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Four Iowa students receive prestigious arts scholarships

May 4, 2022

The Iowa Arts Council has awarded its highly coveted Iowa Scholarship for the Arts to four of the state’s most talented high school seniors.

Harbour Buchanan of Glenwood, Ella De Haan of Ankeny, Ella Hayden of Blairstown and Aidan Krell of West Burlington are the recipients of the prestigious award, which will help pay for part of their college education this fall.

The Iowa Scholarship for the Arts program supports Iowa high school students with proven artistic ability in dance, creative writing, music, theater, traditional arts or visual arts who plan to pursue a major in the arts at an accredited Iowa college or university. Each scholarship winner will receive $2,500 for his or her college tuition and related expenses as a full-time undergraduate student in 2022-2023.

"Each of this year's scholarship recipients has demonstrated exceptional artistic promise and dedication to continuing to develop their skills and knowledge,” Iowa Arts Council Administrator David Schmitz said. “We are pleased they will continue their studies here in Iowa and pursue an education that will last them a lifetime and open up many career pathways, in the arts and other creative fields. ”

Harbour Buchanan of Glenwood has been playing the oboe since sixth grade, when her school started offering band classes. She will pursue a degree in music education at Iowa State University and hopes to teach high school band and give private lessons. She said performing music has helped her develop leadership and communication skills, as well as the compassion, trust and dedication needed to be successful in teaching.

Ella De Haan of Ankeny developed her passion for art beginning in fifth grade when she created an artist profile on Roy Lichtenstein, inspired by his style and ability to convey a narrative through a graphic style. Today, she uses alcohol markers to create graphic works similar to Lichtenstein’s, inspired by surroundings at school. She has volunteered more than 300 hours at the Ankeny Art Center, teaching students in grades 5-8 how to use the pottery wheel. She plans to attend the University of Northern Iowa and become an art teacher.

Ella Hayden of Blairstown grew up in a musical family. Her father is a high school vocal music teacher, her brother is studying music education, and her grandmother is a retired elementary music teacher. Inspired by her family’s passion for music, Hayden visited an elementary music classroom and decided to pursue a degree in music education.

Aidan Krell of West Burlington began his journey in art as a kindergartner in Portland, Oregon, where he began taking classes from a neighborhood artist who offered a free art camp for children each summer. Through the camp, he learned it’s okay to color outside the lines and to use artistic techniques for self-expression. (He learned he could even sell his art and trade it with classmates for chewing gum.) Krell is exploring several options for a career after graduating from Luther College, as a professional artist, art teacher, art gallery manager or illustrator.

More information about the Iowa Scholarship for the Arts is available at

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its divisions – the State Historical Society of Iowa, including the State Historic Preservation Office; the Iowa Arts Council; the interim Iowa Humanities Council; and Produce Iowa, the state office of media production – empower Iowans to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting to the people, places and points of pride that define our state