Six student artists named 2021 JMArts Scholars

Siler City, NC – Six students have been named JMArts Scholars by the Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation, all receiving scholarships to pursue intensive fine arts study this summer.

JMArts Scholars preparing for study this summer are (standing from left) Carrie Shelton, Emma Weiber, Laci Burt, Maggie Thornton, Jocelyn Lopez Mejia and (in front) Suzette Campos Herrera. (Photo by Chip Pate)

They are Laci Burt, Suzette Campos Herrera, Jocelyn Lopez Mejia, Carrie Shelton, Maggie Thornton and Emma Weiber.
Scholarships are funded through individual contributions to the foundation and income generated from ticket sales for the annual fall musical, fundraising projects and admission from a few major concerts during the academic year.
“I’m proud of all these young women for sustaining their commitment to the arts during the pandemic,” said JMArts President Rose Pate. “A creative outlet’s role in academic success and mental health has been shown to be more important than ever this last year.”

This year’s scholars represent music, theater and visual arts — all areas of the arts at Jordan-Matthews High School.

  • Burt will attend the Temple Theatre Advanced Teen Musical Theatre Conservatory.
  • Thornton will attend the NC State University High School Music Technology Camp.
  • Weiber will attend the Drum Major Academy at UNC Charlotte.
  • Shelton and Lopez Mejia will attend the UNC Greensboro Summer Arts and Design Intensive, being offered virtually this summer.
  • Campos Herrera will pursue private voice lessons with Matt Fry, former Jordan-Matthews vocal music teacher and recipient of the North Carolina Symphony’s 2020 Jackson Parkhurst Award for Special Achievement.

Two JMArts Scholars who are graduating this spring, but were not able to attend arts workshops last year because of the pandemic, have been awarded $400 college scholarships. They are visual artist Tiana Brooks, who is attending Appalachian State University, and musician Josselyn Gonzalez Hernandez, who is attending UNC Greensboro.

“Even though most of these programs are not residential this year, they are still a wonderful opportunity,” said Pate. “These students will be fully immersed in the arts and will develop relationships beyond our school that will expand their horizons for the future.”

Since creating the awards nine years ago, JMArts has presented 73 scholarships to 49 students, with some receiving awards to study for more than one summer. The initiative was designed to help young artists develop their talent, explore artistic options before making their college decisions and bring what they learn back to share with other Jordan-Matthews students.

Businesses and individuals interested in contributing to the JMArts Scholars program or other projects for high school artists may contact Pate at 919-742-2916 or . Checks can be mailed to JMArts, PO Box 395, Siler City, NC, 27344.

More information about JMArts, including details about JMArts Scholars and upcoming events, is available at