the state.

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The Governor’s Awards 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 Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; 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; Writer's Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Thespians and Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor's Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government.