In 2015, the family of Vivian Christy Sansoni created a scholarship to the Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy (SCAA) in her memory. Vivian was a youth actress, singer, dancer, and musician and the arts provided a wonderful outlet for her creativity to thrive.
The award created in her name provides assistance to young performers when financial need prohibits exploration of their talent and creativity. Those selected this fall are receiving free arts instruction through the scholarship.
To be eligible for these scholarships, students must reside within Winchester city limits and have a financial constraint that would not otherwise allow them to be a student at the SCAA. The intent of this award is to offer a student the chance to experience the sense of belonging, excitement, and learning that the arts can offer. Vivian found self-expression in the arts and her family wants to offer this opportunity to others.
“Vivian brought joy to so many people through what she learned and experienced at the Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy,” said Vivian’s father, Brian Sansoni. “Through the Vivian Christy Sansoni Award, other talented young students are able to thrive and explore their creative passions through the performing arts, which will bring joy to countless people throughout their lives.”
In late spring through early fall each year, the SCAA seeks scholarship nominations from teachers, community members, church leaders and youth mentors within the city of Winchester. All are welcome to nominate a young person for the award – just as it takes a village to raise a child, it also requires one to nurture the creative spirit of a community’s youngest members.
Students who have received funds this year are:
- Oliver Westman, 3rd grade – Piano lessons
- Kyara Osorio-Espinosa, 8th grade – Violin lessons
- Kayla Smith, 6th grade – Blue Ridge Choristers
- Emma Whitacre, 4th grade – Blue Ridge Choristers
- Ninel Ortiz-Osorio, 8th grade – Clarinet lessons
- Uriel Tolentino-Osorio, 7th grade – Clarinet lessons
The SCAA accepts nominations throughout the year, with the award period typically beginning in September. The scholarships can go to students who have an interest in dance, orchestra, choir, theatre, fencing, and individual lessons in voice and a variety of instruments. Nominations for Fall 2022 are currently being accepted. A complete listing of offerings can be found on the SCAA website at www.scartsacademy.org.
Anyone wishing to support the mission of the Vivian Sansoni fund may give at https://advancement.su.edu/vivian-christy-sansoni-scholarship.
The SCAA practices COVID-19 protocols to ensure student safety. All faculty, students and staff wear masks and currently performances are also masked – both for the audience and performers. All community members are strongly encouraged to wear masks in the building; unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask. Instruction via Zoom is an option for some classes as well.