March 5, 2024

80 students chosen as Nebraska Young Artist Award winners

Nine wooden paintbrushes next to multiple colors of paint in cups on a multicolored surface


The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts has announced the winners of the 27th annual Nebraska Young Artist Awards.

The awards recognize 11th-grade students from Nebraska for their talents in visual art, dance, music, theater, and film and emerging media arts.

Eighty students from more than 40 high schools across the state have been selected as award winners and will be invited to a day of activities on campus April 3.

“The faculty always look forward to this event,” said Chris Watson, director of recruitment for the college and coordinator of the awards. “They love meeting enthusiastic young artists, working with them and celebrating their talent.”

Students applied for the recognition and submitted an example of their work. Applications were received from 107 students. Hixson-Lied College faculty chose the winners.

Award winners were also asked to nominate the teacher who provided them with the greatest amount of mentoring and support in the development of their special talents.

Students will receive a certificate and an original piece of artwork commissioned for the event and created by a School of Art, Art History and Design printmaking student.

Following is a list of award winners by hometown, with their high school and specialty area(s).


  • Danah Baldwin, Arnold, music

Beaver City:

  • Ehme Linner, Southern Valley, visual arts


  • Avery Walker, Bellevue East, music


  • Dominika Kouassi, Marian, music


  • Savannah Paisley, Cambridge, visual arts


  • Averielle Sager, Chadron, theater


  • Alyssa Wostrel, High Plains, visual arts


  • Kyah Curtis, Lakeview, film and emerging media arts


  • Autum Maline, Cozad, dance
  • Faith Pruner, Cozad, dance


  • Roman Maglinger, Elkhorn South, visual arts
  • Amina Teri, Elkhorn North, music
  • Rory Wright-Kent, Marian, music


  • Jennifer Franco Escobar, Dundy County Stratton, visual arts


  • Violet Nunnenkamp, Adams Central, visual arts


  • Brianna Fick, Kearney Catholic, visual arts
  • Mads Mather, Kearney, visual arts
  • Elisa Nikkila, Kearney Catholic, visual arts


  • Rachel Berger, Wilson Hill Academy, music


  • Tate Boesiger, Lincoln Southwest, dance
  • Nina Brozovi, Lincoln High, music
  • Amelia Burba, Lincoln Southwest, music
  • Sarah Cai, Lincoln East, music
  • Kalleigh Champagne, Lincoln East, music
  • Anne Friesen, home school, music
  • Tye Hollmann, Lincoln Southwest, music
  • Maura Kimble, Lincoln East, dance
  • Nicholas Li, Lincoln East, music
  • Gavin Loewe, Lincoln Lutheran, music
  • Emily Mattson, North Star, visual arts
  • Jack McCormick, Lincoln Southwest, music
  • Olivia Mccurley, Lincoln Southwest, dance
  • Hannah Melton, Lincoln East, music
  • Ananya Bindu Mirle, Lincoln East, dance
  • Matvey Moisseyev, Lincoln East, music
  • Kate Nolley, Lincoln Southwest, dance
  • Dejana Pratt, LPS Arts and Humanities Focus Program, visual arts
  • Ellie Selman, Lincoln Northeast, visual arts
  • Olivia Sulzle, Lincoln High, music
  • Kiptara Thomas, Lincoln East, dance
  • Tayven Washington, LPS Arts and Humanities Focus Program, visual arts
  • Sophie Wilder, Lincoln Southwest, dance
  • Emma Yin, Lincoln East, music
  • Elaine Yu, Lincoln East, music
  • Cheryl Zeng, Lincoln East, music


  • Molly Grace Larington, McCook, visual arts


  • Elliette Mendivil Rodriguez, Norfolk, music
  • Jadon Woznek, Norfolk, music


  • Ella Schlake, Ogallala, music


  • Joshua Bartsch, Omaha North, music
  • Madison Bonham, Millard North, music
  • Elizabeth Buescher, Marian, music
  • Grace Caskey, Duchesne Academy, dance and music
  • Ashleigh George, Elkhorn North, dance
  • Emma Gross, Westside, dance and theater
  • George Ji, Millard North, music
  • Sofia La Fata-Hornillos, Westside, theater
  • Nicole Liu, Millard North, music
  • Maria Overton, University of Nebraska High School, dance
  • Thomas Padios, Westside, theater
  • Mary Puccioni, Marian, dance
  • Daniel Ramos, Omaha North, music
  • Abby Rich, Ralston, dance
  • Isabelle Smolsky, Omaha Central, music
  • Luke Svoboda, Skutt Catholic, visual arts
  • Lola Warren, Westside, visual arts
  • Isabella Zhang, Millard North, music


  • Emily Layton, Southern Valley, visual arts
  • Brooklyn Santifer, Southern Valley, visual arts


  • Nick Serwatowski, Papillion-La Vista, music

Pleasant Dale:

  • Ellison Piening, Milford, visual arts


  • Samantha Ertzner, High Plains, visual arts


  • Deanna Horst, Sidney, music
  • Monique Trejo, Potter-Dix, visual arts


  • Destheny Ortega, Schuyler Central, visual arts


  • Dru Weimer, Sidney, music


  • Angel Estrada, Loup County, visual arts


  • Reagan Johnson, Wilcox-Hildreth, visual arts


  • Olive Sabey-Vogele, Southern Valley, visual arts


  • Tucker Robinson, McCool Junction, theater

News Release Contact(s)

Director of Recruitment, Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts