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The Classic Center Cultural Foundation Awards $15,000 in Visual and Performing Arts Scholarships

ATHENS, Ga- The Classic Center Cultural Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of the 2021 Performing and Visual Arts Scholarships: Mary Claire Hammond of Oconee County HS, Shae Heckman of North Oconee HS, Sheena Lim of East Jackson Comprehensive HS, Finn McGinnis of Prince Avenue Christian School, and Sarah Brenner and Emma Scott of Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School. The Cultural Foundation would like to thank its generous donors for the ability to grant scholarships such as these to help make an impact on the youth of Athens.


One of the goals of The Classic Center Cultural Foundation is to support the youth in the local community in their continuous study of the arts, and it is thrilled to be able to award $30,000 in scholarships annually in pursuit of this goal. In addition to the scholarships that each student receives, The Cultural Foundation also provides funding to the art program for each recipient’s respective school. There were many wonderful applicants from various schools, and Beth Bryant, Director of The Classic Center Cultural Foundation, said, “We were pleased to still be able to provide these scholarships this year, and to such talented students! We can’t thank the students, teachers, and judges enough for their participation”.


Excitingly, a culinary scholarship cook off is also coming soon.


Athens Area Recipients:


Mary Claire Hammond

A picture containing outdoor, grass, tree, personDescription automatically generatedVisual, Oconee County High School

A senior at Oconee County High School, Mary Claire Hammond found art to be a visual expression of her true purpose when she started taking art classes in high school. Currently serving as President of her school’s National Art Honors Society, Mary Claire has won numerous awards as well as been selected as a Georgia Honors Program finalist for her pieces. She has had two pieces selected for the All-State Art Symposium and is in her third year as an exhibitor with Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation’s Youth Art Month. She plans to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology in the Fall, where she will major in Industrial Design to continue her passion for the visual arts.

Shea Heckman

A person with long hairDescription automatically generated with low confidenceDance/Drama, North Oconee High School

For North Oconee High School senior, Shea Heckman, dance is more than a talent—it’s a way of life. A born performer, she has been dancing for 15 years and her involvement in the dramatic arts has taken her to the Georgia Thespian Conference’s All State event for the past two years.  Nominated to the prestigious Governor’s Honor Program for acting in 2020, Shea has a list of performance accolades that have shaped her into the artist she is today. She hopes to major in Psychology and minor in Dance in college next year.


Sheena Lim

A picture containing outdoor, tree, person, standingDescription automatically generatedInstrumental, East Jackson Comprehensive High School

A senior at East Jackson Comprehensive High School, Sheena Lim hopes to one day become a professional musician. She has been recognized for her talents and leadership at District Honors Band and at Georgia All-State since 2019, and for the past two years she has served as drum major for the Pride of the East Side Marching Band. She plans to take her vast knowledge to college next year and minor in Music.


Finn McGinnis

                                                    Vocal, Prince Avenue Christian School

A smiling child in front of a brick wallDescription automatically generated with medium confidenceSenior Finn McGinnis attends Prince Avenue Christian School and has a special knack for entertaining. He is a member of the International Thespian Society and has acted in numerous musical productions throughout his high school career. He has also participated in the Georgia State Literary Meet where he has competed both as a soloist and a member of the men’s quartet.  Finn will attend Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he plans to double major in Broadcast Journalism and Musical Theatre.


Rabun County Recipients:

Sarah Brenner

A person sitting on the groundDescription automatically generated with low confidenceDance/Drama, Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School

A junior at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, Sarah Brenner has spent her entire life involved in dance. Beginning at the age of three, she has performed in multiple musical theatre performances and just completed her third year of participating in her school’s prestigious cirque program.  In addition to dance, she enjoys vocal performance and has been a member of her school’s choir for the past two years. She hopes to become a physical therapist where she can work with dancers and other athletes and plans to minor in Dance in college.

Emma Scott

A person with long hairDescription automatically generated with low confidenceRabun Gap-Nacoochee School

Senior Emma Scott dreams of a future on Broadway. She has a wide array of musical theater roles to her name as well as performances with Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School’s cirque program and MADFest. Emma plans to attend Oglethorpe University where she will major in Theatre and minor in Music in college to fulfill her lifelong dream of being a full-time performer.



The mission of The Classic Center Cultural Foundation is to provide resources to entertain and educate the local community and foster economic growth by providing and supporting diverse performing, visual, and culinary arts programs, as well as workforce development initiatives, while working to maintain The Classic Center in a state-of-the-art condition.  


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