The winner of the Sonoma 2013 Student Creative Arts Award is Maya Smoot, a 17-year-old Sonoma Valley High School senior.
“She performed a Shakespearean monologue for us and we were blown away,” said Lisa Carlsson, a member of the Cultural and Fine Arts Commission, which announced the award Thursday night. “Maya has a long resume of achievement across the arts, and a desire to further her theatrical studies.”
Smoot has been active in the school drama department for four years. For the upcoming production of “Beauty and the Beast,” she portrays Belle, and also handled set design. She describes herself as very ambitious and determined, and plans on going to four year college and majoring in theater and design.
“Theatre is something that I have always seen in my future,” she wrote in her application essay, “I could be an actress, stage manager, set designer, or director.”
Smoot’s drama teacher, Jane Martin, recommended her “as an extraordinary young woman who is an outstanding and dedicated student of drama.”
The annual Creative Arts Award comes with a $2,000 cash prize. The program is open to Sonoma Valley students, ages 16-22 working and demonstrating unusual promise in the visual, literary or performing arts. It is intended to support and encourage local youth in the continuation of their artistic training.