40th New Jersey Governor’s Awards in Arts Education


Check out the Red Carpet Countdown Event

Hosted by 2020 Recipients Jocelyn Jeffries & Jasmine Livingston



View at anytime the special virtual awards ceremony to honor all the nominated arts students and leaders, to formally recognize their accomplishment, and to celebrate the many momentous opportunities to come.


Award Winners



Each year, it is our honor to welcome 100 arts students and 20 leaders to celebrate with their loved ones and our arts community during the annual awards ceremony. While the awards  looks quite different this year, our #NJARTSEDPROUD spirit remains the same.

The virtual ceremony includes award winning storyteller Queen Nur as the Master of Ceremonies, remarks from state officials, messages from our alumni, and performances from past and present award recipients.

Congratulations, Class of 2020. 


Governor Phil Murphy


The 2020 Awards 

Alumni Master of Ceremonies 



Ricky Persaud Jr.

Ricky Persaud, Jr. is a multi instrumentalist, vocalist, composer and producer whose music style is Pop mixed with Reggae, Rock, Latin, Hip Hop and R&B. Ricky is an alumni of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)/Wells Fargo Teen Jazz Ensemble, the George Wein Scholars Ensemble and was the recipient of the NJ Governor’s Award for Excellence in Music in 2016.

Dr. Dale Schmid

NJ Dept of Education
New Jersey Department of Education’s Visual & Performing Arts Coordinator since 1999. He is also the President of the State Education Agency Directors for Arts Education (SEADAE). Prior to his employment at the NJDOE, he spent close to two decades on the regional and national touring circuit as a dancer, actor, choreographer, director and teaching artist.

Bob Morrison

Arts Ed NJ & Alumni
Robert B. Morrison is the Director of Arts Ed NJ and the Founder and CEO of Quadrant Research, the nation’s leading arts education research organization where he has created a deep body of research and policy work and is recognized as a pioneer in statewide arts education status and condition research. Mr. Morrison is also the founder of Music for All.

Eisa Jackson

Eisa Jackson shares her passion for dance not only with her high school students, but also with her students in the ACT-SO Program. For over 20 years, Ms. Jackson has mentored dance students through the Gloucester County ACT-SO Program. She is extremely proud to be an alumna of the program, receiving a award in Dance at the NAACP ACT-SO National Competition in 1997 and a 2015 Recipient for Master Teacher.

Kevin O'Brien

New Jersey State Council on the Arts
Mr. O’Brien was appointed by Governor Jon Corzine to the New Jersey State Council on the Arts in 2008. He was elected 2nd Vice Chair of the Council in 2012. He also serves on the Council’s Executive and Planning Committees. Kevin is a Commissioner on the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission, serving as the Arts Council’s designee to the Commission.

Shayne Miller








The annual publication of students’ and leaders’ names, listed by nominating organization


VISUAL ARTS Award Winners


Class of 2020 




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Yard Signs & T Shirts

Celebrate with us at home

Each award recipient will receive a free Yard sign in the mail. Click Below To Order Additional Items...
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VIRTUAL Awards 2020


Messages from our Friends & Sponsors


  • Submit your Congrats to the Class of 2020
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  • Ally Cordero, this prestigious award could not have been given to a more humble, dedicated, hard-working and prolific artist. Your documentation of your personal, cultural and intellectual experiences provides a glimpse into your journey as a young woman, student and artist that is beyond your years and profoundly inspiring. I am so proud of you! - Mercedes Ingenito, Visual Arts Teacher Randolph High School
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  • I know this time has been hard, but I just want to say congratulations you made it and what is happening will be over soon. - Ashley Taitt
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  • Anna - We are so proud and love you so much! You have been such a trooper through this and can only wait for your future achievements. Love, Mama
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  • Congratulations Anna So very Proud of you. - Pattie-Jo Siegel
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  • Congratulations on a well earned award. We are extremely proud of you. You thrilled us with your talents throughout high school. Our only regret is that we will never see you on that Montville stage. Continued success at Rutgers. We will always keep you in our prayers. - Luv, Babci & Pop.
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  • Congratulations to GCACT-SO students Blair Brown and Bryce Clemenson Governor's Awards in Arts Education 2020 winners, proud of you both!! - Carol Dove
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  • Congratulations Priscilla, you are an amazing and talented student. Your Payne Tech family is proud of you. Keep up the great work. - Anibal Ponce
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  • Priscilla, You are truly a Star! Payne Tech is so proud of you! From Ms. Emily Bonilla Vice Principal & Arts Supervisor - Priscilla Pagan
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  • Congratulations, Priscilla Pagan - Carmen Colon-Burgos
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  • Priscilla Pagan, I am so, so proud of you! Congratulations! Keep dancing and keep dreaming! - Mrs. Smith
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  • Way to go Anna! So proud of you! - Love, Daddy.
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  • So proud of your accomplishments, Priscilla Pagán! Continued success in your future endeavors! ~Señorita González
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  • Congrats Olivia Miller!! You are an amazing young artist!-Mrs. Stahl
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  • Anna - So proud of you and your dedication to your singing! I’ve got a feeling this is only the beginning of even more great things to come for you! Congratulations on this prestigious award!! Love you! - Christine Stabile
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  • Congratulations to my beautiful and talented niece Priscilla we are so very proud of you and all your accomplishments. GOD BLESS! - LOVE TITI DENISE, TASHA & ARIANNA

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.

16 Mount Bethel Road Suite 202, Warren, NJ 07059
(908) 542-9396

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.