TBBCA awards exceptional local students with $2,500 Charlie Hounchell Art Stars Scholarships

Left to right: Kaia Owens, Vocal; Kennedy Engasser, Literary; Lauren Scotch, Dance; Myra Sexton, Instrumental Music; Philip Woodside, Visual Arts; Alana Hogan, Theatre | Photo via @pezzphoto (IG)

Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & the Arts (TBBCA) has unveiled the recipients of the 2023 Charlie Hounchell Art Stars Scholarship, continuing the legacy of supporting young artistic talent. Since its inception in 2008, this program has awarded over $240,000 to more than 95 students, predominantly from public high schools. Each recipient will receive a $2,500 scholarship to assist with tuition and other student needs, fostering their artistic pursuits and contributing to the thriving arts community of Tampa Bay.

“It is TBBCA’s hope that these high-impact scholarships enable area students to continue to thrive while honing their talents,” said Leslie Wager Hudock, TBBCA Board President. “We are so proud of the talent that has been fostered here in the Tampa Bay area and thrilled to be able to honor these deserving students.”


Meet the Art Stars Scholarship recipients

The 2023 scholarships were awarded in six artistic categories to the following exceptional students:

  • Visual Arts – Phillip Woodside, Howard W. Blake High School 
  • Instrumental Music – Myra Sexton, Howard W. Blake High School 
  • Literary Arts – Kennedy Engasser, Land O’Lakes High School 
  • Dance – Lauren Scotch, Steinbrenner High School 
  • Vocal Music – Kaia Owens, Tampa Preparatory School 
  • Theatre – Alana Hogan, Gibbs High School

The scholarship winners were selected based on their talent and merit by the following judges  renowned in their fields: 

  • Lisa Unger, award-winning New York Times, and internationally best-selling author • Joanna Robotham, Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art, Tampa Museum of Art • Helen Hansen French, Juilliard graduate, choreographer/dancer/educator, and founder of Dance  Collectives 
  • Eugenie Bondurant, acclaimed film and television actor, singer, and educator 
  • Paul Wilborn, Director of The Palladium, bandleader and musician, author of the recently published  Cigar City: Tales From a 1980’s Creative Ghetto 
  • Dawne Eubanks, classical soloist and voice instructor at Eckerd College and Pinellas County Center for  the Arts at Gibbs High School  

Supporting the artistic pursuits of local students

The annual Charlie Hounchell Art Stars Scholarships are made possible by the vision and contributions of numerous generous community business pARTners, private foundations, and individual donors. Their support for these exceptional students demonstrates their dedication to the arts’ significance in our community as these students pursue higher education in their respective artistic fields. TBBCA warmly welcomes voluntary donations to The Charlie Hounchell Art Stars Scholarships, allowing individuals to contribute online and be part of fostering the artistic growth and success of Tampa Bay’s talented students.


You can support he TBBCA and make a donation online.

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