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Innovative artists, scholars earn Creative Achievement Awards

The Creative Achievement Award recognizes exceptional creativity in students who have earned respect as innovative and talented artists and scholars. Awardees demonstrate exceptional scholarship, creativity, innovation, and passion for the arts. The College of Fine Arts honored these students on Sept. 24 in a virtual ceremony. Congratulations to the following awardees!

>> Read the full biographies, recommendation letters


Grace Anne Liatti

School of Art
Grace Anne Liatti (Undergraduate, Art History)

Grace is a senior Art History major with a double minor in Religious Studies and French. Apart from her overall 4.0 GPA, Grace has impressed a number of faculty with her dedication to art historical scholarship, her outstanding performance in every class she has taken, and her commitment to social justice issues.


Kyle Halford

Photo by Ed Flores Photography

School of Dance
Kyle Halford (Undergraduate)

Kyle is a creativity-fueled dance student whom is also extremely hard working. He sets high standards for himself and continually seeks opportunity to further his vast capabilities. Kyle is most certain to be a shining light in the performing arts upon his graduation.


Eduardo Zambrana

Photo by Ed Flores Photography

School of Dance
Eduardo Zambrana (Graduate)

Eduardo is a wonderfully professional student, dancer, choreographer and artist. As a dancer, Eduardo is strong across all styles – ballet, modern, contemporary and jazz. As a member of the UA Dance Ensemble, Eduardo has performed many masterworks, including those by Nacho Duato, Larry Keigwin and Martha Graham.


Kaissy Yau

Fred Fox School of Music
Kaissy Yau (Undergraduate)

Kaissy Yau is the Pressor Scholar and UA Honors Scholar. An international student from Hong Kong, her studies are underwritten by her International Excellence Tuition Scholarship. Her inexhaustible work ethic is evidenced by her success as a performer, maintenance of a 4.0 GPA, impact as volunteer and instructor of the New Horizons Band, and leadership as President of the College of Fine Arts Ambassadors.


Andrés Pantoja

Fred Fox School of Music
Andrés Pantoja (Graduate)

Andrés Pantoja is a DMA candidate in the Guitar Performance program. Since entering the MM program at the Fred Fox School of Music, he has completed all of his coursework with a 4.0 GPA. As a performer, Andrés has had outstanding results and has won numerous guitar competitions.


Matthew Potwardowski

School of Theatre, Film & Television
Matthew Potwardowski (Undergraduate, Film & Television)

Matthew is a senior BFA Film and Television major who is the recipient of the Erik Anderson Scholarship awarded to students who excel in editing. Matt is held in high regard by his professors who concur he is an extraordinary student.


Marina Oloño

School of Theatre, Film & Television
Marina Oloño (Undergraduate, Theatre)

Marina is a senior Theatre Studies major whose level of academic rigor has placed her on the Dean’s List every semester. She has demonstrated many shows of leadership and discipline throughout her four years. In 2018, she designed the playbills and the social media campaign for two seasons of the Studio Series.


Rebekah Clark

School of Theatre, Film & Television
Rebekah Clark (Graduate)

Rebekah Clark is a third year MFA candidate focusing in scenic design, who has always impressed with her artistic abilities that are rooted in passion, exploration, and theory. A veteran to the Arizona Repertory Theatre, her attention to the details of the script, its dramaturgy, and the nuance of space have made her not only an invaluable artistic voice in the Scenic design program, but has led her to opportunities to succeed on larger projects.

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2 days ago
Arizona Arts

Hanson Film TV Institute, in collaboration with The University of Arizona School of Dance and College of Humanities' Africana Studies, presents a Black History Month screening of Khadifa Wong’s "Uprooted."

"Uprooted" is a feature-length documentary celebrating the history, lineage, and future progressions of jazz dance. The screening is free at the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7p.

"This documentary will make you fall in love with jazz dance all over again." -- Dance Magazine

>> MORE | azart.fyi/Uprooted

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers Khadifa Wong (director), Matt Simpkins, and Laura Smyth.

With a stellar cast of leading industry experts, award-winning choreographers, and legendary performers, this ground-breaking documentary goes back to the roots in Africa and follows the evolution of this incredible dance form through every single decade and genre.

Exploring and commenting on political and social influences, the film addresses topics such as appropriation, racism, socialism and sexism.

“(Wong's) documentary offers an enriching corrective to the official story of jazz dance, taking it beyond its already fascinating and complex showbiz luster to profoundly political terrain.” -- Hollywood Reporter

With special appearances by Debbie Allen, George Faison, Chita Rivera, Camille A. Brown and Thomas F. DeFrantz and showcases the works of the Nicholas Brothers, Pepsi Bethel, Jack Cole, Katherine Dunham, Bob Fosse and Gene Kelly.

The University of Arizona | UA School of Theatre, Film & Television
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Hanson Film TV Institute, in collaboration with The University of Arizona School of Dance and College of Humanities Africana Studies, presents a Black History Month screening of Khadifa Wong’s Uprooted. 

Uprooted is a feature-length documentary celebrating the history, lineage, and future progressions of jazz dance. The screening is free at the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7p.

This documentary will make you fall in love with jazz dance all over again. -- Dance Magazine

>> MORE | https://azart.fyi/Uprooted

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers Khadifa Wong (director), Matt Simpkins, and Laura Smyth.

With a stellar cast of leading industry experts, award-winning choreographers, and legendary performers, this ground-breaking documentary goes back to the roots in Africa and follows the evolution of this incredible dance form through every single decade and genre.

Exploring and commenting on political and social influences, the film addresses topics such as appropriation, racism, socialism and sexism. 

“(Wongs) documentary offers an enriching corrective to the official story of jazz dance, taking it beyond its already fascinating and complex showbiz luster to profoundly political terrain.” -- Hollywood Reporter

With special appearances by Debbie Allen, George Faison, Chita Rivera, Camille A. Brown and Thomas F. DeFrantz and showcases the works of the Nicholas Brothers, Pepsi Bethel, Jack Cole, Katherine Dunham, Bob Fosse and Gene Kelly.

The University of Arizona | UA School of Theatre, Film & TelevisionImage attachment
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