Festival of Arts offers scholarships to Laguna Beach High School seniors


Available to High School Seniors Who Reside in Laguna Beach or Attend Laguna Beach High School 

The Festival of Arts has opened scholarship applications for the 2024/2025 academic school year to local students. Applicants must be graduating high school seniors living in Laguna Beach or going to Laguna Beach High School. 

Original watercolor illustration by Vanessa Rothe, 1988 Festival of Arts Scholarship recipient, for the 1988 Laguna Beach High School yearbook. Image courtesy of FOA

Since 1957, the Festival of Arts scholarship program has supported rising young artists by making it possible for students to pursue college studies in the arts. Last year, the Festival awarded six students with first-year scholarships totaling $120,000 and continued scholarships totaling $30,900 for nine students.

Many Festival of Arts scholarship recipients pursue successful careers in the arts, including Laguna Beach artist Vanessa Rothe. With many accolades to her name, including gallery owner, curator, fine artist, author, editor, lecturer and more, Rothe credits her Festival of Arts scholarship to her career success.

“I was so honored to be awarded the Festival of Arts scholarship soon after winning first place in the 1988 senior art contest at Laguna Beach High School,” Rothe said. “The Festival of Arts scholarship played a pivotal role in helping me pay for my first years at the University of San Diego, where I took one art class at a time along with my business and literature majors. The scholarship encouraged me to take fine art classes, and there was one particular art class, a graphic design class, which gave me a skill I could use for the rest of my life.”

The four-year, highly competitive scholarships are awarded to students who excel in Film, Performing Arts (dance, music and theater arts- including performance and production), Visual Arts and Writing. A student may apply for any or all of the four categories but will only be awarded one scholarship. 

The Festival of Arts Scholarship Committee includes Chair Pat Kollenda and committee members Wayne Baglin, John Connolly, Jacquie Moffett, and Jeff Rovner. 

“Students with talents in multiple fields are encouraged to apply to more than one category,” said Festival of Arts Board Secretary and Scholarship Chair Pat Kollenda. “This is an excellent opportunity for students considering a career in the arts.”

“My advice for any young artist today would be to learn to draw well first. Do the hard work at a young age, get your classical training in drawing and really understand light logic and ‘values,’” Rothe added.

Scholarship applications are now available online at the Festival of Arts’ website at foapom.com/scholarships

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