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Rogers’ Martin selected to receive NFHS National High School Heart of the Arts Award

Rogers’ Martin selected to receive NFHS National High School Heart of the Arts Award

The Rhode Island Interscholastic League congratulates Rogers High School senior Cailin Martin, who has been selected the 2020 national recipient of the “National High School Heart of the Arts Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). She will be recognized June 29 at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Denver, Colorado.

Cailin Martin

Now in its sixth year, the National High School Heart of the Arts Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals “who exemplify the ideals of the positive heart of the arts that represent the core mission of education-based activities.”

This is the second time in three years that a Rhode Island student has been selected as the national award recipient. Cecelia Egan of Bay View was honored in 2018.

Here is more about Martin and the Heart of the Arts Award provided in a press release from the NFHS:

From the time she was in fifth grade at Thompson Middle School in Newport, Rhode Island, Cailin Martin’s artistic talents stood out among her peers, as did her willingness to go the extra mile. After showcasing knowledge far beyond her years during class, she was often seen eagerly cleaning up students’ messes regardless of who made them.

Now a senior at Rogers High School in Newport, Martin has used course offerings and independent studies to develop her expertise in a variety of creative disciplines and has evolved her service mindset to address the needs of both her school and community.

In addition to the murals and props she has painted for each of the last three yearly musicals at Rogers, Martin adorned one of the school’s hallways this past summer for her senior project. That mural, which takes up more than eight feet of wall space, bears the words of civil rights activist Dolores Huerta – “Walk the street with us into history. Get off the sidewalk” – and serves to inspire those walking by.

During the same summer, Martin dedicated even more of her free time to be a digital art tutor for a seventh-grade girl in the area. Both girls enjoyed the interaction so much that they have continued their working relationship into the fall, obliging Martin to simultaneously balance a class schedule loaded with Advanced Placement (AP) courses. To this point, the 2019 AP Scholar Award winner has handled that challenge with relative ease, as her grade-point average ranks third in the senior class.

Martin’s most notable contribution came as a part of “Project Playhouse,” an initiative formed by a management class at nearby Bryant University to provide custom-built playhouses for children with serious and life-threatening illnesses. Martin’s role in the project was to depict a Transformers theme on one of the 9-foot by 9-foot by 9-foot structures, a task that required more than 21 hours of labor.

In addition to her work with Project Playhouse, Martin volunteered with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall in 2019 and the Norman Bird Sanctuary Harvest Festival in 2018 and 2019, and she has worked as a performer and set painter for the Rogers Theatre Company for the past five years.

Pieces of her artwork have also been included in community showcases, including the Irish History Exhibition at the Museum of Newport in 2017 and the Newport Yacht Club Art Show, where she received Best in Show First Runner-Up in 2019.



Marcin G. Rembisz
(401) 619-5384