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Youth Art Award


Melissa Engestrom Youth Arts Award

Each year, the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission acknowledges the accomplishments of a young artist, 21 years or younger, who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to their craft, coupled with outstanding community services. The Melissa Engestrom Youth Arts Award is presented annually at the Mayor's Arts Awards. Past recipients have gone on to achieve professional success in the arts and other areas. 

This year's winner is Peyton Ellis. Through her leadership and hard work within The Convergence Project, a Santa Fe based youth-led community program engaging teens through the arts, Peyton assists in projects that create opportunities for young performing artists, writers and entrepreneurs from numerous schools in Santa Fe and the state. She has recruited adult mentors willing to volunteer their time to help with projects, like the Oasis Music Festival (now in its fourth year), black light parties at Meow Wolf, and master classes at NDI-NM among others. 

Her songwriting and storytelling talents have enabled Peyton to give compelling voice to the angst, confusion and social pressure that plague all young people trying to navigate the road to adulthood.

Peyton uses her powerful singing voice in the name of social causes, such as performances at Santa Fe Pride events and at the Roundhouse in the name of children separated from their families during immigration.


Melissa Houston Engestrom

Melissa Houston Engestrom was a longtime supporter of the arts in Santa Fe. Engestrom worked for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival as well as the Gerald Peters Gallery. From 1990-14, she served as Development Director for the Museum of New Mexico Foundation. Over her career, she also worked for Santa Fe Preparatory School and Helen Hunt, a philanthropist. Engestrom was a City of Santa Fe Arts Commissioner from 1992 until her passing in 1997. Her family and the Commission named the annual youth artists award presented in at the annual Mayor's Arts Awards in her honor.


Past Recipients

Max Manzanares, 2017

Zeke Farrell, 2016

Gabriella Ottersburg Enriquez, 2015

Danny Cron, 2014

Cora Cliburn, 2013

Emily Grimm, 2012

Santa Fe Indian School Spoken Word Team, 2011

Kinsey Spude, 2010

Sarah Livingston, 2009

Nicholas Steven Flores, 2008

Alima Rose Lopez, 2017

Gabriel Ismael Gonzales, 2006

Anita Zamora, 2005

Nate Masse, 2003

Jacob Subotnick, 2002

Sharlena Santiago, 2001

Eliot Gray Fisher, 2000

Lauryn Bomse, 1999

Santa Fe Youth Symphony, 1998

Megan Elizabeth Duwyenie, 1997

Bo & Miller Lopez, 1996


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