Each year the Sonoma Cultural and Fine Arts Commission solicits entries for its Student Creative Arts Award program from Sonoma Valley students age 16 to 21 who are studying visual, literary or performing arts. Applicants submit a portfolio of their work and an essay explaining the role art has played in their life and what their plans are for continuing their artistic training. The commission then meets personally with each applicant to discuss their goals and ambitions and to provide an opportunity for those students who are studying music or theater to perform.

This year the commission received entries from students attending Sonoma Valley High School and Rincon Valley Christian. The areas of interest included drawing, dance, cinematography, film, stage acting, architecture and digital media.

After conducting the interviews this year, the commissioners reported that they were extremely impressed with the variety of talent displayed by the students and that selecting just one award recipient was a challenge.

But after lengthy discussions and consideration of all the talent, Sonoma Valley High School senior Alexandra Garber was named the 2018 Student Creative Art Award winner.

In her essay, Garber stated, “Film and theater are not merely hobbies, but pursuits that I plan to make the central focus of my life.”

The CFAC will present Garber with a certificate of recognition and a check for $2,000 at an upcoming City Council meeting.

Due to the number of quality submissions, the commission also awarded an Award of Merit in the amount of $500 to Lauren Smith for her outstanding achievement in the areas of photography and film.

The role of the Cultural and Fine Arts Commission is to develop and establish a balanced arts and cultural program that promotes, enriches and advances the cultural and fine arts community.

The CFAC is comprised of Kate Schertz, Linda Ransom, Deb Emerson, Mari Edlin, Lauren Kershnew, George Thompson and Veronica Napoles.